Cassius King Premiere “Cleopatra’s Needle” Video; Field Trip out Today

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

cassius king

Cassius King release their first album, Field Trip, today digitally with bonus-track-inclusive CD and vinyl to follow via Nomad Eel Records. Though technically a debut, the 10-plus track/41-minute, classic-metal-infused outing perhaps rings truer as a splintering off from another progression, namely that of Vessel of Light. The driving force here is guitarist Dan Lorenzo, whose affinity for dark riffcraft is writ large across Field Trip in a way that feels produced meaner than on Vessel of Light‘s 2020 LP, Last Ride (review here) — one might also note the similarity of the two titles, two words, going, etc., but Field Trip comes from the lyrics to the penultimate “Leave of Absence” — and who brings along drummer Ron Lipnicki (ex-Overkill) and bassist Jimmy Schulman (ex-Attacker), both also veterans of New Jersey thrashers Hades currently serving in Vessel of Light.

In 2004, Lorenzo put out a solo record called Cassius King, so as he notes below, the name has been around, and perhaps due in part to quarantine-era inactivity, the inability to play live, etc., Cassius King moved from sometimes-covers-project to actual-band, with Jason McMaster, formerly of Watchtower (and if you want to get complicated, Hades vocalist Alan Tecchio currently fronts Watchtower) and bearing a pedigree that spans nearly 40 years and currently includes Howling SycamoreIgnitor and bunch of others, joining on vocals.

That pairing of McMaster and Lorenzo is crucial. I won’t downplay the contributions of Schulman or Lipnicki — neitherCassius King Field Trip will you once you hear the doom-nodder “Traveler” — but the Dio-style sensibility McMaster brings atop Lorenzo‘s driving riffs is quite literally what separates Field Trip from what might’ve been the next Vessel of Light. Stylistically, it’s not an insignificant difference. “King of Lies,” “Below the Stones,” “Cleopatra’s Needle” and “Join the Exodus” open the record as a vital, metallic, hard-hitting salvo ahead of the aforementioned traveler, and McMaster‘s “daugh-tah” and “slaugh-tah” on “Cleopatra’s Needle” and “Join the Exodus,” respectively, are a dogwhistle to those who’d raise horns to a guttural, powerful belting-out of lyrics.

Ultimately, McMaster proves more dynamic than just that — not that he’d need to; man does a mean Dio — working in layers that at least in structure remind some of what Eric Wagner has done in The Skull on their two albums, but are Sabbath-born one way or the other. This is only highlighted by the work of LorenzoSchulman and Lipnicki behind, not fixing what isn’t broken about the metal of eld and drawing a line between it and Epicus-style doom, unafraid to be catchy or offer some shove on “King of Lies” and “Apocalyptic Nations” — the latter a presumed companion to the opener in launching side B — and never lacking in wanton, almost gleeful, force of delivery. Heavy doom metal that plainly loves being all three.

Swing and an edge of heavy rock pervade in “Below the Stones” and “Leave of Absence,” but the message of a metallic foundation even there isn’t lost. Field Trip makes bonus tracks of Cheap Trick‘s “Big Eyes” and “Out on the Tiles” from Led Zeppelin III, and fair enough, but it’s in album-proper closer “This Side of Forever” that the doom is perhaps most affirmed in its atmosphere. Side B has wrought crisp songwriting across “I Move with the Moon” and “Six,” the latter with a creeper riff in its finish that it’s especially easy to imagine in a Vessel of Light context, but the capstone moves outward from “Leave of Absence” with darker, Dehumanizer-esque bleak poise, and stomps to its conclusion with the surity of having said what it wanted to say. And so it did.

The video premiering below for “Cleopatra’s Needle” should give some sense of where Cassius King are coming from, even if it doesn’t necessarily represent the whole of Field Trip. However, as the record’s out today, you won’t have to trouble yourself too much to dig in deeper.

In any case, full-band commentary follows the clip, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Cassius King, “Cleopatra’s Needle” official video premiere

Former Hades founding member Dan Lorenzo has been using the CASSIUS KING moniker for years. From his debut solo album to his endless cover song CDs with various lead vocalists. But it wasn’t until 2021 when Lorenzo decided to make an all-original album with vocalist Jason McMaster (Watchtower/Dangerous Toys/Broken Teeth/Howling Sycamore/Ignitor). Lorenzo released four albums in three years with his doom band Vessel Of Light when Coronavirus prevented any more live shows.

“I had music to probably eight or nine more songs after VOL released Last Ride,” Lorenzo said. “I didn’t think the world was ready for a fifth Vessel Of Light album when we couldn’t even play shows to support Last Ride. Jason sang multiple CASSIUS KING cover songs with me and I had some music that was maybe a bit more like Hades plus a bluesy song I sent off to Jason. I was shocked how quickly Jason wrote and sang the first few songs, so I recorded a few more brand new tunes. I asked Jason if he needed any help with melodies and he told me he did not. Jason said he could use some lyrical ideas though. I told that to Jimmy Schulman (Hades/Vessel Of Light) and he and Jason ended up collaborating lyrically on three songs.”

Schulman commented, “When Dan mentioned Jason needed some lyrical ideas, I was excited to be part of that process. Jason and I came at it a few different ways. Sometimes it was just texting back-and-forth with a line or two at a time until it took on shape. Another time, a long poem was crafted into a song. However it went, though, it proved to be a cool and interesting collaboration.”

McMaster stated, “It was the kind of material I had been wanting to do for a long time. It feels a bit like Ozzy and Dio playing poker over some leftover Sabbath material. The melodies came to me quickly, as well as some of the lyrics. Things I already had fit the visions I had upon first listen and it all flowed immediately. I would not call it a full ‘doom’ application of terms, but its heavy, it reminds me of what I love about Sabbath and Dio songs.”

Drummer Ron Lipnicki (former Overkill current Vessel Of Light) said, “I think this new album’s got something for everyone. It’s like the fruits all line up on the slot machine.” That includes fans of Hades’ seminal release Resisting Success, as Scott LePage plays leads on the songs “I Move With The Moon” and “King of Lies.”

CASSIUS KING’s Field Trip will feature cover art by Claudio Bergamin (Judas Priest’s Firepower). Nomad Eel Records have already released a vinyl single by CASSIUS KING. The CD is set for release in July and vinyl to follow.

Cassius King are:
Jason McMaster – Vocals
Ron Lipnicki – Drums
Jimmy Schulman – Bass
Dan Lorenzo – Guitars

Cassius King on Instagram

Cassius King on Bandcamp

Cassius King stream

Dan Lorenzo website

Nomad Eeel Records on Facebook

Nomad Eeel Records on Instagram

Nomad Eeel Records website

Nomad Eel Records on Bandcamp

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The Atomic Bitchwax Touring with Weedeater in September

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the atomic bitchwax

Stalwart New Jersey heavy rockers The Atomic Bitchwax will head out on tour with North Carolinian sludge veteran headliners Weedeater this September. Of course, like everyone’s everything, the announcement comes with a big ol’ “conditions permitting” asterisk because the plague’s got variants like it’s limited color vinyl, but one can always hope and The Obelisk is nothing if not a place where a better future is envisioned.

Right?

Speaking of Roddenburyian optimism, I embarrased myself on social media the other day when founding Bitchwax bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik put up the poster below, saying something about digging his Star Trek art. In fact, the image comes from “To Serve Man,” a classic The Twight Zone episode. Richard Kiel, not Ted Cassidy. Kosnik was gracious about it, but I felt a bit of the fool just the same. Not the first or last time that day, rest assured.

The Atomic Bitchwax released their Scorpio (review here) full-length last year in continued alliance with Tee Pee Records. And it ruled. No surprise there, even as the band brought in Garrett Sweeny on guitar for the first time, they continued to deliver quality and quantity in kind. They’ve consistently set a high standard and met it, and yeah, if you can catch them live, don’t take it for granted.

Dates follow:

the atomic bitchwax tour

September shows !!!!

WEEDEATER w/special guests THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX / JOE BUCK YOURSELF / REBELMATIC
09/03/2021 Atlanta GA @ Masquerade
https://tinyurl.com/3bw5bszx
09/04/2021 Birmingham AL @ Zydeco
https://tinyurl.com/mhb6dk5f
09/05/2021 Cookeville TN @ Muddy Roots Festival
https://tinyurl.com/bjshkz2x
09/07/2021 Des Moines IA @ The Gas Lamp
https://tinyurl.com/3rpk74ym
09/08/2021 Iowa City IA @ Wildwood
https://tinyurl.com/hbp4uxaw
09/09/2021 Pekin IL @ Full Terror Assault Festival ***WEEDEATER ONLY
https://tinyurl.com/r5wdwma3
09/10/2021 St Louis MO @ Red Flag
https://tinyurl.com/ckwcad96
09/11/2021 Little Rock AR @ Mutants of the Monster Festival
https://tinyurl.com/afctmk2b09/13/2021 Evansville IN @ The Venue (Tickets On-Site ONLY)
09/14/2021 Canton OH @ The Buzzbin
https://tinyurl.com/yey95rew
09/16/2021 Boston MA @ Sonia
09/17/2021 Brooklyn NY @ The Arrogant Swine
https://tinyurl.com/czef22jn
09/18/2021 Philadelphia PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
https://tinyurl.com/t8h9bx9s

http://www.theatomicbitchwax.com/
https://www.facebook.com/The-Atomic-Bitchwax-86002001659/
http://teepeerecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/

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

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Quarterly Review: Elara Sunstreak Band, Lost Breed, T.G. Olson, Acid Reich, White Powder, Hellish Form, Mosara, Tombstunner, Moanhand, Appalooza

Posted in Reviews on July 12th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

Second week, locked in and ready to roll. The message of today is that the Quarterly Review goes where it wants when it wants. If I’m steering this ship at all, it’s in only the most passive of ways. I hope you had a good weekend. I hope you spent it listening to killer music. I hope you managed to get all your reviews done. Ha.

So much good stuff to come this week. I’m looking forward to diving into it. And you know what? I did end up adding the extra day, so the Summer 2021 QR will go 11 days instead of 10, bringing it to 110 releases covered. Pretty sure that’s the longest I’ve ever gone.

Better get to it.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Elara Sunstreak Band, Vostok I

Elara Vostok 1

True, Elara Sunstreak Band‘s second album and first for Sulatron Records, dubbed Vostok 1, is not a minor ask at four songs and 72 minutes. But by the time you’re through the 19:44 opener/longest track (immediate points) “Nexus,” the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Daniel Wieland, drummer Martin Wieland and guitarist/sitarist/synthesist Felix Schmidt have set their course outward and they continue to surprise along the way, from the shimmering Elder-style progressive guitar work in the title-track to the guest vocals of Felix Seyboth nodding at Blind Melon in the crescendo of sitar-laced closer “Orange October.” Even “On a Drink With Jim” manages to thrill with its blend of the terrestrial with the spacious, let alone its Doors homage as hinted in its title. These nuances meld with an overarching hypnosis to create a satisfying depth of presentation on the part of Elara Sunstreak Band, and it becomes all the more a far out journey worth taking.

Elara Sunstreak Band on Facebook

Sulatron Records webstore

 

Lost Breed, Speak No Evil

Lost Breed Speak No Evil

Classic doom metal from experienced practicioners of the art. Speak No Evil is kind of a curious release. Vinyl only as yet, and self-released by the band, it answers back to the group’s initial Hellhound Records run in the 1990s and also their 1989 Wino Daze demo that featured Scott “Wino” Weinrich on vocals around the same time he left Saint Vitus and restarted The Obsessed. Weinrich appears on vocals and lead guitar throughout the first half of Speak No Evil, fronting the catchy opener “My Way Out” as well as “Thrift Store Girl,” “Cradle to the Grave” and the double-kick-laced “Doom,” which is nothing if not aptly-titled, while guitarist Pat Lydon sings on “Snakebite,” the less outwardly political “Wake the Dead,” “Siren Song” and “Stalker,” the pairing of which feels intentional. One might think the two sides/two-frontmen thing would make the release uneven, or the fact that it was recorded across two coasts, but nah, it’s doom either way and these guys know what they’re doing. Don’t sweat it. Do hope it gets a wider release.

Lost Breed on Facebook

Pat Lydon on YouTube

 

T.G. Olson, T.G. Olson

T.G. Olson T.G. Olson

Though it’s been a minute as he’s reprioritized Across Tundras, embarked on other projects, relocated to Iowa, farmed, and so on, T.G. Olson has still put out enough records under his own name that to have one arrive as a self-titled is significant in itself. Sure enough and somewhat ironically for someone who’s done so much him-and-guitar work in the past, the nonetheless-unassuming 35-minute eight-tracker features more personnel and broader arrangements than one might expect. That’s hardly a detriment, as even the layers of voice on “Steal a Day” come through as benefitting from the attention to detail, and the harmonica-inclusive twang of “Scythe” has its blues all the more emphasized for the clarity of its strum, while closer “Downer Town” invites a singalong. Personnel varies throughout, but the contibutions of Abigail Lily O’Hara (vocals), Ben Schriever (guitar, bass) and Caleb R.K. Williams (synth, guitar, banjo) — all of whom feature in the latest incarnation of Across Tundras as well — aren’t to be understated, as identifiable as Olson‘s songcraft is at the core of this material.

Across Tundras/T.G. Olson on Bandcamp

 

Acid Reich, Mistress of the Perpetual Harvest

Acid Reich Mistress of the Perpetual Harvest

John McBain, Tim Cronin and Dave Wyndorf — in Dog of Mystery together at the time — would go on to form Monster Magnet a short time after, seemingly on a whim, Acid Reich‘s freakout Mistress of the Perpetual Harvest was put to tape in their rehearsal space as one of a number of “fake” weirdo projects. Listening to these five tracks, including likewise irreverent takes on “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” and “Amazing Grace,” the feel here is like an acid psych treasure trove of Jersey Shore fuckery. Joining the trio were Ripping Corpse‘s Shaune Kelley and Joe Paone of hellSausage, and by their own admission, the audio’s a mess. It’s an archival tape dug up from 1989 — if you’re thinking you’re getting high fidelity, you’re missing at least one of the points of putting it out in the first place. Laced with acid culture samples that may or may not have been added after the fact, this is the first official release this material has ever gotten, and it’s nasty, raw, demo fare that, if it wasn’t so blown into the cosmos you’d call it punk rock. If that doesn’t sound right on to you, it’s probably your loss.

Guerssen Records on Bandcamp

Guerssen Records website

 

White Powder, Blue Dream

white powder blue dream

Based in Austin, Texas, and operatin as the four-piece of guitarist Jason Morales (also Tia Carrera), bassist Win Wallace, keyboardist Ezra Reynolds and drummer Jeff Swanson, White Powder recorded their whoa-this-shit-is-awesome mostly-instrumentalist debut LP, Blue Dream in 2014 and only now is it being at last pressed to vinyl. Given their chosen moniker, the 46-minute/nine-song session is perhaps surprisingly laid back, with the keys/synth and guitar coming together in mellow-prog style atop not-entirely-languid-but-not-overly-insistent grooves; all parties seeming geared toward immersion as much of self as for their listenership, be it in the piano of “Connemara” or the later fuzzer “Rula Jabreal,” where ripplng organ lines top the popping-snare rhythmic tension until the guitar pushes it over the edge of volume swell and wash. Some classic heavy for good measure in “Alice Walker,” but Blue Dream works best taken in its entirety, and listening to it that way, one only hopes they manage to do another in seven years or so. Or seven months. That’d work too. Extra points for the sleek-as-hell soul vocals in the Steely Dan cover “Dirty Work” on side B.

White Powder on Spotify

White Powder on Bandcamp

 

Hellish Form, Remains

Hellish Form Remains

Quarantine-era cross-country duo Hellish Form earn a Khanate comparison on their debut release, Remains, for their sheer unwillingness to pull back from the grueling, punishing tension they create in the slowly unfolding opener/longest track (immediate points) “Your Grave Becomes a Garden.” The dirge is so much forward that it makes the post-Bell Witch lead guitar mourning feel like an afterthought, and the screaming, echoing vocals shared between multi-instrumentalists Willow Ryan (Body Void) and Jacob Lee — who both recorded their parts at home — are a harsh reminder of the existential chaos serving as the background to these songs’ making. “Ache” is shorter and puts synth more forward, and “Shadows with Teeth” thicker and nastier if that’s possible, but through them and the 10-minute finale “Another World,” the feeling of dread, fear, and loss is palpable, and Remains is a fitting name for a record that feels so much like an aftermath.

Hellish Form on Facebook

Translation Loss Records website

 

Mosara, Mosara

Mosara Mosara

Mosara emerge from Phoenix, Arizona, with a sound that just as easily could’ve come down from the mountains as out of the desert, and that’s by no means a complaint. Big riffs promulgate their eight-song self-titled debut LP, and they bring forth aggro sludge undertones alongside lumbering rollout, rawly-captured in the recording but not lacking presence for that, as the mounted chug of “Cypher” demonstrates. Is it heavy enough to crash your hard drive? I’m not trying to lay blame on Mosara‘s riffs or anyone else’s, but apparently there’s only so much assault modern technology can take before falling victim. We’ll call that computer a sacrifice to the eight-minute “Earth God,” its crashing drums and deceptively spacious mix creating a cavernous largesse in spite of the barebones vibe that persists across the span, “Clay and Iron” and “Majestik XII” establishing the atmosphere early but not the full sonic reach of the band, whose plunge is made all the deeper by the High on Fire-style drive of “Oumuamua.” Doesn’t have to be a revolution to fuck you up.

Mosara on Facebook

Transylvanian Tapes on Bandcamp

 

Tombstunner, Call to the Void

Tombstunner Call to the Void

I don’t know if Grand Rapids, Michigan, yet has an officially designated “scourge,” but I’d be happy to see Tombstunner end up with the title. The band’s debut album, Call to the Void, reminds at once of fellow sneering Midwestern chicanery-bringers Bloodcow and also of early ’90s, Blind-era C.O.C., their tones refusing to give themselves over to one side or the other of the argument between metal and heavy rock. Marked out by considered and sometimes willfully clever lyrics, the record strikes with plenty of groove — plenty of “strike,” for that matter — and not an ounce of pretense on pieces like “ASH” or the later “Contempt’s Concrete,” which touches on harsher fare, but again, isn’t really keen to leave its rock foundation behind. They probably make the right choice in that. Eight-minute capper “The Last Ride” is catchy and weighted in kind, seeming to pack as much as possible into its finale as though to let there be no uncertainty the band has more to say. Fair enough. There’s growing to be done, but Call to the Void‘s untamed sensibility is ultimately a strength, not a weakness.

Tombstunner on Facebook

Tombstunner on Bandcamp

 

Moanhand, Present Serpent

moanhand present serpent

Sometimes there’s nothing like a good scream. Moscow-based Roman Filatov has one. The lone figure behind Moanhand can growl, and unlike many harsher metal vocalists, he can also sing, and does so readily across his band’s first album, Present Serpent, but god damn, that’s a good scream. Enviable. Comprised of six tracks, Present Serpent is as progressive as it is extreme, as doom as it is any number of other microgenres, and despite the formidable and varied nature of his performances throught — second track “The Charmthrower” has more scope than many bands do in an entire career arc — he does not fail to put songwriting first ahead of either technique or impact. Present Serpent will not hit a nerve with everyone, but the lumbering “Raw Blessings” and the atmosludge metal of finisher “The Boomering of Serpents,” calling back to opener “Serpent Soul (A Tale of Angels’ Slaughter)” in semi-blackened throb, just leaves me wondering why the hell not. On the level of Moanhand‘s forward potential alone — never mind any of the actual songs — it is a staggering debut.

Moanhand on Facebook

Moanhand on Bandcamp

 

Appalooza, The Holy of Holies

appalooza-the-holy-of-holies-cover

The percussion nuance and guitar lick nodding at Morricone in opener “Storm” amid all the post-Alice in Chains vocal arrangements should be a signal of the reach France’s Appalooza bring to their second LP and Ripple debut, The Holy of Holies. To wit, the subsequent “Snake Charmer” is off and careening almost immediately on its own path, and it’s commendable on the band’s part that where they go on the burlier “Reincarnation” and the more spacious “Nazareth” and the centerpiece “Conquest” — which starts out particularly hard-hitting and by the time it’s done is given over to standalone acoustic guitar without sounding disjointed in getting there — remains so seemingly even-handed in its delivery. Their material is considered, then. It proves no less so through the brash/tense “Azazael,” the desert-but-not “Distress” and “Thousand Years After,” which is a melodic highlight even among the many other surrounding. Tasked with summarizing, closer “Canis Majoris” answers “Conquest” with melancholy and heft, its ending satisfying in an emotional context in additing to being a well earned sonic payoff.

Appalooza on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

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Quarterly Review: Carlton Melton, Crown, Noêta, Polymerase, Lucid Sins, Hekate, Abel Blood, Suffer Yourself, Green Dragon, Age Total

Posted in Reviews on July 5th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

This will be a two-week Quarterly Review. That means this Monday to Friday and next Monday to Friday, 10 releases per day, totaling 100 by the time it’s done.

Me? I’m taking it one week, one day, one album at a time. It’s the only way to go and not have it seem completely insurmountable. But we’ll get through it all. I started out with the usual five days, and then I went to seven, then eight, and at that point I felt like I had a pretty good idea where things were headed. The last two days I filled up just at the end of last week. Some of it is I think a result of quarantine productivity, but there’s a glut of relevant stuff out now and some of it I’m catching up on, true, but some of it isn’t out yet either, so it’s a balance as ever. I keep telling myself I’m done with 2020 releases, but there’s one in here today. You know how it goes.

And since you do, I won’t delay further. Thanks in advance for reading if you do.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Carlton Melton, Night Pillers

carlton melton night pillers

Rangey mellow psych collected together with the natural shimmer of a Phil Manley (Trans Am) recording and a John McBain master, the new mini-LP from Mendocino medicine makers Carlton Melton is a 31-minute, five-song meditative joy. To wit, “Safe Place?” Is. “Morning Warmth?” Is, even with the foreboding march of drums behind it. And “Striatum,” which closes with interplay of keys and fuzzy leads and effects, giving a culminating seven-minute wash that doesn’t feel like it’s pushing far out so much as already gone upon arrival, indeed seems like a reward for any head or brain that’s managed to make it so far. Opener “Resemblance” brings four minutes of gentle drone to set the mood ahead of “Morning Warmth” — it might be sunrise, if we’re thinking of it that way — and centerpiece “High Noon Thirty” bridges krauty electronic beats and organic ceremony that feels both familiar and like the band’s own. They may pill at night, but Carlton Melton have a hell of a day here.

Carlton Melton on Facebook

Agitated Records website

 

Crown, The End of All Things

Crown The End of All Things

Weaving in and around genres with fluidity that’s tied together through dark industrial foundations, Crown are as much black metal as they are post-heavy, cinematic or danceable. “Gallow” or the earlier “Neverland” call to mind mid-period, electronica-fascinated Katatonia, but “Extinction” pairs this with a more experimental feel, opening in its midsection to more unsettling spaces ahead of the dance-ready finish. There’s nothing cartoonish or vamp about The End of All Things, which is the French outfit’s fourth album in 10 years, and it’s as likely to embrace pop (closer “Utopia”) as extremity (“Firebearer” just before), grim atmospherics (“Nails”) or textured acoustics (“Fleuve”), feeling remarkably unconcerned with genre across its 45 entrancing minutes, and remarkably even in its approach for a sound that’s still so varied. It’s not an easy listen front to back, but the challenge feels intentional and is emotional as much as cerebral in the craft and performance.

Crown on Facebook

Pelagic Records on Bandcamp

 

Noêta, Elm

Noêta elm

Swedish duo Noêta offer their second record for Prophecy Productions in Elm, comprising a deceptively efficient eight songs and 38 minutes that work in atmospheres of darker but not grim or cultish folk. Vocalist Êlea is very much a focal point in terms of performance, with Andris‘ instrumentals forming a backdrop that’s mournful on “Above and Below” while shimmering enough to bring affirmation to “As We Are Gone” a short while later ahead of the electrified layering in “Elm” and the particularly haunted-feeling closer “Elm II.” “As I Fall Silent” is a singularly spacious moment, but not the only one, as “Fade” complements with strings and outward-sounding guitar, and some of Elm‘s most affecting moments are its quietest stretches, as “Dawn Falls” proves at the outset and the whispers of “Elm” reaffirm on side B. Subdued but not lacking complexity, Noêta‘s songs make an instrument of mood itself and are pointedly graceful in doing so.

Noêta on Facebook

Prophecy Productions website

 

Polymerase, Unostentatious

Polymerase Unostentatious

Unostentatious, which is presumably not to say “humble,” may or may not be Polymerase‘s debut release, but it follows on from several years of inactivity on the part of the Philippines-based mostly-instrumentalist heavy psych trio. The band present four duly engaging and somewhat raw feeling jams, with a jump in volume as “Lightbringer//Lightgiver” picks up from “A Night with a Succubus” and opener “The Traveler” and a final touch of thickened, fuzzy sludge in the rolling “Green is the Color of Evil,” which closes at a lurch that comes across at significant remove from the title-hinted brightness of the song just before it. Uneven? Maybe, but not egregiously so, and if Polymerase are looking to give listeners an impression of their having a multifaceted sound, they most assuredly do. My question is over what span of time these tracks were recorded and what the group will do in moving forward from them, but I take the fact that I’m curious to find out at all as a positive sign of having interest piqued. Will hope for more.

Polymerase on Facebook

Polymerase on Bandcamp

 

Lucid Sins, Cursed!

lucid sins cursed

Lucid indeed. The band’s self-applied genre tag of “adult AOR” is more efficient a descriptor of their sound than anything I might come up with. Glasgow’s Lucid Sins released their acclaimed debut, Occultation, in 2014, and Cursed! is the exclamatory seven-years-later follow-up, bringing together classic progressive rock and modern cult heavy sensibilities with a focus on songwriting that’s the undercurrent from “Joker’s Dance” onward and which, as deep as “The Serpentine Path” or the title-track or “The Forest” might go, is never forgotten. To wit, the penultimate “By Your Hand” is a proto-everything highlight, stomping compared to the organ-prog “Sun and the Moon” earlier, but ultimately just as melodic and of enviable tonal warmth. Seven years is a long time between records, and maybe this material just took that long to put together, I don’t know, but I had no idea “cult xylophone” was a possibility until “The Devil’s Sign” came along, and now I’m not sure how I ever lived without it.

Lucid Sins on Facebook

Totem Cat Records store

 

Hekate, Sermons to the Black Owl

Hekate Sermons to the Black Owl

Australia’s history in heavy rock and roll is as long as that of heavy rock and roll itself and need not be recounted here, except to say that Hekate, from Canberra and Sydney, draw from multiple eras of it with their debut long-player, Sermons to the Black Owl, pushing ’70s boogie over the top with solos on “Carpathian Eagle” only after “Winter Void” and “Child of Black Magick” have seen the double-guitar-and-let’s-use-both four-piece update nascent doom vibes and “Burning Mask” has brought a more severe chug to the increasingly intense procession. A full production sound refuses to let the quick eight-tracker be anything other than modern, and though it’s only 28 minutes long, the aptly-titled “Acoustic Outro” feels earned atmospherically, even down to the early-feeling cold finish of “Cassowary Dreaming.” The balance may be then, then, then, and now, but the sense of shove that Hekate foster in their songs gives fresh urgency to the tenets of genre they seem to have adopted at will.

Hekate on Facebook

Black Farm Records store

 

Abel Blood, Keeping Pace with the Elephants

Abel Blood Keeping Pace with the Elephants

One does not evoke elephantine images on a heavy record, even on a debut release, if aural largesse isn’t a factor. New Hampshire trio Abel Blood — guitarist/vocalist Adam Joslyn, bassist Ben Cook, drummer Jim DeLuca — are raw in sound on their first EP, Keeping Pace with the Elephants, but the impact with which they land “The Day that Moby Died” at the outset is only encouraging, and to be sure, it’s not the thickest of their wares either. “Enemies” already pushes further, and as centerpiece “UnKnown Variant” would seem to date the effort in advance, it also serves the vital function of moving the EP in a different, more jangly, grungier direction, which is a valuable move with the title cut following behind, its massive cymbals and distorted wash building to a head in time for the nine-minute finale “Fire on the Hillside” to draw together both sides of the approach shown throughout into a parabolically structured jam the middle-placed surge of which passes quickly enough to leave the listener unsure whether it ever happened. They’re messing with you. Dig that.

Abel Blood on Facebook

Abel Blood on Bandcamp

 

Suffer Yourself, Rip Tide

Suffer Yourself Rip Tide

Begun in 2011 by guitarist/vocalist Stanislav Govorukha and based in Sweden by way of Poland and the Ukraine, death-doom lurchbringers Suffer Yourself are not strangers to longer-form material, but to my knowledge, “Spit in the Chasm” — the opening and longest track (immediate points) on their third record, Rip Tide — is the first time they’ve crossed the 20-minute mark. Time well spent, and by that I mean “brutally spent,” whether its the speedier chug that emerges from the willful slog of the extended piece’s first half or the viciously progressive lead work that tops the precise, cold end of the song that brings final ambience. Side B offers two shorter pieces in “Désir de Trépas Maritime (Au Bord de la Mer Je Veux Mourir),” laced with suitably mournful strings and a fair enough maritime sense of gothic drama emphasized by later spoken word and piano, and the brief, mostly-drone “Submerging,” which one assumes is the end of that plotline playing out. The main consumption though is in “Spit in the Chasm,” and the dimensions of that fissure are significant, figuratively and literally.

Suffer Yourself on Facebook

Aesthetic Death website

 

Green Dragon, Dead of the Night

Green Dragon Dead of the Night

High order Sabbathian doom rock from my own beloved Garden State, there’s very little chance I’m not going to dig Green Dragon‘s Dead of the Night, and true to type, I do. Presented by the band on limited vinyl after digital release late in 2020, the four-song, 24-minute outing brings guitarist/vocalists Zach Kurland and Ryan Lipynsky (the latter also adding keys and known for his work in Unearthly Trance, etc.), bassist Jennifer Klein and drummer Herbert Wiley to a place so dug into its groove it almost feels inappropriate to think of it as a peak in terms of their work to-date. They go high by going low, then. Fair enough. “Altered States” opens with a rollout of fuzz that miraculously avoids the trap sounding like Electric Wizard, while “Burning Bridges” murks out, “The Sad King” pushes speed a bit will still holding firm to nod and echo alike, and “Book of Shadows” plunges into effects-drenched noise like it was one of the two waterslides at the Maplewood community pool in summertime.

Green Dragon on Facebook

Green Dragon on Bandcamp

 

ÂGE TOTAL, ÂGE TOTAL

ÂGE ? TOTAL

The kind of record that probably won’t be heard by enough people but will inspire visceral loyalty in many of those who encounter it, the self-titled debut from French collaborative outfit Age Total — bringing together members from Endless Floods out of Bordeaux and Rouen’s Greyfell — is a grand and engrossing work that pushes the outer limits of doom and post-metal. Bookending opener “Amure” (14:28) and closer “The Songbird” (16:45) around the experimentalist “Carré” (4:06) and rumbling melodic death-doom of “Metal,” the album harnesses grandiosity and nuance to spare, with each piece feeling independently conceived and enlightening to musician and audience alike. It sounds like the kind of material they didn’t know they were going to come up with until they actually got together — whatever the circumstances of “together” might’ve looked like at the time — and the bridges they build between progressive metal and sheer weight of intention are staggering. However much hype it does or doesn’t have behind it, Age Total‘s Age Total is one of 2021’s best debut albums.

Endless Floods on Facebook

Greyfell on Facebook

Soza Label on Bandcamp

 

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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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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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Monster Magnet Post “Learning to Die” Lyric Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

monster magnet learning to die

Monster Magnet will unveil their covers collection, A Better Dystopia, on May 21 through Napalm Records, and following on from posting their take on Poobah‘s “Mr. Destroyer” with the initial announcement of the record last month, Dave Wyndorf and company have a new lyric video up for the band’s version of the heavy ’70s mixtape staple “Learning to Die,” by Dust. Trivia-types might recall that Dust featured drummer Marc Bell, who grew up to be Marky Ramone, but the group’s two records, 1971’s Dust (discussed here) and 1972’s Hard Attack — which were issued together by Sony in 2013 (feature here) — are stone cold genre classics and should be treated as nothing less. As manic as “Learning to Die” is — and no less so in Monster Magnet‘s hands, certainly — there’s significant weight to it as well in theme and style.

I don’t think there’s time between now and the release, but honestly, if Monster Magnet or the team at Napalm wanted to just keep going and do a lyric video for every song on A Better Dystopia in the madcap look and iconography wash that is the album’s cover art, I wouldn’t argue. Put it all out later as a visual album livestream or something. Or, you know, not. This is why I’m not in marketing.

Anyway, killer song. Gonna go put on Hard Attack and groove out.

Enjoy the clip

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

Stoner Rock Shamans Monster Magnet Offer Their Take on Dust’s “Learning To Die”!

Pre-Order “A Better Dystopia” here: https://smarturl.it/ABetterDystopia?

Of the song selection, frontman Dave Wyndorf says: “‘Learning To Die’ blew me away when I was 15 and it still blows me away. Man, do I LOVE to sing this song. Dust was one of the greats.”

Napalm Records is pleased to present the next chapter in psychedelic rock icons MONSTER MAGNET’s rabbit hole deep dive, A Better Dystopia (out May 21, 2021): a delightfully (and psychotically) curated collection of 60’s and 70’s proto-metal and late-era psych obscurities covered by the heavy New Jersey legends themselves.

While the album marks a new frontier for MONSTER MAGNET as their first covers record, this is not your typical set of standards released to pass time. A Better Dystopia sees the band pay homage to some of their favorite songs of all time, while reflecting on the paranoia, dystopia and revolution of both now – and then.

MONSTER MAGNET is:
Dave Wyndorf – Vocals, Guitar
Phil Caivano – Guitar
Garret Sweeny – Guitar
Alec Morton – Bass
Bob Pantella – Drums

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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Monster Magnet Announce A Better Dystopia Covers LP out May 21

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

This announcement has been a while in the making and if you happen to follow Poobah on Facebook you already knew some of the info. Confirmation, however, is certainly welcome. And so it is that Napalm Records brings official word of A Better Dystopia, a new covers record from Monster Magnet.

You’ll note in the below info that joining founder/weirdo legend Dave Wyndorf in the group are regulars Phil Caivano and Garrett Sweeney on guitar as well as longtime drummer Bob Pantella and new bassist Alec Morton. The latter is a veteran of Raging Slab (so is Pantella) and takes the spot previously held by Chris Kosnik of The Atomic Bitchwax (which, again, features Pantella). The lesson? Bob Pantella knows a few good bassists.

Also I guess the lesson is Wyndorf knows his classic heavy, as picks from JerusalemPoobahMacabre (what’s the matter, no Stonebunny?), the recently-active Josefus and the inevitable Hawkwind demonstrate. But if you needed to learn that, all you’d really have to do is listen to the band at any point ever to find out.

You can hear Monster Magnet‘s take on Poobahs “Mr. Destroyer” at the bottom of the post and preorders are up for A Better Dystopia through Napalm as of today. More info follows here:

monster magnet a better dystopia

Psych Rock Icons MONSTER MAGNET to Release Delightfully Psychotic Covers Album A Better Dystopia

Out May 21, 2021 via Napalm Records

Pre-Order HERE: https://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/monstermagnet

When psychedelic rock icons MONSTER MAGNET got off the plane in the USA after their Powertrip tour of Europe in February 2020, they already realized that they’d dodged a bullet. The band members were all healthy, despite having spent the last week of the month-long excursion gigging overseas, and at that point, many of those countries were in total lockdown. Part two of that tour, North America, was scheduled to begin three weeks later, but the rest is history… no live music, anywhere. So, what’s a band that’s been touring regularly for 30 years to do with this newfound downtime?

Frontman Dave Wyndorf tells the inspired tale below, but without further ado – Napalm Records is pleased to present the next chapter of MONSTER MAGNET’s rabbit hole deep dive, A Better Dystopia (out May 21, 2021): a delightfully (and psychotically) curated collection of 60’s and 70’s proto-metal and late-era psych obscurities covered by the heavy New Jersey legends themselves.

While the album marks a new frontier for MONSTER MAGNET as their first covers record, this is not your typical set of standards released to pass time. A Better Dystopia sees the band pay homage to some of their favorite songs of all time, while reflecting on the paranoia, dystopia and revolution of both now – and then.

Fans can experience a first taste of A Better Dystopia via the swaggering riffs and swirling vocals on album’s first single, “Mr. Destroyer” (originally by Poo-Bah), today via a new video.

Dave Wyndorf says about the birth of A Better Dystopia:
“We all agreed that we would be bored out of our minds within a month of lockdown. MONSTER MAGNET loves the road. It’s a lifestyle. So, I considered our options. Rather than panhandle on the internet, hawking masks and Zoom-rocking practice sessions for dollars, I suggested we record a “bunker record”. A total DIY affair (band only) recorded and mixed in Bob Pantella’s small but potent Freak Shop Studios/rehearsal space right here in New Jersey. But what to record?

I didn’t feel much like writing, but working on anything was better than watching the news as hospitals filled up, people died, and American politics went bat-shit crazy. The world roared “Dystopia! Apocalypse! Revolution!”. I’d heard those words before, and they brought to mind my childhood in the late 60’s/early 70’s… and the music… and short playlist of songs (just one of many) that I’d been carrying around with me on my whatever device to listen to before shows. Of course, these tunes have also been in my head for more or less my whole life. These were not the popular hits of the time. This was like a playlist from the 4th dimension… strange bits of musical obscurity, mostly dredged up from that inglorious and freaky “twilight zone” time that preceded Arena Rock, Heavy Metal, Reggae and Disco. A no-man’s land of hard rock that still had remnants of psychedelia and garage punk but had abandoned any notion of “flower power” or frat house fun. And of course, they rocked.

Yeah, these songs were it.”

Wyndorf is at the top of his game on A Better Dystopia, delivering each lyric in his own inimitable style, and musicians Phil Caivano, Bob Pantella, Garrett Sweeney and Alec Morton own the sound – vintage and old school, dense and heavy, with searing fuzz leads and pounding bass and drums all played in a deft style that’s almost been lost in modern music. The album opens with “The Diamond Mine”, as Dave Wyndorf recites a classic monologue by Dave Diamond, an American radio DJ whose programs in the late 60’s and early 70’s helped popularize many psychedelic and acid rock bands. At this point the real trip begins, as the opening chords of the Hawkwind classic “Born To Go” gear up for launch. Tracks like standout “Mr. Destroyer” (Poo-Bah) spur visions of some untold Freak revolution – or perhaps dinosaurs battling on a burning planet at the end of time – creating a perfect blend of hard rock and psychedelia. Feverish “Motorcycle (Straight To Hell)” (Table Scraps) is pure punk fury of the old school tradition, evoking a cross between Iggy Pop and Motörhead as Wyndorf wails “I’m gonna drive it straight to HELL!” Falling even further down the mind-bending rabbit hole, Magnet offers their stunning, whirlwind take on the often-overlooked hard rock classic “Learning To Die” (Dust) and a masterful version the Stooges meets Goth epic, “Solid Gold Hell” (The Scientists). The album closes with a bonus nuclear cover of Morgen’s “Welcome To The Void”, inviting you to restart the ride again and again.

Wyndorf concludes:
“The great bands whose music we lovingly interpret here were (and some still are) on the fringe, underrated, and in our opinion, really, really cool. I think that’s reason enough for us to do this album. Furthermore, A Better Dystopia is a collection of songs that I think reflect (knowingly or unknowingly) a paranoid time in history, but also deflect that same paranoia by owning it, fully. And of course, it ROCKS.”

Pre-Order A Better Dystopia HERE: https://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/monstermagnet

A Better Dystopia 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)

A Better Dystopia will be available in North America in the following formats:
– 4 page CD Digipack
– 4 page CD Digipack + Patch (Napalm mailorder only)
– 2LP Gatefold Black
– 2LP Gatefold Pink Transparent (Napalm mailorder only – limited to 300)
– 2LP Gatefold Glow In The Dark (Napalm mailorder only – limited to 200)
– Limited Die Hard Edition: 2LP Gatefold Neon Green/Black Splatter + Slipmat (Napalm mailorder only – limited to 200)
– Digital Album

MONSTER MAGNET is:
Dave Wyndorf – Vocals, Guitar
Phil Caivano – Guitar
Garret Sweeny – Guitar
Alec Morton – Bass
Bob Pantella – Drums

http://zodiaclung.com
https://www.facebook.com/monstermagnet/
https://www.instagram.com/monstermagnetofficial/
www.napalmrecords.com
www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

Monster Magnet, “Mr. Destroyer” official video

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