Come to Grief Announce Debut Album Recording Plans

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 10th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Reigniting one of sludge’s most extreme and vicious legacies is no minor ask, but  Looking for the best Phd Thesis Publication? Before you make the final choice, check out our independent reviews. Compare prices, quality & more! Come to Grief — born from the cleaved skull of New England brutalizers  I heartily believe in the usefulness of History Of Art Essay Help workshops (I can't imagine where I'd be without them!), and think that you've all done a simply fanastic job with the new OWW. The DROWW was good--but this one makes the other look an ancient, clunky relic! If the Internet is about the sharing of information and the coming-together of people who would not have met under other circumstances Grief — have done precisely this thing. Their 2020 EP,  Creative Writing Courses Vancouver : Buying a dissertation If you dont understand experience in our writing and what you have. cheap essays buy from us that time changes and changes- both are done. There are several things cheap essays have strong opening time! We do our our writers. Pray for the End, is enough to make your skin crawl, and it follows four years-plus of the band lurking and lurching around the Eastern Seaboard and beyond, honing their disgusting craft.

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They made the announcement through social media, as one will. No clue as to release date, label situation, or anything like that. An album will be recorded, and then it will exist.

There you go:

Come to Grief

In one month from today we will be entering New England’s own GodCity Studio in Salem, MA to finally record our first full length! ‘When the World Dies’ will be recorded, mixed and produced by Kurt Ballou! Stay tuned over the next few weeks/months for all the news and updates regarding the new album and maybe even a few tour dates later this year! Thank you to every one of you for your patience and support over the past several years! We’re very excited to finally unleash this new material on you all, and are looking forward to see you all again on the road once the album is complete!

Terry, Jonathan, Chuck, Randy

Come to Grief, Pray for the End (2020)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Dan Blomquist of Conclave & Benthic Realm

Posted in Questionnaire on May 27th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

dan blomquist

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: Dan Blomquist of Conclave & Benthic Realm

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

I currently play drums in two bands from Massachusetts, Conclave and Benthic Realm. I grew up in a musical family with both my parents being performing violinists. I took piano lessons first growing up, played hand bells at my Dad’s church, then trombone and saxophone in grade school band but ultimately found my sweet spot with smashing things in the drums around sophomore year of high school. Been my drug of choice since.

Describe your first musical memory.

How about my first musical memory of when my musical taste changed from what I was raised to listen to and learn to play, to the heavier side of music. Around 1979 or so, my Dad and I made our ritualistic trip to Radio Shack. He was an electronics engineer and a hi-fi nut so this was like his second home. This particular trip I had enough money that I bought myself a small handheld AM/FM radio. As soon as we got home I headed out to Anne’s Variety Store to go purchase some penny candy with my totally badass handheld radio.

dan blomquist radioI ran to the top of the hill on the way to the store and BOOM! I had FM Rock Radio on! KISS was playing and I’d never heard anything like them before. That was the moment my tastes changed. My Dad would break my balls after that about every single band I would introduce to him, but he always encouraged me to play… and to play “quieter.” When my Dad passed away five years ago and I had to go through his belongings at his house, I found the radio was still there in a box with all kinds of other radios and gear. I took it home and have it to this day.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Being a kid helping my Dad by carrying his music stand into what ever music hall, conservatory or orchestra pit he was playing in. He always made me feel like I was part of the orchestra or ensemble he was playing with and it felt amazing, like I was 10 feet tall.

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

I’m actually coming up empty on this one. I suppose I could go back to when I stopped believing in God, but I’m not really sure that I ever truly believed in it to begin with. I’d like to be spiritual, but we’re all just organic matter that will rot away so what’s the point. My whimsical essence isn’t going to travel through the cosmos for eternity. Make the most of the time you’ve got. It’s all you’ve got. Believe that.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Ultimately, where it’s supposed to I would say. Progression in the arts can be very different from one person or form to another. So how and where you progress is kind of organic, evolutionary and unavoidable. Plus progress is the route of all evil they say, so there’s bonus points for being evil.

How do you define success?

I’d define success as being able to take something positive away from everything you do even if you seem to fail at it. In other words, if you set a weight loss goal of dropping 50 lbs in a year and lose less than that in a year, you still succeeded in progressing towards your goal. If you don’t lose sight of that, you’ll continue on and reach your ultimate goal which was to lose the weight, even if it took a longer amount of time. To fall short of your goal and stop before finishing the journey is to be unsuccessful. Don’t stop, don’t give up and you’ll always succeed.

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

Family and friends die from alcohol, drug abuse and suicide.

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

Inner peace.

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

Feeling. Whether you’re creating it or taking it in, it’s about how it makes you feel. The artist, the viewer, the listener, the reader, all of it, all of them, everyone.

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

NON-musical in the immediate future would have to be my daughter and the youngest of my three, graduating high school in June and beginning her college stem classes this summer. She’s had more than her fair share of struggles and obstacles in her life leading up to this point and I couldn’t be more proud or grateful for the beautiful and incredible person she is.

Conclave, Dawn of Days (2021)

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Mother Iron Horse Sign to Ripple Music; Under the Blood Moon out Later This Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 11th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

If you’re not from Massachusetts or you’ve never lived there, you probably don’t know the difference between the North Shore and the South Shore. Well. As somebody who lived on the South Shore for nearly seven years, let me tell you, there’s a difference. You go north of Boston, it’s pretty nice up there. Salem — where Mother Iron Horse are from — is a cool town, and there’s some old-money-style New Englandy stuff to look at. South Shore? Yeah, it’s pretty much just whatever’s off the highway en route to Cape Cod.

So hey, congrats to North Shore denizens Mother Iron Horse on getting picked up for Blasko‘s curated series through Ripple Music. I saw this band one time, and they were pretty cool. Their first record came out through Electric Valley in 2019, and they’ll have their second, Under the Blood Moon out sometime later in 2021.

They join a swath of recent Ripple signees and keep the company of Holy Death Trio, Hail the Void and The Crooked Whispers in Blasko’s curated series. Dude would seem to have a particular affection for three-word bands. Either way, can’t argue with any of the picks at this point.

From the PR wire:

mother iron horse ripple

Salem occult sludge merchants MOTHER IRON HORSE sign to Ripple Music as part of special series curated by Blasko; watch “Old Man Satan” video now!

Ripple Music announces the signing of Salem, Massachusetts sleazy sludge rock cultists MOTHER IRON HORSE, for the release of their sophomore album “Under The Blood Moon” later this year. This comes as the fourth signing as part of Blasko’s special series on the Californian powerhouse.

Says the band: “Joining the Ripple family with some of the genres top artists is something we’re still wrapping our heads around! Working with Blasko and Ripple on our sophomore record has been an absolute honor and it’s pushed us to create our best work yet. We’re humbled and truly thankful for this opportunity. We look forward to hitting the road in both the US and abroad to celebrate this new partnership. With Blasko and Ripple backing us up, we truly feel unstoppable! Cheers!”

With a sound steeped in occult debauchery and esoteric rituals, MOTHER IRON HORSE stands out from the stoner rock pack by adding some sleazy grit and tongue-in-cheek blasphemy into the mix and adding a corrosive sludge punk twist that makes it all sound incredibly rousing and addictive. With years worth of touring canceled due to the pandemic, MOTHER IRON HORSE set out to create a fun video for their new single “Old Man Satan”, which will appear on their sophomore album and Ripple Music debut “Under The Blood Moon”.

MOTHER IRON HORSE was formed in 2018 by North Shore natives Adam Luca, Marco Medina, and Chris Kobialka. Shortly after forming, they found an old mill and began building their own recording studio, leading to the release of a 2-song demo on Halloween of 2018 (Hellmouth Records). Shortly afterward, the band was approached by Italy-based label Electric Valley Records, who released their debut album ‘The Lesser Key’ worldwide on May 17th, 2019. In support of the album, the band left for their first tour alongside Dutchguts up and down the American East Coast and throughout the Southern states in June 2019. After a summer of festivals and weekend shows, they hit the road again in September- with longtime friends and fellow Massachusetts natives Leather Lung. They played regionally throughout the rest of the year and appeared on the Boston-based TV show Heavy Leather Topless Dance Party.

2020 was shaping up to be their biggest year yet with a national tour booked around their appearance at Psycho SmokeOut in Los Angeles, followed by another summer of festivals leading up to a European tour in the fall. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit. Not one to waste time, MOTHER IRON HORSE began writing their second album ‘Under The Blood Moon’. The album’s debut single and video for “Old Man Satan” made an impression within the underground heavy scene and caught the attention of Blasko, who signed the band to Ripple Music for a 2021 release as part of his own curated series on the label.

Mother Iron Horse, “Old Man Satan” official video

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High n’ Heavy Premiere “Power of Arachnid”; V out May 28

Posted in audiObelisk on May 6th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

high n heavy

Massachusetts doom rockers High n’ Heavy release their fifth album, V, through Electric Valley Records on May 28. A flair for the epic pervades the eight-song/42-minute outing that should come as little surprise to anyone who donned the mantle of their 2019 offering, Warrior Queen (review here) — also their debut on Electric Valley — and from opener “Cleansed with Blood” and the even-fuzzier “Gather Flame” that follows, the band take the trodden paths of genre deep into an old growth New England forest of lost mysticism and magic that’s probably spelled with a ‘k’ somewhere in there. As frontman Kris Fortin intones in the hook of “Gather Flame,” “It must be victory or death.” The stakes, then, are pretty high.

Fair enough. Fortin is a steady forward presence on V, and stands up to the test before him of bringing thematic scope to the classic heavy fuzz and natural tones of guitarist John Steele (also keys) and bassist Michael Dudley, as well as the rolling drumwork of Nick Perrone. Horror, fantasy, fantasy horror — and no doubt the songs are rife with references for those in the know on this or that particular book, game, whatever it might be, but more crucially, High n’ Heavy create a flow between their songs that’s neither wholly doom nor heavy rock and roll, finding a place between genres that’s metal-adjacent in its poise but not aggressive, unwilling to sacrifice fist-in-the-air power for stonerly groove, but somehow harnessing both. Maybe that’s that magik at work.

“Power of Arachnid” — premiering below — runs six and a half minutes and slows down from the opening duo, but nestles into a nice, wah-coated rhythm, high n heavy vcarrying over subtle backing layers from “Gather Flame” with semi-harmonies worthy of headphones, and doesn’t necessarily represent the whole of V but showcases its tones and performances well, a balance between live energy and studio clarity brought to bear by Trevor Vaughan in the band’s native New Bedford, along the south coast of Massachusetts, Buzzards Bay, an old whaling town remade — when last I was there; a few years ago now — into an antiparadise of opiates and wanna-gentrify intent. MA, and New England as a whole, has never wanted for heavy, but High n’ Heavy share no more with the likes of Roadsaw than they do with Pentagram or The Sword, and their refusal to cower makes the march that caps side A in “Onward to Oblivion” even more righteous.

Does side B dig in further? Yes, yes it does. “Screaming Moon” is a molasses-thick tonal highlight, Sabbathian in its roll, lyrics of mammoth tusks and warhammers and the like, all nod and grooving tempo and Dudley playing the Geezer role in the setup to the arrival of the appropriately grandiose keyboards. The subsequent “Rise” is faster, as it inevitably would be, but still thrilling in its tonal depth and catchiness, and it serves double-duty as a transition into the 2:43 “Death in the Unknown,” which is the point at which High n’ Heavy go full The Action is Go in their rush. No complaints as they rip it up in the penultimate moment; the structure of the song holds up to the force with which it’s delivered. For the closer, the turn to nylon-string acoustic guitar and keyboard brings us back to Dio-era Sabbath medievalism — in my head I hear, “I think about closing the door…” — but the drama that ensues is modern in its lumber and patient in its unfolding.

Here too, High n’ Heavy bask in doom for doom’s sake, a grand finale that shows class while adhering to genre tenets, again unwilling to be anything other than the band’s own despite the familiarity of the setting in which their tale takes place. This is V in summation, but the adventure doesn’t have to end there. As the band marches out to the bookending acoustic and keys, one gets the sense that, while they’ve come a ways from “Attack the 30 Rack” on their 2015 self-titled debut — “I may be a wizard/I may be from space/The rules are the same/Now I’m shitfaced” — and “Sex Potions Rock ‘n’ Roll” from 2017’s From the Flames, finding their way to where they are now is by no means a conclusion unto itself. Warriors, wizards, whathaveyou, they may be, but High n’ Heavy are songwriters too, and V demonstrates the best aspects of that as well as a heaping dose of personality.

Enjoy “Power of Arachnid” on the player below, followed by preorder links and all that other good stuff from the PR wire:

High n’ Heavy, “Power of Arachnid” premiere

PRE-ORDER: (Vinyl) (Vinyl + Digital)

Electric Valley Records is proud to present the 5th LP of High n’ Heavy, entitled V. The album will be available on different variants of vinyl (Black, Transparent Purple, and Ultra LTD “Moon Edition”) and digital formats on 28th May 2021. On the same day, the Italian label represses the doom quartet’s last album, Warrior Queen, on vinyl (Red, White, and Ultra LTD “Shield Edition”).

Out of the depths of Massachusetts, High n’ Heavy continue to bring the fire. Formed in 2014, under the influence of The Stooges and Black Sabbath, this quartet have put together a formidable blend of dirty 70’s style rock, doom, and blues that’d make the devil blush. They go one better with each of their studio work, outstripping the caliber of the previous albums. Their live shows come with an energy that leaves the audiences with their brains tingling and knees weak. They were fortunate to play RPM Fest ’19 and open for The Obsessed.

High n’ Heavy’s upcoming release, V, sees the band continue their ascent towards the rock n’ roll mountain top. Going back into the studio with Trevor Vaughan at the helm, their sound is larger than ever before. The songwriting and performance on this album prove yet again that they are a band that’s found its groove, but is also just getting started. The Eight massive tracks of the LP eventually turn out to be their greatest offering to the gods of rock n’ roll!

“High n’ Heavy are beyond excited to continue working with Electric Valley Records on our second release with the label,” the band says. “The support from EVR, along with the bands that make up their amazing family, has helped bring this album’s vision to fruition.”

A1. Cleansed with Blood
A2. Gather Flame
A3. Power of Arachnid
A4. Onward to Oblivion
B1. Screaming Moon
B2. Rise
B3. Death in the Unknown
B4. We Will Burn

All songs written by High n’ Heavy.
Recorded & Engineered by Trevor Vaughan Recorded at The Coliseum.
Produced by Trevor Vaughan and High n’ Heavy.
Artwork & Layout by John Steele.

High n’ Heavy:
Kris Fortin: Vocals
John Steele: Guitar/Keys
Michael Dudley: Bass
Nick Perrone: Drums

High n’ Heavy on Thee Facebooks

High n’ Heavy on Instagram

High n’ Heavy on Bandcamp

Electric Valley Records on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records on Instagram

Electric Valley Records on Bandcamp

Electric Valley Records website

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Album Review: Conclave, Dawn of Days

Posted in Reviews on April 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Conclave Dawn of Days

New England’s Conclave deliver a harsh lesson in ’90s-style brutality with their second album, Dawn of Days, on Argonauta Records. The four-piece band made their debut some five years ago with Sins of the Elders (review here), and with the intervening time resulting in the limited cassingle “War Stalks the Land” (video here) and numerous appearances on the Eastern US Seaboard in clubs and at fests, the band has earned a reputation for their blend of classic death metal, sludge and melancholic doom. Dawn of Days delivers all of these and more in a relatively efficient five-song/45-minute LP-ready package, finding the band — bassist/vocalist Jerry Orne, guitarist/backing vocalist Jeremy Kibort, guitarist Chris Ciguere and drummer Dan Blomquist — with an approach it’s still fair to call refined despite its outward grit and the glee with which Kibort gurgles out the end of eight-minute centerpiece “Haggard,” which is nothing if not a song for our times.

The band’s pedigree is well established, with Ciguere having done time in thrashers PanzerBastardBlomquist doubling in Benthic Realm and Orne fronting then-and-now incarnations of WarHorse as well as having been in death metallers Desolate with Kibort. All of this is relevant but perhaps not crucial to understanding where Conclave are coming from on their second record — that is to say, the band’s deathsludge is their own regardless of what members have done in other projects, and the quiet guitars that begin the intro to the opening title-track establish a bleak but thoughtful atmosphere at the outset that is maintained no matter how pummeling things get; an answer back later provided by 13-minute closer “Suicide Funeral” for good measure. But things do get fairly pummeling, and by “things” I mean riffs, vocals, tones and drums. Orne‘s throaty shouts are recognizable and raw from their first arrival, and they cut through the relative fullness of the surrounding guitar distortion all the more for that, giving way to first solo and slowdown-into-chug that’s all the more sludged for its inclusion of wah-bass. Somehow, the song is catchy.

Eric Sauter recorded at Blackheart Sound in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Monolord‘s Esben Willems mastered in Gothenburg, Sweden, at Studio Berserk, and the intention toward heft — as well as the accomplishment thereof — is unmistakable. “Dawn of Days” is not so much content to ride its groove as it is gleeful, and as the band transitions into the mostly-speedier “Death Blows Cold,” the theme holds firm, machine-gun drums and galloping guitar placed first to lead into the tumult of the first verse, impact and aggression at the center with Kibort backing Orne on vocals before the chorus pays off the tension built with an overarching echo of guitar lead. There’s a solo yet to come, and they finish with double-kick and clench-teeth-circle-headbang chug, but they don’t forget amid the melee to bring back that lead either, and it serves well to tie the track’s progression together even as they move toward arguably Dawn of Days‘ most brutal stretch, with little momentum sacrificed as “Haggard” picks up where its predecessor left off. Kill, kill, kill, gentlemen. Fast or slow.


“Haggard” is a highlight for the added complexity it brings after the relatively simple pleasure of assault on “Death Blows Cold,” but all the more so because of what it leads to in “Thrown on Spikes” — nobody ever accused Conclave of subtlety — and the aforementioned “Suicide Funeral,” the two songs comprising the entirety of side B where side A had three. “Haggard,” then, is the transitional stretch, and it returns to some of the method of “Dawn of Days” but is faster and leaning toward the more extreme end of the band’s sound, their effectiveness at not only being willing to go there, but conscious of tipping to one side or another a further asset to coincide with the drive that emerges in “Haggard”‘s second half. Mirroring in some fashion the beginning of the record, “Thrown on Spikes” begins with a section of quiet guitar to which a significant plod is added, and the adjustment of expectation as the band shifts into a massive chug ‘n’ crash is immediate — the song’s name perhaps deriving from the feeling of what they’re doing to the listener at that point, as well as the title line in the chorus.

One way or the other, it is the stuff of tape-trading daydreams, which makes it even more notable that Conclave shift immediately into the comparatively modern-feeling “Suicide Funeral,” allowing the guitar to flesh out some of the more depressive echo across its span and resulting in a feel that brings Pallbearer-style instrumental emotionalism into the context of Conclave‘s own brutality. It is a fascinating meld, almost surprising in its level of engagement, but not at all out of place for how well they set up the progression that moves toward it across the previous cuts. The layered leads around on either side of the 10-minute mark are a rousing crescendo for a build that’s both wistful and righteously heavy, and it’s further to the band’s credit that, as much bludgeoning as they’ve already done — nothing left to prove there — they end with something willfully melodic and drifting, a long fade leading to an acoustic closeout, calling back to the start of the record for completeness’ sake as well as that quiet start to “Thrown on Spikes,” bringing symmetry to the one-into-the-next structure of side B.

That sense of Dawn of Days as a whole work, meant to be taken in its entirety, isn’t to be understated, however much a song like the title-track or “Death Blows Cold” might stand out along the way. It speaks to the underlying purposefulness that Conclave bring to this awaited sophomore effort, the execution of which is fluid and immersive despite the outwardly punishing aspects of its aesthetic. Though the years since Sins of the Elders saw Orne revive WarHorse, what’s made clearest throughout the proceedings here is that Conclave have not been left behind in the wake of that reunion’s success, and neither has their growth as a unit been forgotten. It may be that they’re speaking to ends-as-new-beginnings in the album’s title, and if so, what unfolds throughout could hardly be more encouraging.

Conclave, “Dawn of Days” official video

Conclave, Dawn of Days (2021)

Conclave on Thee Facebooks

Conclave on Instagram

Conclave on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

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TC and the Seaside Assembly Release Fly Like a Seagull

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Check out the list of names. My goodness. Given the context of the times we’re in, one can easily imagine the devil’s-workshop idleness of hands that led Tim Catz, known for his work in Roadsaw and White Dynomite, to walk by a dead bird and think to himself, “I’m gonna write an album about that.” But to do so with the assemblage he’s got here, with Roadsaw bandmates Ian Ross and Craig Riggs, White Dynomite‘s Dave Unger, as well as Andrea Gillis of Other Girls, Neil Collins of Murcielago, Marc Gaffney of Gozu, Darryl Sheppard of Kind, Janet Egan and Justine Covalt of Justine and the Unclean, and Mad Oak Studios‘ own Benny Grotto on percussion, feels all the more significant.

I’ve barely, barely, barely begun to scratch the surface of the eight-tracker but wanted to get a post up just the same to note the release and the significant logistics that would’ve been involved, especially with the pandemic. That must’ve been some bird.

Here’s the info, and the stream is at the bottom of the post. Fly Like a Seagull — get it? — is five bucks on Bandcamp, which is about 35 cents per performer included:

tim catz

So last summer I managed to write and record this record called “Fly Like A Seagull”. It’s a 28 minute rock opera about the short life and gruesome death of a seagull.

I was incredibly fortunate to have Dave Unger, Craig Riggs and Benny Grotto help lay the foundation at the luxurious Mad Oak Studios in the heart of Allston. I was also lucky enough to have some incredibly gifted friends to sing and play on different tracks. Thank you from the depths of my boozey heart.

I hope you all dig it. It was certainly fun to do. Cheers!

1. Get Born 04:19
2. Ain’t No Swan 03:20
3. Eat 02:28
4. The Ships Are Coming In 02:09
5. Mine 02:40
6. Bombs Away 01:44
7. Alka Seltzer Revenge Killing 01:38
8. Ascension/Fly Like A Seagull 05:18

Tc- Guitar, Bass, Keys, Vocals

Craig Riggs- Drums, Vocals on 1 and 8
David Unger – Fender Rhodes, Mellotron, Moog, Vocals on 2 and 6
Benjamin Grotto – Triangle, Egg Shakers, Tambourine
Andrea Gillis- Vocals on “Swan”
Marc Pinansky – Back Up Vox on “Swan
Darryl Sheppard – Lead Guitar on “Mine”
Ian Ross- Lead Guitar on 1 and 8
Sean Drinkwater – Synthesizers on “Ascension ”
Justine Covault – Vocals on “Ships”
Janet Egan – Additional Vocals on “Ships”
Neil Collins – Vocals on “Mine”
Marc Gaffney- Vocals on “Eat”
James Rohr – Piano Solo on “Ain’t No Swan”

Recorded and Mixed by Benjamin Grotto At Mad Oak Studios, Allston
All Songs and Lyrics by Tim Catz Except “Ascension” by Sean Drinkwater

TC and the Seaside Assembly, Fly Like a Seagull (2021)

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Video Premiere: Kind, “Faster Number Two” From ONCE Sound Stage Session

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

kind faster number two

ONCE Ballroom, like far too many venues in this wretched country that does far too little to support its own arts and culture — #saveourstages — has had to close its doors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike many others, however, the tenacity and raw passion of venuerunner JJ Gonson (yes, another JJ; they are rare but not unheard of) and those around her has resulted in the ONCE Virtual Venue, which has to this point used the space to put on COVID-safe streaming gigs and played host to a series of shows and interviews, including one recently with myself.

On Saturday at 8PM — remember when shows started at night? — the ONCE Sound Stage Sessions series filmed at the venue will present a “gig” with Kind, Set Fire, Friendship Commanders and Inhalement. Four bands, each offering a streamed set, and Kind are giving a preview of what’s to come in their three-song-set-the-audio-of-which-they-should-probably-release-as-a-live-EP-for-Bandcamp-Friday with the video below for “Faster Number Two.” I know it was 2020 and that was 15 lifetimes ago, but you might recall their second album, Mental Nudge (review here), came out back in September on Ripple and was frickin’ great.

I’ll keep this short because there are links below worth clicking, but hell, if you don’t want to see more after watching the mostly-masked performance below — Craig Riggs pulls his down to sing, drummer Matt Couto‘s swinging style results in his falling below his nose, while Tom Corino and Darryl Shepard stay masked on the flanks, playing bass and guitar, respectively — I don’t know what to tell you. But just to lay on an appropriate guilt trip, ONCE is worth supporting with a donation. Because fuck rent.

Enjoy the video:

Kind, “Faster Number Two” ONCE Sound Stage Session premiere

In May of 2020 ONCE Somerville, an independent venue in the Boston Metro area, decided to launch a “virtual venue”. The venue was started in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the massive amount of cancellations that occurred in the wake of stay at home order. ONCE VV is a place for audiences to interact and enjoy performances that range to suit all sorts of palates.

In June, the ONCE VV team began filming live sessions on the venue’s ballroom stage. Dubbed the ONCE Sound Stage Sessions, these sessions provided artists with a rare opportunity to play on a stage again for the first time since music venues shut down. Between June and December of 2020, over 25 performances were filmed on the ONCE ballroom and lounge stages.

In December, ONCE had to leave its physical space due to financial realities of the ongoing pandemic. But the ONCE VV team remains committed to producing original content and virtual events throughout 2021, made possible by a generous NIVA grant.

Show Youtube link (anyone can watch live):

Ticket Link (allows attendees to donate, and the option to join the Zoom event):

Show details:
KIND, Set Fire, Friendship Commanders (Nashville, TN), Inhalement
Presented by Grayskull Booking, Treebeard Media, Dead Moon Audio, and ONCE Sound Stage
Hosted by Laura from Metal Night
Saturday, January 16, 8pm

Kind, Mental Nudge (2020)

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Worshipper Live Set From Mutants of the Monster II Streaming

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 6th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Let me preface this post by saying three things.

1. You should watch this entire video. It’s badass, and the bands it has performing are badass. Along with Worshipper, there’s RebreatherTemptressTelekinetic Yeti and a bunch of others. There’s also the video from the first night, which had Boozewa and more. You should watch that too.

2. I acknowledge that that’s about six hours of footage to sit down with altogether and not everyone has that kind of time to work with, even (or especially) in quarantine. If you do, fuckin’ congrats on your life. Or not.

3. Mutants of the Monster III — formerly put on by CT from Rwake and others in Little Rock, Arkansas, as an actual fest, but now streaming for everybody — is happening in February.


It was New Year’s weekend that Boston melodic heavy rockers Worshipper took part in Mutants of the Monster II: Inverted Atomic Lore, the digital festival put together presumably to promote good bands, fight pandemic restlessness, extend the brand and work against the general shittyness that is existence without live shows. For two nights, the fest streamed groups from hither and yon, and watching Worshipper particularly was a reminder of just how killer a live act they are. Granted, they’re in a studio here with no less than Chris Johnson (he recorded the last Worshipper LP, plays in Summoner, Deafheaven and Doomriders, does live sound, and so on) at the helm, but they’re still playing live — and masked, for the most part — and even after the better part of a year of no gigs, they sound tight as hell.

You miss live shows? Shit, me too. Have I mentioned that lately? Well, everything is fucked. It’s a new year and we’re supposed to be filled with hope. I’m not. But you know what’s worth hanging onto? Music. Music still sounds good. While music still sounds good, you’ve still got something. Worshipper‘s set is five songs — they dig into stuff they know well, which is fair enough given the fact that who the hell wants to rehearse when we’re supposed to limit exposure — and the clip below cues up to it. But again, even if you skim through and check out a song here and a song there, the whole thing is worth your perusal. I’m just trying to make life easier.

Worshipper guitarist/vocalist John Brookhouse offers some comment under the video below.

Please enjoy:

Worshipper, Live at Mutants of the Monster II: Inverted Atomic Lore

John Brookhouse on Mutants of the Monster II:

We recorded our set with only a couple practices under our belts after not playing for quite a long time. This whole time has been so nebulous, not knowing what the future holds, etc., it was just nice to have a project to do together. We recently moved to our new practice space at SUM Studios in Malden, MA, and they actually fast-tracked finishing a big live room in there so we could have a space to do this recording. (Thank you, Bob Logan!!) We pooled all of our technology – gopros, phones, cameras, lights, etc. to get the right look and have enough camera angles to be visually appealing.

Chris Johnson totally knocked it out of the park with the audio, and he even brought a nice camera to do some handheld shots while we played. We love working with him, but it was also great to just be able to hang out with him and see him again. Alex did an amazing job putting all of the footage together. Bob and I are usually the ones tasked with the visual aspects of the band, but Alex wanted to take a crack and it, and he totally nailed it. He definitely had a vision for how he wanted it to come across, and we think he did a spectacular job with it.

After a pretty long year that put a lot of us through the ringer, it was a blast putting something out there into the world again and interacting with people during the premiere. It was also cool for us to feel like part of a musical scene again with all of the other bands (who killed it!). We hope we get to do more stuff like this in the near future.

Filmed Live at Sum Studios, Malden, MA, Nov. 28, 2020. Engineered and mixed by Chris Johnson at The Electric Bunker.

Black Corridor
High Above the Clouds
Nobody Else
It All Comes Back
Another Yesterday

Worshipper is:
John Brookhouse: guitar/vocals
Alejandro Necochea: lead guitar/synth
Dave Jarvis: drums
Bob Maloney: bass/vocals

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