PH Set Nov. 1 Release for Osiris Hayden

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ph

I’m pretty sure I’ve heard everything PH have put out at one point or another, going back to their beginnings as Mr. Peter Hayden, and I still have no idea what to expect from their new album, Osiris Hayden, which is out Nov. 1 on Svart Records. Furthermore, that’s one of my favorite things about the band. There is no shortage of artists and groups out there who toy with the conventions of genre, but fewer and farther between as those for whom such lines are genuinely meaningless. There’s not much that’s beyond the reach of PH, and their most recent work, 2017’s Eternal Hayden (review here) rewarded those ears adventurous enough to take it on with a listening experience that genuinely stood alone. If you could dig it, you dug it. I’d expect no less of a challenge and payoff this time around, but as to what the thing might actually sound like, beats the crap out of me.

So, yes, I’m very much looking forward to it, thank you.

The PR wire brings enticingly descriptive language:

ph osiris hayden

PH set release date for new SVART album

Svart Records sets November 1st as the international release date for PH’s highly anticipated fifth album, Osiris Hayden, on CD, vinyl LP, and digital formats.

Frank Herbert once said, “Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens.” On their new album, PH (formerly Mr. Peter Hayden) have shed their blistering, snake-like skin and wound their unusual path into a new garden of unearthly delights. Still referring to themselves simply by the PH monogram, their fifth full-length release, Osiris Hayden, embraces a deep symbolic form of rebirth and regeneration.

Lauri Kivelä from PH explains their motivations best when he says, “Each album of ours has always been a step forward, and that is the only way we can do this. We are keen on going forward, a bit further than anybody else, and we do not need to stick to any genre on scene just to feel safe – quite the opposite. We are, and have always been, all about on moving on, forging our own paths.”

Recorded in their home country of Finland by Vesa Vatanen, Kimmo Nyssonen (who has worked with Dark Buddha Rising), Tom Brooke (NYOS, and who has previously worked with Domovoyd and Oranssi Pazuzu), Osiris Hayden is zenith of masterful music production, created by some of Finland’s foremost heavy psychedelic pioneers.

Like an Ostrobothnian Föllakzoid, experimental electronic soundscapes pulverize with panache and a pop-like sensibility. Osiris Hayden is contemporary Finno-Ugric Krautrock, in keeping with the band’s earlier work but much more cinematic in scope than ever before. Vangelis-inducing, distorted Blade Runner landscapes give way to the march of slick Terminator machines crushing human bones under foot. Psychonaut futurism from a band fusing genres ahead of their own time, and in a strange but logical evolution of the PH journey.

There is a jazz-like affection for the alchemy of sound-craft at play on this record. As Hesse said, “Who would be born must first destroy a world,” and worlds of sound are destroyed and recreated again and again. From the emerging resonance of pulsing drones to euphoric dying synths, we’re taken through a cascading, continual resurrection of the principle of sound and rhythm, emphasizing the PH mission statement. Punishing industrial Nine Inch Nails beats and abyssic static-laced Gary Numan-esque chants beat a white-noise pulse into your subconscious. On tracks like “Sun Sets For One” and single track “Justified,” there’s an almost anthemic ecstasy to the way the evolving song structures coil and unwind themselves.

There’s no surprise why festivals like Roadburn, Roskilde, Flow, and Tuska have championed this group to represent one of the finest examples of the modern Finnish experimental rock scene. Referring to PH, Julian Cope urged people to “get this stunning quintet out of the cold weather and into the charts.” Osiris Hayden feels like the album that will now propel them out of the smoke-filled sub-basement venues that birthed them, on to the à la mode coffee tables and dancefloors of even the most discerning and cutting-edge audio savant.

PH’s 20 years of psychedelic space-travel lend them a gargantuan understanding of the roots of music, towards the core meaning and power of transcendental sound. Fine-art museum-level workmanship for apocalyptic illegal factory raves and lysergic come-downs. Look no further for a sound beyond the limits of modern psychedelia. These Finns are way out there.

First track premiere to be revealed shortly. Preorder info can be found HERE. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for PH’s Osiris Hayden
1. Thr33 Of Wands
2. Emergence
3. Justified
4. Uhrilahja
5. Sun Sets For One
6. Origo
7. Ad Coronam
8. M47eria Prima
9. Tachophonia

www.mrph.net
www.facebook.com/mrpeterhayden
www.instagram.com/mrpeterhayden
www.svartrecords.com
www.facebook.com/svartrecords
www.youtube.com/svartrecords

PH, Eternal Hayden (2017)

Tags: , , , , ,

Stoner Kings Sign to Sliptrick Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Let’s go ahead and assume that maybe Kelsinki’s Stoner Kings, in deciding to name their new record Alpha Male, weren’t thinking of the whole internet-alt-right ‘beta male’ thing. They’re a pretty dudely band, either way. They’ve just signed to Sliptrick Records after issuing Alpha Male back in May — it includes a pretty groovy cover of Kyuss‘ “Green Machine,” which is a bold enough choice to speak alone for the level of testosterone with which the band is clearly working. Sliptrick will do a version of the album that’s listed as “coming soon” — fair enough — and Stoner Kings offer plenty of burl to justify the pickup.

And if you remember Stoner Kings from back in the early days of internet riffy proliferation, you’re correct. They were around then and took a break before coming back a couple years ago, as the PR wire explains:

stoner kings

Sliptrick Records Welcome Finnish Slackers STONER KINGS

Stoner Kings is the brainchild of band frontman, vocalist and songwriter, Michael ”StarBuck” Majalahti, who is the self-proclaimed, most accomplished professional wrestler in history from Northern Europe. The band was formed in 2000, after Michael came back from a disenfranchising experience of a disheartening UK wrestling tour, looking to focus his efforts elsewhere. Michael had moved from his homeland of Canada to Finland in the summer of 1996, when he started writing music and picked up playing guitar to pass the time. Many of the songs that ended up on Stoner Kings’ debut Brimstone Blues were created around this era, between 1996-2000.

The band strove forward and under an augmented line-up released a second album in early 2006 after finishing recordings in late 2005. This sophomore effort would come to be known as Fuck The World, which served as a backlash to all of the spite issued forth by the critics of the band, who just couldn’t get over their name. Between late 2006 and early 2007, Stoner Kings went through some tumultuous line-up changes. Everyone, save StarBuck, exited the band to be replaced by new players.

By the autumn of 2008 and after 3 singles, this latest line-up of Stoner Kings had dissolved and Michael decided to hang up the gloves indefinitely. It took eight years for the itch to make a comeback and became so undeniable that Michael contacted his old drummer J-J and talked to him about regrouping under a new line-up. Rude Rothsten from the 2007-2008 incarnation of Stoner Kings joined on bass once again and the new guitarist would be a young musician named Joonas Vepsä.

Stoner Kings’s comeback gig was in November 2016 in Helsinki at On The Rocks. From that moment forward, the band set out to both gig regularly and at the same time work on new songs. The group hit the studio one year later in the autumn of 2017 to compile a set of songs for their third album. This process would take one year, as they recorded the yet-to-be-released album that came to be called Alpha Male between the autumn of 2017 and the autumn of 2018, a process that was performed in three separate recording and mixing blocks. Now ready to see the light of day, Alpha Male will be released via Sliptrick Records soon!

Stoner Kings are:
Michael “StarBuck” Majalahti – Vocals
J-J Kontoniemi – Drums
Rude Rothstén – Bass
Joonas Vepsä – Guitar

https://www.facebook.com/stonerkingsband
https://www.instagram.com/stonerkingsband/
https://stonerkings.bandcamp.com/
https://sliptrickrecords.com/stoner-kings/

Stoner Kings, Alpha Male (2019)

Tags: , , , , ,

Lowburn Post Lyric Video; New Album Phantasma Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

lowburn

Finnish bruisers Lowburn announced last year that their second record would be out earlier in 2019. Well, so maybe not. But there’s plenty of year left, as the calendar tells us, so they’ve still got time to issue what has been dubbed Phantasma, the follow-up to their 2015 debut album, Doomsayer. The full-length, still in progress, it would seem, will see release through Argonauta Records, whenever they get there, and though specifics on that are sparse, new music is better than release dates, and Lowburn have some of that to show off and no fooling. The track is called “Cloud Valley” and they’ve got it up on Bandcamp and as a lyric video on the YouTubes. They’re also promising tour dates in the works, though it’s hard to imagine that won’t be a 2020 kind of deal by the time they get there. I might speculate the same for the album at this point, but one never knows, I guess. Especially when the one is me. I never know.

At least not until the PR wire tells me:

lowburn cloud valley

LOWBURN (feat. ex-members of BATTLORE) return with brand new record during 2019 & unleash lyric video!

Finland’s fuzz rock doom fusion, music veterans Lowburn, have announced to return with a brand new album during 2019 with powerhouse label Argonauta Records. Formed in 2012 by Tomi Mykkänen and Henkka Vahvane after Battlelore went on hiatus, Lowburn are currently putting the final touches on their upcoming, hotly anticipated full length. The band released a critically debut EP back in 2013, followed by a split-7″ with fellow band Church of Void, finally the doom and stoner rock scene will see their long-awaited comeback!

Today the band is already sharing with us a first glimpse, and released a lyric video for the song Cloud Valley. Dive into some new Lowburn tunes right HERE!

“Cloud Valley was the first song done for the new album.“ Guitarist and vocalist Tomi explains. “It’s a part of the “punk”-series of our songs with Running On Fumes (first LOWBURN song ever) and The Last One meaning that the working title had punk in it. Using Cloud Valley as the first single will give the fans a feeling of familarity but it still it showcases the overall sounds for the album. It has the rocking, the psychedelia and heavier parts. Overall it’s a good first single and an invitation to listen to the diverse musical journey PHANTASMA is.”

While Lowburn are currently hard at work to finish their upcoming album, the band has announced to get on the road in support of Phantasma,too. Stay tuned for further news, a touring schedule and more new sounds to be revealed in the days ahead!

Lowburn is:
Henkka Vahvanen – drums
Antti Vesikko – bass
Tomi Mykkänen – guitar and vocals
Tommi Lintunen – guitar

https://www.facebook.com/lowburnband
http://www.lowburn.net/
http://lowburn.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/
http://www.argonautarecords.com/

Lowburn, “Cloud Valley” lyric video

Tags: , , , , ,

The Fërtility Cült Set Oct. 18 Release Date for Kosmodysseia

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

You know what my only problem with The Fërtility Cült announcing a new album is? There’s no audio to go with it. The sax-laced Finnish psych lords offered up A Forest of Kings (review here) in 2017 and it was a tasty and potent brew of roiling galaxial axes and spacebound prognod. I wouldn’t expect a new record called Kosmodysseia, their forthcoming new full-length set to release Oct. 18, to depart so much from that basic pattern, but hell’s bells, it should would be nice to have confirmation of that, and with a whopping seven tracks included on the thing — both their prior LPs had five — you’d think there’d be one to spare. Alas, nope.

Or not yet, anyhow. October is still a ways off, so perhaps the Tampere-based outfit will get there sooner or later. Or maybe I’ll just send them an email being like, “Hey can I premiere a track?” and get lucky. We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, you can revisit A Forest of Kings below for a refresher on why I’d be so excited at the prospect of a follow-up, and dig into their announcement as it appeared on the social medias, cover art and all:

the fertility cult kosmodysseia

Wethinks it’s about time we shed some light on this upcoming volume IV we keep babbling about. So, the album shall henceforth be known as Kosmodysseia! It shall be put forth for your listening pleasure on the 18th of October on Bandcamp, Spotify etc!

Track listing:
1. Kosmodysseia pt I: The Planeswalker
2. Return to the Desert Planet
3. Star Siren’s Song
4. Visions of Home
5. Hunters of Galactic Daemons
6. Kosmodysseia pt II: Timeless Ithaca
7. The Queen of Spacetime

Yes, that’s seven! Incredible, right?! Hunters of Galactic Daemons shall be released as a digisingle on the 10th of September commemorating the 10th anniversary of our first ever show, and Return to the Desert Planet shall follow suite on the 4th of October. Now feast yer eyes on the wonderful cover art by Samuli Huttunen

https://www.facebook.com/thefertilitycult/
https://thefertilitycult.bandcamp.com/

The Fërtility Cült, A Forest of Kings (2017)

Tags: , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Pelican, Swan Valley Heights, Mark Deutrom, Greenbeard, Mount Soma, Nibiru, Cable, Reino Ermitaño, Cardinals Folly & Lucifer’s Fall, Temple of the Fuzz Witch

Posted in Reviews on July 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

More computer bullshit this morning. I lost about 45 minutes because my graphics driver and Windows 10 apparently hate each other and before I could disable the former, the machine decided the best it could do for me was to load a blank screen. Hard to find the Pelican record on my desktop when I can’t see my desktop. The Patient Mrs. woke up while I was trying to fix it and suggested HDMIing it to the tv. When I did that, it didn’t project as was hoped, but the display came on — because go figure — and I was able to shut off the driver, the only real advantage of which is it lets me use the night light feature so it’s easier on my eyes. That’s nice, but I’d rather have the laptop function. Not really working on a level of “give me soft red light or give me death!” at this point. I may yet get there in my life.

Today’s the last day of this beast, wrapping up the last of the 60 reviews, and I’m already in the hole for the better part of an hour thanks to this technical issue, the second of the week. Been an adventure, this one. Let’s close it out.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Pelican, Nighttime Stories

pelican nighttime stories

Split into two LPs each with its own three-minute mood-setter — those being “WST” and “It Stared at Me,” respectively — Pelican‘s Nighttime Stories (on Southern Lord) carries the foreboding sensibility of its title into an aggressive push throughout the album, which deals from the outset with the pain of loss. The lead single “Midnight and Mescaline” represents this well in directly following “WST,” with shades of more extreme sounds in the sharp-turning guitar interplay and tense drums, but it carries through the blastbeats of “Abyssal Plain” and the bombastic crashes of presumed side B closer “Cold Hope” as well, which flow via a last tonal wash toward the melancholy “It Stared at Me” and the even-more-aggro title-track, the consuming “Arteries of Blacktop” and the eight-minute “Full Moon, Black Water,” which offers a build of maddening chug — a Pelican hallmark — before resolving in melodic serenity, moving, perhaps, forward with and through its grief. It’s been six years since Pelican‘s last LP, Forever Becoming (review here), and they’ve responded to that time differential with the hardest-hitting record they’ve ever done.

Pelican on Thee Facebooks

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Swan Valley Heights, The Heavy Seed

swan valley heights the heavy seed

Though the peaceful beginning of 13-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “The Heavy Seed,” for which the five-song album is named, reminds of Swan Valley Heights‘ Munich compatriots in Colour Haze, the ultimate impression the band make on their Fuzzorama Records debut and second album overall behind a 2016 self-titled (review here) is more varied in its execution, with cuts like “Vaporizer Woman” and the centerpiece “Take a Swim in God’s Washing Machine” manifesting ebbs and flows and rolling out a fuzzy largesse to lead into dream-toned ethereality and layered vocals that immediately call to mind Elephant Tree. There’s a propensity for jamming, but they’re not a jam band, and seem always to have a direction in mind. That’s true even on the three-minute instrumental “My First Knife Fight,” which unfurls around a nod riff and simple drum progression to bridge into closer “Teeth and Waves,” a bookend to The Heavy Seed‘s title-track that revives that initial grace and uses it as a stepping stone for the crunch to come. It’s a balance that works and should be well received.

Swan Valley Heights on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzorama Records on Bandcamp

 

Mark Deutrom, The Blue Bird

Mark Deutrom The Blue Bird

Released in the wee hours of 2019, Mark Deutrom‘s The Blue Bird marks the first new solo release from the prolific Austin-based songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist through Season of Mist, and it’s a 50-minute run of genre-spanning outsider art, bringing ’70s folk vibes to the weepy guitar echoes of “Radiant Gravity” right before “O Ye of Little Faith” dooms out for six of its seven minutes and “Our Revels Now Are Ended” basks in 77 seconds of experimentalist winding guitar. It goes like that. Vocals are intermittent enough to not necessarily be expected, but not entirely absent through the midsection of “Hell is a City,” “Somnambulist” and “Maximum Hemingway,” and if there’s traditionalism at play anywhere, it might be in “They Have Won” and “The Happiness Machine,” which, toward the back end of the album, bring a sax-laden melancholy vibe and a straightforward heavy rock feel, respectively, ahead of the closer “Nothing out There,” which ties them together, somehow accounting for the 1:34 “On Fathers Day” as well in its sweetness. Don’t go into The Blue Bird asking it to make sense on any level other than its own and you should be fine. It’s not a minor undertaking at 50 minutes, and not without its indulgences, but even the briefest of pieces helps develop the character of the whole, which of course is essential to any good story.

Mark Deutrom website

Season of Mist website

 

Greenbeard, Onward, Pillager

greenbeard onward pillager

Austin bringers of hard-boogie Greenbeard reportedly issued the three-song Onward, Pillager as a precursor to their next full-length — even the name hints toward it being something of a stopgap — but its tracks stand well on their own, whether it’s the keyboard-laced “Contact High II,” which is presumably a sequel to another track on the forthcoming record, or the chunkier roll of “WCCQ” and the catchy finisher “Kill to Love Yourself,” with its overlaid guitar solo adding to a dramatic ending. It hasn’t been that long since 2017’s Lödarödböl (review here), but clearly these guys are committed to moving forward in neo-stoner rock fashion, and their emergence as songwriters is highlighted particularly throughout “WCCQ” and “Kill to Love Yourself,” while “Contact High II” is more of an intro or a would-be interlude on the full-length. It may only be pieces of a larger, to-be-revealed picture, but Onward, Pillager shows three different sides of what Greenbeard have on offer, and the promise of more to come is one that will hopefully be kept sooner rather than later.

Greenbeard on Thee Facebooks

Sailor Records on Bandcamp

 

Mount Soma, Nirodha

mount_soma_nirodha

Each of the three songs on Mount Soma‘s densely-weighted, live-recorded self-released Nirodha EP makes some mention of suffering in its lyrics, and indeed, that seems to be the theme drawing together “Dark Sun Destroyer” (7:40), “Emerge the Wolf” (5:50) and “Resurfacing” (9:14): a quest for transcendence perhaps in part due to the volume of the music and the act itself of creating it. Whatever gets them there, the trajectory of Nirodha is such that by the time they hit into the YOB-style galloping toward the end of “Resurfacing,” the gruff shouts of “rebirth!” feel more celebratory than ambitious. Based in Dublin, the four-piece bring a fair sense of space to their otherwise crush-minded approach, and though the EP is rough — it is their second short release following 2016’s Origins — they seem to have found a way to tie together outer and inner cosmos with an earthbound sense of gravity and heft, and with the more intense shove of “Emerge the Wolf” between the two longer tracks, they prove themselves capable of bringing a noisy charge amid all that roar and crash. They did the first EP live as well. I wonder if they’d do the same for a full-length.

Mount Soma on Thee Facebooks

Mount Soma on Bandcamp

 

Nibiru, Salbrox

nibiru salbrox

One might get lost in the unmanageable 64-minute wash of Nibiru‘s fifth full-length (first for Ritual Productions), Salbrox, but the opaque nature of the proceedings is part of the point. The Italian ritualists bring forth a chaotic depth of noise and harsh semi-spoken rasps of vocals reportedly in the Enochian language, and from 14-minute opener “EHNB” — also the longest track (immediate points) — through the morass that follows in “Exarp,” “Hcoma,” “Nanta” and so on, the album is a willful slog that challenges the listener on nearly every level. This is par for the course for Nibiru, whose last outing was 2017’s Qaal Babalon (review here), and they seem to revel in the slow-churning gruel of their distortion, turning from it only to break to minimalism in the second half of the album with “Abalpt” and “Bitom” before 13-minute closer “Rziorn” storms in like a tsunami of spiritually desolate plunge. It is vicious and difficult to hear, and again, that is exactly what it’s intended to be.

Nibiru on Thee Facebooks

Ritual Productions website

 

Cable, Take the Stairs to Hell

Cable Take the Stairs to Hell

The gift of Cable was to take typically raw Northeastern disaffection and channel it into a noise rock that wasn’t quite as post-this-or-that as Isis, but still had a cerebral edge that more primitive fare lacked. They were methodical, and 10 years after their last record, the Hartford, Connecticut, outfit return with the nine-song/30-minute Take the Stairs to Hell (on Translation Loss), which brings them back into the modern sphere with a sound that is no less relevant than it was bouncing between This Dark Reign, Hydra Head and Translation Loss between 2001 and 2004. They were underrated then and may continue to be now, but the combination of melody and bite in “Black Medicine” and the gutty crunch of “Eyes Rolled Back,” the post-Southern heavy of the title-track and the lumbering pummel of “Rivers of Old” before it remind of how much of a standout Cable was in the past, reinforcing that not only were they ahead of their time then, but that they still have plenty to offer going forward. They may continue to be underrated as they always were, but their return is significant and welcome.

Cable on Instagram

Translation Loss Records webstore

 

Reino Ermitaño, Reino Ermitaño

Reino Ermitano Reino Ermitano

Originally released in 2003, the self-titled debut from Lima, Peru’s Reino Ermitaño was a beacon and landmark in Latin American doom, with a sound derived from the genre’s traditions — Sabbath, Trouble, etc. — and melded with not only Spanish-language lyrics, but elements of South American folk and stylizations. Reissued on vinyl some 16 years later, it maintains its power through the outside-time level of its craft, sliding into that unplaceable realm of doom that could be from any point from about 1985 onward, while the melodies in the guitar of Henry Guevara and the vocals of Tania Duarte hold sway over the central groove of bassist Marcos Coifman and drummer Julio “Ñaka” Almeida. Those who were turned onto the band at the time will likely know they’ve released five LPs to-date, with the latest one from 2014, but the Necio Records version marks the first time the debut has been pressed to vinyl, and so is of extra interest apart from the standard putting-it-out-there-again reissue. Collectors and a new generation of doomers alike would be well advised on an educational level, and of course the appeal of the album itself far exceeds that.

Reino Ermitaño on Thee Facebooks

Necio Records on Bandcamp

 

Cardinals Folly & Lucifer’s Fall, Split

cardinals folly lucifers fall split

Though one hails from Helsinki, Finland, and the other from Adelaide, Australia, Cardinals Folly and Lucifer’s Fall could hardly be better suited to share the six-song Cruz Del Sur split LP that they do, which checks in at 35 minutes of trad doom riffing and dirtier fare. The former is provided by Cardinals Folly, who bring a Reverend Bizarre-style stateliness to “Spiritual North” and “Walvater Proclaimed!” before betraying their extreme metal roots on “Sworn Through Odin’s and Satan’s Blood,” while the Oz contingent throw down Saint Vitus-esque punk-born fuckall through “Die Witch Die,” the crawling “Call of the Wild” and the particularly brash and speedier “The Gates of Hell.” The uniting thread of course is homage to doom itself, but each band brings enough of their own take to complement each other without either contradicting or making one or the other of them feel redundant, and rather, the split works out to be a rampaging, deeply-drunk, pagan-feeling celebration of what doom is and how it has been internalized by each of these groups. Doom over the world? Yeah, something like that.

Cardinals Folly on Thee Facebooks

Lucifer’s Fall on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Temple of the Fuzz Witch, Temple of the Fuzz Witch

Temple of the Fuzz Witch Temple of the Fuzz Witch

A strong current of Electric Wizard runs through the self-titled debut full-length from Detroit’s Temple of the Fuzz Witch (on Seeing Red Records), but even to that, the outfit led by guitarist/vocalist Noah Bruner bring a nascent measure of individuality, droning into and through “Death Hails” after opening with “Bathsheba” and ahead of unveiling a harmonized vocal on “The Glowing of Satan” that suits the low end distortion surprisingly well. They continue to offer surprises throughout, whether it’s the spaciousness of centerpiece “329” and “Infidel,” which follows, or the offsetting of minimalism and crush on “The Fuzz Witch” and the creeper noise in the ending of “Servants of the Sun,” and though there are certainly familiar elements at play, Temple of the Fuzz Witch come across with an intent to take what’s been done before and make it theirs. In that regard, they would seem to be on the right track, and in their 41 minutes, they find footing in a murky aesthetic and are able to convey a sense of songwriting without sounding heavy-handed. There’s nothing else I’d ask of their first album.

Temple of the Fuzz Witch on Thee Facebooks

Seeing Red Records on Bandcamp

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Craneium Announce ‘Kill with Fuzz’ European Touring

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

craneium

Not to contradict Craneium or anything, but if Europe could possibly have been killed by fuzz, presumably from some manner of overdose thereof, wouldn’t it have happened already? Rather, the continent seems — at least from my position across an ocean from it — insatiable when it comes to saturated tonality and heavy groove. Still, you gotta call the tour something, right, so if they’re setting goals for themselves, it would seem only admirable they’d reach for the stars, as it were, even if those stars were, you know, devastating the populace all around.

Whatever the survival rate will ultimately be, I dug Craneium‘s 2018 third album, The Narrow Line (review here) — which you can stream below — and I’m glad enough to have an excuse to revisit it by posting these tour dates. They kick off in the Netherlands and wrap in Germany and kick around for over a week between.

Have at it:

craneium tour

We just added a show in Czech Republic 22.6! Just a few more weeks now and we will kill Europe with fuzz.

15.6 MFC Festival Coevorden (NL)
16.6 MTs /Oldenburg (Ger)
17.6 Club Kinky Star /Ghent (Bel) w/ Fire Down Below
18.6 STELPLAATS /Leuven (Bel)
19.6 Mandril Culture & Political Center /Maastrich (NL) w/Lacertilia
21.6 Zille/Göppingen (Ger)
22.6 Magic place /Louny (CZ)
23.6 Toast Hawaii /Berlin (Ger) w/The Trikes, HEAVY HEAVY

Bio:

Craneium is a stoner/desert/fuzz rock band formed in Turku late 2011 and has sweated themselves through an intense live schedule since then!

Craneium released their first album “the Slowerdrive Tapes” on green cassette 2013, a split 12″ record with 3rd Trip 2014 and a their full-lenght “Explore The Void” in through Ripple Music december 2016.

Tune Down, Turn Up and Fuzz Out with Craneium. Worshippers of amplifiers, weird tales, fuzzboxes and mindexpanding rock can have a taste of the band here: https://craneiumband.bandcamp.com/

Craneium is:
Andreas Kaján – Vocals & Guitars
Martin Ahlö – Vocals & Guitars
Joel Kronqvist – Drums
Jonas Ridberg – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/craneiumband/
http://craneiumband.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/craneiumband/
http://www.ripple-music.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Ripple-Music-369610860064/

Craneium, The Narrow Line (2018)

Tags: , , , , ,

Review & Full Album Stream: Death Hawks, Psychic Harmony

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

death hawks psychic harmony

[Click play above to stream Death Hawks’ Psychic Harmony in full. Album is out June 7 on Svart Records.]

Nearly a decade after their inception, Tampere, Finland’s Death Hawks are rewriting the script on where synth-led prog, psychedelia, and pop meet. Psychic Harmony arrives via Svart Records as their fourth album, and it takes the dreamscape aspects that showed themselves throughout the deep-ranging melodies of 2015’s Sun Future Moon (review here) and pushes them into a mega-lush wash of synth, periodic bouts of sax and a glamourized emotionality that comes through in slow-burners like “Re-Run” as well as in the disco-fied “Whisper,” which seems to nod at Blondie‘s flirtations with funk and eminent danceability. The returning four-piece of vocalist/guitarist Teemu Markkula, bassist/vocalist Riku Pirttiniemi, drummer Miikka Heikkinen and keyboardist/saxophonist Tenho Mattila present 10 tracks for a fluid single LP tied together by style amid varying moods driven as much if not more by keys as by guitar, the band showcasing a vision of pop sexuality that’s as much ’70s androgyny as it is krautrock exploration.

These would seem to be contrasts until one actually listens to Psychic Harmony, which lives up to its title in bringing into a single context such a swath of impulses, and making something deeply human at the same time so much of it is based around synthesizer. It is a significant leap or sidestep in sound even from the preceding Sun Future Moon, let alone anything that came before it, but here too, it is the focus on melodicism that makes Psychic Harmony within the band’s sphere even as it seems to expand the radius thereof, and Markkula‘s voice throughout is a uniting factor the contributions of which are not to be understated. Pirttiniemi has his parts as well, and Nicole Willis contributes a guest spot to acoustic-led closer “I am a Tree,” but still, Markkula helps establish the mood in which much of the album is operating, and the vibe set forth in “Secret Isle” at the outset is one that holds firm across nearly everything that follows, wherever else it might go sound-wise.

And that vibe? Well, it starts with the sound of a needle hitting a record. The idea isn’t just that you’re listening to a vinyl album, but what Death Hawks are shooting for immediately is the idea of being transported through the audio that comes — that cinematic otherworldliness of the keys that start the song and the outward voyage that ensues from there. It’s as though they’re signaling to their audience the intention for the music to take them someplace, and the lyrics to song bear that out as well. Psychic Harmony itself becomes that secret isle, and as the opener moves into the multi-color wash of “Like Lovers Do,” with a change in the vocals, sax buried far back in the mix and keys pushed far forward with voice overtop, the feel becomes all the more spacious, the world created in “Secret Isle” seeming to open wide with programmed beats and a second half that seems to purposefully lose itself in the moment.

death hawks (Photo by Sami Sanpikkila)

“Re-Run” follows and seems to work in the same vein initially, but even after the synth handclaps arrive after about a minute in, the feel is more mellow, with the mix completely filled out from top to bottom with rhythm and melody. Piano enters at the two-minute mark and “Re-Run” moves into its jazzier break, with the sax included as well, but the chorus returns with layers of vocals, leading just to Markkula‘s voice echoing through the chorus toward the title line again, ethereal sounds following and echoing away to lead out and toward the all-things fusion of the instrumental “Aleya,” which only furthers the atmosphere built to that point with horn harmonies and keys coinciding and a movement from mellow jazz to a more grandiose wash at the finish, bringing about the presumed side A capper “Synchronicity,” with a more prominent beat and effects-laden vocals, repetitions of the title word that make it seems almost like an advertisement from the future, and that shift into a stretch of dance-drift and end with fading swirl noise.

Bass beat starts “Whisper” at the (again, presumed) launch of side B, with a more direct play on dance pop that ensues, the aforementioned disco flush coming through not with the urgency of cocaine that actually typified so much of the material from the era with with the song is conversing, but a more laid back mindset, third eye open and ready to get funky. Still, the chorus lands with more insistence thanks in no small part to the beat behind it as well as the layers of vocals, so a guitar solo isn’t out of place when Death Hawks come around to the final section of the song. It’s the kind of thing that would have an extended dance mix in another time, another place. The drama continues in “A Room with a View” amid keyboard starts and stops, krautrock nuance and the prominent layers of vocals that emphasize the bright and progressive mood soon taken further with the arrival of the saxophone. I’d say “Play for Rewind” brings the proceedings back to ground, but yeah, that’s clearly not where Death Hawks are interested in going with Psychic Harmony.

Instead, they they move forward in deceptively efficient upbeat prog-pop form with a drum motion that increases subtly in intensity until at about 3:10 into the total 3:32, it moves to a double-kick to finish out, cutting to silence ahead of “Scent of Life,” a penultimate single-worthy piece that does indeed recall some of the album’s earlier moments, feeling familiar not in the sense of repeating anything, but of adding to what’s already there. It is the crescendo for the album as a whole, without question, and the departure of “I am a Tree” — the purposeful connection to earth, to the ground that “Play for Rewind” so readily rejected — is palpable, but through the prominence of voice throughout, maintains a complementary place with the other tracks before it. Like much of the album, it is beautiful and it knows it, but it is not content to let that self-awareness carry it. And as Death Hawks have thrown open the doors of perception here and discovered such shimmer on the other side, I would not expect their journey of discovery to stagnate anytime soon.

Death Hawks, “Re-Run” official video

Death Hawks website

Death Hawks on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records

Svart Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

Death Hawks Post “Re-Run” Video; Psychic Harmony out June 7

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

death hawks (Photo by Sami Sanpikkila)

Let’s answer the most pressing question immediately: Yes, the new Death Hawks video does feature a saxophone being played on the edge of a cliffside shorline, the ocean roiling below. If you’re not the patient kind, it starts at 2:45, and it’s of course glorious. Other highlights include petting the leaves of a bush and shooting a laser out of a diamond encased in a pineapple. If there’s any mystery left as to why I’m such a proponent of this band, I sincerely ask you to read the last sentence again and find your answer therein.

Death Hawks release their new album, Psychic Harmony on June 7 through Svart, and with it tap into synth-prog and danceable pastoralism the likes of which could only result from a cosmic collision of influences. Don’t ask me what — I’m not that cool — but suffice it to say the Finnish four-piece have their thing set and they’re running with it. Or at least walking. On the side of some rock formations. Also on the beach. Also in a field. They’re pretty much everywhere, and yet not at all touching the ground. Approach with mind and ears open. Do that.

Assuming all goes according to my evil plans — which, now that I’m telling them to you, it most certainly will not — I’m going to have a review and a front-to-back stream of Psychic Harmony on next Monday, so you’ll pardon me if I save some ethereal-type hyperbole for that. In the meantime, to get yourself a little taste of what the record’s all about, “Re-Run” is on the player below, followed by just a quick bit of perspective from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Death Hawks, “Re-Run” official video

Kaleidoscopic enigmas Death Hawks reveal the new video “Re-Run.” The track hails from highly anticipated fourth album, Psychic Harmony, set for international release on June 7th via Svart Records.

On their continual shift in sound, vocalist/guitarist Teemu Markkula expounds: “We have always been searching new unforeseen ways in music to express ourselves. It is almost like a chemical reaction. Combining pieces of different elements can lead to an explosion or maybe to a state of euphoria. A sense of harmony is usually what does the trick for me.” He adds, “It’s a continuous quest for new. To get stuck, stay put, or stuck in reverse, even, is certain death. That’s why for us it’s better to stay lost, even, and keep flying and searching. Inspiration is a highly addictive feeling.”

Death Hawks website

Death Hawks on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records

Svart Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,