The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Singles, EPs, Splits and Demos of 2015

Posted in Features on December 29th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

top 20 short releases of 2015

Please note: This list is not culled in any way from the Readers Poll, which is ongoing. If you haven’t yet contributed your favorites of 2015 to that, please do.

What’s a short release? Anything that’s not a full-length. I’ve done this list in the past and given a small list — The Top 20 EPs, Splits, Demos and Singles, or whatever — but “Short Releases” seemed more concise, and believe it or not, that’s something I shoot for.

Essentially, what we’re taking a look at here is everything else a band might put out in a given year. No question that albums are where the greatest impact is made over the longer term, but from landmark 7″s to EPs that provide crucial experiments or serve notice of bands solidifying their sound or marking pivotal first impressions, the shorter offerings have tremendous value, and it’s worth considering them on their own merit, rather than in comparison to LPs directly.

I know for a fact that there are releases I’ve missed here. Particularly among the Bandcamp-only demos, there’s just so much out there that for any one person to keep up with all of it is even more impossible than it’s ever been before. Before you berate me immediately with, “Hey you forgot X Band!” and start throwing tomatoes at your computer or mobile device screen, please keep in mind The Obelisk is run by a single individual and there are only so many hours in the day. As always, I do the best I can.

Here we go:

foehammer foehammer

The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2015

1. Foehammer, Foehammer EP
2. Mos Generator & Stubb, The Theory of Light and Matter Split
3. Sun Voyager, Lazy Daze EP
4. All Them Witches, A Sweet Release
5. Geezer & Borracho, The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter 1 Split
6. Fatso Jetson & Farflung, Split
7. Eggnogg & Borracho, Sludgy Erna Bastard Split 7″
8. Shroud Eater, Face the Master EP
9. Bedroom Rehab Corporation, Fortunate Some EP
10. Stars that Move, Demo Songs
11. Wight, Helicopter Mama 7″
12. Thera Roya, Unraveling EP
13. Shatner, EP
14. Cities of Mars, Cyclopean Ritual EP
15. Pyramidal & Domo, Jams from the Sun Split
16. Sandrider & Kinski, Split
17. Mount Hush, Low and Behold! EP
18. Godhunter & Amigo the Devil, The Outer Dark Split
19. Groan, Highrospliffics EP
20. Rozamov & Deathkings, Split

Honorable Mention

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Notes

It’s something of a break in routine for me to put any kind of debut in a top spot (other, of course, than on the list of debuts), but Foehammer simply would not be denied. The Virginia trio’s three-song EP release on Grimoire Records (LP on Australopithecus Records), it was a self-titled that seemed to be telling you the name of the band twice as if in a warning against forgetting it. And that warning was one to heed. Foehammer‘s first outing brought the Doom Capitol region to new heights of extremity, and while at over half-an-hour long it could’ve just as easily have been called a full-length, part of the overarching threat is what the band will bring to bear when they actually get around to their first LP.

A good number of splits included here, with Mos Generator and Stubb‘s The Theory of Light and Matter (HeviSike Records), Geezer and Borracho‘s The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter 1 (launching a series for Ripple Music), Fatso Jetson and Farflung‘s joint release (on Heavy Psych Sounds) and Eggnogg and Borracho‘s Sludgy Erna Bastard (on Palaver Records) all cracking the top 10. No coincidence that Washington D.C. heavy riffers Borracho show up twice in that mix. As Pyramidal and Domo‘s blissful Jams from the Sun, Sandrider and Kinski‘s one-two, Godhunter and Amigo the Devil‘s Battleground Records collaboration and Rozamov and Deathkings‘ joint single feature between #11-20, a total of eight out of the full included 20 releases here are splits. Last year it was only five.

Whether that means the form is growing in an attempt to capture fickle social-media-age attention spans while cutting individual vinyl pressing costs, I couldn’t say — likely a combination of the two and more besides — but it’s noteworthy that a split is more than just a toss-off, between-albums castaway at this point, something for songs to later be included on rare-tracks comps. One could easily say the same of EPs as a whole. To that end, Sun Voyager‘s Lazy Daze was a brutal tease for the NY psychgaze outfit’s first album, hopefully out in 2016. And while All Them WitchesA Sweet Release was over 50 minutes long — longer, actually, than their Dying Surfer Meets His Maker LP, which was also issued this year — they considered it an EP/live collection, and that indeed proved how it worked best, immersive though its stretch remained.

Shroud Eater and Bedroom Rehab Corporation both turned in impressive outings that showed marked progression from their last time out, while Shatner‘s first batch of tracks tipped off a songwriting process well-honed and Stars that Move, Cities of Mars, Thera Roya and Mount Hush — I’d put Mount Desert in this category as well — had compelling outings that, like Foehammer at the top, showed much potential at work in formative sounds. Not to be forgotten, Wight‘s Helicopter Mama 7″ gave listeners a heads up on the funkified stylistic turn their upcoming full-length, Love is Not Only What You Know, will take even further, and UK stoner miscreants Groan proved once and for all that, along with logic and reason, a constantly changing lineup can’t hold back their good times.

Like I said — like I always say — if I left something out, let me know about it in the comments. Really let me have it. Call me a jerk. It’s cool. I can take it.

Please note: I can, in no way, take it.

Still, if I left something/someone out, I hope you’ll let me know. And please don’t forget that if you haven’t yet, you can still contribute your list of 2015 favorites to the year-end poll until Dec. 31. EPs, LPs, whatever, however many, it doesn’t matter. All entries are welcome there.

Thanks for reading.

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Mos Generator and Stubb Split Available to Preorder from HeviSike Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 22nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Pressed in a total edition of 400 copies, the new split between Mos Generator and Stubb, titled The Theory of Light and Matter, is available now to preorder from HeviSike Records. The release (track stream here) will be out next month in time to coincide with Mos Generator‘s upcoming European tour dates, and will be available in either black/red marble or white vinyl, sold with an included download. Stubb have gigs coming up supporting The Midnight Ghost Train and Siena Root, while Mos Generator will spend the summer on the road with Elder after hitting the East Coast again for the Eye of the Stoned Goat fest on June 13.

Preorders here. Release details follow:

mos-generator-stubb-the-theory-of-light-and-matter-harley-and-j

MOS GENERATOR // STUBB

Band : Mos Generator, Stubb
Title : The Theory of Light and Matter
Label : HeviSike Records
Catalog ref. : HVSK-1207
Format : Vinyl
HVSK-1208 Mos Generator // Stubb – The Theory of Light & Matter

– Limited Edition with OBI Strip –

Two of the most exciting power trios combine forces to deliver a split album on HeviSike Records. Washington, USA stoner rock titans MOS GENERATOR explore a more progressive territory akin to their 2005 album ‘The Late Great Planet Earth’. London, England three-piece STUBB who are well known for their high-energy blues-rock demonstrate their more experimental side.

MOS GENERATOR have built a dedicated following through a heavy touring schedule and releasing consistently top quality music. The band’s 2015 schedule includes tours of both West Coast and East Coast, USA before visiting Europe on a 33 date European summer tour in support of ELDER. 2014 saw the Port Orchard trio release their opus ‘Electric Mountain Majesty’ (Listenable Records).

STUBB are familiar to the European touring circuit having made numerous appearances at events such as Freak Valley and Desertfest and have shared a stage alongside heavyweight contemporaries such as Earthless, Gentlemans Pistols, Sungrazer and The Machine. The London trio recently released their second LP ‘Cry of The Ocean’ (2014, Ripple Music) to critical acclaim.

Available as a strictly limited edition vinyl LP and digital download, THE THEORY OF LIGHT & MATTER is an essential purchase for fans of heavy psychedelic rock. Mastered specifically for vinyl. Cover art by Harley & J. 150 copies Red/Black Marbled (HeviSike Exclusive), 250 White (Band and Distribution)

Pressing Details:
150 Copies – Black/Red Marbled – HeviSike Records Exclusive
250 Copies – White vinyl (For distribution, only 30 copies available here)
Total press: 400 copies
Artwork by Harley & J
Contains OBI Strip with all information
Mastered specifically for vinyl

PRE-ORDER: Friday 22nd May 2015
RELEASE DATE: Monday 22nd June 2015

http://hevisike.bigcartel.com/product/mosgenerator-stubb
http://hevisike.com/release/mos-generator-stubb/
https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
https://www.facebook.com/Stubbrock
https://www.facebook.com/hevisike

Mos Generator, “As Above So Below”

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Mos Generator Premiere “As Above So Below” from Split LP with Stubb

Posted in audiObelisk on May 5th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

mos-generator-1-Photo-by-JJ-Koczan

If time has proven aything at all, it’s that Tony Reed likes to keep busy. With his band Mos Generator having already released the live album In Concert: 2007-2014 (track stream here) on Listenable Records and just last week confirmed a new 7″ through Stickman Records to coincide with their upcoming European tour with Elder, Reed and bassist Sean Booth next join forces with HeviSike Records, who will issue a split LP called The Theory of Light and Matter that boasts three new tracks from Mos Generator and three from UK trio Stubb, whose albums Reed has mixed and mastered in the past.

That level of output shouldn’t really be news to anyone who’s followed Reed‘s work for just about any length of time at all, but the difference is now Mos Generator is ready to take the show on the road. They’ll tour the East Coast for the second time this year early next month, and then they take off for the aforementioned European jaunt, and that’s another full month gone mobile. Not only that, but with Reed working in his own studio and putting together material at an ever-more prolific clip, there’s no sign whatsoever that this swath of mos-generator-stubb-the-theory-of-light-and-matter-harley-and-jproductivity is anything but the beginning, which of course is just fine so long as you’re into things like choice riffs and quality songwriting. The split with Stubb includes “As Above So Below,” “Catspaw” and “There’s No Return from Nowhere,” and will be released by HeviSike in an edition of 400 copies with artwork by Harley & J.

Launching the release with a chunky riff topped with a near-immediate verse from Reed, who also drums on the split — oh yeah, did I mention that in addition to putting all this stuff together in the last year, the band has also completely revamped its lineup? — one finds many of the recognizable elements of Mos Gen‘s approach intact. The track is heavy but clearheaded, and builds on some of the melodic progression the band showed on their last full-length, 2014’s Electric Mountain Majesty (review here), but still remains essentially true to their classic form, a spacious break in the middle setting up a finish that is, like the song itself, quintessentially their own. As the first cut of the included six, it’s a memorable start to side A, and quickly affirms that The Theory of Light and Matter offers plenty of both.

I’m thrilled today to host the premiere of “As Above So Below,” which you can find on the player here, followed by info from HeviSike on the release and Mos Generator‘s upcoming tour dates, starting with their East Coast run in June. Please enjoy:

MOS GENERATOR // STUBB – The Theory of Light & Matter (LP) HVSK-1207

Two of the most exciting power trios combine forces to deliver a split album on HeviSike Records. Washington, USA stoner rock titans MOS GENERATOR explore a more progressive territory akin to their 2005 album ‘The Late Great Planet Earth’. London, England three-piece STUBB who are well known for their high-energy blues-rock demonstrate their more experimental side.

MOS GENERATOR have built a dedicated following through a heavy touring schedule and releasing consistently top quality music. The band’s 2015 schedule includes tours of both West Coast and East Coast, USA before visiting Europe on a 33 date European summer tour in support of ELDER. 2014 saw the Port Orchard trio release their opus ‘Electric Mountain Majesty’ (Listenable Records).

STUBB are familiar to the European touring circuit having made numerous appearances at events such as Freak Valley and Desertfest and have shared a stage alongside heavyweight contemporaries such as Earthless, Gentlemans Pistols, Sungrazer and The Machine. The London trio recently released their second LP ‘Cry of The Ocean’ (2014, Ripple Music) to critical acclaim.

Available as a strictly limited edition vinyl LP and digital download, THE THEORY OF LIGHT & MATTER is an essential purchase for fans of heavy psychedelic rock. Mastered specifically for vinyl. Cover art by Harley & J. 150 copies Red/Black Marbled (HeviSike Exclusive), 250 White (Band and Distribution)

MOS GENERATOR on tour:
with Wounded Giant
6/5/15 Millcreek Tavern- Philadelphia, PA w/ Wasted Theory, Righteous Bloom
6/6/15 Sidebar Tavern- Baltimore, MD w/ Wasted Theory, Borracho, Foghound, Mountainwolf
6/7/15 The Pinch- Washington, DC w/ Wasted Theory, Borracho
6/9/15 Three Sheets – New Haven, CT w/ Bedroom Rehab Corporation
6/10/15 TT The Bear’s Place- Cambridge, MA w/ Elder, Worshipper
6/11/15 Dover Brickhouse – Dover, NH w/ Gozu, Iron Chin
6/12/15 Empire- Portland, ME w/ Murcielago
6/13/15 Amityville Music hall- Long Island, NY “Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 Festival” w/ Weed is Weed, Gozu, Brimstone Coven, Doctor Smoke, Curse The Son, Ol’ Time Moonshine, John Wilkes Booth

ELDER / MOS GENERATOR – Live in Europe 2015
20.06.2015 F – Clisson, Hellfest 2015, (only ELDER)
22.06.2015 ESP – Madrid, Wurlitzer Ballroom
23.06.2015 ESP – Barcelona, Riff Ritual Fest Sala Boveda
25.06.2015 CH – Luzern, Sedel
26.06.2015 GER – Kloster Weil, JH
27.06.2015 GER – Siegen, Vortex
29.06.2015 UK – Cardiff, Moon Club
01.07.2015 UK – Edinburgh, Bannermans
02.07.2015 UK – London, Garage,
03.07.2015 UK – Bristol, The Louisiana
05.07.2015 B – Leuven, Sojo
08.07.2015 GER – Hamburg, Hafenklang
10.07.2015 GER – Erfurt, Stoned From The Underground Festival 2015
11.07.2015 A – Nikolsdorf, Stick & Stone Festival 2015
12.07.2015 HUN – Budapest, Dürer Kert
13.07.2015 A – Vienna, Arena
15.07.2015 ROM – Bucarest, Fabrica Club
16.07.2015 I – Milano, Lo fi Club
17.07.2015 I – Prato, No Cage
20.07.2015 F – Paris, Glazart
21.07.2015 F – Nantes, Club tba
23.07.2015 A – Salzburg, Rockhouse
24.07.2015 GER – Beelen, Krach Am Bach Festival 2015
25.07.2015 GER – Dresden. Chemiefabrik
26.07.2015 GER – Nürnberg, Zentralcafe
27.07.2015 GER – Munich, Backstage, Free & Easy Festival
29.07.2015 GER – Wiesbaden, Schlachthof
31.07.2015 B – Waarshoot, Roadkill Festival 2015
01.08.2015 GER – Bielefeld, Forum, Stickman Records showcase
02.08.2015 GR – Drama, Fuzztastic Planet Fest 2015, (only ELDER)
04.08.2015 NOR – Oslo, Pokalen
05.08.2015 DK – Copenhagen, Pumpehuset
06.08.2015 GER – Berlin, Cassiopeia
08.08.2015 A – Nepomukteich Waldhausen, Lake on Fire Festival 2015

HeviSike on Bandcamp

HeviSike website

Mos Generator on Thee Facebooks

Stubb on Thee Facebooks

HeviSike on Thee Facebooks

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