Hemptress Sign to Cursed Tongue Records; Alchemy Due in October

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

hemptress

Hemptress issued their debut long-player, Alchemy, earlier this year to a generally warm welcome, and the British Columbia-based four-piece will now release the album through Cursed Tongue Records on vinyl this Fall. Considering the DL version came out in March, that’s a pretty efficient turnaround, and I’m going to guess this one has been in the making since well before right now, when the deal is being made public. I’m sure you’ve heard it by now, because you’re hip like that, but if not, Alchemy can be streamed in full via Bandcamp — you’ll find it below — and though I’ve no doubt a Tony Reed master for vinyl will only make it sound more righteous, there’s no real mystery as to why a label like Cursed Tongue would want to lock in the release. Kind of rules.

No word on what Hemptress‘ plans are for a follow-up, but recall that Alchemy is still pretty new, so I wouldn’t necessarily expect any at this point. In the meantime, the news that this one is getting a proper look is welcome, and most certainly deserved. Release date is Oct. 11.

Here’s the announcement from the label:

CANADIAN RIPPERS HEMPTRESS SIGN TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR A WORLDWIDE VINYL RELEASE OF THEIR SCORCHING DEBUT ALBUM ‘ALCHEMY’ OCTOBER 2019

Cursed Tongue Records is damn proud to announce the signing of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada based stoner-fuzzing and heavy-doom-tripping quartet Hemptress. Cursed Tongue Records is dead-set on a mission to bring ‘Alchemy’ and its maple-syrup-dripping, iron-chopping, metal encrusted stoner-doom hymns to a wider audience across the global Heavy Underground ensuring that any heady, heavy music worshipper is reached!

It’s with a fierce fury that Hemptress convey their fuzzed out and amped up riffs that are dragging us head first in the mud to make sure our ears are firmly embedded in the furrows of the sonic landscape conjured up by their alchemistic rituals. Only one listen and we knew that these wizards had actually managed to create gold.

The band has delivered a blistering collection of wild and far-out bluesy stoner rock with enough grit and meat to keep you full for countless spins of their gripping take on an old but well-executed formula. Rest assure these guys know that not all that glitters is gold, but whatever rips and fuzzes like a lazer-tazed bull surely has a lasting impact!

As the band expresses it: “Hemptress is like being saddled on a beastly rock n roll engine trailed by flaming tumbleweeds down a southern psychedelic desert highway, fresh outta hell with the devil’s tears in a hip flask, riding high with a crooked grin while Lady Luck kisses your neck and the wild wind wonders where you’ve been.”

Hemptress debuted their ‘Alchemy’ album digitally on Bandcamp back in March 2019 to general accolade amongst stoner heads and reviewers of the Heavy Underground it is therefore with much joy that Cursed Tongue Records can roll out the red carpet and give this badass beast of an album its well-deserved vinyl treatment. We open the doors for the tangible wonders of alchemy this fall with a slated vinyl release in early October. Pre-orders will run from the latter half of September. More info, details and dates as we approach the witching hour!

‘Alchemy’ has been mastered for optimal vinyl playback by Tony Reed (of Mos Generator fame) and will sport brand spanking new and bewitching artwork by Shane Jones of Shane Horror design. The vinyl release will be out on vinyl via Cursed Tongue Records in October 2019. Pre-orders to commence a few good weeks in advance of release – more on that soon…

CTR-025 Hemptress – ‘Alchemy’; vinyl official release date slated for October 11. 2019.

All tracks written and performed by Hemptress
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Jon Matthies
Artwork & design by Shane Jones
Mastering for vinyl by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Rec.
Additional layout & design by Michael Andresakis

Track listing:
Side A
1. I Hear You Howlin’
2. Moonlight Gunnin’
3. Alabaster
4. When The Sun Goes Down
5. Electric Fire
Side B
1. Mind Corruptor
2. Maniac
3. Alchemy

Hemptress is:
Jesse Mac Taylor – Vocals/Guitar (+ Drums on ‘Alchemy’ album)
Jordan David Easson – Bass
Jordan Peter Bennee – Guitar
Matthew Michael John Bayley – Drums (new member, not on ‘Alchemy’ album)

https://hemptressband.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Hemptress-1430126427206913/
https://instagram.com/hemptressband
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/

Hemptress, Alchemy (2019)

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Getaway Van Premiere “Lord I’ve Been Running” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

getaway van

When you’ve got a hook, use it. That lesson would not seem to be lost on Vancouver four-piece Getaway Van, whose recently-issued self-titled debut has a bunch to go around, from the bloodshot repetitions of “Branches” down through the catchy mid-paced sway of “So Long” at the record’s pre-outro conclusion. “Lord I’ve Been Running” might be the most infectious of them, however — though I wouldn’t take away from “Ugh” or the prior “Follow Me,” either — though it’s certainly in resonant company, and though it’s the means by which Getaway Van are making their debut, having formed in 2017, the interplay of vocal arrangements between guitarists Derek Lionas and Charlie Cole and bassist Zach Fox show a care in composition that speaks directly to intentional songcraft. That is, it’s not just verses and choruses piled on top of each other. There’s thought behind what they’re doing, and in listening to the album, it sounds like the work of multiple songwriters, or at least multiple contributors around a central idea for each track. Drummer Devon Sutherland, accordingly, provides the restlessness at the foundation to keep everything moving while still tying the songs together.

Somehow, because it’s in Canada and not Portland, Oregon, or Seattle, Washington, Vancouver seems to be often-unconsidered when it comes to the thriving Pacific Northwest heavy underground. That’s a mistake, obviously. On a song like “Blacktop Mistress,” Getaway Van tap into Red Fang-style forward momentum while the earlier “Comin’ Back” demonstrates more melodic complexity in straightforward, Ripple-style heavy rock, but what makes it all work together is the focus on songwriting at root in what they do. While “Lord I’ve Been Running” takes its central theme from the blues, it makes its impression with its sharply-executed bounce of rhythm and, indeed, its hook.

They are not shy with it, and neither should they be. The video (with videography by Matej Ceska) finds them arriving, loading in and playing a gig at The Bourbon in Gastown, Vancouver, as well as in the rehearsal space where Fox professes, “Somebody’s been practicing,” when complimented on his play. That’s a fun moment in a fun song with a kind of dark theme presented in a manner that borders on maddeningly catchy and appears on an album that functions much the same. “Lord I’ve Been Running” inherently can’t convey the entire scope of Getaway Van‘s songcraft — you know, being one song and all — but in the vocal swaps and its pristine construction, it represents the self-titled well. Probably why they chose it as a single, and further proof these cats know what they’re up to.

Some quick comment from the band follows. Dig in and have fun:

Getaway Van, “Lord I’ve Been Running” official video premiere

Getaway Van on “Lord I’ve Been Running”:

“‘Lord I’ve Been Running’ is the second single from our debut full-length album. Written by bassist Zack Fox, this is a song about the tribulations of life, and the toll it can take on a person. We’ve all always loved this song due to the high energy and its almost desperate nature. The powerful vocals and incessantly running guitars really seem to get people moving, and help make it a memorable track. It’s certainly a song that everyone can find a connection to on a personal level, and as such, it was the natural choice for our first music video to come from this album.”

Getaway Van is:
Devon Sutherland – Drums
Zach Fox – Bass/vocals
Derek Lionas – Guitar/vocals
Charlie Cole – Guitar/vocals

Getaway Van on Thee Facebooks

Getaway Van on Instagram

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Getaway Van website

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Heron and Seven Nines and Tens Split Tape Available Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Tonight in Vancouver, Seven Nines and Tens and Heron will play the release show for a new split tape on Coup Sur Coup Records that’s been given the title, Passages of the Pacific Northwest. The label’s Bandcamp page has 10 handmade copies available, at least one of which was gone before this morning. The bands will each also have 10 copies for sale at the show, which is to be held at Astoria Hastings, and that seems to be it for the pressing. Well, you know I’m a sucker for a ultra-limited tape, so here we are. 30 copies definitely hits that standard.

Fortunately, even if you’re not the Walkman type, the label — which also released a varied noise/ambient comp called Feedback Through a Magnifying Glass Volume I that boasted a few familiar names — is streaming the release in full, and you can make your own passage at the bottom of this post.

The show is put on by The Collective Agency. Info follows:

heron seven nines and tens split

Vancouver Avantgarde-Jazz-Stoner Metal Masters Seven Nines and Tens return to Astoria Hastings on January 4th with HERON, Lucia, and The Ship Of.

Doors @ 8pm
Bands @ 9pm
$10 in ADV at Red Cat Records or from the bands
$13 at the Door

Split is: High-bias cassette tape, of random colours, dubbed one by one in Castlegar, BC. Includes unreleased material and songs never released on physical format. Only 10 copies available here, and both bands will have 10 copies at their joint show January 4th 2019!

1. Heron – Tears of the Sun 05:57
2. Heron – Parallels of a Knife 07:03
3. Heron – Uncomfortable Silences 07:38
4. Seven Nines And Tens – Castles on St-Clair’s Beach ( Unreleased song ) 05:06
5. Seven Nines And Tens – Rave Up (Live) 06:11
6. Seven Nines And Tens – Kemptville (Live) 02:55

Coup Sur Coup also recently issued the compilation “Feedback Through A Magnifying Glass Volume I” featuring Kevin Hugnagel, J.D. Pinkus, Vision Eternel and others. Available here.

http://www.sevenninesandtens.com/
sevenninesandtens.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/herondoom
https://heronvan.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/coupsurcouprecords
http://www.instagram.com/coup_sur_coup_records
https://coupsurcoup.bandcamp.com

Heron & Seven Nines and Tens, Passages of the Pacific Northwest

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Empress and Piece Stream New Split in Full; Tour Starts This Weekend

Posted in audiObelisk on November 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

empress

piece

Canadian trio Empress and German foursome Piece are hitting the road together in Germany and the Czech Republic starting this weekend. The final show of the tour, Nov. 9 in Piece‘s hometown of Berlin, will mark the release of a split 12″ they’re sharing to mark the occasion. It’s heavy. And it’s metal. So what else to call it? The sense of severity doesn’t take long to grab the throat with Empress‘ tracks arranged as the initial assault, as though Piece were telling them “it’s okay, guests first.” Both bands conjure a decent sense of barrage, make no mistake, but there’s no lack of distinguishing character between them and they’re by no means chasing after the same goals. Empress, who call Vancouver, British Columbia, home, tap into Pacific Coastal extremity ever so slightly in “At Peace to Burn the Gathering,” and while I wouldn’t necessarily call the track subtle on any level if only for the inherent volume of its execution, the fact that in the first 90 seconds it goes from crashing sludge riffs to Cascadian-style black metal and then turns again to a kind of post-metallic atmosphere is not to be overlooked just for the fluidity for which it’s done.

“At Peace to Burn the Gathering” and the accompanying “Zwölf” are both well over six minutes long, so there’s plenty of time to flesh out such genre interplay, and Empress demonstrate that malleability plainly en route to the gradual deconstruction of the first cut and into the chug that begins “Zwölf,” which does well in bringing the varying sides together ahead of a midsection break to drum-pushed ambience that introduces clean vocals put to effective use as the full force of tone returns. Is it right to think of a two-song release having an apex? I don’t know, but it does, and like their first track, Empress gradually bring down “Zwölf” before Piece take hold with the suitably introductory “Oblivion.”

All told, the split is 27 minutes long, and that’s pretty evenly divided between Empress (a little shorter) and Piece (a little longer). While both bands should be noted for the flow they conjure during their time, Piece take the extra step of using “Oblivion” to set the stage for side B of the vinyl, which makes gives a glimpse at the tonal foundation and riffy grandstanding at play before “Blood Eagle” (no relation to the Conan album of the same name) gallops in with a marked, defining High on Fire influence. I mean, it’s prevalent, and Piece aren’t trying to hide it. Their black wings are blessed and their communion is with death. No complaints. Blown-out vocals help disassociate, and the ease with which they work their way into a slowdown later — still over double-kick drumming — helps them make an impression of their own before “Blood Eagle” ends cold and leads to the near-eight-minute “Primordial Void.”

A more distinctly sludged opening riff rolls out there during the initial couple minutes topped with echoing barks of vocals and pushed with a rhythmic fervency that foreshadows the gallop soon to resume. That conversation between tempos plays out again before “Primordial Void” opens up to a more spacious solo just past its halfway point, and though brief, it has the effect of adding a new context for the song, which is soon to hit into an even bigger slowdown that sneakily introduces the organ that will be the last remaining element after the final march recedes into residual amp noise and feedback.

Both acts released debut EPs in 2017, and each approaches their half of the outing with suitable intensity. The tour is eight shows — seven in Germany, one in the Czech Republic — and I expect by the end of it there will be a couple raw throats and a couple tired drummers, but there’s no way that Berlin gig won’t be a good time. You can stream the entire split below courtesy of SoulWrecked Records, which is handling the release, and see all the dates and more info thereafter.

Please enjoy:

SoulWrecked Records will be Putting out this release on November 2nd 2018 on Digital and 12” Vinyl formats. This will be Empress’s first time touring Europe.

Empress & Piece on tour:
Nov. 2. Cottbus -Piece, Hedger, Empress
Nov. 3. Leipzig – Empress, Piece, Spleen Flipper
Nov. 4. Liberec – Ned?lní vzývaní Cthulhu: Empress [Ca] * Piece [De] *
Nov. 5. Jena – Castle / Empress / Piece
Nov. 6. Karlsruhe – Stoner Metal // Piece + Empress // P8
Nov. 7. Essen – Empress (CAN), Piece, Second Sight | Emokeller Essen
Nov. 8. Kiel – Piece & Empress – Kieler Schaubude
Nov. 9. Berlin – Piece & Empress & Weedruid – Split Record Release Show
*Czech Republic

Drawn by the call of Cthulhu, PIECE have created a concept EP that sounds more Bayou than Berlin, more Swamps than Spree and unlike anything else that made it out of a dusty rehearsal room in Germany?s capital city. Deeply rooted in the DIY Hardcore Punk scene, Piece prove that they are able to create a sound that resembles Crowbar or High On Fire and wanders far off the respective sub-genres of their members? previous or still active bands such as Demonwomb, Scarred Mind, Sleep Routine, Soulground, Trapjaw and Waterlvngs.

The three-headed beast EMPRESS from Vancouver, B.C. was born after guitarist/vocalist Peter Sacco (SEER) and drummer Chris Doyle attended a show headlined by doom mavens ELDER. Inspired by the massive wall of sound and psychedelia they encountered on that fateful night, the pair enlisted bassist Brenden Gunn (CRATERS) and set out to create their own brand of stoner/sludge metal. The trio, whose collective history dates back nearly a decade, went immediately to work. Within two months EMPRESS wrote and recorded the five tracks now collectively known as Reminiscence. With this debut EP, EMPRESS harvests a hybrid strain of monolithic groove, over-amped sludge and mutant prog.

Empress on Thee Facebooks

Empress on Bandcamp

Piece on Thee Facebooks

Piece on Bandcamp

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SoulWrecked Records webstore

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Review & Track Premiere: We Hunt Buffalo, Head Smashed In

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on September 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

we hunt buffalo head smashed in

[Click play above to stream the premiere of We Hunt Buffalo’s lyric video for ‘The Giant’s Causeway.’ Their new album, Head Smashed In is out Oct. 26 on Fuzzorama Records and New Damage Records.]

As images go, ‘head smashed in’ is as vivid as it is succinct and violent. We Hunt Buffalo, who made their debut on Fuzzorama Records in 2015 with their second album, Living Ghosts (discussed here), return with Head Smashed In as a nine-song/43-minute collection of beefed-up modern progressive-styled heavy, bordering often on metal in songs like “Angler Must Die” with the popping snare of drummer Brandon Carter backing the dual-vocal hook from guitarist Ryan Forsythe and bassist Cliff Thiessen, or in the lumbering moments of finale “God Games.”

Those stretches, though, aren’t without contrast, and We Hunt Buffalo wind up with a sneakily dynamic style that takes on heavy rock directly in cuts like “Keep it Refreshing,” which to my New England-dwelling ears seems to have a bit of Roadsaw in its chorus, and centerpiece “Industry Woes,” which engages harsher vocals but has a classic round of starts and stops that not only shows a tightness on the part of the band instrumentally, but easily crosses genre lines in a way that sounds natural and familiar while still remaining stylistically nuanced. That nuance is in part thanks to the production, which is crisp and brings out a tension in a way that Living Ghosts seemed more open and looser on the whole, but is full in its overall affect and massive sounding especially in the guitar and bass tones.

Big choruses pay off dug-in movements, and from opener “Heavy Low” through “Angler Must Die” and “Prophecy Wins” and into the instrumental “Get in the Van,” the balance between proggy detail-making, weighted force of tone and rhythm and traditional-feeling earwormery makes Head Smashed In true to its titular sense of impact without necessarily the direct one-on-one violence that “smashed” brings to mind. In the end, there are many ways to cave in a skull.

we hunt buffalo

The shouts in “Industry Woes” feel well-enough earned by that song’s theme, and they have a likewise well-placed effect on the context of the record as a whole, speaking to roots in the Mastodon-informed sphere of modern underground thrust, but for the most part, Head Smashed In works at a comfortable pace. Later, “God Games” takes on an almost post-rocking feel in its subdued verses, but even “Prophecy Wins” — the longest cut at 6:12 and the last chapter of the opening salvo — has a steady, obviously-in-control rollout that never flies too far off the handle on its way to its engaging melodic finish. “The Giant’s Causeway” finds Carter double-timing his ride cymbal in the chorus, and that adds a sense of urgency, but in that song as well there’s no danger of We Hunt Buffalo losing their way. They might be at their speediest on “Get in the Van,” but the same applies, and ultimately, the range on Head Smashed In is more about volume and melody than about tempo.

That’s not to say there’s no changing it up, as the back-to-back run of “Anxious Children” into “God Games” demonstrates, just that the impression the tracks make draws more from the trades between Forsythe and Simpson on vocals and the shifts between louder and quieter parts than playing grind on one track and doom on another. Their pacing helps draw the material together and create a flow that moves the listener from start to finish, and it’s in how they work within that sphere that We Hunt Buffalo emanate a maturity in their approach that even just three years ago they simply didn’t have. It might not come across as such on a first time through, but Head Smashed In is actually pretty classy. The performances are sharp, the mix is deep and allows for emotional resonance in the melodies that are so crucial to the memorable nature of the songs, and there is an overarching groove that results in an all-the-more coherent vibe. Very much a third album. Very much the product of a group who know what they want to do, who are steady in their approach, confident in the studio, working how they want to work and able to bring a sense of energy to their output regardless of the outward push. It’s not the kind of record a band could make their first time out.

And maybe that’s part of the idea behind the title — to mask some of that intricacy in a notion of brute force. Fair enough. Influences from the likes of Elder situate We Hunt Buffalo in a forward-thinking heavy sphere with the likes of Forming the Void, and like the lines in its cover art, which also features a smashed head or two, it’s the pinpoint details in the songs that make their third LP succeed in the manner it does. They bolster the strong choruses of cuts like “Prophecy Wins” and “The Giant’s Causeway” and “Keep it Refreshing,” while giving those who’d rightfully return for multiple listens all the more reason to keep coming back. It’s songwriting. But just like one might look at the name of the album and prejudge an expectation of what’s coming, there’s more to the proceedings in the individual pieces than their plus-sized riffs and stories about monsters. Though there’s plenty of that too for anyone who’d readily take them on.

We Hunt Buffalo, Head Smashed In (2018)

We Hunt Buffalo on Thee Facebooks

We Hunt Buffalo website

We Hunt Buffalo on Bandcamp

Fuzzorama Records website

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Review & Full Album Premiere: La Chinga, Beyond the Sky

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

la chinga beyond the sky

[Click play above to stream La Chinga’s Beyond the Sky in its entirety. Album is out Sept. 7 on Small Stone Records.]

It’s tempting to say that if your van’s not rockin’, don’t bother knockin’ on La Chinga‘s second album for Small Stone and third overall, Beyond the Sky, but the truth is that just about everybody is invited to come dig on what the Vancouver, B.C., buds have put together this time out. It’s a collection of 11 tracks topping 45 minutes that makes the most out of big, unabashed hooks and a classic party-rocking sensibility, from the opening “Woo!” in “Nothin’ That I Can’t Do” into the ’70s-styled “Wings of Fire” and the proto-metal-turns-stoner-mellow-solo-jam “Mama Boogie,” which may or may not be a sequel to “Boogie Children” from their 2013 self-titled debut (discussed here) and which you’d best believe brings back its chorus at the end, it brims with energy well beyond what might qualify as “electric” and sounds in true Small Stone fashion not like it’s mining its influences for parts to reorder and recreate in vintageist loyalty, but instead like it’s engaging with the legends and rockers of yore — Nazareth, AC/DC, Judas Priest, and a host of others among them — to hone a modern interpretation of what they did those generations ago.

The result is an ass-shaking good time that plays itself out high on professionalism and void of pretense as the everybody-sings three-piece of guitarist Ben Yardley, bassist Carl Spackler and drummer Jason Solyom make their way through the opening salvo of the aforementioned three cuts and into the mid-paced “Black River,” no less catchy but with a shift in vocals that marks a transition into the next stage of the release. Their 2016 Small Stone debut, Freewheelin’ (review here), worked in much the same aesthetic territory, but where Beyond the Sky distinguishes itself is in its songwriting. “Mama Boogie,” with that midsection jam-out, is the longest inclusion at 5:35, and the Southern-styled centerpiece “Keep on Rollin'” is the only other cut that tops five minutes, but even those feel taut in their construction, like they’ve been hammered out — not flat, or dry in their delivery at all, but worked on, ironed free of their inefficiencies, and built with a genuine will to engage their audience as they otherwise might on stage, “Nothin’ That I Can’t Do” a signal that festivities have begun that feels hand-made to start a live set.

Lyrics like “Hey mama/Hey mama boogie!” from that song and “Freedom, alright” from “Keep on Rollin’,” as well as some of the declarations in what would seem to be the self-descriptive “H.O.W. (Are You Ready?” — the acronym standing for “Hell on Wheels,” which if you’re into Fu Manchu is no big deal — and the closer “Warlords” might require a grain of salt, but while La Chinga are most certainly all about having fun, they’re not so tongue-in-cheek that they either lose sight of the importance of the songs’ structure or that they feel insincere in their delivery. To be clear, Beyond the Sky is a blast. On point in its pro-shoppery, boozy in all the right ways but not so tipsy that Yardley can’t bust out a succession of blinding solos, and never out of line with the central mission, it nonetheless carries just an undercurrent of danger as the listener makes their way through the front-to-back, if only for the “how can they keep this up?” factor. They do keep it up, though.

la chinga

Side B cuts like “Killer Wizard” and “Death Rider” and “Feel it in My Bones” would be filler on many records — and many records of this ilk; vinyl-ready but more CD length and linear-feeling in its flow — but La Chinga allow for no dip in quality as “Killer Wizard” builds its chorus around choice riffing, “Death Rider” elicits a groove so righteous they just as easily could’ve named it “Papa Boogie” to correspond with “Mama” earlier, and “Feel it in My Bones” proffers yet another masterful hook en route to the closing duo. There are changes in mood throughout, but never a turn from the band’s central purpose of craft, and the spirit of the material they bring to bear throughout Beyond the Sky is as much about the high level of its execution as the who’s-up-for-a-cocktail vibe. For an offering that sounds so studio-made — that is, crisp in the production of Jeremy Koch at Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, and with such an overarching clarity of sound — the vitality that SpacklerYardley and Solyom bring to the proceedings is no less infectious than the choruses they seem to have in such endless supply.

I don’t know if I’d say that’s the greatest accomplishment of Beyond the Sky — take your pick between that and the songwriting itself — but it’s certainly a noteworthy aspect of the listening experience and it serves La Chinga well throughout. In their harmonies, standout guitar work and sunshiny vibe, their energy comes through even the quieter or slower stretches of the songs, and it’s not so much a push as in something being inflicted on the listener as it’s an invitation. Hey, we’re out back and we have some beers — come hang. Whether an individual gets down with what the band are tossing out is of course up to them — nothing is universal — but La Chinga make a strong case for themselves in these tracks, and offer a reminder that a band doesn’t need a ton of experimentalism or heady prog to entice an audience; they just need to make it sound like they’re where it’s at.

And from their ass-shaking grooves to their stories about wizards and warlords and death riders and Mama Boogie herself — all things one might find painted on the side of a van that either is or isn’t rockin’ when you come knockin’ — La Chinga most definitely do that. They’ve been kicking around for six years now and have steadily made a name for themselves since the self-titled and have only continued to refine their approach since then. It’s easy to hear songs like “Black River” and “Death Rider” and the DeepPurple-minus-organ drive of “Warlords” at the end and pine for some mystical bygone age of heavy rock and roll, when “men were men” and the west was wild and jeans were tight and blah blah blah. Bullshit. Fact of the matter is La Chinga aren’t happening 45 years ago. They’re happening right now, and the lessons they’ve learned may be from a formative era but what they’re doing with them is as much of this moment as anything else belonging to this bizarre, bizarre time. It’s a challenge to think we might be in a heavy rock heyday. La Chinga make it a little easier.

La Chinga, “Wings of Fire” official video

La Chinga on Thee Facebooks

La Chinga on Twitter

La Chinga on Instagram

La Chinga on Bandcamp

Small Stone Records website

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Small Stone Records on Bandcamp

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Seven Nines and Tens to Release Satisfy the Faction 2008-2018 Cassette Box Set

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

seven nines and tens

I don’t have the stats on the average lifespan of the average band, so I don’t can’t give you facts and figures — and something in writing about Seven Nines and Tens makes me want to quote statistics; can’t explain it — but I know that if you’ve lasted a decade without pummeling each other or, more simply, breaking up, you’re probably doing something right, and that’s worth celebrating. In the case of the aforementioned Vancouver four-piece, they’re marking the occasion with a tape box set through Coup Sur Coup Records titled Satisfy the Faction 2008-2018, which brings together the four albums the band has produced in that time under the guidance of founding guitarist Dave Cotton onto two cassettes in limited, hand-dubbed edition. The colors are random — I guess whichever blanks are picked up out of the pile — and the tracks sound huge and will come with a download for even more short-release-type stuff, singles and all that. Kind of a cool niche thing to note the passing of an important milestone for the band.

And pretty noteworthy as well that it’s the first release Coup Sur Coup is doing for them. You know your label means it when they not only pick up your band, but decide to do a career-spanning compilation as the first outing and hand-press the tapes. That’s love, pure and simple.

Coup Sur Coup has the release out Oct. 10 with preorders up as of today. Label honcho Max Cayer posted the following at their Bandcamp, where the orders can be placed:

seven nines and tens satisfy the faction 2008-2018

Seven Nines & Tens “Satisfy the Faction 2008-2018”

Here are the first 10 years of recorded output from seminal Vancouver band Seven Nines and Tens all under one umbrella, in digital and a very well assembled double cassette box set, dubbed, packaged, designed and hand numbered with heart and passion directly at Coup Sur Coup’s HQ, in Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada.

The band, started out life as a wholly instrumental act which combined elements of post-rock, post-metal and math rock into a complex sonic chimera.

Their evolution, over time and with line up changes, showed a band scaling back the guitar acrobatics in favor of huge shoegaze-inspired, post-rock walls of sound.

“We started off really progressive,” Dave Cotton, the only constant member of the band, founder, and songwriter, says. “I got really into Post-Metal for a while, and now it’s like psych-shoegaze post-metal, post-hardcore, and a little bit of classic rock; a little bit of Pink Floyd in there.”

It’s a heavier-than-heaven groove that balances a daydream shimmer with a mammoth rhythm section, a gorgeous collision between cascading atmospheres and alternative rock riffage.

This is a huge release for Coup Sur Coup, with a lot of special meanings.

It’s CSC first release to be made from the new office location in the Selkirk mountains of British Columbia, and fittingly so, with a band from the Province. It’s also our first attempt at documenting the entire career of one band up to this moment in time, and are extremely honored that said band is 7,9’s & 10’s.

A perennial favorite of mine and arguably one of the best and interesting band in Canada right now. Let alone the world. I intend on trying my best to shine a light on a vital group of musician making one hell of an interesting racket, for anyone willing to think outside the box, or look in odd places for something new.

This is, I hope, the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration, this collection of the first 10 years of recorded input being the first pillar in that relationship.

This very special deluxe double cassette box set will include:

-All four albums on two randomly selected coloured cassettes, totalling 120 minutes of music. (Singles releases are not included on the box set, but will be included in the massive download link provided with the box set)

-Dubbed 2 at a time, with great patience and care, at our HQ in B.C.

releases October 10, 2018

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https://sevenninesandtens.bandcamp.com/
https://sevenninesandtens.com/
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https://coupsurcoup.bandcamp.com/album/satisfy-the-faction

Seven Nines & Tens, Satisfy the Faction teaser

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La Chinga Announce Sept. 7 Release for Beyond the Sky; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

 

la chinga

Canadian heavy rockers La Chinga are getting ready to follow-up their 2016 Small Stone debut, Freewheelin’ (review here) with Beyond the Sky, and suitably enough, the first word one hears on the new album is “woo!” That exclamation arrives at the beginning of opening track “Nothin’ That I Can’t Do,” which is streaming now to mark the opening of preorders through Small Stone‘s Bandcamp page and serves an immediate reminder of La Chinga‘s songwriting prowess and aesthetic inspired by classic heavy. In under three minutes, it earworms its way into the brain and sets up residence for a much longer haul. Certainly Freewheelin’ had similar catchiness working in its favor, but it’s nice to know that hasn’t diminished in the interim. As a teaser for the rest of the record, it bodes well.

Oh, and the Alexander von Wieding cover art is awesome. The song, that cover and the album details all came down the PR wire lookin’ like this:

la chinga beyond the sky

LA CHINGA: Hard Rock Power Trio To Release Beyond The Sky Full-Length This September Via Small Stone; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available

Hard rock power trio LA CHINGA will release their impending new full-length, Beyond The Sky, via Small Stone this fall.

The follow-up to LA CHINGA’s 2016 critically-lauded Freewheelin’ full-length was captured at Vancouver’s fabled Warehouse studio with no-less-fabled producer Jamey Koch (DOA, Copyright, Tragically Hip). Opening track “Nothin’ That I Can’t Do” sets the agenda for Beyond The Sky’s forty-five minutes of sublimely confident freedom rock, sometimes meaty and beaty (“Mama Boogie,” “Death Rider”), sometimes glam-handed (“Killer Wizard”), and occasionally even dirtbag pretty (“Keep On Rollin’). When it all melts into a puddle of phased goo in the final bars of “Warlords,” the listener has been rolled, boogied, and otherwise supernaturally conveyed well beyond the sky, maybe even beyond ridiculous.

LA CHINGA’s Beyond The Sky will see release September 7th, on CD, LP, and digital formats via Small Stone. For preorders go to THIS LOCATION where “Nothin’ That I Can’t Do” can be streamed.

Beyond The Sky Track Listing:
1. Nothin’ That I Can’t Do
2. Wings Of Fire
3. Mama Boogie
4. Black River
5. Beyond The Sky
6. Keep On Rollin’
7. Killer Wizard
8. Death Rider
9. Feel It In My Bones
10. H.O.W.
11. Warlords

LA CHINGA was forged in 2012, although in reality it was conceived about a year earlier when bassist/vocalist Carl Spackler was surfing in Southern California and his Chicano beach buddies kept hailing each other with the mysterious phrase: “La chingaaaaa!” It was then that Spackler’s dream of a hard rock power trio built on erogenous funkadelic rhythms and a devotion to life’s more sublime pleasures — chief among them: tequila — was now embodied inside a beautifully obscene two-word incantation.

Drummer/vocalist Jay Solyom and guitarist/vocalist Ben Yardley — also a noted professor of Theremin — were conscripted shortly after, both veterans of Vancouver’s notoriously dead-end music scene, both beautifully obscene in their own right. LA CHINGA’s self-titled debut record was rushed out of a makeshift studio in 2013 on nothing but fumes and the liberating force of not giving a shit, landing like a hairball crossed with a stink bomb inside a world of yoga pant commerce, condo developments, and Macbook “musicians.” This was a revolutionary act, or maybe a devolutionary one, at least.

Meanwhile, Spackler was busying pouring all off his demented ’70s obsessions into wild three-minute homemade music videos, finding the visual language of fuzz itself inside shitty horror films as he furnished the great infernal drive-in of his mind. Somehow, miraculously, this charming brew conspired to make LA CHINGA the hottest bunch of stoned ape groovers to hot wheel out of the Pacific Northwest since forever. Freewheelin’ followed in 2016 on Small Stone, and so did unhinged tours of Europe, more year-end accolades, and festival slots (420 Fest, Sasquatch). In late 2017, LA CHINGA entered Vancouver’s Warehouse studio with producer Jamey Koch. The result is Beyond The Sky, available this fall via Small Stone. This is how it feels to get chinga’d, amigos. Surf’s up.

LA CHINGA is:
Jason Solyom: drums, percussion, vox
Carl Spackler: bass, vox
Ben Yardley: guitar, vox, theremin

http://www.facebook.com/La-Chinga
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords

La Chinga, Beyond the Sky (2018)

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