Shun Premiere “Machina” From Self-Titled Debut out June 4

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 7th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

shun shun

[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Machina’ from Shun’s self-titled debut. Album is out June 4 on Small Stone Records.]

Matt Whitehead on “Machina”:

A lot of the basic ideas for this song date back to jams in Jeff’s and my previous band (Made of Machines), but we were never really able to get it sounding the way we envisioned. Later, we jammed on it off and on with Shun and initially stumped everyone there as well, but everyone said they wanted to keep working on it. Over the period of a few months Rob and Scott developed their parts, and Jeff and I felt like we were finally fulfilled our original vision. Machina is also the first one I sent to J. Robbins to do a ‘proof of concept’ mix. When he sent the mix back, we were blown away. This song’s a bit of a weird, slow burn journey that ends in pure chaos and is one of our favorites to play.

SHUN live:
6/05 Asheville, NC @ Fleetwood’s
6/12 W. Columbia, SC @ Scratch N’ Spin (in-store 12PM)
6/26 Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero

Asheville, North Carolina’s types of masters degrees thesis http://www.nexusinstitut.de/dissertation-thesis-research/ Numbering assignment law college admission essays community service Shun release their self-titled debut June 4 on help with accounting homework problems http://www.wirtshausamsee.at/?business-plan-for-property-management-company Paper attention grabber for essay relatedhttpwww completeessays Small Stone Records. Earlier this year, I was asked to write the bio for the album, as sometimes happens with gujarati essay online i should do my homework now phd thesis ultrasonic studies persuasive essay prompts Small Stone stuff when the band doesn’t have anyone particular they want to do it — at this point I’ve been in touch with the label in a professional capacity for the better part of 20 years, so it’s by no means out of the blue that this came about — and as I noted when the album was announced early last month, it was kind of a confused process. Overall I’m satisfied with the result, but if I had it to do over again, there are a few things I might change.

Here’s the original bio — I’ll put it in PR wire blue for ease of organization, which this post is already sorely lacking:

Shun are a four-piece founded by Matt Whitehead (guitar/vocals), Scott Brandon (guitar/backing vocals), Jeff Baucom (bass) and Rob Elzey (drums), who recorded the nine tracks of their self-titled debut in isolation prior to turning them over to the esteemed J. Robbins at the Magpie Cage (Clutch, The Sword, so many others) for mixing and Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio for mastering.

Astute Small Stone Records loyalists will recognize Whitehead from his work in Throttlerod. He’s not alone in pedigree. Brandon has spent most of his life as a working musician, producer and DJ in Detroit, Ann Arbor, MI, and Chicago. Baucom, a veteran player in his own right, played together briefly with Whitehead in a band called Made of Machines. And Elzey has toured the world as a tech for the likes of Hatebreed and Unearth, among many others.

With this varied experience behind them, Shun work quickly to establish a distinct identity throughout this first LP, incorporating styles from melodic noise rock and heavy riffs to atmospheric largesse and contemplative, patient construction.

Having recorded in covid-isolation means drums and bass captured in Elzey’s garage and Brandon’s guitars recorded in his basement studio. Whitehead’s guitar was recorded with amps tucked into his bedroom closet and vocals also tracked in his house. A guest spot from Lamb of God’s Mark Morton on the penultimate “Heese” required no studio stop-by. But it also means songs put together over a period of months rather than days.

It’s to the band’s credit that Shun exists at all, let alone that it is neither disjointed nor wanting for urgency. A forceful and intermittently aggressive offering, it balances mood and intensity of expression throughout its songs. And while the record is coming out at a time when the band can’t get out and support it on stage as they otherwise might, the fact that they are pushing ahead with the release speaks as well to the need to say what they’re saying.

Shun’s style manages to be thoughtful and even sometimes proggy without giving in to self-indulgence or pretense, and their debut offers high-grade, dynamic, melodic heavy rock that resounds with purpose, taking familiar elements and pushing them beyond simplistic genre confines.

Right? Fine? Yeah. Not much more than that though. You get it through that the band is guitarist/vocalist  Professional Insurance Assignment. High quality book proofreading service by Subject matter experts. get your book edited now! Scott Brandon, vocalist/guitarist  Buy here at professional essay writing service. Order custom research academic papers from the best trusted company. Just find a great help for Matt Whitehead — and that the latter is a veteran of  Bestdissertation.com lives up to its name! Top quality dissertation service. We offer the Write An Essay About Your Goals For The Futures that money can buy, and we do it for a price that students can afford. Students deserve and need the best dissertation writing services they can find because their dissertation will add to their final score and qualification. Small Stone staple act  French Paper has click site manufacturing capabilities to match any color, weight or texture, with the lowest minimums in the industry. Learn more. Throttlerod — as well as bassist Paper Writing Games or Technical Brief. Only original contributions to the engineering literature are accepted for publication; work should incorporate substantial information not previously published. Permissions. If a submission contains excerpts from other copyrighted material (including without limitation any diagrams, photographs, figures or text), it is the responsibility of the Jeff Baucom and drummer  write a great essay academic writing for graduate students 3rd pdf Help homework schools helpful best research proposal writing service Rob Elzey. You get that  Should you simply opt for Essay On Psychology services and hope for the best? Or, should you pay for the best thesis help that money can buy. Shun, the nine-track/41-minute debut long-player, was tracked in isolation but ultimately mixed by  Doctoral Thesis Harry Potter - Affordable medications with fast delivery. Secure payments and guaranteed satisfaction when you purchase drugs. Order your J. Robbins, who for sure is a presence in the material despite not having actually captured the sounds himself so much as balanced them (and added some percussion). You get that it’s heavy. You get the essentials.

What you don’t really get from the bio I wrote is the character of the songs, which is pretty god damned important when it comes to actually hearing the record. You don’t get the latent post-hardcore influence in “Sleepwalking” or the emotive crux behind the payoff of “At Most.” You don’t get the progressive sensibility in the chugging “Machina” or the churning tension in album centerpiece “Undone,” the airy melodic float in the later “A Wooden House.” You kind of just get the barebones essentials.

shun

I stand by my work — what choice do I have? — but I’m not thrilled with it, and it’s been kind of eating at me as it probably should if one gives a shit about what they do. 127 Baltimore County Public Library Homework Help Salaries provided anonymously by employees. What salary does a Assignment Editor earn in your area? Shun‘s  http://www.abatec.cz/?write-a-descriptive-essay-on-my-school. If you are experiencing difficulties with writing a proper paper, we have a team of experienced writers to assist you. Here youll find custom writing at its best. The topic of your paper might be too broad or too narrow, there might be not enough relevant information to include in your body paragraphs, finally, you might have no idea what to write about in your project. No matter what kind of writing problem you have, we will help you. We have many talented writers Shun is ultimately more than just the sum of its parts. Even as opener “Run” smooths out its intense initial push into atmospheric pastoralism, it’s clear the four-piece — who again, built the record from scratch in COVID isolation — have more multifaceted ambitions than “here’s some dudes rockin’ riffs.” You get that  uk dissertation writing Professional Essay Writers Uk homework help south american map columbia custom resume writers best Mark Morton from  Avail new discount offers of Essay Writing Services For Cheap by Professional Essay Writers UK. We offer plagiarism free work of great quality delivered on time. Lamb of God shows up on “Heese.” But you don’t get that it’s really the melodic character of the subsequent closer “Once Again,” the vague, later-’90s alternative-everything impression of the way the thickness of the bass foretells the sway that caps the record.

It’s teeny-tiny stakes, I know. Nobody reads band bios, even less now that they come through in email rather than wrapped around a CD in the mail. But as you listen to the track premiere above, I hope more of the band’s energy comes through than might through just seeing a phrase like “styles from melodic noise rock and heavy riffs to atmospheric largesse and contemplative, patient construction.” I’m not saying that’s not true, but sometimes when there’s a lot of basic info you need to include, it becomes like Joe Friday doing the telling: Just the facts, ma’am.

And there’s more appeal here than just the facts. There’s passion and force of delivery and a maturity of sound that comes through even though the band is a new entity. Maybe you can dig where they’re coming from and maybe you can’t — the punk roots are dug deep, but they’re there — but there’s a depth to  Shun‘s songs that goes toward making an identity for the band beyond what the members have done before, and whether it’s a plague-born one-off or a continuing project, that’s worth preserving.

Shun, Shun (2021)

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Apollo80 Premiere “Black of the White” From Beautiful Beautiful Desolation LP out June 18

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 3rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

apollo80

Perth, Western Australia’s Apollo80 release their debut full-length, Beautiful Beautiful Desolation, on June 18 through Sound Effect Records and Kozmik Artifactz. The six-track/40-minute outing brings underlying symmetry to its spacious and spaced-out and spacey did I mention space-space-space heavy vibage, its intro and outro and four circa-nine-minute pieces melding and folding into each other in one resounding “holy crap” of a morass, but staying fluid and moving forward as well — thank you very much Shane on drums for that.

From the blanket of drone that rises to consume much of side A’s addled, headphone-ready “Terolgedo King” and “Like Men…/Corpse 65” to the crash and landmark-for-your-melting-brain riffly nod of pre-outro capper “Lung Beers,” the three-piece follow-up their suitably exclamatory 2018 debut EP, Lizard! Lizard! Lizard! (review here), with a rampage through multi-dimensional distortion and chrono-triggered heft. It’s like meeting someone on the street who comes up to you and goes, “Hey, you like Carl Sagan?” Fucking a right.

The roiling and shimmering starts with “Intro,” a line of synth casting a cinematic foreboding over the oops-there-it-goes procession forward, bringing just enough hypnosis to the feedback snap and ensuing lurch riff that begins “Teroldego King” is a Apollo80 Beautiful Beautiful Desolationshocker. Apollo80 — ShaneLuke on guitar and Brano on bass, with one or more of them taking on intermittent vocal duties — revel in the breadth. “Teroldego King” unfolds in massive form like the garbled transmission from a planet of sentient portiids, but cuts to a quiet movement in its second half, vocals coming in and going like were they real anyhow while the guitar noodles out over echoey rimshots.

They bring it back, of course, but in going so low, they make the high that much higher, and the final rumbles and crashes feel all the more affecting for it. If you can dig that, the megadrone-into-megaspace of “Like Men…/Corpse 65” is the stuff of your more chaotic dreams — the kind of shit that makes me want to leave hte typos in because screw it we’re all gonna burn anyway what’s the difference. But we’re here now, so put on headphones and dig that bass.

“Black of the White” throws out its hi-hat-propelled motion like a life-preserver into a sea of Jupiterian gas storms, and holds to it until it becomes jazz, the drums shifting after four minutes in as things start to go haywire. Vocals are treated, a mean poetry reading set to so much echo they’re barely recognizable, but the clamor fits, and the dropout-into-drop-on-your-head that ensues may be telegraphed but is no less a joy for that. Time outside (everything) is time well spent. Heavy. Psych. Tell your friends.

And while you’ve got their attention, let ’em know “Lung Beers” sent you. Stoner paean it may or may not be, but it’s a righteous preach to the converted either way, cutting as did “Teroldego King” — more of that symmetry noted earlier; a masterplan at work? — before embarking on the record’s last freakout, the guitar stripping away from the rest of the ship and embracing vacuum. In space, apparently you can still hear the shred. So be it. Weirdo Sap-style acoustic guitar reaps the aftermath in “Until the Sails Are on Fire,” maybe looped, maybe not, but as Apollo80 roll credits on their preliminary feature-length excursion, they do so having touched off a bouncing cavalcade of prime-directive-violating contact, rounding off squares where they stand and telling kids about enough new gods to get themselves thrown in jail.

Think you can jive? Well, jive to “Black of the White” on the player below. Go on. Make friends.

PR wire info and whatnot follow:

Apollo80 are doing it again! After the striking debut in 2019 the Western Australian trio is back with a new chapter of heavy-riffing exploration in the low frequencies universe. The main ingredients for the space cake are unchanged, but this new work explores a darker space with an extended use of drone atmospheres, groovy tempos and sporadic synth and vocal inserts. Beautiful, Beautiful Desolation is the title of what is going to be their first full-length and is promising to please the fans of Melvins, Earth, Toner Low and whoever aims to soak their brain in a bath of distorted frequencies.

While the intro seems to continue the space-rock voyage of their previous EP, the opening riff clears immediately the path for a heavier trip that reaches the deepest point with the feedbacks and drones of the Earth-ian Like Men Gone at Sea. Side B is a surprise again and introduces synth layers and distorted vocals that are totally new for the Perth trio, but then they close with what they do best. 90s-inspired slow riffs and a long psychedelic interlude of the banger Lungbeers carry the listener to the end of this 40+ mins work that will be brought on the streets by the joined efforts of Sound Effect Records and Kozmik Artifactz. The two veteran labels will be releasing 500 copies in black, colored and special edition vinyl and CD, including, for the first time ever, their “Lizard Lizard Lizard” vinyl-only EP!

Tracklisting:
Side A
Intro (1:47)
Teroldego King (9:37)
Like Men…/Corpse 65 (8:17)

Side B
Black of the White (9:34)
Lung Beers (9:03)
Until the Sails Are on Fire (1:48)

Apollo80 is:
Luke – guitar and space effects
Shane – drums
Brano – bass

Apollo80, Beautiful Beautiful Desolation (2021)

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Apollo80 on Bandcamp

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Matt Whitehead of Shun & Throttlerod

Posted in Questionnaire on April 28th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Matt Whitehead SHUN

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Matt Whitehead of Shun & Throttlerod

How do you define what you do and how did you come to it?

I love to stay busy writing songs and stray riffs in my spare time and sing and play guitar in a new band called Shun. We’re a four-piece loud riff-based heavy rock band that also has melodic and moody elements.

How did I come to it? My first job at Little Caesar’s…. [big U.S. pizza chain for our overseas friends who may not be familiar.]

I worked at that pizza chain in high school with a couple of people that were in some really good bands, one of which I joined sometime in early 1995. That band happened to be one of my favorite bands around at the time and it was a real honor to get that opportunity. That experience ultimately helped shape my ideas about songwriting and melody. Whereas I had been primarily into metal and also Nirvana, I became an absolute sponge in college and listened to everything I could get my hands on. That’s when I found everything from The Melvins and Fugazi to Morphine, PJ Harvey, and Jawbox.

After that first band ran its course, I started Throttlerod with two of those same guys, put out a bunch of records, and did a lot of touring. Early on, our friends in ATP and Sunnshine encouraged us to move from Columbia, SC, to Richmond and we did. Not because we didn’t like our hometown (we loved it there). But Richmond had a really unique scene and is well-situated on the East Coast to hit a lot of cities in a short amount of time. Eventually, we recruited the Sunnshine drummer, Kevin White, and the bass player from my first band who moved to Richmond from where he had been living in Chicago.

I moved back to South Carolina in 2011 and put out one more Throttlerod record that J. Robbins produced. I was getting restless as I waited for Kevin to join me, so I started a band called Made of Machines with… a guy from that first job at the pizza place. Another guy from my first band introduced me to Jeff Baucom who played bass with Machines for a couple of years.

Jeff and I really connected personally and musically, and he asked me to come jam with a new project he had going with a drummer and a guitarist who had just moved to the area. Fast forward through a few hurdles with getting together, and we are now on a schedule and having a blast making music. So, in a way all of my connections to music began at Little Caesar’s. Weird.

Describe your first musical memory.

My first musical memory is listening to Beatles and Elton John records with my mom when I was probably four years old. I got really into other artists after that, but it was “Battery” by Metallica led me to go head-first into guitar. I more or less learned the instrument from obsessing over their first three Metallica records. A good friend of mine shared that obsession and we used to stay up all night playing metal covers, and we probably (definitely) knew every Metallica song through Justice at one point. There are a lot worse things we could have been doing! When I went to college though, I was exposed to a whole lot.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I have been fortunate enough to experience a lot with Throttlerod: playing in front of 19,000 people in Shockoe Bottom; playing HF Festival, CMJ, or SXSW; and playing with all kinds of cool bands ranging from Clutch and Mastodon to Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers. But my best musical memory is much more basic: touring in a van with my friends, seeing the US and Canada, sleeping on floors, and playing music that we loved every night. I was just telling this story a few days ago, but we always prided ourselves on playing the same to an audience of one as we did to an audience of 19,000. Once we played Des Moines, Iowa, early in the week and there was nobody there. Literally nobody. We got on stage and seconds into our set, Matt Pike (who we had met when we played with High on Fire sometime before that) walks in. We played our entire set to him headbanging in front of the stage. Ruled.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

I don’t know about that. I try and be open enough to other perspectives to where I don’t get too upset over people challenging me. It’s not a perfect system, but I can’t think of a situation off the top of my head where I got bothered or felt “tested” by someone or something challenging a belief.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Who knows where it will lead? The old cliché “it’s the journey, not the destination” holds true here. People, interests, influences, etc. change over time and that should be ok as long as we’re still excited. I try my best to treat songs as a diary and not mull over them too much. To me, it feels more exciting to have a batch of songs we wrote in a short period of time when we felt a certain way and not overthink them versus mulling over every song for months/years thinking we’re going to make it perfect. The next album will be written with different perspectives because we’ve changed along with everything around us.

How do you define success?

Honestly, we feel like we’ve succeeded just getting to play music together in a new band at this stage in our lives. Having J. Robbins believe in it enough to want to mix our home recordings, having Small Stone Records interested enough to put it out, and Mark Morton (Lamb of God) contributing a solo to a song is a real high-five situation to put it mildly.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

I could get real dark here, but let’s keep this upbeat and positive.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create?

The next album. Upon finishing our last one, it took no more than a week for new riffs to start flying around.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

The most essential function of art depends on the situation. Entertainment, connection, self-awareness… all valid functions in my opinion.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Spending time with my family and traveling are always things I look forward to.

http://www.facebook.com/ShunTheBand
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Shun, Shun (2021)

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Shun Announce Self-Titled Debut Album out June 4; Preorders Up

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

shun

Some part of the press release below is from the bio I wrote. It was a bit of a process putting that together since at first I was under the mistaken impression Shun wasn’t a new band but a new incarnation of Throttlerod putting out an album called Shun. What made that hard to understand was that it sounded so different from that band’s past work, was a marked left turn in direction. Well, Shun is a different band that just happens to feature Throttlerod‘s Matt Whitehead (who was very understanding in working with my dumb ass), and their self-titled debut is up for preorder now with CD through Small Stone and vinyl through Kozmik Artifactz. They’re streaming the opening track, as Small Stone is wont to do with its releases when they’re announced.

You’ll also note the cover art by Alexander Von Wieding. I’m not sure what’s happening there — fighting monoliths? — but I like it.

Info came down the PR wire thusly:

shun shun

SHUN: North Carolina Heavy Rock Collective Featuring Member Of Throttlerod To Release Self-Titled Debut June 4th Via Small Stone; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available

Asheville, North Carolina heavy rock collective SHUN will release their self-titled debut June 4th via Small Stone Records. The record includes guest appearances by Mark Morton (Lamb Of God) and J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Government Issue).

A name inspired by a Bruce Lee quote: “Adapt what is useful, reject [shun] what is useless, and add what is specifically your own,” SHUN is guitarist/vocalist Matt Whitehead, guitarist/backing vocalist Scott Brandon, bassist Jeff Baucom, and drummer Rob Elzey. Astute Small Stone loyalists will recognize Whitehead from his work in Throttlerod. He’s not alone in pedigree. Brandon has spent most of his life as a working musician, producer, and DJ in Detroit, and Ann Arbor, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois. Baucom, a veteran musician in his own right, played with Whitehead briefly in a band called Made Of Machines and has been a part of the regional music scene for some time while Elzey has toured the world as a tech for the likes of Hatebreed and Unearth, among many others.

Together, SHUN manifests a distinct identity throughout their eponymous LP, incorporating everything from melodic noise rock and heavy riffs to atmospheric largesse and contemplative, patient construction. Developed in covid-isolation over a period of several months, the drums and bass comprising Shun were recorded in Elzey’s garage while Brandon’s guitars were captured in his basement studio. Whitehead’s guitars were recorded with amps tucked into his bedroom closet and vocals were also tracked in his house. A guest spot from Lamb Of God’s Mark Morton on the penultimate “Heese” required no studio stop-by. In the end, nine tracks were turned over to esteemed producer J. Robbins at Magpie Cage Recording Studio (Clutch, The Sword, Coliseum) for mixing and Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio for mastering.

It’s to the band’s credit that Shun exists at all, let alone that it is neither disjointed nor wanting for urgency. A forceful and intermittently aggressive offering, it balances mood and intensity of expression throughout its duration.

In advance of the release of Shun, today the band is pleased to unveil opening track, “Run.” Notes Brandon, “This album for me truly is a culmination of a lifelong passion for music and a testament to my DIY attitude towards life in general. We worked really hard through some difficult times to put this thing together, and I’m really proud of what we’ve done. I’ve found myself playing and writing with some amazingly talented people in this band, and I think ‘Run’ is a great example of us hitting on all cylinders.”

Shun, which features cover art by Alexander Von Wieding (Monster Magnet, Trouble, Karma To Burn), will be released on CD and digital formats via Small Stone with Kozmik Artifactz handling a limited vinyl edition. Find preorder options at THIS LOCATION: https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/shun

Shun Track Listing:
1. Run
2. Sleepwalking
3. At Most
4. Machina
5. Undone
6. Near Enemy
7. A Wooden House
8. Heese
9. Once Again

SHUN:
Jeff Baucom – bass
Matt Whitehead – vocals, guitars
Rob Elzey – drums
Scott Brandon – guitars, vocals

Additional Musicians:
Mark Morton – guitar solo on “Heese”
J. Robbins – various percussion

http://www.facebook.com/ShunTheBand
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http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
http://twitter.com/SSRecordings
http://www.instagram.com/smallstonerecords
https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/
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Shun, Shun (2021)

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Robots of the Ancient World to Release Mystic Goddess May 21

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

robots of the ancient world (Photo by Eddie Brnabic)

Haven’t heard this one in its entirety yet, but the track they’re streaming sure sounds right on. Small Stone and Kozmik Artifactz team up once again to present the second full-length from Portland, Oregon’s Robots of the Ancient World. Dubbed Mystic Goddess, the record leads off with its title-track, and it’s that six-minute fuzz push you can stream now. With its two guitars underscored by righteously fuzzed bass, my immediate impression of the track takes my head to Acrimony, and that’s neither a complaint nor the sum of what the five-piece have on offer — Jack Endino production never hurts — what with the Pacific Northwestern crunch of their bridge and the mellow stretches that begin and end the song. I’d be just fine if Robots of the Ancient World at some point let that drift go and just jammed out for 14 minutes on the record. Now, I don’t know that that does or doesn’t happen, but I’m just saying, it’d be alright if it did.

And I mean “alright” in the McConaughey sense of the word. As in, “alright alright alright.”

PR wire brings info and preorders:

robots of the ancient world mystic goddess

ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: Portland Psychedelic Stoner Doom Collective To Release Mystic Goddess Full-Length May 21st Via Small Stone; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available

Portland, Oregon based psychedelic stoner doom collective ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD will release their Mystic Goddess full-length via Small Stone on May 21st!

Forged thanks to a rare 2015 planetary alignment, ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD made an immediate impact with a meteor shower of cosmic grooves and high-octane riffs in the galactic vortex where doom, psych, and stoner rock collide. As a live act, they are a force with which to be reckoned and their 2019 debut Cosmic Riders has garnered over 300,000 plays and counting on digital streaming sites, including Bandcamp, Spotify, and YouTube.

Eager to take their sound to uncharted regions of the galaxy, ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD entered Seattle’s Soundhouse Studios in February 2020 to record with Jack Endino, famed sonic architect of the grunge revolution, and his longtime protégé Mikel Perkins. They emerged through the wormhole with Mystic Goddess, a forty-three-minute hallucinatory sound excursion through a wide range of styles that keeps listeners engaged while never losing focus or sacrificing flow.

“Raw, powerful, no nonsense production is what we were seeking,” says guitarist Justin Laubscher. After connecting with Endino through a friend and veteran of the grunge wars, Laubscher says the band “scraped up every nickel we could and went for it.”

Recorded, mixed, and mastered in six days, Mystic Goddess almost crashed and burned prior to liftoff. Four days in, Endino abruptly fell ill, “wrecked from this weird flu from hell,” according to Laubscher. “At the time, COVID-19 was not yet a thing in the US.” Perkins engineered the final two days of tracking. “Perkins is a legend, stepped in without missing a beat, and we all felt at ease. He entertained our more fringe ideas, the ones up until that point I was apprehensive to present to Jack.” Endino eventually finished the mixes remotely and Perkins is credited as co-producer.

Musically, the new album includes nods to stoner rock titans like the Stooges, Kyuss, and Boris but the band also wasn’t afraid to borrow ideas from Guns ‘N’ Roses and Santana, while deep diving into their usual lyrical fetishes.

“I’m intrigued by psychedelics, esotericism, and conspiracy theories. I love to go deep with secret societies, other dimensions, and all that jazz. So, when you hear the Carl Sagan intro to ‘Cosmic Riders’ or David Icke closing out ‘Mystic Goddess,’ it’s a tribute,” notes Laubscher, “a nod to those dudes who are a creative inspiration for my song writing.”

In advance of the release of Mystic Goddess, ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD is pleased to unveil the record’s hypnotic opening title track. Vocalist Caleb Weidenbach comments, “I think for us, this song really is in a way a blueprint to our sound. Justin showed up with these killer riffs and I was hooked on the track. A lot of times my lyrics come from a place of feeling and the words often just spill out of my mouth when they are ready. It’s about women who captivate you, it’s about loneliness and those times we feel lost. I was going through some heavy shit at that time and this song pulled out a lot of the feelings.”

Mystic Goddess, which features cover art by Swedish artist Robin Gnista, will be released on CD and digital formats via Small Stone with Kozmik Artifactz handling a limited vinyl edition. Find preorder options at THIS LOCATION: https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/mystic-goddess

Mystic Goddess Track Listing:
1. Mystic Goddess
2. Wasteland
3. Agua Caliente
4. Out Of The Gallows
5. Unholy Trinity
6. MK Ultraviolence
7. Lucifyre
8. Ordo Ab Khao

ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD:
Caleb Weidenbach – vocals
Nico Schmutz – guitar
Justin Laubscher – guitar
Trevor Berecek – bass
Harry Silvers – drums

http://www.facebook.com/RobotsoftheAncientWorld
http://www.instagram.com/rotaw_official
http://robotsoftheancientworld.bandcamp.com/
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
http://twitter.com/SSRecordings
http://www.instagram.com/smallstonerecords
https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Robots of the Ancient World, Mystic Goddess (2021)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Freddy Allen of Sun of Grey

Posted in Questionnaire on March 29th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Freddy Allen of Sun of Grey

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Freddy Allen of Sun of Grey & Gypsybyrd

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I’ve always loved music and felt the strength and warmth it can bring to one’s soul. No matter the different paths I’ve followed through the years, music has always found me and been a big part of my life. I started guitar at the age of 13 and worked hard every day since then. It’s been tough but I can’t see myself doing anything else that makes me this happy. Sure the nights on the road can be long and lonely, and the equipment seems to get heavier every gig but I am a rockstar and this is what we do!

Describe your first musical memory.

I had been taking guitar lessons from the local music shop and was learning all kinds of stuff I didn’t care for much. One day I was walking to the corner store and heard someone playing all kinds of Metallica/ Megadeth bass riffs from an open window. I yelled in to introduce myself and met my now longtime friend Shag. He told me about his awesome guitar teacher, Al. From that moment on, Al changed everything for me and became a huge influence in all aspects of my life. I babysat his children, I guitar tech’ed/roadied for his band and eventually I got to open for him with my own band!

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I have been playing music for over 30 years and have had some great opportunities with many great players; but my best musical memory is happening right now with the release of my first album Outerworld. My whole career has consisted of helping other singer/songwriters reach their goals and dreams but this is the first time I’ve ever gone after mine and it was scary at first to say the least. It is a big learning curve and I am blessed to have people around me that believe in my vision.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

I think everyone’s faith is tested daily with the invention of social media. I always try to look at any situation with the “walk a mile in their shoes” mentality. I might not be aware of someone else’s beliefs, customs, traditions or any challenges or tragedies they might have suffered so I shouldn’t jump to accusations or conclusions when dealing with a difficult or awkward situation. We’re all human and life can be hard most times so a little bit of reflection and kindness goes a long way.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Depends on the artist in question I guess. Bands for instance might be able to do great things over time and keep refining their craft bringing delight to our ears with each new album. Or they could burn out where most people will argue their first four albums was where it’s at. While still some bands might only have their first album as a crowning achievement with nothing more to show over a span of time. I think this can be said of any artistic endeavor whether they be a painter, director, writer, etc. I guess unless you try, you’ll never know.

How do you define success?

Man, has that answer changed so much for me over time. As a kid, one year we didn’t have much money for Christmas so I had to sell my bike to buy my first guitar. Something I’ve never regretted but a personal sacrifice nonetheless. So money and material items seemed like the way to prove yourself to others and be happy, right? After achieving a lot of what I set out to do as a young man I’ve found that real happiness/success comes from within us and not from the things we own. My wife and I recently started to minimize our lives and belongings and couldn’t be happier letting go with the stress and chaos that accompanied those items. Be a good person and do good things, that’s the true key to success.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

My father’s funeral. He was taken from me when I was 16 and not a day goes by that I wish I could just call him and tell him about his grandkids and all the wonderful things that have happened to me over the years. Losing someone you love is never easy but a boy losing his father is all together something different. His passing is what fueled my fire to leave town and pursue my dreams so I’ve always looked at that as my silver lining. He didn’t always understand it, but he always supported me and my music.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

My passions have always been Film/TV and music so I would love to work on more film projects as well as compilation albums with the artists that I love. I particularly like ’80s metal and ’90s grunge to sing too so I’d love to be involved with a project like that in the near future.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

To move an individual in a way that no other person or thing can. The beautiful thing is, it can happen at anytime of the day, anywhere in the world at anytime in our lives. That’s powerful stuff!

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

I have two younger children, a boy and girl that I look forward to spending every day with. I never thought I’d have children but now can’t imagine my life without them in it. Watching them grow and pick up hobbies and likes/dislikes is a real joy for my wife and I. They really have made me a better man and I can’t wait to see where their lives and dreams lead them.

https://www.facebook.com/sunofgreyband
https://www.instagram.com/sunofgreyband/
https://sunofgrey.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/gypsybyrdmusic
https://gypsybyrd.bandcamp.com/

http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Sun of Grey, Outerworld (2020)

Gypsybyrd, Eye of the Sun (2020)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Constantine Grim of The Electric Mud

Posted in Questionnaire on March 19th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Constantine Grim Electric Mud Photo Cred Jesi Cason photography

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Constantine Grim of The Electric Mud

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I’d say pretty definitively I have the best job in the world. I get to write and play music that means the world to me with three dudes that mean the world to me. I picked up a guitar early in my teens as a lot of kids do, as a means of self expression at an age when it’s tough to do that on your own, and it’s been really good to me as an art and a discipline.

Describe your first musical memory.

My earliest memory in general that I can recall is riding around with my mom while she listened to the Graceland album by Paul Simon. She emigrated to the states from east Africa in the mid ’80s, and even though the musicians on that album are predominantly South African, it was an album she really connected with, and to this day it’s what I throw on if I’m trying to really check in with myself and relax. My dad is also a monster steering wheel drummer, so watching him thump out all of Led Zeppelin 1 and At Fillmore East by The Allman Brothers from the car seat really drilled into me how much fun rock and roll is.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

That first tour is the dragon I’m still chasing haha. I love it, the traveling, the bonds you build not just amongst the guys in the van but the bands you meet and the folks that show up in some dive on a Tuesday on faith that you’re gonna bring the goods.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

You really don’t have to look farther than the last year to find that answer. To be coming off signing to a label you really dig and have a record coming out that you’re excited about, to be geared up and rehearsed and ready to play SXSW for the first time as an official act and have that all get iced overnight, frankly was fucking gnarly.

We’ve got the motor idling, and when we get the green light we’re gonna come out swinging with a ton of new tunes spread out over a couple releases, but yeah I mean you don’t go through something so jarring with such an open ended timeline for a return to normalcy without some serious gut check moments with the dude in the mirror.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

It’s a very liberating experience, for me personally. I love the process of writing a record, doing the best you can, putting it out, and then turning that page and sitting down and trying to top it. It’s this cross section of art and effort and holding yourself accountable to really get the most out of yourself both as one of the writers but also as a bandmate whose vision is a piece of a larger thing we’re all trying to realize together.

How do you define success?

Payin the light bill doing something that makes you happy.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

I have seen a Buffalo chicken gyro, and as a Greek boy that is something that is an unholy creation that needs to go back to whatever circle of hell created it.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

A perfect album.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

It’s a way for me to reach out and connect with people in a universal language, but also on my terms. I love the ambiguity of being a guitar player who writes music and plays lead but doesn’t have to mess with lyrics or singing. I can say whatever I want, about whatever I want, without saying anything specific that I’ll be poked and prodded about. I live just to the left of the spotlight, and I love it.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

The birth of my daughter! MaryAnn Emmanuel Grim, comin July 2021.

http://www.theelectricmud.com
http://www.facebook.com/TheElectricMud
http://www.instagram.com/theelectricmud
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
http://www.smallstone.bandcamp.com

The Electric Mud, “First Murder on Mars” official video

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Somali Yacht Club Sign to Season of Mist; Reissues & New Album Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Hey, that’s awesome. Good for you, Somali Yacht Club. Along with Stoned Jesus being on Napalm, the Lviv trio’s signing to Season of Mist is the biggest heavy-underground inking I can think of — please correct me if I’m wrong. It’s good news in any case, and all the more so since it comes with word of a new album on the horizon. That’ll be fun, especially as it coincides with reissues for 2018’s The Sea (review here) and 2014’s The Sun (discussed here). Sign me up for new stuff for sure.

I’m normally in favor of get-it-all-out-there-as-fast-as-possible-or-at-least-send-it-to-me-early, but in Somali Yacht Club‘s case, if the new record doesn’t show up for a bit, I think that might be okay and give people a chance to get caught up. The Sea and The Sun both resonate on a frequency ill-suited to a quick superficial listen. These are records worth diving into. If a reissue gets an opportunity to do that before being overshadowed by a new album, I think that’d be fine.

On the hand, new stuff please.

It’s an ongoing debate. With myself. Because I don’t have friends.

Anyhow, congrats to the band and cheers to Season of Mist on the ace pickup:

somali yacht club

SOMALI YACHT CLUB Signs to Season of Mist

Season of Mist are proud to announce the signing of psychedelic stoner rock trio SOMALI YACHT CLUB! The band will be releasing a brand new album as well as their back catalogue via Season of Mist in the near future. Stay tuned!

The band comments: “We’re proud to announce that our new album will be released on the Season of Mist. It’s an honor to be part of their roster, featuring many bands that are significant to us. We’re very excited and hope that this cooperation will be fruitful! “

For a glimpse of what to expect, check out SOMALI YACHT CLUB on Bandcamp!

SOMALI YACHT CLUB is a psychedelic stoner rock trio from Lviv, Ukraine. It started out as a jam session between band members from different Lviv groups, but soon turned into the main act for each of them.

The trio self-released the demo EP called ‘Sandsongs’ in 2011. After this, they played numerous shows in Ukraine and shared the stage with bands like ELDER, KADAVER, RED FANG and others. The first album “The Sun” was released on September 11, 2014 (Robustfellow). After the 2015 release of LP “The Sun” (Bilocation Records) the band went on their first European tour with ETHEREAL RIFFIAN (UA).

In 2018, SOMALI YACHT CLUB released the second album “The Sea” (Robustfellow, Bilocation Records) and toured with STRAYTONES (UA) and STONED JESUS Jesus (UA). The stoner rockers have played at festivals like Void, Swamp, Keep It Low and several Garmonbozia festivals.

Genre: Psychedelic Stoner Rock

Line-up:
Ihor – guitar, vocals, keys
Artur – bass
Oleksa – drums

http://facebook.com/Somaliyachtclub
http://somaliyachtclub.bandcamp.com
http://instagram.com/somaliyachtclub
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Somali Yacht Club, The Sea (2018)

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