R.I.P. Reed Mullin of Corrosion of Conformity, 1966-2020

Posted in Features on January 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

reed mullin (Photo by JJ Koczan)

As Corrosion of Conformity make ready to embark on their first tour of Australia and New Zealand in six years, the North Carolina-based progenitors of Southern-style heavy rock announce the death of erstwhile drummer Reed Mullin. Mullin, 53, had been in and out of C.O.C. over the half-decade since their reunion with guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan, but his work proved as essential as ever to the band with 2018’s studio return, No Cross No Crown. A founding member of Corrosion of Conformity alongside bassist/vocalist Mike Dean and guitarist/backing vocalist Woodroe Weatherman in 1982, Mullin played on pivotal records like 1985’s Animosity and 1987’s Technocracy, driving the early sound of the then-trio through its hardcore punk furies, but proved no less adaptable to what became their evolving, signature sound and greatest commercial and critical successes.

With those albums, particularly 1994’s Deliverance and its Grammy-nominated 1996 follow-up, Wiseblood, Mullin anchored the powerful groove on which C.O.C.’s legacy and influence would be built, and even as Keenan emerged as a frontman, the drums behind him built the foundation on which the band resided and fleshed out their memorable songs. Years of reported health problems, etc., have kept him out of the band as they have become a working four-piece unit again, but on 2012’s self-titled LP and 2014’s follow-up, IX, a three-piece incarnation of Corrosion of Conformity with Mullin on drums/vocals, Dean and Weatherman reignited an exploration of their punk roots that still held to a riff-led charge. His work there, as ever, was crucial.

Mullin took part in every Corrosion of Conformity recording aside from 2005’s In the Arms of God, a then-swansong of sorts for the band as a four-piece, and was a creative force behind making C.O.C. who they were, are and will continue to be. The last time I saw him on stage was in 2015, and in presence, voice and style, he was a singular, special figure. He will be much, much missed.

Condolences on behalf of myself and the site to Mullin’s friends, family and associates, as well of course as the band itself, which will never be the same.

Their announcement follows:

corrosion of conformity older pic

Reed, It’s with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to a friend, a brother and pioneer.

Love and condolences to the family, friends and fans who will miss you and thanks for the music.

Reed Mullin vocal recording for IX, 2014

Corrosion of Conformity on Facebook

Corrosion of Conformity website

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Weedeater Announce Tour Dates with The Atomic Bitchwax, Worshipper & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

weedeater

Hey, look. I know Weedeater going on tour isn’t exactly bizarre news at this point. It happens more or less all the time. But they’re hitting the road this time out with The Goddamn Gallows who do a kind of metalabilly thing that seems pretty off the rails, and they’ll have support from The Atomic Bitchwax and Worshipper along the way, so that’s pretty cool too. Makes me want to road-trip to Philly, to be honest, since Worshipper are always great live and they don’t seem to be on the Brooklyn bill, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that probably won’t happen because, you know, distance and life and March 6 is a Friday but still. They have a day off after their Brooklyn gig. Wonder if that means they’re waiting to add a second show or what.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll do that spot in Teaneck where Brant Bjork played. That’d pretty much be the universe doing me a favor though, and neither Brant‘s gig nor the Crowbar show I saw there before that was particularly well attended, so maybe it’d be better for the band if they didn’t. There’s always Dingbatz in Clifton. Or shit, they could just play my house. Come on by. Just a heads up though, if I’m not in bed by like 8:30PM I become a total prick, and The Pecan’s bedtime is 6:30, so we’ll have to make it a matinee. I’ll even feed the bands, provided I get notified early of any allergies or dietary restrictions, etc.

What the hell were we talking about?

Oh yeah, Weedeater are touring.

Hey, that’s great. Here are the dates:

weedeater tour dates

WEEDEATER Announce Headlining U.S. Tour Dates!

Cape Fear metal legends WEEDEATER have announced a headlining U.S. tour, in which they will be supported by THE GODDAMN GALLOWS on all dates, with rotating support on select dates from ATOMIC BITCHWAX, WORSHIPPER, and LEFT LANE CRUISER. The trek will kick off on February 29 in Asheville, NC and will conclude on March 21 in Hampton, VA at the Hampton Tattoo Roads Fest. Tickets will go on sale Friday at 12:00 P.M. local time. The full itinerary is as follows:

WEEDEATER (w/ The Goddamn Gallows):
02/29: Asheville, NC @ Asheville Music Hall
03/01: Richmond, VA @ The Camel
03/03: Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery^
03/04: Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere^
03/06: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts^*
03/07: Boston, MA @ Sonia^*
03/09: Youngstown, OH @ Westside Ball^*
03/10: Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop^*
03/11: Detroit, MI @ The Sanctuary^*
03/12: Iowa City, IA @ Wildwood^*
03/13: Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s^*
03/14: Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room*
03/15: Memphis, TN @ Growlers*
03/17: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey
03/18: Austin, TX @ Come and Take It Live #
03/19: New Orleans, LA @ Santos Bar
03/20: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
03/21: Hampton, VA @ Hampton Roads Tattoo Fest +
^ Atomic Bitchwax
* Worshipper
# Left Lane Cruiser
+ No support

https://www.facebook.com/weedmetal/
https://weedeater.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

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Corrosion of Conformity Add Spring UK/Euro Tour to 2020 Plans

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

corrosion of conformity (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I’m a little curious at this point how long Corrosion of Conformity‘s touring cycle for their early-2018 album, No Cross No Crown (review here), is going to grow. Granted, they’ve been flying other banners along the way, such as the 25th anniversary of Deliverance (review here) this year, but still, they were regularly touring before No Cross No Crown for a couple years, and they’ve only been at it harder ever since. They were already announced for Desertfest in London and Berlin, so a trip back to Europe was bound to happen, but now we have the dates. It’s Western Europe, which makes me think that they might get back at some point for the eastern half of the continent, but there’s also been word in the interim that guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan will head out this summer for festival dates with his other band, the supergroup Down, as they in turn celebrate the 25th anniversary of their debut album, Nola. So many anniversaries! I’m gonna run out of greeting cards.

So maybe after the early-2020 trip to Australia and New Zealand and the return to Europe around Desertfests, that’s a wrap for C.O.C. for now. For those curious — which is apparently an entire contingent on the band’s social media — I wouldn’t expect drummer Reed Mullin to be making either trek, but they’ve certainly done nothing but kick ass in his absence, if my own experience is anything to go by. Nothing against the dude, but C.O.C. aren’t taking the stage to deliver anything less than a stellar product, and sure enough, they don’t.

Here are the current upcoming dates. Spirit Adrift aren’t on all of the Euro shows, so check the poster too. Click either one to enlarge:

EUROPE DATES SPRING 2020 with Spirit Adrift
SAT Apr 25 Dublin Ireland Academy
SUN Apr 26 Belfast Limelight 2
TUE Apr 28 Glasgow Scotland Garage
WED Apr 29 Manchester UK
FRI May 01 London UK Camden DesertFest
SAT May 02 Izegem Belgium Headbangers Balls Festival
SUN May 03 Berlin Germany Desertfest Berlin
TUE May 05 Salzburg Austria Rockhouse
WED May 06 Munich Baskstage Halle
THU May 07 Milan Italy Legend
SAT May 09 Madrid Spain Sala Riviera
SUN May 10 Barcelona, Spain Razmataz 2
TUE May 12 Paris, France le petit bain
WED May 13 Rouen France Le 106
FRI May 15 Southhampton UK Engine rooms
SAT May 16 Birmingham UK 02 institute 2

Corrosion of Conformity – Australian & New Zealand Tour
Tour Dates:
Tue 4 Feb – Auckland, Galatos
Wed 5 Feb- Adelaide, Lion Arts Factory
Thu 6 Feb – Perth, Amplifier Capitol
Fri 7 Feb – Melbourne, Max Watt’s House of Music
Sat 8 Feb – Brisbane, Crowbar Brisbane
Wed 12 Feb – Sydney, Crowbar Sydney

http://www.coc.com
http://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity
http://www.nuclearblast.com
http://www.facebook.com/nuclearblastusa

Corrosion of Conformity, “The Luddite” official video

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Corrosion of Conformity Announce Australia & New Zealand Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

corrosion of conformity (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Maybe you saw Corrosion of Conformity live at some point this year in the US. Maybe you caught them at Freak Valley and other fests this year or you’re looking forward to seeing them in Europe next Spring as they make the rounds of the Spring festival circuit, doing Desertfest in London and Berlin, no doubt among a slew of other still to be announced. The point is, C.O.C. have been touring. Hard.

And even as they’ve been celebrating their past and landmark releases, they haven’t exactly been shy about showing love to 2018’s No Cross No Crown (review here), and neither should they be, honestly, both because it kicks ass and because it was a long time coming. I dug what the re-emergent Animosity-era three-piece of C.O.C. started doing abut a decade ago, but it’s a different animal, even if it’s most (or I guess half now) of the same people.

Well, Corrosion of Conformity haven’t been to Australia and New Zealand in six years, so as they continue to make the rounds on this significant-ass album cycle, they’re headed out that way in February for a round of shows presented by Silverback Touring, who posted the dates thusly:

corrosion of conformity ausnz tour

We are stoked to announce the triumphant return of Southern rock legends, Corrosion Of Conformity, to Australia and New Zealand, and this time with Pepper Keenan up front. Pepper returned to the band for 2018’s massive “No Cross No Crown” album which charted around the world, including Australia.

These shows are not to be missed. Tickets on sale now.

On sale now: bit.ly/cocaus20

Corrosion of Conformity – Australian & New Zealand Tour
Tour Dates:
Tue 4 Feb – Auckland, Galatos
Wed 5 Feb- Adelaide, Lion Arts Factory
Thu 6 Feb – Perth, Amplifier Capitol
Fri 7 Feb – Melbourne, Max Watt’s House of Music
Sat 8 Feb – Brisbane, Crowbar Brisbane
Wed 12 Feb – Sydney, Crowbar Sydney

On sale now: bit.ly/cocaus20

http://www.coc.com
http://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity
http://www.nuclearblast.com
http://www.facebook.com/nuclearblastusa

Corrosion of Conformity, “The Luddite” official video

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Bask Post “Rid of You” Video; III Release Tour Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bask (Photo by Jamie Kay and Arlie)

Alright, so stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the new Bask record is pretty good. Yes, I know. You have heard it before. From me. You heard me speculating on it when the Asheville, North Carolina-based four-piece announced in April they were recording with Matt Bayles, and again in August after the album was done. Then came the “New Dominion” video (posted here) with the release date. Then I went ahead and actually reviewed III (review here) in the last Quarterly Review because I liked that single and wanted an excuse to dig further ahead of the Nov. 8 arrival. Then I got the chance to do the premiere of opening track “Three White Feet” (posted here) like the day after the review went live, and I wasn’t gonna say no to that. And now here we are. There’s another video, and I’m posting about that too.

The central thesis of all these posts is pretty much the same, and yes, I’m willing to admit that. Hey, you know that new Bask record III that’s coming out Nov. 8 on Season of Mist? It’s a good ‘un. You might wanna chase it down if you’re feeling some righteous modern heavy prog with a penchant for melody and just a touch of Southern edge via Baroness and the like. There you go. That’s all. That’s all it’s ever been.

It’s like the equivalent of being at the show and being the guy who says to someone from the band, “Hey man, great set.” That’s who I am. Often. Cool songs. New stuff sounds good.

Some new tour dates came down the PR wire. They’re back in Brooklyn on Nov. 23 and I should probably go even though that’s like the worst week ever and I’m apparently terrified of venues I’ve never been to before. Anxiety, man. Woof.

What were we talking about?

Enjoy the video:

Bask, “Rid of You” (official video)

Appalachian psych rockers BASK have shared the official music video for the new song “Rid of You.” The track is taken from the band’s upcoming album, ‘III,’ which will be released worldwide on November 8 via Season of Mist, making it their debut to the label. The video, which was created in analog format by Yovozol, can be seen HERE.

BASK comment: “We are excited to announce the third single, ‘Rid of You,’ from our upcoming album, ‘III.’ We’ve collaborated with analog video artist Yovozol to bring you this visual accompaniment. We hope you enjoy.”

‘III’ can be pre-ordered in various formats HERE.

BASK have previously announced a run of headlining North American dates in support of ‘III,’ including a hometown show on the day of the record release. The full itinerary is as follows:

BASK “III” Album Release Tour:
11/08: Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight **album release show**
11/14: Atlanta, GA @ 529
11/15: Columbia, SC @ Columbia Museum of Art
11/16: Greenville, SC @ The Radio Room
11/17: Richmond, VA @ Banditos
11/19: Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
11/20: Ottawa, ON @ Cafe Dekcuf
11/21: Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haus
11/22: Cambridge, MA @ Hong Kong
11/23: Brooklyn, NY @ Gold Sounds
11/24: Baltimore, MD @ The Depot **Matinee Show**
11/25: Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
11/26: Kent, OH @ The Outpost Concert Club
11/27: Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary
11/29: Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor
11/30: Johnson City, TN @ The Hideaway

Line-up:
Jesse Van Note – bass
Scott Middleton – drums
Ray Worth – guitar
Zeb Camp – guitar/vocals

Guest Musicians:
Jed Willis – Pedal Steel on “Maiden Mother Crone”
Meg Mulhearn – Violin on “Maiden Mother Crone”

Bask on Thee Facebooks

Bask on Bandcamp

Bask on Instagram

Bask website

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Season of Mist on Instagram

Season of Mist website

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Bask Premiere “Three White Feet” from III

Posted in audiObelisk on October 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bask (Photo by Jameykay and Arlie Huffman)

North Carolina’s Bask release their new album, III, on Nov. 8. It is, as you might expect, their third album, as well as being their debut on Season of Mist after issuing 2017’s Ramble Beyond through tastemaking Euro imprint This Charming Man Records and their 2014 debut, American Hollow, through Crimsoneye and Wonder Records. If what you’re reading in that is a steady progression, then you’re getting the underlying message that applies as well to the sound of the band, which reaches to new heights of melodic accomplishment on III‘s seven-track/36-minute run. I’ll say that it’s not often I review an album and then the same week do a track premiere from that same record. Generally I’d try to coordinate those things together or, having already reviewed it, take a pass on the premiere and cover something else. In the case of Bask, it’s an exception for a record that I think is worth the extra focus.

III isn’t and shouldn’t be shy about its pastoral aspects, and that is something that begins as the Asheville four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Zeb Camp (who since he’s apparently the only one singing does a lot of self-harmonizing on the recording, I suppose), guitarist Ray Worth, bassist Jesse Van Note and drummer Scott Middleton get the proceedings underway with “Three White Feet.” As the opening song premieres below, it’s interesting to note that it was also the first song that came together when they started writing this batch of material. Mostly because it’s so complex. One might guess at the riff that kicked them off — you’ll know it when you hear it, and subsequent side A installments “New Dominion” and “Stone Eyed” operate similarly in solidifying around a capital-‘r’ Riff, while centerpiece “Rid of You” centers more around the melody, and “Noble Daughters I: The Stave” recalls much-missed NC natives Caltrop in its vocal, “Noble Daughters II: The Bow” pays off itself as well as its predecessor and, really the whole album, and “Maiden Mother Crone” exits on a banjo-fied note — but the rest of the track brims with rich melody and progressive stylistic turns that indeed foreshadow a large part of III‘s personality. If this was how they started off, then clearly they knew what the fuck they were doing going into making the album.

Their quote on the subject, aside from that useful info nugget, is pretty short, but you’ll find that below, as well as the preorder link for III courtesy of Season of Mist. I won’t delay you further from the song.

Please enjoy:

Bask, “Three White Feet” official track premiere

Bask on “Three White Feet”:

“We are excited to bring you ‘Three White Feet,’ a song of devotion and revenge. It’s track one on our upcoming album ‘III,’ and the first to take shape during the writing process.”

Taken from the forthcoming album, ‘Bask III.’ Release Date: November 8, 2019.

Order here: https://smarturl.it/BaskIII

Bask is:
Jesse Van Note – bass
Scott Middleton – drums
Ray Worth – guitar
Zeb Camp – guitar/vocals

III Guest Musicians:
Jed Willis – Pedal Steel on “Maiden Mother Crone”
Meg Mulhearn – Violin on “Maiden Mother Crone”

Bask on Thee Facebooks

Bask on Bandcamp

Bask on Instagram

Bask website

Season of Mist on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist on Instagram

Season of Mist website

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Quarterly Review: Monkey3, Asthma Castle, The Giraffes, Bask, Faerie Ring, Desert Sands, Cavalcade, Restless Spirit, Children of the Sün, Void King

Posted in Reviews on September 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Call two friends and tell them to tell two friends to tell two friends, because the Quarterly Review has returned. This time around, it’s 50 records front to back for Fall 2019 and there are some big names and some smaller names and a whole lot of in between which is just how I like it. Between today and Friday, each day 10 album reviews will be posted in a single batch like this one, and although by Wednesday this always means I’m totally out of my mind, it’s always, always, always worth it to be able to write about so much cool stuff. So sit tight, because there’s a lot to get through and, as ever, time’s at a premium.

Thanks in advance for keeping up, and I hope you find something you dig.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Monkey3, Sphere

monkey3 sphere

It’s a full-on Keanu Reeves “whoa” when opening track “Spirals” kicks in on Monkey3‘s sixth album, Sphere (released by Napalm), and that’s by no means the last one on the cinematic six-tracker. The long-running Swiss mostly-instrumentalists have been consistently, persistently underappreciated throughout their career, but whether it’s the aural scope of guitar and keys in “Axis” or the swaps between intensity and sprawl in 14-minute closer “Ellipsis,” their latest work is consuming in its sense of triumph. Even the four-minute “Ida,” which seems at first like it’s barely going to be more than an interlude, finds a thread of majestic cosmic groove and rides it for the duration, while the proggy immersion of “Prism” and the harder drive of “Mass” — not to mention that shredding solo — make the middle of the record anything but a post-hypnosis dip. I won’t pretend to know if Sphere is the record that finally gets the Lausanne four-piece the respect they’ve already well deserved, but if it was, one could only say it was for good reason. Blends of heft, progressive craft, and breadth are rarely so resonant.

Monkey3 on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records website

 

Asthma Castle, Mount Crushmore

Asthma Castle Mount Crushmore

When you call your record Mount Crushmore, you need to bring it, and much to their credit, Baltimorean sludge-rocking five-piece Asthma Castle do precisely that on their debut full-length. Issued through Hellmistress Records, the 37-minute/six-track outing is a wordplay-laced pummeler that shows as much persona in its riffing and massive groove as it does in titles like “The Incline of Western Civilization” and “The Book of Duderonomy.” Trades between early-Mastodonic twists and lumbering sludge crash add a frenetic and unpredictable feel to pieces like the title-track, while “Methlehem” trades its plod for dual-guitar antics punctuated by metallic double-kick, all the while the vocals trade back and forth between growls, shouts, cleaner shouts, the odd scream, etc., because basically if you can keep up with it, Asthma Castle wouldn’t be doing their job. One shudders to think of the amount of Natty Bo consumed during its making, but Mount Crushmore is a wild and cacophonous enough time to live up to the outright righteousness of its title. If I graded reviews, it would get a “Fuckin’ A+,” with emphasis on “fuckin’ a.”

Asthma Castle on Thee Facebooks

Hellmistress Records website

 

The Giraffes, Flower of the Cosmos

the giraffes flower of the cosmos

Some day the world will wake up and realize the rock and roll powerhouse it had in Brooklyn’s The Giraffes, but by then it’ll be too late. The apocalypse will have happened long ago, and it’ll be Burgess Meredith putting on a vinyl of Flower of the Cosmos in the New York Library as “FAKS” echoes out through the stacks of now-meaningless tomes and the dust of nuclear winter falls like snow outside the windows. The band’s tumultuous history is mirrored in the energy of their output, and yet to hear the melody and gentle fuzz at the outset of “Golden Door,” there’s something soothing about their work as well that, admittedly, “Raising Kids in the End Times” is gleeful in undercutting. Cute as well they pair that one with “Dorito Dreams” on this, their seventh record in a 20-plus-year run, which has now seen them find their footing, lose it, find it again, and in this record and songs like the masterfully frenetic “Fill up Glass” and the air-tight-tense “Like Hate” and “Romance,” weave a document every bit worthy of Mr. Meredith’s attention as he mourns for the potential of this godforsaken wasteland. Oh, what we’ll leave behind. Such pretty ruins.

The Giraffes website

The Giraffes on Bandcamp

 

Bask, III

bask iii

In the fine tradition of heavy rock as grown-up punk, North Carolina’s Bask bring progressive edge and rolling-Appalachian atmospherics to the underlying energy of III, their aptly-titled and Season of Mist-issued third album. Their foot is in any number of styles, from Baroness-style noodling to a hard twang that shows up throughout and features prominently on the penultimate “Noble Daughters II – The Bow,” but the great triumph of III, and really the reason it works at all, is because the band find cohesion in this swath of influences. They’re a band who obviously put thought into what they do, making it all the more appropriate to think of them as prog, but as “Three White Feet” and “New Dominion” show at the outset, they don’t serve any aesthetic master so much as the song itself. Closing with banjo and harmonies and a build of crash cymbal on “Maiden Mother Crone” nails the point home in a not-understated way, but at no point does III come across as hyper-theatrical so as to undercut the value of what Bask are doing. It’s a more patient album than it at first seems, but given time to breathe, III indeed comes to life.

Bask on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist on Bandcamp

 

Faerie Ring, The Clearing

fairie ring the clearing

Listening to the weighty rollout of opening cut “Bite the Ash” on Faerie Ring‘s debut album, The Clearing (on King Volume Records), one is reminded of the energy that once-upon-a-time came out of Houston’s Venomous Maximus. There’s a similar feeling of dark energy surging through the riffs and echoing vocals, but the Evansville, Indiana, four-piece wind up on a different trip. Their take is more distinctly Sabbathian on “Lost Wind” and even the swinging “Heavy Trip” lives up to its stated purpose ahead of the chugging largesse of finisher “Heaven’s End.” They find brash ground on “The Ring” and the slower march of “Somnium,” but there’s metal beneath the lumbering and it comes out on “Miracle” in a way that the drums late in “Lost Wind” seem to hint toward on subsequent listens. It’s a mix of riff-led elements that should be readily familiar to many listeners, but the sheer size and clarity of presentation Faerie Ring make throughout The Clearing makes me think they’ll look to distinguish themselves going forward, and so their first record holds all the more potential for that.

Faerie Ring on Thee Facebooks

King Volume Records on Bandcamp

 

Desert Sands, The Ascent EP

Desert Sands The Ascent

Begun as the solo-project of London-based multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Mark Walker and presently a trio including Louis Kinder and Jonathan Walker as well, Desert Sands make their recorded debut through A Records with the three-song/half-hour The Ascent EP, a work of psychedelic existentialism that conveys its cosmic questioning even before the lyrics start, with an opening riff and rhythmic lurch to “Are You There” that seems to throw its central query into a void that either will or won’t answer. Does it? The hell should I know, but The Ascent proves duly transcendent in its pulsations as “Head Towards the Light” and 11:45 closer “Yahweh” — yeah, I guess we get there — bring drifting, languid enlightenment to these spiritual musings. The finale is, of course, a jam in excelsis and if drop-acid-find-god is the narrative we’re working with, then Desert Sands are off to a hell of a start as a project. Regardless of how one might ultimately come down (and it is, by my estimation at least, a comedown) on the question of human spirituality, there’s no denying the power and ethereal force of the kind of creativity on display in The Ascent. One will wait impatiently to see what comes next.

Desert Sands on Thee Facebooks

A Recordings on Thee Facebooks

 

Cavalcade, Sonic Euthanasia

Cavalcade Sonic Euthanasia

Say what you want about New Orleans or North Carolina or wherever the hell else, Midwestern sludge is another level of filth. To wit, the Carcass-style vocals that slice through the raw, dense riffing on “Aspirate on Aspirations” feel like the very embodiment of modern disillusion, and there’s some flourish of melodic guitar pluck there, but that only seems to give the ensuing crunch more impact, and likewise the far-back char of “Freezing in Fire” as it relates to the subsequent “Dead Idles,” as Cavalcade refute the trappings of genre in tempo while still seeming to burrow a hole for themselves in the skull of the converted. “Noose Tie” and “We Dig Our Own Graves” tell the story, but while the recording itself is barebones, Cavalcade aren’t now and never really have been so simple as to be a one-trick band. For more than a decade, they’ve provided a multifaceted and trickily complex downer extremity, and Sonic Euthanasia does this as well, bringing their sound to new places and new levels of abrasion along its punishing way. Easy listening? Shit. You see that eye on the cover? That’s the lizard people staring back at you. Have fun with that.

Cavalcade on Thee Facebooks

Cavalcade on Bandcamp

 

Restless Spirit, Lord of the New Depression

restless spirit lord of the new depression

Long Island chug-rockers Restless Spirit would seem to have been developing the material for their self-released debut album, Lord of the New Depression, over the last couple years on a series of short releases, but the songs still sound fresh and electrified in their vitality. If this was 1992 or ’93, they’d be signed already to RoadRacer Records and put on tour with Life of Agony, whose River Runs Red would seem to be a key influence in the vocals of the nine-track/39-minute offering, but even on their own, the metal-tinged five-piece seem to do just fine. Their tracks are atmospheric and aggressive and kind, and sincere in their roll, capturing the spirit of a band like Down with somewhat drawn-back chestbeating, “Dominion” aside. They seem to be challenging themselves to push outside those confines though in “Deep Fathom Hours,” the longest track at 7:35 with more complexity in the melody of the vocals and guitar, and that suits them remarkably well as they dig into this doomly take on LOA and Type O Negative and others from the early ’90s NYC underground — they seem to pass on Biohazard, which is fine — made legendary with the passage of time. As a gentleman of a certain age, I find it exceptionally easy to get on board.

Restless Spirit on Thee Facebooks

Restless Spirit on Bandcamp

 

Children of the Sün, Flowers

Children of the Sun Flowers

An eight-piece outfit based in Arvika, Sweden, which is far enough west to be closer to Oslo than Stockholm, Children of the Sün blend the classic heavy rock stylizations of MaidaVale, first-LP Blues Pills and others with a decidedly folkish bent. Including an intro, their The Sign Records debut album, Flowers, is eight track and 34 minutes interweaving organ and guitar, upbeat vibes and bluesier melodies, taking cues from choral-style vocals on “Emmy” in such a way as to remind of Church of the Cosmic Skull, though the aesthetic here is more hippie than cult. The singing on “Sunschild” soars in that fashion as well, epitomizing the lush melody found across Flowers as the keys, guitar, bass and drums work to match in energy and presence. For a highlight, I’d pick the more subdued title-track, which still has its sense of movement thanks to percussion deep in the mix but comes arguably closest to the flower-child folk Children of the Sün seem to be claiming for their own, though the subsequent closing duo of “Like a Sound” and “Beyond the Sun” aren’t far off either. They’re onto something. One hopes they continue to explore in such sünshiny fashion.

Children of the Sün on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Void King, Barren Dominion

void king barren dominion

Having made their debut with 2016’s There is Nothing (discussed here), Indianapolis downtrodden heavy rock four-piece Void King come back for a second go with Barren Dominion (on Off the Record Label), a title of similar theme that finds them doom riffing through massive tonality on “Burnt at Both Ends,” asking what if Soundgarden played atmospheric doom rock on “Crippled Chameleon” — uh, it would be awesome? yup — and opening each side with its longest track (double immediate points) in a clearly intended vinyl structure hell bent on immersing the listener as much as possible in the lumber and weight the band emit. Frontman Jason Kindred adds extra burl to his already-plenty-dudely approach on “Crippled Chameleon” and closer “The Longest Winter,” the latter with some harmonies to mirror those of opener “A Lucid Omega,” and the band around him — bassist Chris Carroll, drummer Derek Felix and guitarist Tommy Miller — seem to have no trouble whatsoever in keeping up, there or anywhere else on the eight-song/46-minute outing. Topped with striking cover art from Diogo SoaresBarren Dominion is deceptively nuanced and full-sounding. Not at all empty.

Void King on Thee Facebooks

Off the Record Label BigCartel store

 

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Bask Post “New Dominion” Video; III out Nov. 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bask (Photo by Jamie Kay and Arlie)

Asheville’s Bask have set a Nov. 8 release for their Season of Mist debut album, III, and posted a video for the track “New Dominion” from the record. Amid shimmering guitar and fervent underlying chug speaking to the tension that plays out rhythmically in progressive fashion, the four-piece offer crash and melody alike, precise and their delivery but not impatient in going about their building movement. It’s modern in the post-Baroness sense, but less hued to that identity outright in its noodling, and, frankly, less pretentious. That’s certainly a welcome aesthetic shift, and the interplay of guitar layers here and vocals overtop bodes well for digging into the rest of the full-length, which is still a month and a half away, but will no doubt be led into with more teaser audio along the way. In the meantime, the colors in the video for “New Dominion” feel exceedingly well earned, so dig in at the bottom of this post.

III details follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

bask iii

BASK Unveil New Album Details, Reveal Music Video

Psychedelic rock formation BASK will be releasing their third studio album, aptly titled ‘III,’ on November 8 via Season of Mist, making it their debut to the label. The effort was recorded and mixed by Matt Bayles (Pearl Jam, Mastodon, Minus The Bear, etc.). The album art and track-listing can be found below.

In conjunction with the announcement, BASK has premiered the first single, New Dominion,” along with a kaleidoscopic new music video. Watch and listen at THIS LOCATION.

BASK comment: “We bring you our premiere single and video for ‘New Dominion.’ We’ve waited anxiously to share these songs and stories with you. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed writing and recording.”

‘III’ can be pre-ordered in various formats HERE.

Tracklist:
1. Three White Feet (05:53)
2. New Dominion (04:28)
3. Stone Eyed (04:17)
4. Rid of You (04:40)
5. Noble Daughters I: The Stave (05:49)
6. Noble Daughters II: The Bow (06:16)
7. Maiden Mother Crone (04:40)
Total: 0:36:03

Line-up:
Jesse Van Note – bass
Scott Middleton – drums
Ray Worth – guitar
Zeb Camp – guitar/vocals

Guest Musicians:
Jed Willis – Pedal Steel on “Maiden Mother Crone”
Meg Mulhearn – Violin on “Maiden Mother Crone”

https://www.facebook.com/basknc
https://www.instagram.com/baskband/
https://basknc.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
https://www.instagram.com/seasonofmistofficial/
https://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/

Bask, “New Dominion” (official video)

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