Earthless, From the Ages: Call of Uluru

Posted in Reviews on August 22nd, 2013 by JJ Koczan

It hasn’t been as long as it can seem since last we heard from instrumental San Diego trio Earthless, whose last studio full-length was 2007’s Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky. The next year, they released Live at Roadburn (arguably their high-water mark to date), and since then, between a rerelease of 2005’s Sonic Prayer Jam, a 10th anniversary jam EP in 2012 and splits with Witch in 2008, Premonition 13/Radio Moscow in 2012 and While Hills in 2013, they haven’t been completely absent leading up to the issue of their third LP, From the Ages (Tee Pee Records), but there can be little doubt that the greater accomplishments of the band’s members during that stretch have taken place outside of Earthless itself. Notably, drummer Mario Rubalcaba joined forces with former Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris and members of Burning Brides and Redd Kross in OFF!, and also played in punk outfit Spider Fever, while guitarist Isaiah Mitchell made a stunning debut in 2012 with the self-titled Golden Void (review here), also taking on a vocal role that was new to those who knew him solely from his work in Earthless. All this led to speculation that Earthless were finished, but in terms of From the Ages, that just seems to mean that it arrives with all the more fanfare surrounding it; even as the first announcements were being made, the excitement was palpable that Mitchell and Rubalcaba had once again joined forces with bassist Mike Eginton for a studio offering. Comprised of four tracks totaling a solid hour of ripping classic rock jams, From the Ages says in a big way that in fact not only are Earthless not done, but that the vibrant spirit that rested at the heart of the original 2005 Sonic Prayer and the terrifying chemistry that showed itself on Live at Roadburn and put Earthless on the fast track to stoner-rock-legends status are well intact and still very much at the core of what the trio does. They remain instrumental for the duration (in case anyone was wondering if Mitchell might throw in some vocals post-Golden Void), and tap into a rare prowess and classic rock versatility throughout the four mostly-extended cuts, culminating in the 31-minute epic title-track.

I’m rarely one for double LPs, though Earthless have been consistent all along in their flair for the sonically and structurally grandiose, so it’s not at all unexpected that From the Ages would arrive in that form, and to be fair, there isn’t really a way the album could work without all four of its pieces and still accomplish the same immersive feel. A double it is, then. Helping their case is the fact that each song leading up to the concluding “From the Ages” presents a personality of its own, whether it’s the solo-laden swirl of opener “Violence of the Red Sea” (14:46), the more restrained heavy psych of “Uluru Rock” (14:08), the exploratory vibing of shorter “Equus October” (5:43) or of course “From the Ages” (30:56) itself, which both ties the others together and expands the soundscape in much the way an earthquake might turn plains into mountains. Mitchell‘s guitar leads for most of the album’s duration — seeming especially forward as he rock-shreds solos on “Violence of the Red Sea” and “From the Ages” — but the story of From the Ages isn’t about any one of the three players nearly as much as it is about the exciting music they make in combination. As “Violence of the Red Sea” gets started, Earthless seem to be shaking off the dust of the years since Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky, almost winding themselves up, but they quickly lock in a groove brilliantly underscored by classy fills from Eginton and by the time they’re past the minute mark, so is the hook. The tones of Mitchell and Eginton, as captured by producer Phil Manley, are organic but not at the expense of clarity, and Rubalcaba‘s drums come through with a suitable wash of cymbal and pop in the snare, giving From the Ages a fresh, still-punkish jam room feel. Effects are layered in, but the course is set, and the album carries on from the Red Sea to the other side of the world with “Uluru Rock,” named for the sandstone mass also known as Ayers Rock in Australia’s Northern Territory. As “Equus October” refers to a Roman ritual sacrifice to Mars, the God of War, and “From the Ages” is as grand in scale and scope as the jump from the Mideast to Australia is geographically, it should be clear that Earthless are thinking big in multiple dimensions — time and space, specifically. The music mirrors that. Eight minutes in, “Violence of the Red Sea” turns somewhat chaotic, but the course resumes with upbeat fervor, wah and riff colliding as the rhythm section holds firm to the ground its has established, keeping the whole thing from going off the rails of whatever means of interstellar conveyance it might be using for its journey. As the listener would have to expect, they finish in monumental style.

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Earthless to Release From the Ages on Oct. 8 on Tee Pee Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 23rd, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Last time we checked in, San Diego trio Earthless were playing some of their new material live as they began a European tour to herald the coming of their new album, From the Ages, at Stoned from the Underground in Germany. Before that, there appeared the cover art for the record, which is their first studio outing in six years. And now, at last, a release date, track listing and some further info on the album’s doings. No music just yet, but that can’t be far off.

Earthless From the Ages is set for release Oct. 8. The PR wire takes it from here:

San Diego Psych Rock Supergroup EARTHLESS to Release New Album “From the Ages” October 8

Revered Band’s First New LP in Six Years Blends Japanese Psychedelic Guitar Heroics with Krautrock’s Experimental Underpinnings

Award-winning San Diego power rock band EARTHLESS has completed work on its brand new album From the Ages. The first new studio album from the globally celebrated trio since the release of 2007’s critically acclaimed Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky, the LP was recorded in San Francisco with producer Phil Manley (Trans Am, The Fucking Champs, SubArachnoid Space). An hour-long double LP, From the Ages will see an October 8 release date via Tee Pee Records.

Formed in 2001, EARTHLESS prides itself on creating energetic, utterly unique and free thinking instrumental music inspired by an eclectic mix of German krautrock and Japanese heavy blues-rock. The Californian trio has dedicated itself to mastery of the mind-bending jam session, evoking the spirits of Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath in equal measure. Named after a song title from vintage New York garage-psych band The Druids of Stonehenge, EARTHLESS’ sound has been called “A sonic kaleidoscope of lava and lightning”, earning it the title of “California’s loudest band”. The group delivers “one of the best live shows in all of modern, heavy rock,” leading to one reviewer stating that the band’s “epic shredding harkens back to the days were psychedelic rock had balls the size of grapefruits and wasn’t afraid to take its listeners on a ride for which they may never return.”

Each member of EARTHLESS has done time in many other bands. Drummer (and former pro skater) Mario Rubalcaba currently plays in the hardcore punk band OFF! and has also occupied the drum throne in Rocket From The Crypt and Hot Snakes amongst many others. Bassist Mike Eginton played with Electric Nazarene and guitarist Isaiah Mitchell was most recently in Howlin’ Rain, has played with Nebula and Drunk Horse and also heads up the Bay Area band Golden Void. In the end, EARTHLESS is the musical rock that grounds the three musicians and now, after more than half a decade since the release of their last studio LP, EARTHLESS has returned and is out to prove — through sheer rock power — why they are considered the cream of the modern day heavy psych scene.

“We feel this is some of the strongest material that we have ever created and we cannot wait to get out there and share it with everyone in a live setting,” said the band when asked for comment. From the Ages’ sprawling, epic cover art was created by renowned rock music poster artist Alan Forbes (Queens of the Stone Age, SWANS, Black Crowes) while the record’s surreal inner design was brought to life by the band’s own Mike Eginton.

Track listing:
1.) Violence of the Red Sea (14:44)
2.) Uluru Rock (14:08)
3.) Equus October (5:42)
4.) From the Ages (30:55)

Earthless, “From the Ages”/”Godspeed” Live in 2009

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Visual Evidence: Earthless Reveal Cover for From the Ages

Posted in Visual Evidence on July 8th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

This Thursday, San Diego mega-jammers Earthless are set to launch a European tour alongside The Atomic Bitchwax and Mirror Queen at Stoned from the Underground in Germany. On their way out, Earthless have unveiled the cover art that will adorn their upcoming Tee Pee Records release, From the Ages, due Oct. 8, which will be the trio’s first studio album since 2007’s Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky, though they’ve released two live albums — 2008’s Live at Roadburn and 2012’s Sonic Prayer Jam — since.

Those, as well as splits with Witch and White Hills, have kept Earthless in the (expanding) consciousness of their audience, and guitarist Isaiah Mitchell introduced his heavy psych project Golden Void with a self-titled debut (review here) last year while drummer Mario Rubalcaba has enjoyed a stint in the raw hardcore punk outfit OFF!, fronted by Keith Morris formerly of Black Flag, so they’ve been plenty busy as well. Still, a new Earthless record feels like an event worth marking, so check out the Alan Forbes album art below and stay tuned for more news and info on the release to come:

Earthless, From the Ages cover by Alan Forbes

Friends- The time has finally come! We have ended our hibernation from the recording studio & are very excited to say that we have a new record coming out soon on Tee Pee Records! Just take a look at the sneak peak cover by the Wizzard Alan Forbes

Stay tuned & if you are in Europe or London, come out & shake yr brains! This tour starts next week!!!


Earthless, The Atomic Bitchwax & Mirror Queen – Cosmic Sonic Rendezvous

11.07. (GER) ERFURT, Stoned from the Underground
12.07. (BEL) GENT, De Centrale
13.07. (UK) LONDON, The Garage
14.07. (NL) TILBURG, 013
15.07. (FR) PARIS, Nouveau Casino
16.07. (CH) ZURICH, Kinski KLUB
17.07. (AT) VIENNA, Arena
18.07. (ITA) ZEROBRANCO, Altroquando Summer Live Festival
19.07. (GER) MUNICH, Feierwerk

Earthless on Thee Facebooks

Alan Forbes’ website

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