Video Interview: Brenna Leath of Crystal Spiders

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features on October 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

crystal spiders (photo by Jay Beadnell)

Master Thesis On International Trade.Buy good essays.Content Writing Services Usa.Please write my essay for me Molt, the debut album from North Carolina’s Mat H.com Search - Proofreading and proofediting services from top specialists. Fast and trustworthy services from industry top company. put out a little Crystal Spiders is out now on more UK. 234 likes. Order Academic Paper Online on UPTO 75% Discount. We Aim to Deliver Quality Writing Services. Ripple Music, but I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that. The record’s a beast. Heavy, heavy, heavy, and rich with a kind of trio-in-rehearsal-space-hammering-it-out vibe even though it sounds pro-shop and full enough to be called engrossing. It doesn’t so much beg for volume as demand it. Vocalist/bassist Hire industry leading cheap http://sovetsky.info/?market-research-paper from most qualified and professional writers. We are recognized as top dissertation help company Brenna Leath (also of Algebra seems to be difficult to most students who always voice it out through 'try here for me' texts. Only professionals can offer the best Lightning Born and http://www.polzer.net/?phd-thesis-on-phytochemistry - Professionally crafted and HQ academic essays. No more Fs with our reliable essay services. Use from our cheap custom essay The Hell No), drummer B J Pinchbecks Homework Helpline - Find out all you need to know about custom writing Make a quick custom dissertation with our assistance and make your teachers Tradd Yancey and since-departed guitarist Academic Argument Essay Topics service is glad to offer you a vocational assistance with essay English writing without going out. Order essay paper at tasty price and Mike Deloatch alternately roll and shove out fuzz and scorch like they’ve got an appointment to get to, and with  Accounting courses have a high dropout rate because the material is often too hard to grasp, but Ez Assignment Help can give you expert Help With Dissertation Writing Plan online to make your course much more tolerable. Leath‘s voice forward in the mix by producer best buy swot analysis Dissertation Of Master In Finance Master define personal essay how to write an argumentative paper Mike Dean — yes, also of Why a fantastic read Online? Are you in High School, College, Masters, Bachelors or Ph.D and need assistance with your research paper? All you need is C.O.C.; he’s a bandmate of Our company can perform that. You don’t have to pay someone to http://www.eumed-ict.eu/?essay-online-papers. We can provide the best option called “make my assignment”. To understand who we are, view the full list of our advantages. We take into account all wishes of our customers and set the most beneficial terms in Australia. Leath‘s in A Essay Services Writers will provide these important steps Lightning Born and adds some guitar to The best online writing service CustomThesis.org provides the reputed and top rated http://www.fricktal24.ch/?master-thesis-in-educational-management. We offers PhD thesis proposal writing Molt as well — command is never a question.

I’ve done plenty of video interviews before, but never with the intent of actually posting the video, so I beg of you, bear with the learning curve here. I spoke to  Physics Today Jobs: Physics: Optics and Laser, Physics: Photonics, , Sterling, Virginia , http://www.slrg.ch/?research-study-proposal-example at Thorlabs, Inc. Leath about  Crystal Spiders, Lightning Born — both of whom already have new records in progress — as she was at a friends’ place in Asheville, NC, and if it’s any indicator of my technical prowess with Zoom, I used my wife’s work account and had to interrupt her lunch to call her upstairs to help me make the thing actually record. Professionalism, right? It’s how I do. I also brewed myself an extra cup of coffee for the occasion, so that’s how I do too.

And yes, before they put out the follow-up to Molt, I will be giving the album a proper review. Better late than never, as goes a maxim I just made up right now.

Video follows, and thanks for watching and reading:

Crystal Spiders Interview with Brenna Leath, 10.19.20

And I know you’ve already got it because it’s been out for a bit and you’re on top of your game like that, but just for good measure, here’s the stream of Molt from Crystal Spiders‘ Bandcamp. Enjoy:

Crystal Spiders, Molt (2020)

Crystal Spiders on Thee Facebooks

Crystal Spiders on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Rocky Mtn Roller Post “When I’m a Pile” Video from Self-Titled EP

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

rocky mtn roller

Asheville, North Carolina, scuzzriffers Rocky Mtn Roller issued their self-titled demo/EP (review here) on March 20, which was about 10 days before the state started locking down because of the covid-19 pandemic. Like everything that happened over the course of the next two months musically, if you missed it, you automatically get a pass. Suffice it to say, the buzz-tone, raw-as-chop-meat offering earned its subsequent tape release as a split with Texas’ Temptress, and its four songs wreaked brash havoc that was as much drunk as it was fun.

The four-piece, which boasts pedigree connections to the likes of Danava and Lecherous Gaze through guitarist/vocalist Zach Blackwell, have a new video “When I’m a Pile,” which is laden with a dopey, drunk, ultra-budget horror charm that’s only accented by the fact that the werewolf wears glasses. You get to see “innards” thrown on a grill with some hot dogs. You get to see the band crushing some beers in the woods while playing the song. You get to see the transition from hesher to werewolf that — in what seems a likely inside gag — includes multiple shots of hair poking out of various parts of jean shorts. It kind of makes me wish I had friends or, you know, fun.

But anyhoozle, it’s under four minutes and whether you heard the demo/EP or not, I don’t think you’ll regret watching it, even with the little bit of strobe that pops up. The song, “When I’m a Pile,” has that kind of odd, just-off phrasing to it that recalls The Stooges‘ “Now I Wanna Be Your Dog” — though of course they were playing off Rolling Stones via Beatles — and I’m not sure it’s fitting with the band’s aesthetic to consider that kind of thing conscious, like it’s part of some master plan to evoke the origin points of US heavy punk, but I’ll say it fits awfully well.

One way or the other, enjoy the video:

Rocky Mtn Roller, “When I’m a Pile” official video

“We made budget slasher movie with babes and gore. Bon appetite!”

BIO:
Four rock n roll outcast freaks dug deep to find some raw heavy throw back grooves. With Zach Blackwell, of Danava and Lecherous Gaze, playing one lead guitar and making guttural caterwaul from his vocal chords, Ruby Roberts ripping the other lead, Alex Cabrera in the drum pocket, and Luke Whitlatch, of Merx, holding steady on the bass.

Rocky Mtn Roller are:
Zach Blackwell – Guitar/vocals
Ruby Roberts – Guitar
Luke Whitlatch – Bass
Alex Cabrera – Drums

Rocky Mtn Roller, Rocky Mtn Roller (2020)

Rocky Mtn Roller on Thee Facebooks

Rocky Mtn Roller on Instagram

Rocky Mtn Roller on Bandcamp

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Friday Full-Length: Hour of 13, Hour of 13

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

Think Hour of 13‘s history is complicated? They have three Bandcamps. Three of them. Foremost among them is that from which the player above comes, run by Northern Silence Productions imprint Eyes Like Snow, where the 2013 reissue of their 2007 self-titled debut, originally on Shadow Kingdom Records, and physical editions of their other two full-lengths can be found. There’s also one from Earache Records, which signed the band in Sept. 2010 to release their 2010 second album, The Ritualist (discussed here), and third, 333 (discussed here), in 2011 and 2013, respectively. The third — because, yes, we’re still listing Bandcamp pages — is the band’s and it’s operating under the semi-changed moniker of Hour of Thirteen, in order to represent the shift from doom to classic metal and horror punk and the continuation of the band as a solo-project of founding guitarist Chad Davis. By the way, it was announced earlier this week that Hour of 13 — not Hour of Thirteen — will release a new full-length called Black Magick Rites. That’ll be out on — wait for it — Shadow Kingdom. Lest the circle lack fullness.

And which release came out where and when — that’s really just the beginning when it comes to the story of Hour of 13 and the tumultuous path the band has walked since their 2007 Hour of 13 Hour of 13 originalinception as a studio-only duo of Davis and vocalist Phil Swanson. With Davis based then in Hickory, North Carolina, and operating as a member of U.S. Christmas, Tasha-Yar, Set, Anu, etc. — he can now be found in San Francisco, working through The Crooked Whispers, Jenzeits and probably six or seven more — and Swanson living in Connecticut and working in bands like Upwards of Endtime and Earthlord — I saw him in Maryland last year but I’m not sure if he lives there or what; he’s currently in Vestal Claret and Seamount, and likely others — the workings of the band were immediately complicated. It was possible if more difficult than it is now to send recordings back and forth to work remotely as a group, but with Davis providing guitar, bass and drums and Swanson adding his Satanic, ritual-fueled, sometimes murderous lyrics and enviable post-Sabbath vocal approach, the self-titled was indeed tracked in-person in two sessions between 2006 and 2007 ahead of that Shadow Kingdom release. Bringing together eight songs across 42 minutes, it was simply an album ahead of and outside of its time.

By that I mean it arrived early for what soon enough took hold as a more cultish branch of doom metal. A few years later, or even now, it would be readily in league with a slew of other groups — if more lyrically deranged; Swanson always had a knack for skirting and sometimes crossing the line between good-fun devil worship like the un-Trouble and uh-that’s-not-okay kidnap and ritualistic murder, as on Hour of 13 closer “Missing Girl” — but at its time it was an immediate standout, despite also taking on the genre trappings of traditionalist doom. On their face, songs like early cuts “Call to Satan” and “Submissive to Evil” are straightforward and ask little of the listener. Riffs roll out, vocals follow the established rhythmic pattern, groove is had, doom is purveyed. But between an edge of rawness to the production and a flourish of classic metal in “The Correalation” (sic) and the relatively brief “Grim Reality,” which is snuck in like three and a half minutes of Judas Priest to lead off side B as though no one would notice, Hour of 13‘s invocations of darkness found a resonance that few in the traditional sphere of doom could hope to capture — not quite retro in style, but willfully primitive in aesthetic and construction. With each song carrying something of a narrative, whether it was obscure in “Endurement to the Heirs of Shame” or straight-ahead spellcasting in “Hex of Harm,” trying to get the devil on the line in “Call to Satan” and “Allowance of Sin,” the debut not only established Hour of 13 as a band with a clear mission in terms of what they were going for sound-wise, but a perspective of their own through which they’d manifest that. It would be hard to overstate the potential that could be heard in this record when it came out.

“Missing Girl,” which even 13 years later remains singularly fucked up in a Buffalo-Bill-wearing-your-face-like-a-mask kind of way, caps the album and is its longest track at eight minutes even, but all across its span there’s immersion in and consorting with a sense of evil. It’s not supposed to be comfortable when Swanson sings about Hour of 13 Hour of 13cutting himself and jerking off into the blood in “Call to Satan,” and that interplay between sex, violence, and ritual is, if not ubiquitous in the songs, then certainly lurking in the background. It is the one adult male at the playground sitting on the bench watching the children who clearly has no child of his own. Call-the-cops creepy. The reality behind “Aqualung.”

Fruitful as their collaboration was, Davis and Swanson never seemed to click as a lineup. They played few gigs together — I was fortunate enough to see them in 2010 (review here) — and the vocalist left the band in 2011, following the release of The Ritualist, and Davis hooked up with Beaten Back to Pure‘s Ben Hogg shortly thereafter as part of what became a touring configuration of the band. But shifts in personnel were common, and though Hogg was on board for a tour with Kylesa and fronted some demos, by the time Hour of 13 issued 333, Swanson was back in the band. Still, the momentum they’d had leading into Earache releasing the second album had largely evaporated, and touring was never a huge priority. When the band posted a single in tribute to The Gates of Slumber bassist Jason McCash (R.I.P.) in 2014, that was to be their final recording, but Davis revived the project two years later for the Salt the Dead: The Rare and Unreleased (review here) compilation, before shifting in 2018 to Hour of Thirteen, seeing Davis release a debut in 2019 with The Sabbathian (review here) on Svart, while still issuing a couple EPs to keep the flame burning and now, apparently, moving toward a fourth Hour of 13 full-length done completely as a solo affair.

Whatever the future brings for Hour of 13 — you can understand I’m sure why one might hesitate to predict, but maybe more Bandcamps? — their self-titled continues to be a defining document of their take on doom and what they represented at their outset. It is one of those kinds of albums that had more of an effect than people generally realize, and in discussion of acts who helped foster revivalist doom in the last ten years-plus should in no way be ignored.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

It’s 7:20AM and I’ve already had half a xanax this morning, which may or may not be a good sign for how the rest of the day is going to go. The Pecan has been up for an hour — woke up early as I was finishing the above, ran in his closet and proceeded to take a massive dump in his diaper as he will; fortunately it was contained — so I grabbed him, changed him, started him on breakfast. He’s had a snotty nose the last three days or so but seems to be on the mend if his bouncing-off-the-walls, complete-lack-of-focus is anything to go by. It was after I found myself on my knees on the rug begging him for not the first time in my life to eat a spoonful of yogurt that I hopped up and took a pill. I expect in about 20 minutes life will seem more manageable in that particular my-blood-is-moving-slower-than-it-was kind of way that the medication induces.

What a week.

The dog continues to be what I feel is an unnecessary challenge. Case in point she went to doggy-daycare on Tuesday — same time The Pecan was at actual-daycare — and the two-plus hours I had to sit quietly were some of the most satisfying I’ve experienced in at least the last two months since she came into our home. I was on board with getting this dog. I am now on board with getting rid of this dog. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, and while The Patient Mrs. — being more patient as she is — is advocating professional training, unless we’re going to do the same for our child, I fail to see how that substantial, multi-thousand-dollar investment might pay off. As projects go, I’d much prefer to get started redoing the kitchen now that we own the house.

These are adult concerns, and shitty besides. Far more fun is that I’ve had Cardi B. and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” stuck in my head for the better part of the last 72 hours. “Catchy” doesn’t begin to cover it.

New Gimme Metal show today at 5PM Eastern: http://gimmemetal.com or their app to listen. The app is easier.

Alright, I gotta get this kid to leave the house before it burns it down so I’m punching out. Have a great and safe weekend. Be well, hydrate. All that good stuff.

FRM.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk merch

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GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win Crystal Spiders’ Molt on Vinyl

Posted in Features on August 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

crystal spiders molt vinyl

See that thing up there? You can win that! Ripple Music is set to release Crystal Spiders’ debut album, Molt, on Sept. 25. The Raleigh, North Carolina, two-piece already premiered their video for “Trapped” here, and that ruled (you can see the clip below), but the record’s a burner to be sure. Heavy soul vibes from singer/bassist Brenna Leath (also of Lightning Born with C.O.C.‘s Mike Dean, who produced here), a full-band sound between her low-end riffing and drummer/vocalist Tradd Yancey, with a little garage doom flair but still some punker edge when that’s what it wants. The title-track is right in there, crunch crunch crunch and stomp stomp. If I called it “fun” would you hate it?

Anyway, it’s a thing! You can win! Nobody hates winning things. So here’s the form to enter to get it from Ripple. If you prefer the direct link, go here: https://www.toneden.io/ripple-music/post/win-crystal-spiders-debut-lp-on-wax

You can use Spotify or Twitter or whatever to enter or I guess whatever you’ve got, and sign up to get on Ripple’s email list, which is actually kind of useful when it comes to finding out what they’re up to with preorders and whatnot. If you’ve seen giveaways here before you know I usually just do the “leave a comment here” thing and keep it simple, and I’m not into email harvesting, but the label went to the trouble to make it pretty so it seems the least I can do to post the thing as intended. Take it as a sign the record rules, if nothing else.

One more time, Molt is out Sept. 25 and the prize here is one — count ’em, one — copy of the album on vinyl. I’ll have a review of it up at some point, so I’ll spare you all that, but the short version is there’s a decent chance it’s a thing you want if you’re seeing these words. Giveaway runs for eight days, so have at it.

facebook.com/crystalspidersinmymind
crystalspiders.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Crystal Spiders, “Trapped” official video

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Crystal Spiders Sign to Ripple Music for Debut Album Molt; Premiere “Trapped” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Whathaveyou on July 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

crystal spiders (photo by Jay Beadnell)

North Carolina’s Crystal Spiders will issue their debut album, Molt, through Ripple Music on Sept. 25, and to mark the announcement of the signing and the album below, they’re premiering a video for “Trapped” made by Chariot of Black Moth as the first single to come from the record. And quite a first impression it makes. Crystal Spiders have pared down from the trio they were on their striking 2019 demo (review here) to just the two-piece of vocalist/bassist Brenna Leath and drummer/vocalist Tradd Yancey, and with “Trapped” they — bolstered the production from C.O.C.‘s Mike Dean, who doubles in Lightning Born, also on Ripple — recall some of the low-end largesse of the first Year of the Cobra album even as Leath‘s voice keeps them steeped in a classic rock mindset. That’s the rock. The groove of the song itself is the roll.

I haven’t heard the rest of the record yet — September is so far in the future my feeble brain can’t even conceive it — but preorders are up now if you’d like to save yourself the trouble later. Needless to say I’m thrilled to host the premiere of the track and the video and I’m sure there will be more to come before the release date gets here.

Until then, I won’t keep you. Find the video below, followed by the announcement itself.

And please enjoy:

Crystal Spiders, “Trapped” official video

CRYSTAL SPIDERS – Debut album ‘Molt’ out on September 25th through Ripple Music.

European preorder: https://en.ripple.spkr.media/ripple-music/crystal-spiders-molt.html

US preorder: https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/product/crystal-spiders-molt-deluxe-vinyl-editions

It didn’t take long for North Carolina’s Crystal Spiders to draw attention. The early poise of their self-recorded 2019 demo caught the attention of Ripple Music head honcho Todd Severin, who decided to put out their LP before he even heard the mixes.

Their devotion to riff-worship drives the invigorating sound of Molt. Crystal Spiders fits within the lineage of Sabbath-bred influences ranging from Fu Manchu to Kyuss, from Weedeater to Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. But their broad scope — which pulls eagerly from classic rock dynamics and hardcore punk intensity, psychedelic texture and bluesy swing — pulls the band closer to contemporaries like Heavy Temple and The Well, who build upon well-trod templates to forge new territories of their own.

This rebuff of genre conventions has been a steady current in past and concurrent projects. Leath’s affection for classic metal and hard-rock is as apparent in her charged rock ‘n’ roll outfit The Hell No as it is in her doomy proto-metal band, Lightning Born, and Yancey lends a heavy swing to the psych-seared doom crew Doomsday Profit.

For Molt, the band pulls elements from across genres to create an album that traces the band’s full spectrum. Early songs like “Tigerlily” and “Trapped” find new complements in brand-new cuts like “Chronic Sick” and the title track. With a production assist from Mike Dean — Corrosion of Conformity bassist and Leath’s bandmate in fellow Ripplers Lightning Born — Molt finds Crystal Spiders at their most powerful.

Following a year of consistent gigging and short runs alongside The Well and Omen Stones, Crystal Spiders are looking to up the ante in 2020, with confirmed appearances at Raleigh Deathfest and the Maryland Doom Fest, as well as ranging further along the East Coast and into the western US.

Riding the momentum of their first year of shows and the strength of a potent debut, it’s a safe bet that Crystal Spiders will soon take space in the minds of fuzz-addicted legions far and wide.

Members:
Brenna Leath – Bass/Vocals
Tradd Yancey – Drums/Vocals

facebook.com/crystalspidersinmymind
crystalspiders.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Crystal Spiders, Demo (2019)

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Corrosion of Conformity Announce Rescheduled 2021 UK/European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 2nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Obviously it’s early to announce a tour for Spring 2021, but you gotta announce something, right? Corrosion of Conformity and Spirit Adrift were to take to Europe together this past April and May, making festival stops and more as the Southern metal progenitors celebrated 25 years since the release of their landmark Deliverance (discussed here) album, and yeah, that probably would’ve been cool. They’ll go next year instead, both bands, starting in late April in Dublin and staying abroad for about a month to finish in Birmingham after swiping down onto the continent proper, hitting Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands en route. Looks good to me. Hey guys, can I come? I’m quiet and I don’t eat much.

Two things about this tour:

1. Let’s just assume that the two days off between April 28 and May 1 and the extra day between May 12 and May 14 are to account for stops at Desertfest London and Berlin, respectively. C.O.C. were set to appear at both this year, so it stands to reason they’ll help both festivals celebrate 10 years in 2021.

2. A little more nonsequitor, but when was the last time you saw a stretch of European tour dates with more shows in France than Germany? Good for you, France. Enjoy the shows.

Dates follow, as posted on social media and dutifully transcribed by yours truly:

corrosion of conformity eu 2021 tour

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY – EUROPE 2021

w/ Spirit Adrift

Sat 24 Apr Academy Dublin IE
Sun 25 Apr Limelight 2 Belfast UK
Tue 27 Apr Garage Glasgow UK
Wed 28 Apr Club Academy Manchester UK
Sat 01 May Headbangers Balls Festival Izegem BE
Sun 02 May Le Grillen Colmar FR
Tue 04 May Petit Bain Paris FR
Wed 05 May Connexion Live Toulouse FR
Fri 07 May Razzmatazz 2 Barcelona ES
Mon 10 May Legend Milan IT
Tue 11 May Klub Complex Zurich CH
Wed 12 May Rockhouse Salzburg AT
Fri 14 May Backstage Halle Munich DE
Sun 16 May Pumpehuset Copenhagen DK
Tue 18 May Logo Hamburg DE
Wed 19 May Patronaat Haarlem NL
Fri 21 May Engine Rooms Southhampton UK
Sat 22 May 02 Institute 2 Birmingham UK

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

Corrosion of Conformity, Live in Stuttgart, Germany, 1994

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Days of Rona: Justin Storms of Wailin Storms

Posted in Features on May 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

wailin storms justin storms

Days of Rona: Justin Storms of Wailin Storms (Durham, North Carolina)

How have you been you dealing with this crisis as a band? As an individual? What effect has it had on your plans or creative processes?

Yeah it’s been really bad timing for sure. It derailed a larger tour we had planned in April/May which would’ve supported our newest record dropping May 15th on Gilead Media (US) and Antena Krzyku (EU). We were also discussing a European tour in November but that’s now been postponed until things calm down. Basically, the thing that funds future records like many other bands has now come to a standstill. We’re hoping to be able to make up for this through online sales but we love playing live so it’s pretty disheartening to not get that outlet now.

We’re all pretty restless as individuals, even me though I’m more of an introvert. We went from practicing constantly workshopping new songs to not being able to do that for now. We might find a work around but I think being in a room and feeding off that raw energy is crucial for us but just about every one of us has a partner with health issues so it’s not worth the risk at the moment.

I thrive on solitude creatively so Covid hasn’t hindered that much for me but it’s nice to have that weekly practice to bounce ideas off each other or venture into new territories and dynamics with other elements in there.

How do you feel about the public response to the outbreak where you are? From the government response to the people around you, what have you seen and heard from others?

People have been decent about being safe in our town (Durham, NC) but I’ve seen numbers spike to 800 new cases since opening up some businesses again and I’ve seen a lot of folks without masks inside supermarkets, on trails, and hanging in parking lots which drives my anxiety through the roof. The government response has been fairly proactive here in our state which is nice to see and they’ve been hesitant to reopen fully which is the ethical thing to do until we find a vaccine. A lot of our friends are out of work including our lead guitarist who ran sound for several venues in town so it’s tough out here right now.

What do you think of how the music community specifically has responded? How do you feel during this time? Are you inspired? Discouraged? Bored? Any and all of it?

I think the music community has been really supportive but there’s only so much you can do if everyone’s struggling and venues are likely to close so it’s just the beginning of an already rough road for artists and music venues. I personally feel severe anxiety and depression since I deal with auto-immune issues, I’m worried about getting this and dying in two weeks. I’ve become a hypochondriac and feel like I want to just live in some small town in Europe again and all day making art and drawing until this blows over but the world’s a mess so that’s not going to happen.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything? What is your new normal? What have you learned from this experience, about yourself, your band, or anything?

My new normal is trying to stay healthy and sane. I’m in survival mode so it’s not the easiest time for making art but I have to do it so hopefully my mind will allow me to keep making things.

I’ve learned to take more hikes on trails and began mushroom hunting which is something I haven’t done in a long time. The silver lining of this thing has made me closer to my family and my partner since I don’t have a slew of things to juggle every day now. It’s forced me to slow the fuck down and smell whatever nature’s cooking that week: crimson clover, wild roses, buttercups, honey suckle, bleeding hearts, and bloodroot.

https://www.facebook.com/wailinstorms/
https://www.instagram.com/wailinstorms/
https://wailinstorms.bandcamp.com/
https://gileadmedia.net/
http://antenakrzyku.pl/

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Friday Full-Length: Corrosion of Conformity, Wiseblood

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Corrosion of Conformity, Wiseblood (1996)

It’s a classic either way, but I’m willing to go to bat for Wiseblood as the best Corrosion of Conformity record. Blasphemy!, you say. Controversy! Harumph! Harumph!

I agree it’s commonly accepted that 1994’s Deliverance (discussed here) is the Raleigh, North Carolina, band’s peak. The band themselves spent much of last year touring it again for its 25th anniversary, and in 2014, when they first reunited as the four-piece of bassist/sometimes vocalist Mike Dean, guitarist/backing vocalist Woodroe Weatherman, drummer/backing vocalist Reed Mullin (RIP 2020) and prodigal frontman guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan, it was tagged as the ‘Deliverance era’ lineup.

So why the defiance of common knowledge? Easy, Wiseblood is a better record. I talked about this a little bit a decade ago, but the key difference for me between the two landmark full-lengths — they both are, I would in no way deny it — is that with Deliverance, you kind of had to be there. I remember hearing “Clean My Wounds” on the radio and seeing the video on MTV. Same for “Albatross.” Deliverance has had an influence on bands that spans at least one generation, but if we’re looking at it purely from the level of songwriting, I’ll take Wiseblood almost every time.

Issued in October 1996 through Columbia Records with John Custer producing as ever, Wiseblood is without question a product of the CD era. It runs nearly 58 minutes long and brings together 13 tracks, including the advance singles “King of the Rotten” (the album opener), “Drowning in a Daydream,” and the slower-chugging “Man or Ash,” on which James Hetfield of Metallica put in a guest appearance on vocals alongside Keenan. But that was just a piece of the whole story. Wiseblood — like most commercial releases of the time — was not without filler, but in cuts like “Goodbye Windows,” “Long Whip / Big America,” “The Snake Has No Head,” “Wiseblood,” “Born Again for the Last Time,” the ultra-swaggering “The Door” and the subdued “Redemption City,” as well as those three songs that were sent to radio stations ahead of time, corrosion of conformity wisebloodthe band showed not only that Deliverance wasn’t a fluke, but that they could build off it and conjure even greater songwriting achievements. Wiseblood‘s title-track alone deserves to be pressed to a 12″, let alone the rest of the album. And as the record wound down, with the still catchy “Wishbone (Some Tomorrow)” following “Redemption City” and the satisfyingly speedy but largely forgettable “Fuel” and the almost-eight-minute instrumental jam “Bottom Feeder (El que come abajo)” closing out, even what might’ve been called filler retained quality and dynamic.

The hooks were everywhere. “Redemption City” (“what a pity…”), “Wiseblood” (“youngblood creepin’…”), “Goodbye Windows” (“I’d rather have holes in my eyes…”), “Long Whip / Big America” (“hey hey hey, what’s that game you play…”), “Drowning in a Daydream” (“there’s a man who watches over me…”), “Man or Ash” (“these are primitive — times!”), “Wishbone (Some Tomorrow)” (“twilight explodes in my time of the blind…”), and I don’t know about you, but I don’t have to do more than look at the titles “Born Again for the Last Time” or “The Door” or “King of the Rotten” to hear Keenan‘s voice singing them in my head. These songs continue to resonate even 24 years later, and speaking as a fan, they’ve aged well.

Of course, for a band who got as big as C.O.C. did at the time — “Drowning in a Daydream” was nominated for a Grammy in 1998 — every era will have its proponents, and C.O.C. have had enough eras to fulfill that impulse, whether it was their earlier trio days playing hardcore punk, or the beginning of Keenan‘s tenure with the band on the Karl Agell-fronted (later of Leadfoot) 1991 outing, Blind, on through the mid-’90s and into the 2000s with America’s Volume Dealer — slicker in production, still ace in craft — and the sans-Mullin 2005 In the Arms of God LP, after which the band went on pause as Keenan focused his time on Down, then proceeded without him for a self-titled (review here) in 2012 and 2014’s follow-up, IX (review here), before regrouping as a four-piece, touring like mad and eventually offering up 2018’s No Cross No Crown (review here), finding a middle-ground between nostalgia for the ’94-’96 era and the ensuing 20 years, essentially as an extension of the work the band was doing on the road.

With the band’s winding history, I understand how for a subsequent generation, they can be kind of intimidating to take on. 10 years ago, I advocated Wiseblood as the place to start, and I stick by that entirely. Deliverance was glorious — still is. The kind of record people dream of making. But Wiseblood, with its more developed melodies, plays between metal and hard, heavy and Southern rock and the sheer chemistry between the artists who made it, feels less connected to the time it was made. It’s always been in the shadow of its predecessor’s greater sales, and there’s no question which one begat the other — “King of the Rotten” feels like an answer to “Heaven’s Not Overflowing,” “Redemption City” to “Albatross,” and so on — but taken on its own merits, even up to the jam that unfolds across “Bottom Feeder (El que come abajo),” coalescing the interludes of the album prior into one longer feast of riffs and groove, I’ll still take Wiseblood, blasphemy or not. If you disagree, well, that’s fun too.

C.O.C., like everyone, have had their plans stifled by the realities of 2020. They would’ve headlined Desertfest this year in London and Berlin, and done more touring besides. Whatever happens for the rest of this year and the next and the next, the band’s accomplishments are legitimately the stuff of legend, and while the loss of Mullin earlier this year no doubt weighs heavy on the group, one can’t help but wonder if maybe they aren’t putting their downtime to use as so many others are and beginning to think about new material following up on No Cross No Crown. I’d take another C.O.C. record. That’s only ever something to look forward to.

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

My father used to tell me he prayed for death every day. One time, he showed me where a tooth was chipped where his mother beat him with a belt and the buckle knocked him in the mouth. I’ve been thinking about that image. About the kind of guilt that must instill, the kind of self-loathing. He threatened plenty enough, but my father never hit me. I guess that’s progress, right? Generational progress?

When I get frustrated at The Pecan, I try and respond with kindness. It doesn’t always work, mind you. But I try. Is that progress too? I don’t want to be angry at my son. I don’t want to instill him with that loathing that I took as inheritance. My birthright to being a miserable bastard. I take pills. I’m not now, but I’ve been in therapy. My father never did that. I asked him about it once and he said, “A pill won’t change who I am,” or some such. Now that I’m an adult, I have to remind myself that that’s an illness I know well, because if I don’t, I view it as weakness. Is that progress, I wonder.

Sirens go by. I know I’m getting older because the world seems more terrifying. I love my wife. It’s me I could do without.

I’ll go to the playground today, take The Pecan out for a long walk to help him balance his energy out a little. He needs that. I took him to the doctor yesterday for his 30-month well visit. The lockdown at the office was serious. Then he took a nap and I went to Costco. The lockdown at Costco was less serious. People out. People still dying. Open the beaches. No one look at each other and you’ll be fine.

Drink bleach.

Or inject it.

No Gimme show this week. Pre-empted, which is fine. It was was a repeat anyhow, and they asked if I minded. Shit no. They’re good to me. I can’t complain.

Next week I’m streaming the Geezer album as of about five minutes ago. Also an Apostle of Solitude video premiere, and a Lamp of the Universe premiere and hopefully a Black Rainbows review. Lot of Ripple Music and Heavy Psych Sounds around here lately. Those two should team up as a multinational underground conglomerate and just sign everybody. Ripplepsych Sounds.

Be well. Love always.

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