Glanville and Galactic Superlords Announce Oct. Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

glanville

galactic superlords

Classic hard rock? Heavy heavy metal? Wherever you might think Glanville and Galactic Superlords respectively reside on the genre spectrum, I think it’s safe to assume the shows are going to be a good time. The Germany/UK and just-Germany-based five-pieces — that’s one crowded-ass van, if they’re sharing — head out together beginning Oct. 2 in Darmstadt and will seven shows throughout Germany, hitting Galactic Superlords‘ native Köln along the way.

Galactic Superlords go supporting their 2018 self-titled debut full-length, and Glanville head out on the heels of their debut EP, First Blood (review here), and the pairing couldn’t be more appropriate, since in addition to whatever sonic elements they might have in common, Glanville frontman René Hofmann (also of Wight) recorded the Galactic Superlords album. It’s nice to have friends, or so I hear.

To the PR wire:

glanville galactic superlords tour

GLANVILLE AND GALACTIC SUPERLORDS TEAM UP FOR TOUR THIS FALL!

A bit of Thin Lizzy, a bit of Iron Maiden, with hints of Dio. GLANVILLE sounds like Rob Halford wearing Dennis Hopper’s leather jacket in Easy Rider. An introduction of exciting things to come: After the critically acclaimed debut EP ‘First Blood’ released in May 2018, GLANVILLE have teamed up with the GALACTIC SUPERLORDS for a tour this Fall!

René Hofmann and Philipp Michel started playing music together as teenagers but at such a young age nobody knows what will happen the next day, much less in the far future. 13 years later Hofmann is a music producer in Darmstadt and Michel is an active touring guitar player and songwriter, still based in the Hessian hinterland. After all these years the two decide to start a new project together, a classic duo like Page and Plant. The search for the rest of the band GLANVILLE took more than a year, but finally a line-up of experienced musicians was completed: Peter-Philipp Schierhorn on bass, Thomas Hoffmann on drums, and Chris West on second guitar. After a quick and dirty pre-production the band met at a studio in Darmstadt, with most members never having played together and some even meeting each other for the first time. Everyone’s prepared and focused. Two days of rehearsals, two days of recording. Live, real and with passion for the music.
Catch GLANVILLE live and real on the following dates this Fall, with GALACTIC SUPERLORDS on the bill:

02.10.18 DE – Darmstadt – HoffART Theater
03.10.18 DE – Berlin – Toast Hawaii
04.10.18 DE – Hamburg – Bar227
05.10.18 DE – Leipzig – Black Label
06.10.18 DE – Pratteln – Up In Smoke
12.10.18 DE – Köln – Museum
13.10.18 DE – Heidelberg – Beatfabrik

“When meeting Superlords drummer Carsten for the first time, sharing a cigarette at Desertfest Berlin, I immediately noticed that both of us are slightly crazy in a very similar way. And of course we found out that our respective bands also had something in common – fucking heavy metal! Over the years, we have grown to be good friends, and both our bands have become great teams, but still, nobody has ever heard of either one. So we decided to organize a DIY tour under the name “Your New Favourite Metal Bands You’ve Never Heard Of.” We are really looking forward to deliver some serious heavy metal together, real rock music on real stages, without playbacks, modelling amps or macbooks.” – René Hofmann, vocalist of Glanville

Glanville is:
René Hofmann (vocals)
Philipp Michel (lead guitar)
Peter-Philipp Schierhorn (bass)
Thomas Hoffmann (drums)
Chris West (rhythm guitar)

Galactic Superlords is:
Vocals: Katharina Heldt
Vocals/Guitars: Dennis Sennekamp
Guitars: Alex Miller
Bass: Christian Lantin
Drums: Carsten Krohn

https://www.facebook.com/SirGlanville/
https://glanville.bandcamp.com/
http://www.glanvilleofficial.com
https://fatandholy.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/galacticsuperlords/
https://galacticsuperlords.bandcamp.com/
http://superlords.com/
http://www.rockfreaks.de/

Glanville, First Blood EP (2018)

Galactic Superlords, Galactic Superlords (2018)

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Glanville Post “Dancing on Fire” Live Clip from EP Release Show

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

glanville (Photo by Jo Henker)

On April 14, Glanville played the release show for their debut EP, First Blood, in Darmstadt, Germany, from whence frontman René Hofmann hails. Hofmann is of course best known for his guitarist/vocalist role in the ever-evolving Wight, and that band’s bassist, Peter-Philipp Schierhorn, also features in the new group, along with lead guitarist Philipp Michel (The Earwix) and rhythm guitarist Chris West (Named by the Sun, ex-Stubb) and drummer Thomas Hoffman (ex-Bushfire), comprising an experienced lineup with a definite mission in mind to bask in the glories of the metal of yore. As the title line is delivered in the live clip below for “Dancing on Fire,” if your mind doesn’t readily link to “Living After Midnight,” well, it should.

First Blood, which is out via Fat & Holy Records, brings that mission to life in ready fashion, but still carries an unmistakable current of heavy rock as well. It can be heard in the riffs of the prior video clip for “God is Dead” as well as in “Dancing on Fire” as the band seems to find a balance drawing from ’70s groove and ’80s NWOBHM-style soloing, not entirely dissimilar in the basic math from Chicago’s Bible of the Devil — yes, that’s a compliment — though Hofmann‘s soaring vocals are a distinguishing factor. As Wight moved from heavy psychedelia toward funkier jams, his voice showed likewise progression in confidence and range, and in Glanville he seems to take another step forward as a standalone guitar-less frontman.

And for being a new group if one comprised of veteran players, the band shows itself as being remarkably tight behind him. The dual-leads and gallop in the bridge parts are noteworthy, but even in the shifts from verses to the chorus, there’s a smoothness that, along with the tonality, is perhaps the element most drawn from heavy rock. There isn’t a rough transition. Even live, “Dancing on Fire” is aware of its flow and how crucial it is to maintain it. The vibe is right on, and as much as the grainy visual aesthetic of the “God is Dead” clip — which you can see at the bottom of this post, because one likes to be thorough — tells the story, I think the live show maybe even one-ups it in giving a representation of what Glanville are all about.

Check it out below, followed by more info about the EP and the five-piece’s sundry vices, and enjoy:

Glanville, “Dancing on Fire” live in Darmstadt

Glanville performing “Dancing On Fire” live at Oetinger Villa Darmstadt April 14th 2018.

Glanville was formed by childhood friends Philipp Michel (Jack Daniels) and René Hofmann (Marijuana) who wrote 5 great heavy metal songs and decided they needed to be played by a real band. Hofmann, who previously played guitar, had this to say about the experience:

“As an unsuccessful guitarist screaming and complaining all the time about my playing, I found out that my my tongue works better than my fingers so I became a singer. Finding the right musicians for the band was hard. It took over a year… like diggin’ in the bargain bin and only finding the leftover bruised apples“.

The lineup is completed by bass player Peter-Philipp Schierhorn (Cocaine), rhythm guitar player Chris West (Cheeseburgers) and Thomas Hoffmann (Heroin) on drums. Bass player extraordinaire Schierhorn describes joining the fast-paced band:

“Having grown up on a strict diet of Judas Priest, I just had to hop on board. But now my right hand constantly hurts.”

Get their EP “First Blood” digital:
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2rPHrCM
iTunes – https://apple.co/2rOFoiX
Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2KzUYGn
Apple Music – https://apple.co/2rOFoiX

CD and LP: https://fatandholy.bigcartel.com

Audio recorded by Matze Wörnle.
Mixed and mastered by René Hofmann.
Camera by Gabriel Sahm, Johanna Amberg, Jonas Eichhorn.
Edited by Johanna Amberg.
Color Grading by Gabriel Sahm.

Glanville is:
René Hofmann (vocals)
Philipp Michel (lead guitar)
Peter-Philipp Schierhorn (bass)
Thomas Hoffmann (drums)
Chris West (rhythm guitar)

Glanville, “God is Dead” official video

Glanville on Thee Facebooks

Glanville website

Fat & Holy Records webstore

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Wight to Release Fusion Rock Invasion: Live Over Europe Tomorrow

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Well, if I hadn’t already put Wight on my favorite covers list for their earlier-2017 single Atlas (review here), for sure they’d earn a spot with the piece by Ingo Kimalkin Lohse that adorns their new live album, Fusion Rock Invasion: Live Over Europe. The LP/DVD offering is out tomorrow, Dec. 15, and available through Bilocation Records, but there won’t be a digital edition at all, so if you want it, you gotta get the vinyl. Blamo. Decisive.

Seems a worthy endeavor, though — certainly owning that art would be no big sacrifice — since the pro-recorded outing captures Wight as they were out in Europe in 2015 heralding the funk-infused progression they’d undertaken with their then-not-yet-released third album, Love is Not Only What You Know (review here), which would surface the next year. The chance to hear Wight, only recently become a four-piece, exploring those textures on stage in front of audiences for what might’ve been the first time? Sounds pretty badass. I’d put that record on.

Info from the band and the label’s preorder page, also linked below:

wight fusion rock invasion

Sadly too late after our tour, but finally finished and a perfect christmas gift: The first Wight Live Album „Fusion Rock Invasion – Live Over Europe“.

YES there will be a live DVD together with the LP.

NO there will be no digital version available for this release! This is going to be a collectors item only. Pre-order your copy here: http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?a=58461

300 copies on white/blue/green marbled vinyl. High quality vinyl pressed by Pallas Group in Germany. Package includes LIVE DVD (FSK 0)!

In August 2015, Wight set out for another tour to present new material to European audiences. Albeit not released until almost exactly a year later, the album “Love Is Not Only What You Know” had already been recorded at this point, and Steffen Kirchpfening on percussion and keys had established himself as a permanent addition to the former power trio. Nevertheless, Wight were still treading new ground at this point, emancipating themselves from their blues and stoner rock roots while not completely discarding them.

Enriching their psychedelic sound with new found funk, jazz, prog and world music influences, the band aptly named their tour “Fusion Rock Invasion.” Carrying a full recording rig across Germany, the Netherlands, England and Switzerland in a small touring van, tour sound engineer Josko Joketovic and Wight mastermind Rene Hofmann pushed themselves to the limit to professionally record every show. The result now sees the light more than two years later in the form of the “Fusion Rock Invasion – Live Over Europe” LP.

The live album shows the band during a truly transitional period, presenting at the time unreleased tracks from “Love Is Not Only What You Know” in a four piece constellation for the first time. “Fusion Rock Invasion – Live Over Europe” includes five grooving, moving and hard rocking tracks, recorded in an intimate atmosphere in small, hot and sweaty clubs in Cologne, Munich, London, Hamburg and Tilburg.

The LP is available as a limited bundle with a bonus DVD, containing five live videos recorded during the tour as well as around the release of “Love Is Not Only What You Know.”

VINYL TRACKLIST

1. Helicopter Mama
2. The Muse & The Mule
3. Kelele
4. Master Of Nuggets
5. The Love For Life Leads To Reincarnation

DVD TRACKLIST (42 mins total):

1. The Muse & The Mule (8:48)
2. Kelele (8:56)
3. The Love For Life Leads To Reincarnation (11:02)
4. Cosmic Rhythm #2 (3:34)
5. Master Of Nuggets (9:20)

https://www.facebook.com/wightism
https://twitter.com/wightism
https://instagram.com/wightism/
https://wight.bandcamp.com/
http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?a=58461

Wight, “Atlas” official video

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Wight Announce Tour Dates in Germany and Switzerland Supporting Love is Not Only What You Know

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 7th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

wight-photo-by-christian-heyse

German heavy psych rockers Wight released their funk-fortified third album (I kind of wish it was their fourth, just so I could continue the alliteration), Love is Not Only What You Know (review here), in September on Fat and Holy RecordsKozmik Artifactz, etc. Like everything they’ve done to-date, it represented a significant turn in sound from where they’d been previously, taking some of the psychedelic elements of 2012’s sophomore outing, Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here), to upbeat places that many even in the jammiest spheres wouldn’t dare to go. Adding a fourth member in percussionist/vocalist Steffen KirchpfeningWight signaled clearly they were embarking on a new era, and if you heard the record — if you haven’t, stream it below — you know the results were righteous.

Now they’ll take the show on the road in Germany and Switzerland. Joined by Kes from Istanbul, Wight head into 2017 in grand style on a run presented by Sound of Liberation that starts on Dec. 27 and goes until Jan. 7. They seem to have given the tour the name “The Green Baron and the Flying Fist of Bosphorus,” so, you know, that’s something. I have no idea what it means, but it sounds like a good time, and that could very well be the point.

Dates follow as announced by the band via the social medias:

wight-tour

We are happy to announce the upcoming Germany/Switzerland tour between the years with KES from Istanbul as support. You might have never heard of them but now it’s time. We are also working on new songs to present you at one of the following dates:

Wight & Kes, The Green Baron and the Flying Fist of Bosphorous tour:
27.12 MICHELSTADT – Unterholz
28.12 MÜNCHEN – Feierwerk
29.12 WÜRZBURG – Immerhin
30.12 OLTEN – Coq D’or
31.12 DARMSTADT – Goldene Krone
03.01 HAMBURG – Bar227
04.01 KIEL – Schaubude
05.01 DRESDEN – Sabotage
06.01 BERLIN – Zukunft am Ostkreuz
07.01 TBA please get in contact with us for booking!

Poster by Maarten Donders and René Hofmann

Wight is:
René Hofmann – Guitar, Vocals, Synthesizer
Peter-Philipp Schierhorn – Bass, Additional Vocals
Thomas Kurek – Drums, Additional Vocals
Steffen Kirchpfening – Percussion, Additional Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/wightism
https://twitter.com/wightism
https://instagram.com/wightism/
https://wight.bandcamp.com/

Wight, Love is Not Only What You Know (2016)

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Wight, Love is Not Only What You Know: Hot on the One

Posted in Reviews on September 7th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

wight love is not only what you know

Each of Wight‘s albums has represented a significant jump in sound from the one before it. At this point, they have a decent track record going of shifting sonically from release to release. Their first outing, Wight Weedy Wight (review here), lived up to its name in 2011 with fuzzy groove and stonerized riffing. The 2012 follow-up, Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here), found the Darmstadt trio working quickly on a path of progression, greatly expanding their scope and psychedelic undertones with a natural, jammy vibe.

Their awaited third full-length, Love is Not Only What You Know (on Fat and Holy Records, Kozmik Artifactz, Import Export Music and SPV), may have been much slower in arriving, but brings with it no less a sense of departure from its predecessor(s).

First of all, it marks the introduction of percussionist Steffen Kirchpfening to the lineup with guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist/producer René Hofmann, bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn and drummer Thomas Kurek, making it Wight‘s first record as a four-piece, but it also brazenly incorporates elements of classic funk and soul in songs like opener “Helicopter Mama,” “The Muse and the Mule,” “Kelele” and the 11-minute closer “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” that are at once the band’s most clearheaded work to-date but also their most outwardly grooving.

No doubt the inclusion of Kirchpfening plays a role in this — percussion certainly gets its say throughout, right from the bouncing start of “Helicopter Mama,” which was also released as a 7″ single (review here) last year — but as each Wight full-length has moved past the one before it, it has also brought choice elements along for that trip. Through the Woods into Deep Water held to the tonal largesse and fluid spirit of Wight Weedy Wight, and similarly, the seven tracks/46 minutes of Love is Not Only What You Know carry forward the second album’s graceful flow, memorable songwriting, and for the most part, its looser feel and swing.

It’s the context in which those elements arrive that has shifted. Conveniently, the liner notes to the CD version list the band’s influences for each track, and they range from James Brown and Stevie Wonder on “Helicopter Mama,” to broken hearts, David Gilmour and Jack Bruce on “The Muse and the Mule,” to traveling, cultures and chaos on the Eastern-inflected interlude “Three Quarters.” Through the longer stretches in “The Muse and the Mule” (10:10) and “Kelele” (9:29) which follows to round out side A, Hofmann seems to play the role of bandleader.

“Helicopter Mama” was more straightforward, and it gets a complement on side B’s “I Wanna Know What You Feel,” but particularly in the more fleshed out pieces — it goes for “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” (11:47) as well — Hofmann shines vocally, on guitar played through a range of effects, and in adding keyboard flourish. That’s not to say the rest of the band doesn’t make pivotal contributions as well. As with Through the Woods into Deep Water, it’s Schierhorn‘s bass keeping the material grounded, and “The Muse and the Mule” would simply fall flat without him.

Ditto that for “Kelele” and really the record as a whole, including the more subdued penultimate cut “Biophilia Intermezzo,” shorter at three minutes than everything but “Three Quarters,” which is two, but still soulful enough to make an impression. After a dreamier departure in the second half of “The Muse and the Mule,” “Kelele” starts with funky thrust and delivers its hook sans pretense, Kurek holding down the march while Kirchpfening fills the spaces between beats with shekere and djembe.

wight-700

Just past four minutes in, the song comes to a halt and they launch into a guitar-led heavy psych jam, Hofmann taking an extended solo as the band pushes further and further out, eventually bringing back to the initial progression and the repetitions of the title that seem to beg for a sing-along without actually begging for it, bookending the track excellently and underscoring the sense of control with which Wight execute their material at this stage.

Their stylistic fusion extends even more on “Three Quarters,” which plays up Mideastern drones and chanting for a quick but hypnotic psychedelic centerpiece effect to transition into side B, which comes back to classic funk-infused rock on “I Wanna Know What You Feel,” reminiscent of Humble Pie or early John Mayall if they decided to incorporate sitar accent.

Both “I Wanna Know What You Feel” and “Biophilia Intermezzo” are shorter than anything on side A, including “Helicopter Mama,” but the groove of one and the key-laced soul explosiveness of the other make them standouts nonetheless and though the sound varies widely throughout side B, basically from one song into the next, by the time “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” comes on to close out with a return to the funkier, jammy feel of “The Muse and the Mule,” it all makes an odd kind of sense within the sphere in which Wight seem to be operating.

With Hofmann doing a more than capable Chris Cornell on vocals, the finale opens patiently with a key-solo jam before unfolding its first verse and moving into its chorus, and the difference turns out to be that when the band launches into the last jam this time, there’s no coming back, unlike, say, “Kelele.”

Keys, claves, temple blocks, drums, bass, guitar — all of it creates a fitting swirl to end the expansive feel of the record as a whole, but it’s important to note that the more pervasive vibe comes from the live feel of the song itself, and that’s also a consistent thread tying Love is Not Only What You Know together even as it continues to introduce new ways of working in its final moments. It is unquestionably Wight‘s most vibrant release, and to listen to it and Wight Weedy Wight next to each other, one would hardly even recognize it’s the same band. Because it’s not.

I said their last time out that I wouldn’t want to predict where they head next, and while they seem to have found a niche for themselves otherwise largely unoccupied in European heavy rock, the same applies here. Wight have shown time and again that their commitment is to following their creative will rather than a predetermined “sound,” and on their third album, that will has produced an accomplished collection of intricate but vital songs that redefine the band’s scope entirely.

What that might mean for the future, who knows? Who cares? It’s a party. Groove out and rock on.

Wight, “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” official video

Wight on Thee Facebooks

Wight on Bandcamp

Wight on Twitter

Wight preorder at Kozmik Artifactz

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The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Singles, EPs, Splits and Demos of 2015

Posted in Features on December 29th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

top 20 short releases of 2015

Please note: This list is not culled in any way from the Readers Poll, which is ongoing. If you haven’t yet contributed your favorites of 2015 to that, please do.

What’s a short release? Anything that’s not a full-length. I’ve done this list in the past and given a small list — The Top 20 EPs, Splits, Demos and Singles, or whatever — but “Short Releases” seemed more concise, and believe it or not, that’s something I shoot for.

Essentially, what we’re taking a look at here is everything else a band might put out in a given year. No question that albums are where the greatest impact is made over the longer term, but from landmark 7″s to EPs that provide crucial experiments or serve notice of bands solidifying their sound or marking pivotal first impressions, the shorter offerings have tremendous value, and it’s worth considering them on their own merit, rather than in comparison to LPs directly.

I know for a fact that there are releases I’ve missed here. Particularly among the Bandcamp-only demos, there’s just so much out there that for any one person to keep up with all of it is even more impossible than it’s ever been before. Before you berate me immediately with, “Hey you forgot X Band!” and start throwing tomatoes at your computer or mobile device screen, please keep in mind The Obelisk is run by a single individual and there are only so many hours in the day. As always, I do the best I can.

Here we go:

foehammer foehammer

The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2015

1. Foehammer, Foehammer EP
2. Mos Generator & Stubb, The Theory of Light and Matter Split
3. Sun Voyager, Lazy Daze EP
4. All Them Witches, A Sweet Release
5. Geezer & Borracho, The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter 1 Split
6. Fatso Jetson & Farflung, Split
7. Eggnogg & Borracho, Sludgy Erna Bastard Split 7″
8. Shroud Eater, Face the Master EP
9. Bedroom Rehab Corporation, Fortunate Some EP
10. Stars that Move, Demo Songs
11. Wight, Helicopter Mama 7″
12. Thera Roya, Unraveling EP
13. Shatner, EP
14. Cities of Mars, Cyclopean Ritual EP
15. Pyramidal & Domo, Jams from the Sun Split
16. Sandrider & Kinski, Split
17. Mount Hush, Low and Behold! EP
18. Godhunter & Amigo the Devil, The Outer Dark Split
19. Groan, Highrospliffics EP
20. Rozamov & Deathkings, Split

Honorable Mention

The Sunburst EP by Valley continues to resonate, as do splits from Goya & Wounded Giant and King Buffalo & Lé Betre. plus Derelics‘ IntroducingTime Rift‘s demo, the Carpet 7″, Watchtower‘s EP, Eternal Black‘s debut demo, Dorre‘s half-hour single One Collapsed at the Altar, and Mount Desert‘s two-songer all deserve serious consideration, as well I’m sure as many others.

Notes

It’s something of a break in routine for me to put any kind of debut in a top spot (other, of course, than on the list of debuts), but Foehammer simply would not be denied. The Virginia trio’s three-song EP release on Grimoire Records (LP on Australopithecus Records), it was a self-titled that seemed to be telling you the name of the band twice as if in a warning against forgetting it. And that warning was one to heed. Foehammer‘s first outing brought the Doom Capitol region to new heights of extremity, and while at over half-an-hour long it could’ve just as easily have been called a full-length, part of the overarching threat is what the band will bring to bear when they actually get around to their first LP.

A good number of splits included here, with Mos Generator and Stubb‘s The Theory of Light and Matter (HeviSike Records), Geezer and Borracho‘s The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter 1 (launching a series for Ripple Music), Fatso Jetson and Farflung‘s joint release (on Heavy Psych Sounds) and Eggnogg and Borracho‘s Sludgy Erna Bastard (on Palaver Records) all cracking the top 10. No coincidence that Washington D.C. heavy riffers Borracho show up twice in that mix. As Pyramidal and Domo‘s blissful Jams from the Sun, Sandrider and Kinski‘s one-two, Godhunter and Amigo the Devil‘s Battleground Records collaboration and Rozamov and Deathkings‘ joint single feature between #11-20, a total of eight out of the full included 20 releases here are splits. Last year it was only five.

Whether that means the form is growing in an attempt to capture fickle social-media-age attention spans while cutting individual vinyl pressing costs, I couldn’t say — likely a combination of the two and more besides — but it’s noteworthy that a split is more than just a toss-off, between-albums castaway at this point, something for songs to later be included on rare-tracks comps. One could easily say the same of EPs as a whole. To that end, Sun Voyager‘s Lazy Daze was a brutal tease for the NY psychgaze outfit’s first album, hopefully out in 2016. And while All Them WitchesA Sweet Release was over 50 minutes long — longer, actually, than their Dying Surfer Meets His Maker LP, which was also issued this year — they considered it an EP/live collection, and that indeed proved how it worked best, immersive though its stretch remained.

Shroud Eater and Bedroom Rehab Corporation both turned in impressive outings that showed marked progression from their last time out, while Shatner‘s first batch of tracks tipped off a songwriting process well-honed and Stars that Move, Cities of Mars, Thera Roya and Mount Hush — I’d put Mount Desert in this category as well — had compelling outings that, like Foehammer at the top, showed much potential at work in formative sounds. Not to be forgotten, Wight‘s Helicopter Mama 7″ gave listeners a heads up on the funkified stylistic turn their upcoming full-length, Love is Not Only What You Know, will take even further, and UK stoner miscreants Groan proved once and for all that, along with logic and reason, a constantly changing lineup can’t hold back their good times.

Like I said — like I always say — if I left something out, let me know about it in the comments. Really let me have it. Call me a jerk. It’s cool. I can take it.

Please note: I can, in no way, take it.

Still, if I left something/someone out, I hope you’ll let me know. And please don’t forget that if you haven’t yet, you can still contribute your list of 2015 favorites to the year-end poll until Dec. 31. EPs, LPs, whatever, however many, it doesn’t matter. All entries are welcome there.

Thanks for reading.

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Wight Get Even Funkier in “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 23rd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

wight

German trio-turned-four-piece Wight continue to tease their sonic evolution with a new video for “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation.” The closing track of what will be their third full-length — titled Love is Not Only What You Know — it’s a sprawling 11-minute psych-funk jam that just seems to be waiting for its boarding number to be called to get on the Mothership, following up on the funkified vibes of the Helicopter Mama 7″ (review here) that the Darmstadt outfit released earlier this summer in time for another European tour and expanding on them as well. Of course, the limitations of format have a stake in that as well — one can only fit so much on a 7″ as opposed to an LP — but with “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation,” Wight showcase just how fluidly they’ve been able to shift their sound, making a jump no less dramatic than that between their 2011 debut, Wight Weedy Wight (review here), and its 2012 follow-up, Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here), weaving their way from chunky-style riff rock to heavy psych and now beyond that into something even more their own.

And don’t get me wrong, the video’s cool — filmed live by Terrotika at Oetinger Villa on an off-day from the most recent tour, it’s got visual rhythm enough to match the sleek grooves with which Wight are getting down — but the highlight is the song itself. Moving from synth to guitar and vocals, René Hofmann channels Bernie Worrell en route to Chris Cornell while let-me-put-my-sunglasses-on-so-I-can-see-what-I’m-doing bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn holds the jam tight before letting it explode into an all-go heavy psych freakout, propelled by drummer Thomas Kurek with swing further underscored by percussionist Steffen Kirchpfening, whose smile throughout the clip only underscores how much fun Wight are having at this point. The clip was recorded in one take, in case there was any doubt Wight could bring it, and like the 7″ preceding, it just makes my want to hear the band’s third album even more.

Hofmann offers some comment under the video, which you’ll find below. Enjoy:

Wight, “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation”

Says René Hofmann:

Our new album will have the name “Love is Not Only What You Know”. It is the result of the past 3 years. We let things happen in our lives and so we never force a song to be finished. Sometimes we have missing party for years! And sometimes it just happens that you write a whole song in 2 or 3 rehearsals. It all depends what happens in life at the moment… I could write a lot about it, but just for this song “The Love For Life Leads To Reincarnation”… I read about buddhism and the author wrote that you get salvation if you can free yourself from all delights, wishes, greed etc. you don’t need human relationships anymore, no property. You are just completely happy with yourself if you can achieve this stadium.

I really liked the idea about it. If you can free yourself, you will get one step “higher” or wiser in the next life cycle. If you get the complete epiphany, you will leave the “game of life” Sansara and your soul will be happy in the Nirvana.

The song title just says it all. I don’t need much material goods but I am really into getting emotional rich. I need to travel and see the whole world, I love to let myself go in foreign cultures and for most… I love senses, touching, smelling, hearing, making music, having sex.

So I just accept I don’t wanna be ready to leave life. For me life is too short to get all my stuff done. So If I die, My soul will fly around just for some seconds to grab a new life, which will be born somewhere on earth.

…and then I will make more Wight albums haha! My Band will survive me baby!

Cheers from mad-city Darmstadt!
Rene

First take, filmed by the girl and boys of Terrotika.

Wight performs live at Oetinger Villa Darmstadt
Sunday Aug 23rd 2015

Wight is:
René Hofmann – Vocals, Guitar and Synthesizer
Peter-Philipp Schierhorn – Bass
Thomas Kurek – Drums
Steffen Kirchpfening – Percussions

Credits:
Johanna Amberg – Kamera & Schnitt
Fabian Weber – Kamera
Gabriel Sahm – Kamera & Colour grading
Josko Joketovic – Audio recording
René Hofmann – Audio mixing and mastering

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Wight, Helicopter Mama 7″: Fly On, Baby

Posted in Reviews on August 14th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

wight-helicopter-mama-sleeve-and-vinyl

They’re in and out in under 10 minutes, but Wight‘s new 7″, Helicopter Mama b/w I Wanna Know What You Feel (which we’ll shorted to just Helicopter Mama from here on out), could easily serve as a landmark for the German band going forward. Pressed in an edition of 333 copies with 111 in black, 111 in green and 111 others in various color vinyl and released by Fat and Holy Records to coincide with an Aug. 2015 European tour (info here) and help fund the making of their next full-length, it’s also the first studio work they’ve done since their second album, Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here) came out in 2012.

True, they’ve had a couple live digital offerings since, but Helicopter Mama marks a return to the studio, and it’s also their first outing as a foursome, having recorded Through the Woods into Deep Water and their 2011 debut, Wight Weedy Wight (review here), as the trio of guitarist/vocalist/recording engineer René Hofmann, bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn and Thomas Kurek prior to adding percussionist Steffen Kirchpfening in 2014. That is a big change in itself, but even the jump from a three- to a four-piece doesn’t really capture the scale of the progression Wight have evidently undertaken in the last three years. Where Through the Woods into Deep Water brimmed with heavy psychedelic vitality, exploding its way through earthy but still spacious jams and rolling riffs, Helicopter Mama is even more of a turn than that album was as compared to Wight Weedy Wight, leaving behind most of the psychedelic flourish and instead digging into a classic soul and funk influence across both “Helicopter Mama” and “I Wanna Know What You Feel.”

Calling it a surprise would be underselling it, but Wight warned their listeners ahead of the new songs making their way out that they were up to something different going forward, and while it’s entirely possible that by the time they get around to their third long-player, they’ll be on a completely different trip, it’s worth noting that they do a heavy funk style extremely well. “Helicopter Mama” — which I didn’t at first until I read the lyrics, but you’ve probably heard the phrase “helicopter parent” before, so extrapolate from that — is wah-soaked ’70s-style funk, what they used to call “hard funk,” and it shows a decided Funkadelic/Sly Stone influence, but Hofmann delivers a soulful vocal that not only makes it believable, but winds up carrying the track as a whole.

It starts with a gong hit and a snare roll, but “Helicopter Mama” itself is all swank and swing, and it keeps its loose feel for the duration, through verses and choruses and into a heavier vibing second half, Kirchpfening making his presence felt while the track nestles into a late chorus that brings to mind some of Cherry Choke‘s soulful psychedelics without losing either its rhythmic pulse or forward movement. Last line of the song is “Some things never change,” but clearly some things do. This fusion continues to be the core of what Wight bring to the table on “I Wanna Know What You Feel,” but they tilt the balance more to the rock side, and wind up absolutely nailing a modernized take on a Rare EarthHumble Pie-style funk/rock blend, complete with a backing chorus, consistent psychedelic underpinnings to the classic blues rock swing and a push into a gospel-style vocal arrangement that not only ties together with “Helicopter Mama”‘s funkified spirit, but further expands the context of Wight‘s aesthetic shift as well.

So Wight are both embarking on this stylistic turn and showing an immediate range within it on Helicopter Mama, which makes the 7″ even more impressive. It would be one thing if they came into the tracks sort of hemming about and timid, but between how Hofmann belts out “Helicopter Mama” from the gut and the swaggering groove of “I Wanna Know What You Feel,” the only thing one might call “safe” about the release is the fact that the band clearly waited until they knew what they were doing before they put it out. They’ve given themselves multiple avenues through which to continue to grow, and I’d very much doubt these two songs are the limits of what they’re looking to accomplish within this range — or, for that matter, outside of it, since if Wight came back with a record that tied these sounds with some of the last record’s jammy propensity, it would be hard to say it didn’t make sense as a next move.

Neither would I mind if they pushed their funkish propensity into all-out weirdness and wound up layering in effected solos and backwards loops à la some 1970-style soul weirdness. Only their next record will tell where they wind up, and even that will only tell as far as itself, but it says something about the success of the sampling Wight give on Helicopter Mama that it’s so easy to be excited about what they might do to follow it up. Until they get there, they’ve given those familiar with their past work a look at where they’re headed and offered anyone who hadn’t climbed on board yet a welcoming reason and means by which to do so. Again, it’s a quick offering, but it accomplishes much in its short runtime and I’ve very quickly come to consider it among the best short releases I’ve heard in 2015.

Wight, Helicopter Mama (2015)

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