Days of Rona: “Dirty Dave” Johnson of The Glasspack

Posted in Features on May 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

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

the glasspack dave johnson (photo by Chris Jenner)

Days of Rona: “Dirty Dave” Johnson of The Glasspack (Louisville, Kentucky)

Academized are proud to present the best college application essay service layout. We write papers at any level: high school, college and university – all the way up 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 are basically not dealing. We are not dealing with the Glasspack as a band during coronacrisis. The band aspect is on hold. Individual survival is obviously more important right now. What’s more, our state of Kentucky has been at the forefront of progressive measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus by basically shutting everything down in the state, except “essential” businesses, and forbidding gatherings.

Thus, everything changed for the Glasspack in what seems like the blink of an eye. We have been completely separated, other than by electronic means.

Having said the above, however, I have been dealing with the band stuff alone. And, yes, I have had to rework plans for the band and adapt as I go. The Glasspack completed the writing and demoing process of all new music for our upcoming “Moon Patrol” release. So, I have been trying to take advantage of the down time in isolation by writing lyrics and vocals for the demo recording. I have also been working on an upcoming live video release of the Glasspack live at DeadBird Recording Studios in Louisville (2020). I, myself, have been selling Glasspack merchandise too on our new Bandcamp page to repay our debts incurred in anticipation of SXSW 2020 (cancelled). The Bandcamp experience has been quite an adjustment too.

When this virus broke out, we were in the middle of plans for a trip to SXSW 2020 in March this year to play about six parties. We were one of the first bands to make a decision in regard to our plans for SXSW 2020 immediately after SXSW cancelled their official festival. After a long discussion considering all the factors and concerns of this then potential crisis, we voted to cancel all SXSW 2020 plans. It was a very difficult decision and rocked the band to the core, no pun intended.

In the end, the city of Austin, TX shut everything down anyway. Personally, I was a bit frustrated at the time because I had been working on those SXSW 2020 plans since October 2019. However, I remain positive and also believe everything happens for a reason the Universe sees fit.

I choose to see the positive opportunities in negative circumstances these days. I actually established and learned how to use Bandcamp.com as a band during all this. This learning experience also provided a chance to upload some Glasspack recordings not previously released digitally.

I believe everyone of the Glasspack is in good health thus far and I have faith we will remain that way. Everything will work for the band as it is meant to.

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Kentucky has been at the forefront of progressive action towards the crisis. The KY governor ordered nonessential retail businesses to close to the public. He also forbid gatherings in groups. However, the governor’s requests did fall on some deaf corporate ears, university students, street-racers, and church-goers for a bit.

Eventually, our governor and the courts started ordering folks into quarantine by police force. This resulted in some failed attempts of Kentuckians to constitutionally challenge the governor’s orders on various First Amendment grounds. However, the Tenth Amendment power of a state in regard to the health, welfare, and safety of its citizens during a crisis is very powerful as well. See the “days of small pox.”

You can check out more on Constitutional issues and coronavirus in Kentucky here:
https://www.kentucky.com/news/coronavirus/article242094661.html

The courts eventually shut down physically too, although certified attorneys like me can carry out electronic filing and Zoom video conferencing to continue working. The issue, however, is no new business came in my law office for a long time due to all this coronacrisis stuff. It damn near destroyed my business and made it nearly impossible for me to carry out the work I needed to do. But, again, what will be will be and my office still exists. I am very grateful because I know a lot of small businesses will not fair as well.

The police of Kentucky basically just went into hiding and did nothing, as usual, but that is better than causing the ruckus they have been causing for a while. The LMPD is a constant source of national controversy.

Now, everything is starting to open back up but the people of my county, Jefferson, are receiving Fs for public social distancing after the state was receiving As for its efforts in fighting the pandemic. That is discouraging.

Even when everything is open, I am not going to risk my health and safety or that of others. I will wear a mask and practice proper social distancing.

Most importantly, however, I will keep my positive mental attitude regardless of all this.

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Louisville, our city, and Kentucky, our state, are basically a hot mess of political strife over all this right now. Just yesterday, protesters hung a dummy from a tree with our Governor’s face on it and some Latin. (“sic semper tyrannis” which is Latin for “thus, always to tyrants”). I mean this place is fucking boiling over.

You can check out more on Kentucky political strife here:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/25/kentucky-governor-effigy-protest

The combination of everything said above in my responses to prior questions has resulted in Kentucky musicians being even poorer than they were already. Some Louisville musicians and members of the Glasspack work for essential businesses too which have to remain open. And yet, some other Louisville musicians, including members of the Glasspack, work for assholes who refuse to stop in favor everyone’s health. Both of those scenarios are scary as Hell right now.

Some other Louisville musicians are taking advantage of playing live streams on the internet under careful conditions to make money. Also, like me, a lot of Kentucky musicians are just sitting in their rooms alone writing awesome songs in isolation, no doubt.

You can check out more on Louisville bands and live streams here:
https://www.facebook.com/deadbirdlive/
https://www.facebook.com/headlinersmusichall/

As I said above too, I have been spending extra time selling Glasspack merch on Bandcamp to pay our debts. We ordered a bunch of merchandise to take to SXSW 2020. I basically take the orders, fill the orders, and deliver the orders in and around Louisville. The folks of Louisville overwhelmingly have helped us in my efforts! I am very appreciative and grateful!

And, we still sell t-shirts for $12!

You can check out more on the Glasspack’s Bandcamp page here:
https://theglasspack.bandcamp.com/

It is very unclear, especially in Kentucky, when bars and music venues will be able to start having shows again under the coronacrisis circumstances. I have a bad feeling that a lot of our amazing and unique bars and venues in Louisville will shut down, leaving nowhere to play. I hope for the best though.

Some of the Louisville record stores have adapted quite well though. Surface Noise is currently taking orders online and making house deliveries! Imagine that! A record store brings you awesome records to your step and then takes all your money! Haha!

You can check out more on Louisville record deliveries and stores here:
https://www.facebook.com/surfacenoiserecords/
https://www.facebook.com/undergroundsoundsrecords/
https://www.facebook.com/funhouse

Search for jobs related to Join Pink Monkey Homework Help or hire on the world's largest freelancing marketplace with 13m+ jobs. It's free to sign up and What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

Personally, I think everyone needs to take a deep breath, meditate a bit, and be grateful you are still alive! So many Americans have died. It is all really so very sad. But turn the sadness into gratitude every day for all your family, friends, animals, and the Earth! If humanity would just live in sync with the Earth and have respect for animals, I do not think we would be having to deal with all this.

As a musician, I would just like to point out that, right now, it should become very clear that the Arts in general, including music, is a necessary part of the human existence. Perhaps the unfortunate state of affairs for the bands and music industry is just the Universe telling us all it’s time to really value those things. To change! To support them more than ever! I mean, what the fuck are you going to do right now but listen to every god damned record you have and get fucked up? That’s pure pleasure! Especially Hawkwind!

Love,
“Dirty” Dave
The Glasspack

Porchtrait by Chris Jenner.

https://www.facebook.com/theGlasspack/
https://theglasspack.bandcamp.com/

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Fool’s Ghost Sign to Prosthetic Records for Debut LP Dark Woven Light

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

There’s not a ton to go by in the album teaser Louisville, Kentucky’s Google Scholar Research Papers - Composing a custom paper is go through many stages Find out basic recommendations how to get a plagiarism free themed Fool’s Ghost would seem to tap into some night-edged post-rock vibes at least in part on their debut album, purporting as they do to champion expanded definitions of weight no doubt to include that of emotion and ambience as well as sheer tonality or groove. These are elements at play across various styles — there’s heavy folk just as there’s heavy metal, though there may be less of it in number of practitioners — and of course it’s hard to guess where entirely  The fickle Esl Online Resources for me Wakefield was extremely infuriated with his moderation. Hadrian, a multi-ethnic man with no fame, renews his steak or Fool’s Ghost‘s debut album,  Are you looking for high quality multilingual Article writing services in india ? We give you professional http://www.encadreurbeaujolais.fr/help-with-writing-a-dissertation-4-months/s for your Writing needs Dark Woven Light, is coming from by a sub-minute sample, so you’ll pardon me if I don’t hazard a guess.

The fact that they’ve signed to  Looking for How To Write A Perfect Essay For College Application? We can deliver you custom crafted papers within your set deadline. Order any paper type from pros of personalized writing Prosthetic Records for their first album may have something to do with the pedigree of http://urbaclima.com/diversity-in-the-world-essay/ - Best Homework Writing Service - Get Help With Non-Plagiarized Paper Assignments Plagiarism Free Secure Student Writing Website - Get Help Nick and When you don't know how to start your thesis and you turning to a thesis writing service is that blindly for ‘How To Do A Dissertation Methodology,' or more Amber Thieneman in acts like  Divorce Cause Effect Essay. There is no doubt that you have definitely googled 'write my paper' when you got a difficult academic writing assignment. The problem is Breather Resist and  Buy College Ruled Paper - Why worry about the dissertation? Receive the required guidance on the website If you want to find out how to compose a top-notch Sandpaper Dolls, but the label has never been shy about embracing a range of styles, so if they’re inclined toward some manifestation of progressive reach — and it sounds like they might be, given the airy effects at play — then so be it.

I’ll be interested to find out.

From the PR wire:

fools ghost

PROSTHETIC RECORDS SIGN FOOL’S GHOST; ALBUM AND TOURING SCHEDULED FOR 2020

Prosthetic Records is proud to announce the signing of Louisville, KY duo, FOOL’S GHOST. The label will release their debut album, titled Dark Woven Light, in early 2020 – more details including tour plans are due imminently.

Comprising of Nick Thieneman (Young Widows, Breather Resist) and Amber Thieneman (Liberation Prophecy, Sandpaper Dolls), FOOL’S GHOST are a band small in number but vast in scope. Describing their music as exploring “the liminal state between hope and reality”, FOOL’S GHOST challenge the notion of what heavy music can be. The band previously released two tracks via Bandcamp which give an indication of what to expect when the full length arrives.

Nick comments: “We are excited to join the Prosthetic family, and sonically expand what they are known for.”

E.J. Johantgen of Prosthetic Records adds: “When we heard the early mixes of the album, we were instantly captivated. A world of possibilities are open for band as special and unique as Fool’s Ghost. We’re thrilled to give them a home here at Prosthetic and to work with Nick and Amber going forward.”

Stay tuned for more news on FOOL’S GHOST – and until then check out the album trailer below.

https://www.facebook.com/Fools-Ghost-672679909593868/
https://www.instagram.com/_foolsghost_/
http://facebook.com/prostheticrecords
http://prostheticrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://shop.prostheticrecords.com/

Fool’s Ghost, Dark Woven Light album teaser

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The Glasspack Announce Return to Stage After Nearly a Decade

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

the glasspack

Louisville, Kentucky, shred-prone blues rock troublemakers Expert http://cheapessaywritings24.com/purchase-custom-essay/ purchase custom essay for people who need help to Write Essay, Term Paper, Thesis or Homework. Hire an Expert Writer to Complete your Papers Online. The Glasspack will make a return to playing live after almost a decade’s absence. I don’t know when their last show was, but their last album was 2007’s Order case study written from scratch according to your educational requirements; make use of a Concept Of Governance Of Educational Potential Dissertation for students of all academic levels Dirty Women on Free Business Plans Download You Can Trust. As you know, any writing assignment requires individual approach and good writing skills. Our company offers Small Stone, and guitarist/vocalist “Dirty” Dave Johnson — who means it when he adds the “esq.” to his name; dude’s been to law school — has been talking about the more space rock-minded Moon Patrol release since 2014. Still, getting back to playing a show, let alone the prospect of more than one, is certainly positive forward movement in that LP’s eventual realization, and with so much time gone — at least as The Glasspack — maybe baby steps is the best way to handle it.

I remember seeing these dudes at SXSW years ago at a Small Stone showcase and they tore it up. I’d expect no less from them on stage now, heightened awareness of legality or no.

The show info can be found below, courtesy of the PR wire, along with a teaser for Moon Patrol posted a while back and a live clip from 1999:

the glasspack poster

9/07/2019: The Return of the Glasspack

Please be advised that, after nearly a decade, the Glasspack, Louisville’s notorious psychedelic punk band, is returning to the stage and the studio, including members Dave Johnson, Brett Holsclaw, and Nick Hall. Among other things, the band feels it is once again time to jumpstart Louisville’s rock scene.

For its return to the stage, the Glasspack will headline in Louisville at Headliner’s Music Hall scheduled for Saturday September, 7, 2019. Special guests include Louisville acts Call Me Bronco, Sound Company, and Wiirmz. Both Call Me Bronco and Sound Company have new releases that will be available at the show, as well as local record store. The Glasspack will also have merchandise, including vinyl records and t-shirts, available at the return show.

For years, the Glasspack was on hiatus due to its core members, Dave Johnson, Brett Holsclaw, and Nick Hall, attending school and dealing with other musical acts of Louisville and elsewhere. In the mean time, the band wrote the music for a space rock album, “Moon Patrol,” which the demo for is currently being finished. After the demo is completed, the Glasspack will check into a proper studio to record the album for its fifth full-length release since 1999. The album, “Moon Patrol,” is to be 1 song, 45-minutes long, and split into 7 parts.

Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/2299449970170782/

“DIRTY” DAVE JOHNSON: Vocals, guitars
BRETT “CAP’N” HOLSCLAW: MC, drums
NICHOLAS HALL: Guitars, keys
BILLY LEASE: Guitars, bass
RODNEY ROADS: Bass, guitar

https://www.facebook.com/theGlasspack/
https://www.youtube.com/user/theglasspack

The Glasspack, Moon Patrol teaser

The Glasspack, “Jim Beam and Good Green” Live in Louisville, KY, 1999

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Quarterly Review: A Storm of Light, Z/28, Forrest, 1476, Owl, Brass Hearse, Craneium & Black Willows, Magmakammer, Falun Gong, Max Tovstyi

Posted in Reviews on December 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Day Two of the Quarterly-Review-Mega-Super-Ultra-Year-End-Wrap-Up-Spectacular-Gnarly-Edition — name in progress — begins now. First day? Smooth. Wrote it over the weekend to get a jump on the week, cruised through a morning and into baby-naps, finished with time left over to still go and read the Star Trek novel I’m currently making my way through. Easy. Also peasy.

Today? Well, apparently I turned off my alarm in my sleep because I rolled over 40 minutes later and certainly didn’t remember it going off. Whoops. Not a great start, but there is a lot of cool stuff in this batch, so we’ll get through it, even if it’s awfully early in the week to be sleeping in. Ha.

Have a great day everybody. Here are 10 more records for the QRMSUYEWUSGE. Rolls right off the tongue.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

A Storm of Light, Anthroscene

A Storm of Light Anthroscene

“America the sick and crumbling/Liberty she’s weeping/The tired and poor are huddled and dying/As the wretched ones are touched aside.” The lines, from A Storm of Light‘s “Blackout” — the second cut from their fifth LP, Anthroscene (on Translation Loss) — lead to the inevitable question: “What the fuck is wrong with us?,” and thereby summarize the central sociopolitical framework of the record. A dystopian thematic suits the band’s aesthetic, and there’s certainly no shortage of material to work from between current events and future outlook. Guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist/graphic artist Josh Graham, bassist Domenic Seita and guitarist/keyboardist Dan Hawkins are five years removed from the band’s last outing, however, so their post-apocalyptic post-metal is welcome either way, and Anthroscene taps a Killing Joke influence and turns it to its dark and churning purposes over the course of its eight tracks/51 minutes, delving into harsh shouts on “Short Term Feedback” and capping with the resistance-filled “Rosebud,” which surges forth from ambience like the anti-facist/anti-capitalist critique that it is, ending with the lyric, “When you die, we will spit on your grave,” which could hardly be more appropriate.

A Storm of Light on Thee Facebooks

Translation Loss Records on Bandcamp

 

Z28, Nobody Rides for Free

Z28 Nobody Rides for Free

Massachusetts’ Z28 — also stylized as Z/28 and Z-28; I don’t think they care so long as you get the point they’re named after the Camaro — make their full-length debut with Nobody Rides for Free on Fuzzdoom Records, and with the occasional bit of organ on songs like “Touch of Evil” and “Angst III (I Don’t Want to Die),” they nonetheless give a raw take on heavy rock laced with that particularly Northeastern aggression. Guitarist Jeff Hayward (also organ), bassist/acoustic guitarist/engineer Jason Negro and drummer Breaux Silcio all contribute vocals to the outing, and yet the minute-long instrumental intro tells much of the story of what it’s about in terms of the chemistry between them. Impressive guitar solos are rampant throughout, and the rhythm section carries over a weighted groove through cuts like “Wandering” that’s fluid in tempo but still able to create an overarching flow between the tracks. I’ll give bonus points for the Black Sabbath nods in the multi-layered lead work toward the end of “Spirit Elk (Lord of the Hunt)” as well as the title “Keep on Rockin’ (In the Invisible World),” and Z28 have something to build on here in terms of songwriting and that chemistry. It’s raw-sounding, but that doesn’t necessarily hurt it.

Z28 on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzdoom Records on Bandcamp

 

Forrest, Kickball with Russians

forrest kickball with russians

Granted, Forrest telegraph some measure of quirk by naming their debut EP Kickball with Russians, but the four-piece from Lexington, Kentucky, still seem to be rolling along in a straightforward-enough manner on six-minute instrumental opener and longest track (immediate points) “(I Dream of) Kickball with Russians,” until the keyboards start in. That turn gives their EP an edge of the unexpected that continues to inform “DAN,” “Deew” and the closing “My Son Looks Just Like Me,” and “DAN” continues the thread with gang shouts popping up over its chugging progression and receding again after about two words to let the track get quiet and build back up. And is that a velociraptor at the start of “Deew?” Either way, that song’s Mr. Bungle-style angularity, a return of the keys and intermittent heavy nod work to underscore the willful weirdness that’s very much at play in the four-piece’s work, and the closer adds Ween-style effects work into the mix while still keeping a heavy presence in tone and lumber. They’ll get weirder with time, but this is a good start toward that goal.

Forrest on Thee Facebooks

Forrest on Bandcamp

 

1476, Our Season Draws Near

1476 our season draws near

Coastal melancholy and a pervasive sense of atmosphere seem to unite the varied tracks on 1476‘s 2017 Prophecy release, Our Season Draws Near, which otherwise draw across their span from goth rock, punk, doom and extreme metal, able to blur the line especially between punk and black metal on songs like “Ettins” while acoustics pervade “Solitude (Exterior)” en route to the Anathema-gone-char rasps of “Solitude (Interior)” a short time later. I know I’m late to the party on the Salem, MA, duo, and likewise late on this record, but from opener “Our Silver Age” to closer “Our Ice Age” to the “Solitude” pairing to “Winter of Winds” — finally: David Bowie fronts Joy Division — and “Winter of Wolves,” there’s so much of Our Season Draws Near that has a bigger-picture thought process behind its construction that its impact is multi-tiered. And it’s not just that they pit genres against each other in their sound, it’s that their sound brings them together toward something new and malleable to the purposes of their songwriting. Not to be missed, so this is me, not missing it. Even though I kind of missed it.

1476 on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions on Bandcamp

 

Owl, Nights in Distortion

owl nights in distortion

Joined on Nights in Distortion by bassist RenĂ© Marquis as well as longtime drummer Patrick Schroeder, guitarist/vocalist/synthesist Christian Kolf (also Valborg) greatly expands his former solo-ish-project Owl with their second release of 2018 behind March’s Orion Fenix EP (review here), bringing together elements of post-metal churn with deeply atmospheric sensibilities, cuts like “Transparent Moment” churning as much as they are surprising with their underlying melody. A Type O Negative influence continues to be worked into their sometimes grueling context, but it’s hard to listen to the keyboard-laced “Inanna in Isolation” and hear Owl being anything other than who they’ve become, and their third album is the most distinct statement of that yet, airy lead guitars floating over a still-fervent, industrial-style chug amid vocals veering from barking shouts to quiet, low-register semi-spoken fare and cleaner singing. Nights in Distortion is the evolving work of a mastermind, captured in progress.

Owl on Thee Facebooks

Temple of Torturous website

 

Brass Hearse, Hollow on the Surface

Brass Hearse Hollow on the Surface

Synth-laden heavy horror garage dance rock could probably use a more succinct genre name, but while those in charge of such things sit and scratch their butts, Boston’s Brass Hearse carve out a niche unto themselves with their second EP, Hollow on the Surface. The five-track offering is in and out in 14 minutes but wants nothing for either a show of craft or arrangement, tapping into psych-folk in the strummy interlude “Dwellers in the Static Valley” after the hook-led “Death by Candlelight” and before the John Carpenter-style pulsations that underscore “The Thing from Another World.” Opener “Fading” is the only song to top four minutes and has a distinctly progressive take, but while it and the organ-ic closer “Headaches & Heartbreaks” has a theatricality to it, Brass Hearse are too cohesive to charge with being weird for weirdness’ sake, and their experimentation is presented in complete, engaging songs, rather than self-indulgent collections of parts mashed together. Would love to hear what they do over the course of a full-length.

Brass Hearse on Thee Facebooks

Playing Records on Bandcamp

 

Craneium & Black Willows, Split

Different missions from Finland’s Craneium and Switzerland’s Black Willows on their BloodRock Records split. Craneium nod through “Your Law” and mark their second inclusion, “Try, Fail, Repeat,” with a Sabbathian swing that only kicks up in tempo as it moves through its five minutes. Black Willows, on the other hand, present a single track in the 19-minute, noise-soaked post-everything “Bliss,” which trades back and forth between minimalism and crushing riffs en route to a consuming wash and long, long, long fadeout. Released in March, the outing showcases both bands well, but one is left wondering where the connection is between the two of them that they’d come together for a joint vinyl release. Either way, I won’t detract from what they do individually, whether it’s the catchiness of “Your Law” and the jam in its second half or “Bliss” with its frost-covered expanse of tonality, it’s just a marked leap from side A to side B. Maybe that was the idea all along, and if that’s the case, then one can only say they succeeded.

Craneium on Thee Facebooks

Black Willows on Thee Facebooks

BloodRock Records on Bandcamp

 

Magmakammer, Mind Tripper

magmakammer mindtripper

Following a 2015 self-titled debut EP, Oslo trio Magmakammer align with Kozmik Artifactz for their first long-player, Mindtripper, and so effect a garage doom sound that’s quickly relatable to Uncle Acid on songs like “Fat Saturn” and the chug-shuffling “Along the Crooked Roads.” Where they distinguish themselves from this core influence, though, is in the density of their tones, as opener “Druggernaut” and the rolling “Acid Times” prove thicker in their charge. Still, there’s no mistaking that swing and the blown-out sound of the vocals. Closer “Cosmic Dancers,” which is one of two tracks over seven minutes long, shows more dynamic in its loud/quiet tradeoffs, and resolves itself in a righteous nodder of a riff. It’s essentially in the same vein, but still displaying some emerging personality of Magmakammer‘s own that one hopes they continue to develop. And in the meantime, the foundation of craft and stylistic awareness they hone is still welcome, familiar or not.

Magmakammer on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz webstore

 

Falun Gong, Figure 2

Falun Gong Figure 2

Mystique isn’t easy to come by in this Age of Access, but the anonymous London-dwelling duo Falun Gong have succeeded in piquing interest with their two-to-date singles, “Figure 1” (review here), and the eight-minute “Figure 2,” which like its predecessor is raw in the recording, sounds like it was performed live, and follows a trance-inducing course of riffing. The central groove is a slow march that makes its way through obscure voices delivered in buried fashion — the whole thing may or may not be mastered; somehow I’m thinking not, but I’ve been wrong before — through a self-aware drift that rounds out following a soulful culmination fitting the song’s lyrical theme, which would seem to be tied to the cover art about baptism in a river’s waters. There’s just something off-kilter about Falun Gong to this point, and while it’s still early going for them, they bring an eerie persona to their work that feels less performative than it so often does.

Falun Gong on Bandcamp

 

Max Tovstyi, Mesmerize

Max Tovstyi Mesmerize

Though he’s had a slew of live outings out with the Max Tovstyi Blues Band and the Max Tovstyi Blues Association, Mesmerize (LP on Nasoni) is the Ukrainian heavy blues rocker’s first solo studio outing since 2014. He’s credited with all the instruments on the 10- or 12-track offering save for a couple arrangement-flourish guest appearances, and he pulls in a classic spirit and full-band sound without any trouble on a moody piece like “World of Sin” or the bonus track “Show Me the Way,” which isn’t a Peter Frampton cover so far as I can tell but still has plenty of guitar scorch to go around. “From the Blues to the Funk” jams its way along its stated trajectory, and “Feel Like Dying Now” brings together organ and keys in a fashion far less dramatized than one might initially think. With a clean production, Tovstyi — also known for his work in The Heavy Crawls, Lucifer Rising, and others — carries through his sentimentality for blues rock’s past and finds himself well at home leading the pack of guest vocalists on “Make Up Your Mind,” which closes the album proper with a semi-country twang and sweet melody.

Max Tovstyi on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

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Quarterly Review: All Them Witches, Anthroprophh, Orphan Gears, The Watchers, Grajo, Mythic Sunship, Empress, Monads, Nest, Redneck Spaceship

Posted in Reviews on April 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

Well, we’ve reached the end of the week if not the end of the Quarterly Review itself. That’s right: after hemming and hawing all week and going back and forth in my silly little brain, I’ve decided to extend this edition to a sixth day, which will be Monday. That means 60 reviews in six days, not 50 in five. Honestly, I could probably keep going for three or four more beyond that if I had the time or inclination, and I may get there someday, but I’m definitely not there now.

But hey, there have been a couple comments left along the way, so thanks for that. I appreciate you taking the time to read if you have. Here’s the last for the week and we’ll pick back up on Monday.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

All Them Witches, Lost and Found EP

all them witches lost and found ep

If Nashville four-piece All Them Witches put together the free-download Lost and Found EP simply as a means of getting their take on the folk song “Hares on the Mountain” out there, it was worth it. In the hands of vocalist/bassist Michael Parks, Jr., guitarist Ben McLeod, Rhodes specialist/violinist Allan Van Cleave and drummer Robby Staebler, the traditional tune becomes a wide open dronescape, bristling and vague like memory itself. It’s beautiful and a little confusing in just the right way, and it comes accompanied on the short release by the Fleetwood Mac cover “Before the Beginning,” an even-more-subdued take on “Call Me Star” from 2015’s New West Records debut, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here), and a dub redux of “Open Passageways” – called, of course, “Dub Passageways” – from the same album. Might be a stopgap between full-lengths, but still, at 18 minutes, it’d make a more than worthy 10” release if they were looking for something new for the merch table.

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Anthroprophh, Omegaville

anthroprophh omegaville

Next time you feel like, “Hey man, I’m so freaked out and weird and wow man whatever blah blah,” just take a second to remember you live in a dimension where dudes from The Heads have side-projects. Paul Allen and Anthroprophh – his trio with Gareth Turner and Jesse Webb, otherwise known as the duo Big Naturals – are a freaked out freakout’s freakout. The stuff of psychedelic mania. And that’s only on the first disc of the 2CD Omegavlle (Rocket Recordings). By the time they get around to the three-song second disc and dig into extended trips like “Omegaille/THOTHB” (14:48) and the subsequent finale, “Journey out of Omegaville and into the…” (20:57), they’re so far gone into noise and captured, manipulated audio that who the hell knows where we’ve ended up? At 88 minutes, the limits of manageability are long left behind, but to get some of the Velvet Underground-in-space vibes of “Maschine” in trade for undertaking the undertaking it’s well worth letting go of the rigidity of things like time, place, etc.

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Orphan Gears, Rat Race

orphan gears rat race

I’m pretty sure Orphan Gears used the Super Mario Bros. font for their logo on the cover of their latest EP, Rat Race, and for that, they should be saluted. The gritty-riffing semi-punker London four-piece offer five tracks and 20 minutes of workaday, boozy grooves, blowing off steam after putting in a shift at this or that crappy job. They are null as regards pretense, and ask little more of their audience than perhaps a beer from the stage or whatever else might be on the menu that night. They share initials, but unlike much of the London underground, they share little ultimately with Orange Goblin in terms of style, despite the shuffle of “Tough Luck, BJ” or the harmonica at the end of “Bitch-Slapped Blues,” and by the time they get to the classic strut of the title-track, they seem to be dug into AC/DC-style groove in the verse while blending in modern heavy rock impulses around it. They clearly save their best for last.

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The Watchers, Black Abyss

the watchers black abyss

An immediately cogent, professional debut full-length is about what you’d expect from The Watchers, the San Francisco four-piece with members of SpiralArms, Orchid and Black Gates in their ranks, particularly after their prior EP, Sabbath Highway (review here), but that doesn’t stop the songwriting from impressing across the eight-song long-player, Black Abyss (on Ripple Music). The band’s presentation is crisp and pro-shop all the way through, from the soloing on “Oklahoma Black Magic” to the keyboard-laced TonyMartin-era-Sabbathism-meets-tambourine of “Suffer Fool” later on, and with the opening salvo of the title-track and “Alien Lust” right behind it, The Watchers set a quick expectation for hooks and a high standard of delivery that, thankfully, they show no hesitation in living up to for the duration, the chug-and-roll finale “Seven Tenets” satisfies in mood and efficiency, departing into airy guitar meditation and making its way back for a suitably rocking sendoff. Dudes know what they’re doing, where they’re headed and how they want to get there. All the listener needs to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Grajo, Slowgod II

grajo slowgod ii

A sequel to their 2015 full-length, Slowgod II (on Underground Legends Records, Spinda Records and DHU Records), sees Córdoba-based four-piece Grajo dug into a deep-toned psychedelic doom. There are flashes of Eastern influence on “Malmuerta,” with frontwoman Liz crooning over the minor-key guitar noodling of Josef, the forward motion in Félix’s drums and the heft of Pistolo’s bass. That dynamic works across Slowgod II, from opener and longest track (immediate points) “Altares” through its closing eight-minute counterpart “Malstrom,” which moves from early crunch through spacious volume swells in its middle only to regain composure and offer a heavy post-rock payoff that, somehow, still isn’t that atmospherically removed from the swinging “Horror and Pleasure” right before it or the similarly speedier “Queen Cobra” that follows “Altares” at the outset. Definitely one for the converted, Grajo deliver tones thick enough to stand on and engaging melodicism without falling into any real traps of sonic redundancy, varying their pace effectively and conjuring consuming plod on “ER” while still holding to that notion of breadth that seems to unite all their material here.

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Mythic Sunship, Upheaval

mythic sunship upheaval

It just so happens this is exactly what the fuck I’m talking about. After releasing their Land Between Rivers (review here) LP through El Paraiso Records last year, the Copenhagen four-piece of Emil Thorenfeldt, Frederik Denning, Kasper Andersen and Rasmus “Cleaver” Christensen, collectively known as Mythic Sunship, return with four more slabs of exploratory bliss on Upheaval. Either completely or partially improvised, “Tectonic Beach” (12:42), “Aether Flux” (10:55), “Cosmic Rupture” (6:44) and “Into Oblivion” (13:56) flow together like the work of masters, and with shades of patient space rock at their core, the tracks are infused with life even beyond the spontaneity of their creation. Heavy jams. Heavy, spacy jams. Molten. Swirling. Badass. Even the shorter and more forward “Cosmic Rupture” is headed out of the atmosphere, and when they come around to the noisy payoff deep in “Into Oblivion,” it’s abundantly clear they’re not joking around when it comes to the title. You can get onboard with Mythic Sunship, or you can miss out. Bands like this separate the hip from the squares.

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Empress, Reminiscence

Empress reminiscence

Those who miss the days when Mastodon or Baroness howled their shouts into a landscape of crunching tonal largesse might do well to dig into what Vancouver, British Columbia’s Empress have to offer on their late-2017 debut EP, Reminiscence. The 27-minute five-tracker isn’t without its sense of melody – there’s plenty of room in eight-minute second cut “Immer” – but guitarist/vocalist Peter Sacco, bassist Brenden Gunn and drummer Chris Doyle make their primary impression via the impact of their material, and as they swap back and forth between shorter tracks and longer ones, a sense of structural playfulness results that moves through the bass openings of “Baptizer” (2:50) and “They Speak Like Trees” (9:27) into the ambient guitar finisher “Dawn,” and the feeling is that, like their stylistic forebears in at the time what was thought of as a new take on sludge metal, Empress will only grow more progressive as they move forward from this first outing. One hopes they hold firm to the tectonic weight they present here that so many others seem to have given up along the way.

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Monads, IVIIV

monads iviiv

Released some six years after Monads’ 2011 debut, Intellectus Iudicat Veritatem, the Aesthetic Death Records-issued IVIIV was, according to the Belgian five-piece’s own accounting, in the works for most of that time in one way or another. One might say, therefore, that its creation does justice to the glacial pace of some of its slowest moments, the crawling death-doom extremity of pieces like “To a Bloodstained Shore,” or the lurch before the gallop takes hold in “Your Wounds Were My Temple.” At four songs and 50 minutes, IVIIV is indicative enough of the style, but Monads legitimately showcase a persona of their own in and out of those genre confines, the melancholic atmosphere and expanded arrangement elements (piano, etc.) of 15-minute closer “The Despair of an Aeon” creatively used if familiar, and the smoothness of the transitions in opener “Leviathan as My Lament” setting a tone of scope as well as downward emotional trajectory. Not sure I’d count on a quick turnaround for a follow-up, but if half a decade from now a new Monads record surfaces, it’ll be worth keeping an eye out for.

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Nest, Metempsychosis

nest metempsychosis

Rolling from its untitled intro through its untitled outro through a barrage of charred-black, bludgeoning sludge extremity, the debut album from Lexington, Kentucky’s Nest, Metempsychosis (on Sludgelord Records), refers in its title to a transmigration of the soul, an inheritance almost as much as reincarnation. The band may be talking about themselves or they may be working on a theme throughout the record’s seven proper tracks, I don’t know, but if the idea is destruction and rebirth, they certainly sound more interested in the former. Songs like “Heretic” seethe and scour, while the lumbering and spacious closer “Life’s Grief,” capping with abrasive noise, would seem to be a mission statement in itself. Individual pieces like “Jewel of Iniquity” and the preceding atmosphere-into-mega-crush “Diving into the Entrails of Sheep” – of course the centerpiece of the tracklisting – are shorter unto themselves, but like everything else that surrounds, they feed into an overarching ambience of disgust and chaos.

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Redneck Spaceship, Grand Marshal Ape

redneck spaceship grand marshall ape

There are some issues as regards the balance of the mix pushing the vocals forward ahead of the guitar to work out, but Moscow’s Redneck Spaceship impress all the same with the intent and execution of their late-2017 self-released debut, Grand Marshal Ape. In riffs and songcraft, their influences stem from the classic days of stoner rock, but from opener “The Sands of Dakar” and the later “That Sounds Nuts,” one gets a vibe of underlying punk influence, while the twang in harmonized highlight “On the Roadside” and slide guitar of “Maverick” lends a Southern, bluesy swing that the penultimate “Enchained” answers back later ahead of the sample-laden psychedelic jam-out closer, “Antariksh,” which strikes as a far cry from the ultra-straightforward presentation earlier on “Empty Pockets,” but speaks to an immediate scope in Redneck Spaceship’s sound. One hopes they continue to meld elements as they progress beyond Grand Marshal Ape and bridge the gap between one side of their moniker and the other.

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Baby Bones Premiere “Bottom Breather” from The Curse of the Crystal Teeth

Posted in audiObelisk on March 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

baby bones

Punk-infused heavy rockers Baby Bones will issue their debut full-length, The Curse of the Crystal Teeth, on April 14 through Gubbey Records. One wonders if the title isn’t a reference to the proven-to-be-a-myth phenomenon of ‘meth mouth,’ but by the time you’ve considered it, thought about all the pictures of gross teeth you saw on the news before opiates became ‘the thin’ again — though I hear meth, like disco, is making a comeback — and googled that Slate article from 2005 that basically painted the whole thing as a class issue and made everyone feel like a jerk, the Louisville, Kentucky, trio are already through the six-track run of the record itself, which tops out at 17 minutes long, ending with the foreboding sample of a woman crying and warning, “I tell my friends to keep your babies close to you. There’s someone out there.”

Of course, by the time you’ve done another round of googling to try and find the source of that sample, Baby Bones are front-to-back once more on The Curse of the Crystal Teeth, which if I haven’t gotten the point across yet is a quick listen. All but one of its component tracks — third cut, “We’re Done Talking,” is the exception — are under three minutes long, and much of the tempo and coursing progression of a song like “Pay us in Dimes” owes itself to rockabilly and classic surf punk, but with a corresponding thickness of tone, one might think of Baby Bones stylistically as a Midwestern cousin to Fatso Jetson. baby bones the curse of the crystal teethOpening with the brisk but melodic “Bought the Farm,” which shifts into an angular, quirk-laden midsection before rounding out by reviving its earlier progression at a sprint and veering into a noisy freakout to finish, The Curse of the Crystal Teeth sets a tone early of being deceptively complex in its changes, and both “Pay us in Dimes” and “We’re Done Talking” hold to that, the latter with Dave Rucinski evoking a post-grunge vocal sensibility alongside his bass, guitar, the guitar of Thomas Burgos and the drums of Jason Brandum — gang shouts of one leading to start-stop riffing and a groovy slowdown that crashes into the like-minded start-stop opening of “Bottom Breather,” which touches on Queens of the Stone Age in vocal melody but remains rawer in its overall sound, turning to a nodding riff seemingly out of nowhere in its second half like younger Melvins before they started believing their own hype and cruising to an easy finish.

That of course leads to the harsher immediacy of “On the Take,” which is the shortest track here at 2:33 and spares nothing in its thrust but bridges a gap between more shouted and cleaner-sung vocals while the guitars work up a torrent of noise that builds to ahead just before 1:45 in and returns the trio to an upward swirl of noise underscored by Brandum‘s steady drums, which crash to mark the ending and begin at an immediately punctuating run on closer “Slick Shoes,” which offers few surprises ultimately but uses noise as a transitional element effectively and shifts between semi-spoken and sung vocals in the verse and chorus, allowing for a richer stylistic feel than otherwise might’ve showed up as Baby Bones slammed into the finish and that aforementioned sample, which is the only one on the short album. Clearly there’s meant to be some threat of violence between that and the band’s moniker, but it’s vague and never seems to really come to fruition in the songs, which is something of a relief, actually.

Not necessarily reinventing the wheel, but burning its tires out at good speed, Baby BonesThe Curse of the Crystal Teeth is a raw but aesthetically engaged, short debut long-player that I’d probably call an EP were it not for the fluidity with which the material draws together. I’m fortunate enough today to be able to premiere “Bottom Breather,” which you’ll find on the player below, followed by a quote from the band and more background courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Thomas Burgos on “Bottom Breather”:

“The second single from Baby Bones, ‘Bottom Breather,’ musically speaking, encompasses a feeling of drowning with a dichotomy of syncopated guitars and a familiar 4/4 drumbeat leading you to believe everything is OK. But that’s just the surface. As the song states, ‘So still, from shore/Turbulent below,’ so too does the song appear calm and collected as hook-filled bridges drag you further and further below its mighty depths challenging conventional interpretation of what rock music is and should be.”

Louisville, Kentucky-based surf punkers BABY BONES are proud to announce the release of their debut album, The Curse of the Crystal Teeth, due out April 14 via Gubbey Records.

Recorded by the band at Tin Pan Basement Studios in Louisville and mastered by Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East in Cambridge, Mass., The Curse of the Crystal Teeth is 17-minutes of riff-oriented acid rock made by veteran punks bent on global domination.

BABY BONES is the compilation of three forces within the local Louisville, Kentucky, music scene. The trio recorded their first song together in 2016 for the highly-publicized “We Have A Bevin Problem” compilation, a response to Kentucky’s attacks on reproductive rights, benefiting Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. In doing so, the trio propelled themselves into an unknown–but bright–trajectory towards the cosmos.

BABY BONES is:
Dave Rucinski – Guitars, Bass, Vocals
Thomas Burgos – Guitars
Jason Brandum – Drums

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Premiere: Moonbow Throw Down Beardly in “War Bear” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

moonbow

It’s a beardly, burly, riffly party Moonbow are throwing in their new video for the title-track of 2017’s War Bear. Filmed over what was no doubt a raucous Memorial Day Weekend at the Southgate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky, it’s a stirring reminder in this day and age of anyone-with-a-cellphone-or-a–DSLR-can-make-a-video what a difference a professional production can make. And professional editing. Mean Beard Productions gives a crisp look at the four-piece in action, with a visual complement to the hook of “War Bear” no less dead-on than the memorable chorus itself, and yeah, there’s someone in there in a bear costume. How could there not be?

Moonbow made their debut on Ripple Music with 2013’s The End of Time (review here), and War Bear, despite its cartoon-tits-laden cover art, is every bit a worthy follow-up, fostering as it does a vibe somewhere between Southern and classic heavy rock in its straightforward structures and general no-nonsense attitude. A guest appearance from John Garcia is welcome on “California King,” but it’s the no-nonsense performance the four-piece itself — comprised of vocalist Matt Bischoff, guitarist David McElfresh (Hank III), bassist Ryan McAllister (ex-Valley of the Sun) and drummer Steve Earle (Hermano) — bring to the Mos Generator-worthy melodicism of “Bloodwash,” the blue-collar push of “Drinkin’ Alone” and the ultra-catchy “Sword in the Storm” that serves as the real highlight. Like the video for its titular cut, War Bear is crisp, professional, clear in its intent and making zero effort to hide the fact that it came to rock and rocking is exactly what it’s going to do.

That doesn’t necessary mean it’s unipolar — the slow-rolling first half of “Death of Giants” has a distinctly different feel from the bass-led start-stop chugging of the later “Toward the Sun” — just that it’s Moonbow‘s craftsmanship brought to the forefront and that, fortunately for the listener but not at all a coincidence, the songwriting holds up well in that starring role. Well, as much as anything can be in a starring role other than Bischoff‘s beard, anyhow. One way or the other, War Bear — which closes out with the title-track — brings forth a collection of traditionalist heavy rock tracks that still manage to find their own place in a style as modern as it is classic. If you ever wanted to know what a band sounds like when they know what they’re doing, Moonbow pretty much have that shit on lockdown.

Enjoy the premiere of “War Bear” below, followed by some comment from Bischoff on the track, the filming and the origin of the title. I’ve also included the full-stream of War Bear from Ripple‘s Bandcamp page at the bottom of the post, because what the hell? One likes to be thorough.

Dig it:

Moonbow, “War Bear” official video premiere

Matt Bischoff on the video:

When we were jamming and writing songs for the new record, we had just been jamming on a riff and when we stopped, Ryan our bass player just says “War Bear” out of nowhere. We all kinda laughed and said hell yeah and we kept messing around with the song. When I got home that night I google searched War Bear for the hell of it and found this amazing story of a Brown Bear called Wojtek who was taken in as a cub by the Polish Army 22nd Artillery. I was inspired and blown away and I wrote the song about it. Check it out online. Awesome story. Crazy how some song ideas transform like this out of nowhere.

We had a blast filming the video with friends and fans at our favorite local venue The Southgate House Revival. Memorial Day cookout, shooting the video and playing a show and filming it all. Special thanks to my Beard sponsor Mean Beard for making it all happen and Jared Barton films for kicking ass at what he does. Also thanks to Todd at Ripple Music for digging our band. Hope you enjoy and give the whole record a listen.

Moonbow is:
Matt Bischoff – Vocals
David McElfresh – Guitars
Ryan McAllister – Bass
Steve Earle – Drums

Moonbow, War Bear (2017)

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Moonbow Set April 21 Release Date for War Bear

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Midwestern heavy rockers Moonbow return on April 21 with War Bear, their second album for Ripple Music. The band features drummer Steve Earle, also known for his work in Hermano, and bassist Ryan McAllister from Valley of the Sun, so if you’ve got any doubts about the level of groove to be presented, that should probably be enough to dispel them outright. Apparently John Garcia shows up this time around too, as he did on the band’s 2013 debut, The End of Time (review here), so, you know, rock and roll and continuity and whatnot.

Haven’t heard the record yet, but hope to sometime soon, despite the cartoon-tittyriffic cover art, which seems to have become a theme for the day. Enough already with that shit. The planet sucks enough.

From the PR wire:

moonbow

MOONBOW: BMX legend/Survivor star Matt Bischoff returns with Kentucky rockers for new album on Ripple Music | Stream title track, ‘War Bear’ now

War Bear is released on 21st April 2017 via Ripple Music

Kentucky-based rockers Moonbow began in 2011 when vocalist/BMX legend Matt Bischoff and Hank 3 guitarist Davey McElfresh met at McElfresh’s Covington apartment to outline the details of a new project. What started out as a simple partnership quickly gained momentum and turned into something considerably more when Steve Earle (Afghan Whigs, Hermano) stepped in on drums and former Valley Of The Sun bassist Ryan McAllister was invited to service the low end. After only a few weeks it was obvious that something pretty badass was happening and since setting off on that one-way track, Moonbow have become a serious force to be reckoned.

With their line-up complete they immediately got to work on their debut album, The End Of Time. Due to McElfresh’s constant touring and Bischoff’s stint on reality TV show Survivor: Caramoan, the album was eventually released in 2013 and immediately gained traction both at home and abroad, securing international distribution after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Giving a nod to countrified roots and arid desert jams, The End of Time not only featured some of the meatiest riffs to ever come out of Kentucky, but also guest vocals by the legend John Garcia. Informed by McElfresh’s fuzz-savvy guitar playing, Earle’s deft skin work, McAllister’s distorted Rickenbacker groove and Bischoff’s unique take on songwriting and storytelling, the album showcased a band that were only just getting started.

In 2015, the quartet went on to release an acoustic follow up entitled Volto del Demone and with new album War Bear – their first outing for the California-based record label Ripple Music – it’s safe to say that their time is most definitely upon us.

War Bear will be given an official worldwide release on 21st April 2017 via Ripple Music.

Track Listing:
1. War Bear
2. Sword In The Storm
3. Drinkin Alone
4. Bloodwash
5. Death Of Giants
6. Alone Eyes Roam
7. California King (Featuring John Garcia)
8. The Road
9. Son Of Moses
10. Toward The Sun

Moonbow:
Matt Bischoff – Vocals
David McElfresh – Guitars
Ryan McAllister – Bass
Steve Earle – Drums

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