Magnetic Eye Records Announces Back in Black Redux and The Best of AC/DC Tribute Lineups

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

I’ll readily admit I’m not the biggest AC/DC fan in the world, but with an initial Kickstarter goal of four thousand dollars that, as of this post, is currently at well over four times that amount, why would Magnetic Eye Records ever stop putting out ‘Redux’ records? Clearly they’ve found a thing that works, lets them pull in an array of killer artists from around the world, and is only well supported by the fanbase. Shit, they got Udo Dirkschneider to be on a track with Howling Giant. That’s awesome. You just have to throw up your hands at the inevitable, I guess. ‘Redux’ forever.

Note Heavy Temple here, as well as Kryptograf, Solace and Earthride — any new recording from either of them is welcome — and Besvärjelsen too. Some from the Magnetic Eye roster, some Blues Funeral, some beyond. And Red Fang leading off with “Hells Bells.” Can you already hear that in your head? Of course you can.

The PR wire has the full lineup and more:

va acdc back in black redux

va the best of acdc redux

Magnetic Eye Records announce the complete track list of latest Redux Series installments “Back in Black [Redux]” and companion volume “Best of AC/DC”

Magnetic Eye Records have shattered their Kickstarter goal on their latest [Redux] series project dedicated to the AC/DC mega-classic “Back in Black” and its companion volume under the title “Best of AC/DC”. The target of 4,000 USD has been pledged more than four times over, and the campaign continues until July 25 at the following link:

www.kickstarter.com/projects/magneticeye/back-in-black-redux-best-of-ac-dc

The complete track listingss for both releases paying impassioned homage to AC/DC have also been revealed and feature exciting contributions from, among many others, RED FANG, SUPERSUCKERS, WHORES featuring MASTODON’s BILL KELLIHER, BOB BALCH (FU MANCHU) & TONY REED (MOS GENERATOR), and HOWLING GIANT collaborating with legendary former ACCEPT shouter UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER. Please see below for full details.

Jadd Shickler comments: “Our Redux releases have always been and will always be works of pure love and respect for truly amazing bands and albums, our way of celebrating classics and paying proper homage to the artists who’ve made some of the most meaningful music of our lives”, states the Magnetic Eye Records label director. “We take the overwhelming response as a sign of trust and support for the dedication that goes into the Redux series, and we’re thankful for the amazing response! Even with the industry-wide delays on vinyl production, we’ll be making our strongest efforts to deliver these albums into everyone’s hands before the end of 2021.”

Tracklist “Back in Black [Redux]
1. Hells Bells- Red Fang
2. Shoot to Thrill – Howling Giant feat. Udo Dirkschneider
3. What Do You Do for Money Honey – Supersuckers
4. Givin the Dog a Bone – Smoking Lightning
5. Let Me Put My Love into You – Heavy Temple feat. Valient Himself
6. Back in Black – Besvärjelsen
7. You Shook Me All Night Long – Jakethehawk feat. Patrick Waters
8. Have a Drink on Me – Whores feat. Bill Kelliher
9. Shake a Leg – Early Man
10. Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution – Earthride

Tracklist “Best of AC/DC”
1. Sin City – Witchskull
2. It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N Roll) – Kal-El
3. What’s Next to the Moon – Bob Balch & Tony Reed
4. Bad Boy Boogie – Kryptograf
5. Walk All Over You – Blue Heron
6. Overdose – Supersuckers
7. For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) – Riff Lord
8. Whole Lotta Rosie – Solace
9. If You Want Blood – Red Mesa
10. The Razors Edge – Ghost Ship Ritual
11. Dog Eat Dog – Caustic Casanova
12. High Voltage – Electric Frankenstein
13. Night Prowler – Domkraft

“Back in Black [Redux]” presents new takes on all ten cuts from AC/DC’s seminal seventh album. This was the first record to feature “new” singer Brian Johnson following the death of original larger-than-life frontman Bon Scott, and music historians agree that there was massive pressure on both the new singer and the band to deliver. Even so, nobody could have anticipated that they’d create one of the most important rock albums ever, and Magnetic Eye cannot wait for you to hear what many of your favorite bands from the stoner, doom, and riff-rock scene have done with some of the most iconic rock songs of all time.

Along with “Back in Black [Redux]”, we also present our “Best of AC/DC” companion album, a 2-LP extravaganza featuring 13 bands offering their renditions of all-time classics and deep cuts from across the AC/DC catalog. Featuring an array of absolute heavyweights and hungry up-and-comers from the heavy rock underground, we’ve got no doubt that fans of the riff-heavy will be stoked to experience these massive AC/DC interpretations unlike any they’ve heard before.

The Magnetic Eye [Redux] Series features hand-picked classic albums from across the history of rock and metal, re-imagined in their entirety from start to finish by bands we love. Hand-picked artists from throughout the rock and metal world each pick a track to make their own, bringing these milestone records into the new millennium with crushing heaviness and searing energy. To date, we’ve produced [Redux] versions of PINK FLYOD’s “The Wall”, HELMET’s “Meantime”, BLACK SABBATH’s “Vol. 4”, HENDRIX’s “Electric Ladyland”, and ALICE IN CHAINS’ “Dirt”, which have included artists like MATT PIKE, PALLBEARER, THE MELVINS, ALL THEM WITCHES, KHEMMIS, ASG, ZAKK WYLDE, MARK LANEGAN, SCOTT REEDER, and many more amazing artists.

Join us for our sixth foray into Redux territory as we pay proper respect to the Australian legends!

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Solace, “Whole Lotta Rosie”

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The Deviant Collective: Two-Night Event in Baltimore Announced for August

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 24th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Outdoors all ages! Take your children to see Caustic Casanova and then put them to bed before Yatra or Solace go on. Ah, but that’s just night two of The Deviant Collective, a two-dayer scheduled for Aug. 13 and 14 in Baltimore, Maryland. Looking to leave lockdown in style? For those of us on the Eastern Seaboard, this might be the way to do it, as Blackseed Services out of Pittsburgh and Zentagram — soon to be formerly of MD — will present a monster lineup in The Depot and outside Oliver Brewing that boasts not only the aforementioned, but Horseburner, Foghound, Howling Giant, Spiral Grave and more and more and more.

The indoor portion (night one) has limited capacity, so if you’re feeling tentative about rejoining such togetherness-minded settings, wear your mask and consider this a way to test the waters. Both nights look stellar, as does the Bill Kole artwork that even with the cat I can’t help but think of as a dogwhistle to Man’s Ruin Records in a righteous update of Frank Kozik‘s once-upon-a-time label logo. Badass either way.

And that applies all around, not just to the art. Here’s the info:

the-deviant-collective

The Deviant Collective – Baltimore Maryland

Fuzz-filled riffs and thick-toned grooves will fill the mid-August Baltimore air as Blackseed Services and Zentagram present THE DEVIANT COLLECTIVE: An assembly of Stoner, Psych, Doom and things of a Heavy Prog nature. This is a one-time event and the last Zentagram production this side of the Mississippi and you won’t want to miss it!

Night One
Friday, August 13th Live at The Depot (Club Show 19+)
Horseburner, Cavern, Foghound, and THUNDERCHIEF
Doors at 6 PM/Bands at 7 PM
1228 N Charles Street, Baltimore, MD
$10, First come, first in (limited capacity)

Night Two
Saturday, August 14th Live at Oliver Brewing Co.
(Outdoor All Ages)
SOLACE, YATRA, Howling Giant, Jakethehawk, Brimstone Coven, Hot Blood, I am The Liquor, Stonecutters, Caustic Casanova, Atomic Motel, and Spiral Grave
Gates at 2 PM/ Bands at 3 PM
4216 Shannon Drive, Baltimore, MD

Rain or Shine $25, tickets available for Saturday only.

Check out event pages and blackseedservices.com/DEVIANT-FEST/

DAY ONE: https://www.facebook.com/events/312842907028651
DAY TWO: https://www.facebook.com/events/768990963805667

https://www.facebook.com/blackseedservices
https://blackseedservices.com/DEVIANT-FEST/
https://www.facebook.com/Zentagram-476632783139949

Horseburner, The Thief (2019)

Solace, The Brink (2019)

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Magnetic Eye Day of Doom Livestream Set for May 15

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 4th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

There isn’t one stinking band on here I don’t want to watch. I went down the whole list. Certainly Howling Giant have made themselves virtually available in this era of no in-person gigging, doing various streams and jams and so on, but even them too, I’m like, “Yeah, I’d watch them again.” That’s pretty much how I feel every week. But to see Domkraft, Heavy Temple and Somnuri all playing, each one with a new album either out (that’s you, Domkraft) or on the way is a boon, and that’s before you get to an unveiling for whatever shenanigans Caustic Casanova have been cooking up over the past year.

Yeah, I’m on board here. Of course I’ve got fond memories of Magnetic Eye‘s Nov. 2019 ‘Day of Doom’ showcase (review here), and if the label wanted at some point to bring these groups together on a stage, that’d be just fine. But while at this point it’s probably not even a question of me putting on jeans — I think those days are gone; I’ve only ever had like two pairs of jeans I ever liked anyhow — to go be in a place with people, there’s a definite appeal to dropping ass on the couch and putting this one on the ol’ wallmount for a bit of matinee-style afternoon delight.

Granted, if it was happening in Brooklyn, I’d drive there for it, and I know it’s not the same for performers, but even after shows start up again as they at some point invariably will, I don’t think livestreaming is going to completely disappear, and Magnetic Eye putting something like this together is a good example of how to do it moving forward.

That’s my take. It’s free to watch. Maybe they’ll do a live box set like last time. I better get some good screengrabs. Ha.

Info:

magnetic eye day of doom live stream

Magnetic Eye and Blues Funeral Recordings present a virtual Day of Doom, featuring:

Howling Giant
Caustic Casanova
Somnuri
Domkraft
Heavy Temple

HOW TO WATCH:

Each band will be broadcasting their set on their Facebook pages and all of them can also be watched in this event or on Magnetic Eye’s page.

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/523418811982271/

Set times announced soon.

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http://magneticeyerecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MagneticEyeRecords

Heavy Temple, “The Maiden”

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Caustic Casanova Release Lïve Läugh Löve Malört Live EP

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 5th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Someday, maybe, you and me and everyone else will get to see Caustic Casanova again, and as far as I’m concerned, that would be just splendid. As it stands, a quizzically titled, bootleg-style live EP, Lïve Läugh Löve Malört, will have to hold the line. It’s got three songs, two of which come from 2019’s God How I Envy the Deaf (review here), which wasn’t out yet when it wasn’t recorded, and it’s name your price now on their Bandcamp.

And if you’re wondering about the artwork. It’s the classic logo of Major League Baseball’s Chicago White Sox, and Lïve Läugh Löve Malört was recorded in Chicago, presumably on the appropriate side of town. That or the White Sox just have a cooler logo than the Cubs. Which is true. In any case, they have a magnet to match that’s $5 and I think would look just dandy on my fridge. Easily worth the investment.

From the PR wire:

CAUSTIC CASANOVA LIVE LAUGH LOVE MALORT

Caustic Casanova release live EP

Heavy rockers CAUSTIC CASANOVA have unleashed a new live EP called “Lïve Läugh Löve Malört”. The 3 song EP was recorded at Livewire Lounge, Chicago on April 14 2018.

Bassist/Vocalist Francis Beringer commented “Lïve Läugh Löve Malört is a raw soundboard recording from back in April 2018 at LiveWire Lounge in Chicago. That night on tour was everything we miss about live music – a packed house, enthusiastic fans, a welcoming venue and a stacked bill. We hope people will listen and get transported back to the sweaty, sticky, drunken front row at their favorite rock n roll dive when they put this on. As for the title, everyone knows – after a great set in Chicago, shots of the harsh yet delicious Swedish liquor Malört are mandatory.”

Stream/Download for free at: https://causticcasanova.bandcamp.com/album/l-ve-l-ugh-l-ve-mal-rt

Lineup:
Andrew Yonki (guitar)
Francis Beringer (bass/vocals)
Stefanie Zaenker (drums/vocals)

Mixed by Jake Kimberley October 2020
Mastered by Dan Coutant November 2020
Art by Eddie Limperis

http://causticcasanova.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CausticCasanova
https://www.instagram.com/CausticCasanova/

Caustic Casanova, Lïve Läugh Löve Malört (2021)

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Days of Rona: Stefanie Zaenker of Caustic Casanova

Posted in Features on April 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

caustic casanova stefanie zaenker

Days of Rona: Stefanie Zaenker of Caustic Casanova & 9:30 Club (Washington, D.C.)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

I find it hard to believe that this crisis hasn’t affected every single working band, at least in some way. We are very fortunate to have not had any tours or shows to cancel. We basically toured non-stop from last summer until Thanksgiving on our newest Magnetic Eye Records release, God How I Envy the Deaf (Oct 2019), so luckily we had some time to get out there and put it into people’s hands. I truly feel for the bands who’ve put out new releases early in 2020 and can’t tour on them now. It’s doubly sad that bands (ourselves included) can’t really know when to plan a tour this year because of the uncertainty surrounding COVID’s timeline. Healthwise we are all doing well, thankfully. All of us understand the gravity of this crisis and the need for social distancing and a dramatic reworking of personal habits. Francis and I have spent a lot of this extra free time working on new music together, doing some double drumming in our practice space (maybe you’ve seen some of the videos!), and trying to keep up with CC social media daily.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Right now the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia) is lagging behind some of the hotspot states in terms of cases and deaths, but the numbers are expected to grow substantially in the next couple weeks. Governors Larry Hogan (MD) and Ralph Northam (VA), and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser have all enacted strict restrictions on social gatherings, closed non-essential businesses, and issued stern stay-at-home orders. I think exercising outside alone and going to grocery stores/pharmacies, gas stations, or to get healthcare are the only allowable societal activities. The only human contact I’ve had outside of seeing Francis and his mom are my weekly grocery runs. The last time I went was a week ago and I felt like I was preparing for battle while walking in like, “Okay, do I have my hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes? Don’t touch your face. Stay away from other people. Only touch the things you need. Hurry up!” It was an extremely bizarre feeling while doing something as mundane as grocery shopping.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

The biggest takeaway for me has been how much of the local, no, global economy relies on the service industry (this includes any service that can be provided at a cost like AirBnB, not just restaurants, bars, and music venues). It has sent the whole world into an economic panic and has obviously put SO many people out of work, myself included. I bartend at a music venue in DC, the 9:30 Club, and we’ve been closed since March 13th. The earliest possible date shows can begin according to DC’s CDC guidelines is April 27th, but I find that highly doubtful and expect something more like May 15th or June 1st. The closure of a music venue impacts so many different people from door staffers and bartenders, to the performers and their crew, local promoters, venue operators, and of course the patrons too. It’s overwhelming to think about how many different people and industries this has affected. At least we’re all in it together. I’ve seen a lot of local restaurants and organizations step up to provide essential services to those in need. I also particularly empathize with all of my friends who are stuck working from home with their kids out of school. Family time is great, but I can’t even imagine what trying to get a full day’s work done while having to school, feed, and entertain your kids is like. Mad props! Regarding the general community I think for the most part people are taking it seriously (evidenced by the fact that everyone seems to be giving me at least six feet every time I pass them on a walk or run). But there are always the dummies hosting 60-plus people at bonfire parties (true story from MD — man got arrested yesterday). Some people are a lost cause and can’t understand the importance of public health or long term consequences vs. short term pleasure. I think the point is mostly that we all need a couple glasses of wine or a nice bath — inside.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

Caustic Casanova doesn’t rely on the band as a primary source of income — all of us have other jobs (but currently two of us are out of work). We do make a lot of our band income touring and that’s impossible for the foreseeable future so it does actually impact us. That being said, so many bands in our scene at or above our level do rely on touring, merch sales, shows, etc., to survive. Please consider buying the music and merch from your favorite DIY bands, and spreading the word. These are uncertain times. No one knows what the musical landscape will look like two, six, or 12 months from now. I’d love to be able to book a CC tour but there’s no point right now being unsure when shows will resume as normal. Remember live shows?! We do plan to be as active as possible in 2020 so we’ll see how that shapes up! Regarding COVID-19 — Please, please, please do your part to curb transmission and listen to your local authorities. Play more music. Love you guys.

http://causticcasanova.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CausticCasanova
https://www.instagram.com/CausticCasanova/
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http://magneticeyerecords.com/
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Caustic Casanova, God How I Envy the Deaf: The Shining Sun

Posted in Reviews on December 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Caustic Casanova God How I Envy the Deaf

Shortly before Washington, D.C., progressive noisemakers Caustic Casanova would issue their third-maybe-fourth long-player, God How I Envy the Deaf, as their debut on Magnetic Eye Records, the band posted an “unboxing video” on Facebook that featured drummer/vocalist Stefanie Zaenker, totally straight-faced, unwrapping the CD. The caption posted with it read, “Check out this rad unboxing video with drummer/vocalist Stefanie Zaenker! For more creative content and to see the rest of the unboxing follow us on Spotify and/or dm us a picture of your favorite mammal!”

This intelligent, pointed skewering of cloying social media promotion is pretty emblematic of Caustic Casanova‘s outlook on the universe and reverent sonic irreverence overall. Comprised of Zaenker, bassist/vocalist Francis Beringer and guitarists Andrew Yonki and newcomer Jake Kimberley, they’re a band who very clearly love a range of styles and see no reason to draw a line between them. Across the nine-track/50-minute run of God How I Envy the Deaf, that comes out in a meld of hardcore crunch, heavy rock groove and thoughtful songcraft, with cuts like “Filth Castle” and “Taos Lightning” casting an identity that pulls from multiple sources while being pieced together with a hard-won confidence from years of touring and experience in the studio.

Outright, it’s worth noting that God How I Envy the Deaf is the heaviest-sounding work Caustic Casanova have ever done, and as it’s been producer J. Robbins at the helm for their studio work at least since 2012’s Someday You Will Be Proven Correct, a thickening of tone as compared to 2015’s Breaks (review here) and generally more aggressive spirit seems like it can only be a conscious decision. Humor and willingness to embrace the absurd are obviously a part of it — hence the pigeon propaganda cover art; note the boundless loyalty to Parrot Mao — and I haven’t had the benefit of a lyric sheet, but whether it’s opener “Fancy English” (premiered here) or the guttural shouting of a grocery list at the start and the concluding “an egg!” in “Donut and the Golden Hen,” there’s no shortage of personality on display.

It can be a fine line for a band to walk, and I think more often than not those who step back from doing so don’t want to be seen as the joke itself rather than those telling it, but Caustic Casanova‘s aggro take throughout staves this off, with plenty of divergences in style as on the echoing post-whatever of “Memory King” and the floating guitar amid the hard-hitting hook of later highlight “Truth Syrup,” wherein they seem to be answering the question of what Kylesa might’ve sounded like had they kept their tonal impact in kind with their melodic progression, to righteous result.

The diversity of their approach is united through songwriting and production, and even as God How I Envy the Deaf veers outward from the rules of its own making on its final two tracks, “Roger B. Taney,” — named for the US Supreme Court chief justice who said in 1857 that slaves weren’t citizens and the congress couldn’t outlaw slavery and featuring Emily Danger on vocals — and the 10-minute closer “Boxed and Crated,” which is by no means the first longer-form work Caustic Casanova have done but ends the record with a surprising devolution into cacophony, there is an underlying sense of direction and purpose to what they’re doing.

caustic casanova

But there is no mistaking the challenge that Caustic Casanova are putting forth on God How I Envy the Deaf. It is in the winding riffs and hardcore-born punch of “Filth Castle,” in the riffier groove of “If Your Brain is Properly Oiled” and in the lumber and shouts of “Boxed and Crated,” which pushes to the furthest extremes of any of the material here. To listeners, the challenge is to step outside of expectation for the limits of genre. There is no reason rock can’t be metal, punk can’t be heavy and all of it can’t be both progressive, shredding and fun.

The songs don’t necessarily invite dissection — this riff comes from this, that riff comes from that, etc. — but they stand up to that kind of scrutiny should someone want to get into it, and they prove only more effective and more memorable with multiple listens. That is, while the immediate impression Caustic Casanova make is that of an energized, considered act not at all beyond a bit of pummel when the situation calls for it — as it does at several points throughout here — the cliché of putting more in and getting more out applies to actually hearing what they’re doing from piece to piece. You can dig as deep as you like and the ground stays solid.

That is a credit to their songwriting and the decade-plus they’ve been together, and their maturity has been hard won — it would be inappropriate to discuss just about anything they do without noting the steady touring they’ve undertaken for extended stretches for years now; one lengthy list of dates after another in inheritance of a D.C. DIY punker ethic. Their chemistry, even with Kimberley as a relatively recent addition to make what was a trio into a four-piece, is unmistakable and well on display in the turns within these songs as well as the shifts between them, the spacious and stomping “Memory King” giving way to the unmitigated instrumentalist speed-shove of “Donut and the Golden Hen,” which makes an as-fitting centerpiece as one could reasonably ask for an album so brazenly working on its own level.

Another challenge of God How I Envy the Deaf is perhaps even more crucial, and that’s to Caustic Casanova themselves. You can hear it in how they’re pushing themselves to be not just heavier or meaner or louder, but more realized creatively and more willful in how they bring together the various elements that comprise their approach. They’re a progressive band not just because they write thoughtful compositions, but because they actually progress — continually. Perhaps the real achievement of God How I Envy the Deaf is how it manages to so much maintain the band’s personality stamp even as it embraces this heavier stylistic ideology, refusing to sacrifice who they are to fit into some tidy box of genre.

And more, it is less a push-pull of resistance than a continual drive toward the individual. Their sound, even as it continues to change, is their own. Their songs, same. Their perspective, same. I don’t know if they’ll ever be the kind of band fully embraced by the kind of hype machine that, say, might seriously ask a fanbase their favorite mammal, but on God How I Envy the Deaf, they manifest as entirely themselves, and that suits them better.

Caustic Casanova, God How I Envy the Deaf (2019)

Caustic Casanova website

Caustic Casanova on Thee Facebooks

Caustic Casanova on Instagram

Caustic Casanova on Bandcamp

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Magnetic Eye Records website

Magnetic Eye Records on Thee Facebooks

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Caustic Casanova November Tour Starts This Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

caustic casanova

It was by fun coincidence that the press release blowing up the dates for Caustic Casanova‘s November tour happened to come down the PR wire while I was waiting for the band to take the stage this past Saturday at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn for Magnetic Eye RecordsDay of Doom (review here). But as the central thesis of that portion of the longer writeup concerning the D.C. four-piece was basically, “duh, go see them because they’re good,” it seemed only fair to put up or shut up and post the dates again whereby that might actually happen, at least for some people in the right place at the right time.

This isn’t the first tour Caustic Casanova are doing to support their new album, God How I Envy the Deaf, and it seems incredibly unlikely it will be the last. I have little doubt that the best advice I can give as regards the band — see: “duh,” etc., above — will apply to their next tour as well. Go go go. They certainly do.

Dates from the well-timed PR wire:

caustic casanova nov tour

CAUSTIC CASANOVA TO BEGIN TOUR ON NOVEMBER 8TH

Washington DC rockers Caustic Casanova are excited to announce “God How I Envy This Tour,” a run of dates in November that will take them from Brooklyn to Texas. Starting on November 2nd at legendary Williamsburg venue Saint Vitus with Magnetic Eye’s Day of Doom showcase, the band will travel through Virginia, the Carolinas, Florida, and Lousiana on their way to three final stops in the Lone Star State.

All dates will be in support of their recently released album God How I Envy The Deaf.

Tour Dates
Nov. 2 – Brooklyn, NY (Magnetic Eye Day of Doom Festival) @ Saint Vitus
Nov. 8 – Richmond, VA @Wonderland
Nov. 9 – Greensboro, NC @Flat Iron
Nov. 10 – Wilmington, NC @Gravity Records
Nov. 11 – Raleigh, NC @Slims
Nov. 12 – Charleston, SC @The Royal American
Nov. 14 – St. Augustine, FL @Shanghai Nobby’s
Nov. 15 – Gainesville, FL @Loosey’s
Nov. 16 – St. Petersburg, FL @The Bends
Nov. 17 – Pompano Beach, FL @Lozer Lounge
Nov. 18 – Orlando, FL @Wills Pub
Nov. 20 – New Orleans, LA @Carnaval Lounge
Nov. 21 – San Antonio, TX @Hi-Tones
Nov. 22 – Denton, TX @Backyard on Bell Block Party III
Nov. 23 – Fort Worth, TX @Lola’s Trailer Park Bar

http://causticcasanova.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CausticCasanova
https://www.instagram.com/CausticCasanova/
http://store.merhq.com
http://magneticeyerecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MagneticEyeRecords

Caustic Casanova, God How I Envy the Deaf (2019)

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Live Review: Magnetic Eye Records Day of Doom in Brooklyn, 11.02.19

Posted in Reviews on November 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

magnetic eye records day of doom poster

Before the Show

Well, don’t tell anybody, but the dude sitting at the end of the bar DJ’ing is me. Actually, come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I don’t care if you tell anybody. At this point, I know most of the seven or eight people in this room right now. But I made a playlist, edited it together so it all plays as one track, and it’s three hours long — like the old podcasts, including a really long song or two along the way — but that’s going, so as far as I’m concerned, sitting here on my laptop is why they asked me to come early. The rest is kind of just waiting around, so at least this way I can look like I’m doing something.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of writing the review while the show is happening — I’m not committing to posting any of it live, since I’ve never done photos on this machine before when I’m actually in a hurry — but it’s 15-minute breaks between bands, DAY OF DOOM SCHEDULEso it’s going to depend on how I can time it either way. The important thing? That I stress out about it. Obviously.

And oh yeah, I included Earthride on my playlist specifically with the Saint Vitus Bar in mind, because they often play them between bands. My nod to the room. No one cares, but I wouldn’t expect otherwise, so there it is.

This is the Magnetic Eye Records Day of Doom, a nine-band label showcase that will go from at least now — coming on 1:30 — to 10:30 tonight, so yes, a full day of doom, as it were. At very least, if today had a quota of heavy, I suspect it’ll be filled by the end of it and then some.

But we enter now the sit-tight portion of the afternoon, so that’s my plan. Will check in with more either during or after it’s all over.

During the Show

These Beasts

these beasts (photo by jj koczan)

One would not accuse Magnetic Eye Records of easing into the day with These Beasts. Rather, the Chicago three-piece are at this very moment bludgeoning a Vitus Bar live room with an ultra-aggro, thickened noise rock that’s only sense of letting up is in letting up on the letup. By which I mean there is none. It’s somewhat awkward to be sitting here while they’re playing and admit I don’t know their self-titled LP, released earlier this year, but they’re showing me the error of my ways in pummeling fashion. Can hear punk roots coming through amid the intertwining screams and shouts, but there’s a definite heft to the tone and some vocal echo adds atmosphere to go with all that heads-down force. But there’s plenty of that too and it’s the sheer physicality of what they’re playing that’s letting them pull in such an early crowd. To wit, I’m one of like three people in the back bar right now and I’m about to head back in. Clearly they’re doing something right in there.

Leather Lung

Leather Lung (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It’s been weeks, not months, not years — more than days, though — since I last saw Boston’s Leather Lung. Last time? Dudes brought stoner-sludge chicanery to Ode to Doom in Manhattan (review here). This time? The location has changed, but the mission not so much. Vocalist Mike Vickers has had the cast taken off his arm and judging by his onstage mosh-shuffle, all seems to be in good working order, so that’s my official medical checkup, but beyond that, they’re bringing a groove that’s plenty fresh in my memory; sludge played from the heart via the crotch that makes no bones about where it’s coming from — Boston — and no bones about its affection for all manner of inebriating. Their groove has this toughguy edge to it that I can’t quite put my finger on and couldn’t last time either, but I don’t think these dudes want to fight so much as they want to get fucked up and play riffs. Like I said, the mission hasn’t changed much since I last saw them. I’ll check back on them in a bit and hope for no more busted limbs from them or anyone else in attendance, for that matter. “It’s all fun and games, until,” and so on.

High Priest

High Priest (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Chicago’s High Priest issued their Sanctum EP (review here) earlier this year and it was kind of a sleeper, but they were high (pun like 25 percent intended) among my list of anticipated acts for the day. Nothing too complex, but they roll out big-time riffs and dig into some hazy vibes and especially after the nasty nasty nastiness that was These Beasts and Leather Lung back to back, they’re a chance to show off some of the stylistic breadth on Magnetic Eye‘s roster. The kind of label as likely to redux Pink Floyd as Helmet, you know. They’d be a fitting complement to a tour with Elephant Tree, if we’re doing label pairings, but I guess probably there needs to be an album out before one starts nailing down dates. We’re in November now, so kind of fair to look back on some of the year’s highlights, and seeing High Priest live for the first time is a reminder of just how much I dug those tunes this past Spring. I’m apparently learning stuff all over the place today. Fun and educational! They also finished by dissolving into a total wash of noise that was affecting and psychedelic in kind. A pleasure to watch. Can’t say it plainer than that.

Caustic Casanova

Caustic Casanova (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Of the nine bands on this bill, I’m pretty sure Caustic Casanova win the prize for having the most recent release. Their new record, God How I Envy the Deaf, came out on Oct. 18 as their first through Magnetic Eye and they’re playing Vitus Bar as a precursor to hitting the road on the next of their seemingly endless string of tours. This is also the first time I’m seeing them as the four-piece of drummer/vocalist Stefanie Zaenker, bassist/vocalist Francis Beringer, and guitarists Andrew Yonki and Jake Kimberley, the last of whom is a new recruit. For a band on the road as much as they are, I have to imagine finding someone to mesh with wasn’t easy — Caustic Casanova‘s particular take on melodic heavy rock is a big-time beneficiary of the chemistry they’ve built through touring — but they did it, and the match extends to onstage energy, to be sure. How many bands could cover “Wicked World” and make it sound believable? Caustic Casanova played it like they wrote it, and their original material was no less vital. I’ll make it easy: this is a band you should see. They make it even easier by touring their collective ass off, but even if they didn’t, they’d be worth the effort of showing up when possible. Magnetic Eye made a good-ass pickup when they signed them.

Ghastly Sound

Ghastly Sound (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Rivaling Caustic Casanova in the running for most-recent-outing is Vermont trio Ghastly Sound, whose debut full-length, Have a Nice Day, dropped like a sarcastic anvil in September. This was my first time seeing the three-piece, but it’s worth noting they primo position on the bill they’ve received, and I’ll admit that because of that alone, my expectations were high before they went on. Is this the part where I say the band slaughtered those expectations outright, blah blah blah dominance, blah blah blah heavy band destroys minds reaps souls and all the rest? Well, my mind feels pretty destroyed and if I ever had a soul — nope — it’s long gone, but yeah, they delivered in a big spot, taking crossover-style hardcore and leaving the guitar at home, adding melody through vocal effects and reviving a bit of the aggression from earlier in the day. The way they were set up on the Saint Vitus Bar stage made me think there was a guitarist somewhere missing in the building, but nope, and it turned out they didn’t need one, though one hesitates to say such things on a day that has featured thus far and will continue to feature so much choice riffing. A little — or a lot, as in this case — of rumble goes a long way. Also with the shouting and the being really loud. No question the pressure was on, and I know their record was a while in coming, but if I didn’t know they’d just released their debut, I’d say they’d been around much longer.

Horsehunter

Horsehunter (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Okay. Putting together a nine-band bill? Pretty impressive. Doing so and bringing in bands from the UK and Europe? Even more impressive. Doing so and bringing a band from Australia? And that band is Horsehunter? Who I don’t think are really even together at this point? Yeah, that’s some next level shit. The Aus megasludge four-piece put out their self-titled second album (discussed here) and swansong earlier this year — like, earlier than September — and had already been busted up for two years. Should they be broken up? No, they should not. Even if one could manage to put aside the context of seeing them play even just for 45 minutes as being a total once-in-a-lifetime experience, a group of the Melbourne four-piece’s destructive potential should continue to exist. If they were the only band playing today, it would still be a Day of Doom, and in volume and viscosity alike, they’re on a plane of their own amid this lineup. I don’t know what the future might hold for them, as members have already moved onto different projects, but I have to think that if a band is willing to get together and travel to the other side of the planet to play essentially a one-off gig, they’d have to feel motivated to maybe follow that up with something? Or maybe this would be a pinnacle anyway? I don’t know. Either way, it’s clearly a special moment for all involved parties — those in attendance, those playing, and the Magnetic Eye crew, who believed in them enough to release the record even though they were done — and I’m lucky to have been here for it. Biggest big rock finish of the day as well, so bonus points there, as if they needed them.

Domkraft

Domkraft (Photo by JJ Koczan)

This is my second time seeing Sweden’s Domkraft after being fortunate enough to catch them about 13 months ago in Oslo, Norway, at Høstsabbat (review here). They were at that point heralding the release of their second album, Flood (review here), and as they got ready to go on just now I thought back fondly to the positive impression they made that day, blending noise rock, sludge and an almost post-metallic kind of ambience. That’s a fun little narrative, right? Sure it is. Lost in that, however, is the rhythmic undulation of that nod, but man, when they decide to lock that in — and they don’t always, because they’re not a do-one-thing kind of band — they are hypnotic. They had their work cut out for them in following Horsehunter, as anyone would, but guitarist Martin Widholm, bassist/vocalist Martin Wegeland and drummer Anders Dahlgren captured a feeling of spaciousness that seemed to take all the crush of the mighty performance before them and taffy-pull it into a headier, spacier reach, still deeply weighted, still giving that feeling of surrounding you while you’re standing there in front of it, but at the same time extending outward beyond you, beyond the room — maybe just beyond, period. They’ve been to the States before, having played Psycho Las Vegas, and I guess you could count the show they did last night in Jersey with Solace too, but they feel like a band who are really stepping into themselves, and the identity they’re finding as a part of that process suits them. I’m already looking forward to their next record, and far be it from me to tell you how to live your life, but you probably should be too.

Summoner

Summoner (Photo by JJ Koczan)

If you know anything about Magnetic Eye Records, or label founder Mike Vitali (also Black Electric, Ironweed, ex-Greatdayforup, etc.), it’s probably that the label frickin’ loves Boston’s Summoner. I’ve seen them live a handful of times over the years, certainly dug the crap out of 2017’s Beyond the Realms of Light (review here) as I have their material since their days a decade ago operating as Riff Cannon — a name they quickly outgrew and were smart enough to realize it, even though it was a cool moniker to have — and it’s hard to argue. I knew accordingly what to expect going into their set, at least to a degree, but with the recent change that brought Worshipper‘s Dave Jarvis to the lineup on drums — I’m not sure if it’s a permanent or temporary thing; dude was sitting next to me like 15 minutes ago, I should’ve asked — there was an added sense of intrigue to seeing them for what was the first time in a while anyway. However, part of knowing what Summoner do is knowing they do it pro-shop, and as their slot found them positioned right before Elephant Tree at the end of the show, they had an occasion to rise to and they rose to it accordingly, Jarvis sliding right in alongside bassist/vocalist Chris Johnson and guitarists A.J. Peters and Joe Richner, on familiar material while still bringing some of his own swing to it. You won’t hear me disparage the work of Summoner as they were, but if they’re indeed pressing on in this configuration, they’ll be just fine. When Johnson stops smiling on stage, I’ll worry. Didn’t happen at Day of Doom, even after the strap of his bass broke and he had to finish the song with it resting on his knee. That was like two songs in, maybe? No loss of momentum. Pro-shop, front to back.

Elephant Tree

Elephant Tree (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Elephant Tree‘s second full-length, which will actually be released by Holy Roar Records at least in the UK — I admit there might be some regional deal worked out with Magnetic Eye that I don’t know about — is reportedly in the mastering stage. At least, that’s what they told me and I’m not sure what would be their motive for lying about it. Last I heard were a couple rough mixes, but that was a while ago, and I’m all-the-way-serious when I tell you that I can’t think of another record that’s been announced for 2020 that I’m anticipating more. The Londoners’ 2016 self-titled debut (review here) has lost none of its appeal for the subsequent three years — just ask Sister Rainbow, who flew from the UK for this show basically just to see them for what I understand is at least the 48th time — and with the progression I heard evident in their performance (again) at Høstsabbat 2018 (review here) and those rough versions, yeah, I feel justified in my high hopes. It wouldn’t have made sense for them to come to Brooklyn and play only new stuff, but as noted, even the cuts from their self-titled were welcome. The fact that even after such a full show they were given a complete hour for their set should tell you something, and basically it should tell you they’re a band just waiting for your loyalty. See them 49 times? Well, I’m up to at least three now and I feel like that’s barely worth calling a start. Also of note, they’re a four-piece now, with John Slattery on guitar and keys and vocals joining the trio of guitarist/vocalist Jack Townley, bassist/vocalist Peter Holland (of the green strings) and drummer Sam Hart, so that’s all the more of an occasion for their primo stage banter. They’ve just hit into “Aphotic Blues,” if you’ll excuse me… Yeah, that’s an earplugs-out moment not to be missed. And to have them then follow it by bringing album-engineer/multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/he’s-kinda-in-the-band-but-not-really-anymore-except-I-guess-sometimes-like-tonight Riley “The Wizard” MacIntyre on stage first to scream like mad, then to take over Townley‘s guitar for “Wither” only highlighted how incredible this day has been. What a trip. It’s not over. I mean, it’s mostly over, but they’ve got about 10 minutes left, so I’m going to stow the computer and get back to what’s important and get up front for the end, which is where it feels like I should be.

After the Show

Just past 12:30AM. I left the Saint Vitus Bar at I guess around 10:45PM and got back here a little bit ago, cursing the name of the tech giant whose mappery failed yet again to take into account Lincoln Tunnel traffic in its calculations. Next time, I take the FDR unless it’s visibly on fire.

Elephant Tree finished with their slowed-down take on Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid,” which given the Brooklyn setting found Holland’s gruffer vocal reminding all the more of Peter Steele from Type O Negative (green strings may have been a factor there as well), and followed that with a new song called “Bird,” the harmonies of which are particularly gorgeous and lush seeming. Mike Vitali Magnetic Eye Records (Photo by JJ Koczan)I can’t wait to hear that album.

Basically I’m keying down from the show, and there was a lot of show to key up. Kind of striking how even the bands whose sounds had common elements were able to stand themselves apart. That was true the whole time. And I stayed the whole time. And I wound up running the playlist the whole time as well, at least until Elephant Tree were done. So I guess that’s a thing. I DJed the show. Wasn’t planned, but I was plugged in and using my laptop anyway, so there you have it. I dug the tunes, anyway. Hopefully I wasn’t the only one.

Thanks to Mike Vitali and to Jadd Shickler for having me on board for that and for putting the thing together generally. This was a pretty astounding feat when it comes to coordination, and those efforts on their behalf were deeply appreciated. Vitali got on stage before Horsehunter went on to thank everybody and it was plain to see it was an emotional night for him as well. It would have to be, frankly.

Thanks to the bands, to everyone who said hi and/or nice things, and thanks to you for reading. Most of all, thanks to The Patient Mrs., who made my being there possible, and who makes pretty much everything that’s possible possible.

Now off to bed.

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