Friday Full-Length: Fatso Jetson, Archaic Volumes

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Even in the outlier context of  Visit ace http://cpalettre.unepassion.fr/?the-college-essay where you post your homework, and qualified scholars will do it for you. You can check any acemyhomework review online, Fatso Jetson releases overall, the band’s sixth album,  Where can i Expository Essay Space Order. Trusted research paper writing service with 100% satisfaction guarantee! We write custom term papers from scratch. Archaic Volumes, is an outlier. But damn it’s a hooky outlier. The long-running Palm Desert/Los Angeles desert rock stalwarts — they of the generator parties, they of the haven desert venue  You can Buy A Business Plan Paper right here about any topic you need. Our writing service with intelligence writers will help you to get you diploma with Rhythm and Brews, much heralded and yet somehow still underrated as a live act, and so on — went nine years between full-lengths. The mid/late ’90s saw a bang-bang-bang-bang succession of albums in their 1995 debut,  do my homework they said Homework Machine Shel Silverstein college admissions letter essay writing 2013 Stinky Little Gods and 1997’s  http://lacedes.com/master-thesis-service-quality/ - Let us help with your Bachelor thesis. All kinds of writing services & research papers. Dissertations and resumes at most Power of Three — both on  Buy essays online safe at our cheap college paper service. click siteSafe.com provides professional academic writing help. Place an order and get your essay! Greg Ginn‘s  uk phd thesis search http://workspaceadvantage.com/diversity-thesis-statement ghostwriting services denver writing an admission essay definition SST Records — as well as 1998’s  nuclear energy argumentative essay Hsc go here cv writing service birmingham discovery school homework helper Toasted (discussed here) on British Assignments Help provides students in UK with best How To Write An Overview Of A Paper service at cheap prices, delivers 100% plagiarism free work. Place your order Bong Load and 1999’s  Bestcustomessaywriting.com is located in Los Angeles and offers professional find more infos, we offer urgent essay writing services. We Flames for All on  Untold Content is a writing consultancy. We provide World Hunger Research Paper and specialize in translating complex insights into compelling stories. Man’s Ruin, and even as that label collapsed, they crossed into the new century by issuing  personal statement for college samples Phd Thesis Antioxidant Activity Plagiarism Free essay of friendship thesis and dissertation addis ababa university Cruel & Delicious in 2001 through  Thinking to get services from a highly professional writing services that not provide you with Custom Dissertation Writing Service Extended but also impart their clients with Queens of the Stone Age frontman  Feel the opportunity to Phd Thesis Corporate Governance and feel comfortable waiting for the excellent results while unrivaled professionals carry out the research. Josh Homme‘s  Order Now (20% off) Benefits of Phd Dissertation Help Kissinger online? Well, there are various reasons for consulting a buy research paper service, here are some Rekords Rekords imprint.

There wouldn’t be another studio full-length for nine years until  Archaic Volumes showed up on Cobraside Distribution. They weren’t entirely inactive during that time. They toured some, put out the Fatso Jetson Live LP in 2007, and toured and played regional shows, but founding cousins Mario Lalli (guitar/vocals) and Larry Lalli (bass) had opened a restaurant in Los Angeles called Café 322 — there was a time when I dreamed of reviewing a meal cooked by Larry at the restaurant, but alas, it has since closed —  and as anyone who’s ever worked in the restaurant business might tell you, that kind of thing has a tendency to consume one’s energies.

Time passed accordingly, and so the Fatso Jetson that emerged on the 10 songs/43 minutes was a different sounding band than they’d ever been before, despite the continued presence of both Lallis and founding drummer Tony Tornay. In addition to the recording and organ work of Mathias Schneeberger (Eddie Rivas also recorded), a key factor was the inclusion of Vince Meghrouni on saxophone, harmonica and some vocals, who brought a classy, jazzy feel to the arrangements built outward from the band’s heavy and punkish foundations.

At the same time, a solidification of songwriting took place, so that cuts like opener “Jet Black Boogie” — you don’t have to wait long for that harmonica — and “Play Dead” and the title-track and the punkabilly boogie “Golden Age of Cell Block Slang” and even the comparatively mellow “Let Go” were and remain 10 years later maddeningly catchy. To wit, just by even thinking of the album, I’ve committed to having the verses of “Jet Black Boogie,” let alone the chorus, stuck in my head for the next week, its somewhat depressive lyric brought forth in an uptempo delivery to begin a momentum that the rest of Archaic Volumes continued to push forth, and yes, I do mean push.

“Play Dead” is the second cut and though it holds back the sax, it still has a winding riff andfatso jetson archaic volumes a buildup in its second half, which makes a fitting precursor to the instrumental “Jolting Tales of Tension,” which lives up to its name before finding some footing in its own back end in a quieter section that brings a reminder that Mario Lalli doubles in Yawning Man; airier guitar taking hold for a stretch as the song starts to round out and give way to Tornay‘s snare at the start of “Archaic Volumes” itself and the pulled guitar lead lines that accompany.

There’s something in the lines of the title-track — the opening lyric, “Look at these volumes, carrying thoughts of mine…” and the chorus, “These archaic volumes won’t ever be heard” and its alternate, “These archaic volumes won’t ever really be heard” — that seems to be Fatso Jetson acknowledging their place as an underground band. Widely regarded as desert rock legends a decade later — and rightly so — they’ve never been a household name, but the use of “really” there adds an entirely different layer of meaning, implying the space between hearing and listening and enhancing the emotional effect of the song as a whole. Coupled with “Folklore and fad, destructive searching/Destiny’s dogs keep barking and lurching,” and the double-entendre of “volume,” “Archaic Volumes” can easily be read as Fatso Jetson reconciling with who they are, if perhaps wistfully.

It’s a boogie party from there with the swing rhythm of “Golden Age of Cell Block Slang” and the instrumental “Here Lies Boomer’s Panic,” both highlight examples of Archaic Volumes‘ Fatso Jetson-plus-sax methodology, and the latter seeming indeed to be an opportunity to cast out its titular anxiety. It’s certainly frenetic enough in its jabbing rhythm, and the complement of “Let Go,” still running, but smoother, can only be purposeful. The first lines of the song reaffirm that. “Let Go” winds its way through a quick sub-four minutes, and gives ground to “Black Road Tar,” which is the longest inclusion at 6:20, and offers full-on saxosurf groove and a lengthy instrumental break in its middle that’s a hook unto itself before vocals return for a few final measures and the song ends, giving way to a penultimate cover of The Cramps‘ “Garbage Man” that fits well enough alongside “Black Road Tar” and “Golden Age of Cell Block Slang” and “Here Lies Boomer’s Panic” and is such a blast that it feels like it was written to be where it is on the album, right ahead of the closer “Monoxide Dreams.”

Immediate chill. Flourish in layers of wah guitar speaks to some of the residual quirk of Flames for All, and when they’ve chosen periodically to do so, Fatso Jetson have always been exceptionally good at conveying a psychedelic sensibility. What remains astounding about “Monoxide Dreams” is that it’s so ethereal, so immersive and yet barely over three and a half minutes long. It is enough of a departure from the rest of Archaic Volumes that it can only really round out, and yet in its foundation of tone, the languid groove from Tornay and Larry Lalli and Mario‘s melodic vocal, it’s not necessarily incongruous with what came before either, even as it drifts away at the end. Were it porridge — and it might be — it would be just right.

The good news about Archaic Volumes, aside from the album itself, was that it sparked a surge in activity from Fatso Jetson that is ongoing and especially visible in the European sphere. Coupled with an increase in work from Yawning Man and related projects, Fatso Jetson have spent the last 10 years with more touring and releases, including the 2010 split with Oak’s Mary, a 2013 split with Yawning Man, as well as splits with Herba Mate (review here) and Farflung (review here) in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Italy’s Go Down Records put out Live at Maximum Fest (review here) in 2014 and Fatso Jetson signed with Heavy Psych Sounds for the release of their seventh long-player, Idle Hands (review here), in 2016, that came roughly concurrent to a split with the Netherlands’ del-Toros (discussed here) and a collaboration with France’s Hifiklub (review here) that also included Yawning Man‘s Gary Arce on guitar. The close relationship between Fatso Jetson and Yawning Man also continues unabated. Tours together with Mario Lalli pulling double-duty — his son Dino von Lalli has also been in lineups on guitar for both bands — festival appearances domestic and international, and a general increase in awareness and reputation owing to a new generational listenership have only served to put Fatso Jetson in their rightful place at the forefront of desert rock consciousness.

If one can trace Archaic Volumes as the point at which that began — and I’d argue that’s so — then outlier or not, it represents a crucial moment for the band. And again, that’s before you even get to the songs themselves, which are stunning.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

That went longer than I had intended. It’s about quarter-to-seven, which is late for me to be writing. I took a break in writing the above to go for a run. 16 minutes, roughly. I’ve added a bit to the regular course, going around a wider path in a park I run through and going to the end of a street instead of turning around earlier. Nothing major, but enough to add a couple minutes and enough that I can feel it in my legs, which is what I was shooting for. If I keep up at this rate, I’ll go three miles a couple times a week by the time I’m 50. It’ll be interesting to see what happens first, that, cancer or a heart attack. The mantra, “don’t be crazy” continues to play on repeat, much like “Jet Black Boogie” from the album above.

Really. That fucking song. Wow.

Quite a week. As regards moving around, I had tweaked my ankle, so actually took a couple days off from running, then it rained so got another day, but felt pretty good after. Also been battling like a third of a cold. The Pecan and I are about on the same wavelength there — he’s coughing a bit, boogers a bit, and me too — but The Patient Mrs. has had it worse. A cough meant she couldn’t go to work on campus all week, and she’s having a COVID test today. It’s the same cold she gets every Fall when it’s work-yourself-int0-oblivion time in the semester and the temperature drops, but of course the circumstances this year are different.

I guess if she has the plague that saves us from running errands for a while. So it goes.

The Pecan, thankfully having already slept late, is waking up — I can see on the monitor — so I’m not sure how much longer I have before he runs into his closet to poop in his diaper. Nothing like waking up and taking a good dump in the closet. He starts Parsippany public pre-K the week after next, which will be after his third birthday. He says he wants to take the bus. I’m on board for letting him. We’ll see how it goes.

Ah, he’s up.

New Gimme Metal show today at 5PM Eastern. The playlist will have been posted by the time this is. Thanks if you listen: http://gimmemetal.com

Review of the new Kind album next week, and a couple premieres — an Uncle Woe LP stream that I’m looking forward to — so stay tuned for that, and I’m already behind on news and videos from Dark Buddha Rising, All Souls and All Them Witches, so I’ll endeavor to play catchup as I always seem to need to do after a Quarterly Review.

By the way, it’s kind of astounding to have just written up 60 records as I did and have at least another 80 on my desktop that I could easily have slated. Might be two full weeks in December, or I might sneak in a week before then? I’m not really sure, but hell’s bells there’s a lot out there right now.

Alright. Gotta go.

Great and safe weekend, whatever you’re up to. Have fun, don’t forget to hydrate — so important — put your nose in your mask and all that. More Monday.

FRM.

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Review & Full LP Premiere: Sons of Alpha Centauri, Buried Memories

Posted in audiObelisk on October 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI Buried Memories Cover

[Click play above to stream Sons of Alpha Centauri’s Buried Memories in full. It’s out Friday and available to order here.]

UK progressive instrumentalists Sons of Alpha Centauri will release the new LP Buried Memories on Oct. 13 through H42 Records, and it’s an offering that immediately begs inspection. Is it an album or a collaboration? An EP, since the first side is three different versions of the same track? As the follow-up to the band’s 2018 outing, Continuum (review here) — which was essentially the band on their own, even if they did work with Aaron Turner (Sumac, ex-Isis) as producer/mixer and John McBain (ex-Monster Magnet) for mastering — it continues a string of joined-f0rces efforts that goes back to their 2009 outing with Karma to Burn side-project Treasure Cat, which included tracks by Alpha Cat with both bands working together. Along the way, in addition to their 2007 self-titled debut (discussed here) and Continuum some 11 years later, they’ve also worked with Gary Arce of Yawning Man as Yawning Sons for the 2009 album, Ceremony to the Sunset (review here), and had a trilogy of splits with Karma to Burn (2010, 2014, 2015) as well as splits with A Death Cinematic and Hotel Wrecking City Traders/WaterWays (review here) in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

All of this, as one might expect, has made them somewhat hard to track, as they’re in and out of different incarnations and collaborations, but I think the band probably wouldn’t have it another way, and Buried Memories shows some of where that impulse comes from. The six-track/47-minute 12″ dwells in its complication no less than it dwells in instrumentalists depth and purpose, and I should point out right away that while “Hitmen” is the first three songs, not one version is immediately recognizable from the others. And that’s doubly to Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s credit, because it shows how much they’re willing to let their material be malleable. You see, each half of Buried Memories is dedicated to an outside mix collaboration. For “Hitmen,” they bring in three different incarnations of Godflesh‘s Justin K. Broadrick, who takes the song on first under the guise of himself, then as Jesu and finally as JK Flesh, bringing a distinctly different feel to each edition of the same root work. It’s perhaps easier to do since the songs don’t have verses or choruses weighing them down to a strict structure, but it’s true that each one carves its own impression, and as they move from eight-and-a-half, nine- and nine-and-a-half-minute versions, Broadrick seems to pull the track further from its foundation and bring something of his own to it. It’s not just a simple process of mixing in the sense of finding the right volume for Marlon King‘s guitar or Blake‘s synth, Nick Hannon‘s bass and Stevie B.‘s drums, but of exploring what distance “Hitmen” can cover from its origin. As the Broadrick mix turns to the more melodic Jesu mix to the avant-electro JK Flesh mix, that distance turns out to be pretty vast.

The second-side collaborator is no less than James Plotkin, whose mastering and production work covers myriad outfits and whose work in Khanate alone — never mind his copious other projects — deserves an eternity of thank-you cards, who takes on three different songs, all under the guise of himself. So side A, one song mixed by three versions of the same person. Side AA, three songs mixed by one version of the same person.

Everyone got it?

Okay.

Sons of Alpha Centauri 2019

And much to Plotkin‘s credit, the three inclusions he takes on also push further and further out as they go. “Warhero” (9:33) is relatively straight ahead, but in comparison to Broadrick‘s “Hitmen” shows a focus on bringing out a sense of space in the work, while the shorter “Remembrance” (2:42) dips into minimalist drone guitar almost as a transition into closer “SS Montgomery,” which also takes on a more electronic vibe, in a kind of dark-industrial vein that still holds a heavy presence thanks to the prominence of the live drums, but nonetheless surrounds those with a chaos-swirl of synth and the guitar. “SS Montgomery” is the payoff for the whole release, pushing through clarity toward destructive noise wash in its quick apex and leaving behind residual noise on a long outward fade, and the fact that even given all the shifts of style and intent that Buried Memories holds, Sons of Alpha Centauri would be able to pull everything together at the end speaks to what makes them so underrated in the first place. They are very much a conceptual outfit but still not blind to the basic purpose of making an album, of making songs.

That underlying message comes through clearly across Buried Memories, and whether you consider it an album, an EP, a one-off, or something else, there’s never any doubt Sons of Alpha Centauri are ready and willing to push themselves to take their music to new places and to try and encompass different ideas and evoke various mindsets as they go. It’s not every band who would be willing to hand off their material like this, even to the likes of Plotkin and Broadrick, let alone put it out in such a way that allows the tracks to take on a life of their own within their overarching catalog. I won’t pretend to know what Sons of Alpha Centauri might do next or where they’ll go from here — though they were certainly busy enough in between, it’s notable that it was 11 years from their self-titled to Continuum — but the way their progressiveness extends not only to the sound of the band but to the very makeup and intent thereof continues to make them individually flexible in a universe that seems rigid by comparison. Whatever they might do, this openness and dexterity can only continue to bolster their work. Imagine asking Justin Broadrick for three mixes by different personae. Imagine telling James Plotkin, “Just go with it.” The beauty of Buried Memories is in its outward movement and the sense of freedom it portrays: art as a living thing, music as sculpting clay to be shaped and re-shaped. As regards the creative, there are few ideas more noble.

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Sons of Alpha Centauri Announce Buried Memories Collaborative LP with JK Broadrick & James Plotkin

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Sons of Alpha Centauri 2019

You have to give it to Sons of Alpha Centauri: they keep good company. These are gentlemen of refined taste. Their last album? Produced by Aaron Harris of Isis and mastered by John McBain, formerly of Monster Magnet. Before that, oh, they’d worked with the likes of Gary Arce and Karma to Burn, and so on, producing killer splits and collaborative offerings in the process. Now? They’ve got a kinda-EP/kinda-LP called Buried Memories coming that has four songs total — one is a revisit of a song from their first record — with mixes by Justin Broadrick, who does three different versions of “Hitmen” in various guises as Justin K. Broadrick, JK Flesh and Jesu, and James Plotkin, who’s only James Plotkin throughout but when you played in Khanate that’s enough as far as I’m concerned. Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s sense of sonic adventurousness continues to extend to a meta level, and if you’re not intrigued to hear this, you probably just haven’t paid enough attention. Snap to it.

It doesn’t actually say so below, but the press kit lists Oct. 13 as the release date through H42 Records, so let’s go with that. They’ve got a quick teaser posted as well, and you’ll find that at the bottom of the post, along with the stream of 2018’s Continuum (review here). Enjoy:

SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI Buried Memories Cover

H42 Records: SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI Announce New Album with JK BROADRICK and JAMES PLOTKIN!

Sons of Alpha Centauri are back to release Buried Memories, a collaborative post metal colossus and the second part of the journey that started with last album Continuum!

The new album Buried Memories has been mixed by industrial metal icon Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu…) and ambient gloom metal maestro James Plotkin (Khanate, Jodis etc.). Buried Memories contains two 10 minute slabs of eclectic ambient progressive rock and a series of interpretative remixes of the theme tracks by both Broadrick and Plotkin.

Justin Broadrick collaborates with the band on side A through the progressive riff saga of Hitmen which he has mixed and also provided two remixes in his guise as Jesu and another as the eponymous JK Flesh. These three staggering pieces of music elapse over 27 minutes of pure instrumental voyage in a way only Sons of Alpha Centauri and Justin Broadrick could deliver!

James Plotkin and SOAC collaborate through several tracks including Warhero a sprawling 10 minute odyssey and a masterful remix of SS Montgomery – the single from the bands classic instrumental landmark debut album.

After entering the Continuum (2018) the listener must now bury their memories. The darkness will envelope the listeners in this second part of their epic sprawling progressive dark rock saga.

The LP version of Buried Memories comes on a selection of 180 gram heavyweight colored vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with photo inlay and download code.

Tracklist
1. Hitmen [Justin K. Broadrick Mix]
2. Hitmen [Jesu Remix]
3. Hitmen [JK Flesh Remix]
4. Warhero [James Plotkin Mix]
5. Remembrance [James Plotkin Mix]
6. SS Montgomery [James Plotkin Remix]

https://www.facebook.com/sonsofalphacentauri
https://sonsofalphacentauri.bandcamp.com/
http://www.sonsofalphacentauri.co.uk/
https://www.h42records.com

Sons of Alpha Centauri, Buried Memories teaser

Sons of Alpha Centauri, Continuum (2018)

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Sons of Alpha Centauri Post “Solar Storm” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Sons of Alpha Centauri

So there’s this submarine. And it’s in a lake. And it’s huge. And the video starts out and there’s all this movement and driving and going through different scenes and where are we going I don’t know but it works really well with the riff so just roll with it and so on. Eventually, we get up to the lake. Maybe a pond? A relatively small-ish body of water. We get there and Sons of Alpha Centauri arrive and there’s no way they all came in the same car because there isn’t enough room for all their gear but whatever that’s not the point. All the while “Solar Storm” is playing and it’s got this crazy kind of tension to it and the band walk out to a spot by the water on what seems to be some pretty nice farmland.

It’s all in black and white until they start playing. And then like purple and orange lasers come out of their guitars and whatnot and start to hit the submarine like they’re rerouting power from the auxiliary systems to feed through the dilithium core — am I right? — and then the submarine shoots into space at what looks an awful lot like warp six. If I had to guess. And then the submarine careens through outer space like it’s the dude in 2001: A Space Odyssey for a while, it breaks through water and then the clip cuts back to the band, who pack up their gear — I still think it’s studio magic to think they fit two guitars, a bass, a full drum kit and themselves in that car, but maybe they’re Tetris pros — and split. The end.

Video of the year? Maybe.

“Solar Storm” comes from Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s new album, Continuum (review here), on H42 Records and Cobraside Distribution and it’s produced by Aaron Harris, who was in Isis when they were a band. Sons of Alpha Centauri recently shared stages with Yawning Man in the UK and have other stuff going on, but quite frankly I’ve delayed enough. You should just dig in here and enjoy:

Sons of Alpha Centauri, “Solar Storm” official video

The journey into instrumental progressive rockers SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI’s new album “Continuum” progresses, as the video for “Solar Storm” lands today on all channels.
“Solar Storm is the cumulative blend of fast, slow, heavy, progressive styles of SOAC all encapsulated within a five minute adrenaline shot. Working with Simon Risbridger on this video was awesome as he completely understands our visual aesthetic and secluded introspective approach. We wanted the video to represent the different segments and styles within the track as part of the journey – it has been highly stylised with multiple references and subliminal messages. Embark the journey and embrace the storm!’ states SOAC bassist Nick Hannon.

The video starts a black and white fine art epic shot in and around the spiritual home of SOAC, Swale and the Isle of Sheppey and the story progresses into a cinematic visual feast of intergalactic travel through space and time. The introspective journey of ‘Solar Storm’ has been directed by long term collaborator Simon Risbridger who worked with Sons of Alpha Centauri on visuals including live performances with A Storm of Light.

SOAC IS
Marlon King – Guitars
Nick Hannon – Bass
Stevie B. – Drums
Blake – Textures

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Sons of Alpha Centauri, Continuum

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Sons of Alpha Centauri Continuum

[Click play above to stream Continuum by Sons of Alpha Centauri in full. Album is out June 1 via H42 Records and Cobraside Distribution.]

Much as one hesitates to use the word ‘unique’ generally, I can’t think of anything quite so fitting to describe the path that’s led UK instrumental four-piece Sons of Alpha Centauri to Continuum, their second album. Released through Cobraside Distribution in the US and Canada and H42 Records in the rest of the world, the eight-track/39-minute sophomore offering — the sophmoffering? — arrives some 11 years after Sons of Alpha Centauri made their self-titled debut (discussed here) and follows a period of multiple collaborations with US-based acts Karma to Burn and Yawning Man — I still regard Yawning Sons‘ 2009 album, Ceremony to the Sunset (review here), as one of the finest atmospheric desert rock albums ever made — as well as splits with A Death Cinematic and Hotel Wrecking City Traders/WaterWays (review here). They also played Desertfest London in 2013 (review here) and have regularly played out, so as I’ve said before, it’s not like the four-piece have been sitting on their ass for the last decade plus.

They just haven’t been putting out Continuum, which is something that guitarist Marlon King, bassist Nick Hannon, drummer Stevie B. and keyboardist/synthesist Blake — actually credited with “textures” — at last correct, bringing together a slow motion whirlwind of patient and progressive instrumentalist execution under the direction of producer/mixer Aaron Harris, formerly of Isis. In returning to work in the context of a full-length, Sons of Alpha Centauri don’t see unaffected by how they spent their intervening years, and one can hear the reach of Gary Arce‘s desert-setting guitar tone from King on “Interstellar” and the A-to-B straightforward heavy rock of Karma to Burn on “Solar Storm” and intermittently early on in 11-minute closer “Return Voyage.” The missing link, then, would seem to be Isis, but with Blake‘s textures on keys, synth, loops and presumably somewhere in there a laptop permeating so much of the record and giving King time to breathe on guitar, there’s plenty of post-metal vibe as well.

Sons of Alpha Centauri, then, would seem to draw from the environments in which they place themselves, and that’s kind of the ideal purpose of collaboration in the first place. More importantly, they sound comfortable shifting the balance from one side to the other and the other, which gives Continuum an all the more multifaceted style. At the same time, there’s a marked sense of momentum that takes hold as intro/opener “Into the Abyss” patiently takes hold, part Vangelis, part Isis, leading directly into the starting drum roll of the subsequent “Jupiter,” which in turn will give over to the more straightforward “Solar Storm.” Even here, the fuzzy, careening central “verse” riff is backed by a consistent layer of synth — not quite a drone, but an ever-present ambient melody — that fills out the sound and adds to the proceedings what the band are ultimately right to call texture.

Sons of Alpha Centauri

There are many ways an instrumental band compensates for a lack of vocals. Lead guitar is one. Not compensating at all has arguably worked for Karma to Burn since, well, since they nixed the idea of a vocalist after their first record. Some others fill out arrangements with varying instrumentation. Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s approach, I suppose, is most like the latter, but the four-piece are more subtle about it than many. Blake‘s work on Continuum might be the factor that ties the tracks’ varying moods together, from the side A intro “Into the Abyss” to the side B intro “Surfacing for Air” and all along as each half of the record that unfurls from there, he enhances the ambience of “Interstellar” and brings progressive flair to “Jupiter” and “Solar Storm” at the record’s heavier post-intro outset. Though even this portion of the record is fairy dynamic, as King leads the way through loud/quiet tradeoffs in “Jupiter” that seem to mirror what will unfold on a grander scale with “Return Voyage” at the end of the record. They’re not quite going back the way they came, but one can read some symmetry there anyhow.

And it’s worth noting that the balance of Continuum, which takes its audience on this journey to Jupiter that the band seems to be making, is on the outward. “Return Voyage,” as the final statement they offer, certainly has its impact and fittingly provides a musical summary to coincide with being the final chapter of the narrative, but with one song about getting back to earth and seven about leaving or having left — the penultimate 2:47 piano piece “Orbiting Jupiter” is about having arrived — there’s little question as to which direction is the band’s priority when it comes to evoking a sense of story. Sons of Alpha Centauri are about the going and having gone. And the results of that, while grounded in their structure and presentation thanks to the foundation of Hannon‘s bass and Stevie‘s drumming, are more directed than your standard everything-hang-loose psychedelia, space is obviously still a factor sonically as well as thematically. The final build in “Return Voyage” as it crosses its midpoint might be the most Isis-reminiscent moment on Continuum, but like the rest of their discernible influences, this too is recontextualized in a sound that is the band’s own.

As, frankly, one would hope for a record having been a decade-plus in the making. I won’t say Sons of Alpha Centauri wasted their years, because they’ve clearly been able to enrich their own style by collaborating with those outside the confines of their own lineup. Rather, the fact that Continuum is their second full-length is somewhat deceptive given all the experience and sense of purpose they’ve been able to garner since their debut, which even then had a fervent progressive streak at its foundation. What Continuum represents, though, is significant growth on multiple fronts for the band, and an awaited moment of declaration of who they are and who they can be in aesthetic and performance terms. Will it be another decade before album number three? I don’t know, but if it is, it will still be worth keeping track of how and with whom Sons of Alpha Centauri choose to spend that time, since invariably they’ll continue to learn lessons that will feed into their own work later. That process has unquestionably worked to their advantage here.

Sons of Alpha Centauri, Continuum teaser

Sons of Alpha Centauri on Thee Facebooks

Sons of Alpha Centauri on Twitter

Sons of Alpha Centauri on Bandcamp

Sons of Alpha Centauri website

H42 Records website

Cobraside Distribution website

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Sons of Alpha Centauri to Release Continuum June 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Sons of Alpha Centauri

Space is the apparent theme of Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s sophomore long-player. Continuum is set to release on June 1 through H42 Records and Cobraside, and it follows 11 years after the band made their self-titled debut (discussed here). What have they been doing in all that time? Mostly releasing splits and collaborations. They took part in Yawning Sons with Yawning Man and Alpha Cat with Karma to Burn offshoot Treasure Cat, put out no fewer than three splits with Karma to Burn proper, as well as a split with WaterWays and Hotel Wrecking City Traders and a split with A Death Cinematic.

So they’ve been keeping plenty busy, in other words, just not putting out an album. Well, the eight-track/39 minute Continuum changes that with graceful progressive flourish and more weighted stretches to match its breadth of atmosphere in cuts like “Solar Storm” and “Interstellar.” A science-driven post-rock pulses through “Io” while the penultimate “Orbiting Jupiter” offers reflective piano ahead of the 11-minute closer “Return Voyage.”

Not saying I’ve heard it yet or anything, but it’s an album that covers a lot of ground and well earns its voyaging aspects. Here’s info from the PR wire:

Sons of Alpha Centauri Continuum

Sons of Alpha Centauri announce details from upcoming album “Continuum”

Over a decade since the release of their debut album, UK’s stoner/progressive metallers Sons of Alpha Centauri return for their sophomore album – an epic introspective journey of abrasive and ambient progressive electronic alt rock entitled Continuum.

Over a decade in development, Continuum is driven with a raw infusion of power that only Aaron Harris from ISIS and Palms (which features members from Deftones) could deliver from the producing and mixing helm. Harris has driven his unique and deep understanding of the genre to channel the album to compare against contemporaries such as the debut Palms album and the ISIS masterpiece Panopticon.

This raw and cathartic performance further reinforces that this is Sons of Alpha Centauri at their heaviest with Continuum wrought with dark anthems, intense textures, introspective interludes and tidal waves of immersive distortion.

Having just recently released a boxset of their collaborations with Karma to Burn and their partnership with Yawning Man known as Yawning Sons being widely regarded as a cult act the return of Sons of Alpha Centauri is something to really watch in 2018.

Continuum sees a development of the heavier blended concepts expressed on the debut album and Sons of Alpha Centauri re-emerge with Aaron Harris as the instrumental electronic alt rock titans!

New Sons of Alpha Centauri album Continuum will be released on 1 June 2018. H42 Records – Worldwide and on Cobraside Records – United States & Canada

Aaron Harris from post metal band ISIS and Palms (featuring members of Deftones) has engineered and produced the Continuum.

https://www.facebook.com/sonsofalphacentauri
https://twitter.com/SoAlphaCentauri
https://sonsofalphacentauri.bandcamp.com/
http://www.sonsofalphacentauri.co.uk/
https://www.h42records.com
http://cobraside.com/

Sons of Alpha Centauri, Continuum teaser

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Greenleaf & Fatso Jetson Announce European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 10th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Good show. I can’t think of any other way to say it. Pitting Swedish heavy rockers Greenleaf — who premiered their new video here earlier this week — and desert legends Fatso Jetson against each other for a European stint? Yeah, that’s a good show. Greenleaf of course are out supporting 2016’s excellent Rise Above the Meadow (review here), while Fatso Jetson‘s latest outing was a 2015 split with Farflung (review here) on Heavy Psych Sounds.

Both groups were previously announced for the Up in Smoke 2016 and Keep it Low 2016 festivals — both of which are put together by Sound of Liberation — so that they’d head in similar directions makes sense, but still, for anyone who happens to be in their path on a given night, this is an awesome two-band bill that one imagines will be joined nightly by choice locals wherever it goes. Run starts Sept. 23 and ends at Keep it Low on Oct. 22. Badass.

Greenleaf also have other select live dates coming up in the next couple months. You’ll find those listed with the shows for this tour below, as culled from the social medias:

greenleaf

fatso jetson

Sound of Liberation UG presents
Greenleaf – Rise Above The Meadow Tour 2016
(*/support by FATSO JETSON)
25.06. Finowfurt / Roadrunner’s Paradise & Race 61 Fest (Ger)
22.07. Trömso / Bukta Festival (Nor)
29.07. Aschaffenburg / Mühlbergfest (Ger)
30.07. Breitenbach / Burg Herzberg (Ger)
05.08. Beelen / Krach am Bach (Ger)
12.08. Turku / Kiarama (Fin)
14.08. Geel / Yellowstock (Bel)
21.09. Kiel / Schaubude (Ger)
22.09. Kassel / Schlachthof (Ger)
23.09. Aschaffenburg / Colosaal (Ger)*
24.09. Regensburg / Alte Mälzerei (Ger)*
26.09. Berlin / Cassiopeia (Ger)*
27.09. Copenhagen / Loppen (Den)*
28.09. Hamburg / Headcrash (Ger)*
29.09. Hannover / Chez Heinz (Ger)*
30.09. Jena / KUBA (Ger)*
01.10. Pratteln / Up in Smoke(Ch)*
02.10. Lausanne / Le Romandie (Ch)*
04.10. Paris/ Le Backstage (Fra)*
05.10. Bordeaux / Void (Fra)*
06.10. Nantes / Ferrailleur (Fra)*
07.10. Utrecht / DBs (NL)*
08.10. Vorselaar / Jeugdhuis (Bel)*
10.10. Leipzig / Werk 2 (Ger)*
11.10. Dresden / Scheune (Ger)*
12.10. Poznan / Bazyla (Pol)*
13.10. Katowicze / Kobra (Pol)*
14.10. Gdansk / Ucho (Pol)*
15.10. Vilinius / Kablys (Lt)*
16.10. Warsaw / Hydrozagadka (Pol)*
18.10. Zagreb / Klub Attack (Cro)*
19.10. Trieste / Tetris (Ita)*
20.10. Salzburg / Rockhouse (Aut)*
21.10. Vienna / Fuzzfest (Aut)*
22.10. Munich / Keep it Low (Ger)*

https://www.facebook.com/greenleafrocks/
https://www.facebook.com/fatsojetson/
https://www.soundofliberation.com/
napalmrecords.com

Greenleaf, “Tyrant’s Tongue” official video

Fatso Jetson, “Too Many Skulls” live 2016

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Friday Full-Length: Yawning Man, The Birth of Sol: The Demo Tapes

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 2nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Yawning Man, The Birth of Sol (2009)

Still kind of surprising that a physical pressing of Yawning Man‘s demo collection, The Birth of Sol, has never surfaced. There was talk for a while of doing one, but it never manifest, and the persistently-underrated, due-for-their-due desert rock progenitors oversaw a digital version in 2009 through Cobraside that remains as close as The Birth of Sol has come to-date. Granted, the material is pretty rough. Recorded over the course of 1986-’87 — or somewhere around there, anyhow — it’s basically pre-digital rehearsal-space recordings. You can hear the warped tape as you listen through the near-90-minute span of 24 tracks (as well as a couple CD skips, oddly), which span avant jazz weirdness to a brand of bouncing punk that’s indistinguishable from that would shortly become Fatso Jetson, all the more for Mario Lalli‘s even-then-recognizable voice and quick-turning rhythmic progressions. It would be nearly two decades before Yawning Man put their first album out — that was Rock Formations, in 2005 — but like Across the River‘s even-earlier 1985 Demo Tape (discussed here), The Birth of Sol is an integral document of what was coalescing in the California desert at the time.

I’ll gladly argue that Yawning Man‘s most pivotal days, sound-wise, were still ahead of them when they tracked the material on The Birth of Sol, but even if you listen through these songs, you can hear that desert rock, as it was, was already something different from punk, from the heavy metal of its day, and even from the post-hardcore slowdowns that, soon enough, would become grunge. Even in their rawest form, Yawning Man stood apart from that, and that makes a release like The Birth of Sol all the more special.

The band’s last full-length was 2010’s Nomadic Pursuits (review here), and while the years since have seen a flurry of activity from founding guitarist and principle figure Gary Arce (2012 interview here) both in Yawning Man — who did a split with Fatso Jetson in 2013 — and outside of it, in collaboration with Hotel Wrecking City TradersYawning SonsWaterWays or Zun, whose debut stands among my most anticipated releases for 2016, word of Yawning Man proper’s next full-length has yet to materialize outside of some long-teased Raymond Pettibon art, the title Gravity is Good for You, and the occasional snippet or rough mix. Come to think of it, that’s plenty of word. I guess what I’m looking for is a release date.

When/if I happen upon one or one happens upon me, I’ll let you know, but until then, enjoy The Birth of Sol and take it for what it is. There’s plenty to get lost in, and from where I sit, it’s still worth hoping it gets pressed up one way or another one of these days.

As I write this, it’s actually Thursday night, a little bit before 11:30PM. I’m taking a half-day from work tomorrow (today by the time this gets posted) and figured I’d sleep better if I didn’t have this hanging over my head. Plus I miss writing at night, headphones in, the little dog Dio and The Patient Mrs., the latter of whom has been suffering from a cold for most of the week, both conked out. It’s already a seven-post day — rare, even rarer for the end of a week — but the holdover from yesterday was the Eight Bells news, and I thought it seemed tacky to post something about Portland when they obviously had bigger things going on in Oregon, what with the mass shooting and all.

And as to that, it seems pretty clear to me that we as a people, Americans, don’t give a fuck about it. We’re willing to sacrifice bunches of people for the illusion of what we’re told is a freedom. Trust cops. Buy more. Eat what they feed you. I don’t care anymore either. Not when there’s so much on Netflix to see! Until somebody picks up a molotov cocktail and starts a revolution — violent uprising is not the only way of producing substantive cultural change, but you can’t argue with a decent track record — nothing will change. Because we don’t want it to. Pumpkin spice! Selfies! Internet snark! Mass murder. Hallmarks of our season and our age.

What was I doing? Oh yeah, putting the blinders back on.

Headed to CT this weekend because I hear there’s a hurricane coming and fuck it, that’s how I wanna go out. Bedroom Rehab Corporation play the release show for their new one on Saturday in New London and it’s a killer lineup, so I’ll be at that, and look for a review on Monday. Also next week, reviews of Clutch and Graveyard. Both are late, but seriously, I reviewed 50 fucking records this week — more if you count streams, which at this point I do — so if that’s not enough for you I don’t know what to say. If I have time, I might do Monster Magnet or Snail as well, but we’ll see if I get there. Both are on the docket though either way. Also got an Admiral Browning tape that I’d very much enjoy writing up. Might save that for next Friday and treat myself a bit. And the interview with Lori S. from Acid King. That will be up somewhere in there as well. Busy week all of a sudden.

There are a lot of shows coming up I wish I could see. I will not get to all of them, but I will do my best. It bums me out deeply and sincerely to report that I’ll be unable to make the trip to Munich for Keep it Low. Car trouble for both The Patient Mrs. and I has severely sapped funds that would’ve otherwise gone toward a plane ticket, and my student loans are apparently in default if the increasingly disturbing emails I get from Navient: Or Whatever the Fuck They’re Called this Week can be remotely trusted. Whatever. Amnesty now for immigrants and students. Too big to fail is too big to exist. Let them dock my pay if they want my money so fucking bad.

Got myself all jazzed up tonight. So much for sleeping.

Have a great and safe weekend. Please. Consider it a favor to me. And while you’re doing me favors, please check out the forum and radio stream.

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