Album Review: Vessel of Light, Last Ride

Posted in Reviews on November 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

vessel of light last ride

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It was an especially sexualized turn taken on  Creative Writing Character Profile at high speeds and affordable prices! Find the perfect writer for your research paper at ResearchPaperWritings.net Thy Serpent Rise, and in answering back to that,  FREE Quotes Professional US, homework helper calculator UK, CA and Cefpi Dissertation AU Academic Paper Writers for Hire | Plagiarism Free Custom Last Ride (released through  http://www.ferdinand.si/?how-do-i-view-my-sat-essay-online - 100% non-plagiarism guarantee of exclusive essays & papers. commit your dissertation to professional writers employed Nomad Eel Records) brings 10 tracks and 41 minutes of likewise death-obsessed fare, suitably brooding in mood and dark in a tone somewhere between straightforward heavy metal and doom.  Have Your Architecture Essay Done - Find out basic recommendations how to receive a plagiarism free themed research paper from a trusted writing service Allow Last Ride is unquestionably the most realized version of  buy resume designs Circumference Homework Help phd thesis on r w emerson life experience essay Vessel of Light‘s sound they’ve yet offered. With founding parties  High quality Alison Noble Descriptions Of Image Surfaces Phd Thesiss writing services, order papers writing from experts at customessayorder.com, 24/7 Support, Flexible Discounts, Free Revisions Opposition and guitarist  Effective Essay Writing For Admissions writing help is a type of education service offered plentifully around the internet. Finding websites with such an offer takes little time. Just start googling “college essay writer for pay” – voile, one has hundreds of sites to choose from. Not all those sites are legitimate, trustworthy. Dan Lorenzo ( Hades) having introduced bassist Jimmy Schulman (Hades, Dan Lorenzo‘s solo band) and drummer Ron Lipnicki (ex-Overkill) last time around, Vessel of Light‘s complete-lineup incarnation benefits from both the familiarity of the players involved — none of the Jersey-based trio behind Opposition were strangers to each other before this grouping — and from the personality and playing styles of each. Instrumentally and in terms of production, the songs on Last Ride are varied in tempo and aggression while keeping in mind the overarching mood and progression of the record as a whole. Despite the geographic disparity, they come across as though written in a room with Opposition working out the lyrics as they went.

That in itself is a triumph for a band working with the full, oh-my-god-how-are-we-still-driving-across-this-state mass of Pennsylvania between them, but the real growth of Vessel of Light is in Opposition‘s performance here. In layered vocals that weave into and out of harmony, he recalls Dirt-era Alice in Chains in songs like “Torture King” and the side-B opener “Web of Death,” a speedier, swinging complement to Last Ride‘s nod of a leadoff title-track. Subtle shifts of arrangement in the verses of “There’s No Escape” and a burst of melody that accompanies the instrumental surge of “Voices of the Dead” feel worked on, harnessed over a period greater than the time since the last record came out, and demonstrate plainly the evolution of Vessel of Light beyond “project” and into “band.” Opposition comes across as a more patient and more dynamic vocalist, and his performance throughout turns horror-show depictions into sing-along-ready hooks.

The question is really how much one wants to sing along with these lyrics.

vessel of light

It is a testament to Vessel of Light‘s sense of craft just how little of a question it is when it comes to Last Ride. Their songwriting has grown progressively sharper as they’ve moved quickly between one batch of material and the next, mostly without a focus on live shows, but having done a few along the way, and whether it’s a roller like “Disappearing Pact” or the shout-laced closer “The Death of Innocence,” they balance atmosphere and rhythmic purpose fluidly across the record’s span. To wit, the lead-in the finale gets with “In the Silence,” which is inarguably the most spacious single piece the band has yet done; it feels like an experiment that worked. As Opposition spends much of side B periodically engaging growls and shouts — “Voices of the Dead,” “In the Silence,” “The Death of Innocence” — there’s little if any sacrifice of melody, and it comes across less like a crutch being leaned on than another tool in the singer’s malevolent arsenal being used to these bleak, unremittingly dark tales.

And I guess that’s what it ultimately comes down to with Vessel of Light. In construction and performance, they’ve done nothing but evolve, and Last Ride is the largest step forward they’ve taken in that regard. There is not a misplaced riff, an incoherent groove or a lost-seeming opportunity for melody in these songs. The band are in command of what they do, Lorenzo and Opposition come across as working together more deeply as songwriters than they yet have, and the full-lineup only brings more chances for dynamic in actually executing the material in the studio. They’ve grown in everything but the themes around which their songs are based.

A function of art, and particularly of good art, is to challenge convention, and in many instances that involves exploring the darker elements the human psyche, the more dangerous places one’s mind can go. I’m not saying Opposition is making an invalid artistic statement with his lyrics, but for an album that so much shows the band in question moving forward and challenging itself to offer a richer, more complex product to its listeners — especially, it should be noted, in the vocal department and Opposition‘s own performance — the monochromatic nature of death, death, murder, death, going from “Torture King” to “Carving Station” to “There’s No Escape” to “Web of Death,” and so on, feels almost stubborn in its refusal to branch into other ideas. Among genre fare in literature and pop culture, horror is singularly able to discomfort those who take it on, and there’s no doubt Vessel of Light are good at it at this point.

I’ll willingly confess to not being the world’s biggest horror fan or having an abiding fascination with murder, so there are questions I’m left with at the end that I don’t have easy answers for. With the point of view of the speaker in the lyrics as the perpetrator, where does the sense of the listener as complicit come in? Where’s the challenge other than in the sheer engagement with gruesome or otherwise objectionable notions? Is it really just about making the audience squirm? Perhaps, instead of overthinking it thusly, the way to go with Last Ride is just indeed to take the ride through the songs themselves and engage them for the evident progression they represent in the band’s approach on the whole. Last Ride is the best work Vessel of Light have done to-date. It is a firm statement of identity on the part of the band and an aesthetic dive into the grim, violent reaches of consciousness. There is nothing it seeks to accomplish that it does not accomplish.

Vessel of Light, Last Ride (2020)

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Vessel of Light Post Video for Last Ride Title-Track

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

vessel of light

For a band of such singular focus thematically on murder, Vessel of Light have managed to stay pretty productive when it comes to songwriting. One might expect that at some point the sheer body count of frontman/lyricist Nathan Opposition (formerly of Ancient VVisdom) would get to the point where both basement and woodshed were full, but I suppose you figure these things out as they come up. I’m not here to condone or endorse killing or violence of any kind, but it’s hard not to respect the productivity on the part of Vessel of Light‘s founding duo of Opposition and guitarist Dan Lorenzo (Hades), who, despite being based respectively in Ohio and New Jersey, have managed to offer up three full-lengths since 2018, with the forthcoming Last Ride being the fourth due out next month through Nomad Eel Records.

Now with the stage-ready lineup of Lorenzo, Opposition, bassist Jimmy Schulman (Hades) and drummer Ron Lipnicki (fuggin’ Overkill, dude) — but alas, no stages — Vessel of Light operate as a full band for the second time across Last Ride, and building on late-2019’s phallocentric Thy Serpent Rise (review here), they sound like a more complete band. Opposition‘s vocals recall not only Black Sabbath but something of a gruffed-up Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, and there’s a balance between heavy rock and metal inherent in the groove of the title-track that represents the four-piece’s sound well as they continue to find their space between the two.

Perhaps unsurprisingly — no, make that definitely unsurprisingly — the video for “Last Ride” takes a horror-themed approach, and yup, by “last,” they for sure mean last. Lyrics like, “Now your body is mangled/And your skull belongs to me,” don’t really leave any question as to what they’re talking about.

Album’s out in time for Halloween and more info follows the clip below.

Enjoy:

Vessel of Light, “Last Ride” official video

Cleveland’s Nathan Opposition and NJ’s Dan Lorenzo first jammed together in June of 2017. The duo released two albums for Italy’s Argonauta Records before adding former Overkill drummer Ron Lipnicki and former Hades bassist Jimmy Schulman for last years’ Thy Serpent Rise. Vessel of Light are set to release their 4th album Last Ride this October 30th on California’s Nomad Eel Records. Until then, the band gives us the video for the first single. Opposition came up with the concept. He said,” I’m a huge horror movie fan, so for me this calls upon a number of things. The faceless villain in the classic movie The Oblong Box with Vincent Price and Christopher Lee was definitely an inspiration. Calling upon the mysterious shadowy figures in horror movies like A Phantom of the Opera or the Invisible Man. I wanted to capture the fear in the shadows, fear of the dark, the things out of the corner of our eyes. I really like the concept of a faceless shadow figure, almost like in the urban legend of the Djinn, Slender Man or Hat Man, an evil entity or presence that peers into the soul and rips it to shreds.”

Jason Stewart who also edited the band’s last video, a cover of Black Sabbath’s Wasp stated, “For the Last Ride video, I tried to cut it like a police investigation show, but it’s very grungy and dirty as if I discovered all the raw footage in a dumpster behind a local police station. A lot of the lyrics are in the style of newspaper articles, random 911 calls, subtitles from an interrogation, and more. The one behind the whole story is this Shadow Man figure. It’s almost like a teaser for a made up show in the crime genre.”

Vessel of Light were playing an East Coast run in March and had planned a longer run in June including The Maryland Doom Fest before Coronavirus shut down the band’s plans.

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Review & Full Album Premiere: The Atomic Bitchwax, Scorpio

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The Atomic Bitchwax Scorpio

[Click play above to stream The Atomic Bitchwax’s Scorpio in its entirety. It’s out Friday on Tee Pee Records.]

Some 21 years ago in 1999, New Jersey’s The Atomic Bitchwax made one of the most striking impressions on their self-titled debut album (discussed here) with “Hope You Die,” a song that takes its wishing-ill title and turns it into a call and response vocal hook and makes it mischievously fun. “I hope you hate this shit/I hope your clothes don’t fit,” etc. In 2020, “Hope You Die” leads off. It has been pushed to the forward position on Scorpio, which is the trio’s eighth album, issued like their debut through Tee Pee Records. Scorpio is a landmark by default for the band from Neptune, in that it finds them on the other side of their first record’s 20th year — no small feat for an underground act — and it marks the introduction of their third guitarist, Garrett Sweeny. Sweeny took up the position in early 2019 following the departure of Finn Ryan (also ex-Core) late in 2018, and the band — completed by drummer Bob Pantella and founding bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik — proceeded onward with another following in a series of years with a busy touring schedule, then in support of 2017’s Force Field (review here).

Not to discount Ryan‘s work in The Atomic Bitchwax, as he brought shred worthy of filling founding guitarist Ed Mundell‘s rather sizable shoes and a melodic vocal that worked well in offsetting Kosnik‘s more shouted approach, could carry a song when asked to do so or follow the rhythm section on any number of whirlwind progressions, but his departure (somewhat surprisingly) hardly caused the group to lose a step. Kosnik, who joined Monster Magnet in 2013, and Pantella, who joined Monster Magnet in 2004, snagged Sweeny from that band’s lineup and The Atomic Bitchwax continued on. Scorpio, recorded this past January at Sound Spa in Edison, NJ, with Stephen DeAcutis, benefits markedly from the relative smoothness of that lineup transition and the chemistry the semi-revamped three-piece were able to build on the road last year, touring with Conan and Black Label Society, among others, and couples this with the well established penchant for speedy heavy rock songcraft that has been largely consistent in their work over the last two decades-plus. Momentum, then, is a key element to both the style and the substance of the band. Like their songs, they move forward.

“Hope You Die” serves as the blastoff and the longest track (immediate points) on Scorpio at 4:36, but it’s just one of the bunch when it comes to hooks. Sweeny and Kosnik share vocals, their styles similar in a manner that’s complementary, and throughout the 10-song/37-minute offering, the guitarist acquits himself well in terms of ripping into a barrage of solos and setting the course through Kosnik‘s winding style of riffs, tapping classic rock heroics and translating it into a methodology that’s long since become identifiable as The Atomic Bitchwax‘s own. They follow “Hope You Die” with the aptly-titled “Energy,” a cut that earlier incarnations of the tracklist had swapped with the here-penultimate “Betting Man” as a late surge, but that works no less well in answering the opener with another fervent shove — “Betting Man,” meanwhile, serves basically the same function where it is — and soon enough turns over to the first of three included instrumentals, “Ninja.”

the atomic bitchwax

As one might expect, it is a blurry whirlwind of punches and kicks, drawing on another time-tested aspect of the band’s overarching modus. They kill. In dizzying fashion. 2008’s TAB4 (review here) departed for more mid-paced fare on the whole, but since 2011’s instrumental, single-song LP, The Local Fuzz (review here) and through 2015’s Gravitron (review here) and Force Field, the band has been on a tear in terms of energy. The title-track of Scorpio, also one of its shortest pieces at 3:22, epitomizes this, and is all the more a fitting example for how memorable it is despite being shot from a cannon. The possibly self-referential stomper “Easy Action,” which presumably closes side A and brings a more restrained pace with Pantella marking time on the snare, seems to nod to “So Come On” from 2006’s Jack Endino-produced Boxriff EP (discussed here), and asks the question, “Do you want to live forever?” as if already knowing the answer is no. Tambourine behind the chorus and timed to the snare cleverly keeps the motion of Scorpio going while likewise speaking to the band’s periodic pop flirtations. Unsurprisingly, it works well.

A quick count-in and “Crash” is off; an instrumental lead-in for the second half of Scorpio that hearkens to the riff of the title-track and runs elsewhere with it, taking its own path to its careening stop ahead of “Super Sonic,” which stands just 3:14 but features some highlight bass work from Kosnik and a stripped-down feel compared to the three tracks prior. Perhaps that’s The Atomic Bitchwax introducing the album’s final movement in some way, or just throwing something different in on side B. Either way, it serves its purpose and shifts to “You Got It” with little fanfare, the latter with not only a return of tambourine, but handclaps as well. “You Got It” is quintessential Bitchwax and fits alongside “Scorpio” and “Easy Action” and the subsequent “Betting Man” as some of the strongest material they bring to the outing, but it’s a high standard across the board: the fuzzy riffing, the subtle vocal shifts, the sheer push of the thing.

This is what The Atomic Bitchwax make sound simple and no one else seems to be able to do in quite the same way. See also “Betting Man” and “Instant Death,” the closing duo that sums up Scorpio in suitably concise and direct fashion with one more hook and one last instrumental thrust. It would be hard for a band like The Atomic Bitchwax to be a completely unknown quantity eight records into their career, but part of what makes Scorpio so much their own is its reflection on what they’ve done before. In light of the advent of Sweeny on guitar and the inevitable change to the band’s personality as a result — swapping members in a power trio is never a simple matter — the band’s claim on who they are feels nothing if not purposeful, and at the core of Scorpio is Kosnik‘s songwriting, which is seemingly unshakable. All the better. They’re of course underserved by not being able to tour immediately to support the release, like so many others, but The Atomic Bitchwax nonetheless remain vital and kinetic.

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Friday Full-Length: Monster Magnet, Monolithic Baby!

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

monster magnet monolithic baby

By the time Monster Magnet put out Monolithic Baby! in 2004, they were some six years removed from the commercial-radio triumph of 1998’s Powertrip. 2000’s God Says No had been their final outing through A&M Records as the label went belly-up, and as they signed to SPV — no small shakes, but not with a major imprint’s promotional power/resources — the landscape of music had also changed around them. File sharing at the turn of the century meant that music that was out there was in a sense tossed into a yet-untamed landscape of peer-to-peer traded mp3s. The entire industry would be remade by it, and in addition to rendering FM radio largely irrelevant (print media too, I’ll note as someone who spent a decade-plus writing for now-defunct publications), many of the has-all-the-cards capitalist excesses the music business indulged in the ’90s — CD singles, $18.99 discs at Sam Goody downstairs at the Rockaway Mall, etc. — were no longer a viable model. This, as well as the rise of hip-hop as a commercial mega-enterprise with the beginnings of a next-generation listenership, would seem to have left acts like Monster Magnet in uncharted, uncomfortable territory. What on earth was a heavy rock band who had made their name in the before-times to do?

Many fell right apart, and with good reason. Monster Magnet wrote yet another collection of killer songs. Monolithic Baby! is crisp, it is clear, and it is loaded with hooks that speak to the band’s radio-edit-ready viability no less than its 63-minute runtime (for the US version) speaks to the CD era in which it was released. One would call its first four tracks — “Slut Machine,” “Supercruel,” “On the Verge” and the made-a-video-with-boobs-in-it single “Unbroken (Hotel Baby)” — a striking initial salvo, and it is, but the fact of the matter is there’s no letup from there whatsoever. “Radiation Day,” which follows directly, is an absolute highlight, and the subsequent semi-title-track “Monolithic,” with founding frontman Dave Wyndorf‘s smart, reference-laced lyrics already positioned as a generational indictment, sounds like what AC/DC might’ve become if they’d gone to college. The rush of “The Right Stuff,” its insistent rhythm and blown-out vocal, comes from Hawkwind‘s Robert Calvert but thumps like dance music — and works, somehow — and the moody “There’s No Way Out of Here” is another cover, of the band Unicorn, and momentary departure ahead of the prototypical grandiose declarations of “Master of Light” — “I’m Jesus, I’m Satan, I’m anyone you want me to be,” etc. — and the ever-righteous, always-welcome lead guitar of Ed Mundell.

As the album starts its wind-down with “Too Bad,” a jangly riff hints at Wyndorf‘s affinity for ’60s psych without really going there — long gone were the days of 1995’s Dopes to Infinity (discussed here), 1993’s Superjudge (discussed here) and 1991’s landmark  Spine of God (discussed here; reissue review here) — but provides a breather as then-drummer Michael Wildwood, who’d soon be replaced by Bob Pantella (Raging Slab, etc.), sat out ahead of the largesse harnessed in the seven-minute “Ultimate Everything.” A slower riff from Mundell and guitarist Phil Caivano, and the unmitigated swagger of Wyndorf‘s vocals over top, details of effects and layering bringing a welcome sense of weirdness and unpredictability to the proceedings as ever as the song builds to its and the album’s churning apex before capping with the mostly-instrumental “CNN War Theme,” an epilogue of sorts but a reminder now of the conflicts of that time, the US having “shocked and awed” Iraq in March 2003 and the oh-there’s-no-way-anything-could-ever-be-worse-than-this-post-9/11-ineptitude and feeding-Lockheed greed of the George W. Bush administration’s warmongering.

Simpler times.

A re-recording of “King of Mars,” aptly-titled “King of Mars 2004” revisits and adds percussion and spaciousness to that Dopes to Infinity track, and “Venus in Furs” by Velvet Underground wraps the US edition of Monolithic Baby!, which is one of the best of the many covers Monster Magnet have ever done, laced with mellotron as it is. The ability of the band at this point to be grounded in craft and so clear-headed in production while still tapping into these classic-but-outlying elements isn’t to be underappreciated. “Venus in Furs” sounds like it’s unearthing ancient secrets, and maybe that’s exactly what was happening, Wyndorf‘s middle-finger to the next generation backed by such arcane noisemaking. Maybe that’s reading too much into it. Oh well. That’s what I do. That’s why it’s fun.

Monolithic Baby! was also the point at which Monster Magnet welcomed bassist Jim Baglino (Lord Sterling) to the fold, and the final album the band would release before Wyndorf‘s much-publicized getting clean. The album that followed, 2007’s 4-Way Diablo, has been all but disavowed by the band — Wyndorf will tell you he wasn’t there when it was mixed, though I’ve always been a little unclear if he’s speaking literally or figuratively — and 2010’s Mastermind (review here), which would prove to be Mundell‘s last with the group. Massive in its production value, Mastermind took Monster Magnet to Napalm Records, where they’d remain through 2013’s return to their space-rock-roots Last Patrol (review here), 2014 and 2015’s Milking the Stars (review here) and Cobras and Fire (review here) — revisits of Last Patrol and Mastermind, the latter of which was a particular triumph — and 2018’s Mindfucker (review here), the last of which is their most recent offering.

Monolithic Baby! and Mindfucker have some commonalities in my head, and not just in that both their titles start with the letter ‘m.’ Both are rooted in Wyndorf‘s intricate songwriting — and hardly alone in the band’s catalog for that — but both would seem to hint at changes to come in the band’s sound. In the case of the earlier album, those involved matters both personal and of personnel, and as well as the kind of post-oblivion feel of 4-Way Diablo, the songs of which remain strong. I don’t know what Monster Magnet might do next — re-sign with Napalm? maybe embrace statesman-status on Nuclear Blast or Century Media? — but they were at the forefront of 2020’s pandemic reschedulings, pushing their Spring US tour themed around Powertrip to early next year which, now that we’re looking ahead to autumn, still seems ambitious.

Whatever outlet might get behind it, one hopes their studio exploration — mostly self-contained at this point with Wyndorf and Caivano, though the band is rounded out by bassist Chris Kosnik, guitarist Garrett Sweeny and the aforementioned Pantella on drums; the latter three doubling as The Atomic Bitchwax, whose new LP is out this month on Tee Pee — continues, no matter where it might lead. I’ll forever advocate for Wyndorf to get weirder, as Last Patrol and the two subsequent redux offerings did, but to be perfectly honest, I’ll take it as it comes, and as it isn’t generally what I reach for when I put on Monster Magnet, I was glad to have the excuse to revisit Monolithic Baby! and gain a newfound appreciation for its tracks.

I hope you experience the same. Thanks for reading.

Ups and downs this week. Days with The Pecan and Puppy Omi are hard. He hits her, she nips at him. Through the gate to the kitchen, he swats, she jumps. What a mess. I yelled at him hard on Tuesday I guess it was, held his face in my hands and made him look at me — I’ve been concerned about his eye contact since he was like three months old — and told him his behavior was unacceptable, and there followed an argument with The Patient Mrs. about my being too aggressive and shaming. I had counterpoints. They don’t really matter. She gave me a book recommendation, I started reading and continued to feel awful until I fell asleep.

They found a rehab facility for my father and at the hospital, where he’d been for a month. They were waiting for a negative COVID test to move him. The results didn’t come back in time, but they moved him anyway. They sent me some medicaid form to fill out. I’m not sure I have the legal authority to do that. So yeah. That’s still fun.

I’m also starting to hate this puppy. Strange to think of three weeks ago when I was ONLY trying to raise a toddler with speech issues in a global pandemic as being easy days, but having this dog has made everything more difficult. She whines. She barks. She pisses on the floor. She bites. And indeed, every time The Pecan gets within arm’s reach, he tries to smack her. I mean, I get it, but we can’t really have that in the long run. I don’t know how long we’re supposed to let the experiment go before calling it “nice shot” and moving on with our lives, but if it was today, that’d be fine. I have to take her to the vet in like 40 minutes. Maybe I can convince them to keep her.

Tonight is the Clutch Doom Saloon thing, which if I can get a pass I’ll review, otherwise might try to do the Dunbarrow one, but it’s kind of one or the other in terms of my available time to write. I have another premiere for Monday, so the day’s already good and full. Only so many hours and seemingly fewer all the time. I’ve been starting to transition back to waking up on either side of 4AM again — taking the dog out overnight has actually facilitated, since I was up — so that at least helped yesterday.

There’s other stuff next week. I can’t think clearly enough to remember what. Sorry. Probably more reviews slated than I’ll have energy to write. So it goes.

Alright. I gotta go. Great and safe weekend. Gimme show at 5 Eastern if you can listen. Thanks either way.

FRM.

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Vessel of Light Sign to Nomad Eel Records; Last Ride Due in Oct.

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Working quick, and they know it. Vessel of Light issued their self-titled debut EP (review here) through Argonauta Records in 2017 and followed that in 2018 with their first full-length, Woodshed (review here). That album, in turn, was followed by 2019’s horror-trash metal-of-doom sleazefest Thy Serpent Rise (review here). Here we are: it’s 2020. The world isn’t ending but it kind of feels like it all the time, and Vessel of Light have still found room to be consistent, guitarist/songwriter Dan Lorenzo putting lockdown-era inspiration to work in what has resulted in Last Ride, the band’s new album, out this October through Nomad Eel Records.

The pickup makes Vessel of Light labelmates to the likes of Zig-Zags and Imaad Wasif, and if you’re thinking a band so thoroughly entrenched in murderous themes might be an odd fit for such an outlet, well, you’re right. These things happen. Sometimes a label has varied interests. Sometimes someone knows somebody. Sometimes something just works out. The record’s happening. Be glad with that.

October release will be fitting, and if you look closely at the cover art, you’ll see it’s ‘VOL Undertakers’ on that carriage. Cute touch.

Dig:

vessel of light last ride

California’s Nomad Eel Records signs VESSEL OF LIGHT

Three years ago Cleveland’s Nathan Opposition and NJ’s Dan Lorenzo recorded their debut EP for Italy’s Argonauta Records. Vessel of Light are now about to deliver their fourth record in less than three years. The first single is Last Ride which is also the name of the new release on California’s Nomad Eel Records. Opposition and Lorenzo had previously recorded the single/video Son of Man from their Woodshed album before adding former Hades bassist Jimmy Schulman and longtime Overkill drummer Ron Lipnicki.

Vessel Of Light were in the middle of playing shows in March when Covid hit. The silver lining? Instead of releasing Last Ride in 2021 the band will now drop their opus in the early fall.

“In both Hades and Non-Fiction we kind of fell apart after the second release”, said Lorenzo. “I’ve never released four albums in less than three years for multiple reasons — one being that I’ve never been this inspired before. I had music to about ten songs written before we did our run of shows in March, but I wrote another seven during the lock-down. I was incredibly happy how smooth Ron and Jimmy came into the picture on our last release (Thy Serpent Rise) and we’ve only grown since then. Nathan never ceases to amaze me vocally. He outdid himself on our first single Last Ride. It sounds like it should be a hit — now I know and you know it’s NOT going to be a hit song, but this is next level music. Not a typical uninspired band going through the motions.”

Album art by Danny Rome. Nomad Eel will release Last Ride on CD, vinyl and cassette in October.

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Vessel of Light, “Urge to Kill”

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The Atomic Bitchwax Post “You Got It” Video

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

the atomic bitchwax

The band from Neptune returns! A new Bitchwax video is, generally speaking, cause to celebrate, and the new one for “You Got It” heralds the upcoming LP, Scorpio, with a due showcase of that pivotal balance between forward drive and weight-of-groove that is so much the band’s own. Claiming that sonic space as their own, which, yes, it is, feels all the more purposeful given that with this record founding bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik and drummer Bob Pantella introduce guitarist Garrett Sweeny to the fold.

And yes, all three of them are also in Monster Magnet, but more importantly, all three of them are in The Atomic Bitchwax. The new video does more than hint toward social commentary with its central lead character, a young woman, walking down the street in the city facing harassment and catcalls as so many do. I can’t help but feel there’s an edge of irony in that it’s a band called The Atomic Bitchwax taking this progressive stance, but there’s nothing to say one’s thinking about these issues can’t evolve over a span of decades, though the woman-as-scorpion cover art of the new album seems to contrast, even if intended as a message of authority or power. In any case, the image of the three-piece in and alongside a speeding subway train could hardly be more fitting, and also being from New Jersey, I’m reminded of the particular relationship that those of my beloved Garden State have with NYC, the much-maligned Bridge and Tunnel Crowd who in large part make the thing go.

So I guess there’s more to unpack here than it might at first seem when one sees the phrase “new Bitchwax video,” but one would hardly begrudge the band either the message or the depth. And, as one would figure, the song rules. Always helps.

Enjoy:

The Atomic Bitchwax, “You Got It” official video

New Jersey-based rock n’ roll trio THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX are set to release their new studio album, ‘Scorpio’, August 28th release via Tee Pee Records. The group, which originally formed in the mid-90s, consists of lead vocalist/bassist Chris Kosnik, drummer Bob Pantella, and guitarist Garrett Sweeny, all of whom are past or present members of the band Monster Magnet. Scorpio is the follow up to the group’s 2017 full-length ‘Force Field’, and their eighth studio LP overall spanning more than two decades.

Today the band releases their video for the second single from the album “You Got It.”

The Atomic Bitchwax, “Scorpio” official video

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The Atomic Bitchwax Post Scorpio Title-Track Video and Album Details

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the atomic bitchwax

So I guess when Garden State speed rock treasures The Atomic Bitchwax put out that Bowie cover video and said their new album, Scorpio, had had its release delayed owing to — DUH THE SAME SHIT THAT’S DELAYING EVERYTHING INCLUDING LIFE ITSELF — that was kind of a soft-announcement for the album itself. Fair enough. The record’s a scorcher and a groover through and through, so announce it then, announce it now, whatever. It’s gonna tear shit up just the same, whenever it gets released. It’s the Bitchwax‘s first record with Garrett Sweeny, so that’s a change, but a lot of the core mission of the band remains the same. I’d go on, but hell, I wrote the bio below, so in some ways I’ve said my piece already.

And yeah, I posted about the record before, but frankly, I like keeping these things for posterity, and it’s nice to have the official thing, plus the bio I wrote. I should probably start keeping track of when I do these things. Whatever.

Preorders are up and the video for the title-track is at the bottom of the post. Not at all shockingly, it rules:

The Atomic Bitchwax Scorpio

THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX Announce Studio New Album ‘Scorpio’ Out August 28th via Tee Pee Records

WATCH: Music Video for New Single “Scorpio”

New Jersey-based rock n’ roll trio THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX have announced their new studio album, ‘Scorpio’, which will see an August 28th release via Tee Pee Records. The group, which originally formed in the mid-90s, consists of lead vocalist/bassist Chris Kosnik, drummer Bob Pantella, and guitarist Garrett Sweeny, all of whom are past or present members of the band Monster Magnet. Scorpio is the follow up to the group’s 2017 full-length ‘Force Field’, and their eighth studio LP overall spanning more than two decades.

Pre-order ‘Scorpio’ HERE: https://orcd.co/scorpio

‘Scorpio’ Tracklisting:
1. Hope You Die
2. Energy
3. Ninja
4. Scorpio
5. Easy Action
6. Crash
7. Super Sonic
8. You Got It
9. Betting Man
10. Instant Death

BIO:

The scourge and scorch of New Jersey returns, and their sting is deadly as ever. Garden State riff rock stalwarts The Atomic Bitchwax proudly present their eighth full-length, Scorpio.

In a busy three years since NJ’s most powerful power trio issued 2017’s Force Field, they’ve toured the US and Europe multiple times over, taken part in fests far and wide, and blown past the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut album.

Scorpio acknowledges the two-decades milestone in its opening revamp of the first song the band ever wrote with vocals, “Hope You Die,” the crash-in of which will be immediately familiar to anyone who’s seen them live. A generation later, it still gets the message across.

From then on, it’s all-go on nine fresh-made burners, founding bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik, guitarist Garrett Sweeny, and drummer Bob Pantella toying with tempo subtly to lace songs like “Betting Man” and “Easy Action” and “Energy” with signature-style memorable hooks amid instrumentals “Ninja,” “Crash” and “Instant Death,” the head-spinning turns of which push ahead in the aggressive stance The Bitchwax began to present in 2015’s Gravitron while still remaining imbued with new character and the loyalty to classic heavy rock that underlies all their work.

Tracked in Jan. 2020 at Sound Spa in Edison, NJ, with Stephen DeAcutis engineering, Scorpio is a righteous next stage of the momentum The Atomic Bitchwax have been building through hard touring and release after release of gauntlet-throwing-down rock and roll. This is a band that never stops moving, and only ever moves forward.

http://www.theatomicbitchwax.com/
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The Atomic Bitchwax, “Scorpio” official video

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The Atomic Bitchwax Post “I’m Afraid of Americans” Video from David Bowie Tribute

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the atomic bitchwax

Hey, if you’re not afraid of Americans at this point, you’re just not paying attention. And the saddest part about that? It applies to all sides of every argument and every issue.

So here we are. New Jersey-based heavy rock stalwarts The Atomic Bitchwax might be aiming to make a political statement in taking on David Bowie‘s “I’m Afraid of Americans” for a new tribute on Main Main Records — Frankenstein 3000 and The Ribeye Bros. also feature — but it’s inherently a political song. And despite the fact that it’s been nearly 25 years since the track first showed up — and oh, how edgy it was at the time; Bowie and peak-era Trent Reznor daring to make a statement about… anything — one can hardly argue against its continued resonance in the age of climate disaster, mass shootings, civil unrest, global pandemic, economic devastation, descent into tribalist fascism, on and on and fucking on. I’m an Amerian and I’m afraid of Americans too. Some of those fuckers are out grocery shopping without a mask on.

One wouldn’t expect the Bitchwax to make a sudden turn toward sociopolitical declaration — stranger things have happened, but it would be a shift for them — but what makes their “I’m Afraid of Americans” all the more interesting is how loyal it is to the Bowie/Reznor original. The Atomic Bitchwax are no more known for using synthesizers than they are for politics, and “I’m Afraid of Americans” sees drummer Bob Pantella taking on a multi-instrumentalists and programmer role while founding bassist Chris Kosnik handles vocals as usual. I’m not sure if from their description guitarist Garrett Sweeny is on this at all or if it was done before he was really integrated into the band last year, but either way, it’s a cool step outside the power-trio norm for The Atomic Bitchwax, and nice to know that more than 20 years on, they still have the ability to surprise.

However, don’t take this to mean they’re going industrial for their new album, Scorpio, when it arrives in August. Not saying I’ve heard it or anything, but it’s all the fuzzy speed rock scorch you know and love.

Enjoy the clip:

The Atomic Bitchwax, “I’m Afraid of Americans” official video

So we did a Bowie cover last year for a tribute record on Main Man Records, Bob did all the programming, played everything and transposed it a whole step down so I could sing it. It’s totally different than what you would expect from a Bitchwax song and just a lot of fun to do.

During the lock down we put together a video for it. This in no way is a political statement, in fact the clips in the vid used were only in Bowie’s lifetime. We are just Bowie fans covering a Bowie tune.

BTW, our new Bitchwax record “Scorpio” was postponed till Aug 30th because of the world falling apart ,so stay tuned for a couple singles over the summer!

Stay safe!!!

From the Main Man Records release – “Hero – A Tribute To David Bowie”
https://www.mainmanrecords.com/products/hero-the-main-man-records-tribute-to-david-bowie-vinyl-black

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