Glory or Death Records Announces ‘Friends and Family’ Showcases for June 7-8

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 10th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Glory or Death Records has announced a pair of label showcases for next month. Set to take place over two nights — June 7 in Tempe, Arizona, and June 8 in El Cajon, California (in San Diego County) — and true to the ‘Friends and Family’ tag applied to the duly wizardly posters below, the lineups feature Glory or Death denizens like Great Electric QuestFormula 400Hudu AkilPhantom HoundTzimani and a solo performance from guitarist Kelley Juett of Mothership, who recently signed to the Cali-based imprint to release his first solo album, Wandering West.

Juett is billed as doing “loops,” which is fair enough if you take a listen to the initial single “Mind Mirage” from his upcoming LP (at the bottom of the post, as it happens), and seems to be in the opening spot for both nights, though that kind of thing can also be cool during changeovers between more-than-one-person-involved bands sometimes, so you never know. In addition, Phoenix psychedelic instrumental outfit Secrets of Lost Empires — whose Joshua Mathus has done comic-style graphic work for Zac Crye of Hudu AkilDesert RecordsStone Machine Electric and scores of others — will appear at the Temple show only.

The posters (by MontDoom), info, ticket links and such came down the PR wire:

Glory or Death Records Friends and Family Showcase Back-to-Back shows in Tempe and San Diego

Glory or Death Records Friends & Family Showcase

Tempe Date: June 7 at Yucca Tap Room

Featuring live solo loop performance by Kelley Juett; Secrets of Lost Empires, Tzimani, Phantom Hound, Hudu Akil, Formula 400, and Great Electric Quest

7:30 pm // 21 + // $12 adv $15 door

Event Link:

Ticket Link:

San Diego Date: June 8 at Burning Beard Brewery

We will even be giving out free DIY Lightsabers! First come first serve. Kids first. We’ll start handing them out when the sun sets! Come hang!

June 8th 4-9pm All Ages!

Great Electric Quest (Oside)
Formula 400 (Vista)
Phantom Hound (Oakland)
Hudu Akil (PHX)
Tzimani (SD)
Kelley Juett (PHX)

Ticket Link:

Flyer art by @montdoom

Kelley Juett, “Mind Mirage”

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Ripplefest Texas 2024 Completes Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 8th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

This is one of the best lineups I’ve seen for a US-based heavy fest in the 15-plus years I’ve been running this site. I don’t know what else to say about it, honestly. For the fact that Ripplefest Texas is bringing Dozer over alone, let alone any of the other Euro acts involved who have, say, been to North America in the last 20-plus years, it’s astonishing. And not just bigger bands like Dozer and Truckfighters or Mars Red Sky and Belzebong, but Domkraft and Kal-El, bands you know if you’re into this thing but that haven’t been around as long and aren’t as ‘huge’ in the whatever sense that applies in underground music.

And it’s not like they’re skimping on within-US geography either. Of course the desert is well represented, and Texas has a significant presence as it invariably would, but with Gozu and Leather Lung headed out from Boston, Borracho traveling from D.C., Temple of the Fuzz Witch from Michigan, Robots of the Ancient World from Portland, Oregon, and so on, they’ve got all the corners and between pretty well covered. La Chinga coming from Canada. Demons My Friends giving Mexico a nod. It is extensive.

And quality. I don’t know that I’ll be there to see it, but I’d imagine that for most who get to be, it’ll be the stuff of legend. Congrats to Ryan Garney and Lick of My Spoon for bringing it into the world, and safe travels to all involved:

Ripplefest Texas 2024 poster sq

Here it is! The lineup for RippleFest Texas and the amazing art by Simon Berndt @1horsetown 🤘🔥❤️

We still have a few surprises left but this roster is stacked! Don’t miss your chance to see the world’s best heavy music at the largest family reunion of the year. Plus this is the ONLY premier festival that has absolutely ZERO OVERLAPPING so you can see every second of every band! Get your tickets now and we will see you in September!

Tier 2 tickets are almost sold out and the price increases on Monday so get your tickets now:



Plus the best light show in the business by @themadalchemistliquidliteshow

Mars Red Sky, Live at Rock in Bourlon 2023

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Formula 400 Welcome New Guitarist/Vocalist Alex Zambon

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 3rd, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Who doesn’t appreciate a low-drama lineup change? One player out, another player in. Nobody’s being cagey about announcements, not trying to sneak in a new bass player or some such — just easy peasy and on to the next thing. Kudos to Formula 400 on applying the sans-bullshit aesthetic that results in the kind of driving heavy rock and roll of their 2023 album, Divination (review here), to the logistical functioning of the group itself. Guitarist/vocalist Ian Holloway bows out, Alex Zambon steps into the band alongside guitarist/vocalist Dan Frick, bassist Kip Page and drummer Lou Voutiritsas, and business proceeds. The four-piece will be at the second annual SoCal Heavy Jam on Sept. 30, sharing the bill with Sasquatch, the reinvigorated Unida, Zed, Salem’s BendWhiskey and Knives, MezzoaDesert Suns and Lords of Dust.

That’s a single day, by the by, which you should take to mean it’s packed, and it looks like it’ll be a rager to (maybe, maybe not depending on one’s intake) remember. You’ll recall that Kip Page is one of the organizers, along with members of Mezzoa and Desert Suns, and they don’t print it on the flyer or anything, but the vibe I get from last year and this year’s lineups is that it’s as much a party as a festival in a way that, one hopes, is as low-drama as the lineup change bringing Zambon to Formula 400. The band announced that swap thusly on the ol’ social media:

formula 400

Hey everyone wanted to give you an update on Formula 400!

Just a little while back Ian decided to leave Formula 400 to pursue other projects and Ian was instrumental in Formula 400. We wish him well but the show must go on!

We are excited to announce Alex Zambon to our rocking family. He not only plays a mean guitar but can sing as well. He has played in such SoCal bands as Redrum and Honey Child. His most influential artists are Black Sabbath, Soundgarden and SRV. Good influences we think!!

Please give a warm welcome to Alex Zambon and we can’t wait to play our 1st show together with him!

Dan Frick / Kip Page/ Lou Voutiritsas
Formula 400

Formula 400, Divination (2023)

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Quarterly Review: Dorthia Cottrell, Fvzz Popvli, Formula 400, Abanamat, Vvon Dogma I, Orme, Artifacts & Uranium, Rainbows Are Free, Slowenya, Elkhorn

Posted in Reviews on May 11th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Here we go day four of the Quarterly Review. I would love to tell you it’s been easy-breezy this week. That is not the case. My kid is sick, my wife is tired of my bullshit, and neither of them is as fed up with me as I am. Nonetheless, we persist. Some day, maybe, we’ll sit down and talk about why. Today let’s keep it light, hmm?

And of course by “light” I mean very, very heavy. There’s some of that in the batch of 10 releases for today, and a lot of rock to go along, so yes, another day in the QR. I hope you find something you dig. I snuck in a surprise or two.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Dorthia Cottrell, Death Folk Country

Dorthia Cottrell Death Folk Country

Crafted for texture, Death Folk Country finds Windhand vocalist Dorthia Cottrell exploring sounds that would be minimal if not for the lushness of the melodies placed over them. Her first solo offering since 2015 runs 11 tracks and feels substantial at a manageable 42 minutes as delivered through Relapse Records. The death comes slow and soft, the folk is brooding and almost resistant in its Americana traditionalism, and the country is vast and atmospheric, and all three are present in a release that’s probably going to be called ethereal because of layering or vocal reverb but in fact is terrestrial like dry dirt. The seven-minute “Family Annihilator” is nigh on choral, and e-bow or some such droner element fills out the reaches of “Hell in My Water,” expanding on the expectation of arrangement depth set up by the chimes and swells that back “Harvester” after the album’s intro. That impulse makes Death Folk Country kin to some of earlier Wovenhand — thinking Blush Music or Consider the Birds; yes, I acknowledge the moniker similarity between Windhand and Wovenhand and stand by the point as regards ambience — and a more immersive listen than it would otherwise be, imagining future breadth to be captured as part of the claims made in the now. Do I need to say that I hope it’s not 2031 before she does a third record?

Dorthia Cottrell on Bandcamp

Relapse Records website

Fvzz Popvli, III


It’s been a quick — read: not quick — five years since Italian heavy rockers Fvzz Popvli released their second album, Magna Fvzz (review here), through Heavy Psych Sounds. Aptly titled, III is the third installment, and it’s got all the burner soloing, garage looseness and, yes, the fvzz one would hope, digging into a bit of pop-grunge on “The Last Piece of Shame,” setting a jammy expectation in the “Intro” mirrored in “Outro” with percussion, and cool-kid grooving on “Monnoratzo,” laced with hand-percussion and a bassline so thick it got made fun of in school and never lived down the trauma (a tragedy, but it rules just the same). “Post Shit” throws elbows of noise all through your favorite glassware, “20 Cent Blues” slogs out its march true to the name and “Tied” is brash even compared to what’s around it. Only hiccup so far as I can tell is “Kvng Fvzz,” which starts with a Charlie Chan-kind of guitar line and sees the vocals adopt a faux Chinese accent that’s well beyond the bounds of what one might consider ‘ill-advised.’ Cool record otherwise, but that is a significant misstep to make on a third LP.

Fvzz Popvli on Facebook

Retro Vox Records on Bandcamp


Formula 400, Divination

Formula 400 Divination

San Diegan riffslingers Formula 400 come roaring back with their sophomore long-player, Divination, following three (long) years behind 2020’s Heathens (review here), bringing in new drummer Lou Voutiritsas for a first appearance alongside guitarist/vocalists Dan Frick and Ian Holloway and bassist Kip Page. With a clearer, fuller recording, the solos shine through, the gruff vocals are well-positioned in the mix (not buried, not overbearing), and even as they make plays for the anthemic in “Kickstands Up,” “Rise From the Fallen” and closer “In Memoriam,” the lack of pretense is one of the elements most fortunately carried over from the debut. “Rise From the Fallen” is the only cut among the nine to top five minutes, and it fills its time with largesse-minded riffing and a hook born out of ’90s burl that’s a good distance from the shenanigans of opener “Whiskey Bent” or the righteous shove of the title-track. They’re among the best of the Ripple Music bands not yet actually signed to the label, with an underscored C.O.C. influence in “Divination” and the calmer “Bottomfeeder,” while “In Memoriam” filters ’80s metal epics through ’70s heavy and ’20s tonal weight and makes the math add up. Pretty dudely, but so it goes with dudes, and dudes are gonna be pretty excited about it, dude.

Formula 400 on Facebook

Animated Insanity Records website

No Dust Records website


Abanamat, Abanamat

Abanamat Abanamat

Each of the two intended sides of Abanamat‘s self-titled debut saves its longest song for its respective ending, with “Voidgazer” (8:25) capping side A and “Night Walk” (9:07) working a linear build from silence all the way up to round out side B and the album as a whole. Mostly instrumental save for those two longer pieces, the German four-piece recorded live with Richard Behrens at Big Snuff and in addition to diving back into the beginnings of the band in opener “Djinn,” they offer coherent but exploratory, almost-UncleAcidic-in-its-languidity fuzz on “Thunderbolt of Flaming Wisdom,” growing near-prog in their urgency with it on the penultimate “Amdest” but never losing the abiding mellow spirit that manifests out of the ether as “Night Walk” rounds out the album with synth and keys and guitar in a jazzy for-a-walk meander as the band make their way into a fuller realization of classic prog elements, enhanced by a return of the vocals after five minutes in. They’re there just about through the end, and fit well, but it demonstrates that Abanamat even on their debut have multiple avenues in which they might work and makes their potential that much greater, since it’s a conscious choice to include singing on a song or not rather than just a matter of no one being able to sing. The way they set it up here would get stale after a couple more records, but one hopes they continue to develop both aspects of their sonic persona, as any need to choose between them is imaginary.

Abanamat on Instagram

Interstellar Smoke Records store


Vvon Dogma I, The Kvlt of Glitch

Vvon Dogma I The Kvlt of Glitch

Led by nine-string bassist Frédérick “ChaotH” Filiatrault (ex-Unexpect), Montreal four-piece Vvon Dogma I are a progressive metal whirlwind, melodic in the spirit of post-return Cynic but no less informed by death metal, djent, rock, electronic music and beyond, the 10-song/45-minute self-released debut, The Kvlt of Glitch confidently establishes its methodology in “The Void” at the outset and proceeds through a succession marked by hairpin turns, stretches of heavy groove like the chorus of “Triangles and Crosses” contrasted by furious runs, dance techno on “One Eye,” melody not at all forgotten in the face of all the changes in rhythm, meter, the intermittently massive tones, and so on. Yes, the bass features as it inevitably would, but with the precision drumming of Kevin Alexander, Yoan MP‘s backflipping guitar and the synth and strings (at the end) of Blaise Borboën (also credited with production), a sound takes shape that feels like it could have been years in the making. Mind you I don’t know that it was or wasn’t, but Vvon Dogma I lead the listener through the lumbering mathematics of “Lithium Blue,” a cover of Radiohead‘s “2+2=5” and the grand finale “The Great Maze” with a sense of mastery that’s almost unheard of on what’s a first record even from experienced players. I don’t know where it fits and I like that about it, and in those moments where I’m so overwhelmed that I feel like my brain is on fire, this seems to answer that.

Vvon Dogma I on Facebook

Vvon Dogma I on Bandcamp


Orme, Orme

orme orme

Two sprawling slow-burners populate the self-titled debut from UK three-piece Orme. Delivered through Trepanation Recordings as a two-song 2LP, Orme deep-dives into ambient psych, doom, drone and more besides in “Nazarene” (41:58) and “Onward to Sarnath” (53:47), and obviously each one is an album unto itself. Guitarist/vocalist Tom Clements, bassist Jimmy Long (also didgeridoo) and drummer Luke Thelin — who’s also listed as contributing ‘silence,’ which is probably a joke, but open space actually plays a pretty large role in the impression Orme make — make their way into a distortion-drone-backed roller jam on “Nazarene,” some spoken vocals from Clements along the way that come earlier and more proclamatory in “Onward to Sarnath” to preface the instrumental already-gone out-there-ness as well as throat singing and other vocalizations that mark the rest of the first half-hour-plus, a heavy psych jam taking hold to close out around 46 minutes with a return of distortion and narrative after, like an old-style hidden track. It’s fairly raw, but the gravitational singularity of Orme‘s two forays into the dark are ritualistic without being cartoonishly cult, and feel as much about their experience playing as the listener’s hearing. In that way, it is a thing to be shared.

Orme on Facebook

Trepanation Recordings on Bandcamp


Artifacts & Uranium, The Gateless Gate

Artifacts & Uranium Gateless Gate

The UK-based experimentalist psych collaboration between Fred Laird (Earthling Society) and Mike Vest (Bong, et al) yields a third long-player as The Gateless Gate finds the duo branching out in the spirit of their 2021 self-titled and last year’s Pancosmology (review here) with instrumentalist flow and a three-dimensional sound bolstered by the various delays, organ, synth, and so on. Atop an emergent backbeat from Laird, “Twilight Chorus” (16:13) runs a linear trajectory bound toward the interstellar in an organic jam that comes apart before 12 minutes in and gives over to church organ and sampled chants soon to be countermanded by howls of guitar and distortion. Takest thou that. The B-side, “Sound of Desolation” (19:55), sets forth with a synthy wash that gives over to viol drone courtesy of Martin Ash, a gong hit marking the shift into a longform psych jam with a highlight bassline and an extended journey into hypnotics with choral keys (maybe?) arriving in the second half as the guitar begins to space out, fuzz soloing floating over a drone layer, the harder-hit drums having departed save for some residual backward/forward cymbal hits in the slow comedown. The world’s never going to be on their level, but Laird and Vest are warriors of the cosmos, and as their work to-date has shown, they have bigger fish to fry than are found on planet earth.

Artifacts & Uranium on Facebook

Riot Season Records website

Echodelick Records website


Rainbows Are Free, Heavy Petal Music

Rainbows Are Free Heavy Petal Music

What a show to preserve. Heavy Petal Music, while frustrating in that it’s new Rainbows Are Free and not a follow-up to 2019’s Head Pains, but as the Norman, Oklahoma, six-piece’s first outing through Ripple Music, the eight-song/43-minute live LP captures their first public performance in the post-pandemic era, and the catharsis is palpable in “Come” and “Electricity on Wax” early on and holds even as they delve into the proggier “Shapeshifter” later on, the force of their delivery consistent as they draw on material from across their three studio LPs unremitting even as their dynamic ranges between a piano-peppered bluesy swing and push-boogie like “Cadillac” and the weighted nod of “Sonic Demon” later on. The performance was at the 2021 Summer Breeze Music Festival in their hometown (not to be confused with the metal fest in Germany) and by the time they get down to the kickdrum surge backing the fuzzy twists of “Crystal Ball” — which doesn’t appear on any of their regular albums — the allegiance to Monster Magnet is unavoidable despite the fact that Rainbows Are Free have their own modus in terms of arrangements and the balance between space, psych, garage and heavy rock in their sound. Given Ripple‘s distribution, Heavy Petal Music will probably be some listeners’ first excursion with Rainbows Are Free. Somehow I have to imagine the band would be cool with that.

Rainbows Are Free on Facebook

Ripple Music website


Slowenya, Angel Raised Wolves b/w Horizontal Loops

slowenya angel raised wolves horizontal loops

It’s the marriage of complexity and heft, of melody and nod, that make Slowenya‘s “Angel Raised Wolves” so effective. Moving at a comfortable tempo on the drums of Timo Niskala, the song marks out a presence with tonal depth as well as a sense of space in the vocals of guitarist/synthesist Jan Trygg. They break near the midpoint of the 6:39 piece and reemerge with a harder run through the chorus, bassist Tapani Levanto stepping in with backing vocals before a roar at 4:55 precedes the turn back to the original hook, reinforcing the notion that there’s been a plan at work the whole time. An early glimpse at the Finnish psych-doom trio’s next long-player, “Angel Raised Wolves” comes paired with the shorter “Horizontal Loops,” which drops its chugging riff at the start as though well aware of the resultant thud. A tense verse opens to a chorus pretty and reverbed enough to remind of Fear Factory‘s earlier work before diving into shouts and somehow-heavier density. Growls, or some other kind of noise — I’m honestly not sure — surfaces and departs as the nod builds to an an aggressive head, but again, they turn back to where they came from, ending with the initial riff the crater from which you can still see right over there. The message is plain: keep an ear out for that record. So yes, do that.

Slowenya on Facebook

Karhuvaltio Records on Facebook


Elkhorn, On the Whole Universe in All Directions

Elkhorn On the Whole Universe in All Directions

Let’s start with what’s obvious and say that Elkhorn‘s four-song On the Whole Universe in All Directions, which is executed entirely on vibraphone, acoustic 12-string guitar, and drums and other percussion, is not going to be for everybody. The New York duo of Drew Gardner (said vibraphone and drums) and Jesse Sheppard (said 12-string) bring a particularly jazzy flavor to “North,” “South,” “East” and “West,” but there are shades of exploratory Americana in “South” that follow the bouncing notes of the opener, and “East” dares to hint at sitar with cymbal wash behind and rhythmic contrast in the vibraphone, a meditative feel resulting that “West” continues over its 12 minutes, somewhat ironically more of a raga than “East” despite being where the sun sets. Cymbal taps and rhythmic strums and that strike of the vibraphone — Elkhorn seem to give each note a chance to stand before following it with the next, but the 39-minute offering is never actually still or unipolar, instead proving evocative as it trades between shorter and longer songs to a duly gentle finish. Gardner formerly handled guitar, and I don’t know if this is a one-off, but as an experiment, it succeeds in bridging stylistic divides in a way that almost feels like showing off. Admirably so.

Elkhorn on Facebook

Centripetal Force Records website

Cardinal Fuzz Records BigCartel store


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SoCal Heavy Jam 2023 Announces Full Lineup; Tickets on Sale

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 1st, 2023 by JJ Koczan

A lot to dig here as SoCal Heavy Jam unfurls its 2023 lineup. The second edition of the Santee, CA-based festival at Full Circle Saloon will be held Sept. 30 and feature Unida and Sasquatch — at least the latter will be fresh off laying waste to RippleFest Texas the weekend prior — alongside ZedFormula 400Desert SunsMezzoaLords of DustSalem’s Bend and Whiskey & Knives. Of those, four are repeats from last year’s inaugural fest, and as the event is helmed by Formula 400 bassist Kip PageMezzoa guitarist/vocalist Ignacio “Nacho” Maldonado and Desert Suns vocalist Jason Busiek, it’s not a huge surprise they’d be back on board for the jam. Lords of Dust are the other repeat offender, and well, maybe they’re just awesome live. That happens sometimes.

The impression I got last year — not that I went, but from the announcement and the way the thing rolled out — was that true to its name, the SoCal Heavy Jam is more in the spirit of a casual all-dayer rather than an all-consuming festival, though one never knows how these things will solidify over a period of years. As it stands, with nine bands, the day is plenty packed, and sure to be a good time for those who manage to make it out. Maybe that’s you, maybe not. Personally, I’m hoping that by this time, new releases from both Sasquatch and Unida will have been at least announced if not released, which would of course add a bit of urgency here but also make life better generally as quality heavy rock will do. A few months before we get there, so fingers crossed.

The lineup was revealed in straightforward fashion via social media the other day and looks like this:

SoCal Heavy Jam 2023 poster

2nd Annual SoCal Heavy Jam at Full Circle Saloon – September 30th, 2023

2nd Annual SoCal Heavy Jam at Full Circle Saloon featuring – Unida, Sasquatch, ZED, Formula 400, Desert Suns, Mezzoa, Lords of Dust, Salem’s Bend, Whiskey and Knives!

Free Food – 4pm – 6pm

Drink Specials

$20 Presale – $30 at the Door Day of Show

Portion of the proceeds go to NSEFU – Wild Life Conservation. Founder – Coe Lewis

Unida, Live at Into the Void 2022

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Formula 400 Announce New Album Divination Out May 19; Premiere “Whiskey Bent”

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on March 16th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

formula 400

On this very day, as they take the stage among the sprawling multitudes at Stoner Jam in Austin, Texas, riff-slinger San Diego four-piece Formula 400 announce their new album, Divination, will be released on May 19 through Animated Insanity Records. To mark the occasion, they’re premiering the opening track “Whiskey Bent” — a harrowing lyrical tale of post-gig debauchery one night after a show at Count’s Vampd in Las Vegas — at the bottom of this post. Go ahead and hit play, I’ll wait.

Those who take on “Whiskey Bent” will find the barriers to entry are markedly low. Amid a gruff vocal, you might notice a general uptick in production value as compared to Formula 400‘s 2020 debut, Heathens (review here), while continuing that record’s penchant for accessible riffs and inviting groove. As a first glimpse of what’s to come on Divination, it bodes well in its on-paper construction and full-toned out-speakers realization, and alongside pieces like “Born to Lose” and “Bottomfeeder,” its unabashed, metal-rooted heavy rock reminds of aughts-era European acts like Mustasch, (later) Sparzanza, Mother Misery and, to some extent, Spiritual Beggars with how it lands in a place that would be commercially viable if the infrastructure were there (radio, tv, now internet, etc.) to receive it.

Rest assured, Formula 400 do just fine as-is, and though “Whiskey Bent” is short as it leads the way at the outset of Divination, it’s a strong foot forward daring the listener to give as much volume as possible in the listening.

Art, info and more follows from the band via the PR wire:

Formula 400 Divination

Dan Frick on “Whiskey Bent”:

Basically after our gig at Vampd and a night of already drinking a lot, we went to the golden nugget and hung out in the hotel for a bit, I think I downed another six pack in my room before Lou and I headed to the casino. We went to the casino bar and started doing shots and drinking jack and cokes. I blacked out at that point, and Lou somehow got me back to my room upstairs.

No one knows what happened, really, but for some reason I left my room to go back downstairs to the casino. Apparently I was found by a person walking by passed out in the planter on Fremont Street. They called an ambulance and filled me with hydrating fluids, but I didn’t have an ID on me, so I was detained by security until they could figure out who I was.

They are anticipating an early May release for digital and likely cds not long after that I would think. Vinyl will be later in the year .

The label is Animated Insanity Records. First single is Whiskey Bent written by Dan Frick (Ride the Sun/Shield of Snakes) and is about a night in Las Vegas playing a Vegas Rock Revolution Presents Friday Night Rock with Void Vator, Fostermother + Sonolith and Dan ended up on whiskey bender that took him wandering the streets of Sin City and finally crashing in the bushes at Golden Nugget. HA!

Formula 400 has shared the stage with John Garcia, Nebula, Unida, Void Vator, Steak, 16, The Freeks, Hippie Death Cult , Destroyer of Light, Fostermother and others along with upcoming show with The Well.

Have played at Planet Desert Rock Weekend III, Ripplefest Texas, Maryland Doomfest, Stoner Jam (Austin) and SoCal Heavy Jam.

Formula 400 live:
3/16 Austin TX Stoner Jam
3/17 Houston TX Black Magic Social Club
3/18 San Antonio TX Faust Tavern
3/28 San Diego CA TilTwo w/ The Well
4/22 Pour House with Blackwülf and Great Electric Quest

Formula 400 are:
Dan Frick: Guitar and Vox
Kip Page: Bass
Ian Holloway: Guitar and Vox
Lou Voutiritsas: Drums

Formula 400, “Whiskey Bent” track premiere

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John Garcia, Steak & Formula 400 to Play Las Vegas Jan. 20

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 17th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

john garcia steak formula 400 banner

With the caveat that promoter John Gist of Vegas Rock Revolution says there might be a second show added for those looking to make a weekend of it, John Garcia, Steak and Formula 400 are playing together in Las Vegas on Jan. 20. Aside from being notable like pretty much every time John Garcia and his band (Of Gold) do a thing, this one gets the eyebrows up because Steak will be making the trip from London to play.

That’s not insignificant. I don’t know what their plans are, if they’ll be doing a full West Coast run or if they’re just coming across on the QT for a single date, but it feels worth noting that Steak have prior experience in the desert portion of the US, having recorded there before, so it’s certainly possible they’ve got as-yet-secret doings in the works in that regard. Seems entirely likely we’ll find out — nobody really records in secret these days; too much opportunity for social media engagement to squander, and Steak are rebuilding after a hack, so it seems even less likely they’d disengage, even if Facebook is only a dumping ground for Instagram posts — before January, but it’s fun to speculate anyhow. Steak‘s 2022 album, Acute Mania (review here), is the best work they’ve ever done.

Formula 400 are the crucial third rounding out at least one rocking evening — I hear at least one more band might be added if not another day — and you’ll find comment from all involved parties as well as the event page for the gig below, courtesy of VRR.


john garcia et al poster redux

Vegas Rock Revolution Presents: John Garcia, Steak & Formula 400

Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, Count’s Vamp’d in Las Vegas


“I am always honored to have John Garcia as part of a Vegas Rock Revolution Show,” says John Gist of VRR. “We aim to make this super cool night with hand picked unique bands to play with John on this bill. To have Steak coming from London to play is just amazing. Danny + Korie Koker’s Count’s Vamp’d has been such an amazing venue to work with to host such kickass event is humbling. And hey if things make sense we just might add a Saturday of shows in Vegas so people coming into town have a cool 2nd show to hit!”

“We are extremely stoked to be doing this show at Count’s Vamp’d, especially with Steak. This show is going to be something special and I would like to thank Vegas Rock Revolution for making this happen. If you’re looking for a reason to come to Vegas, here it is.” – John Garcia

Says Steak: We are so excited to be supporting the legend John Garcia in Las Vegas. We last toured with him in Europe in 2014 and are honoured to be playing with him in his own back yard. Supporting John Garcia in Vegas? Fuck yeah, Steak are coming for Sin City and I’m not sure we will get out alive!”

“Formula 400 is always pumped to play a Vegas Rock Revolution Presents show at Count’s Vamp’d and to have the honor to share the stage with the legend John Garcia from Kyuss really gets our engines revving! Plus with Steak coming from London this is going to be cool night!” – Formula 400

Event page:

Art by Alex Sonolith.

John Garcia and the Band of Gold, “Whitewater” live at Desertfest New York 2022

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First Annual SoCal Heavy Jam Set for Oct. 22

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 4th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Socal Heavy jam 2022 banner

Put together by bassist Kip Page of Formula 400, Mezzoa guitarist/vocalist Ignacio “Nacho” Maldonado, and Desert Suns singer Jason Busiek, the SoCal Heavy Jam is a new festival intended — as you can glean for yourself by looking at either the banner above or the poster below (one likes to cover horizontal and vertical, when possible) — to be an annual event.

Motorbäbe, who, yes, play Motörhead tunes, will headline, and Void Vator and -(16)- (whose new record I’m still anticipating eagerly) are up near the top of the bill as well. All three of the founders’ bands will play, and presumably that won’t be the case every year — they might alternate, for example, or all take 2023 off — but in addition to being well within their rights, having booked the thing, they’re good bands. With Lords of DustAwakeners and Into the Fuzz rounding out, the all-day-and-plenty-of-the-nighter will take place Oct. 22 at Full Circle Saloon in Santee, California, which makes it easy-peasy for those in the San Diego area.

The lineup was announced a while ago and has been bandied hither and yon since, but I suck at keeping up and kind of figured nobody would argue if I posted it now, which is far enough out for you to make travel plans to San Diego/adjacent if you’re up for it and still close enough to that it won’t be forgotten by the time it actually happens. That’s my thinking, anyhow.

Putting together one festival, let alone one with an intention to do it every year, is not a minor undertaking. I wish PageMaldonado and Busiek the best this first time through and will look forward to what comes next for SoCal Heavy Jam as well.

Info, a Spotify playlist of the bands, and social links follow:

Socal Heavy jam 2022 poster

SoCal Heavy Jam at Full Circle Saloon – Saturday, October 22

1st Annual SoCal Heavy Jam at Full Circle Saloon featuring – Motorbäbe, Void Vator, -16-, Mezzoa, Formula 400, Desert Suns, Lords of Dust, AWAKENERS and Into the Fuzz!

Free Food – 3pm – 5pm
Drink Specials

$15 cover
Portion of the proceeds go to NSEFU – Wild Life Conservation. Founder – Coe Lewis

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