The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2016

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

the obelisk top 20 short releases

how to write a literature review based dissertation Argumentative Thesis On Catcher In The Rye Argumentative essay writing my neighbourhood executive ghostwriting services Please note: This post is not culled in any way from the Year-End Poll, which is ongoing. If you haven’t yet contributed your favorites of 2016 to that, please do.

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

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

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

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

Here we go:

scissorfight chaos county

The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2016

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

Honorable Mention

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

Presented alphabetically:

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, there’s much more to come.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

audiObelisk Transmission 059

Posted in Podcasts on November 23rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download

 

I’ve listened to it front to back and I can honestly say this is the best podcast I’ve made in the last five months. Truth be told, I know there are plenty of people who do podcasts as their primary outlet, talk on them and whatnot (hey, I tried it once and reserve the right to do it again at some point), but if it’s between crossfading feedback from one song to another and writing a review of a new record, well, crossfading falls into the same category as just about everything else: Write first.

Fortunately, a longer span of time between casts makes it that much easier to pick tracks. Existence does not hand you a 45-minute Øresund Space Collective jam every day, so I thought that was worth featuring, and I just got Megaritual’s new vinyl for review, so I thought featuring their more recent single-song EP would work well too.

I’m happy with the blend overall, and with Asteroid setting the tone. Be patient with it. Let it unfold. Even with a rocking start, it gets pretty psychedelic pretty quickly, and only continues to move further out. My advice is go with it and see where you end up.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Track details follow:

We provide the great homework help as well as buy an essay, write my paper and http://sfv-fsp.ch/?best-resume-writing-services-chicago-reviews at affordable prices. First Hour:

0:00:00 Asteroid, “Them Calling” from III
0:05:02 Stinkeye, “Orange Man” from Llantera Demos
0:08:31 Hornss, “Prince of a Thousand Enemies” from Telepath
0:11:36 Ice Dragon, “Broken Life” from Broken Life
0:16:08 Wasted Theory, “Odyssey of the Electric Warlock” from Defenders of the Riff
0:20:59 Pelander, “True Colour” from Time
0:29:41 The Freeks, “Blow Time Away” from Shattered
0:34:26 Baby Woodrose, “Freedom” from Freedom
0:37:27 Comacozer, “The Mind that Feeds the Eye” from Astra Planeta
0:45:21 Mos Generator, “Outlander” from The Firmament
0:51:13 Megaritual, “Eclipse” from Eclipse

Best this website Services. Trusted By 3000+ Corporate Clients. Start in 30min. 12 hours delivery. From 29 $/hr. Second Hour:

1:16:25 Øresund Space Collective, “Visions Of…” from Visions Of…

Total running time: 1:58:36

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 059

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mos Generator, Lies of Liberty ’87 & The Firmament: Direction of Years

Posted in Reviews on October 27th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

mos-generator-lies-of-liberty-87

mos-generator-the-firmament

It’s not often that a band issues their most forward-thinking and backward-looking releases back-to-back, let alone within a month of each other, but for Port Orchard, Washington, three-piece, there’s very little that’s out of their reach at this point. Lest we forget, the outfit led by its perpetually restless founder, guitarist/vocalist/engineer essay writing service london Math Homework For 6th Graders Questions warwick phd thesis buy online papers term Tony Reed, already also issued a new studio full-length, http://www.vasmetal.net/media-studies-essay-help/ - Qualified writers engaged in the company will fulfil your paper within the deadline Why be concerned about the dissertation Abyssinia (review here), earlier this year on PayPerContent is your online partner that provides quality Discovery Logon to meet your growing digital marketing needs. Listenable Records.

Working with the same rhythm section of bassist Custom Dissertations Us Phd Thesis Online page. Fully customized. Custom written dissertation headings metricer com Custom written. Sean Booth and drummer If you are looking for https://sdp2.com/?p=my-custom-paper youve come to the right place. Get dissertation writing assistance on any topic only at SolidEssay.com. Jono Garrett, the two new EPs, My Covering Letter For Resumes . Where OZ students find best writers, trusted services, highest quality, cheap prices, professional customers support The Firmament (vinyl on Want to Cost Dissertation Consultant cheap from professional writers? Welcome to Buy Essays Cheap, your ultimate source of academic assistance. Stickman Records) and Order Resume Online Swiss Chalet - Dissertations and essays at most attractive prices. Benefit from our inexpensive custom dissertation writing service Lies of Liberty ’87 (as yet a digital-only self-release) show opposite-ends-of-the-spectrum mentalities and foster two very, very different sounds while still retaining character as What Can I Do For My Homework - Discover main recommendations how to get a plagiarism free themed research paper from a trusted writing service Why worry about the Mos Generator. In a manner bold and frank, they push the boundaries of what that character means, and respectively give fans an at-least-partial look at where A page's skill set may be unique. That can make it a challenge to find the right technical writer for your project. When you need contract or Mos Generator came from and where they might be going.

The timing couldn’t be more convenient for both to arrive, especially after  In 2011, Eurographics extended the Research Awards Programme by creating an additional Clicking Here Award. The aim is to recognize good thesis work in Abyssinia found  Write My Essay Help - Receive an A+ help even for the hardest writings. get the necessary coursework here and forget about your concerns 100% Reed and company delving into more progressive fare on its B-side, and thereby moving forcefully beyond the kind of heavy rock proffered on their last two full-lengths, 2014’s moodier  Electric Mountain Majesty (review here) and their 2012 return album, Nomads (review here), that woke them from several years of hiatus — but to have Mos Generator dive headfirst into live-recorded hardcore songs from 30 years ago at basically the same time they bring in two guest members to play second guitar and Rhodes on a Joy Division cover and reworked original material, also tracked live?

I don’t know if Reed had a master plan or if it’s just serendipity, but it would be harder to conceive of a clearer demonstration that, now well past the 15-year mark and having emerged since 2014 as a significant touring presence, Mos Generator feel free to do just exactly whatever the hell they want. All the better.

The Firmament was released earlier (Sept. as opposed to Oct.), but since the material on Lies of Liberty ’87 dates back further, it seems fair to tackle that first. Taking its name from Reed‘s early hardcore band, Lies of Liberty, and culling songs from a period between 1986-’87, the 17:47 blaster comprises 11 songs that brim with the adolescent fervor that no doubt drove their creation at the time and in so doing make for the rawest material Mos Generator have ever released.

Maybe that’s not a fair comparison, since it’s not like they’ve ever taken on hardcore punk so directly before, but minute-long shots like “The Smell of Death,” “Social Termination” (actually the shortest track at 44 seconds long), “A Pig’s Job is Never Done,” “Gore Reality” and so on plow by, one after the other, as they no doubt did three decades ago in some local VFW hall, Reed and his Lies of Liberty bandmates giving their friends a valid excuse to lose their minds and worry their parents. As they’re recorded now, those cuts and longer pieces like “Bring it Forward” (1:42), “Push Comes to Shove” (2:42) and the slower closer “Holocaust America” (a sprawling 3:36) benefit greatly from having been tracked live.

Can’t help but wonder how much Reed rehearsed the songs with Booth and Garrett before rolling tape, since the performances are tight, but for the kind of aesthetic with which they’re working, they could easily run the risk of becoming too much so at the sacrifice to the intensity with which they were written. That is, one wouldn’t want them to sound too adult. Mos Generator strike a fitting balance in giving their audience a feel for where “World of Hate” or “Negative Change” come from without necessarily cleaning them up so that they lose their edge. It’s a quick shot, but one imagines Lies of Liberty ’87 surprising a lot of listeners who happen upon it without the context of knowing the origin of the tracks included. Likely that’s part of the fun for the band.

mos-generator

As you’ve probably already gathered, The Firmament is an altogether different beast. Recorded as the audio portion of a live video called Songs for the Firmament taped by Chris Mathews (now also of Ancient Warlocks) of Joonior Studios, the five-song outing spans a decade of Mos Generator‘s catalog (and beyond) but ultimately boasts a quieter, more melancholy feel.

ReedBooth and Garrett are joined by second guitarist Bo McConaghie and Rhodes pianist Andy Sorter to make what I’m reasonably certain is the first five-piece incarnation in the band’s history, and the songs they run through — “Fall of Megiddo” and “Zero to Infinity” from 2006’s The Late Great Planet Earth, “Wicked Willow” from Abyssinia, the Joy Division cover “Dead Souls,” and “Outlander,” also from Abyssinia — set an atmosphere that is as righteous in its patience as Lies of Liberty ’87 was in its furies.

In fact, it’s not until “Wicked Willow,” here presented with acoustic and electric guitar side by side, that Reed even steps forward with vocals, and by then the first 10 of The Firmament‘s 26 minutes have passed. The roll from the album version is recognizable, but the veneer has changed, and so too the context in which “Wicked Willow” is framed, so that even when the chorus kicks in it seems to be a gentler more wistful delivery, marked out by Booth‘s runs on bass, a final wash of crash, and a round of applause from those lucky enough to be at the recording.

“Dead Souls,” which children of the ’90s will recall Nine Inch Nails taking on for the soundtrack to The Crow, turns out to be the most active track of the bunch, pushed forward by Garrett‘s toms and the cyclical riffing that going along with them. Mos Generator‘s version might be a little faster than the original, but they settle into it fluidly, and the final comedown, followed by more applause, makes an easy transition into the Mellotron and Rhodes combo that begins “Outlander,” those and the harmonized vocals that accompany ensuring the finale is the highlight of the short set.

There’s room in the six minutes for a build into a fervent guitar solo to answer the Rhodes, and the last chorus’ gradual ending only seems to underscore the entire spectrum of stylistic development in Reed‘s songwriting over the last 30 years. That’s really what it’s all about. One release purposefully regressing, another brazenly embarking on new territory. Again, I doubt it was a conscious decision on Mos Generator‘s part to put Lies of Liberty ’87 and The Firmament out in such proximity to each other, but in so doing, they’ve not only given further evidence of the apparently ceaseless productivity that has become a defining aspect of their approach over the last half-decade or so, but shown creative range to match.

One usually feels pretty comfortable in one’s expectations when it comes to a Mos Generator release — they regularly deliver high-quality songcraft and crisp performances of traditionally-styled heavy rock — but after these two, I’m not sure I’d even dare to predict where they might go next. Reed played drums at one point in death metallers Woodrot, so who knows? Their future’s more open than it’s ever been.

Mos Generator, Lies of Liberty ’87 (2016)

Mos Generator, “Outlander” from Songs for the Firmament

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mos Generator Announce New EP The Firmament

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Port Orchard heavy rock specialists Mos Generator have not yet released their new full-length, Abyssinia (review tomorrow), but as ever, the Tony Reed-led outfit are looking forward already, this time toward a new EP release through Stickman Records called The Firmament. Set to be issued as a complement to a live video recorded earlier this year by Chris Mathews (now also of Ancient Warlocks) in an airplane hangar, it features tracks from the new album and others, a Joy Division cover and guest collaborators, giving it a really distinct feel among Mos Generator‘s output. That level of output has only grown more fervent over the last couple years as Reed has revamped the lineup, bringing in bassist Sean Booth and drummer Jono Garrett, and hit the road with the same intensity that for a long time was reserved just for studio work.

Still plenty of that happening as well though, but The Firmament shows just how spot on Mos Generator are as a live band. Release announcement and video for “Outlander” follow here, courtesy of Stickman via the PR wire:

mos generator and company

Mos Generator The Firmament

Psychobabble 085 / LP (cd inluded)

Release date: September 9, 2016 VINYL + CD

Spring 2016, the northwestern coast of the United States. Strange alien lights are sighted amongst a number of uncanny solar phenomena. In response, the Joonior Space Administration develops a plan to make contact with the outsiders. And somewhere amid this interstellar singularity, a heavy rock band is blowing the roof off an airplane hanger in eastern Washington State. Welcome to The Firmament, the new album and film soundtrack by Port Orchard’s Mos Generator.

For those initiated in the world of modern heavy rock, Tony Reed and Mos Generator are most likely household names. Between writing and performing some of the most earnest rock n’ roll this side of the 1970’s and recording and producing dozens of albums, the man still finds the time to pick up unique projects that showcase the band’s diversity and creativity. So when filmmaker Chris Matthews approached Mos Generator to be part of an abstract live concert film titled “Songs for the Firmament”, it didn’t take long to realize this was the opportunity for something special.

Choosing an airplane hangar as their shooting and recording location, Reed and co. assembled a soundtrack fit for the movie’s interstellar affairs. What emerged was a collection of both new and old material (as well as a stellar Joy Divison cover), rewritten specially for the project. In the name of exploration of sound and space, guest musicians Bo Mcconaghie and Andy Sorter were recruited to pick up second guitar and Rhodes piano duties, adding another layer of lushness and complexity unique to the Mos Generator catalogue.

The Firmament is a milestone in Mos Generator’s history not only as their first film appearance or as a celebration of over 15 years of perseverance, but also as a presentation of the band’s first new recording lineup since 2000. Sean Booth (bass) and Jono Garrett (drums) are dynamic and powerful players that fit Reed’s soulful playing like a glove. In five songs, the album glides seamlessly though hard rock and progressive territory with genuine soul, both classic and eerily spacy at the same time. Stickman Records is proud to present this slab of cosmic dust on 18ogr vinyl with CD included for your listening pleasure.

Tracklisting:
1. Fall of Megiddo
2. Zero to Infinity
3. Wicked Willow
4. Dead Souls
5. Outlander

https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
http://heavyheadsuperstore.storenvy.com/
http://stickman-records.com
https://www.facebook.com/Stickman-Records-1522369868033940/
http://www.shop-listenable.net/fr/47_mos-generator

Mos Generator, “Outlander” from The Firmament (2016)

Tags: , , , , ,