The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2016

Posted in Features on December 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk top 20 short releases

help with reflective essay. At best essay writing service review platform, students will get best suggestions of best essay writing services by expert reviews Please note: This post is not culled in any way from the Year-End Poll, which is ongoing. If you haven’t yet contributed your favorites of 2016 to that, please do.

Yeah, I know I said as much when the Top 20 Debut Albums of 2016 went up, but I take it back: this is the hardest list to put together. And to be honest, there’s a part of me that’s hesitant even to post it because I know as soon as I do someone’s going to be like, “No way you dick your entire existence is shit because you forgot Release X,” and very likely they’ll be right. Up to the very moment this post is going live, I’ve been making changes, and I expect I’ll continue to do so for a while after it’s out there.

So what’s a “short release?” That’s another issue. Pretty much anything that’s not an album. Singles, digital or physical, as well as EPs, splits, demos, and so on. The category becomes nebulous, but my general rule is if it’s not a full-length, it qualifies as a short release. Sounds simple until you get into things like, “Here’s a track I threw up on Bandcamp,” and “This only came out as a bonus included as a separate LP with the deluxe edition of our album.” I’m telling you, I’ve had a difficult time.

Maybe that’s just me trying to protect myself from impending wrath. This year’s Top 30 albums list provoked some vehement — and, if I may, prickishly-worded — responses, so I might be a bit gunshy here, but on the other hand, I think these outings are worth highlighting, so we’re going forward anyway. If you have something to add, please use the comments below, but remember we’re all friends here and there’s a human being on the other end reading what’s posted. Thanks in advance for that.

And since this is the last list of The Obelisk’s Best-of-2016 coverage, I’ll say thanks for reading as well. More to come in the New Year, of course.

Here we go:

scissorfight chaos county

The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2016

1. Scissorfight, Chaos County EP
2. Earthless / Harsh Toke, Split
3. Mars Red Sky, Providence EP
4. Mos Generator, The Firmament
5. Soldati, Soldati
6. Monolord, Lord of Suffering / Die in Haze EP
7. Wren, Host EP
8. Goya, The Enemy EP
9. The Sweet Heat, Demo
10. River Cult, Demo
11. Stinkeye, Llantera Demos
12. Megaritual, Eclipse EP
13. Ragged Barracudas / Pushy, Split
14. Mindkult, Witchs’ Oath EP
15. Iron Jawed Guru, Mata Hari EP
16. Brume, Donkey
17. Bison Machine / Wild Savages / SLO, Sweet Leaves Vol. 1 Split
18. BoneHawk / Kingnomad, The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Three Split
19. Wicked Gypsy, EP
20. Love Gang, Love Gang EP

Honorable Mention

An expansive category as ever. In addition to what’s above, the following stood out and no doubt more will be added over the course of the next few days. If you feel something is missing, please let me know.

Presented alphabetically:

Cambrian Explosion, The Moon EP
Candlemass, Death Thy Lover EP
Cultist, Cultist EP
Danava, At Midnight You Die 7″
Dos Malés, Dos Malés EP
Druglord, Deepest Regrets EP
Fu Manchu, Slow Ride 7″
Geezer, A Flagrant Disregard for Happiness 12″
Gorilla vs. Grifter, Split
Holy Smoke, Holy Smoke! It’s a Demo!
Karma to Burn, Mountain Czar
LSD and the Search for God, Heaven is a Place EP
Pallbearer, Fear and Fury
Reign of Zaius, Planet Of…
Sea of Bones / Ramlord, Split
Shallows, The Moon Rises
The Skull, EP
Snowy Dunes, “Atlantis Part I” digital single
Sun Voyager / The Mad Doctors, Split
Valborg, Werwolf 7″


Was it just the raw joy of having Scissorfight back? No, but that was for sure part of it. It was also the brazenness with which the New Hampshire outfit let go of their past, particularly frontman Christopher “Ironlung” Shurtleff, and moved forward unwilling to compromise what they wanted to do that made their Chaos County so respectable in my eyes. Having always flourished in the form, they delivered an EP of classic Scissorfight tunes and issued a stiff middle finger to anyone who would dare call them otherwise. They couldn’t have been more themselves no matter who was in the band.

At the same time, it was a hard choice between that and the Earthless / Harsh Toke split for the top spot. I mean, seriously. It’s Earthless — who at this point are the godfathers of West Coast jamadelica — and Harsh Toke, who are among the style’s most engaging upstart purveyors, each stretching out over a huge and encompassing single track. I couldn’t stop listening to that one if I wanted to, and as the year went on, I found I never wanted to.

I was glad when Mars Red Sky included the title-track of the Providence EP as a bonus cut on their subsequent album, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul), both because it tied the two releases together even further and because it gave me another opportunity to hear it every time I listened to the record. Their short releases have always shown significant character apart from their full-lengths, and this was no exception. I still tear up when I hear “Sapphire Vessel.”

To bounce around a bit: Had to get Mos Generator on the list for the progressive expansion of the live-recorded The Firmament. Stickman was right to put that out on vinyl. Both Monolord and Goya provided quick outings of huge riffs to sate their respective and growing followings, while Megaritual’s Eclipse basked in drone serenity and the debut release from Sergio Ch.’s Soldati provided hard-driving heavy rock with the particular nuance for which the former Los Natas frontman is known. It’s the highest among a slew of first/early outings — see also The Sweet Heat, Wren (Host was their second EP), River Cult’s demo, Stinkeye, Mindkult, Iron Jawed Guru, Brume, Wicked Gypsy and Love Gang.

Ultimately, there were fewer splits on the list this year than last year, but I’ll credit that to happenstance more than any emergent bias against the form or lack of quality in terms of what actually came out. The BoneHawk and Kingnomad release, the Ragged Barracudas and Pushy split, and that heavy rocking onslaught from Bison Machine and company were all certainly welcome by me, and I’ll mention Gorilla vs. Grifter there too again, just because it was awesome.

One more time, thank you for reading, and if you have something to add, please do so in the comments below. Your civility in that regard is appreciated.

This is the last of my lists for 2016, but the Readers Poll results are out Jan. 1 and the New Year hits next week and that brings a whole new round of looking-forward coverage, so stay tuned.

As always, there’s much more to come.

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Mars Red Sky, Providence EP: Alien Technology

Posted in Reviews on January 21st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

mars red sky providence ep

Before they issued their second album in 2014, Bordeaux heavy psychedelic rock trio Can I pay someone to Yes! 5Homework offers really PRO geometry homework help. Mars Red Sky offered up a short collection of tracks in 2013 called Good Argumentative Essay Sample service is glad to offer you a vocational assistance with essay English writing without going out. Order essay paper at tasty price and Be My Guide (review here) that, along with a prior 2012 split/collaboration with countrymen a fantastic read - Proofreading and proofediting help from best writers. begin working on your essay right away with qualified guidance presented by Year of No Light, helped to serve as a transition between where they started out on their 2011 self-titled debut (review here) and where that sophomore outing would ultimately take them. When it arrived, Top website architecture assignment help company for businesses and agencies. Our website copywriters can deliver you the desired results. Stranded in Arcadia (review here) was nothing short of revelatory in its sound, leapfrogging the warm-toned fuzz of its predecessor and pushing further into psych and more adventurous songwriting without giving up the soulful melodic fragility of the debut or the heft provided by the guitar of how to write your dissertation discussion Dissertation Services Uk 2007 can you pay someone to write an essay grade 9 essay writing topics Julien Pras and the bass of Dissertation On The Canon And Feudal, financial plan and marketing plan writing. We are providing professional, affordable & custom business writing service. Jimmy Kinast.

As Buy Custom Apa Papers for a cheap price. Any topic, fast completion, quality guarantee. Wondering how to write my essay? Ask us! Be My Guide ultimately served to pave the way for - Get an A+ aid even for the hardest essays. Change the way you deal with your assignment with our approved service Start Stranded in Arcadia, so too does Fast homework help ap english Website You've Been Looking for. Desperately looking for academic services with the question: Who can type my essay as urgent as Providence work in direct conversation with the full-length it precedes. If anything, more efficiently so. The title of the closing track “Sapphire Vessel” ties to the lyrics of “Apex III” from the forthcoming Order a much needed writing service to work on one of your how to assignments. 14-5-2007 Train your kids to do homework without arguing! Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul), and Check out why it is important to read the best essay Example Of A Lab Report For Chemistry. Only this way will you have access to top quality work delivered on time, and Providence acts as a showcase for another significant forward step the band — Did we spoil it? There are. We have brought dissertation writing How To Write A Personal Narrative Essay service for the college and university students Pras, Order Essay Right Now! college homework help sites with an Urgent Deadline? Again, yes. We often receive requests for essays with a deadline of several hours. Kinast and drummer Looking for the Recommended Sites? Youre on the Right Track! How many times have you been completely uninspired by college essay topics? Mathieu “Matgaz” Gazeau — has taken in what’s become one of underground heavy’s most exciting creative progressions. Comprised of three tracks and pressed up via  Listenable Records, it is a brief glimpse of things to come, but offers plenty of substance as more than just a supplemental outing, giving the band space on its second side to flesh out experimentalist tendencies and bring some of their on-stage openness of form to a studio release in a way they haven’t done before.

Helming the recording of “Shot in Providence” is Gabriel Zander, returning to the producer role he held on Stranded in Arcadia, which was recorded when the band was in Brazil. Providence was tracked in Bordeaux, but there are of course traits continued from the one into the next. The track starts dreamy and coated in wah before unveiling the chugging riff that will serve as its core and jamming outward from there en route to its first verse, Pras arriving at about the minute mark to setup the hook with themes of alienation, repetitions of “I was shot in Providence” that will recur in each subsequent verse, and hard rhymes with that line atop that bouncing riff, which Gazeau meets head-on with tom runs and a hi-hat that seems to carry the load as far as time-keeping goes.


Just before 2:40, they abruptly shift back to the intro and top it with a chorus before quickly turning again back into the next verse, making the same change again and fleshing out a lead before stopping after five minutes in and gracefully unfolding a spacier verse of far-off guitar and vocals, building to an explosive heavier push — you’ll know it when Kinast comes back in — that serves as the beginning song’s peak. They’re content to ride that groove for a few measures, and rightly so, but soon enough they pull back on the pacing and open up to Stranded in Arcadia-style largesse that’s as forceful as it is righteous. A languid chorus finishes out in residual tones and echo that cap side A of the vinyl, leaving side B to pick up with “The Homesick Deaf,” which was recorded live in Bordeaux in May 2014 and is comprised of ambient and field recordings by Julia Al Abed, who was a guest at the show, which was dubbed “Into the Mars Red Sound.”

Beach sounds, birds, laughing children, quiet, emergent swells of guitar, a gradual drum/bass progression, and finally sirens and shouting would seem to make up the bulk of the four-and-a-half-minute “The Homesick Deaf,” though to be quiet honest I’m not sure of the exact moment when that ends and when “Sapphire Vessel” begins. Pras enters over a spacious guitar part for a verse, but the real course for the track seems to be set when the acoustics and electrics start to weave together, the former vigorously strummed alongside struck low-end piano, the latter patterning out wispy lead-line melancholia in multiple layers. Cello enters. The result is beautiful.

“Sapphire Vessel” moves forward patiently but with purpose, building along the way but never losing its evocative, wistful feel, and eventually it arrives at a point where a chorus shows up, and other elements begin to work their way out. The guitars go and come again, the piano seems to step back, and finally the song ends in a fashion that seems ready to shift right to the Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soulintro, “Alien Grounds.” The CD version of Providence includes four live bonus tracks recorded in the late hours of 2015 culled from prior releases, but the crux of the EP’s accomplishment is to step ahead from where Mars Red Sky were on Stranded in Arcadia and into where they’re going with Apex III. It shows that even the ground between the two can be a gorgeous, vibrant and expansive place.

[In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll note that I will be hosting the band at the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer in August at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, and that they’re being paid for that appearance. I think if you look at the review links above, there’s sufficient argument to be made that I’d be writing about this EP even if that were not the case.]

Mars Red Sky, “Shot in Providence” official video

Mars Red Sky on Thee Facebooks

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Mars Red Sky Post “Shot in Providence” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 15th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

mars red sky (Photo by Geoffrey Torres)

I could tell you how much I’m looking forward to the new Mars Red Sky EP, Providence, and subsequent LP, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul), but honestly, I don’t think you’d believe me. The earlier, shorter offering is out in a week on Listenable Records, with the band’s third album and follow-up to 2014’s excellent Stranded in Arcadia (review here) to follow in March. I’m not even gonna lie to you: I’ve already heard both. I just can’t wait for them to come out because they’re that god damned good.

The video below for “Shot in Providence” follows suit from other Mars Red Sky clips in the past — the drone-buzzing “The Light Beyond” is an exception — found footage spliced together in trippy time to the song itself, but this one also has lyrics set to it too, and since Providence and Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) feed one into the next lyrically, that’s something you’ll want to check out ahead of the long-player. I’ll have a Providence review up next week, so keep an eye out for that, but if you’d like to get lost in “Shot in Providence” in the meantime, which is something I heartily recommend doing, the video is a good way to go.

Mars Red Sky are on tour throughout the next couple months in Europe, and you can find all their current dates under the clip below. Enjoy:

Mars Red Sky, “Shot in Providence” official video

mars red sky tour dates

“Shot In Providence” From “Providence EP” – Out January 22th 2016 on Listenable Rds / Recorded and mixed by Gabriel Zander & Jacob Dennis. Vidéo : Geoffrey Torres – Jimmy Kinast / Grading by Colin Manierka

Mars Red Sky on tour:
28/01 BORDEAUX (33) Rock et Chanson
10/02 SAN SEBASTIAN (SP) Dabadaba
11/02 GIJON (SP) Sala Acapulco (Casino de Asturias)
13/02 MADRID (SP) Sala Fun House
14/02 ZARAGOZA (SP) La Ley Seca
20/02 BOURGES (18) Le 22
26/02 NIORT (79) Le Camji
01/03 LEIPZIG (DE) WERK2-Kulturfabrik
02/03 HAMBURG (DE) Hafenklang
03/03 BRUSSELS (BE) VK concerts
04/03 PARIS (FR) Le Divan du Monde
05/03 ROTTERDAM (NL) Baroeg Open Air
06/03 BERLIN (DE) Lido Berlin
08/03 STUTTGART (DE) Universum
09/03 LINZ (AT) Stadtwerstatt
11/03 LJUBLJANA (SI) Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture
12/03 MUNICH (DE) Under The Black Moon Festival
14/03 LAUSANNE (CH) Le Romandie – Lausanne
15/03 PRATTELN (CH) Konzertfabrik Z7 Bleibt
16/03 WIESBADEN (DE) Schlachthof Wiesbaden
17/03 ARLON (BE) L’Entrepôt À Arlon
18/03 EINDHOVEN (NL) Tuchthuis
19/03 HANNOVER (DE) Faust Gold
29/03 RENNES (35) L’Ubu
30/03 ROUBAIX (59) La Cave aux Poètes
31/03 ANGERS (49) Le Chabada – Angers (club et salle de concerts)
01/04 LORIENT (56) MAPL / Le Manège / Les Studios – Lorient
02/04 NANTES (44) Metalorgie Festival
05/04 STRASBOURG (67) La Laiterie Artefact
06/04 LYON (69) Marché Gare
07/04 DRAGUIGNAN (83) Bucéphale
08/04 BARCELONA (SP) Sala Plataforma
09/04 MONTPELLIER (34) Le Black Sheep
10/04 CLERMONT FD (63) Coopérative de Mai
12/04 TOURS (37) Le Temps Machine
16/04 LE MANS (72) Salle Jean Carmet
17/04 DUNKERQUE (59) Les 4Ecluses

!!! 2016 !!! January 22h : Providence EP (10′ vinyl + CD with Bonus live)/ February 29th : New Album “APEX III (Praise For The Burning Soul)” on Listenable records

Mars Red Sky on Thee Facebooks

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Mars Red Sky’s Providence EP Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 2nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

mars red sky (Photo by Geoffrey Torres)

In addition to extensive tours of the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe between Feb. and March, Bordeaux trio have two releases planned for early 2016, and the first of them, a three-song EP called Providence, is available now for preorder ahead of a Jan. 28 issue via Listenable Records. They’ll follow that with their third full-length about a month later as they’re on the road, and there’s more road whathaveyou in the works for later in the year, but for today, let’s keep it to the preorder and the fact that, in addition to being the first new material to come from them after 2014’s stellar sophomore LP, Stranded in Arcadia (review here), Providence has the further distinction of featuring recordings from their special “Into the Mars Red Sound” show from 2014 on the track “Sapphire Vessel,” which is the band’s most experimental studio offering to-date and a harbinger of much expansiveness to come.

But, like I say, one thing at a time. Now, this:

mars red sky providence

PROVIDENCE EP Vinyl – 10′ – 500 Copies Limited – January 2016

– Providence EP vinyl / 10′ / 500 copies only
– Comes with a poster + goodies

Out January 28th 2016 on Listenable

3 Songs (20′) / 33rpm / 500 copies limited / Transparent Blue Wax

Side A
Shot In Providence

Side B
The Homesick Deaf
Sapphire Vessel

Music by Mars Red Sky: Julien Pras, Jimmy Kinast, Mathieu Gazeau. Lyrics by Julien Pras.

Produced by Gabriel Zander & Mars Red Sky. Recorded by Gabriel Zander with Jacob Dennis at Cryogène studios, Bègles, FR. Shot In Providence was Mixed by Gabriel Zander at Superfuzz studios, Rio De Janeiro BR. Additional Recording and production on Sapphire Vessel by Pierre Fillon at Antirouilles studios, Talence & by Julien Pras at Mad Reed studios, Bordeaux, France. Sapphire Vessel was mixed by Mars Red Sky at Mad Reed. Mastering by Pierre Etchandy.

Guests on Sapphire Vessel:
Elisa Dignac: Cello
Helen Ferguson: Vocals
Joséphine, Louve & Willow: Choir girls
Zachary: Cymbal

The Homesick Deaf was engineered and recorded live by Pierre Fillion at Barbey, Bordeaux, FR on May 15, 2014 and is an extract from the live event “Into The Mars Red Sound” featuring acousmatic and field recordings created and performed by Julia Al Abed.

Picture : Oskar Sztramka

Artwork and layout by Carlos Pop

Mars Red Sky, “The Light Beyond” official video

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Mars Red Sky Announce Providence EP

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 21st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

mars red sky

Okay, so Mars Red Sky are running a contest through their Thee Facebooks page whereby if you guess the vinyl color and configuration — platter size, 10″ or 12″ — of their upcoming Providence EP, you can win a copy. Fine. So what’s the thing? The thing is this contest is also how they’ve announced the EP to start with, as well as their third album, second for Listenable Records, to which the short release will act as a lead-in. They’ve unveiled the front and back vinyl cover for Providence, which also contains the tracklisting, and let loose the information that, like 2014’s Stranded in Arcadia (review here), the upcoming LP was recorded by Gabriel Zander at Estúdio Superfuzz in Brazil, presumably back in May when they toured South America for the second (maybe third?) time.

Whether or not they did the EP in the same session, I can’t be sure, but that return-to-Brazil tidbit should be particularly encouraging to anyone who heard the last album, which though it wound up being recorded as it was because the Bordeaux trio were denied US visas — their original plan having been to record in the California desert — was a stretch of pure heavy bliss that not only made the most of its situation, but was a significant step forward from the warm riffy bounce and resounding melodies of their 2011 self-titled debut (review here). Providence will also precede the next long-player in a similar fashion that 2013’s Be My Guide EP (review here) showed where Mars Red Sky were heading after the first record, so it’s even more worth keeping an eye out for it.

Cover art (in progress) by Carlos Olmo that ties into their video for “The Light Beyond” from Stranded in Arcadia, and the rather informative contest rules follow below. For what it’s worth, I’m going with a blue-green-black splatter (like the ray on the cover) 10″ record. We’ll see if I’m right or wrong.

More to come, hopefully sooner than later:

READY TO PLAY ? this is a preview of next artwork (work in progress) by Carlos Olmo. Before the next album (out in march on Listenable records & recorded by Gabriel Zander), we’ll release a EP limited / 500 copies vinyls early february 2016! We hope you guys like the cover below! The one (or 2) who will find the color we already chose for the wax and the size of the vinyl will get that plate for free 1 month before the release (mid of january!). Maybe the people get close to the answer will get something too (goodies?) or not! Be careful, this game is stupid, no strict real rules but we hope we’ll have a winner!!!

Answer in 3 or 4 days!

Providence EP tracklisting:
A1. Shot in Providence
B1. The Homesick Deaf
B2. Sapphire Vessel

Mars Red Sky, “The Light Beyond” official video

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