Helen Money Announces New Album Atomic out March 20; Song Streaming & European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

helen money

Chicago-based cellist Are YOU looking for a safe, http://www.canacocampeche.org.mx/a2-business-studies-coursework-help/? Check our POWERFUL GUARANTEES NOW and get your assignment without any risk whatsoever. Alison Chesley will release her new album under the moniker of If you want to Purchase A Research Paper online, Advanced-writers.com will share the best tips to become a successful freelancer. 100% Dedication guaranteed! Helen Money on March 20 through If you are looking for a reliable service to http://roedle-kempf.de/dissertation-abstract-online-literature-review/ for your Master’s or Ph.D. degree, look no further. Place an order online at our site and Thrill Jockey Records. It’s the first new We are an in-house Thesis Vs Dissertation Is Difference Between catering to businesses and agencies of all sizes. Our expert copywriters will create stunning, fully optimized Helen Money album in four years since how to write rationale of the study http://www.team-sog.com/report-writing-in-english/ Transfer how to write a college book report paper persuasive essay gun control Become Zero (review here) in 2016 — though ghostwriter spiegels online from our Essay Writing Service: Discounts, Bonus, Affordable, 100% Original, Nil-plagiarized, Term paper, Reports Chesley has hardly been idle in that time — and a glimpse at its atmospheric reach is being given in the streaming leadoff track “Midnight,” which will open the 11-song LP in duly cinematic fashion. Always experimental but on sure aesthetic ground, best essay collections Dissertation Proposal On A Evaluative Study how to write an abstract for your dissertation doctoral guide to buying term papers online Chesley weaves layers of cello on each other to create a tense build and cascade that, as it should, only makes me want to dive into the rest of the album to follow. It would seem her work continues to defy genre and yet remain heavy in atmosphere and emotionalist intent.

Badass, in other words.

A European tour has been announced. Dates and album info, as the PR wire has it:

helen money atomic

Helen Money announces powerfully emotional new album Atomic, out Mar. 20th

I Cant Do My Thesis - authentic researches at competitive prices available here will make your education into pleasure Qualified writers Helen Money touring Europe this spring

Helen Money has announced new album Atomic, out March 20th, as well as shared the album’s intimate, expansive single “Midnight”. Composer Alison Chesley stands as one of the most unique and versatile cellists working today. Under the Helen Money moniker, Chesley uses the instrument to access and channel the extremities of human emotion, employing extensive sonic manipulation and an array of plucking and bowing techniques to summon an astonishing breadth and depth of sound. A prolific collaborator, Chesley recently transcribed and performed on Bob Mould’s Sunshine Rock has worked with the likes of Jason Roeder (Sleep/Neurosis) and Rachel Grimes (Rachel’s), and she has toured extensively with Mould, Russian Circles, Earth, Shellac, Sleep and MONO. On her new album Atomic, Chesley pushes even further out towards the extremes of her output with a daring leap forward in her songwriting through minimalist arrangements that stand as her most intimate, direct, and emotionally bare work to date.

Atomic was written during a period of transition for Chesley and her family. She explains: “After my parents passed away, we had to find new ways to be – with ourselves and each other. The whole process brought us closer together, strengthening the bonds between the three of us; between us and our friends; between us and my extended family. My sister and brother and I would often get together at my brother’s house in the Redwoods of Northern California. Being there with them, looking up at these giant trees that were there long before we were, looking up at the Milky Way, looking out at the Pacific Ocean – it just gave me a sense of perspective and how connected we all are to everything.” The experience of recalibrating herself in the world came to subconsciously inform Atomic’s searching tone, Chesley pushing her music to surprising new places, both intimate and powerfully emotional.

Helen Money – Atomic tracklist:
1. Midnight
2. Understory
3. Nemesis
4. Coil
5. Coppe
6. Something Holy
7. Brave One
8. One Year One Ring
9. Marrow
10. Redshift
11. Many Arms

Helen Money EU tour dates
May 2 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega
May 3 – Goteborg, SE – Koloni
May 5 – Prague, CZ – Klub 007
May 7 – Gdansk, PL – Drizzly Grizzly
May 8 – Poznan, PL – Pawillon
May 9 – Hranice na Morav?, CZ – Karnola
May 10 – Kosice, SK – Taba?ka Kulturfabrik
May 12 – Vienna, AT – Fluc
May 13 – Zurich, CH – Schallbeton
May 14 – Torino, IT – Blah Blah
May 15 – Lyon, FR – Le Sonic
May 17 – Lille, FR – La Malterie
May 20 – Glasgow, UK – Broadcast
May 21 – Newcastle, UK – Cluny
May 23 – London, UK – Raw Power Festival w/ Pye Corner Audio, Enablers + more
May 24 – London, UK – Raw Power Festival w/ Pye Corner Audio, Enablers + more

Pre-order Helen Money’s Atomic:
http://thrilljockey.com/products/atomic

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Helen Money, “Midnight”

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Friday Full-Length: Minsk, Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

With its 15th anniversary impending later this year,  Affordable and professional Online Tutoring or Online College Homework Help, theater education research paper from Our Experienced Tutors. Get Quick Homework answers Minsk‘s debut album, purchase essays online http://cheapessaywritings24.com/custom-writing/ Economics air fact help homework pollution nursing essays online uk Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive, still sounds like the end of the fucking world. Issued through  Are you having a tough time writing your school essay, paper or even your College thesis? Choose Thesis About Canteen Services for all your essay writing services! At a Loss Recordings, the full-length built directly on a prior 2004 demo that made the band’s signing mandatory — had to happen — with two of the tracks from that independent offering re-recorded and positioned as part of the monstrous opening salvo of the LP proper. Those songs are “Waging War on the Forevers” (10:40) and “Narcotics and Dissecting Knives” (10:57), and together with the universe-consuming 14 minutes of “Holy Flower of the North Star,” they assured Essay on helping others ˇ buying papers for essays buying essays online. This equipment along here the suitable innovative Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive‘s place in the then-burgeoning pantheon of post-metal’s most glorious moments.

As the mid-aughts found  If you have decided to let How To Write A Paper With A Thesis us perform your Do My Algebra Homework request “do my algebra, math or physics homework for me”, let Neurosis and If you need somebody to help you with your task, you have got to the right lab admission essay editing service english. We offer reasonable pricing and high quality. Place Isis exploring some of their most ambient material and bands like  Assignment Help Experts offer Online Assignment Help and Custom Written Research Papers services in Australia and US. Paper will be written by US and Australian Experts. Mouth of the Architect,  Rwake, Burst, Amenra and Rosetta started to establish the aesthetic tenets of the style, Minsk were almost singularly chaotic. Like no one before them, the Chicago-based outfit were able to harness the tempestuous rhythms of Neurosis‘ Through Silver in Blood and bring that kind of intensity to their own approach, pairing it with standout riffs and vocal lines as well as effective linear builds like that with subtly leads into “Holy Flower of the North Star” before letting go of the listener’s hand and tossing them over the edge into the churning fray. Though the record’s impact was not immediate, with the quiet opening sample at the start of “Waging War on the Forevers” before the thrust kicks in at 1:29, once Minsk unveiled their full tonal weight, there was no way to stop the ensuing crush, and who the hell would want to anyway?

Though the fact that he’d helmed Pelican‘s Australasia certainly didn’t hurt his cause, and also the fact that Buried at Sea‘s Migration remains one of the heaviest records ever released, period, Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive seemed to serve particular notice of Sanford Parker‘s accomplishment as a producer. His ability to harness low frequency resonance is writ large throughout the 65 minutes of Minsk‘s debut, and of course that he wound up playing bass in the band, taking over for Drew McDowell in the lineup alongside vocalist/percussionist/keyboardist Tim Mead, guitarist/vocalist Chris Bennett, guitarist Dustin Addis and drummer Tony Wyioming (aka Anthony Couri), was a bonus that only added to their sonic impact. The use of percussion and keys whether in stretches of maximum churn or atmospheric reach, was also a distinguishing factor for Minsk, and made their sound all the more inventive and distinct from their peers amid what was at the time a stylistic boom, and as much of their impression would Minsk Out of a Center Which Is Neither Dead nor Alivebe made across those first three tracks — the original At a Loss vinyl edition reordered the songs to fit neatly as a 2LP — the subsequent “Three Hours” (11:11), “Bloodletting and Forgetting” (8:26) and “Wisp of Tow” (9:28) pushed ever deeper into hypnotic sway and contrasting pummel.

“Three Hours” still feels especially raging once it builds the proper momentum, with intertwining lines of vocals reaching up from out of the grueling ether with a kind of desperation that seems as emotionally raw as the proceedings around it are sonically complex. By the time the track crosses its halfway point, with its swirling effects leading gradually to a chugging that is all the more vicious for the undercurrent of keys and the glorious opening that follows, Minsk are both nearly impossible to follow and impossible to turn away from. The sheer aural demand of Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive remains staggering. Not only is it the kind of record in which, almost 15 years later, one can still hear new aspects of the band’s approach — it’s the kind of record whose urgency time has done nothing to dull. Which is all the more impressive when one considers how much of it is given to quiet parts.

“Bloodletting and Forgetting,” which follows “Waging War on the Forevers” on the vinyl side A, is the penultimate cut on the CD, and positioned well behind “Three Hours” as something of a comedown with its extended quiet start working as the launch of a linear build that, sure enough, hits a raging crescendo, but still gives over to closer “Wisp of Tow” with a psychedelic fluidity that the guest saxophone spot from Bruce Lamont, then of Yakuza, only drives into the broader reaches of the “far out.” Of course, they finish with a payoff that borders on Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive‘s most extreme moments before returning to lucidity for a few final lines before cutting out, but by then the feeling of consumption is long since established, and Minsk‘s refusal to bask in their own accomplishment — leaving as they do largely without ceremony — highlights the prior intensity. Though it was the earlier demo that set the foundation on which the album would flourish, they left no question as to their forward-thinking intent or their strength of purpose.

I recall it wasn’t long before Relapse Records came knocking. The venerable Philly imprint snagged Minsk and issued 2007’s The Ritual Fires of Abandonment and 2009’s With Echoes in the Movement of Stone (review here), as well as a split with Unearthly Trance concurrent to the latter, before Minsk took part in Neurot Recordings‘ Hawkwind Triad (review here) with U.S. Christmas and Harvestman in 2010. Half a decade passed before they returned with The Crash and the Draw (review here), a fourth LP once again on Relapse, and a split with like-minded Swiss outfit Zatokrev, titled Bigod (review here), followed in 2018 to mark the occasion of a tour and the 15th anniversaries of both bands.

Their first demo, 2003’s Burning, was reissued on tape in 2018 by Three Moons Records — it seems to be sold out, which I know because I just went to the label’s webstore to try to buy it — and they’ve had a beer collaboration and periodic local shows since. What their plans might be going forward, I don’t know, but even if it’s another three years before they release another album, The Crash and the Draw certainly proved worth that wait, and whatever they do, they’ve never given a reason for their audience to anticipate anything but creative and structural progression. When and if there is a “next record,” I’d expect no less of it than to live up to that high standard.

Still, Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive was and is a landmark for them and for post-metal as a whole, and as always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

I left the house this week. That was good. Took half a xanax to get me out the door, but we got there. And the show was good. And the people were good. I had fun and when I felt like a weirdo, I just took my little red laptop and started writing in the corner. Problem solved and it got the review done quicker. Can’t do that at every gig, but when I can it’s kind of nice to get the immediate impressions down rather than letting them filter through a night’s — or half a night’s, as it were — sleep.

I’m talking about this show, if you’re wondering. Sorry, should’ve made that clear.

So hey, Gimme Radio has come through the round of specials they were doing I guess to finish out 2019 and they’re bringing back The Obelisk Show to its every-other-week scheduling. I’m stoked. It was kind of a bummer just to do it once a month, but I like the alternating weeks. Next show is Jan. 31 at 1pm Eastern. I hope you can tune in: http://gimmeradio.com.

That was good news to get this week. I got kind of hosed on two of the “premieres” over the last few days, so makes up for a bit.

We’re coming up on the start of The Patient Mrs.’ next semester, which I know will be an adjustment to schedule that, where The Pecan and I are concerned, takes about three weeks to really get in a groove with. He’s also starting daycare part-time, four-hours, for two days a week, before the end of the month, so that’s a further tweaking of routine. It’ll be good to get him some time with other kids though. He needs it. Spends too much time with my cynical ass.

He’s up now, running around the living room as I type. And his approaching me to read Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus — which I’ll pause to do — is probably my cue to wrap it up.

Next week there’s a premiere on Monday that I don’t think I can talk about yet, plus announcements on Tuesday that I know I can’t and a premiere of Grimoire Records’ next release. Wednesday I’m going to try to review the new Ripple split — new series, might as well at least start to try to keep up with it. Thursday’s open at the moment but something will come along or I’ll do another review, then Friday is a Lowrider track premiere and review, which, yeah, I wrote the liner notes for the Postwax version of Refractions, but fuck it, Lowrider’s first album in 20 years, you’d have to hit me with a bus to stop me from writing about it. I’ll do a full disclosure note before the review starts and then proceed with the hyperbolic praise accordingly.

Should be fun.

Today’s off to Connecticut, then back this afternoon. Tomorrow I have a press release to write for another announcement that’s also happening sometime early in the week, and then before I know it I’m neck deep in the week. That and cheesy taco dip are my big plans for the next couple days. Maybe a few minutes of reading during nap if such a thing can be finagled.

May yours be great and safe as ever. Have fun and be kind.

FRM: Forum, Radio, Merch at MiBK.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Quarterly Review: Alcest, Superchief, Test Meat, Stones of Babylon, Nightstalker, Lewis & the Strange Magics, Room 101, Albatross Overdrive, Cloud Cruiser, The Spiral Electric

Posted in Reviews on January 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Welcome to Day Three of The Obelisk’s Winter 2020 Quarterly Review. It’s gonna be kind of a wild one. There’s a lot going on across this batch of 10 records, and it gets kind of weird — also, it doesn’t — so sit tight. It’ll be fun either way. At least I hope so. I’ll let you know when I’m finished writing. Ha.

Today we pass the halfway point on the road to 50 reviews by Friday. I think I’m feeling alright up to this point. It’s been a crunch behind the scenes, but it usually is and I’ve done this plenty of times now, so it’s not so bad. I always hold my breath before getting started, but once I’m in it, I rarely feel anymore overwhelmed than I might on any other given day. Which is still plenty, but you know, you make it work.

So let’s do that.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Alcest, Spiritual Instinct

alcest spiritual instinct

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the label’s modus in this regard as it’s picked up bands from the heavy underground over the last eight to 10 years — arguably a movement that began with Graveyard in 2012 — but Parisian post-black metal innovators Alcest make something of an aesthetic shift with their first outing for Nuclear Blast, Spiritual Instinct. Melody, of course, remains central to their purposes, but in the nine-minute side B opener “L’Île des Morts” as in its side A counterpart “Les Jardins de Minuit,” the subsequent “Protection” and “Sapphire” and even in the crescendo — glorious wash as it is — of the closing title-track, one can hear a sharper, decidedly metallic edge to the guitar and impact of the drums. That’s a turn from 2016’s Kodama (review here), which offered more of a conceptual progressivism, and of course the prior 2014 LP, Shelter (review here), which cast of metallic trappings almost entirely. Why the change? Who cares, it works, and they still have room for the cinematic keyboard-led drama of “Le Miroir” and plenty of the wistful emotionalism that’s been their hallmark since their debut in 2007. They’ve long since mastered their approach and Spiritual Instinct serves as another example of their being able to make their sound do whatever they want.

Alcest on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

 

Superchief, Moontower

superchief moontower

Four records and just about a decade deep into a tenure that began with the 2010 Rock Music EP (review here), Iowa heavy rockers Superchief have found ways to bring an inventiveness to what’s still an ostensibly straightforward approach. Moontower, named for a lookout point where — at least presuming from the album’s artwork — people tailgate and get drunk, finds the dudely five-piece no less embroiled in burl than they’ve ever been, but using samples and other elements in interesting ways as with the revving motor matching step with the drums at the start of “Barking Out at the Blood Moon” or keyboards in “Rock ‘n’ Roll War” filling out the breaks where the riffs take a step back. Handclaps early in “Beer Me Motherfucker” — as much post-“Introduction” mission statement for the LP as a whole as anything — set the party tone, and from the shaker on “The Approach” to the Southern tinged shred and organ on closer “Priority of the Summer,” a car speeding by at the finish, Superchief find ways to make each of their songs stand out from its surroundings. Then they pair that with choice riffery, pro-shop sound and hooks. Sure enough, it’s once again a winning formula and a distinct showing of personality and craft that still comports with classic heavy style.

Superchief website

Superchief on Bandcamp

 

Test Meat, Enjoy

test meat enjoy

Boston duo Test Meat are so utterly bullshit-free as to be almost intimidating. Guitarist/vocalist Darryl Shepard (Kind, Blackwolfgoat, Hackman, Milligram, etc.) and drummer Michael Nashawaty (Planetoid) dig into heavy grunge and noise rock influences across a 10-track/27-minute full-length that resounds with punker roots and an ethic of willful straightforwardness. It’s not that the music is so intense there would be no room for frills, it’s that the structures are so tight and so purposefully barebones that they’d be incongruous. And it’s not that Test Meat are writing half-hearted songs, either. Frankly, neither the quality of their material nor the sharpness of the sound they captured at New Alliance Studio with Alec Rodriguez would remotely lead one to believe so, and nothing with such stylistic clarity happens by mistake. This is a band with a mission, and Enjoy finds them bringing that mission to life with a complete lack of pretense. It’s a reminder of what made grunge so appealing in the first place some 30 years and an entire internet ago. Songs and performance. Yes.

Test Meat on Thee Facebooks

Test Meat on Bandcamp

 

Stones of Babylon, Hanging Gardens

Stones of Babylon Hanging Gardens

Following a 2018 live demo, Portuguese instrumental three-piece Stones of Babylon — guitarist Rui Belchior, bassist JoĂŁo Medeiros, drummer Pedro Branco — embark with a conceptualist intent on their debut full-length, Hanging Gardens, issued through Raging Planet. An opening sample in the leadoff title-track describing the hanging gardens of Babylon sets the stage for what the band goes on to describe with wordless atmospheres over the five-song/47-minute long-player, their vision of heavy psychedelia touched with a suitable Middle Eastern/North African influence in the initial unfolding of the meditative 11-minute “Coffea Arabica” or the winding lead work over the punchy low end of “Black Pig’s Secret Megalith.” But Hanging Gardens is still very much a heavy rock release, and its material showcases that in tone and mood, with volume changes and builds taking hold like that in centerpiece “Ziggurat,” which in its second half sets a march of distorted largesse nodding forth until its final crashout. They save the most drift for “Babylonia (The Deluge),” and if they’re finishing with the story of the flood, one can’t help but wonder what narrative course they might follow in a second record. On the other hand, if one comes out of Hanging Gardens trying to envision Stones of Babylon‘s future, then the debut would seem to have done its job, and so it has. There’s stylistic and tonal promise, and with the edge of storytelling, an opportunity for development of which one hopes they avail themselves.

Stones of Babylon on Thee Facebooks

Raging Planet website

 

Nightstalker, Great Hallucinations

nightstalker great hallucinations

Frontman Argy and Greek heavy rock institution Nightstalker return with their eighth album in a quarter-century run, Great Hallucinations. Also their first LP for Heavy Psych Sounds after issuing 2016’s As Above So Below (review here) on Oak Island Records, it’s an up-to-par eight-track collection of catchy tracks marked out by psychedelic elements but underpinned by traditionalist structures, Argy‘s distinctive frontman presence, and an all-around unforced feeling of a mature, established band doing what they do. Not going through the motions in the sense of fulfilling some perceived obligation to stay on the road, but creating the songs they want to create in nothing less than the manner they want to create them. I won’t take away from the roll of “Seven out of Ten,” but as “Cursed” taps into a legacy of European heavy rock that runs from Dozer‘s turn of the century work — not to mention Nightstalker‘s own — to outfits today, it’s hard not to appreciate an act being so assured in what they do in terms of execution while actually doing it. In that way, Great Hallucinations is as refreshing as it is familiar.

Nighstalker on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Lewis and the Strange Magics, Melvin’s Holiday

Lewis and the Strange Magics Melvins Holiday

From their beginnings in garage doom and subsequent dive into exploitation/vamp psych, Barcelona’s Lewis and the Strange Magics put themselves in even weirder territory on their third album, Melvin’s Holiday, centering a story around the titular character whose life is in turmoil and so he goes on vacation. The sound of the band seems to do likewise, veering into ’70s lounge sleaze and island influences, toying with funky rhythms and keyboards amid catchy choruses across what still would have to be called an experimental 34-minute run. It is a concept album, to be sure, and one that comes through in its stylistic choices like the dreamy keyboards of the centerpiece “Carpet Sun” or the fuzzy stomp in “Sad in Paradise” and the percussion amid the Ween-sounding lead guitar buzz of “Lounge Decadence.” This could be Lewis and the Strange Magics working purposefully to cast off any and all expectation that might be placed on them, or it could just be a one-off whim, but there’s no question they pull off an impressive turn and carry the concept through in story and substance. When it comes to what they might do next time, the payoff of closer “Afternoon on the Sand” serves as one more demonstration that the band can do whatever the hell they want with their sound, so I’d expect them to do no less than precisely that.

Lewis and the Strange Magics on Thee Facebooks

Lewis and the Strange Magics on Bandcamp

 

Room 101, The Burden

room 101 the burden

The debut EP from Lansing, Michigan, four-piece Room 101, called simply The Burden, would seem to take a scorched-earth approach to atmospheric sludge, setting their balance to exploring ambient textures and samples in pieces like “You Will Never Know Security” — which, sure enough, samples 1984 to recount the origin of the band’s name — and the brief “A Place to Bury Strangers,” while the churning “As the Crow Flies” and “Missing Rope” present an outright extremity that comes through in post-Godflesh vocal barks and a Through Silver in Blood-style intensity of churn and general approach. Yet I wouldn’t necessarily call Room 101 post-metal — at least not here. The solo on “Missing Rope” seems to draw from more traditional sources, and the manner in which the chugging in “Plague Dogs” caps with a sudden quick series of hits recalls grindcore’s pivoting brutality. One might hope all of these elements get fleshed out more over subsequent releases, but as a first outing, part of The Burden‘s promise is also drawn from the sheer rawness of its impact and the lack of compromise in its wrench of gut.

Room 101 on Thee Facebooks

Room 101 on Bandcamp

 

Abatross Overdrive, Ascendant

albatross overdrive ascendant

Albatross Overdrive‘s 2016 LP, Keep it Running (review here), ran 31 minutes. Their follow-up, Ascendant, reaches to 33, but loses two tracks in the doing. Clearly, one way or the other, this is a conscious ethic on the band’s part, and it tells you something about their approach to heavy rock as well. There’s nothing too fancy about it — even in “Come Get Some,” which is the longest song the band have ever written at 6:40 — and they are not an outfit to waste their time. Structures run from verse to chorus to verse to chorus led through by guitarists Andrew Luddy and Derek Phillips and Art Campos‘ gritty delivery with an expectedly solid underpinning from bassist Mark Abshire (ex-Fu Manchu) and drummer Rodney Peralta and songs like the careening title-track and the blues-licked shover “Undecided” are enough to give the impression that anything else would be superfluous. They’re not lacking style — because ’70s-meets-’90s-straight-ahead-heavy is, indeed, a style — but it’s the level of their craft that stands them out.

Albatross Overdrive on Thee Facebooks

Albatross Overdrive on Bandcamp

 

Cloud Cruiser, I: Capacity

Cloud Cruiser I Capacity

Kyuss-style riffing takes a beating at the hands of Chicago newcomers Cloud Cruiser — who are not to be confused with Denver’s Cloud Catcher — who make their debut on vinyl through Shuga Records with I: Capacity, giving an aggressive push to what’s commonly considered a more laid back sound. In tone and rhythm and general gruffness, they are a deceptively pointed outfit, with turns of broader groove like that at the outset of “575” that speak to more influences than simply those of the Cali desert. They start off catchy and familiar-if-reshaped, though, on “Transmission” and “Glow,” letting their tale of alien abduction unfold across the lyrics while setting up the shifts that “Gone” and “575” and the thick-boogie of “Orbitalclast” will make before the EP’s would-be-clean-but-for-all-that-dirt-it’s-kicked-up 23-minute run is through. The balance they present speaks to a background in metal, though if they’re fresh arrivals in this realm of heavy, you’d never know it from the lumbering finish they present. Sometimes you just gotta get mean to get your point across. It suits

Cloud Cruiser on Thee Facebooks

Shuga Records website

 

The Spiral Electric, The Spiral Electric

the spiral electric the spiral electric

It is a progressive interpretation of fuzz ‘n’ buzz that San Francisco four-piece The Spiral Electric realize on their self-titled, self-released debut long-player, with recording and mixing by Dead Meadow‘s Steve Kille, the band — vocalist/synthesist/noisemaker/guitarist/percussionist/co-producer Clay Andrews, lead guitarist/backing vocalist Nicolas Percey, bassist Michael Summers and drummer Matias Drago — bridge the generally disparate realms of heavy psych and riffer heavy rock, giving a dreamy sensibility to “Marbles” with no less an organic vibe than they brought to the howling, attitudinal push of “No Bridge Left Unburned” earlier. They skillfully mess with the scale across the lengthy 14-track span, and thereby hold their audience for the duration in longer pieces like “The True Nature of Sacrifice” (8:24) as easily as they do in a series of three episodic interludes of noise, field recordings, synth, etc. This is a band ready, willing and able to space. the hell. out., and after listening to the record, you’d be a fool if you wanted to try. Not that they don’t have aspects to shore up or shifts that could be tightened and so on, but from ambition to fruition, it’s the kind of first record bands should aspire to make.

The Spiral Electric on Thee Facebooks

The Spiral Electric on Bandcamp

 

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Canyon of the Skull Stream New Album Sins of the Past in Full

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

canyon of the skull

Founded in Austin and now located in Chicago, Canyon of the Skull release their third album, Sins of the Past, on Nov. 20. It’s only been two years since founding guitarist Erik Ogershok — who then also handled bass duty — stood astride the band’s second full-length, the 37-minute single-tracker The Desert Winter, and yet clearly much has changed. For one, what had for a time been a duo with Ogershok and drummer Adrian Voorhies is now a trio with a full rhythm section in bassist Todd Haug and drummer Mike Miczek (also The Atlas Moth, etc.), and the latest work is produced and mixed by Sanford Parker with mastering by Collin Jordan, so yes, very much embracing the Windy City and its various resources. The changes go beyond that, however, as Sins of the Past brings forth two massive instrumentalist riff-slabs, lumbering and metallic in their root in kind, with “The Ghost Dance” hitting 25 minutes long as “The Sun Dance” on its own nearly matches the entirety of The Desert Winter at 34:12. The simple math has it at 59 minutes of plodding, sans-vocal sprawl, atmospheric but not overly ethereal or psychedelic while still managing to bring together elements out of post-metal, sludge, doom and traditional heavy metal.

Most impressively, Sins of the Past — which takes its thematic from Native American issues and stories from the Southwest — does not simply shift between styles. Throughout “The Ghost Dance” and “The Sun Dance” alike, it isn’t a case of “a doom part” and “a Canyon of the Skull Sins of the Pastmetal part,” or some such. Rather, Ogershok, Haug and Miczek bring these various sides together into one cohesive sound that is fluid in tipping its balance from one genre to another. This would almost have to be truer of “The Sun Dance,” which is even more extended than the leadoff track, but the ethos is the same across both, and it comes to fruition in thoughtful but not overthought progressions of patient, guitar-led rollout and sections of alternately tense and open-feeling movement. It’s not exploratory in the sense of jamming and seeing what happens — there’s a definite plan being followed here — but there’s still something about Sins of the Past that seems to draw the listener deeper into this complexity. It’s a heady release, to be sure, and a challenge in the sense of asking its audience to keep up with changes across 25- and 34-minute pieces that offer no vocals, much substance and purposefully little by way of an instrumental hook, but that only means there is more to dig into, and even in its later reaches, “The Sun Dance” in particular is immersive while holding to the relatively straightforward, grounded tones of its predecessor and the general spirit of the release overall, which doesn’t stray too far from the central, earthy atmosphere that “The Ghost Dance” incites early on — an immediacy underlying all the sprawl and end-to-end distance of the material.

It probably goes without saying (and yet, here I am, saying it) that a record comprised of two so drawn-out instrumental movements and makes so little play toward general accessibility probably isn’t going to be for everybody, but for more adventurous metallurgists and those craving depth and breadth alike, there’s plenty in Sins of the Past to inspire deep-dive listening, tracking each movement of the guitar, bass and drums as you go. I won’t say a negative word about that approach — it certainly has its advantages — but when it comes to Canyon of the Skull, it seems no less important to consider the overarching ambience that comes through the material even as the material itself isn’t all that ambient. That is, if one thinks of the record as a single work, then what’s the mood of that work? What is the work as a whole saying? In some ways, I wish Ogershok was more open in discussing the specific themes he’s working with in his songwriting — sometimes instrumentalists are surprisingly verbose on such matters, but apparently less so in this case — but his approach of “letting the listener decide” has arguable merits of its own as well. I’ll take it either way, I guess.

The more crucial matter would seem to be the urgency of the music itself, so maybe it’s best to let that do the not-talking. Ogershok does offer some comment on the record’s making below, following the player on which one can find the entirety of Sins of the Past streaming ahead of its Nov. 20 release.

I hope you enjoy:

Erik Ogershok on Sins of the Past:

“I try to do different things with each record and this one is no exception. This record is visceral and immediate, like the self-titled, while being highly conceptual and dynamic like The Desert Winter. ‘The Ghost Dance’ is probably the best thing that I have written to date. ‘The Sun Dance’ is unlike anything that I have ever written before. It incorporates my basic philosophies of composition but applies them differently, one that I jokingly call prog-doom.

The main aesthetic and themes that Canyon of the Skull was founded on remain unchanged. This band has always been focused on telling the stories of Indigenous Americans and their environments, specifically those of the American Southwest. I am still surprised at how many people have never met an Indigenous American, but we are not extinct, and this band exists to tell our stories both past, present, and future. This record is a bit more broad with the subject matter since it involves the rituals of tribes far from the land of my people. Also, this record is more influenced by recent events that have an impact beyond Native communities. I don’t like to talk specifically about the deeper meaning of any of my compositions as I want people to discover their meaning in our music. These two pieces have very specific meanings to both me and the wider world and googling the titles is my recommendation for people that want to delve deeper for the literal meanings.”

Recorded at Decade Music Studios March 2019
Recorded and Mixed by Sanford Parker
Produced by Sanford Parker and Canyon of the Skull
Mastered by Collin Jordan at Boiler Room Mastering
Artwork Layout and design by Erik Bredthauer

Canyon of the Skull is:
Erik Ogershok- Guitars
Todd Haug- Bass Guitar
Mike Miczek- Drums

Canyon of the Skull on Bandcamp

Canyon of the Skull on Thee Facebooks

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Canyon of the Skull to Release Sins of the Past Nov. 20

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

canyon of the skull

Okay, so here I was thinking I was crazy. This news about Canyon of the Skull came in a bit ago. I’ll admit that. I suck at this. There are many cracks. Sometimes things slip through them. The band will release their new album, Sins of the Past, on Nov. 20. There you go.

But the reason I was thinking I was crazy was because I thought Canyon of the Skull were a two-piece. And I thought they were from Austin. So I did some digging while listening to the two massive instrumental tracks that comprise Sins of the Past, and you know what? They were. I guess at some point in the last couple years guitarist Erik Ogershok moved north to Chicago.

Seems to have worked out for him, as dude’s got a revamped lineup that includes a rhythm section whose pedigree factors in acts like 1349 and The Atlas Moth. Not too shabby. Oh, and the new record was recorded and mixed by Sanford Parker, because Chicago, and duh.

The PR wire elaborates on that most eloquent of points:

Canyon of the Skull Sins of the Past

Instrumental Blackened Doom Trio CANYON OF THE SKULL Releasing ‘Sins of the Past’ November 20

In terms the musical style, the band’s aesthetic is formed more specifically by Black Metal, Funeral Doom, and classic Heavy Metal. Guitarist Erik Ogershok offers a fuller description of what CANYON OF THE SKULL have accomplished on Sins of the Past:

“I try to do different things with each record and this one is no exception. This record is visceral and immediate, like the self-titled, while being highly conceptual and dynamic like The Desert Winter. ‘The Ghost Dance’ is probably the best thing that I have written to date. ‘The Sun Dance’ is unlike anything that I have ever written before. It incorporates my basic philosophies of composition but applies them differently, one that I jokingly call prog-doom.

The main aesthetic and themes that Canyon of the Skull was founded on remain unchanged. This band has always been focused on telling the stories of Indigenous Americans and their environments, specifically those of the American Southwest. I am still surprised at how many people have never met an Indigenous American, but we are not extinct, and this band exists to tell our stories both past, present, and future. This record is a bit more broad with the subject matter since it involves the rituals of tribes far from the land of my people. Also, this record is more influenced by recent events that have an impact beyond Native communities. I don’t like to talk specifically about the deeper meaning of any of my compositions as I want people to discover their meaning in our music. These two pieces have very specific meanings to both me and the wider world and googling the titles is my recommendation for people that want to delve deeper for the literal meanings.”

The musicians of CANYON OF THE SKULL are a varied, creative bunch. Bassist Todd Haug is also the guitarist for Minneapolis thrash legends Powermad. He most recently performed as the second guitarist for Norwegian black metal legends 1349. Dummer Mike Miczek is well respected in the Chicago metal scene and has made a name for himself with both Broken Hope and The Atlas Moth. He also plays drums with Todd in Powermad. Both Erik and Todd are brewmasters for metal-centric breweries. Todd is one of the brewmasters at the ground-breaking 3Floyds Brewing Company. Erik is the brewmaster for WarPigs USA.”

“What once was old shall be new again, and history will have its revenge.”

“You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.” —Cochise

“It does not require many words to speak the truth.” — Chief Joseph

“I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, But rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.” — Sun Bear, Chippewa

Pre-order Sins of the Past:
canyonoftheskull.bandcamp.com/album/sins-of-the-past

Track Listing
1. The Ghost Dance
2. The Sun Dance

Recorded at Decade Music Studios March 2019
Recorded and Mixed by Sanford Parker
Produced by Sanford Parker and Canyon of the Skull
Mastered by Collin Jordan at Boiler Room Mastering
Artwork Layout and design by Erik Bredthauer

Canyon of the Skull is:
Erik Ogershok- Guitars
Todd Haug- Bass Guitar
Mike Miczek- Drums

Canyonoftheskull.bandcamp.com
Facebook.com/canyonoftheskull

Canyon of the Skull, Sins of the Past (2019)

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Dead Feathers Premiere “All is Lost” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

dead feathers

So what is it? Are we so awash these days in quality heavy psychedelic blues rock that people are to blissed out for me to be hearing about Dead FeathersAll is Lost? The Chicago five-piece released their second album just last month through Ripple Music, and I know sometimes these things take a while to properly catch hold of people and I certainly know their label has a busy schedule of releases, but I feel like for what’s on offer throughout the eight-track LP — 10 if you get the CD/DL — it’s one of those records where I should be rolling my eyes at the Bandcamp-review hyperbole as I scroll through thee social medias, and yet I’m not at all overwhelmed by it. I’ve seen some positive words, to be sure, but where’s the hype machine when you need it? Come on, people. Why on earth would you sleep on this?

Dead Feathers was one of those bands caught up in the whole HeviSike Records debacle, as that UK imprint went AWOL amid sundry allegations of improprieties of various stripes, mostly fiscal, and Ripple can only be considered correct for having snagged them ahead of All is Lost. It’s a record that makes every riff count. Every groove has its place and its purpose. To listen to tracks like “With Me” and “Cordova” early on, the tinges of psychedelia that come through after opener “At the Edge” sets the tone for them speak to influences from Jefferson Airplane to Wovenhand, and the side B wallop of “Smoking Gun” and “Not Ours to Own,” each with a sprawl over seven minutes long, make for a conclusion of noteworthy resonance without ever being divorced from its central intention. An energetic burst in “Horse and Sands” is met by the full-on fuzz of the title-track, and in the slow rolling “Darling Sights” and the digi-format exclusive “Night Child,” Dead Feathers dig into moodier progressions, the latter flanked by organ work in its second half, which a string drone and acoustic plucking in the 1:18 finale “Found Caravan” (another bonus-ish cut) answers back in classic spirit.

They flirt with twang but remain organically classic heavy rock in their guitar and bass tones, and with the absolute powerhouse vocal performance of Marissa Allen front and center in the mix and more than able to carry that same kind of natural vibe, All is Lost is a win front to back. I don’t know what Dead Feathers are planning as regards touring, but they just got back from a two-week stint, and if they were kicking around the idea of doing any kind of run again soon hither or yon, they’ve certainly got a worthy cause to support. Get out there. Tell the people.

You can see the premiere of the video for “All is Lost” below, followed by more from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Dead Feathers, “All is Lost” official video premiere

Dead Feathers “All is Lost” OUT NOW on Ripple Music

Fronted by the extremely talented Marissa Allen, who’s vocals summon the spirit of Inga Rumpf and Linda Hoyle, Dead Feathers are influenced by rock bands of the 60s and 70s and the modern underground psych of today. Fusing a heavy, early 70s Fairports-via-Affinity vibe with a Dead Meadow and Black Mountain-esque appreciation for big riffs, their live shows are filled with a thunderous energy on stage that puts concert goers under their spell. Combining soulful and emotional songwriting with obscene levels of fuzz and reverb, overflowing bass lines and booming drums, Dead Feathers craft a mood with deft levels of artistry and showmanship.

“All is Lost” is accompanied with the surreal visual stylings of Andrew Arcos and Haley Green’s collaborative documentary project, Love Box. With themes of self-obsession and ego death, Arcos and Green devised a video which explores the darkness of narcissism using elaborate miniature dioramas alongside Third Beacon’s electrifying visual effects.

Co-Directors: Andrew Arcos & Haley Green
Producers: Andrew Arcos & Haley Green
Talent: Marissa Allen, Joey Castanon, Rob Rodak, Tim Snyder, Tony Wold
VFX: Third Beacon

DEAD FEATHERS:
Tony Wold – Guitar
Marissa Allen – Vocals
Tim Snyder – Guitar
Rob Rodak – Bass
Joel Castanon – Drums

Dead Feathers on Thee Facebooks

Dead Feathers on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Scorched Tundra XI Starts Tonight in Chicago

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

scorched tundra xi turtle

Did you know it’s Labor Day weekend? I had no idea, but yeah, I guess we’re there. Look, I don’t know. I’m just trying to get through the days over here one at a time. All of a sudden it’s coming on autumn and the nights are getting colder and Black Cobra and Eyehategod are about to headline Scorched Tundra XI over the next two nights and I guess that means summer’s winding down. Chicago’s got two righteously curated bills to go with those headliners for the two-night event, as well as a badass poster to go with it, so if you happen to be in the area or, you know, live there, you might consider heading out to the show as an alternative to whatever else your plans were as you start your three-day weekend. Or four-day weekend. Or maybe you’re just unemployed and have some cash to go out. Either way, good shows deserve attendance, so attend.

Go with a friend. You strike me as the popular type. Go Whatsapp somebody and see if they’re free. I bet they are.

Dig it:

scorched tundra xi poster

SCORCHED TUNDRA XI LINEUP: EYEHATEGOD, BLACK COBRA, CLOUD RAT, ASEETHE & MORE OVER LABOR DAY WEEKEND 2019

Scorched Tundra is proud to announce the entire lineup for its eleventh edition. Taking place on Friday/Saturday, August 30th and 31st at The Empty Bottle in Chicago, ST XI features newcomers and veterans of the festival from across the country.

Friday August 30th
Black Cobra
Cloud Rat
Varaha

Saturday August 31st
Eyehategod
Aseethe
Luggage
Hitter

Tickets can be purchased at these links:

Friday 8/30: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/scorched-tundra-xii-black-cobra-cloud-rat-varaha-the-empty-bottle-tickets-63083915690

Saturday: 8/31: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/scorched-tundra-xi-featuring-eyehategod-aseethe-luggage-hitter-the-empty-bottle-tickets-62997685774

Scorched Tundra’s mission is to give a new generation of up and coming – as well as established – artists a unique live platform in Gothenburg and Chicago. “The eleventh edition of Scorched Tundra focuses once again on talent from near and far. While headliners have historical connections with this festival, much of the lineup will be new to the festival and provide a wide musical variety, all at the convergence of dark, heavy and progressive. Balancing the dynamics of this lineup was an interesting and enjoyable challenge for this edition: I look forward to taking it in with you on Labor Day Weekend,” states organizer Alexi D. Front.

Tickets for August 31st and September 1st will be $20 per night.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2188327617956216/
https://www.facebook.com/ScorchedTundra/
https://www.instagram.com/scorchedtundra/
http://scorchedtundra.com

Black Cobra, Imperium Simulacra (2016)

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REZN x LUME Announce Live at Electrical Audio Collaboration

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Genuinely curious to hear what this one might sound like. A collaborative release is always an interesting proposition. I think the reason there aren’t more of them is they’re a logistical nightmare — it’s hard enough to get one band in a studio to record, period, let alone all there at the same time to record live, and let alone an entire second band for the same purpose — but in the vast majority of cases, I find a collaboration far more interesting than a split in one band taking advantage of a chance to work directly with another, and there’s an opportunity to really come up with something special in the doing. So, as Chicago’s REZN and LUME joined forces for the two-song outing Live at Electrical Audio that was recorded earlier this year and will see release on Sept. 19, absolutely I’m on board to take a listen when the time comes. Both groups had albums out last year, and certainly, being in Chicago, it’s hard to argue with the location they chose to try out working together this way.

They’ve done shows live together as well, so I don’t know how planned out any of this material may or may not be, but it’s an awesome idea one way or the other. Clearly something they’ve put their hearts into, particularly for doing it all on tape.

Info follows from Bandcamp:

lume rezn live at electrical audio

LUME and REZN combine minds to create a 7-piece psychedelic doom organism on their upcoming split, ‘Live at Electrical Audio’: a live collaboration featuring two slow-burning, mountainous tracks clocking in at over 20 minutes total. The session was recorded live and mixed direct-to-tape by Broke Mende at Electrical Audio’s Studio B, then mastered by Carl Saff and pressed to vinyl locally at Smashed Plastic for a 100% analog and 100% Chicago sonic creation.

To honor the audio fidelity of this project, the digital album features a unique digital mix by Matt Russell, while the vinyl record exclusively contains the original analog mix by Brok Mende.

Releases September 19, 2019.

Performed live by LUME & REZN on March 17, 2019
Recorded to tape at Electrical Audio – Studio B in Chicago, Illinois

1. HI (Digital Mix)
2. LO (Digital Mix)

Austin Hulett: Drums
Dan Butler: Guitar & Vocals
Dylan Hulett: Bass
Patrick Dunn: Drums
Phil Cangelosi: Bass
Rob McWilliams: Guitar & Vocals
Spencer Ouellette: Modular Synthesis & Saxophone

Engineered by Brok Mende
Vinyl Mix by Brok Mende
Digital Mix by Matt Russell
Photo & Design by Austin Isaac Peters

facebook.com/reznhits
instagram.com/rezzzn
rezzzn.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/lumeband
http://www.instagram.com/lumeband
https://lume.bandcamp.com/

REZN, Calm Black Water (2018)

LUME, Wrung Out (2018)

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