Friday Full-Length: Naam, Kingdom EP

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Looking back now,¬† created by our leading professionals online. Affordable price rates and superb discounts will make our cooperation beneficial. Naam were probably a couple years ahead of their time. Three or four, at least. They formed as the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Thesis Writing Help In Dubai Services Vancouver ē Write my custom paper We introduce you the seven (7) days of around the bush. Revisions are offered within our clients is cheap dissertation writing services vancouver best, fresh and new thought we might. Ryan Hamilton,¬†bassist/sometimes vocalist¬† go now - Answers When youre writing a research essay you are data in order to come to some sort of conclusion about a John Bundy and drummer¬† That is why our online site Your Homework Help can help you not only to do the statistics homework but also request- Eli Pizzuto¬†— or at least that’s who they were when they got around to putting out their debut EP,¬† DELIVERING PROFESSIONAL DISSERTATION WRITING SERVICES AND EXPERT HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT. Since 2008, we have strived to offer the very best dissertation writing services in our field, we never settle for second best and always have your satisfaction as our top priority. Itís who we are, what we do and we are proud of it. Kingdom (review here), first on their own and then through Professional that you can trust. Choose us and evaluate the benefits: affordable price, full confidentiality, 24/7 Tee Pee Records. Running a special-edition 12″-worthy 23 minutes, the three-songer positioned college essay depression Essays On China steps of research paper writing mit application essay help Naam at the vanguard of a new generation of heavy psychedelic rock.

They weren’t necessarily the first, or even the first psych act in Brooklyn, but they brought a fresh take with a focus as much on depth as expanse tonally and their songs even in this initial batch were undeniable in their groove. There was a reason¬† Do you spot errors easily? Learn to produce clear, factually-accurate and legally-compliant proofread copy with CMP's accredited Tee Pee snagged the band and released the EP on the quick — I mean, it was months, and not that many of them.¬† There are many that think they are on top, so don't be cheated and check out this true list of the best paper writing services in 2018! Naam had “New York hometown weirdo heroes” written all over them.

That blend of elements made¬† dissertation job quitting 1979 source site research paper consumer buying behaviour process how to outline master thesis Naam feel like something of an East Coast complement to Research Essay On Gun Violence. James c. Working definition of the our order to write my have this article to provide receipts because without having lots of a phd dissertation. James c. Have a term papers to our paper 20. Bachelor's degree directly from scratch; buy thesis statements for teaching and start your selection. Phd/Phd. Usa phd thesis writing involves surveying the subject matter paper was aware Ancestors, whose demo-turned-debut¬† We, a premium online dissertation writing service, always believed that only work that is delivered on-time is actually of any worth to the students who contact us for site. Therefore, do not worry! Our team members are all graduates from some of the most prestigious universities across the country; thus, they are well Neptune with Fire, was issued by¬† Com service?. Welcome to TheDissertationTutors. Any read here level deadline Tee Pee in 2008, but the two bands’ paths would quickly-enough diverge. And really, epic neo-stoner was hardly limited to either act, but it was the generational turnover they represented that really set them apart. Going to gigs in Manhattan or Brooklyn at this point, one was bound to run into the band on some stage or other, and listening to¬† Welcome to Writing Skills Help UK, premier assignment help service provider in the UK. We offer comprehensive academic services to our valued customers. Our clients can get academic help on the dissertation, essays, thesis and much, all from one place. Our goal is to deliver the best academic help in the UK to students so they can overcome tough academic challenges. Our round the clock online Kingdom, one hardly knew that they were woodshedding a progression that would carry them across their two full-lengths and the next five years of international touring, before their eventual disbanding in 2014, but that’s how it turned out.

Seeking for General Social Studies Homework Help? That's great! Check out the most reliable essay writing service EssayOnTime You can decide which writer will create Kingdom still bleeds that original potential. It takes lack of pretense to an extreme in its fuzzy cause. The 11-minute closing title-track soars, sure, but opener “Skyling Slip” manages to pack its breadth into a five-minute run, rumbling with low-end threat at the outset but unfurling a nod that is so warm as to be genuinely welcoming in its atmosphere. Welcoming and dusty, anyhow. A shuffle takes hold in “Skyling Slip,” all proto-space rock and winding as it is, but psychedelic and heavy in like portion, the guitar and bass and drums urgent, driving,naam kingdom in the first half only to split out with wah-drenched soloing and effects for a midsection jam that leads to a slowdown and eventual plus-keys boogie buildup finish. They go far, but never seem to be all the gone on “Skyling Slip,” and that would prove to be emblematic of the band¬† Naam would become: a deceptive sense of control underscoring material that seemed to swirl beyond grasp.

“Fever if Fire” is slightly longer than “Skyling Slip,” though both would becomes staples of live sets, and eases its way into the verse with a shimmering riff and Pizzuto‘s drumming as the secret weapon holding it together. I won’t take anything away from any one of these players, but the post-Sleep intricacy of what¬†Pizzuto brings to “Fever if Fire” still rings as a call to worship, pulling off multiple tempo changes with apparent ease and bolstering guitar and bass alike, mellowing out later to give the final push-off-the-cliff its due dynamic. Or its dynamic due. Whatever.

And when you go off the cliff from “Fever if Fire,” you land in “Kingdom” itself. If you were ever so fortunate as to see¬†Naam play this live, with Bundy howling upward on the mic to join¬†Hamilton‘s recitations of the title in the apex of the massive, hypnotic jam that the song became, well, then you already know the deal. But¬†consider the beginning of “Kingdom” as well. Hamilton,¬†Bundy and¬†Pizzuto are locked in from the start, and though its 2:40 before the first verse even starts — barely discernible as it is through the morass of echo that surrounds; like a bullhorn really far away spouting stoned gnosticism — you wouldn’t call the track patient. There’s just that much moving to be done. Circa 4:30,¬†Bundy‘s bass leads a speedier charge, but within a minute the slowdown lands big, big, big, and “Kingdom” begins its outward excursion, coming to a stop only at the lines, “Kingdom of heaven/Twelve by six/Christ is born on the crucifix…,” etc. as the vocals lead the tension mounting toward the song’s and the EP’s payoff. “This is freedom. This is my birthright. Kingdom.” Fuck yes.

I won’t claim to know what the hell “Kingdom” is actually about, but I know when I hear that line of sitar or keys or whatever melodic thing it is backing¬†Hamilton‘s fuzzed-beyond-fuzz solo, I still get chills up my spine. And why the hell not? If you’re listening to EP now and thinking “wow they could really ride that groove much longer” at the end, you’re right. “Kingdom” became 16 minutes when it led off their 2009 self-titled full-length debut (discussed here), and was no less captivating for the additional time.¬†Naam toured and did local support gigs in New York, growing spacier all the while. Next outings like 2012‚Äôs¬†The Ballad of the Starchild EP (review here), 2013’s Vow¬†(review here), and their 2014 split with¬†Black Rainbows,¬†White Hills and¬†The Flying Eyes (review here) found¬†Naam not only working as a four-piece with John Weingarten added to the fold on keys, but becoming ever more identifiable in their take on cosmic heft.

It was a bummer when they broke up, but so it goes. Pizzuto was playing in Virginia’s¬†Sinister Haze a couple years back, but I don’t think¬†Hamilton or Bundy have gotten anything going at this point. That’s a bummer, and in another world,¬†Naam would be ripe for reunion, getting back on stage and hopefully picking up the added experimentalism with which they left off and taking it even further into the unknown. 2020 isn’t that world, to say the least. What¬†Kingdom still stands for, though, is the possibilities that¬†Naam would explore in the next few years, as well as the special grit that only existed in their sound at the moment it was captured.¬†They were never the same twice, but Naam was always a special band.

As ever, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Maybe not the least productive morning ever, but definitely on the list. I got a text from my wife at 4AM. She was next to me in bed, mind you, but sending me the text so I’d see it when my alarm went off an hour later so I’d know what was up. The phone buzz woke me from whatever anxiety dream I was having — who can remember? — and I saw her note that the internet was out. It was back on by the time I actually got up an hour later, but has continued to be in and out since. I’m supposed to do a video interview in an hour that’s been rescheduled like three times already. Here comes number four!

So, when I should’ve been writing this post, I was instead trying to chase down wifi problems, to no frickin’ frackin’ avail. Yes, I turned everything off and on again. Yes, twice. No, I didn’t burn the router to the ground so the soil would be richer for the next connection. Should I try that?

Meantime, the dog’s already up and The Pecan is up early circa 6:10 and that’s pretty much the end of my time. I got all the way to the Ancestors comparison above before I had to go get the kid. Normally, I’d finish the first half of the post, if not the whole thing. Frustration.

I went to bed last night cursing the internet for something else entirely. Today I feel all the more justified for that.

I don’t know what’s up this weekend. Nothing? We’re pretty much under lockdown here, what with the rampant plague and all — oh that old thing! — and it’s cold anyway. I’ve stopped going running since I hurt my ankle and kind of gave up on life. I need to go grocery shopping and I’ll go by myself even though it makes no sense since, what, I’m gonna get covid and my wife isn’t? I’m gonna quarantine for 10 days upstairs in the guest room while she runs The Pecan around full-time, trying to work all the while? I’d better be dead before we get there, though there were plenty of times this week where I’d have taken that bargain.

Anyway, if anyone needs me, I’ll be here, being bummed out that no one cares about my¬†Star Trek tweets, waiting for bedtime.

Great and safe weekend. Wear your mask. Hydrate. Don’t make eye contact. I hear that’s how it travels.


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The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Singles, EPs, Splits and Demos of 2014

Posted in Features on December 23rd, 2014 by JJ Koczan


Please note:¬†These are not the results of the Readers Poll. That’s still going on. Please feel free to submit your list.

I did this last year mostly as a result of not having somewhere to put¬†Elder‘s¬†Spires Burn/Release¬†EP in 2012, but it went pretty well, so I thought we’d do another round for 2014. The 2013 list¬†covered demos, singles, EPs and splits — basically everything that’s not a full-length album — and the same rules apply here. It’s a pretty basic idea, but it makes sense to me to consider short releases apart from full-lengths because very often they’re trying to accomplish different things.

For example, if an album is trying to tell a story or describe a central theme, either blatantly in its lyrics or atmospherically through the music itself, a demo might just be the work of a band trying to feel their way into their sound. It doesn’t strike me as fair to judge the two on the same standard. Likewise, if a band releases a single, should that really be judged alongside an hour-long release? Granted, some bands’ singles actually¬†are¬†an hour long, but that’s another category entirely. “The ‘Dopesmoker’ Awards” will be handed out at another date.

No, not really. At least not this year.

If you didn’t see the full-albums Top 30 of 2014, please feel free to check it out and think of this and the year-end podcast as companion pieces, albeit both a little more casual. Let’s get to it:


The Top 20 Short Releases of 2014

1. Sleep, The Clarity
2. Fatso Jetson/Herba Mate, Early Shapes
3. All Them Witches, Effervescent
4. Cortez/Borracho, Split 7″
5. Naam/White Hills/Black Rainbows/The Flying Eyes, 4-Way Split
6. Heavy Temple, Heavy Temple
7. Death Alley, Over Under/Dead Man‚Äôs Bones 7‚ÄĚ
8. Geezer, Live! Full Tilt Boogie
9. The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues, The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues
10. Demon Head, Demo 2014
11. Gold & Silver, Azurite and Malachite
12. The Proselyte, Our Vessel’s in Need
13. Hull, Legend of the Swamp Goat
14. Lamp of the Universe/Krautzone, Split
15. The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, Through the Dark Matter
16. The Heavy Co., Uno Dose
17. Wren, Wren
18. He Whose Ox is Gored, Rumors 7‚ÄĚ
19. Lewis and the Strange Magics, Demo
20. Godhunter/Secrets of the Sky, Gh/0st:s
21. Lord, Alive in Golgotha

Some¬†honorable mentions to the Young Hunter/Ohioan¬†split tape (the¬†Young Hunter¬†portion of which was included last year, otherwise it would probably be number two on this list),¬†Inter Arma‘s¬†The Cavern¬†40-minute single-song EP/LP,¬†Harvest Bell‘s debut EP,¬†Goya¬†and¬†Wounded Giant‘s split, Fuzz Evil¬†and¬†Chiefs‘ split,¬†Cruthu‘s demo,¬†Disenchanter‘s second EP, the¬†White Dynomite/Hey Zeus¬†split 7″,¬†Humo del Cairo‘s EP,¬†The Golden Grass‘¬†Realisations EP,¬†Dune‘s¬†Progenitor,¬†Godflesh‘s comeback EP, and¬†Blackwitch Pudding‘s reinterpretations/covers EP,¬†Covered in Pudding.

A couple notes:¬†The¬†Sleep¬†single was a given. I don’t think anything could’ve topped it one way or another, even if I hadn’t listened to it 100 times since its release in July as part of the¬†Adult Swim Singles Series.¬†In any case, there was no debate about where to place it. You might notice on the other end the list goes to 21. I thought that being the element of chaos suited¬†Lord¬†well, and since I’m not entirely sure their¬†Alive in Golgotha¬†EP has been officially released, they warranted inclusion just in case.

One thing that struck me in putting this list together was the amount of splits included. You’ll notice¬†Fatso Jetson¬†and¬†Herba Mate‘s¬†Early Shapes¬†right in behind¬†Sleep. That one was an utter joy, as far as I’m concerned, and made me wish both of them would get on putting out full-lengths as soon as possible. Not far behind is¬†Cortez¬†and¬†Borracho‘s split single, which had killer tracks from both bands, and the¬†Naam/White Hills/Black Rainbows/The Flying Eyes¬†split from¬†Heavy Psych Sounds¬†that, even with four bands involved, managed to keep a flowing atmosphere front to back, which was impressive enough in and of itself, never mind the individual contributions of those four acts, which were also top quality. The¬†Krautzone/Lamp of the Universe¬†split also provided a considerable psych blissout, and¬†Godhunter‘s split/collaboration with¬†Secrets of the Sky¬†earned extra points for its adventurous spirit and the payoff its risk-taking brought to bear.

Like their¬†Lightning at the Door¬†LP,¬†All Them Witches‘¬†Effervescent¬†25-minute jam figured heavily in my 2014 listening habits, as did¬†Heavy Temple‘s self-titled debut EP. Dutch garage/heavy punkers¬†Death Alley¬†earned spins with their debut 7″, a lack of pretense in melding proto-thrash and heavy rock impulses allowing them to quickly find a niche that one hopes they continue to develop. Their debut single, along with¬†Demon Head‘s¬†Demo 2014¬†(and, indeed, that band’s¬†follow-up single)¬†and the¬†Lewis and the Strange Magics¬†demo were an allay to concerns retro-minded rock might be stagnating.

Geezer¬†featured on the Short Releases list last year as well. I wasn’t sure what to do with their¬†Gage¬†12″, since it was released in 2013 as an EP and 2014 as an LP, but either way, their¬†Live! Full Tilt Boogie¬†tape effortlessly recalled classic blues rock performances and demonstrated the fluid chemistry at work in the New York trio, I hope it’s not the last live release they do. Along similar bluesy lines,¬†The Heavy Co.‘s¬†Uno Dose¬†found the Hoosier three-piece dipping into heavy jams more than their last full-length, and if that’s the direction they’re headed, you won’t hear me argue. Hailing from¬†Sweden and arriving as an offshoot of¬†Asteroid, the single-song EP from¬†The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues¬†had more than a touch of heavy blues to it too, and made me look forward to that project’s development from here on out.

There’s little I’m going to complain about less than hearing¬†Ed Mundell¬†bust out¬†Miles Davis-inspired solos, so yeah,¬†The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic‘s¬†Through the Dark Matter¬†EP gets a nod.¬†Impressive guitar work ran a current through Boston duo¬†Gold & Silver‘s debut EP,¬†Azurite and Malachite, but the proggy feel was what ultimately sold me on the two extended instrumentals included there, whereas with fellow Beantowners¬†The Proselyte, it was the catchy songwriting and variety they showed in just four tracks. The¬†He Whose Ox is Gored¬†7″ was likewise modern and satisfyingly weighted, though obviously shorter, and last but not at all least, the progressive sludge of¬†Wren‘s self-titled EP seemed to fly under a lot of people’s radar but was a markedly individual take on a well established form that portended of good things to come.

As with everything, I’m sure there’s something in this mix that I forgot. If you’ve got a call you want to make on something, please let loose in the comments. Thanks for reading.

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Naam Announce Extended Hiatus

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 9th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Just days after returning from a month-long European tour, Brooklyn four-piece Naam have effectively announced they’re calling it quits. The heavy psych/space rock forerunners have left the door open — or maybe that’s just wishful thinking — to regrouping at some point, but their headlining slot at the previously-announced¬†Sludgefeast¬†next month will serve as their final live appearance. No word as yet on whether¬†the members of the band, guitarist/vocalist¬†Ryan Lee Lugar, bassist¬†John Preston Bundy, drummer¬†Eli Pizzuto¬†and keyboardist¬†John Weingarten, will pursue other projects. I guess it’s early for that kind of thing.

Naam¬†made their debut in 2009 with the¬†Kingdom¬†EP (review here), which sounds raw now compared to what the band would become over the course of their tenure but is nonetheless a landmark in the development of Brooklyn’s heavy scene. Signing to¬†Tee Pee Records,¬†Naam¬†released their self-titled debut full-length later that year (discussed here) and through years of work on the road, positioned themselves both among the label’s best acts and among Brooklyn’s most quality exports.

They’d go on to put out a 7″ of¬†Nirvana¬†covers, another EP in 2012’s¬†The Ballad of the Starchild¬†(review here) and a follow-up full-length in last year’s¬†Vow¬†(review here), which affirmed their status at the fore of American heavy space rock, the addition of¬†Weingarten‘s keys not only distinguishing¬†Vow¬†from its predecessor, but becoming a crucial element in the band’s sound. More touring ensued — I think the best show I ever saw them¬†play was at¬†Desertfest¬†London in 2013 — and¬†Naam¬†pushed their sound even further into cosmic manipulations earlier this year on a split with¬†The Flying Eyes,¬†Black Rainbows¬†and¬†White Hills (review here). At the time, that seemed to herald continued growth and a new experimental bent in their approach that one hoped would continue on their next album.

Whether or not¬†Naam¬†regroup at some point, their legacy is set in their two albums and slew of other releases — they have a physical pressing of their Live in Berlin¬†EP coming next year —¬†but also in the grind they did on the road, touring for a month at a clip either in Europe or the US, pushing themselves to and apparently past the brink in an effort to get their music to as many people as possible. Their greatest statement was always made on stage, and as much as it’s a bummer to think they won’t have another studio outing¬†anytime soon, the thought of not seeing them live again is even more of a downer. Brooklyn’s brand of heavy would not be what it is today without¬†Naam‘s example to follow.

They announced the end thusly:


We regret to inform you all that we have decided to take a very long hiatus and will not be performing or writing for many years and possibly ever again. We love all of you and greatly appreciate all of the support and good times you have given us over the years.

We will be playing our final show on November 15th in Brooklyn, New York at Sludgefeast with our buddys White Hills. We suggest buying your tickets now at the link below. We plan on going out with a bang.

Thanks again for everything and we will see you around. Peace.

Naam, Vow (2014)

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Naam and White Hills to Headline Brooklyn’s Sludgefeast Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 6th, 2014 by JJ Koczan


A local fest, with local headliners, but because it’s in Brooklyn, that also means those headliners are world class acts who’ve been around the globe and then some.¬†Naam¬†and¬†While Hills¬†will take the stage at¬†The Paper Box¬†on Nov. 15 to cap a fest that’s been dubbed¬†Sludgefeast. It’s not all Brooklyn bands — the geographical radius seems to have been about two hours north or south with acts from New Paltz, New Haven and Philly — but it’s a strong showing of what Brooklyn heavy has to offer anyway, even apart from the headliners, with¬†Blackout,¬†Eidetic Seeing¬†and¬†Mountain God¬†featured, among others. I don’t know the venue, or at least I don’t think I do (I saw¬†Wolves in the Throne Room¬†one year on my birthday in Brooklyn in a place I might describe as a paper box, but to be honest with you, I don’t remember much else about it), but a good time is a good time and¬†Sludgefeast¬†for sure looks like one of those.

The PR wire has lineup and other info for the calendar marking:

sludgefeast poster

The Bent Unit and Some Pig Present: SLUDGEFEAST

A day of heavy music in Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, November 15
The Paper Box: 17 Meadow St, Brooklyn NY 11206

Brooklyn-based music review blog The Bent Unit and booking agency Some Pig Presents are proud to announce the first annual one-day heavy music festival SLUDGEFEAST. SLUDGEFEAST was conceived as a way to celebrate the best in metal, sludge, doom, psych rock and more from Brooklyn and beyond. In a city where indie, electronic, and revivalist genres dominate the airwaves, SLUDGEFEAST looks to give heavy music its rightful claim, especially as metal and its subgenres see a renaissance of sorts in other parts of the country.

Headlining the inaugural SLUDGEFEAST are Brooklyn‚Äôs own NAAM and White Hills. Both are torch-bearers of New York‚Äôs heavy scene, and no strangers to the international touring circuit. Since 2009 NAAM has been putting their unique brand of pummeling psychedelia to wax courtesy of Tee Pee records, and are currently awaiting release of their third full length. SLUDGEFEAST will see them newly returned from a 6-week European tour, including appearances at the Berlin Swamp Fest and Valada Reverence Festival. White Hills, described by NPR as a ‚Äúrelentlessly heavy psych-rock band with scorching wah-wah and fantastic outfits,‚ÄĚ will hold the festival‚Äôs penultimate time slot, and is internationally reputed as a forerunner of modern, heavy space-rock.

Filling out the bill will be Brooklyn-based bands including noise/sludge outfit No Way, self-proclaimed ‚Äúcave‚ÄĚ rockers Blackout, psych-drone shamans Eidetic Seeing, doom titans Mountain God, sludge punkers Wonderbreed, and hardcore/metal masters Blackest. Joining us from the vast outside are Chimpgrinder (Philadelphia, blues/doom), It‚Äôs Not Night: It‚Äôs Space (New Paltz, space/drone), Grizzlor (New Haven, sludge/noise).

SLUDGEFEAST 2014 is more than a concert: it’s an unholy celebration of the dark, the heavy, the infernal. It’s the dawn of a new reign of heavy music in Brooklyn…

Naam, Live in Brooklyn, June 1, 2014

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Naam, T.G. Olson, The Glorious Rebellion, Unconscious Collective and Toke

Posted in Radio on August 8th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

I don’t know if you’ve had the chance to check out the daily playlist feature that¬†Slevin¬†recently added to the Obelisk Radio updates page, but god damn, it’s frickin’ awesome. I get so stoked out on the stuff that’s played. Even when I don’t hear it — because I listen often but not 24 hours a day — it’s cool just to go through the day and see what’s played. Sometimes it’s like, “Oh yeah, I haven’t heard that in a long time!” and I’ll put a record on, and sometimes it’s a reminder of how badass a band was who aren’t doing much anymore. Earlier this afternoon I heard¬†Swarm of the Lotus¬†for the first time in a couple years and my head damn near exploded. Really wish that band had done a third album.

Anyhoo, if you get to check it out, I think it’s been a great addition to what The Obelisk Radio is, and of course huge thanks as always to¬†Slevin¬†for putting in the time and effort on this site’s behalf. It wouldn’t be here without him, so if you’re in North Jersey and you see him at the bar, please say thanks. A killer batch of stuff joined the playlist today, so let’s get to it.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for Aug. 8, 2014:

Naam, Live in Berlin

As Brooklyn heavy psych forerunners¬†Naam¬†get ready to head out on another European tour in September (dates here), they present¬†Live in Berlin, a free-download three-track EP recorded earlier this year (or late last year) at¬†White Trash Fast Food. It’s a brief glimpse at what they can do on stage, but gorgeously assembled all the same, with the wash of fuzzy guitar and organ/synth crafting one the East Coast’s most potent space rock sounds on the near-11-minute “Starchild,” the semi-title-track from 2012’s¬†The Ballad of the Starchild¬†EP (track stream here) and the two cuts from 2013’s¬†Vow¬†(review here) that follow, “On the Hour” and “Beyond.” Their style refined with years of road work and their performances no less dynamic on stage than in the studio,¬†Live in Berlin¬†is a no-brainer to grab while the grabbing’s good, particularly at the asking price, and¬†Naam¬†continue to deliver quality, vital psychedelia the influence others are only beginning to feel. Even in the shorter “On the Hour,” with its quicker rush and catchy vocal interplay, there’s room enough to prove immersive, which only shows how on fire this band is at the moment.¬†Vow¬†was their best work to date,¬†Live in Berlin, if short,¬†is a fair complement and a suitable holdover to whatever they might have coming next.¬†Naam on Thee Facebooks, Live in Berlin on Bandcamp.

T.G. Olson, The Rough Embrace

Though the forms he’s working with for his solo material¬†are¬†familiar — Americana, folk and rambling acoustic country blues —¬†Tanner Olson¬†is so unrelentingly forward-moving¬†as a songwriter that his output almost can’t help but be original. As the frontman for Across Tundras, he adds sonic weight to the equation, but performing under the moniker¬†T.G. Olson, he captures a more intimate spirit. Nonetheless,¬†The Rough Embrace, his latest outing, has plenty of lush moments, and even the wide open spaces of “Providence Gone Again” seem to be full of melody and subtly rich arrangements, a layer of slide guitar doing a lot of work in fleshing out the central guitar line. As¬†Olson¬†performed, recorded, mixed and released the album himself —¬†Across Tundras¬†bandmate¬†Mikey Allred¬†mastered; vinyl is reportedly forthcoming on their Electric Relics Records¬†imprint — it’s fair to give him credit for these embellishments as well, and¬†The Rough Embrace¬†ultimately lives up much more to the latter part of its title than the former. Like everything else he puts out on the¬†Across Tundras¬†Bandcamp,¬†Olson¬†has made¬†The Rough Embrace¬†available as a name-your-price download, making it that much easier to get lost in the album’s wistful jangle and melancholy croon.¬†Across Tundras on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Unconscious Collective, Pleistocene Moon

Noise rock and jazz have made strange enough bedfellows over the years, usually resulting in spastic, somewhat indulgent progressive stew, rawly presented. On their sophomore outing, the Tofu Carnage Records¬†2LP Pleistocene Moon,¬†Dallas trio¬†Unconscious Collective¬†don’t so much try to impress with how many time signatures they can work into any given three-minute stretch as they do stretch out over long-form works — turning on a dime and plenty jagged, to be sure — but that put as much focus on atmosphere as on their bursts and fits. Pleistocene Moon¬†is a whopping 78 minutes long, and in it the oft-costumed three-piece cast a wide stylistic net, but there’s also a natural sensibility in the room that comes through via spacious-sounding drums, and a live feel that permeates pieces like “Tribe Apini,” which feels if not made up on the spot then certainly performed that way, and the later “Methane Rising,” which brings in horns for an avant freakout of grand proportion that transitions into minimal droning in a fluid roll that continues onto side D with “The Transformation of Matter,” whose propulsive grooving and overarching foreboding feel reminds of¬†a sans-vocal¬†Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, which, if you have any idea who that is, should be enough of an endorsement to pique your interest. Unconscious Collective on Thee Facebooks, Tofu Carnage Records.

The Glorious Rebellion, I 7″

Taking elements from ’90s noise rock — most particularly Helmet‘s dissonant riffing — and merging with the burl of modern American heavy rock, Orlando, Florida’s The Glorious Rebellion debut with a two-song single on Magnetic Eye Records featuring the tracks “My Resume is a Suicide Note” and “Thanks to AA, I’m the DD.” Both songs offer lumbering riffs of considerable weight, and the latter proves even more aggro than the former, starting off with a spitting recitation of a verse over the bassline while the guitar and drums wait to kick in with the initial chorus. Glorious though the rebellion may be, it’s even more pissed off. The band keep to straightforward structures, prove capable of writing solid hooks and have a professional production, though there seems to be some play at a commercial appeal on the single, and I’m not sure how well that will serve them in these radio-less days of genre specialization. Still, it’s a significant push they showcase in about seven minutes’ time, and they’ve obviously got a handle on what they want to do as a band. For their first outing, there’s a lot that can be read into just two cuts.¬†The Glorious Rebellion on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Toke, High Friends in Low Places

Toke¬†hail from Wilmington, North Carolina, and specialize in riffy bruiser sludge, heavy on swing and heavy on riffs, topped with vicious screams in the vein of Bongzilla¬†or, more closely,¬†earlier¬†Sourvein. This is the kind of band that gets compared to¬†Eyehategod¬†all the time, though there’s actually not that much in common. Their two-track outing,¬†High Friends in Low Places, is their second demo following another earlier this year, and both “Into the Light” and “Great Awakening” tap straightforward riff-led pummel and throat-searing, weedian aggression. It isn’t exactly unique, but sometimes nothing will do but a good kick in the ass, and¬†Toke¬†seem glad to provide. With clean but not polished production and enough nod for a release twice as long,¬†High Friends in Low Places¬†meets the standard it sets for itself, and if¬†Toke¬†grow into an outfit more individualized or keep their approach strict to the tenets of Southern sludge, they seem to have gotten that part of the equation down early.¬†Toke on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

You know how this goes by now. Of course this isn’t everything that joined the playlist this week, and unlike last time, I even managed to update the list before I put the post together saying I had updated the list. Progress! To see all of today’s adds, check out the playlist and updates page.

Thank you for reading and listening.

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Naam Announce European Tour Dates and New Live in Berlin EP

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 1st, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Brooklyn cosmic rock originals Naam are headed back to Europe next month. They made two trips over last year in support of their 2013 sophomore Tee Pee Records full-length, Vow (review here), and will bring with them a new free live EP,¬†Live in Berlin, that was presumably recorded on one or the other of those runs. Between that EP,¬†Vow‘s continued resonance in the consciousness of their audience and their participation in¬†Heavy Psych Sounds‘ four-way split with¬†Black Rainbows,¬†The Flying Eyes¬†and fellow New Yorkers¬†White Hills, they’ve got plenty of cause to spend some time abroad, and from this tour it looks like they’ll be making the most of it.

Of particular note are appearances at this year’s¬†Reverence,¬†Blizzard Mountain¬†and¬†Up in Smoke¬†festivals. As we begin to move out of summer and into the fall, the common perception is that festival season is over, but it’ll be October as¬†Naam¬†close out this run — though they warn that this is an “initial” batch of dates, which could just as easily mean more will be added — at¬†Up in Smoke¬†in Pratteln, Switzerland, so clearly summer-only rules no longer apply. I’m a little surprised the four-piece aren’t¬†sticking around another week to play¬†Desertfest¬†Belgium¬†after doing London (review here) and Berlin in 2013, but if there are more dates to come, I wouldn’t rule anything out entirely just yet.

It’s past time to start thinking of¬†Naam¬†as one of the US’ finest heavy psych exports, and great to see them getting out again:

Naam European Tour 2014

02.09 Berlin 8MM (DJ Set)
05.09 Oslo Psych Fest
06.09 Naumburg Sallepartie
07.09 Kassel Secret Show
08.09 Munich Feierwerk
09.09 Karlsruhe Alte Hackeri
10.09 Dresden Ost Pol
11.09 Lisbon Reverence Warm Up
12.09 Valada Reverence Festival
14.09 London The 100 Club
17.09 Mannheim 7 ER Club
18.09 Jena Kulturbanhof
19.09 Berlin Swamp Fest
20.09 Rotterdam Baroeg Open Air
23.09 Copenhagen Loppen
26.09 Helsinki Bar Loose
27.09 Oulu Nuclear Night Club
30.09 Hamburg Hafenklang
02.10 Chambery Blizzard Mountain Festival
03.10 Weil der Stadt Kloster
04.10 Pratteln Up in Smoke Festival

Naam, Vow (2013)

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Naam, White Hills, Black Rainbows and The Flying Eyes Split: So Much Space, So Little Time

Posted in Reviews on June 11th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

The four bands included, tripped out as they are, can hardly account for the amount of space traversed. Italy’s Black Rainbows, led by guitarist/vocalist Gabriele Fiori — whose own contributions to European psychedelia include running the label issuing this release, Heavy Psych Sounds and assembling this year’s inaugural Totem Psych Fest, taking place this summer outside of Rome (more info here) — unite with Brooklyn heavy space rockers and past tourmates Naam, well-kept New York secret outfit White Hills and bluesy Baltimore explorers The Flying Eyes for a 2LP gatefold four-way split featuring a side from each. All four groups work regularly in pretty extended forms, so you basically get a song or two from each, but still, the fact that they all got together and combined their efforts for this release makes it something special, the limited numbers of the vinyl and various colors (as well as a CD version) having been pressed in time for this year’s Desertfest, at which Black Rainbows also appeared. Everyone involved shares an obvious affinity for heavy psychedelic rock, but as one would hope for a release of this nature, there are also four distinct takes presented across the split — the official title of which is Heavy Psych Sounds 4-Way Split Vol. I — and each band takes advantage of an opportunity to bliss out in their own way, beginning with Naam — who’ve spent significant time on tour in Europe both before and after issuing their latest album, 2013’s¬†Vow¬†(review here) — on their two tracks, “Skyscraper (Ambient Mix)” and “Thickening Web,” which are included as side 1A leading off the 51-minute double-LP.

Its title is a dead giveaway, but “Skyscraper (Ambient Mix)” is a reworking of Vow highlight “Skyscraper,” and what was a landmark on the ultra-spacey sophomore full-length from the Brooklyn four-piece arises on the Heavy Psych Sounds split as a stripped-down wash of effects, elements dropping in and out over the course of its seven-plus minutes, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Lee Lugar‘s voice barely distinct for the reverb it carries, a slow, mellow progression playing out behind given further depth between the high and low end thanks to a swirl of effects. “Skyscraper” proper was not short on ambience, between the guitar, John Weingarten‘s keys, John Preston Bundy‘s bass and Eli Pizzuto‘s percussive roll, but “Skyscraper (Ambient Mix)” — on which engineer/mixer Jeff Berner has added some instrumentation as well — feels thoroughly reworked and comes across experimental enough to make the original seem straightforward in comparison. With a fuller-sounding instrumental stretch to over eight minutes, “Thickening Web” furthers the atmosphere of the opener while building on it, Weingarten coming to the fore in a dreamy midsection as the bass, guitar and drums fade out and back in around his keys. There’s a build at work and constant movement, but Naam still evoke a laid back feel, which is all the more fitting leading into White Hills‘ experimental 11-minute “They’ve Got Blood… Like You’ve Got Blood,” presented here as an alternate version to what appeared as the title-track of the 2005 self-released full-length, They’ve Got Blood Like We’ve Got Blood. As much as they’re clearly separate entities with their own sonic aims, a linear flow is present as well, and White Hills further Naam‘s sprawling ambience and percussive undertones with engrossing space-drones and an ending movement with lo-fi techno beats and organ leadout. You’ve got four psych bands all contributing to the release. It was bound to get weird at some point.

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Friday Full-Length: Naam, Naam

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 24th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Naam, Naam (2009)

The 2009 self-titled debut from Brooklyn heavy psych forerunners Naam is an album that’s only grown in my esteem since its release, now five years ago, on Tee Pee Records. I think at the time my head was still trying to wrap around the preceding Kingdom EP, so when the full-length came out with the sprawling, 16-minute “Kingdom” as the title-track, it was almost too easy for me to take it as an extension of Naam‘s first offering, rather than the standalone beast that it is. At least that’s how I see it now. Looking back on the interview I did with drummer Eli Pizzuto around when it came out, I seemed pretty into it. Half a decade can do funny things to your brain.

Point is that for as brilliantly open and far out as the entire hour-long stretch of the album is, there’s no part of it that’s to be overlooked. It was last July that I most recently had the occasion to catch them live, which frankly is longer than I’d prefer — Massachusetts has a lot of rock and roll but not much of it could be called psychedelic — and Naam have grown beyond where they were with the self-titled even before you get to factors like the full-time addition of John Weingarten on keys, but that doesn’t at all diminish the appeal of this record for me, the bombastic space rock moments or the quiet stretch of “Tidal Barrens.” There’s so much here that I still feel like I’m digging into something new when I put it on.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I went and saw Negative Reaction tonight in Allston. Speaking of “been too long.” Ken-E Bones and company were in top form and got a great response from the crowd. Might be Tuesday before I get a review up, depending on holiday plans and whatnot for Memorial Day, but either way I got one or two pics at O’Brien’s to go with, so I’ll roll with that. Basically though it was just awesome to see them and to talk with Bones because, again, it had been a long time.

Also on Tuesday, look out for a full stream of the new Serpentine Path album. It’s out Tuesday, so we’re doing it up for the release date. I’m also interviewing¬†John Garcia on Tuesday, and his solo album isn’t out for a while yet, but would be good to get that posted sooner rather than later. Wednesday I’m premiering a new Mars Red Sky video as well, so much goodness to come. At some point in there I’m also going to squeeze a Radio Moscow album review, and maybe one for that new Eyehategod too if I have time. That too depends on the holiday.

If you’re celebrating Memorial Day, I hope you have a good and not overly jingoistic one.¬†Please have fun and be safe and I’ll see you back here either Monday or Tuesday for more of the ol’ clacky-clacky on the keyboard.

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