Hippie Death Cult Premiere “Hornet Party”; Circle of Days out May 21

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

HIPPIE DEATH CULT

Portland, Oregon’s¬† Do you agree with organic farming phd thesisís TrustScore? Voice your opinion today and hear what 1 customers have already said. | assignmentdoer.co.uk Hippie Death Cult will release their second album,¬† Essay Writers Kijiji Online From a Reliable Company If you decided to buy an essay online, you have come to the right place. We are a professional essay writing service and our mission is to make the studentís life easier and more fun. We offer fast and affordable assistance in writing any kind of paper. Circle of Days, May 21 through¬† homework help muscular system see here now business plan writing services ottawa master thesis gsom Heavy Psych Sounds. Comprised of five songs, it runs a tidy 37 minutes and uses its time to unfold a melting pot of an aesthetic, bringing together ideas born of classic heavy rock and roll, psychedelia, cult rock and outlying elements like post-rock drift (in the bass of the title-track, of all places) and organic-ized Good Essay About Conflict by Doctor John Proofreading covering a wide range of subject areas. Help with referencing, grammar, spelling and formatting Ministry-style gallop/echo vocals — quick but there — on “Hornet Party” (premiering below), and a creeping Americana paranoia in closer “Eye in the Sky.” After the four-piece’s impressive 2019 debut, Connected Papers is a visual tool to help researchers and applied scientists find Term Paper For Sale Rush relevant to their field of work. 111 (review here), they push past genre lines and are more atmospheric, dynamic and, from the opening organ-style keys of “Red Meat Tricks,” able to pursue dramatic ideas and vibes without falling into a trap of sounding like a silly put-on. Guitarist What Is A Leader Essay ó Pay for Professional Custom Writing. Since youíre now on a website providing essay writing services, you may have trouble managing your academic assignments. We know what itís like and what thoughts are swarming in your head. ďI cannot stand the stress associated with difficult assignments. I need to get help with my academic tasks, and I need someone to do my essay Eddie Brnabic, vocalist/keyboardist Are you trying to find an expert to web link? CaHomeworkHelp.com is the ideal site for all your assignment writing requirements. Ben Jackson (also ScamFighter's rating of Growing Up Essays based on the offered prices. It helps college students find the best services to trust. Hundred Eyes, ex- Need pay http://d13.documenta.de/uploads/tf/?distribution-retailing-and-wholesaling-business-plan for me? Find out suitable service to write my assignment in Australia from professionals on GradeScout Sioux), bassist To diagnose the Volume Shadow Copy Environmental Argumentative Essay Topics problem, run the vssadmin command immediately after the backup failure: Click Start, and then click Laura Phillips and drummer A lot of people are struggling to find a Dissertation Citation Chicago online. Here below youíll learn what to expect from various online writing services. Ryan Moore (ex- Read More Here Nether Regions), riding solid grooves into esoteric territories varied of spirit but unified by the fullness of the underlying performance. These songs still sound like there are humans playing them, in other words.

What comes through clearest, however, is that the humans in question are pushing themselves on the level of craft. “Red Meat Tricks,” “Hornet Party” and “Walk Within” are the first half of the LP, and the latter seems to hint toward Our Methods Of Ordering Materials For Essay Writing will help you polish your document, eliminating errors and ensuring the work you put into your research shines through. Weíre Thesis Editing Experts Your spellchecker might help you find some errors, but can you trust it with your thesis? Unlike software, our human proofreaders have a passion for academic writing. Annie Lennox‘s “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” in its opening guitar line but follows its own course led by piano and a duel vocal from EssayEmpire.com offers custom Recommended Site. 100% plagiarism free, from per page, 100% money back guarantee. Jackson and¬† Do you agree with How Do I Buy A College Paperís TrustScore? Voice your opinion today and hear what 1 customers have already said. | assignmentdoer.co.uk Phillips. Despite the clearly intentional breaking of¬† Circle of Days into vinyl-ready form, putting the just-under-10-minute title-track and closer “Eye in the Sky” together in semi-monolithic fashion on side B, “Walk Within” makes a telling centerpiece in terms of the band’s priority toward melody and a move past some of the more pointedly grunge-derived aspects of their debut. In literalHippie Death Cult Circle of Days terms of the tracklisting, they are putting their progression at the center of the record for all to behold, following the assuring fuzzy roll of “Red Meat Tricks” and the outbound melding and toying with tempo of “Hornet Party” — not to mention the shred later — with something that pushes them to places in sound they haven’t yet been while also setting up the final pair of songs with its soft lead-out.

“Circle of Days” starts out relatively straightforward, but at 9:55 there’s plenty of room to flesh out and it takes advantage. Patient in its execution and solid in its construction, the immediate impression is that¬†Hippie Death Cult have a plan, and they do. A scream and some muted crashes lead toward a pre-chorus making subtle use of janga-janga-janga stoner riffing before the title-line is finally delivered, giving the album its signature hook before rolling back to the verse. After cycling through again, they slow it down to back a guitar solo with organ flourish, and that’s how they end it, with the guitar reaching past the song and cutting before the fade-in ambience of “Eye in the Sky.” Like “Hornet Party,” the feel in its lyrics is a chronicle of our times, and as heavy rock overcomes its stigma against social critique — or at least acknowledgement in more than monster-laced metaphor —¬†Jackson‘s vocals are a worthy method of delivery for the band’s ideas. “Eye in the Sky” is less readily verse/chorus than the song before it, but complements “Walk Within” in its atmosphere — even with drums — and in its build over most of its first half, it helps draw the diverse notions on which the album is based into a unified focus. Riffs are still there, and might be the foundation from which the song is based, but like the bulk of¬†Circle of Days, “Eye in the Sky” spreads out in multiple directions, capping with matched-note leads from the keys and guitar and the residual echoes of a final crash.

Among its accomplishments of songwriting and style,¬†Circle of Days¬†establishes¬†Hippie Death Cult as a more complex band on the whole. The melodic breadth they demonstrate, the periodic intensity of rhythm and the manner in which that’s offset by the overarching flow of the pieces that make up the entirety of the album speaks to their engaging with their material at its conceptual heart, thinking not only about what they’re saying in the bigger picture, but the instrumental and verbal language alike with which they’re saying it. For anyone who dug¬†111 or who might be encountering them for the first time with these tracks, this is invariably good news. They have added to, rather than subtracted from, their approach.

Circle of Days¬†is up for preorder now ahead of the already-noted May 21 release. You’ll find those links under the player below, where you can hear “Hornet Party” premiering, and read some comment from¬†Brnabic about the song.

Please enjoy:

Hippie Death Cult, “Hornet Party” official track premiere

Eddie Brnabic on “Hornet Party”:

‚ÄúChoosing singles to premiere for this new album has been a bit of a challenge for us. Each song (as well as each song on the Doom Sessions split) feels really unique from one another and its tough to say that one really defines the album more than another. I kind of view us as more of an album band rather than a singles band. That being said, ‚ÄúHornet Party‚ÄĚ is the second song on the record following ‚ÄúRed Meat Tricks‚ÄĚ so we are going chronologically for this one. I think it might be the shortest song on the album and it‚Äôs a total rager both musically and lyrically. It‚Äôs probably the most physically demanding song for each of us to perform on the album, but it‚Äôs our way of kind of holding up some sort of artistic mirror to the current climate that we live in. Extreme times call for extreme art, so…”

HORNET PARTY is the second single taken from the Hippie Death Cult brand new album Circle Of Days. The release will see the light May 21st via Heavy Psych Sounds.

GRAB YOUR COPY HERE:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS170?

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HIPPIE DEATH CULT is
Ryan Moore – Drums
Ben Jackson – Vocals/Keys
Eddie Brnabic – Guitar
Laura Phillips – Bass

Hippie Death Cult, Circle of Days (2021)

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Review: Various Artists, Live in the Mojave Desert, Vols. 1-5

Posted in Reviews on April 13th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

live in the mojave desert 1-5

Late in 2020, when the project was announced, Live in the Mojave Desert sounded immediately ambitious. A series of five exclusive streams, taking bands and putting them out in the Californian deserts, with civilization somewhat visible from the aerial drone shots, but definitely far enough away to have been left behind, to record live sets by Giant Rock (see also: Yawning Man, Live at Giant Rock, the video/LP something of a precursor) and be captured doing so by professional audio and video. The series was successfully pulled off, which was impressive in itself, and it set a standard for heavy acts in this era of streaming that few could hope to match. The intention was concert-film, and the results were likewise.

Heavy Psych Sounds and the newly-formed Giant Rock Records — helmed by series director Ryan Jones — have overseen physical pressings of the sets as live albums, taking the audio caught by Dan Joeright of Gatos Trail Studio in Joshua Tree with mixing by¬†Matt Lynch¬†at¬†Mysterious Mammal and others. From this comes¬†Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 1-5,¬†and from the moment Isaiah Mitchell starts echoing out the notes that signal the pickup in “Violence of the Red Sea” to the final wah-out, crashes and shout of Mountain Tamer‘s “Living in Vain,” it remains clear the series is something special — a grand monument built to an ugly time.

A rundown:

Earthless, Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 1

earthless live in the mojave desert
(stream review here)

The crazy thing about this series — or one of the crazy things, anyhow — is that if it had been just¬†Earthless, that probably would’ve been enough to be staggering. Admittedly, it is difficult to hear the audio from bassist¬†Mike Eginton, drummer¬†Mario Rubalcaba and the aforementioned¬†Isaiah Mitchell and not think of the desert at night being lit up by the¬†Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show, drones flying overhead as trippy lights flash and shift with the music, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.¬†Earthless¬†played three songs — “Violence of the Red Sea,” “Sonic Prayer” and “Lost in the Cold Sun” — and that’s enough to make their release the only 2LP of the¬†Live in the Mojave Desert¬†set, topping out at about 77 minutes, with the entirety of sides C and D dedicated to “Lost in the Cold Sun”‘s 39-minute sprawl.

There’s a reason¬†Earthless were the headliners for this thing, and it’s because there’s no one else who has the same instrumental dynamic they bring to the stage — or sand, as it were — and because if you’re going for “epic” as a standard, they’re the band you call. Will¬†Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 1 replace¬†Live at Roadburn 2008¬†(discussed here) as the band’s supreme live-recorded statement? I don’t know, but it sure sounds incredible. “Sonic Prayer” comes through with due sense of worship and “Lost in the Cold Sun” fuzzy grace feels like the kind of thing a future generation might think of as classic rock. Watching, it was easy to get lost in the show, follow the head-spinning turns of guitar atop the ultra-sure foundation of bass and drums, and listening, it’s the same. With an exquisite mix and a vital performance, it’s every bit the best-case-scenario for what¬†Live in the Mojave Desert could and should be.

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Nebula, Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 2

nebula live in the mojave desert
(stream review here)

With Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 2, I consider Nebula‘s comeback complete. The band reformed in 2017, hit the road hard, and in 2019 offered up the return studio full-length, Holy Shit! (review here), and toured again for as long as that option was available. They have new material in the works too, and what’s most striking about the trio’s performance the 10-song/48-minute set here is how characteristic it sounds. Drummer Mike Amster (also¬†Mondo Generator, etc.) and bassist¬†Tom Davies strap the listener down while founding guitarist/vocalist¬†Eddie Glass takes off to the center of the universe, and amid classics like that opener,¬†Holy Shit!¬†cuts like “Messiah,” “Let’s Get Lost,” “Man’s Best Friend” and the new song “Wall of Confusion” fit right in. There’s never a doubt, never a question of who you’re hearing. Even the sloppiest moments are pure¬†Nebula.

That’s what they’ve always been — part punk, part heavy psych, part pure go — and¬†Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 2¬†brings that to bear without question. As a follow-up to¬†Holy Shit!¬†as well as the band’s second sanctioned live recording behind 2008’s¬†Peel Session, it captures their inimitable sonic persona and the sense of chaos that their material always seems to carry, like it’s all about to come apart at any second and if it did, fuck it anyway, you’re the one with the problem. It never does come apart here, which I guess is to the band’s credit as well, but this set is nonetheless a full expression of who¬†Nebula are as a group. Now get to work on that next record.

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Spirit Mother, Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 3

spirit mother live in the mojave desert

(stream review here)

If one might think of including Spirit Mother in the series as a risk, the risk was mild at best, and as the first of two bands representing a next generation of California’s heavy underground, the Long Beach troupe more than acquitted themselves well in their relatively brief 10-song/33-minute showing.¬†Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 3¬†basks in the violin-conjured atmospheres of the four-piece’s debut album,¬†Cadets (review here), and wants nothing for impact to complement that ethereal sensibility. Their songs are short, and that gives them a kind of proto-grunge edge, and the vocals of bassist¬†Armand Lance, who shares those duties with violinist¬†SJ, add drug-punkish urgency to the procession of one song into the next.

For a band coming off their first album, they are intricate in aesthetic in ways that might surprise new listeners, and that’s exactly why they feature behind¬†Nebula¬†in this series. Hearing them dig into “Black Sheep” and “Martyrs” and “Dead Cells” on¬†Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 3¬†is the best argument I can think of in favor of signing the band for their next studio release, and if¬†Heavy Psych Sounds¬†doesn’t, someone else surely will. Not trying to tell anyone their business, of course, but¬†Spirit Mother¬†are happening one way or another. That combination of air, earth, and fuzz is too good to leave out.

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Stöner, Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 4

Stöner live in the mojave desert

(stream review here)

Aired fifth but billed almost inevitably as¬†Vol. 4, the unveiling of St√∂ner, the new trio from Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri with Ryan Gut (also of the former’s solo band) on drums was a bonus to the¬†Live in the Mojave Desert. On-again-off-again collaborators across decades,¬†Bjork¬†and¬†Oliveri nestled into mostly laid-back, stripped down grooves, their stated purpose in going back to the roots of the sound they helped create in the first place. The¬†Kyuss-ness of the central riff of opener “Rad Stays Rad” is no less demonstration of their having done so than the driving punk of the¬†Oliveri-fronted “Evel Never Dies.” The vibe is nostalgic in that song, as well as “Rad Stays Rad,” the gleefully funked “Stand Down,” and “The Older Kids,” but if St√∂ner¬†is about looking back at this point, they’re doing so with fresh eyes.

To wit, “Own Yer Blues,” “Nothin’,” and the 13-minute mint-jam finale “Tribe/Fly Girl” are more endemic of who these players have become than who they were in the early ’90s or before, and that applies to “Stand Down” too.¬†Bjork‘s vocals sound double-tracked on some of the parts (or at least close delay), but he and Oliveri work well together as one would expect, and as a reveal for what these guys had come up with in renewing their collaboration,¬†Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 4¬†offers seven memorable songs that would make anything more seem unnecessarily fancied up. If their calling card is that rad stays rad, they prove it. And I know he’s not the top bill in the trio with Bjork‘s flow and Oliveri‘s bass tone, but¬†Gut‘s contributions here aren’t to be understated.

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Mountain Tamer, Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 5

mountain tamer live in the mojave desert

(stream review here)

Second only to St√∂ner in curiosity factor, L.A. trio Mountain Tamer have always held a darker edge in their sound, and that comes through in the brash 36 minutes, shouts and screams echoing out over fuzzed garage metal in a fuckall that’s punk in attitude but angrier in its underlying core. Guitarist/vocalist¬†Andrew Hall, bassist¬†Dave Teget and drummer Casey Garcia are the kind of band who open the show and sell the most merch when they’re done. The elements they’re working with are familiar and have been all along in their decade together and across their three LPs — the latest of them, 2020‚Äôs¬†Psychosis Ritual¬†(review here), was released by¬†Heavy Psych Sounds — but more even than in their studio work,¬†Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 5¬†brought to light just how much their own their sound really is.

Whether languid as in “Chained” or “Black Noise” or furious as in “Warlock” and “Living in Vain,”¬†Mountain Tamer give¬†Nebula a run for their money in terms of chaos, and easily make for the most pissed off listen of the bunch in¬†Live in the Mojave Desert. The relative roughness of their edge suits them, however, and the rampant echo on the guitar assures there’s still a spacious sound to act as counterbalance to all that thrashing and gnashing. If you can call it balance, I don’t know, but it works for them and they wield their sound as knife more than bludgeon when it comes to it.

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Live in the Mojave Desert Vol. 1-5 teaser

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Quarterly Review: Sonic Flower, Demon Head, Rakta & Deafkids, Timo Ellis, Heavy Feather, Slow Draw, Pilot Voyager, The Ginger Faye Bakers, Neromega, Tung

Posted in Reviews on April 2nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Friday morning and the Spring 2021 Quarterly Review draws to a close. It’s been a good one, and though there are probably enough albums on my desktop to make it go another few days, better to quit while I’m ahead in terms of not-being-so-tired-I’m-angry-at-everything-I’m-hearing. In any case, as always, I hope you found something here you enjoy. I have been pleasantly surprised on more than a few occasions, especially by debuts.

We wrap with more cool stuff today and since I’m on borrowed time as it is, let me not delay.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Sonic Flower, Rides Again

sonic flower rides again

Like Church of Misery‘s groove but feel kind of icky with all those songs about serial killers? Legit. Say hello to Tatsu Mikami‘s Sonic Flower. Once upon a 2003, the band brought all the boogie and none of the slaughter of Tatsu‘s now-legendary Sabbathian doom rock outfit to a self-titled debut (reissue review here), and Rides Again is the lost follow-up from 2005, unearthed like so many of the early ’70s forsaken classics that clearly inspired it. With covers of The Meters and Graham Central Station, Sonic Flower makes their funky intentions plain as day, and the blowout drums and full-on fuzz they bring to those cuts as well as the five originals on the short-but-satisfying 28-minute offering is a win academically and for casual fans alike. You ain’t gonna hear “Jungle Cruise” or their take on “Earthquake” and come out complaining, is what I’m saying. This is the kind of record that makes you buy more records.

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Demon Head, Viscera

demon head viscera

With Viscera, Copenhagen’s Demon Head make their debut on Metal Blade Records. It is their fourth album overall, the follow-up to 2019’s Hellfire Ocean Void (review here), and it continues the five-piece’s enduring exploration of darker places. Dramatic vocals recount grim narratives over backing instrumentals that are less doom at the outset with “Tooth and Nail” and “The Feline Smile” than goth, and atmospheric pieces like “Arrows” and “The Lupine Choir” and “A Long, Groaning Descent” and “Wreath” and certainly the closer “The Triumphal Chariot of Antimony” further the impression that Viscera, though its title conjures raw guts, is instead an elaborate entirety — if perhaps one of raw guts — and meant to be taken in its 36-minute whole. Demon Head make that LP-friendly runtime a progression down into reaches they’d not until this point gone, tapping sadness for its inherent beauty.

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Rakta & Deafkids, Live at Sesc Pompeia

Rakta Deafkids Live at Sesc Pompeia

Next time someone asks you what the future sounds like, you’ll have a good answer for them. Combined into a six-piece band, Brazilian outfits Rakta and Deafkids harness ambience and space-punk thrust into a sound that is born of a past that hasn’t yet happened. Their Live at Sesc Pompeia LP follows on from a 2019 two-songer, but it’s in the live performance that the spirit of this unity really shines through, and from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Miragem” through the semi-industrialized effects swirl of “Templo do Caos,” into the blower-noise dance party “Sigilo,” the weirdo-chug-jam of “Forma” and the space rock breakout “Flor de Pele” and the percussed buzz and echoing howls of “Espirais,” they are equal parts encompassing and singular. It is not to be ignored, and though there are moments that border on unlistenable, you can hear from the wailing crowd at the end that to be in that room was to witness something special. As a document of that, Live at Sesc Pompeia feels like history in the making.

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Timo Ellis, Death is Everywhere

Timo Ellis Death is Everywhere

A madcap, weighted-but-anti-genre sensibility comes to life in supernova-experimentalist fashion throughout the four songs of Timo EllisDeath is Everywhere. The lockdown-era EP from Ellis (Netherlands, Yoko Ono, Cibo Matto, on and on) makes post-modern shenanigans out of apocalypses inner and outer, and from lines like “this bridal shower is bumming me out” in the unabashedly hooky “Vampire Rodeo” to “the earth will still breathe fire without you!” in “Left Without an Answer,” the stakes are high despite the flittering-in-appreciation-of-the-absurd mood of the tracks themselves. The title-track and “Evolve or Die” blend sonic heft and the experimental pop movement that “Vampire Rodeo” sets forth — the third cut is positively manic and maniacally positive — while “Left Without an Answer” almost can’t help but be consuming as it rolls into a long fade leaving intertwining vocals lines as the last to go, telling the listener to “learn to say goodbye” without making it easy. Won’t be for everyone, doesn’t want to be. Is expression for itself. Feels genuine in that, and admirable.

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Heavy Feather, Mountain of Sugar

heavy feather mountain of sugar

With not-at-all-subtle nods to Humble Pie and Ennio Morricone in its opening tracks, Heavy Feather‘s second LP, Mountain of Sugar, has boogie to spare. No time is wasted on the 38-minute/11-track follow-up to 2019’s D√©bris & Rubble (review here), and true to the record’s title, it’s pretty sweet. The collection pits retro mindset against modern fullness in its harmonica-laced, duly-fuzzed title-track, and goes full-Fleetwood on “Come We Can Go” heading into a side B that brings a highlight in the soft-touch-stomp of “Rubble and Debris” and an earned bit of Southern-styled turn in “Sometimes I Feel” that makes a fitting companion to all the bluesy vibes throughout, particularly those of the mellow “Let it Shine” earlier. The Stockholm outfit knew what they were doing last time out too, but you can hear their process being refined throughout Mountain of Sugar, and even its most purposefully familiar aspects come across with a sense of will and playfulness.

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Slow Draw, Yellow & Gray

slow draw yellow and gray

Don’t tell him I told you so, but Slow Draw is starting to sound an awful lot like a band. What began as a drone/soundscaping project from Stone Machine Electric drummer/noisemaker Mark Kitchens has sprouted percussive roots of its own on Yellow & Gray, and as Kitchens explores textures of psychedelic funk, mellow heavy and even a bit of ’70s proggy homage in “Sylvia” ahead of the readily Beck-ian jam “Turntable” and acousti-drone closer “A Slow Move,” the band-vibe is rampant. I’m going to call Yellow & Gray a full-length despite the fact that it’s 24 minutes long because its eight songs inhabit so many different spaces between them, but however you want to tag it, it demonstrates the burgeoning depth of Kitchens‘ project and how it’s grown in perhaps unanticipated ways. If this is what he’s been doing in isolation — as much as Texas ever shuttered for the pandemic — his time has not been wasted.

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Pilot Voyager, Nuclear Candy Bar

plot voyager nuclear candy bar

Freak! Out! The 66-minute Nuclear Candy Bar from Hungarian psychedelicists Pilot Voyager might end mostly drifting with the 27-minute “23:61,” but much of the four tracks prior to that finale are fuzz-on-go-go-go-out-out-out heavy jams, full in tone and improv spirit however planned their course may or may not actually be. To say the least, “Fuzziness” lives up to its name, as guitarist/founder √Ākos Karancz — joined by bassist Bence Ambrus (who also mastered) and drummers Kriszti√°n Megyeri and Istv√°n Baumgartner (the latter only on the closer) — uses a relatively earthbound chug as a launchpad for further space/krautrocking bliss, culminating in a scorching cacophony that’s the shortest piece on the record at just under seven minutes. If you make it past the molten heat of the penultimate title-track, there’s no turning away from “23:61,” as the first minute of that next day pulls you in from the outset, a full-length flow all unto itself. More more more, yes yes yes. Alright you get the point.

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The Ginger Faye Bakers, Camaro

the ginger faye bakers camaro

Sit with The Ginger Faye BakersCamaro EP for a little bit. Don’t just listen to the first track, or even the second, third or fourth, on their own, but take a few minutes to put it all together. Won’t take long, the thing’s only 17 minutes long, and in so doing you’ll emerge with a more complex picture of who they are as a band. Yeah, you hear the opening title-cut and think early-Queens of the Stone Age-style desert riffing, maybe with a touch of we’re-actually-from-the-Northeast tonal thickness, but the garage-heavy of “The Creeps” feels self-aware in its Uncle Acid-style swing, and as the trio move through the swinging “The Master” and “Satan’s Helpers,” the last song drawing effectively from all sides, the totality of the release becomes all the more sinister for the relatively straight-ahead beginning just a short time earlier. Might be a listen or two before it sinks in, but they’ve found a niche for themselves here and one hopes they continue to follow where their impulses lead them.

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Neromega, Nero Omega

Neromega Nero Omega

If you’re not yet keeping an eye on Regain Records offshoot Helter Skelter Productions, Rome’s Neromega are a fervent argument for doing so. The initials-only cultish five-piece are Italian as much in their style of doom as they are in geography, and across their four-song Nero Omega debut EP, they run horror organ and classic heavy rock grooves alongside each other while nodding subtly at more extreme fare like the death ‘n’ roll rumble in closer “Un Posto” or the dirt-coated low end that caps “Pugnale Ardore,” the drifting psych only moments ago quickly forgotten in favor of renewed shuffle. Eight-minute opener “Solitudine,” might be the highlight as well as the longest inclusion on the 24-minute first-showing, but it’s by no means the sum total of what the band have on offer, as they saunter through giallo, psychedelia, doom, heavy riffs and who knows what else to come, they strike an immediately individual atmospheric presence even while actively toying with familiar sounds. The EP is cohesive enough to make me wonder what their initials are.

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Tung, Bleak

TUNG BLEAK

Some of the made-even-bigger-by-echo vocals from guitarist Craig Kasamis might remind of Maurice Bryan Giles from Red Fang, but Ventura, California’s Tung are up chasing down a different kind of party on 2020’s Bleak, though Kasamis, guitarist David Briceno (since replaced by Bill Bensen), bassist Nick Minasian and drummer Rob Dean have a strong current of West Coast noise rock in what they’re doing as well in “Runaway,” a lurcher like “Spit” later on or the run-till-it-crashes finisher “Fallen Crown,” which the only song apart from the bookending opener “Succession Hand” to have a title longer than a single word. Still, Tung have their own, less pop-minded take on brashness, and this debut album leaves the bruises behind to demonstrate its born-from-hardcore lineage. Their according lack of frills makes Bleak all the more effective at getting its point across, and while they’d probably tell you their sound is nothing fancy, it’s fancy enough to stomp all over your ears for about half an hour, and that’s as fancy as it needs to be. Easy to dig even in its more aggressive moments.

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Josiah to Reissue Out of the First Rays EP on Heavy Psych Sounds

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 26th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Josiah this cover on Instagram yesterday and I had the feeling something was up. It’s been 20 years since the UK heavy fuzzbringers made their debut with the Out of the First Rays EP, and today comes word that a Heavy Psych Sounds reissue of same will be out June 11 with preorders up now. It’s been kind of apparent something’s up with the long-defunct outfit, who broke up in 2009 as guitarist/vocalist Mathew Benthancourt pursued garage psych with subsequent outfit Cherry Choke, since they’re essentially new to current social media and their Bandcamp lists them as reactivated as of last year.

Does that mean new material? Maybe. In the meantime, it means this reissue, and if this is the first of several — certainly their 2002 self-titled and 2004’s No Time and 2007’s No Time are nothing if not ripe for a look from the post-Facebook generation of rockers — then all the better. If there’s a record to come, it’ll come. Let them remind people who they are first.

Bottom line is this is a killer band and good news any way you look at it.

From the PR wire:

josiah out of the first rays

Heavy Psych Sounds to announce JOSIAH repress of the debut EP Out Of The First Rays – presale starts TODAY!!!

Today we are extremely proud to start the presale of the JOSIAH legendary debut and sold-out EP Out Of The First Rays!!!

ALBUM PRESALE:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS171

USA PRESALE:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop-usa.htm#HPS171

20 years on and Out Of The First Rays is still as powerful today. As the band rip straight into “Head On” it’s clear that Josiah wanted to take heavy rock back to it’s opiate drenched roots. Psychedelic lyrics sung with soul and the heavy as fuck grooves laid down across this release owe a debt to Black Sabbath and Monster Magnet.

“Malpaso” quickly became the bands signature track (featuring on film soundtracks and TV shows) with its pulsating riffs and trippy middle section and “Spacequake” makes you start to think there must be something in the midlands water supply, as Bethancourt echoes Ozzy with “come take my hand my child” and the Iommi styled guitar hooks kick you straight in the gut. “Sweet Smoke” kicks off side B with its Cactus meets Grand Funk early 70’s rock vibes. The sonic interplay between the power trio, back the vocals up for this anthem to a burning earth – “Let the flames just take you higher”.

The 10 minute closer “Black Maria” with its psychedelic twin vocals and one of the heaviest riffs you’ll hear this side of dead, gives way to uptempo bass grooves and a wah drenched lead break. Take another sip of the electric kool-aid baby, before we “slide down the cosmos” and fall into the big black sleep.

It’s the year 2000 – the world did not end, Uncle Acid, Graveyard and Kadavar are nothing but twinkles in Satan’s eye – and Josiah are about to come together to make something very heavy happen. From the beating heart of the UK, Mathew Bethancourt, Sie Beasley and Chris Jones laid down a dark sound, laced with acid and fuelled by Bethancourts heavy fuzz-wah guitar playing. Early live shows with the likes of Nebula, Zen Guerilla, Atomic Bitchwax and more, unleashed the loud, full stack, heavy psych rock experience of Josiah.

The group quickly rose to prominence on the UK scene with heavy touring and in June 2001 released their debut record Out Of The First Rays via Cargo Records. The quick to sell out 10″ EP’s killer cut “Malpaso” was aired by Marianne Hobbs on the Radio One Rock Show and Metal Hammer included “Spacequake” on their best new UK bands compilation CD.

RELEASED IN
15 ULTRA LTD TEST PRESS VINYL
150 ULTRA LTD SIDE A/SIDE B WHITE-YELLOW-RED VINYL
300 LTD RED VINYL
BLACK VINYL

PRESALE STARTS: MARCH 25th

RELEASE DATE: JUNE 11th

TRACKLIST
Head On
Malpaso
Spacequake
Sweet Smoke
Black Maria

JOSIAH is
Mathew Bethancourt – vocals & guitar
Sie Beasley – bass & vocals
Chris Jones – drums

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Josiah, “Black Maria” from Josiah

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Stream Review: St√∂ner, ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’

Posted in Reviews on March 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Stöner

And just like that, the ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ stream series comes to its apparent conclusion, with the reveal of¬†St√∂ner, a new project that brings together¬†guitarist/vocalist Brant Bjork, bassist/vocalist¬†Nick Oliveri and drummer¬†Ryan Gut. There was no interview in the preceding ‘Couchlock and Rock’ segment, but clips of prior editions from¬†Earthless (review here),¬†Mountain Tamer (review here),¬†Nebula (review here) and¬†Spirit Mother (review here) came across with plugs for impending live-album vinyls and videos followed presumably out of the TubeVision archive of¬†Brant Bjork and the Bros.¬†from 2004 and¬†Oliveri‘s long-running outfit¬†Mondo Generator — which in the shown 2003 incarnation had¬†Bjork on drums and¬†Oliveri‘s fellow¬†Queens of the Stone Age¬†alum¬†Dave Catching on guitar. Not too shabby.

However, the main event was, of course, the main event. Duly dramatic footage of Oliveri, Bjork and Gut walking up to the spot led in, and a quick glance at some lyrics in with the setlist on a clipboard offered a subtle reminder of just how new this outfit is. Over the next 40-plus minutes of playing, Stöner established a feel that was at once familiar and fresh. In our interview last week, Bjork spoke about how the central idea of the project was to strip away any sense of expectation or idea of what it should be, just to go back to the roots of where they started and have fun playing together. Fair enough.

St√∂ner¬†set about delivering on that promise quickly. Their opener, “Rad Stays Rad” — with its hook of “Shit don’t change/Rad stays rad” — might as well be their mission statement, and if they don’t call their eventual studio LP¬†The Birth of Rad, I’ll be a little bummed out. The first lines of the song are a¬†Ramones reference and they’re set to a riff that wouldn’t at all have been out of place coming from¬†Blues for the Red Sun era¬†Kyuss. Locked in that they-made-it-look-simple but still urgent groove, and as much as the songs were new, the parts that made them up were about classic as desert rock gets. That “Rad Stays Rad” was presented in a kind of high-contrast sepia only enhanced that feel.

Room for jams? Oh, most certainly. “Rad Stays Rad” stretched out a bit with Bjork‘s solo section and thereby revealed a little more of St√∂ner‘s dynamic at this early stage.¬†Oliveri and¬†Bjork go way back, to before¬†Kyuss was¬†Kyuss. Let’s call it 35 years, give or take. And¬†Gut is the drummer in¬†Bjork‘s solo band, so they’re plenty familiar with each other from touring together as well. So the¬†new creative relationship in the trio is between¬†Oliveri and¬†Gut, and there were moments in the set — not so much “Rad Stays Rad” or the similarly riffed and well-hooked “The Older Kids,” but later on — where both would watch¬†Bjork for the lead. There wasn’t a stumble from what I could tell watching/listening, and they were as tight as they wanted to be, it was just something you could see a couple times that subtly tipping off the fact that this band hasn’t toured yet. Blah blah circumstances blah blah.

Oliveri took lead vocals for “Evel Never Dies,” a punkier shout with the delivery he’s settled into that’s not quite a scream but not quite sung either. Like “Rad Stays Rad” and “The Older Kids,” there was a sense of nostalgia to the theme, the title of course nodding both at “evil” never dying and daredevil Evel Knievel.¬†Gut took the change in purpose and forward momentum in stride — he’s the secret weapon here; even a change in how hard he hits the snare does much to affect the vibe of a given song — and St√∂ner slid easily into the more propulsive cut, the sun setting around them casting shadows from the joshua trees.

stoner band

They returned to the mid-tempo push with the shorter-seeming “Nothin'” and the sky turned duly purple for that and the subsequent “Own Yer Blues,” slower, more languid in the laid-back-heavy tradition of¬†Bjork‘s solo work, but with a chorus worthy of being the first impression the band made (and it was; a video premiered for it ahead of the stream that you can see below). The chorus, “By afternoon you own yer blues,” took a similar perspective as “Rad Stays Rad” and “The Older Kids”; a mature voice speaking from a place of experience, sort of looking back but not in a way that’s trying to retro-fy or capture something lost. Some more guttural delivery from¬†Bjork at the end of the track underscored the point, and though sometimes watching¬†Oliveri play a mellower song is like waiting for a cannon to go off, he nailed it. Dude’s reputation precedes him — blah blah shotgun standoff blah blah¬†Cocaine Rodeo — but he’s the guy for the job, no question.

“Stand Down” and “Tribe/Flygirl” followed. Nighttime. Drones buzzing around dark rocks, dark yellow light. Too cool. You got your dose of funk in “Stand Down” to pick up the tempo from “Own Yer Blues” and “Tribe/Flygirl” brought the St√∂ner¬†jam in fashion that earned the umlaut. Call it mood, or vibe, or whatever you want, but you’d be lucky to get those three in order on side B to close out the record as they happened in the set — well, I guess they will on the live album. In any case, it was right there in those three later pieces that¬†Bjork,¬†Oliveri and¬†Gut seemed most locked in. They’d got through the rock, through the punk and into the headier, stonier fare, and it showed how far out they’re ready to go, even as a brand new band. By the time they brought it down and¬†Oliveri¬†hit the last bass rumble to cap the performance, there was little else to say but “fucking right on.” Coming from anyone else, you would say St√∂ner just sounds like someone pretending they’re these guys. Coming from them, you can only call it honest.

This was ‘Vol. 4’ of ‘Live in the Mojave Desert,’ despite airing after ‘Vol. 5,’ which featured¬†Mountain Tamer. With continued producing/directing by project-creator Ryan Jones, filming by¬†Spearhead Media, audio by¬†Dan Joeright at¬†Gatos Trail¬†Recording Studio in Joshua Tree and a mix/master by¬†Matt Lynch (also of¬†Snail) at¬†Mysterious Mammal¬†in L.A., it was a duly rousing finish. An ongoing business dispute between¬†Jones and¬†Bjork gave the viewing a bittersweet edge, but there was no denying that in this showcase as well as in the other ‘episodes,’ they found their Pompeii out in the desert. Whatever happens with the world outside, with tours being booked again and venues maybe surviving the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’d be lucky to get ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ season two. Until then, we own our blues.

St√∂ner, “Own Yer Blues” from ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’

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Stoner: ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ Interview with Brant Bjork

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features on March 18th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

brant-bjork

Tomorrow, Friday, is Brant Bjork‘s birthday. Happy birthday, Brant. On Saturday, his new trio with drummer Ryan Gut (pronounced like “good” in German), who also plays in Bjork‘s solo band, and bassist/vocalist Nick Oliveri, will be unveiled. The band is called Stoner, the event is the last of five in the ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ series of streams which has brought an exceptional level of production to the medium of bands-can’t-play-shows-so-here’s-this, creating something truly special in an indisputably difficult time.

I’ve been fortunate enough to interview Bjork on several occasions, and there’s always a lot of ground to cover. As he says in the video, he and Oliveri go back to before Katzenjammer — pre-Kyuss — to playing Ramones covers in his mom’s living room as kids in Palm Desert. That Oliveri would go on to be desert rock’s most notorious figure through his work with Mondo Generator, the Dwarves, Queens of the Stone Age, etc., and Bjork an Ambassador of Groove with a pivotal catalog of albums under his own name has not stopped the two paths from converging periodically. Kyuss Lives!/Vista Chino was one such instance, at least for a while. This is another.

Stoner — also stylized with an umlaut: St√∂ner — are something of a mystery as of this post. How much to¬†Bjork and¬†Oliveri share vocal duties? How much is punk, how much is rock, how much do they jam? Where do they go from here? The mission, as¬†Bjork describes, is “no-brainer”; to strip everything away, forget audiences (because there aren’t any right now, though tour plans are being made for 2022) and everything else and just have fun going back to the basics, back to that living-room mentality. To hear him talk about it, it sounds like a good time. They hit the studio last Fall and will likely release that session through¬†Heavy Psych Sounds — to which both¬†Bjork and¬†Oliveri are signed — sometime in the coming months.

So ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ is kind of a welcome party for the new band. For¬†Bjork, it is not unalloyed, however, due to an ongoing business dispute with now-former manager and mastermind of the stream series¬†Ryan Jones. It’s a pickle, and something playing out as we speak.

You’ll notice a hard cut in the clip, and trust me, the original video was considerably longer as Bjork went into some detail about what’s going on. Why isn’t that here? Well, there’s part of me that feels like a fucking coward because it isn’t, but the fact of the matter is this thing might wind up in court and I don’t want to have anything said here come back around. The cut is about 18 minutes in, and there’s about 18 minutes cut, so yeah, a significant part of the conversation is gone. I feel shitty about that. Fact is, I couldn’t run the video unedited without comment from the other side, and looking at the totality of the situation, I’m not sure I’d be helping anyone or doing anything but stirring drama. It would not make anything better.

Actually the edit’s pretty clean, but you might notice the mood of the conversation has somewhat shifted and that nixed part is why. Maybe you wouldn’t have seen it at all otherwise. Whatever. I’m gonna take a xanax and go read some Star Trek.

Oh, and if you’re a fan of¬†Bjork‘s solo stuff — his 2020 self-titled (review here) was a highlight of a tumultuous Spring — he says he’ll continue that in addition to working with¬†Stoner, even if the focus is on the new band for this year and the ensuing album cycle. Good to know.

Enjoy:

Stoner, Interview with Brant Bjork, March 16, 2021

Stoner‘s Live in the Mojave Desert live album is slated to release in April in the US through Live in the Mojave Desert and in Europe through Heavy Psych Sounds.

Stoner, Live in the Mojave Desert teaser

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The Freeks Post New Single “She Left Me Burning”

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 12th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

It’s maybe not a title you want to think too hard about, but the newly-posted single from Los Angeles sometimes-four-piece-sometimes-five-piece-I-guess-it-depends-on-who-shows-up-when The Freeks, “She Left Me Burning,” is the first audio to come from the band’s next album. The record, yet untitled, is done and being mixed. When it’s out — presumably sometime later in 2021 — it will be the follow-up to 2018’s Crazy World (review here), which was issued by Heavy Psych Sounds, and while I’ve no word as to whether the same imprint will stand behind their next outing, the fact that the band has since brought aboard lead guitarist Ed Mundell (The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, ex-Monster Magnet), is bound not to hurt their case. It certainly does nothing to hurt “She Left Me Burning.”

Along with the song, the band — who had announced a new lineup last year that was different from who it seems wound up recording; wait, 2020 changed someone’s plans? — gave some background as to its making and their plans going forward.

It goes like this:

the freeks she left me burning

The Freeks – She Left Me Burning

Preview to the first completed mix from our upcoming full length album. As the virus hit we also distanced, not gathered, stopped jamming, had no rehearsals and were forced into a 3.5 month hiatus. Since we kept our pod tight, come June 2020, we decided to just go straight into the Sonic Snail Studios and start tracking live, spontaneously with no run thrus and just see what we remembered. As things today are moving much slower than usual, we are happy to say that we have now finished recording 12 songs and have commenced to mixing. So, as we’ve been posting photos and comments in regard to these recording sessions via our social media outlets, we feel it fair to finally let you have a listen. So, here is the first completely mixed track as a preview of what’s to come. thanks for listening and thanks for supporting.

released March 4, 2021

Produced & Engineered by Rainer Fraenkel
Mixed by Rainer Fraenkel & Ruben Romano
cover art – @maroonmonkees

Written by The Freeks;
Ruben Romano – Drums / Vocals
Jonathan Hall – Guitar / Vocals
Ed Mundell – Guitar
Ray Piller – Bass
Rainer Fraenkel – additional guitars

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The Freeks, “She Left Me Burning”

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Live Stream Review: Mountain Tamer, Live in the Mojave Desert

Posted in Reviews on March 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

mountain tamer live in the mojave desert with text

I’ve never been so fortunate as to see Los Angeles trio Mountain Tamer live, and for the better part of the last six years — through their MTN TMR demo (review here), their signing to Argonauta for their 2016 self-titled debut LP (review here), the jump to Nasoni and Magnetic Eye for the follow-up, 2018’s Godfortune//Dark Matters (review here), and most recently, a shift to Heavy Psych Sounds for 2020’s Psychosis Ritual (review here), as well as various singles along the way — I’ve been trying to reconcile the sinister edge in their sound. Just what it is that makes¬†Mountain Tamer who they are as a band.

Because they’ve always been individual. I don’t think you get to notch so many impressive labels under your belt — three records, four imprints — unless there’s something unique about you, especially as a young group. After watching their ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ stream on a sunny Saturday afternoon, as well as their ‘Couchlock and Rock’ interview segment with ‘Mojave’ showrunner¬†Ryan Jones as guitarist/vocalist¬†Andrew Hall¬†and drummer¬†Casey Garcia¬†recounted tour stories of watching a naked man on PCP be brought down by police and firefighters at six in the morning in Oklahoma, I feel like I have a little better understanding of where they’re coming from.

Angry psych.¬†Hall noted it in his interview as well, that he was having a rough time seeing his pedal board while they played — the word “challenge” was used multiple times, which took as diplomacy-speak for “fucking pain in the ass” — but that seems only to have fueled in their performance what was already in the songs the entire time. They’re pissed. There’s a lot of psychedelia out there today, but not a lot of it is legit angry. There’s political commentary, there’s party-psych, mellow-peaceful-groovy psych, space rock, all that stuff.¬†Mountain Tamer have found a way to hone inner disaffection into a lysergic rager in a way that no one else I’ve heard does.

It comes through on their records, and listening back to¬†Psychosis Ritual, it’s there for sure, but the rawness of their form was front and center for the ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ stream. As they have been for the entire series, sound and production level were both top notch, and where their trippy garage noise metal might otherwise have been eaten by the expanse of Joshua Tree National Park,¬†Hall, Garcia and bassist¬†Dave Teget came through sounding full, mad, and purposeful. It’s not that their psych is a bummer, but if you get it drunk enough it might break something.

mountain tamer

Teget, who was the only member absent from the interview as¬†Jones led a taste-test of¬†Mountain Tamer‘s new pineapple and cactus fruit hot sauce — impressively, they grew their own peppers — plays like a headbanger, and headbangs while he plays. Watching him tear into¬†Psychosis Ritual¬†cuts like set-opener “Warlock” and “Turoc Maximus Antonis,” I was reminded of¬†Scott Reeder in old¬†Kyuss¬†videos: hair in front of face, stomping around like at any moment he might just stumble down, some straight-out circle headbangs in Teget‘s case. It was not laid back. It was not serene. It was animalia, suited to the wilder surroundings of not-a-venue as he kicked up sand along the way. Through performances by Earthless (review here),¬†Nebula (review here) and Spirit Mother (review here), he has been the most physical player yet shown in ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ series. If this were a high school yearbook, he’d easily walk away with Most Likely to Spill Beer on Stage. I mean that as a compliment.

Only the title-track of¬†Psychosis Ritual wasn’t played, and the three-piece brought out “Funeral of a Dog” and the downer-boogie “Living in Vain Pt. II” to close, the former finding Hall breaking out a maraca before tossing it into the sand and hitting into the next riff. “Chained” and “Scorched Earth” might’ve been the most resolutely pissed off they got, but that edge was right there from “Warlock,” and even as things smoothed out, “Death in the Woods” and “Black Noise” made sure their grungy aggro-spaciousness was given its fair shake. Kudos go to¬†Garcia on the subtle class of his play and his ability to pull together the guitar spreading out in one direction and the bass digging in in another; these fascinating, sometimes conflicting impulses in the band’s sound.

Conspicuously absent was¬†Mad Alchemy. The famed psychedelic lightshow purveyor has been on board for at least part of each stream to-date, but¬†Mountain Tamer played the entirety of their set by sunlight, so I guess that was that. Kind of hard to light up the desert when you’re competing with a literal star. Fair enough. The 36-minute set will nonetheless make for a killer live record (not that I’ve heard it, but yeah, I have; don’t tell anybody), to be delivered in the US by ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ itself and in Europe by¬†Heavy Psych Sounds. If they haven’t yet,¬†Mountain Tamer should consider doing their next LP completely live in the studio. If ever there was a heavy psych band tailor-made for¬†Steve Albini, here they are.

‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ is slated to continue in two weeks with St√∂ner, the anticipated new collaboration between Brant Bjork and¬†Nick Oliveri. Worth noting that¬†Mountain Tamer were ‘Vol. 5’ in the series and St√∂ner ‘Vol. 4,’ but if we’re running out of order, my only response is a shrug. Jones and his company of humans and drones have proven at this point they can put on a show. I’m happy to tune in, whatever number we’re on.

Mountain Tamer, “Living in Vain Pt. II” from ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’

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