Review & Album Premiere: 10,000 Years, II

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

10000 years ii

[Click play above to stream ‘II’ by 10,000 Years in full. It’s out Friday June 25 on Interstellar Smoke Records, Ogorekords and Olde Magick Records.]

Marauding, riff-led stuff-breakers 10,000 Years made a striking debut in 2020 with their self-titled EP (review here), finding a niche for themselves in post-High on Fire heavy all the more bolstered through the grit of a production at the famed Sunlight Studio by Tomas Skogsberg (Entombed, Grave, many, many more). With their follow-up debut long-player, somewhat confusingly titled II, the Västerås, Sweden-based trio of guitarist Erik Palm, bassist/vocalist Alex Risberg and drummer Espen Karlsen waste little time in letting listeners know how they’ve fleshed out their sound. Comprised of eight songs running a sharp 39 minutes, II is rife with dirt-coated efficiency, still casting its lot in Pike-style riffing, but finding sludge and noise rock aspects as well in Risberg‘s vocals, lending a rhythm that puts the band at least partially in league with the likes of Domkraft or Cities of Mars.

The songs by and large are a little longer than on the EP, but the main difference is that they’re more tied around the central concept, expanding on a sci-fi storyline set up on the EP that finds the crew of a spaceship crashed on an alternate reality future Earth populated by ancient gods and, apparently, riders on mooseback. Or such as “The Mooseriders” would have one believe. So it goes. Tempo shifts mark another point of growth, and again, 10,000 Years tip their hand early in that regard, with the speedy opener “Descent” — obviously setting up a crash landing via frenetic riffage — giving way not to a subsequent blast of an all-out speed-riff assault as it seems to telegraph, but to a mellower opening for “Gargantuan Forest” and the more nod-paced fare that ensues. I don’t know at what point the lyrics came into the picture, but the songs don’t bend to the story so much as set a fitting backdrop for what plays out across the span, trading intensity back and forth in a way indicative of the burgeoning dynamic in the band’s sound even as they willfully revel in some more familiar stylistic tenets.

For my own version of posterity, and to go with the stream above, below is the story as they tell it, quoted from their Bandcamp page:

After narrowly escaping the confines of the strange planet and its surrounding dimension, the “Albatross” and its crew finally returns home to Earth. The re-entry is rough and the ship crashlands in a forest. The earth that greets them is vastly different from the one that they left.

When the ship travelled back to earth through the wormhole it created a rift in the space-time continuum which propelled them far into the future as well as allowing the Green King and other ancient gods from the other dimension to cross over to our dimension.

They have since taken control of not just the earth, but the entire solar system.

After various harrowing experiences and encounters, the truth finally dawns on the surviving members of the crew. They are indeed back on earth, but ten thousand years in the future from when they started their journey. And to make matters worse, they find evidence that the Green King have been known and worshipped by secret cults and societies on earth for millennia, since before what we today know as humankind even existed.

The surviving members of the crew come to the conclusion that the only way to set things right again is to repair the “Albatross” and take it back through the rift again in order to close it.

10000 years

The narrative brings depth to the proceedings but is by no means a crutch, and through the brash shove of “Spinosaurus” to the unmitigated good-time march that is “The Mooseriders” and into “Angel Eyes” with its ready lumber, 10,000 Years remain committed to their purpose both as storytellers and as songwriters. The latter track, at just four and a half minutes long, boasts a standout lead and a kind of jammier vibe, the rhythm and solo guitar layers working the band’s way into an instrumental finish that sounds as if it could easily go on longer than it does and, from a stage in a live setting, provide righteous hypnosis to the audience. In context, it sets up the transition to “March of the Ancient Queen,” “Prehuman Walls” and eight-minute closer “Dark Side of the Earth” on side B, and that is a worthy-enough cause in itself.

While the trio won’t quite touch the same level of brash as “Spinosaurus” again, there’s still plenty of damage to be done on II, and they set about it with glee on “March of the Ancient Queen,” an interplay of chug and crash early giving ground later to an almost psychedelic careening solo in one channel, then the other, then both, atop galloping drums, finishing clean despite all the dust they’ve kicked up behind them. They get more under their proverbial fingernails in “Prehuman Walls,” perhaps, the penultimate cut shorter in its procession but as low down into sludge as 10,000 Years go on this first album, at least until about three minutes in, when they pause before kicking into higher gear once again, if momentarily ahead of a giant Sleep-style slowdown finish.

That sets up “Dark Side of the Earth” as the finale, which enters patient with quiet guitar and unfolds with tragedy-tinged vocals in its early verses before a quiet break leads to a rousing, cacophonous end. II, and not just for its title, makes it easy to forget that it is a debut. So assured is it on an aesthetic level, and so complete in its purpose, that it emphasizes how schooled 10,000 Years are in what they’re doing. That is to say, they are not strangers to the music they’re making, but fans themselves, and so even as they bring forth this pummel that can make one feel bashed about the skull by the time “Dark Side of the Earth” has turned, an abiding sense of joy is resonant in their presentation. Ultimately, that is the greatest takeaway from II, and one could hardly ask anything else of it than to express the richness and vitality that inspired it in the first place. It does this and more.

10,000 Years, “Gargantuan Forest” official video

10,000 Years on Facebook

10,000 Years on Instagram

10,000 Years on Bandcamp

Interstellar Smoke Records on Facebook

Interstellar Smoke Records store

Death Valley Records on Facebook

Ogorekords website

Olde Magick Records on Bandcamp

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10,000 Years Post “Gargantuan Forest” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

10000 years

We’re a month away now from the June 25 release of 10,000 Years‘ deceptively-titled debut album, II, and the band have newly unveiled the second of presumably three tracks they’ll showcase before the big day comes. “Gargantuan Forest” is the second of the eight songs on the record and follows behind the previously-streamed “March of the Ancient Queen” with a new video that starts out in the woods and ends up in the band’s rehearsal space — also seen in the photo above (and in color!) as well as here — as they rock out and deal with being haunted by some unknown but apparently highly referential malevolence. You know, like you do.

It is good fun and accompanies the lyrics-when-we-feel-like-itn sludgily-shouted verses of the track well, bassist/vocalist Alex Risberg‘s gruff approach in a higher register but no more off-putting than it necessarily wants to be. His bass gets a highlight moment as the proceedings — the narrative as well as the song — lumbers into its second half and Erik Palm‘s guitar drops out to noise, leaving Espen Karlsen‘s drums and the low end to hold the tension in its place. They pick up again and riff the track to a suitably loud finish, and introduce listeners to the “Espbeast” in the process, finding that rare combination of drummer and mascot that makes the truly special bands stand out.

According to my notes for such things, I’m slated to stream II in its entirety on June 22, three days before it’s out. Stay tuned for that as you enjoy this, and you’ll also find “March of the Ancient Queen” at the bottom of the post for good measure.

Dig:

10,000 Years, “Gargantuan Forest” official video

The second single from our upcoming album ”II”.

In this ABSURD (1981) video 10,000 Years enter a FOREST OF FEAR (1980) as they access THE BEYOND (1981) and enter a BLOODBATH (1971) with THE BOOGEY MAN (1980), otherwise known as the Espbeast. The Espbeast stalks and haunts the bodies and minds of the characters in this C-grade homage to the horrormovies of yesteryear.

The characters FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE (1976) through insane NIGHTMARES IN A DAMAGED BRAIN (1981). If they survive the AXE (1977) they may still end up in an INFERNO (1980) and risk to be EATEN ALIVE (1976). All the same risks face the viewer, so don’t watch with the lights out, don’t watch by yourself and DON’T GO IN THE WOODS ALONE (1981). Because after all, isn’t there an Espbeast in all of us?

Picking up right where the EP left off, “II” continues the story of the ill-fated Albatross-mission and its exploration of time and space through a skullcrushing mixture of stonerrock, doom- & sludge metal.

The album was recorded in the legendary Studio Sunlight with the equally legendary Tomas Skogsberg manning the controls.

10,000 Years:
Erik Palm – Guitars
Alex Risberg – Bass/vocals
Espen Karlsen – Drums

10,000 Years, II (2021)

10,000 Years on Facebook

10,000 Years on Instagram

10,000 Years on Bandcamp

Interstellar Smoke Records on Facebook

Interstellar Smoke Records store

Death Valley Records on Facebook

Ogorekords website

Olde Magick Records on Bandcamp

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10,000 Years Announce Album Details for II

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 15th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

10,000 Years tracking riffs at Sunlight Studio — the place that gave birth to the grittiest of Swedish death metal; see Entombed, Dismember, Grave, on and on — is a proposition that only sounds enticing as far as I’m concerned. The Västerås-based trio will issue II in the coming months through Interstellar Smoke RecordsOgo RecordsDeath Valley Records and Olde Magick Records, and the cover art — very Empire Strikes Back as it is — has just been posted along with the tracks that will be included. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to wager “Gargantuan Forest” and “March of the Ancient Queen” will sound pretty big. That’s just fine.

Looking forward to hearing this one, if that even needs to be said, and though no audio is out yet, you can still hear their self-titled debut (review here) at the bottom of this post, with hopes of more to come before the new release.

Dig:

10000 years ii

10,000 YEARS “II”

We are very proud to unveil the artwork and tracklisting for our new record!

The album is called “II” and it was recorded in the legendary Studio Sunlight in Norrtälje, Sweden 18-21 February with the equally legendary Tomas Skogsberg manning the controls. Mastering was done by Magnus Andersson in Endarker Studio Sweden in Norrköping.

The brilliant artwork was made by Francesco Bauso at Negative Crypt Artwork who continually blows our minds by coming up with the perfect stuff for us.

“II” tracklisting:
1. Descent
2. Gargantuan Forest
3. Spinosaurus
4. The Mooseriders
5. Angel Eyes
6. March Of The Ancient Queen
7. Prehuman Walls
8. Dark Side Of The Earth

The album will be released on the following formats:

Green King Edition vinyl from Interstellar Smoke Records
CD & digital from Death Valley Records
European Edition cassette from Ogo Rekords
American Edition cassette from Olde Magick Records

The first taste of new music will come soon in the form of a digital-only single that will be released on Bandcamp and Spotify. There will be a separate announcement regarding that in due time.

More info regarding release date and preorders coming soon as well.

“II” IS COMING!

10,000 Years:
Erik Palm – Guitars
Alex Risberg – Bass/vocals
Espen Karlsen – Drums

http://www.facebook.com/TenThousandyrs
https://instagram.com/10.000yrs
http://10000years.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Interstellar-Smoke-Records-101687381255396/
https://interstellarsmokerecords.bigcartel.com/

10,000 Years, 10,000 Years

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Korb Set Sept. 30 Release for Korb II

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

I happen to know what kind of spacial distortions and temporal displacement await those who travel to Korb II, having, you know, heard it, and it is with due dimensionality that the UK duo present their second offering through Weird Beard Records as the follow-up to their self-titled, self-released 2018 debut. Expect weirdo psych, krautrock inflections, and signs of alien intelligence to persist, but with an underlying core of human exploration that speaks to the best possible futures while representing our pitiful species well in the present. Putting us in a good light, as it were, despite the grimness of our times.

While you’re digging into the debut below, also check out Korb‘s even more krautified alter-ego, Arboria. The other project released its self-titled third full-length last year and it’s another planet in the system that’s ready for habitation. I’ve included that stream too, just for the extra curious among those venturing into the unknown.

Have at it:

korb ii lp

KORB – II – Release Date: 30th September 2020

Following on from their self released debut album in 2018, Weird Beard are proud to bring you the next instalment of KORB’s sonic journey. II builds upon the solid kosmiche foundation laid in their first album and expands on it exponentially. Using vintage instruments and effects, KORB provide a soundtrack that harks back to classic sci fi films, drawing you in and placing you firmly in a futuristic landscape.

KORB – II will be released in a limited edition of 250 copies on splattered vinyl that perfectly compliments the sleeve and will come with a gatefold insert featuring more of Rob Gower’s sublime artwork. The first 50 copies will be hand numbered and contain a bonus signed CD.

Weird Beard is the perfect home for Korb II, with both label and band continuing to forge their own unique and uncompromising paths outside of the constraints of the mainstream.

Bio:

After playing in a jazz quartet together Jonathan Parkes and Alec Wood took their shared love of Krautrock and spent years experimenting with a wide range of instruments, including vintage analogue synths, creating a huge body of diverse music which eventually distilled into Korb.
The first album was released in 2018 on their own label Dreamlord Recordings – which is also home to their other projects, Mutante (synth/electronic) and Arboria (electro/acoustic).

Korb create their instrumental music using vintage drums, percussion, bass, guitar, analogue synths, organ, and a range of fx pedals. While Korb has its roots in 70s Krautrock and Kosmische music they have spent long enough creating their own sound to ensure that they tread their own path.

https://www.facebook.com/korbdreamlordrecordings/
https://korbmusic.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/WeirdBeardRecs/
https://theweirdbeard.bigcartel.com/

Korb, Korb (2018)

Arboria, Arboria (2019)

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Quarterly Review: Horisont, Ahab, Rrrags, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Earthbong, Rito Verdugo, Death the Leveller, Marrowfields, Dätcha Mandala, Numidia

Posted in Reviews on July 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Well, I’m starting an hour later than I did yesterday, so that’s maybe not the most encouraging beginning I could think of, but screw it, I’m here, got music on, got fingers on keys, so I guess we’re underway. Yesterday was remarkably easy, even by Quarterly Review standards. I’ve been doing this long enough at this point — five-plus years — that I approach it with a reasonable amount of confidence it’ll get done barring some unforeseen disaster.

But yesterday was a breeze. What does today hold? In the words of Mrs. Wagner from fourth grade homeroom, “see me after.”

Ready, set, go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Horisont, Sudden Death

horisont sudden death

With a hefty dose of piano up front and keys throughout, Gothenburg traditionalist heavy rockers Horisont push retro-ism into full-on arena status. Moving past some of the sci-fi aspects of 2017’s About Time, Sudden Death comprises 13 tracks and an hour’s runtime, so rest assured, there’s room for everything, including the sax on “Into the Night,” the circa-’77 rock drama in the midsection of the eight-minute “Archeopteryx in Flight,” and the comparatively straightforward seeming bounce of “Sail On.” With cocaine-era production style, Sudden Death is beyond the earlier-’70s vintage mindset of the band’s earliest work, and songs like “Standing Here” and the penultimate proto-metaller “Reign of Madness” stake a claim on the later era, but the post-Queen melody of “Revolution” at the outset and the acoustic swing in “Free Riding” that follows set a lighthearted tone, and as always seems to be the case with Horisont, there’s nothing that comes across as more important than the songwriting.

Horisont on Thee Facebooks

Century Media website

 

Ahab, Live Prey

ahab live prey

Scourge of the seven seas that German nautically-themed funeral doomers Ahab are, Live Prey is their first live album and it finds them some five years removed from their last studio LP, The Boats of the Glen Carrig (review here). For a band who in the past has worked at a steady three-year pace, maybe it was time for something, anything to make its way to public ears. Fair enough, and in five tracks and 63 minutes, Live Prey spans all the way back to 2006’s Call of the Wretched Sea with “Ahab’s Oath” and presents all but two of that debut’s songs, beginning with the trilogy “Below the Sun,” “The Pacific” and “Old Thunder” and switching the order of “Ahab’s Oath” and “The Hunt” from how they originally appeared on the first record to end with the foreboding sounds of waves rolling accompanied by minimal keyboards. It’s massively heavy, of course — so was Call of the Wretched Sea — and whatever their reason for not including any other album’s material, at least they’ve included anything.

Ahab on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records website

 

Rrrags, High Protein

rrrags high protein

Let’s assume the title High Protein might refer to the fact that Dutch/Belgian power trio Rrrags have ‘trimmed the fat’ from the eight songs that comprise their 33-minute sophomore LP. It’s easy enough to believe listening to a cut like “Messin'” or the subsequent “Sad Sanity,” which between the two of them are about as long as the 5:14 opener “The Fridge” just before. But while High Protein has movers and groovers galore in those tracks and the fuzzier “Sugarcube” — the tone of which might remind that guitarist Ron Van Herpen is in Astrosoniq — the stomping “Demons Dancing” and the strutter “Hellfire,” there’s live-DeepPurple-style breadth on the eight-minute “Dark is the Day” and closer “Window” bookends “The Fridge” in length while mellowing out and giving drummer/vocalist Rob Martin a rest (he’s earned it by then) while bassist Rob Zim and Van Herpen carry the finale. If thinking of it as a sleeper hit helps you get on board, so be it, but Rrrags‘ second album is of unmitigated class and straight-up killer performance. It is not one to be overlooked.

Rrrags on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Viscerals

pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs viscerals

There’s stoner roll and doomed crash in “New Body,” drone-laced spoken-word experimentalism in “Blood and Butter,” and post-punk angular whathaveyou as “Halloween Bolson” plays out its nine-minute stretch, but Viscerals — the third or fourth Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs album, depending on what you count — seems to be at its most satisfying in blowout freak-psych moments like opener “Reducer” and “Rubbernecker,” which follows, while the kinda-metal of “World Crust”‘s central riff stumbles willfully and teases coming apart before circling back, and “Crazy in Blood” and closer “Hell’s Teeth” are more straight-up heavy rock. It’s a fairly wide arc the UK outfit spread from one end of the record to the other — and they’re brash enough to pull it off, to be sure — but with the hype machine so fervently behind them, I have a hard time knowing whether I’m actually just left flat by the record itself or all the hyperbole-set-on-fire that’s surrounded the band for the last couple years. Viscerals gets to the heart of the matter, sure enough, but then what?

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs on Thee Facebooks

Rocket Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Earthbong, Bong Rites

Earthbong Bong Rites

Kiel, Germany’s Earthbong answer the stoner-sludge extremity of their 2018 debut, One Earth One Bong (review here), with, well, more stoner-sludge extremity. What, you thought they’d go prog? Forget it. You get three songs. Opener “Goddamn High” and “Weedcult Today” top 15 minutes each, and closer “Monk’s Blood” hits half an hour. Do the quick math yourself on that and you’ll understand just how much Earthbong have been looking forward to bashing you over the head with riffs. “Weedcult Today” is more agonizingly slow than “Goddamn High,” at least at the beginning, but it builds up and rolls into a pace that, come to think of it, is still probably slower than most, and of course “Monk’s Blood” is an epic undertaking right up to its last five minutes of noise. It could’ve been an album on its own. But seriously, if you think Earthbong give a shit, you’re way off base. This is tone, riff and weed worship and everything else is at best a secondary concern. Spend an hour at mass and see if you don’t come out converted.

Earthbong on Thee Facebooks

Earthbong on Bandcamp

 

Rito Verdugo, Post-Primatus

rito verdugo post-primatus

No doubt that at some future time shortly after the entire world has moved on from the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a glut of releases comprised of material written during the lockdown. Peruvian four-piece Rito Verdugo are ahead of the game, then, with their Post-Primatus four-song EP. Issued digitally as the name-your-price follow-up to their also-name-your-price 2018 debut, Cosmos, it sets a 14-minute run from its shortest cut to its longest, shifting from the trippy “Misterio” into fuzz rockers “Monte Gorila” (which distills Earthless vibes to just over three minutes) and “Lo Subnormal” en route to the rawer garage psychedelia of “Inhumación,” which replaces its vocals with stretches of lead guitar that do more than just fill the spaces verses might otherwise be and instead add to the breadth of the release as a whole. Safe to assume Rito Verdugo didn’t plan on spending any amount of time this year staying home to avoid getting a plague, but at least they were able to use the time productively to give listeners a quick sample of where they’re at sound-wise coming off the first album. Whenever and however it shows up, I’ll look forward to what they do next.

Rito Verdugo on Thee Facebooks

Rito Verdugo on Bandcamp

 

Death the Leveller, II

Death the Leveller II

Signed to Cruz Del Sur Music as part of that label’s expanding foray into traditionalist doom (see also: Pale Divine, The Wizar’d, Apostle of Solitude, etc.), Dublin’s Death the Leveller present an emotionally driven four tracks on their 38-minute label debut, the counterintuitively titled II. Listed as their first full-length, it’s about the same length as their debut “EP,” 2017’s I, but more important is the comfort and patience the band shows with working in longer-form material, opener “The Hunt Eternal,” “The Golden Bough” and closer “The Crossing” making an impression at over nine minutes apiece — “The Golden Bough” tops 12 — while “So They May Face the Sun” runs a mere 7:37 and is perhaps the most unhurried of the bunch, playing out with a cinematic sweep of guitar melody and another showcase for the significant presence of frontman Denis Dowling, who’s high in the mix at times but earns that forward position with a suitably standout performance across the record’s span.

Death the Leveller on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Marrowfields, Metamorphoses

marrowfields metamorphoses

It isn’t surprising to learn that the members of Fall River, Massachusetts, five-piece Marrowfields come from something of an array of underground styles, some of them pushing into more extreme terrain, because the five songs of their debut full-length, Metamorphoses, do likewise. With founding guitarist/main-songwriter Brandon Green at the helm as producer as well, there’s a suitably inward-looking feel to the material, but coinciding with its rich atmospheres are flashes of blastbeats, death metal chug, double-kick and backing growls behind the cleaner melodic vocals that keep Marrowfields distinct from entirely traditionalist doom. It is a niche into which they fit well on this first long-player, and across the five songs/52 minutes of Metamorphoses, they indeed shapeshift between genre elements in order to best serve the purposes of the material, calling to mind Argus in the progressive early stretch of centerpiece “Birth of the Liberator” while tapping Paradise Lost chug and ambience before the blasts kick in on closer “Dragged to the World Below.” Will be interesting to see which way their — or Green‘s, as it were — focus ultimately lies, but there isn’t one aesthetic nuance misused here.

Marrowfields on Thee Facebooks

Black Lion Records on Bandcamp

 

Dätcha Mandala, Hara

datcha mandala hara

Dätcha Mandala present a strong opening salvo of rockers on Hara, their second album for MRS Red Sound, before turning over to all-out tambourine-and-harp blues on “Missing Blues.” From there, they could go basically anywhere they want, and they do, leading with piano on “Morning Song,” doing wrist-cramp-chug-into-disco-hop in “Sick Machine” and meeting hand-percussion with space rocking vibes on “Moha.” They’ve already come a long way from the somewhat misleading ’70s heavy of opener “Stick it Out,” “Mother God” and “Who You Are,” but the sonic turns that continue with the harder-edged “Eht Bup,” the ’70s balladry of “Tit’s,” an unabashed bit o’ twang on “On the Road” and full-on fuzz into a noise freakout on closer “Pavot.” Just what the hell is going on with Hara? Anything Dätcha Mandala so desire, it would seem. They have the energy to back it up, but if you see them labeled as any one microgenre or another, keep in mind that inevitably that’s only part of the story and the whole thing is much weirder than they might be letting on. No complaints with that.

Dätcha Mandala on Thee Facebooks

MRS Red Sound

 

Numidia, Numidia

Numidia Numidia

If you’ve got voices in your band that can harmonize like guitarists James Draper, Shane Linfoot and Mike Zoias, I’m not entirely sure what would lead you to start your debut record with a four-minute instrumental, but one way or another, Sydney, Australia’s Numidia — completed by bassist/keyboardist Alex Raffaelli and drummer Nathan McMahon — find worthy manners in which to spend their time. Their first collection takes an exploratory approach to progressive heavy rock, seeming to feel its way through components strung together effectively while staying centered around the guitars. Yes, three of them. Psychedelia plays a strong role in later pieces “Red Hymn” and the folky “Te Waka,” but if the eponymous “Numidia” is a mission statement on the part of the five-piece, it’s one cast in a prog mentality pushed forward with poise to suit. Side A capper “A Million Martyrs” would seem to draw the different sides together, but it’s no minor task for it to do so, and there’s little sign in these songs that Numidia won’t grow more expansive as time goes on.

Numidia on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

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Outsideinside Premiere “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” Cover; Free Download Available

Posted in audiObelisk on June 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

outsideinside

Pittsburgh classic-style heavy rockers Outsideinside issued their second full-length, Outsideinside II (review here), on March 6 through Rock Freaks Records, and this cover was recorded at the same time. If you know the song “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” there’s a decent chance it’s because the track was featured on the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 two-parter Kill Bill. That version was by Nancy Sinatra, and it appeared on her 1966 album, How Does That Grab You?, and has been covered numerous times over the years by a variety of popsters and other types. The song was originally written by Sonny Bono and appeared on Cher‘s 1966 record, The Sonny Side of Cher, so Sinatra wasn’t first either, even if it’s her take on it that’s probably most recognized at this point. So it goes. Even Cher can’t win ’em all. Stevie Wonder also gave the song a try in ’66, so she’s in good company.

Outsideinside‘s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” was recorded at the same time as the album, and as that record marked the first appearance in the band of James Hart on organ and keys, so too does Hart make an impression here, adding to the ’60s pop melancholia of the melody even as vocalist/guitarist David Wheeler, bassist Jim Wilson and drummer Panfilo Dicenzo, give the track a weightier edge of kick in its later payoff. To say Outsideinside are in their element is putting it lightly. Among the many versions out there is that featured on Vanilla Fudge‘s 1967 self-titled debut, so there’s certainly precedent to work from, and I’d be surprised if Outsideinside didn’t have that take in mind, as they’re nothing if not schooled in the ways of formative heavy. That’s been true since they debuted with 2017’s Sniff a Hot Rock (review here) and since Wheeler and Wilson were in Carousel before that.

You can still get Outsideinside II, of course, and you can hear the premiere of “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” on the player below here, followed by some comment from Wheeler. Another Wheeler-fronted project, Limousine Beach, has newly announced an EP out this month through Tee Pee Records, so keep an eye out for more there, but in the meantime, enjoy this one:

David Wheeler on “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”:

“Bang Bang has been in our live set since about 2014 (back when we were still a trio), but James’ organ adds some really nice texture to the arrangement we had back then. Although originally written by Sonny Bono and performed by Cher, there are tons of other versions (Nancy Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Vanilla Fudge, etc). Jim turned me onto Terry Reid/s version years ago and that’s become my favorite.  We recorded it during the sessions for our last LP and would have loved to have put it on the album but you can only fit so many tunes on two sides of vinyl so we decided to save it to release on its own.” 

Outsideinside on Thee Facebooks

Outsideinside on Spotify

Rock Freaks Records on Thee Facebooks

Rock Freaks website

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Days of Rona: David Wheeler of OutsideInside

Posted in Features on April 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

outsideinside-david-wheeler

Days of Rona: David Wheeler of OutsideInside (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Mostly we’re just trying to stay in touch via text and support each other. I actually tested positive for covid-19 and was laid up for a few weeks dealing with that. The symptoms of the first week were pretty mild with fever, coughing and chills kicking in for the second week. Even after the symptoms ended I spent another solid week battling fatigue, but thankfully am now completely recovered. Needless to say I’m just now beginning to think about anything music related. So far all I’ve managed to do is learn “Adam’s Apple” by Aerosmith on guitar.

Luckily, the release show for Outsideinside’s new LP took place on March 6, about a week before all of the shit hit the fan so we managed to sneak it in. My other band Limousine Beach had to delay a mixing session for an LP we’re working on and had to cancel a handful of local and out of town shows we were really looking forward to, but we’ll take it all in stride. The most important thing is to flatten this curve. Luckily none of the other people I make music with have gotten [sick].

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

All non-life sustaining businesses are closed here in Pittsburgh and social distancing is in full effect.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

Obviously it’s been financially devastating to anyone who makes a living as a performer, working in a venue or as a sound engineer etc. As is the case in disasters, people are working toward creative solutions. For example, my wife Susan Pedrazzi and her friend Elizabeth Sanchez have started a creative collective called Together___Apart that highlights individual artists and features stickers, tote bags, and t-shirts for sale with proceeds benefiting local performers and gig workers (https://instagram.com/together______apart).

Musicians have also found alternative ways to continue performing via livestream and are blasting out home recordings. Aside from music, I was blown away by the support I received from my friends, (as well as strangers in some cases) while I was sick. It just goes to show you that you see the best of people in times like these. There is real work to do to keep everyone’s head above water, and people are finding ways to accomplish that.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation as a band, personally, or anything?

Mostly, as someone who is recovering from a “mild” case of covid-19, I just want to say you do not want it and you do not want your friends and/or family to get it. It’s pretty brutal even if you’re a relatively healthy individual. Let’s do right by each other and stay away.

https://www.facebook.com/outsideinside1/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1Nb2f7ORXPcKchOjqFqauG
https://www.facebook.com/rockfreaksrecords/
http://www.rockfreaks.de/

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Days of Rona: Andrea Vidal of Holy Grove

Posted in Features on April 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

holy grove andrea vidal

Days of Rona: Andrea Vidal of Holy Grove (Portland, Oregon)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

We’ve definitely had to adjust, but if you’re already an active band-you’re used to that whole “change of plans at the last minute” sort of thing. Certainly not on this scale though, this has been surreal to say the least. We had some dates booked in April in support of our Smokeout date that we’ve had to cancel, and for the time being practice has been relegated to a few Skype calls. Everyone is healthy currently, and feeling very grateful for that. We took a hit financially with the merch we ordered for the canceled run, but that pales in comparison to putting our health, our families health and anyone attending our shows at risk. Personally, it has been very difficult to watch countless tours and festivals canceled, but oddly comforting watching the community come together and show support despite these setbacks.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Here in Oregon we are forbidden from leaving our homes unless absolutely necessary. Bars, restaurants and other “non essential” business are closed… thank Iommi that weed stores however, are very, very much open.

The local businesses that remain open have been showing tremendous support to their employees and the community, and I feel very fortunate that — although at the moment I am very much unemployed — my basic needs are met.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

For me, I find myself listening to records that I haven’t picked up in years. I’ve been reorganizing my home a bit, and coming across bits of my past while doing so has been soul reviving. The most striking thing is that for the first time in my life I have plenty of opportunity to dedicate time on my physical and mental health. I’m very grateful for that. You can’t escape yourself, and that’s even more evident while in quarantine!

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

Hard to say exactly what 2020 holds for Holy Grove. Psycho Smokeout is rescheduled for October, and though we currently have a few irons in the fire, there is some level of uncertainty surrounding each one. Thankfully, we have new music to to keep us busy. Our only band philosophy is to write the best music we possibly can — so we’re going to lean into that. It’s just about the only thing we can count on. I find joy in writing lyrics for Holy Grove. For a moment, I get to express some form of poetry that wouldn’t be able to be published or put out into the world otherwise. I am really thankful to be filling my notebook once again.

https://www.facebook.com/holygroveband/
http://holygrove.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/

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