Our Man in the Bronze Age Premiere “Midnight Lovers” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 29th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

our man in the bronze age

Doubly-drummed, doubly-guitarred, quadruply-vocalized UK heavy rock five-piece Our Man in the Bronze Age will release their second album, Hexed Endeavours, on Oct. 8 through Fr33zehead Records. Vinyl, uh, later. The first single is the all-kindsa-catchy “Midnight Lovers,” and that’s out tomorrow, July 30. As somebody who’s a sucker for two-drummer bands in general, and a sucker for melody and songwriting just about all the time, I’ll note outright that those boxes are thoroughly ticked, and since Hexed Endeavours is the band’s first offering since 2015’s Habanero EP, they’re certainly due.

As to what’s behind the delay? Beats me. As to what the rest of Hexed Endeavours sounds like? Also beats me. With drummer/vocalist Tom Platt doubling (tripling?) as recording engineer alongside Angus Wallace, as well as doing the mix and master, our man in the bronze age Hexed Endeavours“Midnight Lovers” wastes little time in getting down to the business of establishing its riff and rhythmic foundation. In that, and in the Queens of the Stone Age-style hookmaking and age-being-in, the band would seem not to have missed a beat since the four-song EP six years ago. There, on the appropriately preaching “Pastor” or the opening title-track, they give due shove, while “Go Play in the Road” brings a more mellow, almost “Wanna Make it Wit Chu”-esque vibe before its concluding surge, and the finisher “Dos Amigos” puts its two drums to use in brasher form, giving an edge to which Habanero is well suited.

A clash of melody and rhythm? Yeah, but maybe without the “clash” part since they go so well together. Whether familiar or not with Habanero or the prior 2012 debut long-player, The Gallows Tree — less refined in its approach, but still plenty atmospheric with piano and arrangements, flowing on its title-track, crunching hardest on “The Other I,” and so on — “Midnight Lovers” speaks for itself and bodes well for Hexed Endeavours to come, which, duh, is what a lead single should do.

Also, if you find the video somewhat disorienting, twisting around and splashing color here and there in fractal patterns and whatnot as it does, I think that’s the idea too. These guys don’t seem to do much by happenstance.

Dig on this:

Our Man in the Bronze Age, “Midnight Lovers” video premiere

Single pre-save: https://linktr.ee/ourmaninthebronzeage

Formed in Milton Keynes in 2007 by five friends, sonic rockers Our Man in the Bronze Age opted a long-time ago to leave behind the cut and thrust of everything that wasn’t music made exclusively on their own terms.

Tired of all that had gone before, forming a brotherly pact the quintet chose to channel crackling riffs, wizened bones and a dry wit into a cosmic vessel that has strutted its stuff from day one. Year to year, gig to gig, from early releases all the way up to their forthcoming album, Hexed Endeavours, which will receive an official worldwide release this October.

Pouring thirteen tracks of cinematic adventure into a ‘Bronze void, their sound boasts many tentacles, each waving prog, doom, alternative, sludge, stoner and post-rock. From wistful piano to apocalyptic swells of sheer dynamism, Hexed Endeavours is a hugely immersive experience and triumphant return for Our Man in the Bronze Age.

1. Intro (The Rise of Bronze)
2. The Fall of Athens
3. Midnight Lovers
4. Cramphands
5. Black Widow
6. Ramblings
7. Brutus
8. Bill Odyssey
9. Hexed Endeavour
10. Coma Haircut
11. Out of The Beginning
12. Two Square Meals
13. She

Video Produced by Chiba Film – http://www.chibafilm.com
Shot by Dan Gibling & Lawrence Wheeler
Directed & Edited by Dan Gibling
Animated Effects by G.Hulbert

Music by Our Man In The Bronze Age
Lyrics by T.Platt and G.Hulbert

Our Man in the Bronze Age:
Graham Hulbert – Vocals/Guitars
Tom Platt – Drums/Vocals
Andi Jackson – Bass/Vocals
Jonathan Muston – Drums/Keys/Vocals
Justin Hodges – Guitars

Our Man in the Bronze Age on Facebook

Our Man in the Bronze Age on Instagram

Our Man in the Bronze Age on Twitter

Our Man in the Bronze Age on Bandcamp

Fr33zehead Records on Instagram

Fr33zehead Records on Bandcamp

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Quarterly Review: Blood of the Sun, Evoken, IAH, Asylum, Merlin, The Hazytones, Daily Thompson, Old Man Lizard, Tuskar, Space Coke

Posted in Reviews on December 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan


I had to think long and hard just now about what day it is. It’s Tuesday. — See how confident I was in saying that? A mask for insecurity, as always.

Anyway, the QR continues today with 10 more records and a pretty solid mix of whatnot. Some of this I’ve written about before here, but basically want to have another shot at the records themselves, so as we wind down 2018, it seems like the time to do that is now. As always, I hope you find something you dig. Seems pretty likely, frankly. If you go the entire 100 records with nothing but a “meh” to show for it, the problem isn’t likely to be the records. Not trying to insinuate anything, I’m just saying. 100 records is a lot. 10 records is a lot. And that’s what we’re doing today, so let’s get going.

Quarterly Review #61-70:

Blood of the Sun, Blood’s Thicker than Love

blood of the sun bloods thicker than love

Drummer Henry Vasquez (also Saint Vitus) returns to his ultra-Texan heavy rock roots with Blood of the Sun‘s first album in six years, Blood’s Thicker than Love (on Listenable). Driven by his own fervent rhythmic push, the six-song collection is given further classic heavy vibe through the prominent organ/keyboard work of Dave Gryder. Oh, and also the riffs from newcomer guitarists Wyatt Burton and Alex Johnson. Oh, and also bassist Roger “Kip” Yma‘s quick turns on bass. Oh, and also Sean Vargas‘ vocals. So yeah, pretty much the whole damn thing is classic uptempo heavy boogie, produced modern but making no mistake about where its heart lies. Vargas‘ voice has a pre-metal swagger that helps define tracks like “Livin’ for the Night” and the capper “Blood of the Road,” and while the follow-up to 2012’s Burning on the Wings of Desire (review here) is enough to make one wistful for the days when their contemporaries in Dixie Witch once also roamed the land, Blood of the Sun make classic rock their own and give it a vibrancy that’s nothing if not a show of love, regardless of how thick that may be.

Blood of the Sun on Thee Facebooks

Listenable Records on Bandcamp


Evoken, Hypnagogia

evoken hypnogogia

Unremitting. Unrelenting. Unforgiving. Whatever else one might say about New Jersey death/doombringers Evoken, it better start with the prefix “un-.” The negativity runs through the 60 minutes of their latest work, Hypnagogia (on Profound Lore), and one would expect no less than the ultra-mournful crush of “To Feign Ebullience” or the buzzing, resonant disdain of “Valorous Consternation,” the string sounds playing such a large role in crafting both the melodies and the relentless nature of their lung-deflating atmosphere. They may only break into speedier sections on rare occasion, but there’s no way to listen to Hypnagogia and call it anything other than extreme metal. It’s so cast down and so grinding that it not only conveys mood but affects it. Evoken are masters of the form, of course, and while Hypnagogia is their first full-length since 2012’s Atra Mors (review here), their history spans more than a quarter-century and time seems only to have made their miseries plunge even deeper.

Evoken on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records website



iah ii

In part, the gift that Argentinian trio IAH give with their aptly-titled second outing, II — following their 2017 self-titled debut EP (review here) — is to allow their parts to flesh out naturally across the six-song/38-minute span, so that even as second cut “HH” turns to more weighted chug, that in turn evolves into something no less spacious than the drift brought to bear in the second half of the later “La Niña del Rayo,” which makes its way ultimately through similar interplay. This back and forth is exceptionally smooth throughout II, as the instrumental outfit blend heavy psychedelia and progressive metal with an unflinching cohesion of their songwriting. The longest inclusion is the penultimate “Pri” at 7:35, which caps with massive start-stops en route to closer “Sheut,” which serves as one last showcase of the cosmic doom dynamic burgeoning in the band’s sound, as much ready to depart the earth as leave impact craters on it.

IAH on Thee Facebooks

IAH on Bandcamp


Asylum, 3-3-88

asylum 3-3-88

The band who a short time later would evolve into Unorthodox, Asylum have long stood as a testament to the enduring power of Maryland doom. 3-3-88 is the second official issue of their material Shadow Kingdom has stood behind, following 2008’s reissue of 1985’s The Earth is the Insane Asylum of the Universe (review here), and it’s no less a document of the classic metal that’s still very much the foundation of what Maryland doom is. From the Sabbathian opening of “World in Trouble” and the later “Psyche World” to the kind of feeling-out-the-riff happening in “Funk 69” and the concluding instrumental “Unorthodox,” there’s a rawness to the sound that suits it well in the spirit of Pentagram‘s First Daze Here, but even in barebones form, Asylum‘s doomly vibes brook no bullshit and weed out the feint of heart. Straightforward working-class doom grit stripped to its essentials. Hard to ask for anything more when you actually hear it.

Unorthodox on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Kingdom Records website


Merlin, Dank Souls and Dark Weed: A Live Experience

merlin dank souls and dark weed

Kansas City doom rockers Merlin expanded to a six-piece early in 2018, and Dank Souls and Dark Weed: A Live Experience, as the title hints, captures this form of the band on stage. They’re playing a hometown gig at the Riot Room, and from the nodding groove that opens with “Abyss” from this year’s The Wizard (review here) to the extended reaches of a 19-minute take on “Tales of the Wasteland” that’s actually shorter than the studio version from 2016’s Electric Children (review here), the band explore reaches that are vast with a patience befitting their quickly-earned veteran status. The recording is remarkably clear and allows for the wash of “The Wizard Suite” to be discernible in its progressive rollout, and as they close with “Night Creep” from the 2016 LP, their energy comes through no less prevalent than the distortion driving it forward. The crowd are right to holler.

Merlin on Thee Facebooks

Merlin on Bandcamp


The Hazytones, II: Monarchs of Oblivion

the hazytones ii monarchs of oblivion

Touching on garage-doom influences, Montreal three-piece The Hazytones effectively sleek into the groove of “The Great Illusion” on their second Ripple LP, II: Monarchs of Oblivion, finding a balance between swing, melody and heft that pushes beyond the seemingly-requisite Uncle Acid influence to a place that isn’t shy about working in crisp tones or unabashed vocal harmonies. The title-track is a two-parter, and touches on theatrics-sans-pretense in the first piece while dedicating the second to following a central riff well worthy of the attention they give it toward a galloping solo finish. Opener “Empty Space” sets a creper vibe, and by the time they’re down to finishing out with the “Hole in the Sky”-style riff of “The Hand that Feeds,” that sensibility is reaffirmed as an essential component of The Hazytones‘ aesthetic. Whether it’s the chugging “Hell” or the way-blown-out “The Beast,” they hold firm to that central purpose and work with it to effect a sound that one can hear becoming their own all the more.

The Hazytones on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp


Daily Thompson, Thirsty

daily thompson thirsty

Three albums in, Dortmund’s Daily Thompson indeed sound Thirsty — or maybe it’s hungry, but either way, the Dortmund trio’s MIG Music offering captures a tight presentation based around nonetheless natural energy born of their time on tour, as the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Danny Zaremba, bassist Mercedes, and drummer Stefan Mengel touch on Spidergawd-style classic heavy rock strut with “Brown Mountain Lights” and make their way through the semi-acoustic drift of “Stone Rose” and toward the later roll of “River Haze” with a trail of hooks behind them. Songwriting is central to what they do, but while Thirsty isn’t a minor undertaking at a CD-era reminiscent 10 songs/53 minutes, the band offer a chemistry between them and a fullness of sound that allows them to play to different sides of their approach, be it the fuzz-blues of “Gone Child” or the final summation “Spit out the Crap” that seems to shove all the more to its cymbal-wash finish. The title Thirsty brings to mind connotations of need, but Daily Thompson sound like they’ve got it all taken care of.

Daily Thompson on Thee Facebooks

MIG Music website


Old Man Lizard, True Misery

old man lizard true misery

A strong enough current of noise rock runs beneath Old Man Lizard‘s True Misery (on Wasted State) that leadoff track “Shark Attack” is enough to remind of Akimbo‘s Jersey Shores, and in under two minutes, the subsequent “Snakes” ties that into crawling-paced doom riffery such that the lumbering “Tree of Te?ne?re?” opens like the gaping jaws of some deep-sea trench. From there it unfolds a bit more uptempo than one might initially think, but it shows how fluidly Old Man Lizard shift from one impulse to the other. Accordingly, True Misery plays out with familiar-enough tones put to deceptively subtle and unpredictable purposes, making one-two highlights of the eight-minute back-to-backers “Cursed Ocean, Relentless Sea” and “Misery is Miserable” — which says it all, really — ahead of the finale, well titled “Return to Earth.” A better band than people know, Old Man Lizard bring a progressive touch to what from many others would just be sludge riffing — a bit of Elder on that closer — and manage to do so without losing touch with the righteousness of their groove. True Misery takes a couple listens to sink in, but well earns those and more besides.

Old Man Lizard on Thee Facebooks

Wasted State Records website


Tuskar, The Tide, Beneath, The Wall

tuskar the tide beneath the wall

Tuskar‘s second offering through Riff Rock Records arrives titled for its three songs, “The Tide,” “Beneath” and “The Wall,” and comprises three tracks of largesse-minded sludge, burying its shouted vocals beneath mountainous low end. The Tide, Beneath, The Wall sets itself up through noisy churn and a roll that’s somehow misanthropic at the same time it seems well geared to have an entire bar headbanging. Either way, the feedback-worship in “The Wall” — sure enough a massive thing to slam into — makes a fitting end to the 20-minute release that seems to run so much longer, as “The Tide” and “Beneath” each set forth a grueling sprawl of malevolence that touches on the chaos to come without ever fully giving away what’s in store for the finale. At the same time this assault is cast, there’s an atmosphere to the proceedings as well such that Tuskar aren’t simply bludgeoning for the sake of bludgeonry, but finding a place for themselves within that in order to develop their attack. They do that successfully here and sound well up to the inevitable task before them of a debut full-length.

Tuskar on Thee Facebooks

Riff Rock Records website


Space Coke, L’Appel du Vide

space coke lappel du vide

I just about never do this, but I’m gonna go ahead and make the call: Space Coke‘s L’Appel du Vide is going to get picked up for a vinyl release in 2019. I don’t know who, how or when, but it’s basically a lock. The Columbia, South Carolina, organ-laced four-piece play classic-as-now heavy rock with right-on songcraft and a hard-hitting presentation that’s begging for some label with ears to hear it and press it to the platter it deserves. Be it the molten unfolding of the title-track or the fuzz-swirl of “Thelemic Ritual” or the cosmic stretch of “Kali Ma,” they’re locked in to a degree that utterly defies the notion that this is their first record, and from the vocal-effects smash in “Lucid Dream” and the samples laid over-top of “Interlude,” there’s never really a sense of where Space Coke — extra kudos for the Cheech & Chong reference — might go next, and yet their sound is cohesive, directed, and well aware of exactly what it’s doing and what it wants to do. Never a guarantee of anything in this world, but with Space Coke‘s take on modern stoner sprawl, I’d be amazed if someone didn’t grab this in the New Year, if not before. Eyes peeled on the PR wire for the announcement.

Space Coke on Thee Facebooks

Space Coke on Bandcamp


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Tuskar Sign to Riff Rock Records; Arianrhod EP out Oct. 20

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I don’t know how schooled you might be on Welsh mythology, but the shit is complex. That’s where the title of Tuskar‘s debut EP, Arianrhod, comes from, and after falling down an internet rabbithole of summary reading of the story of the goddess-esque figure sharing that name, I feel no closer to understanding any kind of story involving the character than I was when my perspective was, “Hmm, I wonder what the word ‘Arianrhod’ means.” Score me a zero in reading comprehension, I guess. I remain ignorant as hell. Big surprise.

I’m flying likewise blind on what Tuskar actually sound like, since although the EP was previously been released, it’s been taken down from their Bandcamp ahead of its Oct. 20 issue through Riff Rock Records, and though there’s a stream through Spotify below, I don’t actually have a Spotify account because I’m fucking lame or whatever, so yeah. But hey, the EP is a thing that exists and the label’s cool, so there you go. It’s been that kind of morning.

Fortunately the PR wire can fill in the rest of the details:


Riff Rock Records new signing – Tuskar

Milton Keynes “nuclear sludge” duo Tuskar have signed to Riff Rock Records.

The two-piece’s debut EP, “Arianrhod”, will be available on CD from Riff Rock Records on October 20th. It was recorded at The Cro’s Nest studio by Sam Thredder (Slabdragger).

Despite having formed less than a year ago, vocalist and drummer Tyler Hodges and guitarist Tom Dimmock’s chemistry is unmistakable both live and in the studio. The two 20-year olds have grown up playing together in bands and have struck out on their own with material that owes as much to Conan and Sleep as it does bands like Behemoth and Darkthrone.

Drummer and vocalist Tyler Hodges says of the signing: “We’re really excited to be a part of Riff Rock. We can’t wait for this chapter of our journey to start, and we can unleash the riff upon the masses. We’ve had an exciting year so far and with Riff Rock behind us it doesn’t seem like it’s going to slow down anytime soon!”

Tuskar plan to record another EP with Thredder before the end of 2017 to be released worldwide through Riff Rock, and a debut full-length will follow in 2018.

You can listen to and pre-order “Arianrhod” on Tuskar’s Bandcamp page (https://tuskar.bandcamp.com/album/arianrhod), or stream on all streaming services.

Riff Rock Records was started in 2015 to promote the best from the UK’s underground heavy scene. Riff Rock is extremely excited to add Tuskar to its roster which already boasts Afro-psych trio Vodun and tie-dye fuzzlords Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters.

1. Fateweaver
2. Where Strides The Colossus
3. Toegrinder
4. Moon-Hooch
5. Crimson Skull

Tour dates:
11/09 – w/ Jucifer, Underworld, London
12/09 – The Star, Guildford
14/09 – w/ Jucifer, Anvil, Bournemouth
16/09 – Factory, Manchester
22/10 – New Cross Inn, London
04/11 – The Dev, Camden
10/11 – The Red Lion, Stevenage
01/12 – The Swamp, Reading
03/12 – The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
3/2/18 – Underworld, Camden w/ Slomatics, Slabdragger, Chubby Kush

Tuskar is:
Tom Dimmock- Riffsmith (guitar)
Tyler Hodges-Throat Lord and Skin Smasher (vox and drums)


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