Review & Track Premiere: Holy Serpent, Endless

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

holy serpent

[Click play above to stream ‘Hourglass’ from Holy Serpent’s Endless. Album is out Oct. 18 on RidingEasy Records. They’re on tour in Europe now (dates here).]

With their third full-length for RidingEasy Records, Melbourne, Australia’s Holy Serpent would seem to realize the vision of heavy they’ve been chasing for the last half-decade. The four-piece bring forth six tracks across the 40 minutes of Endless, which continues a theme of single-word titles from its predecessor, 2016’s Temples (review here) — their 2015 debut was self-titled (review here) — and with them, set out into an expanse of tone, and lush, patiently-delivered roll, shuffle and melody. It’s the latter that proves most crucial, as guitarist Scott Penberthy‘s vocals come across with more distinction and confidence throughout and work to make songs like “Daughter of the Light” all the more consuming. Joined by guitarist Nick Donoughue, bassist Dave Bartlett and drummer Lance LeembrugenPenberthy crafts lush and psychedelic vocals in the tradition of Mars Red Sky even as he and Donoughue dig into riffs that remind alternately of newer Windhand‘s take on grunge — particularly on the penultimate “For No One,” also the longest track at 7:44 — or of a hybridized Uncle Acid buzz and Electric Wizard lumber on opener “Lord Deceptor” and side A finale “Daughter of the Light.”

To this context, however, Holy Serpent add a marked personality of their own, with howling guitars intertwining on “Daughter of the Light” and an uptick of doom metal in second track “Into the Fire,” even as the layers of vocals drawl out over the midsection of the song. The light/dark blend of melody, crunch and sprawl gives Endless a psychedelic earthiness; something that, in the past, the band has referred to as “shroom doom,” but never quite captured as completely as they do here. That’s fitting enough for the narrative of the “third album,” but cliché or no, the work they do in these tracks is a manifestation not to be discounted simply because it makes a convenient story. The simple fact is Holy Serpent have written a collection of songs that brings their approach to a new echelon of presence and execution, and Endless deserves to be in the conversation of the best heavy psych offerings of 2019.

In terms of setting a mood, Holy Serpent do so with a natural flair, their riffs providing a foundation from which the song is expanded, “Hourglass” adding either keys or effects or else I’m just hearing things during the verse for further melodic flourish. This leads the way into a three-song side B that answers back the complete control over the proceedings the foursome display through the first three tracks: “Lord Deceptor,” “Into the Fire” and “Daughter of the Light.” The opener is especially important for the lead-in it gives not just with its own post-Witchcult Today riff, but with how it uses that in order to make its own statement about who Holy Serpent are and have become. Its depth of mix is essential, and it unfolds in a way that’s either hypnotic or enthralling depending on how one wants to listen to it, and easy as it is to get lost in the spirit of the piece by the end of its 6:47, which meets head on with the snap-back-to-consciousness of the more uptempo intro to “Into the Fire.”

holy serpent endless

Rest assured there’s plenty of plod and tonal heft there as well, but a more swinging take after the opener does well in furthering the scope of Endless overall. Again, it’s not that Holy Serpent are the first ones ever to establish this kind of dynamic, but it’s how they do it and the fluidity with which they conjure in the process that makes Endless such an engaging listen. “Daughter of the Light” seems to meet “Into the Fire” and “Lord Deceptor” halfway and so is a fitting summary of where the band have taken the album to this point, but it’s still not the final word as regards the story of the growth that the band have undertaken over the last five years, as “Hourglass,” “For No One” and the closer “Marijuana Trench” (as opposed, one assumes, to Marianas) are still to come, each one bringing something to add to the strength of Endless as a whole.

The midtempo push of “Hourglass” is met by a deceptively catchy lyric and guitar line, and the slower-faster interplay between “Lord Deceptor” and “Into the Fire” that started the record seems to meet its mirror image in the faster-slower transition from “Hourglass” into “For No One.” A plodding, crashing, deep-running vision of stoned grunge is met by vocal harmonies and creative layering in the verse hook, and while Windhand has already been noted as a touchstone for the style, Holy Serpent effectively make the case that there’s more in weaving heavy psych fuzz and flannel-and-Doc-Martins stylizations to be explored. I don’t know what it might lead to, but “For No One” sounds like a definitive forward step, and that’s always welcome as far as I’m concerned. A noisy finish seems like it might be the apex of Endless as “Marijuana Trench”‘s standout goofball title makes it seem somewhat of a drawdown from the prior cuts and its acoustic-based intro is a departure as well, but the wash into which the band launch as the song plays out is not at all to be discounted because they made a weed pun, and if anything, it builds on the considerable accomplishments before it in crafting a humming universe of noise.

That is the course of Endless, and perhaps some of the reason it feels like such a moment of arrival for Holy Serpent is because the songs do so well in setting their atmosphere and dwelling in it. Australia has a well-populated underground scene, Melbourne specifically so, but I have a hard time thinking of another band from the region who’ve been able to take influences from the sphere of modern heavy and turn them into something so complete and individualized. I don’t necessarily think Holy Serpent are done refining their processes — which is only good news, frankly — but it does seem like they’ve come to a new understanding of who they are and who they want to be as a band, and that has resulted in an LP that is refreshing and engrossing at the same time. Mine it for sonic details or put it on and let your brain melt; there’s really no wrong way to go.

Holy Serpent on Thee Facebooks

Holy Serpent on Bandcamp

RidingEasy Records on Bandcamp

RidingEasy Records website

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Khan Sign to Salty Dog Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Melbourne heavy psych rockers Khan have signed to Salty Dog Records. Neat, right? That’s a cool pickup that puts the Aussie trio alongside Mother TonguesKing Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and Pseudo Mind Hive, among others, as labelmates. Fine company to keep. What’s not included in the announcement below, however, is exactly what the deal is for.

Khan released their full-length debut, Vale, last year, digitally and on CD. Could well be that Salty Dog has picked it up for a vinyl release — which would be well enough earned by the album’s depth of tone and spacious affect — or it could just be that Salty Dog will stand behind their next outing whenever that happens to manifest itself, presumably from out of the great cosmic ether that produced “Separation” from the first record. Or even better, maybe it’s both.

Both Khan and Salty Dog posted about the pickup on the social medias, as one would expect, but neither mentioned exactly what the collaboration between them will be. Keeping it on the q.t. for now, I guess. Fair enough.

I didn’t catch onto Vale before now, so I’m kind of considering this my excuse to dive into the album, which you’ll find streaming below. I think you can hear pretty quickly why it’d be a good fit for a vinyl release, despite potential runtime issues.

Dig:

khan

KHAN – NEW ARTIST ANNOUNCEMENT

Please join us in welcoming Khan to the Salty Dog Records family.

Khan are a Melbourne based heavy psych/prog/rock trio that meld hazy psychedelia and heavy stoner riffs with progressive rhythms and song structures. The songs are lyrically evocative, filled with heavy psychedelic sounds and incredible bass tones which lead you through quite the journey.

Khan says, “We made a new friend!! His name is Salty and he’s a fuckin dog! (Salty Dog Records). We’re super stoked to be a part of the family and to be working with such a legend.”

Stay tuned for further updates.

Khan are:
Josh Bills – Vocals/Guitar
Mitchell Kerr – Bass/Backing vocals
Beau Heffernan – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/khanbandofficial/
https://khanofficial.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialSaltyDogRecords
https://www.instagram.com/saltydog.records/
https://salty-dog.bandcamp.com/

Khan, Vale (2018)

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Buried Feather Post “Nuclear Suzi” Video; Cloudberry Dreamshake out Next Month

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

buried feather

Garage buzz, psychedelic gaze and all the drift you could ask for — plus a hook. I guess by now Australia is starting to come out of its winter just a little bit — such as seasons still exist anywhere — but to me, Buried Feather‘s new single, “Nuclear Suzi,” sounds right on the money for the end of summer. The track communes with a 1965-’66 psychaesthetic, but treats the style as though it emerged fully formed from out of a cocoon, rather than grew into its enduringly lysergic self. Tones are sopping wet and not exactly retro, but especially in the context of the video, there’s a classic-promo-clip vibe that pervades visually and enhances that feel in the music. It’s almost like the senses are intertwined or something. Go melt your brain.

“Nuclear Suzi” is the second track to be offered up from Buried Feather‘s forthcoming long-player, Cloudberry Dreamshake — a garage rock title if e’er I heard one — and it follows the prior-posted “Lightning Hands,” which I’ve included at the bottom of the post (or near it, anyhow) just in case you need to get caught up. That song has a little bit more of a push, which perhaps accounts for the “shake,” but there’s plenty of “dream” in it as well, and I don’t know what a cloudberry tastes like, but screw it; did I mention go melt your brain?

Buried Feather seem to have pared down to a trio since they put out Mind of the Swarm in 2017, but after touring Europe last year, they don’t seem to be lacking for any kind of sonic expansion. This is a cool one, and the video rules as well, so I’ll keep it simple in the hope that you actually watch the damn thing if you’re still reading this. If not, well, go melt your brain, I guess.

Enjoy:

Buried Feather, “Nuclear Suzi” official video

We’re pleased to share the new single and music video “Nuclear Suzi” from Melbourne psych-rockers Buried Feather.

The song is taken from the forthcoming album Cloudberry Dreamshake, out September 12th on Cobra Snake Necktie Records. The music video was directed by Chris Matthews (Tropical Fuck Storm, Batpiss, Cable Ties).

Directed by: Chris Matthews

Buried Feather, “Lightning Hands”

Buried Feather on Thee Facebooks

Buried Feather on Bandcamp

Cobra Snake Necktie Records website

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Sleeping Giant, Sleeping Giant: Awake in Visions

Posted in Reviews on August 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

sleeping giant sleeping giant

Sometimes a band comes right out of their second rehearsal with a batch of songs, ready to hit the studio and make a record — or at least that’s how it feels. That’s not the case with Sleeping Giant, who emerge from Australia’s crowded heavy underground some six years after forming as Lowpoint. Their self-titled and self-released-but-probably-not-for-long debut album is the result of the subsequent half-decade of writing and woodshedding, and comprises a clean eight tracks and 42 minutes of solid-foundation fuzz rock, turning influences from earlier Queens of the Stone Age, Lowrider, Kyuss and more rolling fare into a collection of original songs that bask in their fuzzy familiarity but still feel geared toward their own approach, perhaps because they’ve been so worked on. Even the recording process for Sleeping Giant‘s Sleeping Giant took a year, which sounds excruciating, but the resultant long-player finds guitarist/vocalist Steven Hammer, bassist James Wright and drummer Pali Emond-Glenn sounding well aware of who they are as a band and able to manifest that in their material without losing their first-album edge.

Even without knowing it was so long in coming together, the songs don’t feel off-the-cuff. They feel worked on, thought out, considered, and that’s by no means a detriment to their execution, which remains plenty energetic. That’s an achievement unto itself, but it’s just one of the ways Sleeping Giant ultimately impress throughout, as they move through a tracklisting that’s no less impeccably arranged than the songs themselves in terms of bringing out the different sides of the band’s approach, growing richer as it goes from side A to B in what’s clearly a vinyl-intended progression — the cover by Emond-Glenn would seem geared toward that as well — that nonetheless flows smoothly throughout, making its way toward the three-part finale, “Visions I,” “Visions II” and “Visions III,” which together introduce new elements of atmosphere and aggression to the proceedings, taking the straightforward core of heavy rock from which Sleeping Giant work and using it as a basis for exploring different ideas. However long it took to make it happen, there’s little more one could reasonably ask of a debut album.

Sleeping Giant opens, suitably enough, with “Sleep,” which begins an initial salvo that will continue basically through the first four songs to one degree or another. A mid-paced groove takes hold with effective, laid back vocal melodies overtop from Hammer and a fuzz that’s both warm-sounding and right on in terms of capturing a desert-style feel while still giving Wright‘s bass room to make an impression. One is reminded early on of Sungrazer to a degree, but Sleeping Giant are on a less jammy trip overall, and the roll of “Sleep” is offset by the sheer thrust of “Temptress,” which pushes the vocals forward in the mix and offers as support for them a fervent push and tempo kick, the trade from one to the next crucial to understanding how side A works, since the subsequent “Empire” and “Serpent” will essentially make the same moves, though of course there are changes in the approach to be considered.

sleeping giant

“Temptress” resolves itself in a nod and final shove before dropping out to a series of curses — somebody’s mad about something, comically — and leading to the six-and-a-half-minute “Empire,” which is a highlight for its blend of bounce and roll, the chorus reminding of some lost late-’90s/early-’00s gem from somewhere in Northern Europe, even as the tones and production by Erek Ladd and Jarod Meadows remains modern. Guitar drops out in the second half of “Empire” for a moment to let the bass introduce the apex nodder riff and the slow-motion swagger that ensues is more than welcome upon the return of the full tonal breadth. In comparison, “Serpent” — also the most direct source of the Lowrider comparison above — is arguably the highest-energy of the bunch, with a careening Homme-style central riff and sense of movement brought out all the more by the shift into a slower section at the midpoint, only to return to a speedier finish. Again, not by any means revolutionary, but effective in conveying Sleeping Giant‘s priorities, which are clearly geared toward songcraft.

The basic structure of side B changes, thanks largely to the aforementioned “Visions” trilogy. “Gypsy” unfolds very much in the character of side A’s tradeoffs between longer and shorter songs, finding Hammer‘s malleable vocals in a lower register over a slower riff before opening up for the chorus, trading tempos much in the spirit of “Serpent,” only reversed. In the overarching progression of the record, “Gypsy” is inherently outshined by “Visions,” but its being there makes sense and the work it does to tie the two halves of the album together isn’t to be forgotten. Still, it’s a significant turn when the instrumental “Visions I” begins its subdued unfolding, reminding of progressive-era Truckfighters‘ less jumpy moments, with a linear build toward the heavier guitar’s full brunt.

They get there before the track’s three minutes are up, and turn directly into “Visions II,” which unfolds a King Buffalo-y psychedelic blues vibe until a more severe riff leads at 2:42 to harsher growling in post-hardcore fashion — actually, the voice reminds me of Elegy-era Amorphis, but I’m willing to chalk that up to sonic coincidence — gradually working in clean and harsh layers effectively to carry Sleeping Giant to a genuinely unexpected crescendo, leaving “Visions III” to pick up immediately from there, which it does by shifting into another engaging nod-roll as a bed for a return of sung vocals and the gradual build of a melodic wash of tone, which acts not so much as an epilogue to the prior part’s payoff, but as a different stage of the same idea — in that way, “Visions” is all the more well executed as a whole. And it’s in that last three-parter that Sleeping Giant most show the potential in their sound for bringing a range of styles together under a fuzzy banner and crafting an identity of their own from them. After six years and a name change leading to this debut, I won’t speculate on where they might go from here or when they might get there, but the obvious care they put into the writing and honing and construction of this material shows through one way or another in each track, which is no less than they deserve.

Sleeping Giant, Sleeping Giant (2019)

Sleeping Giant on Thee Facebooks

Sleeping Giant on Instagram

Sleeping Giant on Bandcamp

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Lamassu Debut Album Into the Empty Due Sept. 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

lamassu

Pretty heavy vibe going on in Lamassu‘s latest single, “Killing Someone,” which comes from their debut album, Into the Empty. The record is due out Sept. 2 and I have no reason to believe that’s not when it’ll show up, and though I’ll admit my eye was caught by “features members of Motherslug…” below, the relative newcomer four-piece had no trouble holding my attention for the duration of what will serve as the centerpiece of the record — telling in itself. Though the title conjures images of metallic celebrations of violence, the actual lyrics are more of a social comment — the title-line arriving as, “Those in power always killing someone” — which is certainly a fair enough general assessment of human history to-date. I haven’t hit up the previously-posted “Under the Watch of a Crow,” but that’s next, so just give me a minute. I’ll get there.

Preorders for Into the Empty are available from Bandcamp, as the PR wire tells it:

lamassu into the empty

LAMASSU Stream Single “Killing Someone” From Upcoming Debut Album

Australian hard rock band Lamassu are proud to present “Killing Someone,” the first track from their debut album Into The Empty. Singer and guitarist Chris explains, “Matt wrote an amazing riff, heavy and full of groove. We jammed it at rehearsal a few times and musically it all came together pretty quick. Lyrically I wanted to express a realisation I had one day when seeing horrible injustice on the news, that too often the people who have the power to change this type of thing are often the ones who create it in the first place.”

“Killing Someone” is now streaming on Bandcamp with the full album set for release on September 2nd. Listen and preorder here: https://lamassuband.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-empty

About Lamassu:

Australian heavy rockers LAMASSU are preparing to release their debut full-length album Into the Empty this September. This collective of musicians features members of Motherslug, Field, Borrachero, and Olmeg, all stalwarts of the Melbourne stoner/doom scene.

On Into the Empty, Lamassu offers heavy yet restrained guitars, thick bass, and unforgiving drums, all glued together with vocals that channel almost ‘Cornell-ian’ reach and delivery. The songs are exactly as long as they need to be, drawing upon themes that challenge human existence in our modern lives.

Lamassu released their debut single “Under The Watch Of A Crow” in July 2018, which was featured on 2019’s Doomed & Stoned Australia compilation. They recorded Into the Empty in late 2018 with producer/engineer/musician Mike Deslandes (High Tension / YLVA) at The Black Lodge Studios in Brunswick, Melbourne.

Into the Empty comes out digitally on September 2nd, 2019 via independent release, with 12” vinyl and CD formats to follow.

Lamassu is:
Chris Fisher– lead vocals/guitar
Matt Dawkins — lead guitar/back-up vocals
Nick Rad — drums
Ant Smith — recorded bass
Al Cooke — live bass

https://www.facebook.com/LamassuBand/
https://lamassuband.bandcamp.com/

Lamassu, Into the Empty (2019)

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Review & Track Premiere: Seedy Jeezus with Tony Reed, Live in Liège

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Seedy Jeezus with tony reed live in liege

[Click play above to stream ‘Polaris Oblique’ from Seedy Jeezus with Tony Reed’s limited Live in Liege LP. Album will be available on the band’s upcoming European tour (dates here).]

The front cover of the LP is emblazoned with the heading ‘The Broken String Incident,’ and indeed, Seedy Jeezus guitarist/vocalist Lex “Mr. Frumpy” Waterreus does break a string as the Australian outfit make their stop in Liège, Belgium, on July 18, 2018. “Incident” might be stretching it — so far as I know no ambassadors were recalled — but you gotta call it something, and it underscores the intention of the limited-to-150-copies, only-available-on-tour LP, which is to capture a bootleg-style feel. The artwork for Live in Liège is taken from Waterreus‘ own tour poster for their 2018 European run, which was their first — the tour they’ll sell the LP on is their second — with Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed filling in on bass for Paul Crick, who couldn’t make the trip from Australia with Waterreus and drummer Mark Sibson.

And if Reed seems like an out-of-the-blue choice, the relationship there runs deeper than just the live shows, with Reed having traveled from his home in Washington to record Seedy Jeezus in their native Melbourne for their 2015 self-titled debut and again for last year’s Polaris Oblique (review here) — he’ll reportedly produce their next album as well whenever that happens. Bottom line, then, is Tony Reed is about as close as one could get to being in Seedy Jeezus, and sometimes he is kind of in the band. He plays like it, taking on a backing vocalist role in the 10-minute side B launcher “Dripping from the Eye of the Sun,” stepping in to introduce Waterreus during the second round of band introductions before they finish the set with “Oh Lord Pt. 2” from the sophomore LP. That the two parties would fit well together isn’t a huge surprise, since both play a style of largely straight-ahead heavy rock with a strong foundation in the classics of the form, an emphasis on songwriting as well as the tightness of the presentation. In the rhythm section with Sibson, Reed‘s right at home throughout “Polaris Oblique”  and the subsequent “Everything’ll Be Alright” — billed as “Everything’s Alright” on the back cover; a notable change in tense — and all throughout the 40-minute set that unfolds.

By the time they got to Péniche la Légia in Liège, Seedy Jeezus had already been on the road for somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 days, and they sound like it. The actual audio on Live in Liège is fairly raw. If we’re going on the scale of bootlegs, it’s definitely a soundboard, and it’s gorgeous compared to some recorded-in-a-jacket-pocket DAT shows I’ve heard in my time, but neither is it a polished live record even as much as was Seedy Jeezus‘ 2016 offering, Live in Netphen: Freak Valley 2015 (discussed here). Again, it’s not supposed to be. The whole idea behind this release is that it’s something special that documents this special moment of their European tour supporting their second album. As Waterreus rips into the solo at the furious outset of “Sun in My Car” at the end of side A — stopping amid that triumphal boogie between measures to give the crowd a well-earned moment to holler, whistle, etc. — before, indeed, that string breaks and he does the first round of band introductions presumably in the midst of changing it out. If it didn’t say so on the cover, they’d have gotten away with it no problem. No one would know.

Seedy Jeezus with tony reed live in liege back cover

Still, if that’s something to stand the show out from the others on the tour, they handle it smoothly enough, which is the kind of thing a band can do without being derailed when they’ve already been on the road for a week-plus. “Sun in My Car” picks up in all the more energized fashion when it returns and blasts off en route to the interstellar drift of “Dripping from the Eye of the Sun” after the side flip, recalling the initial punch of “Polaris Oblique” and “Everything’ll Be Alright” at the start of the set — those two also lead off the Polaris Oblique album in succession — and prefacing “Barefoot Travellin’ Man” and “Oh Lord Pt. 2” still to come. Seedy Jeezus excel at this kind of madcap shuffle, and Live in Liège brings that out well, but their range has never been limited to just one thing, as “Dripping from the Eye of the Sun” demonstrates that with its slower roll and more spacious feel, which isn’t something that one would necessarily expect to come across on a live record, since it’s doubly hard to set the mood for someone listening when that person isn’t at the gig, but Seedy Jeezus deliver the set as it happened and the rest takes care of itself.

I imagine there are some who would hear Live in Liège and not understand the “warts and all”-style vibe it hones or why a band would even put out a recording of a set where the guitarist breaks a string in the middle of a song. But isn’t it obvious? It’s cinéma vérité — the most stripped down manner in which they could showcase the reality of what the tour was like. The only way it could be more real is if they recorded the 23 hours that day they spent driving, sleeping, no doubt, waiting for the time when they could get on stage and kick ass as they do here. By the time they get to the end of “Barefoot Travellin’ Man,” the scorch in Waterreus‘ soloing is so encompassing that whatever concerns might exist about fidelity simply dissipate. You just get into it and that’s all there is. This is the bootleg ideal, of course. Seedy Jeezus put you where the show is happening just as they put the audience who was there where they wanted them.

This may only be a limited LP, offered up in plain style through the band’s own Blown Music imprint with no super-deluxe special edition or anything like that, but it represents something special about their approach just the same, where it’s not just the fact that they boogie down or riff out or get spacey or whatever it might be, but that they do so with such obvious, resonant joy. I can’t imagine a more compelling argument to go see a band than that.

Seedy Jeezus website

Seedy Jeezus on Thee Facebooks

Seedy Jeezus on Instagram

Seedy Jeezus on Bandcamp

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The Ivory Elephant Release Stoneface July 26; New Songs Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I’m not gonna say I’m only posting this press release as an excuse to host the songs at the bottom of the post — because I’m a pro-information guy all the way, and I’ve found that sometimes, even years later, this things are awfully handy to have around when looking back through lineups and recording circumstances, etc. — but the Melbourne band The Ivory Elephant have three tracks streaming right now from Stoneface, which is their second album amid a handful of shorter releases on their Bandcamp page unless I missed something looking through. The songs are rad and as I’m listening to it right now I can tell you the rest of the thing follows suit, so yeah, peruse through the PR wire stuff, like you do, but definitely take some time and listen to the music as well — if you’ve got headphones handy, get on that — because it’s not the kind of thing you’ll regret doing. Pro-shop psych rock. Always welcome by me.

Dig:

the ivory elephant stoneface

The Ivory Elephant – Stoneface

“On this album we really wanted to get deep in to Psych. The blues is still in there, but it’s hidden behind a lot of fuzz and reverb. We also wanted to approach this release as a full album that is best listened to in one hit, rather than just a bunch of songs stuck together. There’s some lengthy jams on there and some pretty heavy stuff, but there’s also tracks on there like Jazzhead pt I and Stoneface which are pretty different to what people would expect from us.

The track we had the most fun recording was probably Stoneface Jamboree. We tracked it on our last day of recording until about 2am on a whim. It started off with just acoustic guitars, then we layered more guitars, sitars, percussion, vocals, a blisteringly loud 70s farfisa organ, and left some whacky tape effects in there for the hell of it too. It’s a long way from anything we’ve done before, and we’ll probably never be able to play it live!

As for lyrical content on the new album, there’s our usual psychedelic shit and vaguely political tracks, but there’s also a few songs about bitter heartbreak, which I haven’t written songs about before. When I listen to music, I often interpret songs my own way, so when I write lyrics I like to leave things pretty vague, so people can relate to it in their own way.

This new album is the first time we’ve really been able to stretch out in the studio. We had five days tracking (which is a lot for us), so there was a lot more time to really refine shit and put more layers in there. There’s A LOT of guitar parts in there and our bassist Arty jumped on the keys for a few tracks, so that’s added a new layer too.

We recorded the album at Soundpark Studio’s in Melbourne, which is where we recorded our last album Number 1 Pop Hit. The place just has a really good vibe. It’s big and has some of the best gear around, and some Aussie legends have recorded there, but it’s also got a run down sort of share-house vibe and you can drink and smoke in there, so it’s pretty chill. We had Andrew Hehir (aka “Idge”) on mixing duties, and he just seems to get exactly what we’re after. Basically we’d always just say “more verb, more dirt and more whack shit!” – Trent Sterling

Stoneface will be released on limited edition heavyweight vinyl July 26th on Kozmik Artifactz.

Available as Limited Edition Vinyl & CD

Release Date: 26th July 2019

VINYL FACTZ
– Plated & pressed on high performance vinyl at Pallas/Germany
– limited & coloured vinyl
– 300gsm gatefold cover
– special vinyl mastering

TRACKS
1. Storm
2. Maybe I’m Evil
3. Wars
4. Roll On
5. Jazzhead pt I
6. Low Expectation
7. Stoneface Jamboree
8. Stoneface
9. Hard Case
10. Jazzhead pt II

The Ivory Elephant are:
Trent Sterling – Guitar/Vox
Arthur Witherby- Bass
Don Sargood – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/theivoryelephant/
https://www.instagram.com/theivoryelephantband/
https://theivoryelephant.bandcamp.com/
https://www.theivoryelephant.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

The Ivory Elephant, Stoneface (2019)

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Holy Serpent Announce New Album Endless & European Tour Dates

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

holy serpent

Perhaps Holy Serpent said it best when on 2016’s Temples (review here) in 2016 they closed out with the 11-minute “Sativan Harvest,” and by “said it” I definitely mean “riffed it.” Still, there’s more work to be done on the part of the Melbourne four-piece, who’ve set themselves a high standard (pun SO intended) between that outing and their 2015 self-titled (review here), and their third album, Endless, will be out Oct. 4 on RidingEasy Records. They’ll spend the better part of the prior month touring in Europe thanks to a helping hand from Heavy Psych Sounds‘ booking wing — a formalized alliance between the US-based RidingEasy and Italian Heavy Psych Sounds would be nothing to sneeze at if it became a more regular occurrence; this isn’t the first time they’ve crossed paths, certainly — and one imagines they’ll either be selling copies of the new record or just generally promoting the crap out of it leading up to the release. US tour after? That’d be awfully nice.

The band’s announcement via social media and the tour dates follow:

holy serpent tour

*** HOLY SERPENT – ‘ENDLESS’ EUROPEAN TOUR 2019 ***

We’re finally making our way over to Europe this September.

Something we’ve all collectively been waiting for ever since we picked up instruments.

We’re doing a hard slog of 25 shows in a row that might just kill us, or make us really fkn strong.. Also BONUS NEWS – our 3rd album titled ‘ENDLESS’ will be out on RidingEasy Records on October 4th, 2019.

Thanks to HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS for booking this tour, we’re all super psyched and also a bit nervous.. Cheers to our bro Dan in RidingEasy Records for taking a chance on a bunch of dudes from down under!

Thanks to everyone who has helped us along the way, brought a record, come to a show or even hit like on a post. It’s amazing to know that we got people watching us all over the world.

Peace and Love and Marijuana.. Holy Serpent.

*** HOLY SERPENT – ‘ENDLESS’ EUROPEAN TOUR 2019 ***
04.09.2019 IT Roma-Wishlist
05.09.2019 IT Torino-Blah Blah
06.09.2019 IT Parma-Splinter
07.09.2019 IT Alessandria-Cascina Bellaria
08.09.2019 IT Verona/Mantova tba
09.09.2019 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando
10.09.2019 AT Wien-Venster99
11.09.2019 AT Salzburg-Rockhouse
12.09.2019 DE Augsburg-City Club
13.09.2019 CH Olten-Coq D’Or
14.09.2019 CH Brunnen-Kult Turm
15.09.2019 FR Lille
16.09.2019 UK
17.09.2019 UK
18.09.2019 UK Bristol
19.09.2019 FR Paris-Le Cirque Eletrique
20.09.2019 CH Martigny-Le Caves Du Manoir
21.09.2019 DE Mannheim
22.09.2019 DE DE Frankfurt
23.09.2019 DE Koln-MTC
24.09.2019 DE Bielefeld-Potemkin
25.09.2019 DE Oldenburg-MTS Record
26.09.2019 DE Berlin-Toast Hawaii
27.09.2019 DE Siegen-Vortex
28.09.2019 CH Frauenfeld-Kaff

HOLY SERPENT is:
Scott Penberthy – Guitar/Vocals
Nick Donoughue – Guitar
Dave Bartlett – Bass
Lance Leembrugen – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/HolySerpentBand/
https://holyserpentband.bandcamp.com
http://ridingeasyrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/

Holy Serpent, Temples (2016)

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