Friday Full-Length: Geezer, Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I recently had reason to go back and pop on Geezer‘s first record, Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues. And I’ll be honest, it’s probably the most I’ve dug into it since it was released in Sept. 2013. Maybe it was the fact that I’d just moved out of the New York region, where they’re from, and the last thing I needed was another thing to be bummed about leaving behind. Maybe it was the fact that Bandcamp was just really starting to come up as an outlet for heavy music and it seemed like every band with a “stoner rock” tag was being mega-hyped on social media as the next Whoever.

Maybe I wasn’t feeling guitarist Pat Harrington‘s gravelly vocal approach — which can sound at first glance like a put-on, but I tell you as someone who’s had extensive conversations with the man, he’s no less ‘whiskey-soaked’ when you’re quietly chatting about your kids than he is on “Full Tilt Boogie” here — or lyrics like “You’re such an evil bitch” in opener “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and “My girl is built like a pony/Long legs and curves that ain’t phony” on “Pony,” which only lace one of the catchiest slide guitar riffs I’ve heard in the last 10 years with a fervent eyeroll even now as I’ve come to appreciate Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues on an aesthetic level, for its songwriting, and for its subtle hints at the band that Geezer would become.

At the time, they were comprised of Harrington, bassist Freddy Villano and drummer Chris Turco, and their stock-in-trade was indeed a heavy blues rock marked out by rolling grooves and the use of slide guitar — something Harrington has pulled back on in years since, possibly as he’s grown more confident in working without it and the band has changed direction — but from their bouncing cover of The Beatles‘ “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road” to the mellow post-Clutch‘s “The Regulator” twanger “Rain on the Highway,” to “Underground” and the penultimate shuffler “I Just Wanna Get High with You,” which boogie enough between them to remind that the blues can be a party as much as it can be anything, their early work reaches beyond those simple stylistic confines. Or at very least it pushes the limits of expectation for them.

Villano and Turco would both eventually be out of Geezer, but the three-piece had a chemistry that worked well and sounded natural throughout Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues and their subsequent offerings together, and that dynamic is clearly established in these 10 songs. For the title and cover art’s speaking to an earlier era of recorded music — too bad I don’t think a 78RPM platter can hold a 39-minute release, otherwise a limited reissue pressing could be a lot of fun; maybe a double-78 just for kicks and collectors? — the production is never especially retro sounding, but the tracks still come though with enough energy to carry their largely comfortable tempos and there’s enough range between them that Geezer give a showing of character and craft that, had I done a list of 2013’s best debut albums, probably would’ve deserved to be on it.

geezer electrically recorded handmade heavy blues

But that’s hindsight, and of course informed by my experience with the band since as well as the group they’d become. I had seen them and written positive things about their 2013 Gage EP (review here) that would become an STB Records LP (review here) in 2014 — so it’s not like they were completely off my radar — but I just kind of missed out on Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues when it came out. I tell you all the time I suck at this. It ain’t like Pokemon. You can’t catch ’em all.

Not yet is mentioned six-minute closer “Still a Fool,” and that’s on purpose. It’s about a minute and a half longer than the next longest track, and something of a standout as well as very purposefully placed where it is on the record. It starts out with an up and down riff and Harrington‘s vocals, talking about back-door-creepin’ on someone else’s wife or some such, and resolves itself in a blues rock cacophony worthy of any ’70s comparison you want to make for it — MC5, Cactus, Zeppelin, doesn’t matter who — before capping off as a gig might. In so doing, Geezer sends advance notice of a skill that would emerge in their sound over subsequent offerings, including that Gage LP the next year, and that is the jam.

Ah, the jam. Take a breath. In. Out. The jam.

As the band began its gradual shift in lineup, it was the jam that would begin to emerge as the dominant force within their sound, and it was through the jam that Harrington‘s true persona came through on guitar. Gage and the Live! Full-Tilt Boogie tape (review here) in 2014 showed more flashes of it, and their 2015 participation in Ripple Music‘s The Second Coming of Heavy split series (review here) alongside D.C.’s Borracho led into their 2016 self-titled LP (review here), their second proper full-length, that really marked their arrival as something more than an object of temporary social media interest.

Now signed to Ripple, they brought that bluesy sound with them as they veered into more psychedelic and melodically adventurous fare, balancing songs and extended explorations in a way that successfully captured their live spirit with studio clarity. 2017’s Psychoriffadelia (review here) followed and built on that principle, and early 2019’s Spiral Fires EP (review here) on Kozmik Artifactz not only kept the momentum and progression going, but tested the waters with drummer Steve Markota alongside the longer-set pairing of Harrington and bassist Richie Touseull. And “waters” is the right word for the fluidity they were able to conjure between the three of them.

Nonetheless, the reason I had for going back and finally giving Geezer‘s debut long-player its due was that in 2020 the band — HarringtonTouseullMarkota — will release another new album that they’ve been working on throughout 2019. I’m not saying I’ve heard any of the tracks or anything, but I will say there’s a good chance it marks another significant forward step in their ongoing sonic evolution and features some of their best and most developed songwriting to-date. I have no release plans or details to share, but consider it something to look forward to, even as you look back at their first record.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the US. Like just about everything in this country — including the country itself — its history is racist and horrifying. Hi, colonialism.

Turkey was good, family time was even better. My Jersey crew and The Patient Mrs.’ Connecticut crew (plus a rare but crucial appearance from the Maryland blood-relative branch) all got together up in CT and we went up with The Pecan on Wednesday, stayed over and then were there until after dinner and at least the first stage of cleanup on Thursday before getting in the car so the kid could fall asleep on the ride and then just basically be thrown in bed. It was good.

I’ve slept an extra hour the last few days, waking up at 5 instead of 4AM. It’s been good for my rest level, bad for productivity. My disposition is still shit either way, so, you know, I might as well at least do what I need to do to get done what I need to get done. Head down, keep working.

Like now. It’s 9AM. I just put up that Roadburn post — actually just got to write it too, with all the inherent chaos of the holiday yesterday — and The Pecan and The Patient Mrs. are playing hide and seek while I’m off watch and buried in my computer. I must really need this as much as I think I do.

I have an appointment to finish up a root canal in about an hour and a half, so that’s a thing to look forward to. This is the follow-up to the surprise root canal I had a couple Fridays ago. Third one on the same tooth. I don’t like the tooth’s chances longterm, but I’ll try and give it as much of a shot as I can. The crown is too big and shaped wrong for the surrounding teeth. The human mouth is a cesspool anyway. Why should my bite be any less awkwardly shaped than any of the rest of me?

So anyway, I’ll probably spend the next 45 minutes or so trying to brush the coffee taste and residual garlic from yesterday out of my mouth (and fail) before I head out and then come back and start to worry about weekend stuff like the press release I need to write for STB Records this weekend — I’ve sworn to myself that I’m stepping back from such usually-unpaid labors as this, liner notes, bios, etc., and I am, but some projects you can’t refuse — and a playlist for the next Gimme Radio show, which airs next Friday. I guess it’s best-of-2019 time already. Go figure.

Anyway, if you’re in the States, I hope you got the four-day weekend thing going. I’ll be in my sweatpants probably the entire time, fretting about this and that and enjoying leftovers. May you rock and roll and have fun and be safe and be kind and have kindness done to you, wherever you are.

FRM. Forum, Radio, Merch.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk merch

 

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Geezer Update on New Album Progress; Unveil Badass Shirt Design

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

There’s an awful lot we don’t know about the next Geezer record yet. The increasingly trippy Kingston, New York, heavy blues-psych jammers released their 2019 EP, Spiral Fires (review here), via Kozmik Artifactz this past Spring, but I’ve no clue as to whether that imprint will handle the new full-length, let alone things like the name of this album, the release date, the song titles, what it sounds like, and all of that other fun stuff that goes into record details. But they’ve leaked out a couple videos from the studio and that’s a good time, so I’ll take what I can get in that regard, and they posted that they’re currently in the mixing stage, so maybe it won’t be all that long until some substantive word comes down the PR wire about a plan for getting the thing out there.

I’d assume it’s a 2020 release, just because time’s short in 2019 at this point for an album to be mastered, pressed, properly promoted, etc. They could be part of what’s become the annual February Onslaught, whereby all the records that various parties have been sitting on all winter are finally issued, but it could honestly be March or April before it shows up, especially if they want to line up a tour surrounding, either at home or abroad. Frankly, either would be a reasonable move for them at this point. Hell, I saw them with Sasquatch and Nebula last month (review here) and they were fantastic. Let them go do three weeks in Europe with Sasquatch. Make the world a better place for a while.

Well, anyhoozle. While I’m sitting here planning tours for bands that I won’t get to see, you can dig into what Geezer had to say about where they’re at. Also, I don’t regularly post anything about a band’s merch, because jeez, I’d never post about anything else, but this design by Joshua Wilkinson from The Company was too good not to include, as I think you’ll likely agree. T-shirt is on their Bandcamp now. I bought one this morning:

geezer shirt design

Geezer – **ALBUM UPDATE**

We are currently in the mixing phase of the new full length album. It’s gonna be righteous! This shirt design was done by @thecompanykc and will be available soon through our Bandcamp page… dig!

Things got trippy in the studio a few weeks ago… new album is gonna be killer!

Come for the music… stay for the dog.

https://www.instagram.com/geezertown/
https://www.facebook.com/geezerNY/
http://geezertown.bandcamp.com/

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Live Review: Nebula, Sasquatch, Mirror Queen & Geezer in Brooklyn, 09.07.19

Posted in Reviews on September 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Nebula (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It had all the makings of a classic Saturday night at Saint Vitus Bar, including a few classics along the way from the bands playing. I was trying to remember the last time I saw either Nebula or Sasquatch, and I know that at least in the case of the former, it was well before the fabled Brooklyn venue opened in 2011 — they haven’t toured widely since, what, 2010, for the LP version of Heavy Psych (review here)? — and I think as regards Sasquatch, it might’ve been when they were supporting their second album, II (discussed here). That came out in 2006, so definitely a long time. Now that I think about it, it’s been a couple years since I last saw Geezer as well, and only Mirror Queen, who played Desertfest NYC (review here) this past April, can I say it hasn’t been an absurdly long time.

There were reportedly a bunch of relevant shows happening in Brooklyn at the same time, from The Budos Band to Siege, but whatever. I knew where I wanted to be, and I knew I wanted to be there early. I actually got to the Vitus in time to catch the end of Geezer‘s soundcheck, and it was a quick reminder of why I was so excited to see them again in the first place. The Kingston, NY, trio have new recordings currently in progress, and unless I’m missing something — as I said, it’s been a while — the bulk of what they played was new. They finished out with “Charley Reefer” from earlier 2019’s Spiral Fires EP (review here), but beyond that and maybe one or two others the riffs to which called out their origins, the point of it having been too damn long was underscored by how fresh Geezer‘s material was, rife with ride-this-groove slow-motion boogie and an engagingly jammy soul from guitarist Pat Harrington, bassist Richie Touseull and drummer Steve Markota. The first bottom line is they were on earlier than they probably should’ve been — hazards of a four-band bill and an 11PM curfew, I suppose — and they killed it just the same, the smoothness of their roll easing those there in time to see them into what was already working on being a great night.

Mirror Queen, long since an NYC staple whose current incarnation features — in addition to founding guitarist/vocalist Kenny Sehgal, also of Tee Pee Records fame — guitarist Morgan “Can’t Help but Boogie” McDaniel, who held down low-end for a time in The Golden Grass, alongside bassist James Corallo and drummer Jeremy O’Brien, also had a swath of new material to showcase. I don’t know their recording plans, but they’re embracing classic progressive heavy rock in a big way and by all appearances even more than they did on 2017’s Verdigris (review here), their most recent LP. They played one song from that in opener “Poignard” and the title-track from 2015’s Scaffolds of the Sky (review here) before launching into new songs “Inside an Icy Light,” “A Rider on the Rain” and “The Devil Seeks Control” and a take on “Stairway to the Stars” by Blue Öyster Cult that would not be the last set-closing cover of the night. As with Geezer before them, their new stuff only made me look forward to what the New Year might bring, and though they had some technical trouble with a persistent buzz and some crackling this-or-that, their bouncing rhythms seemed to make up for whatever time they lost sorting it all out. Kind of know what to expect from them at this point, but that does nothing to lessen the appeal, as far as I’m concerned.

I’ll admit there have been chances — not many, but at least two — for me to see Sasquatch in the last couple years, and for whatever reason I haven’t been able to make it work. Their lineup, with Roadsaw‘s Craig Riggs on drums/sometimes-vocals, guitarist/vocalist Keith Gibbs and bassist Jason “Cas” Casanova, was unstoppable. Front-to-back energy of the kind where you can tell each of the players is challenging the others to keep up. Around hyper-memorable songs like “More Than You’ll Ever Be,” “Rational Woman” and “Bringing Me Down” from 2017’s Maneuvers (review here) and the much-appreciated “Chemical Lady” from their 2004 self-titled debut and “New Disguise” from 2010’s III (review here), they seemed to have some new songs in tow as well — “It Lies Beyond the Bay,” if I’m reading the setlist right? — but either way, if you could get kicked in the ass by a breath of fresh air that somehow also kind of smells like motor oil, that would be like seeing Sasquatch live. Yes. It is an experience of mixed-metaphor hyperbole-worthy heavy rock and roll of the kind that makes you want to believe not only that we live in a gilded age for the genre, but that future generations of those with any clue whatsoever will some day come up to those who were there and ask what it was like to see that band in their day. And if you’re wondering, this most certainly was their day. New album next year? That’d be just fine by me.

Speaking of new albums, did I ever think Nebula would put out another record? I wouldn’t have called it impossible, but until they got back together for Desertfest in 2018 — credit where it’s due — I don’t think I’d have considered it overly likely. However, they gave 2019’s aptly-titled Holy Shit (review here) its fair outing, with “Messiah,” “Witching Hour,” the Luciferian “Man’s Best Friend,” “Let’s Get Lost” and “The Cry of a Tortured World” aired alongside classics like “Fall of Icarus,” “Aphrodite” — which opened; my god — and the ultra-languid-and-still-somehow-aggro “Anything from You” and “To the Center,” which only brought out the spirit of how much Nebula are a punk band even if one that’s been left out in the California sun to bake until, well, baked. Guitarist/vocalist Eddie Glass‘ return feels triumphant, and not just because the record rules, and he and bassist/backing vocalist Tom Davies and drummer Mike Amster — who seems to have become desert rock’s drummer of choice, as he’s also now joined Mondo Generator; his adaptable style and obvious power behind the kit make it hard to think of a band from out that way in which he wouldn’t mesh — brought out the tech they referred to only as Ranch from the stage to play second guitar, which only filled out the sound further.

Under rainbow-hued lights, they demonstrated not only why it’s proper to think of them more than 20 years later as a classic band, but why Nebula are a band that underground heavy rock needs now, at a time when shut-the-fuck-up-and-chill seems to be in such short supply. Late in the set they included a version of “Out of Your Head” that made me want to go back and get to know 2003’s Atomic Ritual all over again, and the jammy “Sonic Titan” was more than welcome as well. I could’ve done with “Down the Highway,” but you can’t have everything. As it was, there was an event scheduled for after the show — a Smiths/Morrissey party or something like that — and so Nebula were scheduled to be done circa 10:45. They played for another 10 minutes and, in true punker fashion, threw in a cover of The Stooges‘ “Search and Destroy” to close the night, playing it with conviction enough that it felt like the song should’ve thanked them afterward. Righteous, it was. A righteous blowout.

Also classic? The traffic I hit heading back to Jersey. Midnight on a Saturday at the Lincoln Tunnel? Yeah, your trip’s gonna take twice as long as it otherwise might. Still, I got back to my ancestral homestead around 12:30 — the Morrissey party was probably in full swing — and crashed out in short order, ready to call the night a complete win as few could hope to be. Nebula and Sasquatch head west from here en route to Northwest Hesh Fest later this month and a capstone gig in San Francisco thereafter, but whether it’s now or next time, if you have the opportunity, take it. I can’t say it any simpler than that.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

Read more »

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Geezer to Release Spiral Fires Vinyl April 26; CD out Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

geezer

Hey, you dig Geezer? Hell yeah, me too. Accordingly, it seemed like maybe you’d want to know that their new EP, Spiral Fires (review here), is up for preorder now through Kozmik Artifactz, and that if you’re the type like me who likes those little plastic compact discs in the handy-dandy digipak form, they’ve got those too and you don’t even have to wait until later in the month to get them. I know, right? Pretty badass, but that’s how Geezer do.

Speaking of, they’ve got two shows slated for later this month and both rule. On April 20, they’re doing the hometown-hero thing at The Anchor in Kingston, NY, in the company of River Cult and Eternal Black — nice one — and then a couple days later on April 23, they’re at the Vitus Bar with Ufomammut and Kings Destroy, rounding out an all-excellent three-band bill that’s like an unofficial Desertfest NYC pre-pre-party. Mark your calendar and mark it a win.

The PR wire has the info:

geezer spiral fires

NY’s GEEZER New ‘SPIRAL FIRES’ EP Now Available On CD; Vinyl Out April 26th – Pre-order via KOZMIK ARTIFACTZ!

After recruiting Steve Markota as Geezer’s new drummer in summer of 2017, the band knew it was now the peak time to refocus and start afresh. With gigs as the motivation, over the following year or so the Kingston, NY heavy blues triad set about performing in the U.S.. From Doomed & Stoned Festival to New England Stoner and Doom Festival, from The Maryland Doom Fest to the Descendants of Crom, then throw in a support slot for Acid King, many other righteous shows, and a full year did bloom indeed.

All the while, a revitalized Geezer was writing and road-testing new songs. It became clear that one album was not enough to fully capture what was happening. An EP would be the foundation to set the stage for an upcoming full-length. Drawing inspiration from the most recent Child EP vinyl release, Geezer hooked up with Kozmik Artifactz to release their own EP in the same vein. Limited Edition, one color cover, black vinyl, no bells or whistles… just rock and roll.

The result is the mind-altering new EP, ‘Spiral Fires’. A three-song collection edifying the embodiment of Geezer’s quest for all things heavy, trippy, and groovy. ‘Spiral Fires’ is the first passage in their new journey.

‘Spiral Fires’ – Track List:
01. Spiral Fires Part 1
02 Spiral Fires Part 2
03. Darkworld
04. Charley Reefer

‘Spiral Fires’ was produced by Pat Harrington. Recorded at Darkworld Studio in Kingston, NY, by Matthew Cullen and assistant engineers David Daw and Robert Kelly. Mixing was done by Matthew Cullen at The Cat Haus in Catskill, NY, with mastering by Scott Craggs at Old Colony Mastering in Boston, MA. The ‘Spiral Fires’ cover art is by Lee Fenyves, with design layout by Steve Markota.

On April 26th, ‘Spiral Fires’ will be available on vinyl through Kozmik Artifactz, with pre-ordering available now. Both CD and digital is available on Bandcamp:

Kozmik Artifactz: http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?a=60546

Geezer on Bandcamp: https://geezertown.bandcamp.com/

GEEZER live:
04.20 The Anchor Kingston NY w/ River Cult & Eternal Black
04.23 Saint Vitus Bar Brooklyn NY w/ Ufomammut & Kings Destroy

GEEZER:
Pat Harrington – Guitar/Vocals
Richie Touseull – Bass
Steve Markota – Drums

https://www.instagram.com/geezertown/
https://www.facebook.com/geezerNY/
http://geezertown.bandcamp.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Geezer, Spiral Fires EP (2019)

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The Obelisk Presents: Ode to Doom with Geezer, Grass, Slush & The Ancient Stone, March 20 in Manhattan

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on March 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Ode to Doom is coming up on three years of presenting shows on the regular at Arlene’s Grocery in Manhattan, and I’m proud to have had this site associated with it more or less since the outset. Claudia Crespo, who runs Freebird Productions, has been putting together killer lineups all the while and on March 20 — next week, y’all — she’ll present GeezerGrassThe Ancient Stone and Slush for a four-bands-on-a-weeknight bill the likes of which will make you want to take the next day off.

The kings of Kingston, Geezer headline as they support their recently issued Spiral Fires EP (review here), and they’re joined at the top of the bill by Grass, whose demo has been making the rounds of interwebular hyperbole. The Ancient Stone open and Slush follow shortly thereafter as the night gets a reasonably early start at 7:30, all very civilized, all very heavy. It’ll be a good time.

When Ode to Doom started, I thought part of the appeal was that it was a reminder of 10-15 years ago before Brooklyn took over as New York’s creative hub — I guess Queens is next? wait till the craft-brew crowd takes Weehawken — but at this point, Ode to Doom has built its own community and made its own impact, true to the history of the basement barroom shows of yore, but consistently admirable most of all for its forward-thinking nature.

Bottom line, I guess is it’s worth getting off your ass and going. I don’t say that about everything, but the truth is Manhattan needs less couture and more culture and this is how that happens. Support creative work.

Info follows:

ode to doom flyers

March 20 – Ode To Doom W/ Geezer, Slush, Grass, & The Ancient Stone

DOORS AT 7!!!
The Ancient Stone at 7:30
Slush at 8:30
Geezer at 9:30
Grass at 10:30

Flyer by Ritual Design.

Geezer, Spiral Fires (2019)

Ode to Doom on Thee Facebooks

Ode to Doom event page on Thee Facebooks

Tickets at Arlene’s Grocery website

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Geezer, Spiral Fires EP: Light in Darkworld

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

geezer spiral fires

If Geezer sound different on Spiral Fires, part of that is because they are. The Kingston, New York, trio have charted a marked progression over the last five-plus years, shifting from slide-guitar-prone heavy blues rock to a jammier take with a foundation in songcraft, unafraid to swagger into an ether of whiskey vapor and heavy enough to land on solid ground when they so choose. Guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington is the last remaining original member of the band, and on Spiral Fires, he and bassist Richie Touseull — who joined in 2015 ahead of the release of their 2016 self-titled LP (review here) — welcome new drummer Steve Markota to the fold. It’s worth noting that despite the turnover in personnel, Geezer have been able to remain steadily prolific over their time, and the four-song/25-minute Spiral Fires EP follows 2017’s Psychoriffadelia (review here), which only furthered the momentum built by the self-titled after 2015’s Gage (review here), bolstered as well by the band’s participation in Ripple Music‘s The Second Coming of Heavy split series (review here), 2014’s Live! Full-Tilt Boogie tape (review here) and sundry odds and ends going back to their 2013 debut, Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues.

Along with tours in the US and Europe, the continued stylistic growth evident in Geezer‘s studio work has made them a stronger, more confident band, as well as furthered the chemistry between Harrington and Touseull, who interact fluidly on the included jams throughout Spiral Fires. It may well be they’re testing the waters with Markota in the group ahead of either shows or more writing — something’s always next — but if that’s the case, then simply put, the dynamic works. Spiral Fires is Geezer‘s most out-there release to-date, and though it’s relatively brief — Geezer have always enjoyed an EP-style release; Gage was an EP originally — it flows smoothly throughout “Spiral Fires Part 1,” “Spiral Fires Part 2,” “Darkworld” and “Charley Reefer.” The latter two, which will no doubt comprise side B of the forthcoming Kozmik Artifactz vinyl, both geared more toward hooks, and particularly the closer has a bounce that stands among Geezer‘s sonic signatures, Harrington‘s tone always molasses-thick, but able to move nonetheless. They’re not strangers to boogie, and if that’s what a given listener is looking for, that’s where they’ll find it.

But even that is cosmically directed, and it demonstrates how much Geezer‘s reach has grown that they’re able to conjure such a molten vibe even over what’s ostensibly intended as a one-off recording session. The two parts of “Spiral Fires” of course run one into the next, but that transition is marked by a turn from dense riffing and more forward verses from Harrington to a mellow breadth topped with guest vocals. From roll to spread. It’s important to note that “Spiral Fires Part 1” begins with a wave of synth, since that has a subtle effect on the listener’s expectation that would be different, say, if the guitar or drums had led off. They tease a spacey course there and then make their way in that direction over the course of the nodding opener, cutting short the central riff at the end but still maintaining a direct tie to “Spiral Fires Part 2,” with Markota‘s drums setting the bed for some effects interplay as the track gets going.

geezer

Each side of Spiral Fires has a shorter song and a longer one, in that order, and “Spiral Fires Part 2” doesn’t quite hit the seven-minute mark as does “Charley Reefer” still to come, but it’s an open spirit just the same and while Touseull lays down a smooth bassline, Harrington winds lead guitar overtop where verses might otherwise be. They don’t feel missing, those verses, in no small part because Geezer are so assured in what they’re doing that they simply carry the listener along with them on this outward course. The vocals arrive after five and a half minutes into the total 6:57, so obviously not a focal point, but the quick appearance from Pam Grande (Grande) adds a psych-soul element that, if it’s a context Geezer want to continue to explore in their songwriting, well, that’d be just fine. Though it also begins with a quick splurge of effects, “Darkworld” is a marked shift in atmosphere, with the riff emerging from that initial wash and set to workmanlike punctuation by Markota‘s snare and the steady rumble of Touseull‘s low end. Its lyrics would seem to take on more of a straightforward social commentary position, and that’s fair enough for the more grounded path of the song as a whole.

“Open your eyes/Empty the cages/A new fire rages,” intones Harrington near the midpoint of the track, and the message of “Darkworld” is pretty clear without being overtly politicized or too much of the chaotic and polarized moment in which America is embroiled. All the while, the song moves forward efficiently as the only track under five minutes on Spiral Fires, the section where it might otherwise jam out — and indeed might live — instead keeping to a shorter repetitive course that devolves into swirl at the finish, letting “Charley Reefer” emerge from silence with a transitional keyboard line at the start soon joined by a guitar line reminiscent in its warmth of Colour Haze, and gradually easing its way into the verse riff. There’s some shuffle to “Charley Reefer,” as noted, and it shares a commonality of method with “Darkworld” in its verses and choruses, but at 7:38, it brings the two sides of Spiral Fires together and jams out from about minute-four onward, first building to a fervent wash and then drawing back to quiet and relatively minimal stretching.

All the pieces are still there — guitar, bass, drums, effects/synth — but the tension dissipates and Geezer draw down “Charley Reefer” with a live-feeling psychedelic devolution that ends cold sure enough but along the way serves as no less a reminder of the command the three-piece wield over their sound at this point. Even Markota in making his first appearance is able to bring a softer touch on drums to correspond with that finish, and it’s no less a satisfying moment than Geezer at their heaviest earlier in the track or back on side A for “Spiral Fires Part 1.” The question with an EP is always how indicative it might be of future output, and I don’t know to say for sure, but Spiral Fires fits in the line of their overarching development, and when it’s done, there’s little question left as to whether or not it’s the farthest outward they’ve yet pushed. As a fan of the band, I only want them to keep going.

Geezer, Spiral Fires (2019)

Geezer on Thee Facebooks

Geezer on Bandcamp

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Recap: Episode 09

Posted in Radio on February 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

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Good show. I had fun, anyway. I cut the voice breaks for this one while The Patient Mrs. and her mom took The Pecan out to the grocery store, but the breaks nonetheless worked out to be maybe a minute longer than usual and that gave me a little rant time. Right before I played Goatsnake, which was the “new classic” choice cut for this episode, I went off about doing my dishes as rock and roll. As usual with words coming out of my mouth, the idea was kind of half-represented, but what I was talking about was the notion that your love of music should be a part of your life, not something separate from the rest of it. If you love music, it shouldn’t be something you segregate from the rest of who you are — something you sneak off to a dive bar to partake of — it should be a part of your everyday. I cut radio voice breaks while running the dishwasher. It’s a part of who I am.

How fortunate I have this post to explain the half-formed notions I don’t have the wherewithal to properly express vocally. Huzzah.

Anyway, if you got to listen, I tried to set this one up with a good flow from front to back plus a couple stark contrasts in the second hour. The break is between Graven and SubRosa, contrary to what the playlist says, but I liked that transition anyhow, and I think you can see early on that the focus is on some boogie with a sense of atmosphere. I talk up the Green Lung record again, because, well, it’s worth talking up, and dig into a few other things that I think are killer, including that Mount Saturn EP, which is likewise right on. And then I dip back from new music to play SubRosa’s “The Mirror” from their SubDued: Live at Roadburn 2017 release, because it’s a song I sing to The Pecan when I put him down for naps and have just about every day since he was born some 15 months ago. Fun stuff.

If you missed the show, it airs again tomorrow at 9AM Eastern at http://gimmeradio.com

And if you dig this and want to hear more of The Obelisk Show, Gimme of course has their archive set up that you can sign on for at a reasonable price and dig into a bunch of various kinds of metallurgy.

Okay, here’s the playlist. Thanks to reading and/or listening:

The Obelisk Show Ep. 09 – 02.03.19

Straytones Dark Lord Beware, Dark Lord! Here Comes Bell-Man* 0:04:07
Green Lung Let the Devil In Woodland Rites* 0:05:02
BREAK
Geezer Spiral Fires Pt. 1 Spiral Fires* 0:05:50
Seedium Mist Haulers Seedium* 0:09:15
Crypt Trip Wordshot Haze County* 0:04:22
Cloud Catcher Beneath the Steel The Whip EP* 0:04:45
Heavy Feather Waited All My Life Debris & Rubble* 0:03:10
Mount Saturn Dwell Kiss the Ring* 0:07:08
BREAK
Goatsnake Mower I + Dog Days 0:06:05
The Black Heart Death Cult Davidian Beam Dream The Black Heart Death Cult 0:05:50
Crystal Spiders Tigerlily Demo* 0:05:37
Swallow the Sun When a Shadow is Forced into the Light When a Shadow is Forced into the Light* 0:07:26
Graven Backwards to Oblivion Heirs of Discord* 0:06:15
SubRosa The Mirror SubDued: Live at Roadburn 0:04:43
BREAK
Electric Octopus Mouseangelo Smile* 0:12:58
Tia Carrera Early Purple Visitors/Early Purple* 0:16:28

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every other Sunday night at 7PM Eastern, with replays the following Tuesday at 9AM. Next show is Feb. 17. Thanks for listening if you do.

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Geezer Announce Spiral Fires EP out Feb. 8: Premiere “Spiral Fires Part 1”

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on January 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

geezer

New Geezer? Don’t mind if I do, and whilst engaging in the groove-rolling outer-thereness of Spiral Fires, maybe take a second as well to process just how far the Kingston, New York, three-piece have come since issuing their first album, Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues, in 2013. With guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington as the sole remaining founder of the band, the trio have moved from a heavy blues style to an anything goes, slide-infused grit-psych jam band with one foot in traditional songwriting and the other dropped into a region of cosmic trippery that Spiral Fires brings to emphasis even more than 2017’s Psychoriffadelia (review here). Working with labels like STB, Ripple, and indeed Kozmik Artifactz — who’ll have the new EP out on vinyl following its Feb. 8 digital release — the band has grown into a stylistically amorphous, richly expressive outfit who are unpredictable and reliable in kind. The kind of quality you can rely on.

To wit, I knew I wanted to premiere “Spiral Fires Part 1” before I heard it, and after hearing it, knew I was right in getting on board for it. Spiral Fires continues to expand Geezer‘s reach in its two-part title-track and in “Darkworld” and “Charley Reefer,” showcasing a shift in dynamic with drummer Steve Markota in the lineup with Harrington — who also produced — and bassist Richie Touseull. I had been expecting the band to turn out a long-player in 2019, and they may yet, but whenever that inevitable “next album” shows up, these songs give a righteous glimpse of where Geezer are at nearly a decade after getting together and where they might be headed from here. Uncharted space brought to earth with anchored, locked-in groove. You probably could ask for more, but you’d be a jerk if you did.

You can hear “Spiral Fires Part 1” at the bottom of this post in a lyric video provided by the band. Release info for the EP follows here, courtesy of the PR wire:

geezer spiral fires

GEEZER TO RELEASE NEW 4-SONG ‘SPIRAL FIRES’ EP ON FEBRUARY 8, 2019 – KOZMIK ARTIFACTZ TO RELEASE ACCOMPANYING VINYL FORMAT

After recruiting Steve Markota as Geezer’s new drummer in summer of 2017, the band knew it was now the peak time to refocus and start afresh. With gigs as their inspired motivation, over the following year or so the Kingston, New York heavy blues triad set about performing at multiple regional festivals in the U.S.. From the Doomed & Stoned Festival to the New England Stoner and Doom Festival, from The Maryland Doom Fest to the Descendants of Crom. Throw in a supporting slot for Acid King in Brooklyn and many other righteous shows, and a full year did bloom indeed.

All the while, a revitalized Geezer was writing and road-testing new songs. During that process, it became clear that one album was not enough to fully capture what was happening. An EP would be the foundation to set the stage for the upcoming full-length LP. Drawing inspiration from the vinyl version of the most recent Child EP, Geezer hooked up with Kozmik Artifactz to release their own EP in the same vein. Limited Edition, one color cover, black vinyl, no bells and whistles… just rock and roll.

The result is the mind-altering new EP, ‘Spiral Fires’. A three-song collection edifying the embodiment of Geezer’s quest for all things heavy, trippy, and groovy. Spiral Fires is the first passage in Geezer’s new journey.

Guitarist and vocalist Pat Harrington on the new EP:

“Hooking up with Steve changed the band. For the first time in a long while, we had the ability to really take our time and see where the music would take us. Changes were taking place, we were traveling to new musical landscapes. Along the way, a flash of light would appear over the horizon, these songs are those moments… lightning in a bottle.”

The EP was produced by Pat Harrington and recorded at Darkworld Studio in Kingston, NY, assisted by Engineers David Daw and Robert Kelly. Mixing was done by Matthew Cullen at The Cat Haus in Catskill, NY, with Mastering by Scott Craggs at Old Colony Mastering in Boston, MA. The Spiral Fires cover artwork is by Lee Fenyves, with design layout by Steve Markota.

Spiral Fires will be available on vinyl through Kozmik Artifactz in the very near future. Firstly, the band is releasing the EP for digital download and streaming through their Bandcamp page on February 8, 2019.

Kozmik Artifactz Webstore: http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/
Geezer Bandcamp: https://geezertown.bandcamp.com/

Spiral Fires – Track List:
Spiral Fires Part 1
Spiral Fires Part 2
Darkworld
Charley Reefer

UPCOMING LIVE SHOWS:
Jan. 25 – Kingston, NY @ BSP Kingston (w/ Sun Voyager, Shadow Witch)
https://www.facebook.com/events/295547331302289/
Feb. 23 – Baltimore, MD @ Oliver Brewing (w/ Backwoods Payback, Cavern, Dana Ortt)
https://www.facebook.com/events/275935323074808/
Mar. 20 – New York, NY @ Arlene’s Grocery – ODE TO DOOM (w/Thunderbird Divine, Ancient Stone, +)
https://www.facebook.com/events/253278718707961/
Apr. 20 – Kingston, NY @ The Anchor (w/ River Cult, Eternal Black)
https://www.facebook.com/events/2329157044035387/

Geezer is:
Pat Harrington – Guitar, Vocals
Richie Touseull – Bass
Steve Markota – Drums

https://igg.me/at/xxo6XcM2mD4/x/16460786
https://www.facebook.com/geezerNY/
http://geezertown.bandcamp.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Geezer, “Spiral Fires Part 1”

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