Gods & Punks Release New Album And the Celestial Ascension This Friday; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Brazilian heavy psych rock five-piece Gods & Punks will issue their third full-length at the end of this week. Normally this is the point where I’d probably tell you how bad I feel about being so behind on the news and all that, but they just put up preorders like two days ago, so actually I’m not that far off the mark. The short notice comes with preorders being up and the streamable track “Ascension,” which opens the record and pairs an initially Sleepy riffing modus with some broad-sounding Hammond and a multi-layered vocal, boding well at least for how the rest of the outing might unfold. At least we won’t have to wait long to find out how it does.

That’s me, always looking at the bright side.

They have the album info up on Bandcamp like this. I’m just going to go on a limb and assume the record wasn’t actually put to tape in 1975:

gods and punks and the celestial ascension

And the Celestial Ascension by Gods & Punks

“And the Celestial Ascension” closes a cycle that begins with the “The Sounds of the Earth” and passes through both “Into the Dunes of Doom” and “Enter the Ceremony of Damnation”. Our third full-length release in three years straight, and – by far – our most complex and experimental one until now.

Following the final dates of the Damnation tour, we had to leave the attic indefinitely, and we were left with no place to rehearse or compose. We spent some time trying to find somewhere else that could take us in with no success but then Arthur, our drummer, found a place. The shack. We moved all our stuff and settled in, made it our home. It was when the magic happened. That vibe, in the middle of the jungle got to us, and made everything we wrote even more psychedelic and strange-sounding. At times, we had to try not to let ourselves overdo it.

These six songs wrote themselves. They tell the story right where we left off, after “Damnation”, and leaves us right where we began all the way back with “Sounds”. We highly recommend you take the time to appreciate these six tracks. There’s a lot more going on this time. Some will instantly blow you away, some will grow on you. We hope you’ll like ‘em as much as we do.

Tracklisting:
1. Ascension
2. Crowns on Fire
3. Infinite Hourglass
4. Escape to the Stars
5. The Rift
6. Dying Planet

Music by Gods & Punks
Lyrics by Alexandre Canhetti
Edited by Arthur Rodrigues
Mixed and Mastered by André Leal and Kleber Mariano at Estúdio Jukebox
Recorded live in Estúdio MATA in August the 12th, 1975
Artwork by Cristiano Suarez

Gods & Punks live:
Nov 08 LAPA IRISH PUB Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nov 14 Aparelho Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nov 29 Soma+Lab Campos dos Goytacazes, Brazil

Gods & Punks are:
Alexandre – Vocals
Pedro – Lead Guitar
Danilo – Bass
Psy – Rhythm Guitar
Arthur – Drums

http://facebook.com/godsandpunks
http://instagram.com/gods_and_punks
https://godsandpunks.bandcamp.com/

Gods & Punks, And the Celestial Ascension (2019)

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Deafkids Announce UK & European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

deafkids (photo by Nubia Abe)

I missed Deafkids at Roadburn earlier this year — I don’t know what I was watching instead, but you can’t possibly see anything and I did the best I could — but saw them over the summer with Neurosis (review here), and their experimental psych-jazz-space-punk-noise-fuckall was an immediate answer to the question, “How come I keep seeing the name Deafkids everywhere?” It’s, uh, because they’re really good and doing something just about no one else is. So it goes.

The Brazilian three-piece return to Europe and the UK next month in order to support their 2019 album, Metaprogramação, which was released through Neurot Recordings back in March and admittedly serves as a much better argument for watching them play than my say-so. You can check out the stream of the record below, and what the hell, why wouldn’t you?, and dig into the upcoming tour routing below, courtesy of the PR wire.

Goes like this:

deafkids uk eu touring

DEAFKIDS Return To Europe This October For Headlining Dates In Support Of Metaprogramação

Following their recent North American tours this summer – one supporting Neurosis and Bell Witch, the next supporting Big|Brave – the unstoppable Brazilian trio DEAFKIDS wil be touring Europe again this October in support of the new album Metaprogramação, out now via Neurot Recordings. From October 4th through 18th the band will tour through Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Greece, and the UK on a run of headlining dates, as well as one show in London supporting Melt Banana.

Reflecting on the year they’ve had DEAFKIDS remark, “We first started the Metaprogramação Tour in March this year, passing through the South part of Brazil, then in April we headed to Europe with our friends from Rakta – including two memorable appearances at Roadburn Festival. Then in August we headed to our first North American excursion and the reception couldn’t been better. To have the chance and honor to travel all over and meeting amazing people and landscapes, to support and hang around with Neurosis and Bell Witch for the East Coast length – it felt like a dream-tour – and then with Big|Brave for the West Coast length… that’s something we’ll always keep in hearts as a beautiful gift! As our mission to keep spreading Metaprogramação around, now we’re heading back to mainland Europe and the UK, and we’re very excited to play in new places we’ve never been; more cities in Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Greece. It’s gonna be a blast! In 2020 we’ll complete ten years of existence and it feels like we’re just starting! As the river keeps flowing, the road will never end!”

Find DEAFKIDS’ Metaprogramac?a?o through Neurot Recordings on LP, CD, and digital platforms via Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify and at the Neurot webshop.

DEAFKIDS Live:
10/04/2019 OUT.FEST 2019 – Barreiro, PT
10/05/2019 Teatro Gil Vicente – Barcelos, PT
10/06/2019 Texas Bar – Leiria, PT
10/07/2019 Sala Hollander – Sevilla, ES
10/08/2019 The Sound House – Dublin, IE
10/10/2019 The Temple – Athens, GR
10/16/2019 Dingwalls – London, UK w/ Melt Banana
10/18/2019 The Old England – Bristol, UK

https://deafkidspunx.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/deafkidspunx
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings
https://neurotrecordings.bandcamp.com

Deafkids, Metaprogramação (2019)

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Psilocibina Announce European Tour Dates

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

psilocibina

Brazilian instrumentalists Psilocibina issued their self-titled debut album (review here) last year through Abraxas in South America and Electric Magic in Europe. Neither is a minor affiliation to have, frankly, and the European tour they’ll undertake beginning next month to support the album is likewise not-minor. The three-piece hit the road in Germany and finish off in Germany — as European tours will these days — but in between, they’ll be there for the entire month of October and then some on a significant run that includes drives across the continent, festival stops, and the full Euro-tour experience all packed into a matter of weeks. Simply put, this is the kind of tour that changes a band. This isn’t just hitting the grindstone — it’s making music your entire life for more than a month. I can’t imagine they’re not excited.

I won’t get to see any of these shows, but what I look forward to is what Psilocibina will learn about themselves as a unit on this run and how it might play into their songcraft on their next release, because it almost invariably will. How could it not, unless they already have a record written? You can hear in the stream of their self-titled, they were already deft of boogie and fleet of rhythm — that bass — but just imagine where they’ll be after this tour. Shit. Never mind their excitement. I’m excited for them. This is how great bands are made.

Dates were posted on social media thusly:

psilocibina poster

PSILOCIBINA – Euro Tour 2069

Taking off for our first European tour next month. We can’t wait to perform live for you!

Thank you Jonas Gonçalves from Ya Ya Yeah for the invitation and our labels Abraxas and Electric Magic for all the support always.

See you soon!!

SEP 27 – STONED MOUNTAIN – PASSAU, DE
SEP 28 – MUSHROOM GARDEN FESTIVAL CHEMNITZ, DE
SEP 29 – TIEF – BERLIN, DE
SEP 30 – BOSS BAR – PODERBRADY, CZ
OCT 2 – PILSEN BUSKING FEST – PILSEN, CZ
OCT 3 – PILSEN BUSKING FEST – PILSEN, CZ
OCT 4 – ŽiŽKOVŠiŠKA – PRAGUE, CZ
OCT 5 – HEXENHAUS – ULM, DE
OCT 7 – LE CIRCUS – CAPBRETON, FR
OCT 8 – VOID – BORDEAUX, FR
OCT 9 – ROCK BEER THE NEW – SANTANDER, ES
OCT 10 – AVENIDA – AVEIRO, PT
OCT 11 – CARPE DIEM – SANTO DIEGO, PT
OCT 12 – SABOTAGE CLUB – LISBOA, PT
OCT 13 – BARRACUDA – PORTO, PT
OCT 16 – GOLYA – BUDAPEST, HU
OCT 17 – GRAND CAFÉ – SZEGED, HU
OCT 18 – ROCK PE PAINE FESTIVAL – CLUJ-NAPOCA, RO
OCT 19 – MIXTAPE 5 – SOFIA, BU
OCT 23 – SECRET SHOW – VERONA, IT
OCT 24 – RED DOG – REZZATO, IT
OCT 25 – ALBATROS CAFÉ – PISA, IT
OCT 26 – CIRCOLO GAGARIN – BUSTO ARSIZIO, IT
OCT 29 – LE BUNKER – BRUSSELS, BE
OCT 31 – ART CAFÉ KALAMBUR – WRACKLOW, PL
NOV 1 – KUNSTBAUERKINO – GROBHENNERSDORF, DE
NOV 2 – COSMIC DAWN – JENA, DE
NOV 3 – SCHLACHTHOF – WEISBADEN, DE

Psilocibina is:
Alex Sheeny – guitar / synth
Lucas Loureiro – drums / percursion
Rodrigo Toscano – bass

https://www.facebook.com/psilocibinamusic/
https://psilocibina.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.abraxas.fm/
http://www.abraxas.shop/
https://www.facebook.com/electricmagicrecords/
http://www.electricmagicrecords.com/

Psilocibina, Psilocibina (2018)

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Projeto Trator European Tour Starts Tomorrow

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Projeto Trator (photo by Murai)

…Aug. 22, to be exact, which, yes, is this week. The São Paulo sludge/heavy rockers go as ambassadors of Brazil’s fertile underground scene, and will make stops at festivals here and there along the way of their month-long stint on the European continent. That’s a pretty good run — a month — and with shows about to start, there are still some TBA dates in there, as well as off-days, so I’m thinking if you’re in Europe someplace along their path, you’ve probably got a fair chance of getting Projeto Trator to play wherever you’re at. House show? Back yard gig? It’s time to fill those slots, people. I’d figure toss them some cash for making the stop and, you know, give them food and a place to crash, and it’d probably turn out to be an awesome tour stop. As you can see below, they made their “Vermes” video from clips on tour last year in Argentina. Maybe you could be in the next video.

Either way, if you can help, help. Scene unity and all that.

Projeto Trator‘s latest EP is out now through Abraxas Records, and “Vermes” comes from it. They were writing new material this Spring, but I’ve yet to see word yet of a follow-up. Doesn’t it mean it won’t happen, just means I don’t know.

Alright, here are those dates:

Projeto_Trator_European_Tour_2019_Flyer

Projeto Trator – European Tour

Projeto Trator is a sludge/doom metal duo from São Paulo/Brazil. Formed in 2006, the band has released 10 works and toured extensively in Brazil and South America many times.

Finally: in August and September 2019 will be the first tour of the Projeto Trator in Europe. There will be more than 20 shows from 8 countries (Germany, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Netherlands, Poland & Hungary). Half of the shows will be sharing the stage with the Umbilichaos (industrial-noise-one-woman-band), longtime partner of the Projeto Trator in shows and releases.

It will be an unmissable opportunity for anyone who can see live one of the best bands of “doomed” music in Brazil.

Projeto Trator live dates:
08.22 Kopi Berlin DE
08.23 Eldorado Hamburg DE
08.24 Gazarach Bratislava SK
08.27 TBA Ostrava CZ
08.28 Hospoda Brouk Prague CZ
08.29 Marie Antoinette Berlin DE
08.31 TBA Brussels BE
09.01 Mest Fest Hoegaarden BE
09.03 TBA Courtrai BE*
09.04 TBA Gent BE*
09.06 Acu Utrecht NL*
09.07 13 Times Fest Geel BE
09.10 TBA Amsterdam NL*
09.11 TBA Hoorn NL*
09.13 Potse Drugstore Fest Berlin DE
09.14 TBA Estetino PL
09.17 TBA Leipzig DE
09.18 TBA Halle DE
09.19 Basta! Gorlitz DE
09.20 Psych Umami Fest Vernerovice CZ
09.21 Sommafest ’19 Rietschen DE
09.22 TBA Vienna AT
09.23 Edison Bar & Ink Budapest HU
* with Umbilichaos

projetotrator.com
facebook.com/projeto.trator
instagram/projetotrator
bandcamp.com/projetotrator

Projeto Trator, “Vermes” official video

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Quarterly Review: Electric Octopus, Crypt Trip, Love Gang & Smokey Mirror, Heavy Feather, Faith in Jane, The Mound Builders, Terras Paralelas, The Black Heart Death Cult, Roadog & Orbiter, Hhoogg

Posted in Reviews on March 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Day four of the six-dayer. Head’s a little reeling, but I’m not sure any more so than, say, last week at this time. I’d be more specific about that, but oddly enough, I don’t hook my brain up to medical scanners while doing reviews. Seems like an oversight on my part, now that I think about it. Ten years later and still learning something new! How about that internet, huh?

Since I don’t think I’ve said it in a couple days, I’ll remind you that the hope here is you find something you dig. There’s a lot of cool stuff in this batch, so that should at least make skimming through it fun if you go that route. Either way, thanks for reading if you do.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Electric Octopus, Smile

Electric Octopus Smile

It’s been about two months since Electric Octopus posted Smile, so they’re about due for their next release. So, quick! Before this 82-minute collection of insta-chill jams is out of date, there’s still time to consider it their latest offering. Working as the four-piece of Tyrell Black and Dale Hughes — both of whom share bass and guitar duties — drummer Guy Hetherington and synthesist Stevie Lennox, the Belfast improv jammers rightfully commence with the 25-minute longest track (immediate points) “Abberation” (sic), which evolves and devolves along its course and winds up turning from a percussive jam to a guitar-led build up that still stays gloriously mellow even as it works its way out. You can almost hear the band moving from instrument to instrument, and that’s the point. The much shorter “Spiral,” “Dinner at Sea, for One” and closer “Mouseangelo” bring in a welcome bit of funk, “Moth Dust” explores minimalist reaches of guitar and ambient drumming, and “Hyperloop” digs into fuzz-soaked swirl before cleaning up its act in the last couple minutes. These cats j-a-m. May they do so into perpetuity.

Electric Octopus on Thee Facebooks

Electric Octopus on Bandcamp

 

Crypt Trip, Haze County

crypt trip haze county

Onto the best-albums-of-2019 list go San Marcos, Texas, trio Crypt Trip, who, sonically speaking, are way more Beto O’Rourke than Ted Cruz. The three-piece have way-way-upped the production value and general breadth from their 2018 Heavy Psych Sounds debut, Rootstock, and the clarity of purpose more than suits them as they touch on ’70s country jams and hard boogie and find a new melodic vocal confidence that speaks to guitarist Ryan Lee as a burgeoning frontman as well as the shredder panning channels in “To Be Whole.” Fortunately, he’s backed by bassist Sam Bryant and drummer Cameron Martin in the endeavor, and as ever, it’s the rhythm section that gives the “power trio” its power. Centerpiece “Free Rain” is a highlight, but so is the pedal steel of intro “Forward” and the later “Pastures” that precedes six-minute closer “Gotta Get Away,” which makes its transport by means of a hypnotic drum solo from Martin. Mark it a win and go to the show. That’s all you can do. Haze County is a blueprint for America’s answer to Europe’s classic heavy rock movement.

Crypt Trip on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Love Gang & Smokey Mirror, Split Double EP

smokey mirror love gang split double ep

A bit of Tull as Love Gang‘s flute-inclusive opener “Can’t Seem to Win” skirts the line of the proggier end of ’70s worship. The Denver outfit and Dallas’ Smokey Mirror both present three tracks on Glory or Death RecordsSplit Double EP, and Love Gang back the leadoff with “Break Free” and “Lonely Man,” reveling in wall-o’-fuzz chicanery and organ-laced push between them, making their already unpredictable style less predictable, while Smokey Mirror kick off side B in particularly righteous fashion via the nine-minute “Sword and Scepter,” which steps forth to take ultra-Sabbathian ownership of the release even as the filthy tone of “Sucio y Desprolijo” and the loose-swinging Amplified Heat-style megashuffle of “A Thousand Days in the Desert” follow. Two bands in the process of finding their sound coming together to serve notice of ass-kickery present and future. If you can complain about that, you’re wrong.

Love Gang on Thee Facebooks

Smokey Mirror on Thee Facebooks

Glory or Death Records BigCartel store

 

Heavy Feather, Débris & Rubble

Heavy Feather Debris & Rubble

Very much a solid first album, Heavy Feather‘s 11-song Débris & Rubble lands at a run via The Sign Records and finds the Stockholm-based classic heavy blues rockers comporting with modern Euro retroism in grand fashion. At 41 minutes, it’s a little long for a classic-style LP if one measures by the eight-track/38-minute standard, but the four-piece fill that time with a varied take that basks in sing-along-ready hooks like those of post-intro opener “Where Did We Go,” the Rolling Stones-style strutter “Waited All My Life,” and the later “I Spend My Money Wrong,” which features not the first interplay of harmonica and lead guitar amid its insistent groove. Elsewhere, more mellow cuts like “Dreams,” or the slide-infused “Tell Me Your Tale” and the closing duo of the Zeppelinian “Please Don’t Leave” and the melancholy finisher “Whispering Things” assure Débris & Rubble never stays in one place too long, though one could say the same of the softshoe-ready boogie in “Hey There Mama” as well. On the one hand, they’re figuring it out. On the other, they’re figuring it out.

Heavy Feather on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records on Bandcamp

 

Faith in Jane, Countryside

Faith in Jane Countryside

Five full-lengths deep into a tenure spanning a decade thus far, Faith in Jane have officially entered the running to be one of the best kept secrets of Maryland heavy. Their late-2018 live-recorded studio offering, Countryside, clocks in at just under an hour of organic tonality and performance, bringing a sharp presentation to the chemistry that’s taken hold among the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Dan Mize, bassist Brendan Winston and drummer Alex Llewellyn, with Mize taking extended solos on the Wino model throughout early cuts “All is All” and “Mountain Lore” while the trio adds Appalachian grunge push to the Chesapeake’s flowing groove while building “Blues for Owsley” from acoustic strum to scorching cacophonous wash and rolling out the 9:48 “Hippy Nihilism” like the masters of the form they’re becoming. It’s not a minor undertaking in terms of runtime, but for those in on what these cats have been up to all the while, hard to imagine Countryside is seen as anything other than hospitable.

Faith in Jane on Thee Facebooks

Faith in Jane on Bandcamp

 

The Mound Builders, The Mound Builders

The Mound Builders The Mound Builders

Lafayette, Indiana’s The Mound Builders last year offered a redux of their 2014 album, Wabash War Machine (review here), but that was their last proper full-length. Their self-titled arrives as eight bruiser slabs of weighted sludge/groove metal, launching with its longest track (immediate points) in the 7:30 “Torchbearer,” before shifting into the outright screams-forward pummel of “Hair of the Dogma” and the likewise dry-throated “Separated from Youth.” By the time they get to the hardcore-punk-via-sludge of “Acid Slugs,” it’s not a little heavy. It’s a lot heavy. And it stays that way through the thrashing “Star City Massacre” and “Regolith,” hitting the brakes on “Broken Pillars” only to slam headfirst into closer “Vanished Frontier.” Five years later and they’re still way pissed off. So be it. The four-formerly-five-piece were never really all that gone, but they still seem to have packed an extended absence’s worth of aggro into their self-titled LP.

The Mound Builders on Thee Facebooks

Failure Records and Tapes

 

Terras Paralelas, Entre Dois Mundos

TERRAS PARALELAS ENTRE DOIS MUNDOS

It’s a fluid balance between heavy rock and progressive metal Terras Paralelas make in the six inclusions on their debut full-length, Entre Dois Mundos. The Brazilian instrumentalist trio keep a foundation of metallic kickdrumming beneath “Do Abismo ao Triunfo,” and even the chugging in “Espirais e Labirintos” calls to mind some background in harder-hitting fare, but it’s set against a will toward semi-psychedelic exploration, making the giving the album a sense of refusing to play exclusively to one impulse. This proves a strength in the lengthier pieces that follow “Infinito Cósmico” and “Do Abismo ao Triunfo” at the outset, and as Terras Paralelas move from the mellower “Bom Presságio” and “Espirais e Labirintos” into the more spaciously post-rocking “Nossa Jornada Interior” and the nine-minute-plus prog-out title-track that closes by summarizing as much as pushing further outward, one is left wondering why such distinctions might matter in the first place. Kudos to the band for making them not.

Terras Paralelas on Thee Facebooks

Terras Paralelas on Bandcamp

 

The Black Heart Death Cult, The Black Heart Death Cult

the black heart death cult the black heart death cult

Though one wouldn’t accuse The Black Heart Death Cult of being the first cumbersomely-named psych-rocking band in the current wave originating in Melbourne, Australia, their self-titled debut is nonetheless a gorgeous shimmer of classic psychedelia, given tonal presence through guitar and bass, but conjuring an ethereal sensibility through the keys and far-back vocals like “She’s a Believer,” tapping alt-reality 1967 vibes there while fostering what I hear is called neo-psych but is really just kinda psych throughout the nodding meander of “Black Rainbow,” giving even the more weighted fuzz of “Aloha From Hell” and the distortion flood of “Davidian Dream Beam” a happier context. They cap with the marshmallowtron hallucinations of “We Love You” and thereby depart even the ground stepped on earlier in the sitar-laced “The Magic Lamp,” finding and losing and losing themselves in the drifting ether probably not to return until, you know, the next record. When it shows up, it will be greeted as a liberator.

The Black Heart Death Cult on Thee Facebooks

Oak Island Records webstore

 

Orbiter & Roadog, Split

orbiter roadog split

I’m pretty sure the Sami who plays drums in Orbiter is the same dude playing bass in Roadog, but I could easily be wrong about that. Either way, the two Finnish cohort units make a fitting complement to each other on their two-songer 7″ single, which presents Orbiter‘s six-minute “Anthropocene” with the hard-driving title-track of Roadog‘s 2018 full-length, Reinventing the Wheels. The two tracks have a certain amount in common, mostly in the use of fuzz and some underlying desert influence, but it’s what they do with that that makes all the difference between them. Orbiter‘s track is spacier and echoing, where “Reinventing the Wheels” lands more straightforward in its three minutes, its motoring riff filled out by some effects but essentially manifest in dead-ahead push and lyrics about a motorcycle. They don’t reinvent the wheel, as it happens, and neither do Orbiter, but neither seems to want to do so either, and both bands are very clearly having a blast, so I’m not inclined to argue. Good fun and not a second of pretense on either side.


Orbiter on Thee Facebooks

Roadog on Thee Facebooks

 

Hhoogg, Earthling, Go Home!

hhoogg Earthling Go Home

Space is the place where you’ll find Boston improvisationalists Hhoogg, who extend their fun penchant for adding double letters to the leadoff “Ccoossmmooss” of their exclamatory second self-released full-length, Earthling, Go Home!, which brings forth seven tracks in a vinyl-ready 37 minutes and uses that opener also as its longest track (immediate points) to set a molten tone to the proceedings while subsequent vibes in “Rustic Alien Living” and the later, bass-heavy “Recalled to the Pyramids” range from the Hendrixian to the funkadelicness he helped inspire. With a centerpiece in “Star Wizard, Headless and Awake,” a relatively straightforward three-minute noodler, the four-piece choose to cap with “Infinitely Gone,” which feels as much like a statement of purpose and an aesthetic designation as a descriptor for what’s contained within. In truth, it’s a little under six minutes gone, but jams like these tend to beg for repeat listens anyway. There’s some growing to do, but the melding of their essential chemistry is in progress, and that’s what matters most. The rest is exploration, and they sound well up for it.

Hhoogg on Thee Facebooks

Hhoogg on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Stuck in Motion, AVER, Massa, Alastor, Seid, Moab, Primitive Man & Unearthly Trance, Into Orbit, Super Thief, Absent

Posted in Reviews on March 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Let the games begin! The rules are the same: 10 albums per day, this time for a total of 60 between today and next Monday. It’s the Quarterly Review. Think of it like a breakfast buffet with an unending supply of pancakes except the pancakes are riffs and there’s only one dude cooking them and he’s really tired all the time and complains, complains, complains. Maybe not the best analogy. Still, it’s gonna be a ton of stuff, but there are some very, very cool records included, so please keep your eyes and your mind open for what’s coming, because you might find something here you really dig. If not, there’s always tomorrow. Let’s go.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Stuck in Motion, Stuck in Motion

stuck in motion self-titled

The classic style cover art of Swedish trio Stuck in Motion‘s self-titled debut tells much of the story. It’s sweet-toned vintage-style soul rock, informed by Graveyard to some degree, but more aligned to retroism. The songs are bluesy and natural and not especially long, but have vibe for weeks, as demonstrated on the six-minute longest-track “Dreams of Flying,” or the flute-laden closer “Eken.” What the picture doesn’t tell you is the heavy use of clavinet in the band’s sound and just how much the vintage electric piano adds to what songs like “Slingrar” with its ultra-fluid shifts in tempo, or the sax-drenched penultimate cut “Orientalisk.” Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Max Kinnbo, drummer Gustaf Björkman and bassist/vocalist/clavinetist Adrian Norén, Stuck in Motion‘s debut successfully basks in a mellow psychedelic blues atmosphere and shows a patience for songwriting that bodes remarkably well. It should not be overlooked because you think you’re tired of vintage-style rock.

Stuck in Motion on Thee Facebooks

Stuck in Motion on Bandcamp

 

AVER, Orbis Majora

aver orbis majora

Following up their 2015 sophomore outing, Nadir (review here), which led to them getting picked up by Ripple Music, Australia’s AVER return with the progressive shove of Orbis Majora, five songs in 50 minutes of thoughtfully composed heavy progadelica, and while it’s not all so serious — closer “Hemp Fandango” well earns its title via a shuffling stonerly groove — opener “Feeding the Sun” and the subsequent “Disorder” set a mood of careful craftsmanship in longform pieces. The album’s peak might be in the 13-minute “Unanswered Prayers,” which culls together an extended linear build that’s equal parts immersive and gorgeous, but the rest of the album hardly lacks for depth or clarity of purpose. An underlying message from the Sydney four-piece would seem to be that they’re going to continue growing, even after more than a decade, because it’s not so much that they’re feeling their way toward their sound, but willfully pushing themselves to refine those parameters.

AVER on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Massa, Walls

massa walls

Flourish of keys adds nuance to Massa‘s moody, heavy post-rock style, the Rotterdam-based trio bringing an atmosphere to their second EP, Walls, across five tracks and 26 minutes marked by periodic samples from cinema and a sense of scope that seems to be born of an experimental impulse but not presented as the experiment itself. That is, they take the “let’s try this!” impulse and make a song out of it, as the chunky rhythm of instrumental centerpiece “Expedition” or the melodies in the prior “#8” show. Before finishing with the crash-into-push of the relatively brief “Intermassa,” the eight-minute “The Federal” complements winding guitar with organ to affect an engaging spirit somewhere between classic and futurist heavy, with the drums holding together proceedings that would seem to convey all the chaos of that temporal paradox. Perhaps it was opener “Shiva” that set this creator/destroyer tone, but either way, Massa bask in it and find a grim sense of identity thereby.

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Massa on Bandcamp

 

Alastor, Slave to the Grave

alastor slave to the grave

The first full-length from Swedish doomplodders Alastor and their debut on RidingEasy Records, late 2018’s Slave to the Grave is the four-piece’s most expansive offering yet in sonic scope as well as runtime. Following the 2017 EPs Blood on Satan’s Claw (review here) and Black Magic (review here), the seven-song/56-minute offering holds true to the murk-toned cultism and dense low-end rumble of the prior offerings, but the melodic resonance and sense of updating the aesthetic of traditional doom is palpable throughout the roller “Your Lives are Worthless,” while the later acoustic-led “Gone” speaks to a folkish influence that suits them surprisingly well given the heft that surrounds. They make an obvious focal point of 17-minute closer “Spider of My Love,” which though they’ve worked in longer forms before, is easily the grandest accomplishment they’ve yet unfurled. One might easily say the same applies to Slave to the Grave as a whole. Those who miss The Wounded Kings should take particular note of their trajectory.

Alastor on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Seid, Weltschmerz, Baby!

seid-weltschmerz_baby-web

If Norwegian space-psych outfit Seid are feeling weary of the world, the way they show it in Weltschmerz, Baby! is by simply leaving it behind, substituting for reality a cosmic starscape of effects and synth, the odd sample and vaguely Hawkwindian etherealism. The centerpiece title-track is a banger along those lines, a swell of rhythmic intensity born out of the finale of the prior “Satan i Blodet” and the mellow, flowing “Trollmannens Hytte” before that, but the highlight might be the subsequent “Coyoteman,” which drifts into dream-prog led by echoing layers of guitar and eventually given over to a fading strain of noise that “Moloch vs. Gud” picks up with percussive purpose and flows directly into the closer “Mir (Drogarna Börjar Värka),” rife with ’70s astro-bounce and a long fadeout that’s less about the record ending and more about leaving the galaxy behind. Starting out at a decent clip with “Haukøye,” Weltschmerz, Baby! is all about the journey and a trip well worth taking.

Seid on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records website

 

Moab, Trough

moab trough

A good record tinged by the tragic loss of drummer Erik Herzog during the recording and finished by guitarist/vocalist Andrew Giacumakis and bassist Joe Fuentes, the 10-track/39-minute Trough demonstrates completely just how much Moab have been underrated since their 2011 debut, Ab Ovo (discussed here), and across the 2014 follow-up, Billow (review here), as they bring a West Coast noise-infused pulse to heavy rock drive on “All Automatons” and meet an enduring punker spirit face first with “Medieval Moan,” all the while presenting a clear head for songcraft amid deep-running tones and melodies. “The Will is Weak” makes perhaps the greatest impact in terms of heft, but heft is by no means all Moab have to offer. With the very real possibility this will be their final record, it is a worthy homage to their fallen comrade and a showcase of their strengths that’s bound someday to get the attention it deserves whenever some clever label decides to reissue it as a lost classic.

Moab on Thee Facebooks

Moab on Bandcamp

 

Primitive Man & Unearthly Trance, Split

primitive man unearthly trance split

Well of course it’s a massive wash of doomed and hate-filled noise! What were you expecting, sunshine and puppies? Colorado’s Primitive Man and Brooklyn’s Unearthly Trance team up to compare misanthropic bona fides across seven tracks of blistering extremity that do Relapse Records proud. Starting with the collaborative intro “Merging,” the onslaught truly commences with Primitive Man’s 10-minute “Naked” and sinks into an abyss with the instrumental noisefest “Love Under Will,” which gradually makes its way into a swell of abrasive drone. Unearthly Trance, meanwhile, proffer immediate destructiveness with the churning “Mechanism Error” and make “Triumph” dark enough to live up to its most malevolent interpretations, while “Reverse the Day” makes me wonder what people who heard Godflesh in the ’80s must’ve thought of it and the six-minute finishing move “418” answers back to Primitive Man‘s droned-out anti-structure with a consuming void of fuckall depth. It’s like the two bands cut open their veins and recorded the disaffection that spilled out.

Primitive Man on Thee Facebooks

Unearthly Trance on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records website

 

Into Orbit, Shifter

Into Orbit Shifter

Progressive New Zealander two-piece Into OrbitPaul Stewart on guitar and Ian Moir on drums — offer up the single Shifter as the answer to their 2017 sophomore long-player, Unearthing. The Wellington instrumentalists did likewise leading into that album with a single that later showed up as part of a broader tracklist, so it may be that they’ve got another release already in the works, but either way, the 5:50 standalone track finds them dug into a full band sound with layered or looped guitar standing tall over the mid-paced drumming, affecting an emotion-driven atmosphere as much as the cerebral nature of its craft. Beginning with a thick chug, it works into more melodic spaciousness as it heads toward and through its midsection, lead guitar kicking in with harmony lines joining soon after as the two-piece build back up to a bigger finish. Whatever their plans, Into Orbit make it clear that just because something is prog doesn’t mean it needs to be staid or lack expressiveness.

Into Orbit on Thee Facebooks

Into Orbit on Bandcamp

 

Super Thief, Eating Alone in My Car

super thief eating alone in my car

Noise-punk intensity pervades Eating Alone in My Car, the not-quite-not-an-LP from Austin four-piece Super Thief. They call it an album, and that’s good enough for me, especially since at about 20 minutes there isn’t much more I’d ask of the thing that it doesn’t deliver, whether it’s the furious out-of-mindness of minute-long highlight “Woodchipper” or the poli-sci critique of that sandwiches the offering with opener “Gone Country” immediately taking a nihilist anti-stance while closer “You Play it Like a Joke but I Know You Really Mean It” — which consumes nearly half the total runtime at 9:32 — seems to run up the walls unable to stick to the “smoke ’em if you got ’em” point of view of the earlier cut. That’s how the bastards keep you running in circles, but at least Super Thief know where to direct the frustration. “Six Months Blind” and the title-track have a more personal take, but are still worth a read lyrically as much as a listen, as the rhythm of the words only adds to the striking personality of the material.

Super Thief on Thee Facebooks

Learning Curve Records website

 

Absent, Towards the Void

absent towards the void

Recorded in 2016, released on CD in 2018 and snagged by Cursed Tongue Records for a vinyl pressing, Absent‘s Towards the Void casts a shimmering plunge of cavernous doom, with swirling post-Electric Wizard guitar and echoing vocals adding to the spaciousness of its four component tracks as the Brasilia-based trio conjure atmospheric breadth to go along with their weighted lurch in opener “Ophidian Womb.” With tracks arranged shortest to longest between eight and a half and 11 minutes, “Semen Prayer,” “Funeral Sun” and “Urine” follow suit from the opener in terms of overall approach, but “Funeral Sun” speeds things up for a stretch while “Urine” lures the listener downward with a subdued opening leading to more filth-caked distortion and degenerate noise, capping with feedback because at that point what the hell matters anyway? Little question in listening why this one’s been making the rounds for over a year now. It will likely continue to do so for some time to come.

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Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

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We Here Now Sign to Elektrohasch; Touring Europe Later This Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

we here now

Earlier this year — so I guess like a month ago — the multinational outfit We Here Now offered up their debut release, The Chikipunk Years, blending elements from rock, South American folk, psychedelic punk and more to a highly individualized style that was intricate and memorable in kind. Swamp Booking has picked up the band for European touring representation, and Elektrohasch Schallplatten — the label of Colour Haze guitarist Stefan Koglek will give the album an official release later this year, in May, which I’d guess is ahead of summer tour plans yet to be unveiled.

The announcements from both were recently made and follow below, as well as the stream of the album from Bandcamp. Have at it:

we here now the chikipunk years

Elektrohasch 179 – We Here Now – The Chikipunk Years

Back to the future: I haven‘t heard anything like this yet – guitar, bass, drums – of course… But: a band with members from Brasil, India and Peru mixing the uneven rhythms of Asia with South-American feel, full of modern twists and breaks, driving it into a furious intensity and lay above all this beautiful relaxed melodies with a twist from the Andes to the Himalaya… finally a truly new, fresh take on Rock! – this should be the future!

I am proud to present the debut of We Here Now on Elektrohasch.

Don‘t miss it – so once you can tell you have been there : )

Swamp Booking: Really happy to announce this new addition to our roster!

The multinational band WE HERE NOW is a young new band from Brasil, India/USA and Perù. An exciting approach to the straight-forward aesthetics of fuzzed-out rock. Different cultural and sonic methods of expression delivered with an unmistakable raw punk attitude.

Their debut album will be released by the German record label Elektrohasch (Colour Haze) next May 17th and they will tour Europe ALL summer, playing like there’s no tomorrow!

https://homemadegiftsrecords.bandcamp.com/releases
www.elektrohasch.de

We Here Now, The Chikipunk Years (2019)

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Labirinto Premiere Divino Afflante Spiritu in Full; Out Tomorrow on Pelagic Records

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

labrinto

This one happened pretty suddenly. Yesterday afternoon I got a note asking if I wanted to do a last-minute stream for Labirinto‘s third long-player, Divino Afflante Spiritu, which is out tomorrow on Pelagic Records. I took a couple minutes to skim through and knew quickly that, yes, it was the kind of thing I wanted to be involved in, but my usual I’m-gonna-play-the-record-a-bunch-of-times-before-I-write-about-it-thing? Yeah, not so much. Way more of a first impression here, and all the more because Divino Afflante Spiritu is my first exposure to the São Paulo-based mostly-instrumental six-piece. Their sound draws from modern progressive chug-ism and crunch tones blending with airy effects on a cut like “Eleh Ha Devarim” or the later and flowing “Asherdu,” but there’s a post-metallic bent there as well, as can be heard in the “Stones from the Sky”-moment transfigured into second track “Penitência” and in some of the general atmosphere of urgency throughout, keyboards and three guitars intertwining for a sound that is full when it wants to be and spacious nonetheless, culminating its seven-track/35-minute run in the seven-minute title-track, which is marked by graceful surges of volume and a distinctive heavier post-rocking feel. It is an ambience of color, but on a dark background, and its depths of mix are significant, even as the weight of its low end does precious little to keep the guitars from soaring when they choose to.

labrinto divino afflante spirituEach side features some measure of vocals, whether that’s opener “Agnus Dei” with the ensuring screams of guest singer Elaine Campos (Abuso Sonoro and others) or the later ethereal interlude “Vigilia” that follows the centerpiece “Demiurge,” and though there’s a certain expectation set up by that appearance at the outset, the prevailing vibe lacks nothing for atmosphere as guitarists Kiko Bueno, Erick Cruxen and Luis Naressi (the latter also synth), percussionist Lucas Melo, drummer Muriel Curi and bassist Hristos Eleutério conjure an alternately crushing and expansive feel. It’s a complex outing that bridges earthbound and otherworldly elements, and very clearly feels no need to commit to one side or the other of that equation, if it sees a difference between them at all. Progressive in their construction, Labirinto‘s songs nonetheless flow together to convey a singular idea through diverse means. I’ll admit this is a first impression, but it’s a positive one.

And when it comes right down to it, I like sharing good music. If there’s a chance this is gonna make someone’s hard day better, then hell yes, I’m on board. I don’t usually do things so last-minute, but every now and again you need to be flexible.

I’ve included the full text of the PR wire info below, so you can have more background on the recording and the fascinating remote-production process by which Divino Afflante Spiritu came about.

That, of course, follows the full stream of the album, which you’ll find below. It’s out tomorrow on Pelagic.

Please enjoy:

Labirinto, Divino Afflante Spiritu full album premiere

São Paulo’s LABIRINTO are not the spearheads of a vivid local scene, but to stay within the realms of post-rock metaphory, more of an isolated island within a vast ocean of nothingness. There is not much contemporary instrumental heavy music anywhere in South America. There are hardly any record labels and international bands seldomly make it over on tour. All the more surprising that this island of LABIRINTO has been releasing records for 13 years already.

Divino Afflante Spiritu is already the band’s 10th release, but only the 3rd full-length album. The band’s back catalogue is made up of a number of EPs and splits (with THISQUIETARMY among others), a detail which showcases the band’s strong roots in the DIY scene. Guitarist Erick Cruxen and drummer Muriel Curi, a long-married couple, have learned how take control of every aspect of the band’s universe themselves: from running their own record label to booking their own tours to running their own recording studio, the internationally renowned Dissenso Studios in São Paulo.

The band flew in Billy Anderson for the prodcution of previous album „Gehenna“.This time, Cult Of Luna’s Magnus Lindberg was hired, but the entire production happened via the internet, exemplary for this time we live in, without Magnus ever setting foot on Brazilian soil. „Since the pre-production phase, Muriel kept in touch with Magnus“, Cruxen comments. „We talked a lot to him about our plans and ideas for the tracking sessions. He did an online support video session during the recording sessions, and we were aligning ideas for technical decisions. He was monitoring the whole recording process, basically. At the end, we sent him the audio files and he mixed and mastered the album at his own Redmount Studios in Stockholm.“

The result is an album of dense and menacing atmospherics, textural drones carefully layered over and blended into the heavy guitar riffs’s shimmering, beautiful distortion-scapes – and for the first time ever, vocals make their debut on a LABIRINTO album, on opening track „Agnus Dei“. „We invited Elaine Campos, she’s been singing in Brazilian punk and crust bands for over 20 years“, comments Curi. „It’s a huge pleasure for us to have such a veteran from the punk scene, a feminist and anarchist, guest on the track.“

It’s clear from the first synth drones inaugurating the opening track that doom lurks on the horizon, that „Divino Afflante Spiritu“ is not going to be a soundtrack to a tropical paradise – it’s a dark, cold record. „This album has a great emotional weight,” explains Cruxen. „It flourished during a very difficult phase in which we lost a very dear entity. It was a whirlwind of emotions that are materialized whenever we play the songs. This album, more than anything, represents for us loss and suffering, but also, passion and friendship.“

LINE UP: Hristos Eleutério – bass, Lucas Melo – percussion, Kiko Bueno – guitar, Luis Naressi – guitar, synths, Erick Cruxen – guitar, Muriel Curi – drums

TRACK LISTING:
01. Agnus Dei
02. Penitência
03. Eleh Ha Devarim
04. Demiurge
05. Vigília
06. Asherdu
07. Divino Afflante Spiritu

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Labirinto on Instagram

Labirinto website

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Pelagic Records website

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