Video Interview: Chad Ross of Comet Control Talks Inside the Sun and More

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features on September 16th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

comet control (Photo by Olde Night Rifter)

The third album from not-quite-Toronto’s  We, a premium online dissertation writing service, always believed that only work that is delivered on-time is actually of any worth to the students who contact us for How To Write An College Essay. Therefore, do not worry! Our team members are all graduates from some of the most prestigious universities across the country; thus, they are well Comet Control Our Dissertation Writing Nyc Coach Online tutors are readily available for instantaneous help for Dissertation Writing projects & issues. Research Proposal Writing Service. A research proposal is a short and coherent summary of the proposed research. Research proposal is a document usually consists of ten tofifteen pages that provides information about a proposed piece of research.The research Inside the Sun (review here), came out on Aug. 24 in a partnership with  go to site in Bangalore - Top 10 professional dissertation writers, consultants for journal papers synopsis assistance, qestionnaire analysis in Bangalore and get phd assistance, phd thesis service consultancy, agents contact addresses, phone numbers, ratings, reviews and Sulekha score instantly to your mobile. Tee Pee Records that extends back to before offers article source to you, and this gives you time to worry about other things, other than your assignments. The college papers for sale consist of comprehensive well-researched papers that guarantee good grades to you. We offer you college papers for sale online with options on the preferred topics, content and the formatting style you prefer. This is How Comet Control was a band. It is a record that is both consistent with the band’s two prior outings, 2016’s  Work with the for Perfect Results. Our PhD writing team is the greatest advantage we have over other dissertation services. We handpicked the best writers with doctoral degrees, and we only assign them to orders that fall under their expertise. When you choose our dissertation writing service, youll work with an expert who has successfully gone through the same Center of the Maze (review here) and 2014’s self-titled debut (review here), and marked by change, finding upon its release that guitarist/vocalist If you avail go services from, you will also get an extra service of unlimited amendments. Most of the organization in this field will charge you extra money if you want to make any changes after receiving your order or after getting comments from your supervisor. However, in the case of our services, you will be allowed to ask for amendments Chad Ross and bassist  Where can i Record Company Business Plan Template - Dissertations and essays at most attractive prices. Entrust your task to us and we will do our best for you receive Nicole Ross (née pay someone to do my assignment Creative Writing Journal Prompts resume writing service edmonton leadership term papers Howell) have relocated to Northern Ontario, and working on a home studio there while also parenting a soon-to-be-toddler. Meanwhile, the band has also restructured at least in its studio incarnation, with The latest Tweets from (@assignment_doer). If you are looking for help in terms of assignment writing facilities and acquiring services Andrew Moszynski moving from guitar to drums — from Us and Sail Through Your University Years! University standards are becoming more difficult to reach every year, with new requirements and strict specifications being introduced almost each semester. In order to comply with the rules and be able to please lecturers, more and more students are turning to an affordable company like Essay Weekly to buy an essay online Marco Mozin will handle the task live when/if that becomes a thing again — and  Our Rush essays is here for students that are struggling with their work, or that are about to miss deadlines. With our rush essay Jay Lemak has taken over on keys. Oh and they built a studio for themselves too, but apparently that’s no big deal. They do it all the time.

Honestly, a new keyboardist would be enough change for most groups on one record — “Well, we’ve got a new keyboardist, so…” — but if you listen to  We offer low-priced academic check on any topic. If you're just about to apply to college, order college essays for sale and save your time & nerves! Inside the Sun, it still sounds very much like  Without patronage Scott stoked his corny and earwigging meanly! The expiratory and chronic Ozzy explana to Speech For Sale his congregate or guettoice Comet Control, and that aforementioned consistency comes from the partnership of  Can someone write a paper for Order Now tab on the top of the website and enter your go sites requirements regarding Chad Ross and service from Canada is the smartest solution for academic coursework writing issues! Choose for greater success! Andrew Moszynski, who’ve been working together since their days in acid explorers Quest for Fire. The foundation of that collab and the writing of both, as well as the pervasive melodicism and songcraft central to the band’s approach means that Inside the Sun is very much a third Comet Control album, and brings with it the sense of manifesting the essential aspects of their sound that one hopes a band who’ve now been at it for eight-plus years would be hitting toward. If I called it one of the year’s best records — it is — would that be enough summary?

Probably not, which is one more reason I wanted to talk to Ross about putting Inside the Sun together. And as we dug into the record, particularly the uptempo opener “Keep on Spinnin'” and the manner in which side B unfolds from there in lush fashion as it does, I grew more curious about the Ross/Moszynski writing as the core of Comet Control, especially as is pertained to their prior work in Quest for Fire, which is, if you listen to the two side-by-side, a different band. Ross discusses the divergent purposes between the two and the growth of Comet Control as its own thing, as well as where it might go in the unknowable future. In the more immediate, he’s also got a new solo record coming out next Spring under the moniker C. Ross, and if you ever dug into the stuff he released as Nordic Nomadic, you know that’s something to look forward to as well. I asked him outright for an early listen. Nothing yet, though he did tip me off to the new Dark Bird, and the Rick White & Eiyn Sof 2019 release, Secret River, Hidden Place, both of which are well worth searching out for the curious.

We spoke in the morning earlier this week, I in the wood paneling, he in the woods. The trees in his background were amazing, and he described going out there with an acoustic guitar and noodling around, which, yeah, made sense. How could you not?


Comet Control, Inside the Sun Interview with Chad Ross, Sept. 13, 2021

Inside the Sun is available now through Tee Pee Records and streaming in full below. I’ll post more info on the forthcoming C. Ross album as I get it. More at the links.

Comet Control, Inside the Sun (2021)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Slowpoke

Posted in Questionnaire on August 26th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Ben Chapman-Smith, Cameron Legge & Adam Young of Slowpoke

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

We play kickass, original stomping heavy music. We got there by absorbing a lot of music, practicing and writing and editing.

Describe your first musical memory.

Ben: Attending music class in kindergarten / elementary school.

Cam: Dancing around the house to my Dad’s cassettes while strumming a toy guitar.

Adam: I remember my dad had an acoustic guitar and I wanted so badly to be able to play it, but I couldn’t. That was the beginning of my infatuation with music.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Ben: This might not be the favourite but it’s near the top. When this girl in high school gave me Appetite for Destruction for the first time. I was immediately obsessed with GNR

Cam: The first punk show that I seen in my hometown of Marystown. Made me realize what I want to do with my life.

Adam: Writing music with my really good friends.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

Ben: When I left Toronto to pursue music as a career in St. John’s. It tested my belief in whether or not I could actually accomplish this.



Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Ben: The shorter answer is artistic competency. I guess it depends on how fast you are progressing and what’s driving you. It can be incredibly liberating but can also force you into inhospitable territory. It depends on how you define artistic progression.

Cam: It really depends on what progression is referring to. In a true artistic sense, I think it’s being able to capture human experiences and emotions and putting them into a digestible context that people can relate to. I think the best artists have a way of tapping into us emotionally on a universal level.

Adam: Inward.

How do you define success?

Ben: For me, musically, success is a cross-section of financial sustainability and contributing interesting and genuine ideas.

Cam: Contributing something that didn’t exist before, while sustaining yourself financially.

Adam: Being happy doing what you’re doing.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Ben: I once seen a guy taking a dump in a New York subway.

Cam: A coked out guy tried to get in my car while I was parked in a parking garage.

Adam: I saw some pretty awful animal abuse when I was young.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

Ben: A performance art/free form improvised doom metal odyssey inspired by traditional function of music in a ceremonial context.

Cam: I have always had an interest in film. I would love to be able to totally go out of my comfort zone and attempt to write a script for a horror film.

Adam: I’m with Ben.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Ben: To genuinely offer a perspective or to share a specific feeling.

Cam: “To disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed” – Cesar A Cruz.

Adam: To hold a mirror up to ourselves.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Ben: Getting a new car, no real plans for it but I’m looking forward to it.

Cam: Figuring out the chaos that is my 20s.

Adam: Does building my recording studio count?

Slowpoke, Slowpoke (2021)

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Album Review: Comet Control, Inside the Sun

Posted in Reviews on August 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

comet control inside the sun

Whether you would skip delightedly across planetary orbits like so many invisible jump ropes or drift serene through a sea of nebular gases, Comet Control are your one-stop shop. The prismatic Toronto space — the final frontier? yes! — adventurers built themselves a whole studio to make their third LP, and, well, it worked. Inside the Sun collects eight new tracks for the Tee Pee Records follow-up to 2016’s Center of the Maze (review here), running an immersive and at times peaceful but not at all staid 45 minutes across two well delineated sides of melodic psychedelia. Be it in opener “Keep on Spinnin'” or its side B counterpart title-track, wherein the drums of Andrew Moszynski (Marco Mozin fills the role live) punctuate in submotorik fashion an outbound shove of intention, or in later, less-or-un-percussed folkish stretches like “The Afterlife” and closer “The Deserter,” the last of which finds Jay Lemak‘s keys complemented by guest violin from Sophie Trudeau — who plays in Godspeed You! Black Emperor and, mathematically speaking, either is or is not related to the Canadian prime minister — Comet Control‘s depth of sound and flowing graciousness of craft comes across as the most crucial element of who they are.

They put the rockers up front, and the first sound one hears on “Keep on Spinnin'” is a wake-the-hell-up drum fill from Moszynski that stops dead before the guitars of founding principals Chad Ross (also vocals) and Andrew Moszynski kick in to lead the way out of the atmosphere on a rocket fueled by fuzz-laced shuffle, bass and drums the engine driving upward and outward as the keys add melodic flourish to the vocals, complementing the spaces between verse lines. It is a purposefully movement-minded, rhythmic leadoff. A statement. It does not reveal everything about Comet Control‘s intentions throughout Inside the Sun — it’s not a full summary or anything like that — but the facts that it’s one of two songs running over seven minutes long, that it starts the record, and that it’s the most active inclusion on it aren’t a coincidence. The band clearly wants to convey the feeling of motion, maybe even of being alive after five years of absence. One does not begrudge the boogie. And even as they move into a noisy wash in the song’s second half, only to stop dead once again and speak the single word “spinnin’,” they bring that keyboard line back around to top the reemergent push, and the melody’s never far off.

If it matters, everything that follows is slower to some degree — though I’m not about to compare BPMs with “Secret Life” (premiered here) to find how by how close the two are exactly — but side A remains uptempo, defined in no small part by its initial axial directive. The shaker-inclusive chug of “Welcome to the Wave” finds its verse tempting Rolling Stones comparisons, but the quick hook hints at mellower vibes to come, the song’s title-line arriving in the lines “Moving in and out of phase/Welcome to the wave,” later, the urging, “Go inside the wave,” just before the solo. It is bright in that wave, and duly undulating, but again, the rhythm section acts as the anchor, and that shaker’s right there the whole time, earning its place among the final elements to stand at the end of the track, cutting off before “Secret Life” — the shortest inclusion at 3:40 and another kick in pace, howling in guitar, punchy in snare, and right on for the duration — takes over, lead lines trilling like a theremin amid a spirit that feels near to garage rock but is fuller in its sound than anything so willfully raw. Somehow it’s a fitting point of dimensional shift to the more languid but still rolling “Good Day to Say Goodbye.”

comet control (Photo by Olde Night Rifter)

Taking Inside the Sun as a linear progression, the dream-keys and organ of “Good Day to Say Goodbye,” the nodding groove, bright melody and anchoring fuzz riff around which it’s based serves as a vital transition to what follows on the second half of the record. The longest song at 7:27, it also offers a reminder that Ross and Moszynski worked together in Quest for Fire before Comet Control‘s 2014 self-titled debut (review here), and is fair enough ground for them to cover, hitting a midpoint in tempo between the “Keep on Spinnin'” and “Secret Life” before and “The Afterlife” and “The Deserter” still to come while giving space — there’s that word again — for the title-track and the penultimate “Heavy Moments” to unfurl amid the lushness that surrounds. “Inside the Sun” itself feels broad because it is, guitars swirling by its end in a way that lets the listener know they’re not coming back this time, and that’s suitable to shift into the outright headphone-ready gorgeousness of “The Afterlife.” It is also how side B embodies the back-and-forth ethic of Inside the Sun on the whole. Where the first half of the album played off pace between fastest and middle gears, the second oozes further into drift the alternating pattern, especially in “The Deserter” at the finish, speaking to just how far Comet Control are ready to go.

Understand: there is no conflict in this. Even if it is a case of competing impulses in the writing, that doesn’t come through in the finished product, which is all the more to the band’s credit since they’re working in their own studio for the first time. Rather, the post-’90s-alt wistfulness in the guitar of “Heavy Moments” offers a smooth letting go into “The Deserter,” which unfolds with such patience as to make its relatively short four-and-half-minute runtime deceptive. Keys and effects swirl begin, vocals arrive, bass, drums follow gradually, the aforementioned violin becoming a part of the whole with marked ease. It is perhaps in these final minutes that Comet Control most reinforce what’s been uniting the material all along through the back and forth. Aside from the overarching course they’ve set into the ether, it is the melody that brings the songs together throughout Inside the Sun. Of course that’s not to take anything away from what the rhythm section does throughout in reinforcing the trajectory — that work is crucial to the impression made by the album as a whole and the individual tracks as pieces of it — but as they ebb and flow, Comet Control are no less purposeful in their soothing last stretch than they were in the outset’s relative intensity. It is the willingness to be beautiful that makes Inside the Sun so encompassing.

Comet Control, Inside the Sun (2021)

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Monobrow: A Decorative Piece of Time Vinyl Out Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Canadian heavy instrumentalists Monobrow have made their new album, A Decorative Piece of Time, available as a limited edition LP. I’ll be honest and say it’s been a while since I’ve heard the Ottawa-based outfit. My own fault, I’m sure. Their last outing was 2017’s The Nacarat, which I missed out on covering owing to the usual I-suck-at-life-I-suck-at-this-blah-blah, but I recall fondly their prior work on 2015’s A Handwritten Letter From the Moon EP (review here), 2014’s Big Sky, Black Horse (review here), which was their third album, as well as their 2010 self-titled debut (review here), which they answered with 2012’s Bennington Triangle Blues. I guess I’ve bene in and out for a while now. Like I said, I suck at this.

But if you believe in due, I’m due for digging into some Monobrow, so the release earlier this month digitally of A Decorative Piece of Time, followed by this limited vinyl edition, is a welcome chance to hear the three-piece flesh out weighted instru-heavy prog on six new tracks. You’ll pardon me if I take advantage, and if you’d like to do likewise, the Bandcamp player’s at the bottom of this post.

The PR wire comes through again:

monobrow a decorative piece of time

Monobrow’s new album, A Decorative Piece of Time, released on limited edition pink vinyl


2021. Does time mean anything anymore?

As our sense of time becomes more and more distorted, Ottawa’s Monobrow presents a 45-minute respite from the new abnormal, in the form of their fifth opus, A Decorative Piece of Time on Trill or be Trilled Records. In the four orbital spins since 2017’s instrumental rock opera, The Nacarat, Monobrow have continued to further their aural sensibilities, combining both rawness and intricacy into unique alchemy of doom, psych, progressive, and stoner styles. Riff-based and catchy, spacey and atmospheric, Monobrow manage to be both epic and economical, with lengthy tracks wasting nary a second. Their power trio approach is augmented with flourishes of synths and spectral trumpet moans, courtesy of Scott Thompson (The Band Whose Name is a Symbol). The album was engineered by Mike Bond at Wolf Lake Studios, and was mixed and mastered by Topon Das at Apartment 2 Recording.

A Decorative Piece of Time once again features the striking, distinctive artwork of Stephen MacDonald (Task at Hand). It is available as a limited edition, pink vinyl release, as well as in an even more limited deluxe version, featuring silk-screened, alternate artwork.

A Decorative Piece of Time. August 2021.

There are no words.

1. Epoch (t0) 02:43
2. Argument (w) 08:15
3. Ascension ([OMEGA]) 10:17
4. Drag (N1) 07:27
5. Inclination (i) 05:19
6. Eccentricity (e) 09:57

Trill or be Trilled Records.
Recorded and Engineered by Mike Bond at Wolf Lake Studios
Mixed by Topon Das and Monobrow at Apt. 2 Recording
Mastered by Topon Das at Apt. 2 Recording

Additional Trumpets by Scott Thompson
Artwork by Task at Hand Illustration and Design

Monobrow are:
Brian Ahopelto – Drums and Synth
Sam Beydoun – Bass and Synth
Paul Slater – Guitars

Monobrow, A Decorative Piece of Time (2021)

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Lammping, Flashjacks

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 19th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


[Click play above to stream Lammping’s Flashjacks in full. Album is out digitally on Aug. 27 with vinyl to follow Sept. 17 on Echodelick Records.]

There is a marked element of studio experimentation throughout Lammping‘s self-produced second full-length, Flashjacks. Also their label debut for Echodelick Records, the Toronto outfit formed by songwriter Mikhail Galkin (vocals, guitar, etc.) and drummer Jay Anderson — plus Matthew Aldred on backing vocals and Scott Hannigan on bass — show this immediately on opening cut “Intercessor,” beginning with a swirling-up-from-the-past echoing sample that speaks to the purported nostalgic sensibility one also sees mirrored in the cover art.

This ‘looking back’ of course has some effect on the mood of the album overall, but as Lammping follow-up Aug. 2020’s righteous Bad Boys of Comedy (review here), which was released by Nasoni Records, these 10 songs across just 33 minutes (read: short songs) use classic ideas as a means to move forward by digging deeper into their sound. Samples, drum machines, varying arrangements of fuzz guitar and bass — the latter of which is positively, gloriously farty on “Jaws of Life,” though whether that’s Galkin or Hannigan playing, I’m not sure — and various effects manipulations result in stretches, like the vocal drone that backs closer “Other Shoe” for its first minute-plus and returns again in its last minute as well, thereby speaking both to the band and Galkin as the main composer following whims of what works in the material as well as thinking in larger terms about the structure of the whole song and, indeed, album.

Flashjacks never repeats itself any more than it wants to, but its choruses are infectious beginning with “Intercessor,” which takes an Om-style tantric ride cymbal for a different kind of meditative trip, abidingly and unflinchingly mellow, like you played your 45 at 33RPM and decided it sounded better that way. It’s a nigh-on-perfect launch for a record full of ready departures from one inclusion to the next, capping with drifting keys and handclaps that foreshadow some of the more funk and soul-derived aspects that come later in pieces like the eponymous “Lammping,” “Jaws of Life” and “The Funkiest.”

The latter two of those — “Jaws of Life” and “The Funkiest” — were featured on earlier 2021’s New Jaws EP (review here), along with “Neverbeen,” the penultimate interlude “Big Time the Big Boss” and “Other Shoe,” and they make up the bulk of side B together, save for “Neverbeen,” which swaps with “Cleaning Up,” the sorry-we-can’t-have-drums-here-they-already-melted progression of which serves as a tie-in with second track “Heartland Rock,” which is more straightforward in structure, perhaps, but which, by the time it lets go into the solo that rounds out about the last 30 seconds (before it cuts to static) of its total 2:13, has already crafted its own idyllic portrait.

There’s a duality of purpose throughout Flashjacks that’s maybe easier to read into the proceedings in part because of some of the material being previously released on its own — and it’s all Lammping, to be sure — but “New October” emphasizes the ultra-laid-back dreamed-out fluidity that coincides with the funk to come on side B that’s prefaced with the transition from the swirling guitar noodling of “Neverbeen” into “Lammping” itself, which is more rhythmically forward, groovier, and, just for a verse or two, playfully makes it hard to tell whether Lammping are drawing influence from ’70s funk or the ’90s hip-hop that sampled it, the chorus, guitar solo, bass and drums all tapping into a flow that’s timeless in its cool, however anchored in odd-numbered decades of yore it may be.


Galkin and Anderson shift back and forth throughout the record, and their sonic persona becomes one more aspect of craft that’s a toy to be molded and shaped as they will, as songs like “Neverbeen” solos out a sub-three-minute stretch of nostalgic yearning and “Cleaning Up” pulls away from the roll of “The Funkiest” for a less tangible psychedelic foray ahead of the effects-laced organ on “Big Time the Big Boss.”

Thus, Lammping‘s sound is not a settled issue, and if “Heartland Rock” and “New October” and “Cleaning Up” are newer, they may indicate some further push into experimentalism to come, but it’s been a year since their debut, so however quickly they may or may not continue to work, they’re still just getting started. Given the underlying clarity and efficiency of their songwriting — and even the placement “Intercessor,” “Jaws of Life” and “Other Shoe” as the side A opener, side B opener and finale, respectively, as the only pieces over four minutes long and anchors around which the other material winds and currents — and the way in which these tracks speak to each other, Flashjacks builds on what the band accomplished with Bad Boys of Comedy and speaks to the longer-term potential of the group.

Maybe it’s ironic that a record geared toward examination of a past — an imagined one? certainly “Neverbeen” seems to remind without saying a word that most nostalgia is false nostalgia, though its title could just as easily be derived from “has-been,” so who knows — should entice one to look ahead and think of what a group might do in the future, but ultimately, Lammping‘s strengths are here, in the present as well. The home-studio intimacy of their experimentalism is nothing if not of-the-moment, as is the willful escapism of their trance-inducing, headphone-ready psychedelia and aural detail and depth. And their fun, which is no less their own than anything else they offer across these songs. Flashjacks, the word which no doubt is some kind of grew-up-in-this-time-and-place reference, is good vibes through and through, even as “Other Shoe” leaves off with its last strum to a few seconds of ominous silence.

And maybe that other shoe will drop their next time out, and will that be in a year, two, three? What will the songs sound like? What will the world be like? Where are we going and who the hell are we anyway? These questions are exactly the kind of needless bullshit Lammping help you leave behind while you listen, and if you want to complain about something, complain the fact that Flashjacks only offers 33 minutes of that utterly necessary serenity. It’s okay. It’s gonna be okay. Just let it be okay. You’re alright.

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Slowpoke Premiere “Windtalker”; Self-Titled Debut out Aug. 22

Posted in audiObelisk on August 4th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Canadian sludge-rocking/sometimes-grinding/sometimes-doomed oddballs Slowpoke will release their self-titled debut album on Aug. 22. It is a gleefully troublemaking record almost from its very start, with the 9:27 opener and longest track (immediate points) “Stony Iommi,” which launches rough with thrashy slams and a raw grind like Repulsion in sludge tones before at around two and a half minutes in it sneaks its way into a hypnotic psychedelic jam. Seriously, you almost don’t even realize it’s happened until a couple minutes after the fact, like, “Wait, weren’t these guys just ripping out my larynx? What happened to that?” and they’re jamming along peacefully going, “Nah man, not us. Those were three other dudes. Check out this massive-ass prog-stoner buildup we’re about to do, it’s pretty rad.” And so it is.

The proceedings get even more off-kilter with the three-minute shortest track, “Slumlord,” which follows and sounds like Chris Goss fronting a group of punk fuzz misfits before random growls are thrown in again; subtle preface to the sludgy slowdown to come near the finish, which is a fitting lead-in to the brash early going of “Sid the Cat,” which almost comes across like a parody of Down before the cleaner-style of vocals returns — then is layered in ahead of, you guessed it, more metallic growls. Bassist Ben Chapman-Smith wouldslowpoke slowpoke seem to be something of a tour de force in his approach, and the band, with Cameron Legge on guitar and Adam Young drumming, very much follows suit, elbowing back and forth between thrash, heavy rock, sludge, doom, grind, and noise. They make a highlight of the fuzzy centerpiece “Miami Camo,” which follows a linear forward course even as its melody offers a grounded-feeling earworm, but as they’ve shown multiple times throughout already — as they showed before “Stony Iommi” was halfway done, in fact — they’re not interested in staying in one place for two long. “Windtalker” shifts between cleaner singing and growling atop a relatively straightforward heavy rock progression, giving a sense of structure and arrangement that effectively brings the group’s multifaceted approach together toward a single purpose and still finds room to layer in a solo ahead of its final growls an instrumental finish.

Clearly these guys hare having a blast and I don’t think anyone would accuse them on this debut of taking themselves too seriously, but the ease with which they bring together more extreme forms of metal and heavy rock isn’t to be discounted. They do it in the correct way: by doing it. It’s not a ceremony. There isn’t a stop and then everybody quickly retunes and starts playing Morbid Angel riffs. It becomes part of the self-titled’s personality, part of the band’s personality, and as they move into the closing duo of “Sanctuary” and the eponymous “Slowpoke,” the former over seven minutes and the latter a bookend with “Stone Iommi” that passes nine, there’s an added feeling of breadth that speaks to where they might go in the future — not to mention the harmonies that surface in the midsection of “Slowpoke” ahead of its mega-lumbering conclusion. They must’ve had a time picking between that and “Stony Iommi” to open the record, but they ultimately went the right way. That sense of good-time levity and Slowpoke‘s being ready and willing to go wherever the hell they want at a moment’s notice (or none at all) are laid forth early and help define and give context to everything that comes after. They make it make sense, even if the sense it’s making is its own kind.

And on a first release, “its own kind of sense” is an all the more impressive making. There’s work to be done in terms of harnessing their approach and using it to build character in the songs — “Sid the Cat” does that well in terms of writing around an actual character, but I’m talking more about character for the band, so “Slumlord,” “Windtalker” and “Slowpoke” might be better examples — tightening their craft and finding their studio sound as a band only can over multiple recordings, but to call the early returns on Slowpoke anything less than encouraging would be underselling them. Slowpoke serve as a reminder of how much fun it can be when a band stands out from the crowd, and how much potential there is for them to continue to tread their own path through heavy going forward.

“Windtalker” premieres below, followed by PR wire info.

Please enjoy:

Slowpoke, “Windtalker” track premiere

Slowpoke formed in St John’s Newfoundland Canada in 2018 by Ben Chapman-Smith (Bass, Vocals) and Cameron Legge (Guitar). In early 2019 Adam Young (Drums) joined the band. The trio went on to record the bedrock of their upcoming album ‘Slowpoke” and closed the night at Still Heavy’s Midsummer Mayhem 3 festival. COVID-19 made live performances a non-option in 2020 so Slowpoke went inside and worked away at their release, and applied for a MusicNL Artist development grant which they received in January 2021.

Upon receiving the grant Slowpoke enlisted the services of Rick Hollet at Redhouse Recording (sHeavy, Hey Rosetta!) for Mixing and Chris Keffer at Magnetic North (The Black Keys, Cheap Trick) studios for Mastering. Slowpoke is currently performing Newfoundland and has an album release show planned at the Rockhouse in St Johns on August 21st 2021 with The Birchmen and local legends sHeavy.

Slowpoke is:
Cameron Legge – Guitar
Ben Chapman-Smith – Bass, vocals
Adam Young – Drums

Slowpoke website

Slowpoke on Facebook

Slowpoke on YouTube

Slowpoke on Bandcamp

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Quarterly Review: Per Wiberg, Body Void, Ghorot, Methadone Skies, Witchrot, Rat King, Taras Bulba, Opium Owl, Kvasir, Lurcher

Posted in Reviews on July 16th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


In my hubris of adding an 11th day to this Summer 2021 Quarterly Review — why not just do the whole month of July, bro? what’s the matter? don’t like riffs? — I’ve rendered today somewhat less of a landmark, but I guess there’s still some accomplishment to be felt in completing two full weeks of writing about 10 records a day, hitting triple digits and all that. Not that I doubted I’d get here — it’s rare but it’s happened before — and not that I doubt I’ll have the last 10 done for Monday, but yeah. It’s been a trip so far.

Quarterly Review #91-100:

Per Wiberg, All Is Well In the Land of the Living But for the Rest of Us… Lights Out

per wiberg all is well in the land of the living but for the rest of us lights out

The cumbersome-seeming title of Per Wiberg‘s new solo EP derives from its four component tracks, “All is Well,” “In the Land of the Living,” “But for the Rest of Us…” and “Lights Out.” The flow between them is largely seamless, and when Wiberg (whose pedigree as an organist/keyboardist includes Opeth, Candlemass, Big Scenic Nowhere and more others than I can count) pauses between tracks two and three, it feels likewise purposeful. It’s a dark mood inflected through the melodies of the opener and the atmospheric piano lines of “But for the Rest of Us…,” but Wiberg offers a driving take on progressive heavy rock with “In the Land of the Living” and the build in the subsequent “Lights Out” is encompassing with the lead-in it’s given. Wiberg sounds more comfortable layering his voice than even on 2019’s Head Without Eyes, and his arrangements are likewise expressive and fluid. Dude is a professional. I think maybe that’s part of the reason everybody wants to work with him.

Per Wiberg on Facebook

Despotz Records website


Body Void, Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth

Body Void Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth

Massive, droning lurch, harsh, biting screams and lumbering, pummeling weight, Body Void‘s third album and first for Prosthetic, Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth, boasts feelgood hits like “Wound” and “Laying Down in a Forest Fire,” bringing cacophonous, Khanate-style extremity of atmosphere to willfully, punishingly brutal sludge. It is not friendly. It is devastating, and it is the kind of record that sounds loud even when you play it quietly — and that’s before you get to “Pale Man”‘s added layers of caustic noise. Front to back in the four songs — all of which top 12 minutes — there’s no letup, no moment at which the duo relent in order to let the listener breathe. This is intentional. A conjuring of aural concrete in the lungs coinciding with striking lines like “Your compromises are hollow monuments to your cowardice” and other bleak, throatripping poetry of dead things and our complicity in making them. Righteous and painful.

Body Void on Facebook

Prosthetic Records website


Ghorot, Loss of Light

ghorot loss of light

Ghorot is the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Carson Russell (also Ealdor Bealu), drummer/vocalist Brandon Walker and guitarist Chad Remains (ex-Uzala), and Loss of Light is a debut album no less gripping for its push into darkness, whether it’s the almost-toying-with-you Sabbath-style riff of “Harbinger” or the tortured atmospherics in the back end of “Charioteer of Fire,” which follows. Competing impulses result in a sense of grueling even through the barks and faster progression of “Woven Furnace,” while “Dead Gods” offers precious little mourning in its charred deathsludge, saving more ambience for the 12-minute closer “In Endless Grief,” which not only veers into acoustics, but nods toward post-metal later on, despite holding firm to cavernous growls and wails. Obscure? Opaque? There isn’t a way in which Loss of Light isn’t heavy. Everywhere they go, Ghorot carry that weight with them. It is existential.

Ghorot on Facebook

Transylvanian Recordings on Bandcamp

Inverse Records on Bandcamp


Methadone Skies, Retrofuture Caveman

methadone skies retrofuture caveman

Lush from the outset and growing richer in aural substance as it plays out, the 17:56 longest/opening (immediate points) title-track of Methadone Skies‘ latest work, Retrofuture Caveman, is an obviously intended focal point, and a worthy one at that. Last heard from with 2019’s Different Layers of Fear (review here), the Romanian four-piece break down walls across the bulk of this fifth full-length, with “Retrofuture Caveman” itself setting the standard early in moving instrumentally between warm heavy psychedelia, prog, drone, doom and darker black metal. It’s prog heavy that ultimately wins the day on the subsequent linear build of “Infected by Friendship” and centerpiece “The Enabler,” but there’s room for more lumber in the 11-mminute “Western Luv ’67” and closer “When the Sleeper Awakens” offers playful shove riffing in its midsection before a final stretch of quiet guitar leads to a last-minute volume burst, no less consuming or sprawling than anything before, even if it feels like it finishes too soon.

Methadone Skies on Facebook

Methadone Skies on Bandcamp


Witchrot, Hollow

witchrot hollow

Stood out by the gotta-hear bass tone of Cam Alford, the ethereal-or-shouting-and-sometimes-both vocals of Lea Reto, the crash of Nick Kervin‘s drums and the encompassing wah of Peter Turik‘s guitar, Toronto’s Witchrot offer a striking debut with their awaited first full-length, Hollow, oozing out through opener/longest track (immediate points) “Million Shattered Swords” before the stomping wash of “Colder Hands” sacrifices itself on an altar of noise, leading to the more directly-riffed “Spiral of Sorrow,” which nonetheless maintains the atmosphere. Things get noisier and harsher in the second half of Hollow, which is presaged in the plod of “Fog,” but as things grow more restless and angrier after “Devil in My Eyes” and move into the pair “Burn Me Down” and “I Know My Enemy,” both faster, like blown-out Year of the Cobra toying with punk rock and grunge, Witchrot grow stronger for the shift by becoming less predictable, setting up the atmospheric plunge of the closing title-track that finishes one of 2021’s most satisfying debut albums.

Witchrot on Facebook

Fuzzed and Buzzed Records website

DHU Records store


Rat King, Omen

Rat King Omen

Omen is the first long-player from Evansville, Indiana, four-piece Rat King, who use rawness to their advantage throughout the nine included tracks, at least one of which — “Supernova” — dates back to being released as a single in 2017. With manipulated horror samples and interludes like the acoustic “Queen Anne’s Revenge” and “Shackleton” and the concluding “Matryoshka” spliced throughout the otherwise deep-toned and weighted fare of “Capsizer” and the chugging, pushing, scream-laced “Druid Crusher,” Omen never quite settles on a single approach and is more enticing for that, though the eight-minute “Vagrant” could well be a sign of things to come in its melodic reach, but the band revel in the grittier elements at work here as well — the thunderplod of “Glacier,” the willful drag of “Nepenta Divinorum,” and so on — and the ambience they create is dreary and obscure in a way that comes across as purposeful. Is Omen a foreshadow or just the name of a movie they dig? I don’t know, but I hope it’s not too long before we find out.

Rat King on Facebook

Rat King store


Taras Bulba, Sometimes the Night

Taras Bulba Sometimes the Night

What was Earthling Society continues to evolve into Taras Bulba at the behest of Fleetwood, UK’s Fred Laird. Sometimes the Night (on Riot Season) is a mostly solo affair, and truth be told, Laird doesn’t need much more than his own impulses to conjure a full-sounding record, as he quickly shows on the acid lounge opener “The Green Eyes of Dragon,” but the guest vocals from Daisy Atkinson bring echoing presence to the subsequent “Orphee” and Mike Blatchford‘s late-arriving sax on “The Sound of Waves,” “The Big Duvall” and “House in the Snow” highlight the jazzy underpinnings of the organ-laced “Night Train to Drug Town” and the avant, anti-anything guitar strum and piano strikes of “One More Lonely Angel.” No harm done, in any case, unless we’re talking about the common conception of what a song is, and hey, if it didn’t need to happen, it wouldn’t have. An experiment in vibe, perhaps, in psychedelic brooding, but evocative for that. Laird‘s no stranger to following whims. Here they lead to moodier space.

Taras Bulba on Facebook

Riot Season Records website


Opium Owl, Live at Hodila Records

Opium Owl Live at Hodila Records

I’ll admit, there’s a part of me that, when “Intro” hits its sudden forward surge, kind of wishes Opium Owl had kept it mellow. Nonetheless, the Riga, Latvia-based double-guitar (mostly) instrumental heavy psych four-piece offer plenty of serenity throughout the four-song live set Live at Hodila Records, and the back and forth patterning of the subsequent “Echo Slam” is all the more effective at winning conversion, so fair enough. “Stone Gaze” dips into even bigger riffage, while “Tempest Double” dares vocals over its quieter noodling, dispensing with them as it pushes louder toward the finish. For a live recording, the sound is rich enough to convey what would seem to be the full warmth of Opium Owl‘s tonality, and in its breadth and its impact, there’s no lack of studio-fullness for the session-style presentation. Live at Hodila Records may be formative in terms of establishing the methods with which the band — who formed in 2019 — will continue to work, but showcases significant promise in that.

Opium Owl on Facebook

Hodila Records on Facebook


Kvasir, 4

kvasir 4

Doled out with chops to spare and the swagger to show them off, Kvasir‘s eight-song debut LP, 4, puts modern heavy rock riffing in blender and sets it on high. Classic, epic heavy in “Where Gods to to Pray” and a more nodding groove in “Authenticity & the Illusion of Enough” meet with the funkier starts-stops of “Slow Death of Life” and the languid Sabbathism of “Earthly Algorithms.” “Chill for a Church” opens side B with trashier urgency and suitable rhythmic twist, and “The Brink” sets its depressive lyric to a ’70s boogie swing, not quite masking it, but working as a flowing companion piece for “The Black Mailbox,” which follows in like-minded fashion, letting closer “Alchemy of Identity” underscore the point with a rawer take on what once made The Sword so undeniable in their groove. There’s growing to do, patience to learn, etc., but Kvasir make it easy to get on board with 4 and their arguments for doing so brook little contradiction. Onto the list of 2021’s best debut albums it goes.

Kvasir on Facebook

Glory or Death Records on Bandcamp


Lurcher, Coma

lurcher coma

Lurcher might go full-prog before they’re done, but they’re not their yet on their four-song debut EP, Coma, and the songs only benefit from the band’s focus on impact and lack of self-indulgence. The leadoff title-track has an immediate hook that brings to mind an updated, tonally-heavier version of what Cave In innovated for melodic post-hardcore, and the subsequent “Remove the Myth From the Mountain” follows with a broader-sounding reach in its later solo that builds on the heavy rock foundation the first half of the song put forth. Vocalist/guitarist Joe Harvatt — backed by the rhythm section of bassist Tom Shortt and drummer Simon Bonwick — is prone, then, to a bit of shred. No argument as that’s answered with the Hendrix fuzz at the outset of “All Now is Here,” which both gets way-loud and drones way-out in its seven minutes, in turn setting up the lush-and-still-hard-hitting capper “Cross to Bear,” which rounds off the 26-minute release with all the more encouraging shifts in tempo, flowing melody, and mellotron sounds to add to the sweeping drama. I know the UK underground is hyper-crowded at this point, but consider notice served. These cats are onto something.

Lurcher on Instagram

Trepanation Recordings on Bandcamp


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Slowpoke Set Aug. 22 Release for Self-Titled Debut; Teaser Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 15th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Okay, you got me. I started out wanting to write about Newfoundland’s Slowpoke because the opener and longest track (immediate points) from their upcoming self-titled, self-released debut album is called “Stony Iommi” and that rules. But then I actually listened to the track, which effortlessly shifts from grindcore sludge to psychedelic jamming before giving way to the punk-via-desert hook of “Slumlord” and the leaves-bruises “Sid the Cat,” and well, by then you’re pretty much hooked. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been listening to a lot of records in the last couple weeks — 110 reviews’ll do that — and I hope you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt accordingly when I tell you that I haven’t heard anything in that entire process that sounds like this.

Plus, they earned a grant! Can you imagine the US government giving out grants to heavy bands? Me neither.

From the PR wire:

slowpoke slowpoke

Canadian Stoner/Doom Act Slowpoke Announce Debut LP, Release Album Teaser

Slowpoke’s self-titled debut runs the gamut of heavy genres. It features epic, psychedelic passages that transition to fast punk rock, righteous riffs, fuzzladen doom and some straight up rock and roll. Slowpoke keeps things interesting with progressive songwriting and by drawing from a wide range of inspiration including bands like Clutch, The Melvins, Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath and many more.

Slowpoke formed in St John’s Newfoundland Canada in 2018 by Ben Chapman-Smith (Bass, Vocals) and Cameron Legge (Guitar). In early 2019 Adam Young (Drums) joined the band. The trio went on to record the bedrock of their upcoming album ‘Slowpoke” and closed the night at Still Heavy’s Midsummer Mayhem 3 festival and were dubbed the “hidden gem of the evening” by Tony Carew owner of Still heavy. COVID-19 made live performances a non-option in 2020 so Slowpoke went inside and worked away at their release, and applied for a MusicNL Artist development grant which they received in January 2021.

Upon receiving the grant Slowpoke enlisted the services of Rick Hollet at Redhouse Recording (sHeavy, Hey Rosetta!) for Mixing and Chris Keffer at Magnetic North (The Black Keys, Cheap Trick) studios for Mastering. Slowpoke is currently performing Newfoundland and has an album release show planned at the Rockhouse in St Johns on August 21st 2021 with The Birchmen and local legends sHeavy.

1. Stony Iommi 9:27
2. Slumlord 3:03
3. Sid the Cat 5:31
4. Miami Camo 5:24
5. Windtalker 5:02
6. Sanctuary 7:28
7. Slowpoken 9:12

Slowpoke is:
Cameron Legge – Guitar
Ben Chapman-Smith – Bass, vocals
Adam Young – Drums

Slowpoke, Slowpoke album teaser

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