The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Recap: Episode 13

Posted in Radio on April 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

gimme radio logo

This was a good one. After last episode, which was kind of working on a theme of balancing different kinds of heavy against each other, it felt rewarding to just get down to business and play some tunes without worrying really about some grander statement. Plus, during the voice breaks I got to bitch about having a cold, and you know I loves me some complaining. What other recourse is there for such a condition? DayQuil? Well, okay, yes, but also complaining.

Anyway, it starts with new  Experience the Australias best online assignment help service at My http://fam.weihenstephan.de/intro/index.php?1198. Our team of professional assignment helpers, will provide you Valley of the Sun because golly goodness golly golly is that record good, and then there’s some  http://www.sluncevdome.cz/?how-to-write-conclusion-in-dissertation writing from our online writing service. Our essays are of top-notch quality and have affordable prices. High Reeper, and then Are you looking for official site Online? We provide plagiarism-free online dissertation help services for the UK students by Ph.D. experts at the best Saint Vitus because I’m still so gosh darn proud of having premiered that track that I included it basically as a gloat to myself. It’s mostly new music this time, which is how I like it, but I’ll say that in doing my typical classic-track thing, the intro to  Best Custom Dissertation Writing Service. Are you a student, personal essay for medical school application bests. It is not an easy task to find the service you can trust. Electric Wizard‘s “Funeralopolis” is the best one I’ve ever done. Look out for the  http://www.turnierhundesport.at/?online-cv-writing-service.org / Freelance Writing / Writing / Creative Writing / Web Site for Today's Working Writers Centrum and  PhD Thesis Editors in UK offer unmatched Hedge Fund Business Plan Template Services. Our editing service in UK includes Grammar check, Structure and Sentence Flow and Sigils tracks — both are marvelous — and though I was basically late to the party on  how to write an acknowledgement for a dissertation Cheapest Essayss On Education literary analysis essay brave new world college personal Mammoth Grove‘s  Do you want to pay someone to write your college paper or essay? Just order 'Calinon Phd Thesis' help online and get quality academic writing help now Slow Burn, which came out last year, “Gloria” makes an excellent closer to the set, which doesn’t really have a miss in the bunch. Again, it was a good one.

Note the second airing has moved from Tuesday morning to Thursday morning. It’ll be this Thursday at 6AM Eastern, which I’m calling the “Euro airing,” which means it comes with universal healthcare and old buildings, I guess. That’ll be fun, and hopefully the cold will be gone by then, because it certainly isn’t yet.

Here’s the full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 03.31.19

Valley of the Sun Means the Same Old Gods*
High Reeper Eternal Leviathan Higher Reeper*
Saint Vitus Bloodshed Saint Vitus*
BREAK
La Grande Armée Normandía La Grande Armée*
Sigils Faceless You Built the Altar, You Lit the Leaves*
Pyramidal Digital Madness Pyramidal*
Spaceslug Ahtmosphere Split with Major Kong, Dopelord & Weedpecker*
BREAK
Electric Wizard Funeralopolis Dopethrone
Abrahma Lost Forever In Time for the Last Rays of Light*
Centrum Stjärnor För Meditation*
The Devil and the Almighty Blues Salt the Earth Tre*
BREAK
Monocluster Leviathan Ocean*
Mammoth Grove Gloria Slow Burn

The Obelisk Show on Get professional dissertation writing help online at BuyDissertation.net. check with 50% discount! Prices start from per page. Gimme Radio airs every other Sunday night at 7PM Eastern, with replays the following Thursday at 6AM. Next show is April 14. Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Radio website

The Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

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Quarterly Review: Kungens Män, PFUND, Crystal Spiders, The Misery Men, Hubris, Woorms, Melody Fields, Oreyeon, Mammoth Grove, Crimson Devils

Posted in Reviews on March 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

I used to be pretty artsy and write poetry. Let’s give it a shot:

There was an old man who wore no-toe shoes.
He said, I’mma go do 60 reviews.
He was out of his head,
Should’ve gone back to bed,
But he loves him some dirty psych blues.

Years from now, when I link back to this post for a “(review here)”-type scenario, I’m going to see that and I’ll still think it’s funny. The planet’s dying. I’d say a bit of silly is more than called for.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Kungens Män, Chef

kungens man chef

Krautrockers, assemble! Or, you know, whatever krautrockers do — I assume it involves homemade spacecraft that, yes, absolutely fly. Perhaps one of these days I’ll ask Stockholm’s How To Write A Religion Paper online to get the best paper. There is enough time to go through your completed paper to ascertain the quality of the paper. Kungens Män, whose latest outing for PhD Wifi Self Assigned Ip Address in UK by Regent Editing has been recommended by over 545 UK Universities. Enquire Now. Riot Season, simply titled Where can you find the best web link? Our writers are ready to render you a complex analysis of your topic with thought-out academic Chef, is an outbound delight of psych-infused progressivism. Beginning with the opening throb of “Fyrkantig Böjelse” and moving into the volume swells, steady drum line and wandering guitar that starts “Öppen För Stängda Dörrar” on side A, its four extended tracks craft otherworldly textures through a meld of organic instrumental flow and waves of synth, the second cut building to a tense wash of distortion all the while keeping that hypnotic march. The two corresponding 10-minute-plus cuts on side B waste no time in offering cosmic boogie in “Män Med Medel” with a more active rhythmic flow, and closer “Eftertankens Blanka Krankhet” — longer than the opener by one second at 11:24 — fades in on meditative guitar and explores a serene minimalism that only underscores the all around joy of the album.

Kungens Man on Thee Facebooks

Riot Season Records webstore

 

PFUND, PFUND

pfund pfund

The self-titled, self-released debut full-length from Kiel, Germany’s Tech Writer Today article that defines technical writing, introduces key concepts and provides guidance for blog heres starting their careers. PFUND arrives and departs with a guesting horn section, and while that inevitably adds a bit of grandeur to the proceedings, the bulk of the outing is dedicated to straightforward, semi-metallic heavy rock, held to ground even in the seven-minute “Spaceman” by a considered sense of structure and an earthy drum sound that draws the songs together, whether it’s the classic riff rock in “Sea of Life” or the moodier sway in the earlier “Lost in Rome.” Dual guitars effectively multiply the impact, and the vocals showcase a nascent sense of melody that one imagines will only continue to grow as the band moves forward. At nine songs and 44 minutes, it shows some breadth and nuance in “Exhaustion” and “Paranoia,” the former tapping into an edge of progressive metal, but the primary impact comes from write my dissertation uk help abstract research paper format essay oniline need help write research paper introduction PFUND‘s heft of groove and how it blends with a rawer edge to their production. The Poems by Carolyn creates personalized poems, here Services. Carolyn has helped thousands of celebrations come to life. Kyuss-referencing centerpiece here might be called “Imbalance,” but that’s hardly representative of what surrounds, horns and all.

PFUND on Thee Facebooks

PFUND on Bandcamp

 

Crystal Spiders, Demo

crystal spiders demo

Three songs, 11 minutes and three distinct vibes from the aptly-titled  Demo demo of North Carolinian three-piece Crystal Spiders. On “Tigerlily,” “Flamethrower” and “Devil’s Resolve,” the trio of bassist/vocalist Brenna Leath (also Lightning Born), guitarist/vocalist Mike Deloatch and drummer/backing vocalist Tradd Yancey careen from bluesy spaciousness to hard-driving catchiness and end up — because why not? — in repeating cult-sludge chants, “Come to the devil’s resolve!” like Black Widow trying to lure people to the sabbat, except shouting. If the purpose of a demo is for a new band to try different methods of working and thereby take a first step in discovering their sound, Crystal Spiders are well on their way, and for what it’s worth, there isn’t anything within their scope as they present it that doesn’t work for them. There are edges to smooth out, of course, but that too is a part of the process starting here.

Crystal Spiders on Thee Facebooks

Crystal Spiders on Bandcamp

 

The Misery Men, Deathspiration

The Misery Men Deathspiration

If you’d asked, depending on which part of Deathspiration was on, I’d probably have called The Misery Men a bass/drum duo, but nope, that’s guitar. Tonally one is reminded of At Devil Dirt from Chile, but the Portland, Oregon, two-piece of vocalist/guitarist Corey G. Lewis and drummer Steve Jones are entirely more barebones in their craft, eschewing digital involvement of any sort in the recording or mixing process and sounding duly raw as a result throughout the subtle earworm of “C.W. Sughrue” and the lumbering “Harness the Darkness.” The subsequent “Night Creeps In” brings a Northwestern noise payoff to quiet/loud trades and the near-10-minute closer “Stoned to Death,” well, it seems to meet an end befitting its title, to say the least. As their stated intent was to capture the most organic version of their sound possible, and made a point of working toward that ideal in their recording, one could hardly fault them for the results of that process. They wanted something human-sounding. They got it.

The Misery Men on Thee Facebooks

The Misery Men on Bandcamp

 

Hubris, EP #II Live

hubris ep ii live

Some — not all — of what one needs to know about HubrisEP #II Live is right there in the title. Indeed, it’s their second EP. Indeed, it was recorded live. And indeed, like using a ‘#’ sign with a Roman numeral, there’s something about the way the three included songs from the Toulouse, France-based outfit sound that’s just a little bit off-kilter from what you might expect. “Zugzwang” (7:19), “Tergo” (19:58) and “Biotilus” (27:04) are arranged shortest to longest, and while the opener starts off like Queens of the Stone Age on an Eastern-tinged psychedelic bender, the lengthy jams that follow — the first of them with a fervent drum punctuation, the second a gradual intertwining of synth and guitar with hardly any percussion at all until after its 22nd minute. The instrumental flow that ensues from there is almost like a hidden bonus track, at least until they Hubris get to minute 26 and the whole thing explodes in crash and plod. The underlying message, of course, is that if you think you’re safe at any point, you’re not.

Hubris on Thee Facebooks

Hubris on Bandcamp

 

Woorms, Slake

woorms slake

Lumbering fuckall pervades the debut full-length, Slake, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, sludgers Woorms — also stylized all-caps — which incorporates past singles “Find a Meal Find a Bed Find a God” and “Mouth is a Wound” amid the sample/noise barrage of “Our Lady of Perpetually Shitfaced” and the willfully brash “Racist Kevin” that follows. There’s an edge of Melvinsian chug to the proceedings, but Woorms‘ take, though presented in finished compositions, comes across as almost nihilistic rather than making a show of its experimentalism. That is, they’re trying to say they don’t give a fuck, and in listening, they make it kind of easy to believe, but there’s still something about the cohesiveness of “Veni Vidi Fucki” and “Rice Crispy” and the saved-the-best-nod-for-last finale “Sore Afraid” that undercuts the notion even while making the listening experience all the more pummeling, and from the intro “Corpse Corps” through “Urine Trouble Now”‘s echoing shouts and the closer’s unmitigated stomp, there’s still plenty of exploration being done.

WOORMS on Thee Facebooks

WOORMS on Bandcamp

 

Oreyeon, Ode to Oblivion

Oreyeon Ode to Oblivion

Rebranded since their 2016 debut, Builders of Cosmos (discussed here), from their more phonetically intuitive original moniker, Orion, Italy’s Oreyeon issue a cosmically expansive spacescape follow-up in their six-song/40-minute sophomore outing, Ode to Oblivion, also their first release through Heavy Psych Sounds. Echoing vocals pervade “Big Surprise” after the introductory “T.I.O.” and “Trudging to Vacuity” establish the wide-cast mix and anti-grav rhythmic density, and the nine-minute side A finale title-track runs mostly-instrumental circles around most of what I’d usually call “prog” only after it lays down a sleek hook in the first couple minutes. After “Big Surprise,” the 8:45 “The Ones” trades volume back and forth but finds its breadth at about the sixth minute as the dramatic lead turns on a dime to desert rock thrust en route to wherever the hell it goes next. Honestly, after that moment, everything’s gravy, but Oreyeon lay it on thick with closer “Starship Pusher” and never neglect melody in the face of nod. Worth a deeper dig if you get the chance.

Oreyeon on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Melody Fields, Melody Fields

melody fields melody fields

Sometimes you hear a record and it’s like the band is doing you a favor by existing. To that, thanks Melody Fields. The Gothenburg psych troupe lace their lysergic flow with folkish harmonies and an open sensibility on their self-titled debut that comes coupled with enough tonal presence to still consider them heavy not that it matters. They break out the sax on “Morning Sun” to welcome effect, and the sun continues to shine through “Liberty” and the garage-buzzing “Run” before “Rain Man” turns water droplets into keyboard notes and Beatlesian — think “Rain” — voice arrangements atop soothing instrumental drift, every bit the centerpiece and an excellent precursor to the acoustic-based “Fire” and the 10-minute “Trädgränsen,” which is the crowning achievement of this self-titled debut, which, if I’d been hip to it in time, would’ve made both the 2018 best albums and best debuts list. They cap with a reprise of “Morning Sun” and underscore the solid foundation beneath the molten beauty of their work throughout. To ask for another album seems greedy, but I will anyway. More, please.

Melody Fields on Thee Facebooks

Sound Effect Records website

 

Mammoth Grove, Slow Burn

mammoth grove slow burn

Okay, look, enough screwing around. It’s time for someone to sign Mammoth Grove. The Calgary natives have been putting out quality heavy psych rock since their 2011 self-titled debut (review here), and their latest long-player, the four-song Slow Burn is a righteous amalgam of peace-thru-rock that lives up to its freewheeling vibes in “Seasons” after the methodical opener “Valleys” and rolls out a bit of melodic ’70s biker rock bliss in “Black Meadow” before the side-B-consuming “Gloria” (18:42) asks early if you’re ready to go and then goes like gone, gone, gone, and gone further. Given the analog mindset involved and the heart on display throughout, there’s something fitting about it being pressed up in an edition of 100 hand-screenprinted LPs and 100 CDs likewise, but the more people who could hear it, the merrier, so yeah, some label or other needs to step up and make that happen, and I dare you to listen to the solo that hits past the 14-minute mark in “Gloria” and tell me otherwise. Dare you.

Mammoth Grove on Thee Facebooks

Mammoth Grove on Bandcamp

 

Crimson Devils, A Taste for Blood

crimson devils a taste for blood

Since pared down to a trio from the four-piece incarnation they present here, Austin’s Crimson Devils first released their debut, A Taste for Blood, in 2017, but gave it a vinyl revisit last year and it’s little mystery why. The record comprises 11 sharply-composed tracks of Small Stone-style heavy rock, taking cues from Sasquatch in modern-via-classic modus, picking and choosing elements of ’70s and ’90s rock to conjure formidable groove and engaging hooks. There’s considerable swagger and weight in “They Get It,” and while opener “Dead and Gone” seems to show an influence in its vocal patterning from Elder, as the album unfolds, it’s more about the blast of “Captain Walker” or the penultimate “Nothing to Claim” and the straight-ahead vibes of “Bad News Blues” and “No Action” than anything so outwardly prog. There’s plenty to dig in the rock-for-rockers mindset, and it’s the kind of offering that should probably come with an octane rating. However such things are measured, safe to say it would not be low.

Crimson Devils on Thee Facebooks

Crimson Devils on Bandcamp

 

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Calgary 420 Fest Lineup: Wo Fat, Black Mastiff, Anciients, Chron Goblin, Mammoth Grove and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wo fat necro blanca photography

Appropriately enough, the Calgary 420 Fest starts on April 20 and will feature a host of stoner and other heavy types of acts across its three-day stretch. Among the notables is Wo Fat (above), who’ll be making their debut appearance in Canada as headliners for the final evening, along with Black Mastiff and Anciients on the nights preceding, and a slew of native Canadian bands to go along with, from Mammoth Grove and Chron Goblin to the sludgy likes of Lavagoat and the classic heavy rock of La Chinga. There’s also a bunch of weedian whathaveyou going on as a part of it, as the PR wire details below, food trucks and a beard contest, so seems like a good time on any number of levels.

Details follow:

calgary 420 fest lineup

Calgary’s 420 Music & Arts Festival Announce Concert Line Up w/ Wo Fat, Anciients, Black Mastiff and more!

April 20, 21, 22 @ Distortion
3828 MacLeod Trail S., Calgary, Alberta T2G 2R2

Big Rock Brewery & METALHEADS UNITED Presents the 420 Music & Arts Festival at Distortion – Live Music Venue in Calgary, AB, Canada, April 20, 21 and 22, 2017.

The 420 Music & Arts Festival is a three day celebration featuring 22 Stoner Rock, Desert Rock, Doom & Sludge Metal and Fuzzy, Kick Ass Rock n Roll bands surrounding the culture that is 420. Headlining this inaugural year all the way from Dallas, TX for their first Canadian performance, stoner legends WO FAT, Vancouver’s ANCIIENTS and Edmonton/ Vancouver based BLACK MASTIFF.

In addition to all the rad music, festival attendees will have the opportunity to view and purchase the work of select local artists, artisans and craftsman at the 420 Expo, Saturday, April 22 at Distortion from 10am-4pm. Interspersed with vendors of interesting and eclectic wares will be information on medical marijuana and hemp products and even more 420 enthusiasts. Select vendors, artists and marijuana related companies will be available in the evenings at the festival as well. NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) will be in attendance to answer questions.

You will be able to indulge your desire for munchies with a variety delectable culinary creations from some of Southern Alberta’s best food trucks. If that isn’t enough, each night of the festival there will be an opportunity to show off your glorious facial hair in our beard contest. Celebrity judges will decide who moves onto the final round on the last night of the festival where one beard will rule them all!

* Big Rock Beer is exclusive beer for the 420 Music & Arts Festival

* 420 Music & Arts Festival will be the very first Canadian performance by Dallas, TX stoner rock legends Wo Fat

Festival Lineup:

Overall Festival Event Link (Main Link) www.facebook.com/events/226953177757584/

Wednesday, April 19 – Pre-Fest – FREE SHOW + Advance Pass Pick Up

Ten Dead Crow
Terminal Human Condition

Thursday, April 20
FB Event www.facebook.com/events/240616399708945/

Black Mastiff (Edmonton, AB/Vancouver, BC)
HighKicks (Calgary, AB)
La Chinga (Vancouver, BC)
The Electric Revival (Calgary, AB)
Buffalo Bud Buster (Calgary, AB)
Hypnopilot (Calgary, AB)
Set & Stoned (Crossfield, AB)

Friday, April 21
FB event www.facebook.com/events/1702426476734012/

Anciients (Vancouver, BC)
Dead Quiet (Vancouver, BC)
Lavagoat (Saskatoon, SK)
Orbital Express (Regina, SK)
ChronoBot (Prince Albert, SK)
Lordosis (Calgary, AB)
Hunted By Ravens (Red Deer, AB)

Saturday, April 22
FB event www.facebook.com/events/795080193963870/

Wo Fat (Dallas, Texas, USA) First ever appearance in Canada
Chron Goblin (Calgary, AB)
Cowpuncher (Calgary, AB)
Mammoth Grove (Calgary, AB)
NVGR (Nikki Valentine & Gypsy Riders) (Calgary, AB)
Black Thunder (Regina, SK)
Brown Dwarf (Red Deer, AB)
Bazaraba (Calgary, AB)

Ticket links:

Available at http://www.420musicandartsfestival.ca/store-2/ and on FB page on the festival store https://store10885031.ecwid.com/.

https://www.facebook.com/events/226953177757584
http://www.420musicandartsfestival.ca/
http://www.twitter.com/420FestivalYYC
http://www.facebook.com/420MusicAndArtsFestival
http://www.instagram.com/420MusicandArtsFestival

Wo Fat, Midnight Cometh (2016)

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Mammoth Grove Take in the Scenery in “The Storm” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 12th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

mammoth-grove

Heavy hippie trio Mammoth Grove released their debut album, Suncatcher (review here), late last year, and the Calgary natives have spent much of 2016 supporting it in one way or another, whether that’s through local shows, hitting the road or putting together a video like their new one for “The Storm.” Frankly, after watching it, I think the band would be hard-pressed to come up with a better representation of the chill vibes they elicit. It’s not that their stuff is shoegazing — or at least not shoegazing all the time — as you can hear in “The Storm,” but there’s just something serene overarching their work so that, even at its most active, it’s nods and smiles in kind.

The video plays to this by finding the band wandering through nature — it may or may not be the Canadian Badlands, where the above photo was also taken — in various settings by streams and canyons, etc., as well as rocking out on a presumably imaginary stage set up in their van, which of course is parked out in the woods. Like Suncatcher as a whole, it’s a fun trip that holds substance despite being kind of lighthearted in its presentation, and it balances psychedelia with heavy rock and blues with an ease of approach that wipes out any suspicion of the band’s material being tossed off or haphazard. Their bounce gets fairly raucous in “The Storm,” but never lose sight of that cool, languid flow that carries across the record’s entirety.

If you haven’t heard the album, it’s streaming in full on their Bandcamp page, which is linked at the bottom of this post. More info follows the video below.

Please enjoy:

Mammoth Grove, “The Storm” official video

The band’s collective musical inspiration knows no boundaries, ranging from grunge, indie, doom metal, blues and beyond. However, what really drives the trio is the beauty and brilliance found in nature. Many of their songs contain stirring recollections of time spent amongst giants of the forest. Additionally, Mammoth Grove thrives within live jam sessions, connecting to the ever powerful flow-state to fuel their creative process.

With two independently released EPs already under their belt, the Calgary-based trio is now supporting their first full length release, Suncatcher (2015), a mix of both established and fresh songs from the Mammoth Grove repertoire.

Mammoth Grove on Thee Facebooks

Mammoth Grove on Bandcamp

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Mammoth Grove, Suncatcher: Taking the Long Road

Posted in Reviews on January 18th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

mammoth grove suncatcher

Calgary heavy psych three-piece Mammoth Grove make their full-length debut with Suncatcher. Recorded in May 2014 and issued late in 2015, it’s a nine-song/46-minute collection self-released on CD that maintains the live, natural feel of the band’s two prior EPs, 2012’s Taste of What’s to Come (review here) and 2011’s self-titled (review here), but arrives with an immediately distinguishing element as well in the shared vocal duties between guitarist Devan Forster, bassist Tad Hynes and drummer Kurtis Urban. It seems to be Forster in the lead role at least most of the time if not all of it, but Hynes and Urban join in for backing harmonies on songs like “Gateway” that add a ’70s progressive feel to what are otherwise somewhat understated grooves.

Indeed, much of Suncatcher seems to thrive on playing seemingly disparate ideas off each other in mood or instrumental theme. Opener “The Storm” and “Sun Dance” create a sense of space that “Long Road” and “Rollin'” push against in swaggering, swinging fashion, and while distinctively weighted, Mammoth Grove‘s tones are never overblown, so the end result is almost like a shoegaze band decided to look up and start having a good time. Suncatcher bleeds that spirit. It’s evident in the starts and stops of “Choppin’ off Goblins,” and the sparsely-guitared back half of “Sun Dance,” held together by drums and vocal harmonies as it builds back to the earlier chorus. Even in titles like “Choppin’ off Goblins,” “Rollin'” and “Burnin'” — the album also ends with “Kirstin,” but one doubts it’s actually about somebody named Kirsting — Suncatcher is open in its informality, and that winds up being one more inviting aspect as the tracks play out across its span.

There’s no pretense about any of it. Even in grandly harmonized moments in “Burnin’,” “Gateway” or the chorus of “Long Road,” Suncatcher holds to its organic, stage-ready feel. Prior outings were recorded live, and there are flourishes of Echoplex effects and instrumental layering throughout that make it seem more like basic tracks were built on in the studio before vocals were laid down, but there’s a vibrancy at work nonetheless. “Long Road” doesn’t just pretend to have vitality, it actually has it, and as Mammoth Grove make their way through the midsection of the album with “Rollin'” and “Burnin’,” that doesn’t diminish. From “The Storm” onward, they seem intent on bridging the divides they’ve set up, between the natural and constructed, the grand and humble, brash and contemplative. The fact that they’re hard to pin between one or the other of any of those sides, and the fact that the songwriting is strong enough to carry them as they play to these different sides, make Suncatcher all the more successful.

mammoth-grove

Hooks are subtle, but made for repeat visits, and that’s another factor that begins with the bass/drum unfolding of “The Storm” and continues through the opening salvo of “Long Road” and “Sun Dance,” which begins quieter and moves fluidly into its still-upbeat-but-more-spacious second half en route to the momentum building of “Rollin'” and “Burnin'” that sets up what feels like it might be intended as a vinyl side switch as “Gateway” and “Choppin’ off Goblins” take hold. Not that the flow doesn’t continue, but the classic boogie at the core of “Gateway” and the higher-impact starts and stops of “Choppin’ off Goblins” — which vocally reminds of a shoutier The Golden Grass, who’d not yet made their debut when Suncatcher was recorded — feel distinct from what came before them, and all the more so as they make their way toward the closing duo of “Silver Lagoon” and “Kirstin.”

Mood shifts considerably on that closing duo, which one into the next also comprise the two longest cuts on Suncatcher at 6:48 and 7:12, respectively. “Silver Lagoon” picks up as it moves toward its middle third, but drops back again to a slow-swirling psychedelic blues as it turns over to classic lead guitar and bass work and shifts into a quiet verse and a crescendo finish that makes it clear the swagger preceding wasn’t just about empty sonic boasting. The track bleeds directly into “Kirstin,” with its sparse opening guitar and backing effects setting up Mammoth Grove‘s most spacious feel throughout. Its feel is different because of that intro, but the verse/chorus substance of “Kirstin” isn’t outlandishly different from an earlier cut like “Burnin'” or “The Storm,” but it makes a big finish in its last minute with crashing, kicking drums and sustained harmonies that close Suncatcher on one of its larger notes.

As a whole, it makes a cohesive ending and summarizes the breadth of the songs before, but as part of that, it also maintains that somewhat restrained feel, aware of its place on the proverbial dance floor. As Mammoth Grove skillfully tightrope that delicate balance without falling, their awaited debut long-player, even approaching two years since it was put to tape, both pays off the considerable promise of their earlier EPs and offers further intrigue as to what avenues they might take as they continue to grow. Some of their methods are familiar, but Suncatcher is nonetheless a brew working from its own recipe.

Mammoth Grove, Suncatcher (2015)

Mammoth Grove on Thee Facebooks

Mammoth Grove on Bandcamp

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Reviewsplosion: 10 Records, One Post

Posted in Reviews on July 3rd, 2012 by JJ Koczan

About six weeks ago, I had a major change in my work situation, and what was a part-time job that took up very little of my day-to-day became a much bigger factor in terms of how I spend my time. I’ve mentioned it here in bitching posts mostly on Fridays, but it’s been a big shift that’s meant a lot of late nights working and still trying to keep up with The Obelisk and still see The Patient Mrs. every now and again.

I tell you this because in an effort to catch up with the humongous backlog of reviews I have, I’ve decided to tackle 10 at once. Whether or not this is the most responsible use of my limited time, I don’t know, but it’s something I’m trying and hoping it works out. It’s going to be a challenge (how many different ways are there to say “heavy?”), but these are records that I don’t really have the time I thought I did to dedicate when I said I’d review them, and that were sent to me in physical form. If they were digital, I’d probably just let them go and say screw it.

And I know this isn’t going to be the deepest analysis I’ve ever done, but hopefully it’ll be enough to convey what’s going on with each release. Thanks to the bands for submitting their hard work, and as ever, to you for reading. Deep breath and dive in:

Demon Lung, Pareidolia

For being named after an Electric Wizard song, Las Vegas foursome Demon Lung aren’t nearly as weedian as one might expect. Rather, the band (who formed last year) keep to a pretty traditional-type doom style on the four tracks of their self-released debut EP. The guitars are high in the mix, but they’ve more or less got the formula down here — riff out and do it slowly. “Death Mask” has a satisfying chug in its closing moments and the more ambient finish the EP gets with its title-track speaks well of where they might go from here. No complaints. Demon Lung on Bandcamp.

 

Elmi, From the Ground

An experimental/noise/drone Norwegian duo who are short neither on volume nor tone, Elmi take bass indulgences and mash them headfirst into Hammond and mellotron. Extended pieces like the 19-minute “Nyaraladronetep” and 14-minute “Unhappy is He to Whom the Memories of Childhood Bring Only Fear and Sadness” are unrepentantly abrasive, but the experiments vary. In comparison, the sample-led “Maciara’s Revenge” is almost sweet. Limited to a physical pressing of 121 copies in honor of its vocal-droning closing track, the From the Ground has already been followed up by a live album of which only five CD copies remain. Elmi on Bandcamp.

 

Large Marge, Large Marge

It’s ass-kicking Southern heavy grooves, dual-riffing, screams and yowls and no shortage of feedback to dirty it up, and the more I hear Large Marge’s self-titled, self-released debut full-length, the more it earns its Johnny Weills-era Alabama Thunderpussy comparison. That’s a good thing. The dudely Louisiana-based foursome are pro-produced and do right by the mix to keep Aaron Myers’ vocals subsumed beneath his and Luke Duke’s guitars, making them sound even bigger. “Black Coffee” isn’t a Black Flag cover, but by the time they get around to the psychedelically ranging “Stoned Waltz” and “Up in Smoke,” I’ve forgotten that and the rest of my woes. Large Marge on Facebook.

 

Lavagoat, Monoliths of Mars

Their 2010 full-length (review here) also impressed with its complexity, and Saskatoon four-piece Lavagoat’s second outing, Monoliths of Mars, greatly expands the scope. Four tracks and 45 minutes, the crush of “Forge of Vulcan” is offset by spaced-out atmospheric noise and a continuation of the Cathedral-style vocal cadences that showed up last time out on “Planet of the Dead.” Wonderfully varied in its approach and monstrously heavy, the album culminates with the 21-minute title-track, which unfortunately drops to feedback and drones after seven minutes in, but revives near the end for a bit of psychedelic exploration. Recommended. Lavagoat on Twitter.

 

Mammoth Grove, Taste of What’s to Come

A bit of a sampler EP from this Calgary outfit, but still worth a look for the quality of songcraft and raw but still lush feel the four tracks elicit. Mammoth Grove inhabit a pastoral sphere and without forcing one second of what they do on Taste of What’s to Come, manage to engulf the listener before the 2:47 of instrumental opener “Hazey Wave” is over. “Talon” and “Million Miles” are more classically progressive than was some of their also-humble 2011 self-titled EP, and rawly produced with the vocals high in the mix of closer “Emerald,” but it’s still enough to get the titular taste of where they’re headed, and I continue to be intrigued. Mammoth Grove on Bandcamp.

 

Misty Morning, Saint Shroom

Released on limited-to-250 transparent red 12” vinyl by Doomanoid Records, the Saint Shroom 22-minute EP by Roman doomers Misty Morning offers two extended tracks of ceremonial doom, thick riffs and gruff vocals peppered with synth flourish and deft tempo shifts. Both “Saint Shroom” and “Jellotron” work in a similar vein (the latter is most post-Cathedral, vocally), but the release is really too short for the formula to get tired. I wonder how it would hold up on a full-length, and I wonder if there isn’t a way to play up the weirdness that shows up at the end of “Jellotron” more in the songwriting. Misty Morning on Bandcamp.

 

Mothership, Mothership

The self-titled and self-released full-length debut from Texas trio Mothership was recorded by Kent Stump of Wo Fat and holds much of the same fuzzy appeal as that band, if put to a use more directed at early metal than heavy rock. It’s balls-out, either way. Righteous solos from Kelley Juett well complemented by Kyle Juett’s bass and Judge Smith’s drumming, the songs get somewhat redundant after a while, but I might be single-minded too if I was this good at one thing. Cool shit, professional production from Stump and a bastard of a groove on “Elenin.” And everywhere else. Mothership on Bandcamp.

 

Muffler Men, Trigger and Fly

A pop-minded Belgian threesome heavily indebted to Queens of the Stone Age, Ghent’s Muffler Men have a highlight for their first LP, Trigger and Fly, in opener “Daily Taste of Summer,” and the only trouble with that is that then you have the rest of the record to get through. Fortunately a track like “Mistakes” offers a landmark, but by the time the horns kick in on closer “All Dressed Up,” it’s so “I Think I Lost My Headache” that I’m wondering why I’m not listening to that song in the first place. Not bad for what it is, and crisply executed, but there’s room to grow stylistically. Muffler Men on Facebook.

 

Nauticus, The Wait

Kudos to Finnish progressive metallers Nauticus for making an album that’s as rich visually as it is sonically. The Wait’s art is striking, and the music of the double-guitar five-piece follows suit, bending a Tool influence ever so slightly to make it more their own. At 59 minutes, it’s an album that requires full attention to be really appreciated, though it should say something that after listening to it for an hour I’d still be up for such a thing. They broadcast their self-indulgence, but a slew of guest appearances and complex arrangements make each song as fascinating on its own as when taken together as a whole. Nauticus on Bandcamp.

 

Thunderfist, Thunderfist

With songs so simple they’re like AC/DC on amphetamines – which I guess is how heavy metal was made in the first place – boozy, sleazy rockers Thunderfist hail from the serenity of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. That may or may not account for the havoc they wreak on this self-titled outing through ECG Records, but their upbeat, unironic fuckall is appreciated in any case. Tracks are short and sweet and unafraid to leave bruises. A bit of classic rock ‘n’ roll misogyny takes away from the charm, but that kind of thing is apparently inevitable. I’ll take the rolling groove of “The Wizard’s Lament” over the more forced-sounding “None of Your Business,” but that’s me. You may feel differently. Thunderfist on Facebook.

Thanks again for indulging me. Back to normal tomorrow.

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Mammoth Grove, Mammoth Grove: The Groove Gets Naked

Posted in Reviews on July 27th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

There’s something unassuming about Mammoth Grove’s Mammoth Grove EP. Tracked completely live in one session and released by the band in conjunction with Lazyman Records, the five-track offering has a humble, soft psychedelia to it, vaguely indie, but altogether more grooving and without the lofty apathetic posturing that seems to make up so much of the fashionista scene. Mammoth Grove is raw, and one can hear in listening the room that an organ or some other manner of psych swirling might fill, but that’s also part of the appeal of the release – where so much psychedelia is hell bent on lush noise and sounds so full they border on overwhelming, this Canadian trio has been able to affect a soothing and natural atmosphere with just guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Their material isn’t especially complex, but it has a calming effect that works well with the organic-mindedness the band shows in their name and in closing duo “Black Ocean” and “Deep Cove.”

Opener “Generation” (which is listed second on the CD) immediately links Mammoth Grove to a late-‘60s feel with the lines, “It’s about that time again/A generation’s sick of war again.” Guitarist/vocalist Devan Forster never really goes into full-on fuzz with his tone, but his bluesy lead work is both technically fascinating and grooving, and his voice, free of any discernable effects apart perhaps from some reverb, is well balanced in the songs. He clearly strains his voice in singing “Mammoth Grove,” reaching for some of the notes, but given that the EP is live and given the overall mood of the tracks, it works.

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