Stoned Jesus Enter the Studio; “Bright Like the Morning” Acoustic Video Posted

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 13th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

stoned jesus

Kyiv heavy forerunners Stoned Jesus have, as of today, begun the recording process for their next full-length. What’s being billed thus far only as the hashtag #stjvth will serve as the follow-up to 2019’s Pilgrims (review here), and likely not see release until sometime in the first half of 2022. It could be May, folks. It could be September for all I know, but assuming everything goes to plan, who doesn’t enjoy a bit of Stoned Jesus in Springtime?

The trio played all of one show last year, but to look at their upcoming schedule they’re clearly looking to make up for lost time. It saddens me — sincerely, I mean this — that I’ve never seen the band live. They were confirmed for Desertfest New York 2020, and, well, poof went that idea. They’re on fest bills now in their native Ukraine as well as Switzerland, which is certainly a start, Will the new Stoned Jesus record be done by the time those take place? Certainly stranger things have happened.

Two videos have been posted — one from each set — from the aforementioned 2020 gig. The plugged-in “Apathy” and “Bright Like the Morning” from their acoustic set, which just came out. Originally featured on 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here), the song should be readily familiar to anyone who’s dug into that record owing to its bending the algorithms that rule our lives and listening habits to its will over the last nine years. Someone had to do it, we’re just lucky Stoned Jesus don’t suck.

And that latter point is a big part of why I’m looking forward to their next album. Bet it doesn’t sound like the last one, but also bet it’s still cool. Adventures in songwriting with Igor & Co.

Enjoy the clip:

Stoned Jesus, “Bright Like the Morning” acoustic live 2020

Igor Sidorenko on “Bright Like the Morning”:

“We’ve always been very skeptical about bands doing unplugged versions of their tracks, but the funny thing with like 80% of StJ numbers is that I actually wrote them on the acoustic guitar and they are SONGS! So playing a handful of them last year in stripped down variant felt really natural and lotta fun. This particular “Bright Like the Morning” is currently our favorite version of the track!”

Acoustics September 1, Kyiv Tickets:

Filmed by
Aleksandr Sinkin
Dmytro Burko
Sergii Burko

Edited by
Sergii Sliusar

Thanks to
Eugene Kibets and HMG
Vlad Lyashenko and InshaMuzyka

Support us on Patreon:

Summer 2021 Festivals:
30.07 – Faine Misto (Ternopil, UA)
8.08 – PALP festival (Switzerland)
14.08 – tba, UA
28-29.08 – ????? Family (Kharkiv, UA)

Stoned Jesus is:
Igor Sydorenko – Vocals & Guitars
Serhij Sljussar – Bass
Dmytro Zinchenko – Drums

Stoned Jesus, “Apathy” live 2020

Stoned Jesus store

Stoned Jesus on Twitter

Stoned Jesus on Facebook

Stoned Jesus on Instagram

Napalm Records website

Napalm Records on Facebook

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Quarterly Review: The Vintage Caravan, Oslo Tapes, Filthy Hippies, Dunbarrow, Djinn, Shevils, Paralyzed, Black Spirit Crown, Intraveineuse, Void Tripper

Posted in Reviews on July 7th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Day Three. The kinds of material covered have varied, but it’s been pretty good so far, which as you can probably imagine makes this whole process much, much easier. Today would traditionally be hump day, where we hit and surpass the halfway mark, but since this is a double-size Quarterly Review, we’re only a quarter of the way there. Still a long way to go, but I’ve got decent momentum in my head at this point and I’ve taken steps not to make the workload crushing on any given day (this mostly involved working last weekend, thanks to The Patient Mrs. for the extra time), so I’m not feeling overly rushed either. Which is welcome.

In that spirit, let’s get to it.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

The Vintage Caravan, Monuments

the vintage caravan monuments

To every sorrowful head who bemoans the state of rock and roll as being dead, who misses big songs, bands unafraid to groove, to engage their audience, to change things up and stay anchored to a vital spirit of the live experience, the answer is The Vintage Caravan. Monuments is the Icelandic trio’s follow-up to 2018’s Gateways (review here) and it opens with a righteous four-song mission-statement salvo from “Whispers” to “Dark Times” before mellowing out in “This One’s for You” and diving into the eight-minute centerpiece “Forgotten” — later answered by the more subdued but likewise proggy closer “Clarity” — before the hard-hitting shuffle renews on side B with “Sharp Teeth,” “Hell” and “Torn in Two” try to outdo each other in has-the-most-swagger and “Said & Done” sneaks in ahead of the finale to walk away with that particular title. Suitably enough. Momentum is almost a detriment to the proceedings, since the songs are worth individual attention, but among the classic tenets here is leave-’em-wanting-more, and The Vintage Caravan do, no question.

The Vintage Caravan on Facebook

Napalm Records website


Oslo Tapes, ØR

Oslo Tapes ØR

First thing to note? Oslo Tapes are not from Oslo. Or Trondheim, for that matter. Founded by Marco Campitelli in Italy, the band is a work of homage and exploration of ideas born out of a trip to Oslo — blessings and peace upon the narrative — and ØR, which is Norwegian for “confusing,” is their third album. It arrives loaded with textures from electro-krautrock and ’70s space modernized through to-day’s post-heavy, a breathy delivery from Campitelli giving a song like “Kosmik Feels” an almost goth-wave presence while the harder-landing “Bodø Dakar,” which follows, shifts with pointed rhythm into a textured percussion jam in its second half, with ethereal keys still behind. The shimmering psychedelia of “Norwegian Dream” comes paired with “Exotic Dreams” late in the record’s eight-track procession, and while the latter emphasizes Oslo Tapes‘ can-go-anywhere sensibility with horn sounds and vague, drumless motion, the hard dance in closer “Obsession is the Mother of All” really seems to be the moment of summary here. That must’ve been some trip.

Oslo Tapes on Facebook

Pelagic Records on Bandcamp


Filthy Hippies, Departures

filthy hippies departures

Clocking in at 15 tracks and 77 minutes of deeply varied cosmic fuckery, from the motorik push of “Your Are the Sun” to the ’90s Britgaze stylizations of “Mystified” to the twanging central guitar figure of “The Air is Poison” and onward into the blowout kosmiche echo “Sweet Dreams and Nicotine” and chic the-underground-is-actually-made-of-velvet “Like a Halo” ahead of the Hawkwind-on-ludes “I’m Buggin’ Out,” Filthy HippiesDepartures at very least gets points for having the right title. Departs from everything. Reality, itself, you. The whole nine. The good news is the places it goes have a unifying element of grunge laziness woven throughout them, like Filthy Hippies just rolled out of bed and this material just happened — and maybe that’s how it went — and the journey they make, whistling as they go on “Among the Wire” and ending up in the wistful wash of “Empty Spaces” is a joy to follow. Heady. More purposeful than it’s letting on. Not a minor investment, but not a minor reward either.

Filthy Hippies on Facebook

Mongrel Records website


Dunbarrow, III

Dunbarrow III

Long since in command of their aesthetic, Norway’s Dunbarrow embark on III, their third long-player, with a full realization of their purpose. Recorded by the five-piece in Spring 2020 and left to gestate for a year’s time, it’s having been unearthed is suitable to the classic doom vibe wrought throughout the eight tracks, but Dunbarrow‘s sound is more vintage in structure than production at this point, and the shifting balance between ‘then’ and ‘now’ in what they do imagines what might’ve been if self-titled era Witchcraft had retained its loyalty to the tenets of Sabbath/Pentagram while continuing to grow its songcraft, such that “Worms of Winter” both is and is decidedly not “Snowblind,” while “Lost Forever” embarks on its own roll and “Turn in Your Grave” makes for an organ-laced folkish highlight, fitting in its cult atmosphere and setting up the rawer finish in “Turns to Dust.” This is who Dunbarrow are, and what they do, they do exceedingly well.

Dunbarrow on Facebook

Blues for the Red Sun Records on Facebook


Djinn, Transmission

Djinn Transmission

The year is 2076. The world’s first Whole Earth parliament has come together to bask in the document Transmission, originating in Gothenburg, Sweden, at the behest of an entity known only as Djinn and respected purveyor Rocket Recordings. It is believed that in fact Transmission and its eight component freak jazz psychedelia tracks were not written at the time of their first release some 55 years earlier, but, as scholars have come to theorize after more than a half-century of rigorous, consistent study, it is a relic of another dimension. Someplace out of place, some time out of time as humanity knows it. So it is that “Creators of Creation” views all from an outsider’s eagle eye, and “Urm the Mad” squees its urgency as if to herald the serenity of “Love Divine” to come, voices echoing up through the surcosmic rift through which Djinn sent along this Transmission. What was their purpose? Why make contact? And what is time for such creatures? Are they us? Are we them? Are we alone? Are we “Orpheus?” Wars have been fought over easier questions.

Djinn on Bandcamp

Rocket Recordings website


Shevils, Miracle of the Sun

shevils miracle of the sun

Their third album, ShevilsMiracle of the Sun renews the band’s collaboration with producer Marcus Forsgren, which obviously given the sound of the record, was not broken. With a tidy 10 songs in 32 minutes, the Oslo-based four-piece deliver a loyal reading of heavy hardcore riffing minus much of the chestbeating or dudely pretense that one might otherwise encounter. They’ve got it nailed, and the break as “Monsters on TV” squibblies out is a forceful but pleasant turn, especially backed by the pure noise rock of “Scandinavian Death Star.” The band plays back and forth between heft and motion throughout, offering plenty of both in “Wet Soaking Wet” and “Ride the Flashes,” hitting hard but doing more than just hitting at the same time. Topped with fervent shouts, Shevils feels urgent in manner that to my ears recalls West Coast US fare like Akimbo, but is nonetheless the band’s own, ranging into broader soundscapes on “No More You” and anti-shred on “It Never Ends,” the only two cuts here over four minutes long. No time to screw around.

Shevils on Facebook

Shevils on Bandcamp


Paralyzed, Paralyzed

paralyzed paralyzed

If they haven’t been yet — and they may have — it’s entirely likely that by the time I’m done writing this sentence some record label or other will have picked up Paralyzed to release their self-titled debut album on vinyl. The Bamberg, Germany-based four-piece bring classic heavy metal thunder to still-Sabbathian doom rock, casting their lot in with the devil early on “Lucifer’s Road (My Baby and Me),” which feels like as much a statement of aesthetic purpose as it does a righteous biker riff. It’s by no means the sum-total of what’s on offer in a more extended piece like “Prophets” or side B’s rumble-and-roll-plus-wah-equals-doom “Mother’s Only Son,” but the brash fare they bring to light on “Green Eyes” and the post-lizard king-turns-Purple spirit of “Golden Days” tie in well with the toss-your-hair-in-the-wind, how’d-that-hole-get-in-my-jeans spirit of the release on the whole. They start instrumental with the eponymous “Paralyzed,” but vocals are a focus point, and as they round out with the rawer “Parallel,” their command of ’70s heavy is all the more evident. They signed yet? Give it another minute, if not.

Paralyzed on Facebook

Paralyzed on Bandcamp


Black Spirit Crown, Gravity

Black Spirit Crown Gravity

Admittedly, I’m late to the party on Black Spirit Crown‘s 2020 debut full-length, Gravity, but as one will when in orbit, it’s easy to be pulled in by the record. The Ohio-based two-piece of Dan Simone (vocals, guitar, theremin, dulcimer) and Chris Martin (vocals, keys & programming, bass) — plus guitar spots from Joe Fortunato (Doomstress, ex-Venomin James) — flourish over longform progressive heavy rock pieces like “Doomstar” and “Orb,” both over eight minutes, and the 21:10 closing title-track, which well earns having the album named after it for its consuming balance between aural weight, darkness of atmosphere and tone, and breadth. Before the last several minutes give way to droning noise, “Gravity” counterbalances the metallic underpinning of “Saga” and the rush of the penultimate “Teutates,” its patience singular even among the other longer cuts, balanced in alternating fashion with the shorter. Peppered-in growls make the proceedings less predictable on the whole, and feel like one more strength working in favor of these complex compositions.

Black Spirit Crown on Facebook

Black Spirit Crown on Bandcamp


Intraveineuse, Chronicles of an Inevitable Outcome

intraveineuse chronicles of an inevitable outcome

Parisian instrumentalists Intraveineuse make a strong statement with their 32-minute/single-song debut EP, Chronicles of an Inevitable Outcome, the feeling of aftermath — regret? — permeating the goth-doom atmosphere coming through in tectonically-dense riffs as well as the piano that offsets them. France would seem to have a post-Type O Negative standard-bearer in Hangman’s Chair, but to discount Intraveineuse on that basis is to miss out on the flowing, immersive progression the band emit on this already-sold-out tape, working in three distinct movements to find their own place within the style, building momentum gradually until the last payoff cuts itself short, as if to emphasize there’s more to come. Hopefully, anyhow. EP or LP, debuts with this kind of scope are rare and not to be overlooked, and though there are stretches where one can hear where vocals might go, Intraveineuse ably steer “Chronicles of an Inevitable Outcome” through its various parts with natural-sounding fluidity.

Intraveineuse website

Intraveineuse on Bandcamp


Void Tripper, Dopefiend

Void Tripper Dopefiend

Grim, gritty and ghastly, Void Tripper is the debut full-length from Brazil’s Void Tripper, comprised of five tracks marked by the shared/alternating vocals of guitarists Mário Fonteles and Anastácio Júnior. The former gurlges on opener “Devil’s Reject” while the latter complements with a cleaner take on the subsequent “Burning Woods,” setting up the back and forth that plays out in the remaining three tracks, “Hollow,” “Satan & Drugs” and “Comatose.” With the lumbering bass and drums of Jonatas Monte and Gabriel Mota, respectively, as the thickened foundation beneath the riffs, there are shades throughout of Electric Wizard and other acts to be heard, but it’s Sabbath-worshiping sludge one way or the other, and Void Tripper willingly head into that void with a dense fog preceding them and a bleak mood that does nothing if it doesn’t feel suited to our times. Riffy disaffection writ large. You wouldn’t call it groundbreaking, but you’d nod the fuck out.

Void Tripper on Facebook

Abraxas on Facebook


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Video Interview: Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet Talks A Better Dystopia

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features on July 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

monster magnet (Gonzales Photo/Per-Otto Oppi/Alamy Live News)

This interview begins in medias res because Dave Wyndorf begins in medias res. He’s going, and it’s up to the rest of us to keep up. Good luck.

Somehow this image of the Monster Magnet founder and frontman is iconic in my head: he’s sitting in a dimly-lit kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey, smoking and smirking at the state of rock and roll. For sure, rock and roll isn’t dead — and anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t paying enough attention — but rock’s place at the head of rebelliousness in popular culture is long since gone. Wyndorf knows this and he’s got the stories behind him to prove it. Over the last 30 years, his band has been up, down and everywhere in between. He’s dug his own holes and he’s powertripped like no one else. Monster Magnet‘s legacy is testament to restlessness as much as relentless creativity.

These have been grim times for restless musicians. Monster Magnet‘s new covers record, A Better Dystopia (review here), might be a manifestation of that restlessness. It comes three years after their last studio offering,  Mindfucker (review here), so they were due for something, and they’d already redux’ed two of their older albums. Unless they were gonna go make a new Spine of God (reissue review here) to mark its 30th year — which would be suitably bold and potentially disastrous in kind — or toss out a live album like everyone else, with little point to releasing an album they can’t tour, they were kind of stuck. One should note the Acid Reich demos recently released, that project featuring John McBain, Tim Cronin and Wyndorf, who discusses it here as well. Still, maybe A Better Dystopia is a gimme for the fans. Fine. I’m a fan.

However, even as a fan, I can’t really expect you to watch all 86 minutes of this interview. It’s great if you do — Wyndorf takes modern heavy metal to task for sucking, talks politics a bit, recording that Dust track, the pandemic, the loss of Brighton Bar in Long Branch, and a ton more. It’s an awesome interview, and having spoken to him however many times over the years, I expected no less, but I know you’ve got a life to live. If you skip through, or do it not all at once, however you go, he’s a mad genius and while I don’t necessarily agree with him across the board on everything brought up here, you’ll find he’s singular in both his ability to put the entire world in its place and his drive to do so at a moment’s notice.

I hope you enjoy:

Monster Magnet, A Better Dystopia interview with Dave Wyndorf, June 25, 2021

Monster Magnet‘s A Better Dystopia is out now on Napalm Records. More info at the links.

Monster Magnet, “Learning to Die” (Dust cover) lyric video

Monster Magnet, “Motorcycle (Straight to Hell)” (Table Scraps cover) lyric video

Monster Magnet, “Mr. Destroyer” (Poobah cover) lyric video

Monster Magnet website

Monster Magnet on Thee Facebooks

Monster Magnet on Twitter

Monster Magnet on Instagram

Monster Magnet at Napalm Records

Napalm Records on Thee Facebooks

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The Midnight Ghost Train Announce Reunion Shows in 2022

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Let’s first dispense the disclaimers: We know from this that The Midnight Ghost Train are intending to play reunion shows in 2022 in Europe. We don’t know if they’re actually back together, or if they’ll tour the US or anywhere else, or if they’ll write another record or do anything else beyond whatever has been confirmed and has yet to be announced. Further, not only do we not know, but we don’t know if they know.

The Topeka, Kansas, heavy blues rock mavens announced they were disbanding in 2018, following the release of 2017’s Cypress Ave. (review here) through Napalm Records. Their final show was at Maryland Doom Fest 2018 (review here), just over three years ago. Now, a lot has changed in those three years. For everyone, as we all know. It could well be that circumstances have changed for the trio or that they’ve simply had a shift in perspective and decided to bring back the group for a few live dates. Again, it might be a full-on reunion, it might not. We don’t know.

But the prospect of The Midnight Ghost Train making any kind of return whatever the level on which it might be happening, is welcome news. They were a good band and there’s always room on the planet for another good band. Summer of 2022 puts them in festival season, so events like Hellfest or Freak Valley don’t seem unreasonable suspicions — I have no inside details to offer, sorry — and the band has worked with Sound of Liberation in the past, so that company’s 17th anniversary (aka the 15th anniversary delayed by two years) is a possibility as well. I guess we’ll find out sooner or later.

Welcome back, in any case.

Their announcement was short, sweet, and all-caps. It follows here:

the midnight ghost train


The Midnight Ghost Train, Cypress Ave. (2017)

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Album Review: Monster Magnet, A Better Dystopia

Posted in Reviews on May 31st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

monster magnet a better dystopia

Monster Magnet‘s first covers record could just as easily have been a compilation. Over the band’s 30-plus years, they’ve taken on a range of artists and songs, from Black Sabbath, MC5, Grand Funk Railroad, Hawkwind and The Stooges to Depeche Mode, Donovan and The Velvet Underground. A Better Dystopia — released in a continuing association with Napalm Records — is nothing quite so haphazard. Perhaps inevitable in its own right, it is a collection of 13 tracks (12 with a bonus) and 47 minutes that purposefully digs deeper into the band’s influences in heavy ’70s rock and proto-metal, and carries with it a more specific feeling of curation on the part of founding frontman Dave Wyndorf. No stranger to visualizing who and what Monster Magnet is on a conceptual level — also in terms of personnel — it’s easy to imagine Wyndorf picking these songs, delighting in the obscurity of some and the for-the-converted recognizability of others.

Before we get any further, the tracklisting:

1. The Diamond Mine (Dave Diamond)
2. Born to Go (Hawkwind)
3. Epitaph for a Head (JD Blackfoot)
4. Solid Gold Hell (The Scientists)
5. Be Forewarned (Macabre)
6. Mr. Destroyer (Poobah)
7. When the Wolf Sits (Jerusalem)
8. Death (The Pretty Things)
9. Situation (Josefus)
10. It’s Trash (The Cave Men)
11. Motorcycle (Straight to Hell) (Table Scraps)
12. Learning to Die (Dust)
13. Welcome to the Void – Bonus Track (Morgen)

Those who’ve done their own explorations of the 1968-’74 underground will know names like DustPoobahThe Pretty ThingsMacabreJ.D. Blackfoot maybe even Jerusalem and Josefus thanks to reissues. Of course Hawkwind, from whose melted skulls space rock burst, were no less an influence on Monster Magnet‘s early freakouts than Black Sabbath. But Table Sraps, the spoken piece written by Dave Diamond and the Higher Elevation that leads off, and the near-punk of The Cave Men‘s “It’s Trash” — the original is an echoing, teenaged testosterone gnashing of teeth released as a 45RPM in 1966 — plunge deeper into record-collector obscurity, and that’s part of the point. Inevitable as it might be, and as much as it’s a fan-piece for sure and a plague-era holdover until Wyndorf and company can tour again and all that other stuff, it’s also a crash course in what’s made Monster Magnet who they are.

As they would, tracks range in style, tempo and structure, but the intent at the outset is to build momentum. “The Diamond Mine” sets an almost manic tone in Wyndorf‘s delivery, and “Born to Go” from Hawkwind‘s 1971 classic In Search of Space follows suit in its unmitigated thrust, which J.D. Blackfoot‘s “Epitaph for a Head” meets with two minutes of shred-forward jabbing that Wyndorf uses as a backdrop for a horror show in gleefully odd fashion. The current lineup of the band is Wyndorf, guitarists Phil Caivano and Garrett Sweeny (the latter also now in The Atomic Bitchwax), bassist Alec Morton (Raging Slab) and drummer Bob Pantella (also of Bitchwax and Raging Slab fame), but who’s playing what on a given song on an album is a crapshoot at the best of times, never mind in the middle of a pandemic lockdown, which is when A Better Dystopia would’ve come together. Still, the turn toward straight-ahead riffer fare in The Scientists‘ “Solid Gold Hell” provides a sense of repetition that serves to fluidly lead into Macabre/later-Pentagram‘s “Be Forewarned” and Poobah‘s “Mr. Destroyer,” both high points of the outing in terms of hooks and the latter settling into a righteous jam along the way. Behold Monster Magnet, digging in. Right on.

monster magnet (Gonzales Photo/Per-Otto Oppi/Alamy Live News)

So is it time to get weird? Yeah, probably. “When the Wolf Sits” rules like the lost-classic it is, and is handled with care as one would hope, and as the band plunge into side B with C still to come — the 2LP edition of A Better Dystopia has an etching on side D — it’s with the sitar-esque sounds of The Pretty Things‘ “Death” from 1968’s bizarro-prog concept opus S.F. Sorrow that the band most reinforce their ability to range where they will. The trilogy that follows in “Situation,” “It’s Trash” and “Motorcycle (Straight to Hell)” is fast — three songs in under eight minutes — but brings three likewise differing vibes, with the scorched lead guitar clarion that culminates “Situation” leading to the push and swagger of “It’s Trash” and “Motorcycle (Straight to Hell)” a dive into willful simplicity made more complex through call and response echoes and some later-in-the-party lysergic malevolence.

A more fitting lead-in for Dust‘s “Learning to Die” would be difficult to find. Performance-wise, the pre-bonus-track closer of A Better Dystopia is an easy favorite, with Wyndorf nailing the emotional urgency of the original while of course doing so as the song is brought into Monster Magnet‘s sonic context. A maddening tension of rhythm ensues. “Learning to Die” is the longest inclusion at 6:28 and the inarguable apex, but with Morgen‘s “Welcome to the Void” behind it, there’s one last bit of psycho-delic, Echoplex’ed chicanery to be had, and that’s just fine. Think of it as a victory lap more than a song that just didn’t fit anywhere else on the album. It’s more fun that way.

And fun is a not-insignificant portion of the motivation here, it seems. There’s an edge of educate-the-people too, make no mistake, but if Monster Magnet found certainty in uncertain times by regressing in their listening habits to early inspirations — pops and hisses of worn vinyl as security blanket — they’d hardly be the only ones. If the last decade of the band’s career has proved anything, it’s that their reach goes wherever they want it to go. Their most recent LP, Mindfucker (review here), arrived early in 2018 with a turn away from some of the spacier aspects that typified the two prior redux outings, 2014’s Milking the Stars (review here; discussed here), which reworked and freaked-up 2013’s Last Patrol (review here), and 2015’s Cobras and Fire: The Mastermind Redux (review here), which had a similar if more arduous task in doing the same for 2010’s Mastermind (review here). But even for its less-psychedelic pulse, it remained petulant, energetic, archetypal. With A Better Dystopia, the view of where that defining attitude came from is made that much clearer.

Monster Magnet, “Learning to Die” (Dust cover) lyric video

Monster Magnet, “Motorcycle (Straight to Hell)” (Table Scraps cover) lyric video

Monster Magnet, “Mr. Destroyer” (Poobah cover) lyric video

Monster Magnet website

Monster Magnet on Thee Facebooks

Monster Magnet on Twitter

Monster Magnet on Instagram

Monster Magnet at Napalm Records

Napalm Records on Thee Facebooks

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Stoned Jesus & Somali Yacht Club to Tour Australia and New Zealand This Fall

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

I’ll go to this. Hey, Stoned Jesus and Somali Yacht Club — you got room for one more in the van? Mind if I tag along? It’s been nearly a year since the last time I caught a gig — snuck one outdoor show in last summer, I did — so I’m as due as anybody, and while there’s stuff I miss about live music I miss and stuff I don’t — the music and nearly everything else, respectively — 12 dates on the road plus a four-day break for sightseeing seems like just the kind of thing to cure what ails. Also that’s happening in Australia and New Zealand. I’ll go. Is there a grant application I can fill out somewhere?

Gonna go out on a limb and guess that’s a hard “no,” but hey, it’s worth a shot. These dates were first scheduled for now-ish, and if you’re in that part of the world and have tickets already, hold onto ’em (or, you know, don’t delete the email or whatever) because they’re still good for the rebooked shows. All are presented through Your Mate Bookings and check out Wo Fest making an appearance near the end of the tour. You have to appreciate that.

Info snagged from social media:

stoned jesus somali yacht club tour

Stoned Jesus and Somali Yacht Club – Australia & New Zealand Tour

World renowned Stoner Doom trio “Stoned Jesus”; will finally make their way to Australia and New Zealand in Nov. 2021 and they are bringing their Psychedelic Pals “Somali Yacht Club” with them.

Stoned Jesus is just one of those bands, if you know Stoner Rock, well you know Stoned Jesus. The trio from Kyiv created their sound in 2009 and have released four albums and multiple EPs, singles and splits since; making them one of the most popular bands in the European underground rock/metal scenes to date. Bringing together their Sabbath-esque groove and modern doom tones; the trio make mountains out of their riffs and are responsible for the ever-growing community of stoner rock and doom metal. The single “I’m the mountain” released in 2012 quickly became one of the most respected songs in underground rock around the globe.

The Stoner Doom trio then went on to headline and play some of the biggest festivals across Europe including Desertfest (Berlin, Belgium and London) along with which has now landed them on this much anticipated tour leg of their tenth anniversary tour of Australia and New Zealand. Celebrating their little jubilee, the Ukranian trio will play a unique setlist with both classic cuts and tracks from their most recent Prog-influenced critically acclaimed “Pilgrims” album.

Somali Yacht Club have been making waves for a few years right across Europe via their beautiful blend of Post/Psychedelic Doom Rock and Shoegaze; and just after three albums they have penetrated the world market with their latest offering “The Sea” clicking over to 1.1 million views on youtube.

The Ukranian trio have shared the stage and toured with some of the most respected Stoner/Psych Rocks bands in the world including My Sleeping Karma, Naxatras, Colour Haze, Elder, Wo Fat and Sasquatch; hitting the best of the best festivals Keep it low, Streetmode, Stoned from the Underground and Desertfest (Berlin)

The two groups will hit Scarborough, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Wollongong, Canberra, Auckland (NZ), Wellington (NZ) and headline this years WO FEST 2020 at The Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood and Armageddoom 6 at Civic Hotel in Inglewood.

Friday 5/11/2021 Indian Ocean Hotel, Scarborough
Saturday 6/11/2021 Lucy’s Love Shack, Perth ARMAGEDDOOM 6
Monday 8/11/2021 Whammy Bar, Auckland
Tuesday 9/11/2021 Valhalla, Wellington
Thursday 11/11/2021 The Flamin’ Galah, Brisbane
Friday 12/11/2021 The Vanguard, Newtown
Saturday 13/11/2021 Baroque Room, Katoomba
Wednesday 17/11/2021 La La La’s, Wollongong
Thursday 18/11/2021 TBA, Canberra
Friday 19/11/2021 Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy
Saturday 20/11/2021 Bendigo Hotel, Collingwood WO FEST
Sunday 21/11/2021 Crown and Anchor, Adelaide

All tickets currently held are 100% valid for the new dates and if you have moved in the meantime, we can arrange a ticket transfer to your new local venue (Get in touch via email

All new tickets can be purchased from:

Stoned Jesus is:
Igor Sydorenko – Vocals & Guitars
Serhij Sljussar – Bass
Dmytro Zinchenko – Drums

Somali Yacht Club:
Ihor – guitar, vocals, keys
Artur – bass
Oleksa – drums

Somali Yacht Club, The Sea (2018)

Stoned Jesus, Live at Green Theatre

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The Vintage Caravan to Tour Europe Next Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the vintage caravan

Fresh off the release this month of their new album, Monuments, Icelandic heavy rockers The Vintage Caravan are looking to return to the road and make it count. The three-piece have newly announced two rounds of touring through Europe that will take place across early Spring and Fall 2022, and neither stint is what you’d call a cheapie. They’re going for it.

Of course, like everyone else, their plans have been usurped by circumstances beyond their control, but The Vintage Caravan have been a hard-touring band for years across Europe, and good for them reclaiming that title and a headliner spot in the early offing of potential live music being on the horizon. If it needs to be said — it doesn’t — no one knows what next year will bring, but god damn, is it so wrong to want to look forward to a thing? Are we allowed to do that? I won’t even see this tour and I’m just looking forward to it happening.

Anyway, the dates follow here, as posted by the band earlier:

the vintage caravan tour


We are beyond stoked to announce our European headline tour dates for next year! We can’t wait to finally tour again and to play songs of our latest album ‘Monuments’! Tickets:

Fri, AUG 20 Festival ‘t zeeltje Deest, Netherlands
Sat, FEB 26, 2022 Q-Factory Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sun, FEB 27, 2022 Das Bett Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Tue, MAR 1, 2022 Cassiopeia Berlin, Germany
Wed, MAR 2, 2022 Headcrash Hamburg, Germany
Thu, MAR 3, 2022 Little Devil Tilburg, Netherlands
Fri, MAR 4, 2022 Poppodium Bolwerk Sneek, Netherlands
Sat, MAR 5, 2022 Ancienne Belgique Brussels, Belgium
Sun, MAR 6, 2022 Artheater Cologne, Germany
Mon, MAR 7, 2022 Backstage Halle Munich, Germany
Wed, MAR 9, 2022 Orpheum Extra Graz, Austria
Thu, MAR 10, 2022 PMK Innsbruck, Austria
Fri, MAR 11, 2022 Spielplatz OKH Vöcklabruck, Austria
Sat, MAR 12, 2022 Papiersaal Zurich, Switzerland
Sun, MAR 13, 2022 CCO Villeurbanne, France
Mon, MAR 14, 2022 Backstage Paris Paris, France
Tue, MAR 15, 2022 Le Grand Mix Tourcoing, France
Wed, MAR 16, 2022 Le Ferrailleur Nantes, France
Fri, MAR 18, 2022 O2 Academy Islington London, United Kingdom
Sun, MAR 20, 2022 THE LIVE ROOMS Chester, United Kingdom
Mon, MAR 21, 2022 KK’s Steel Mill Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Tue, MAR 22, 2022 The Globe Cardiff, United Kingdom
Wed, MAR 23, 2022 The Warehouse Leeds, United Kingdom
Thu, MAR 24, 2022 Manchester Academy Manchester, United Kingdom
Wed, SEP 14, 2022 Helitehas Tallinn, Estonia
Thu, SEP 15, 2022 Palladium Riga Riga, Latvia
Fri, SEP 16, 2022 Progresja Warsaw, Poland
Sat, SEP 17, 2022 A2. Sp. z o.o. Wroclaw, Poland
Mon, SEP 19, 2022 Forum Karlín Karlín, Czechia
Tue, SEP 20, 2022 Arena Wien Wien, Austria
Wed, SEP 21, 2022 Barba Negra Budapest, Hungary
Fri, SEP 23, 2022 The Roman Arenas Bucharest, Romania
Sat, SEP 24, 2022 SFC Universiada Sofia, Bulgaria
Mon, SEP 26, 2022 Tvornica kulture Zagreb, Croatia
Tue, SEP 27, 2022 Arcimboldi Theater Milan, Italy
Wed, SEP 28, 2022 Ostia Antica Città Metropolitana Di Roma, Italy

Óskar Logi Ágústsson – lead vocals, electric guitar
Alexander Örn Númason – bass guitar, backing vocals
Stefán Ari Stefánsson – drums, percussion

The Vintage Caravan, “Whispers” official video

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Video Interview: Tommi Holappa of Greenleaf on Making Echoes From a Mass and More

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features on April 27th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

greenleaf (Photo by Peder Bergstrand)

Swedish heavy rockers Greenleaf released their eighth full-length, Echoes From a Mass (review here), on March 26 through Napalm Records. At 20 years removed from their debut album, 2001’s Revolution Rock (discussed here), it is only their second full-length in their career to be made with an entirely consistent lineup. With founding guitarist Tommi Holappa as ever at the core, Echoes From a Mass brings him together again with vocalist Arvid Hällagård and drummer Sebastian Olsson, who  both arrived with 2014’s Trails and Passes (review here), and bassist Hans Frölich, who made his first appearance on 2018’s Hear the Rivers (review here). What started and was for more than its first decade a classic, heavy ’70s-style side-project for Holappa from his main outfit at the time, Dozer, has now been a working, touring band for seven years, consistent now in a way they’ve never been before.

Tommi Holappa, in addition to being one of his generation’s foremost heavy rock songwriters, has a smile that is infectious. We’ve spoken any number of times over the years between Dozer and Greenleaf, and it was a pleasure to do so again. He’s a nice guy, and when he talks about writing music for Greenleaf as an increasingly complex process of chasing what feels right, it’s easy to believe it. There has always been an organic sensibility to his craft. Not that the songs aren’t worked on — he talks about hammering out the tracks on Echoes From a Mass in jams with Olsson from which Frölich was excluded due to pandemic restrictions; former bassist/producer Bengt Bäcke stepped in for some — but that even for being thought through, they hold onto the inspired spark out of which they flourished.

I was particularly interested to talk about Greenleaf as a full, stable-lineup band with Holappa not only for the novelty, but for his being able to put material together with these players in mind, the trust that must inherently emerge from working together over a longer stretch of time. I don’t think Greenleaf‘s lineup — fluid as it’s been — has ever included outright strangers as opposed to friends and peers in other bands, up to and including Dozer, LowriderTruckfighters and others, but that’s different than being in the same band with someone for years, and you can hear that difference in the space Holappa gives Hällagård‘s vocal melodies on the opener “Tides” and other songs from the record. That trust is there. And also some jazz, apparently.

It was Friday afternoon after a long week, but great to chat just the same. I hope you enjoy and thanks for watching.

Greenleaf, Echoes From a Mass Interview with Tommi Holappa, April 23, 2021

Greenleaf‘s Echoes From a Mass is out now on Napalm Records. More info available at the links below.

Greenleaf, “Tides” official video

Greenleaf on Thee Facebooks

Greenleaf on Instagram

Greenleaf at Napalm Records

Napalm Records website

Napalm Records on Thee Facebooks

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