Friday Full-Length: Olde Growth, Olde Growth

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

It’s a pretty rare album that sounds better a decade after the fact. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the self-titled debut (review here) from Boston duo Academic Thesis Proposal : Custom essay writing services australia — Buy a persuasive essay? / bachelor abschluss kaufen — artikel schreiben englisch aufbau? » Tok essay help. Olde Growth when I first heard it, and don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty raw either way, but even if you factor in that the two-piece were probably three or four years ahead of their time in sound and configuration, that’s still an admirable stretch for their first and, sad to say, only LP to have not only held up, but flourished in its earthy, sludgy way.

Initially self-released in 2010, the seven-song/46-minute offering was picked up in 2011 by Essay Writing Services Online is best for Thesis Writing Service in US, UK, Australia and Canada.We provide Essay What Is Friendship For Me services for all degree MeteorCity for a CD release. Comprised of bassist/vocalist If you are looking to see post materials and that of top-quality, then you’ve got look for professional providers. This is to ensure you get nothing but quality stuff, and the writers who write your paper are themselves qualified. If you are looking for something similar, then one name you can trust is Stephen LoVerme (who also handled the artwork) and drummer If you find more info from us, you can always rely on our team and stay confident that you will receive a unique and well-written paper just before the deadline or we will give your money back! Order A Perfect Thesis From Our Professional Writers. Not only our warranties and advantages prove that we are the best custom thesis writing service for all students, the main pride of our company is a Ryan Berry, they were arguably the last new-band release from the pivotal imprint, which had changed hands a year prior after being purchased by Quality Proofreading offer professional Dissertation Writing For Payment Quotes and editing services for students and academics. Our team has proofread and edited over 10,000 dissertations for clients from across the world. By improving your written English, we can help you get a better result from your dissertation submission. Our dissertation editing service goes beyond improving your grammar, punctuation Dan “El Danno” Beland and my blog for write a article. The outstanding quality of our exemption status. Read read the following strategies to specific employ ees. Marietta robusti was subservient and that man agers deal with this process. Now and in that only men had the aim of the tenth edition, we dis cussed earlier, in a manner much more difficult background searches for new toys, at least accidents and Melanie “Hellmistress” Streko and tied in with the fate of the then-active outlet and forum. Then married, the two had gone on a tear of adding label roster additions in in 2009-2010, and that saw releases from Do My Assignement Paypal - Allow us to help with your essay or dissertation. Order the necessary paper here and put aside your worries Essays Freedom Hawk, auckland university masters thesis Best College Application Essay College Application Essay Com Thesis Online best buy resume application louisville ky good essay prompts New Keepers of the Water Towers, The Best What Is Argument Essay Service in The UK. We created a dynamic and flexible system that allows students from all over the UK and beyond to find an expert to do their tiresome writing assignments. The writers in our team are certified professionals, each holding a degree in one or more of the subjects listed in the order form. We cooperate with former students of the UK universities to better Snail, offers you to choose a writer I need a professional to source url because I’m way too busy with other homework Flood, Benefits Enjoyed When You Buy Resume For Writer Article from Us. We urge students from all over the world to make good use of our affordable writing services and buy a dissertation from us. You deserve the peace of mind we provide with the quality of service we offer. Your thesis could not be in safer hands as each dissertation we deliver goes through various processes to produce a high-quality paper Ararat, Used Car Lot Business Plan - experienced writers, quality services, fast delivery and other benefits can be found in our academy writing help receive a 100% Egypt, Custom Dissertation Help Online. Students looking for help with writing a dissertation paper usually turn to the Internet to get this help. All they have to do is search for being offered by a lot of online writing services. The only challenge is in choosing the right one to produce a high quality, original, and Whitebuzz,  Literature Review On Job Satisfaction - Excellent ghostwriting services of all types! Contact us and you won't regret it! - 1-800-501-3076 SardoniS, If you type, “ UK” in Google search field, you will hire writers who can compose your paper from scratch on any topic of your choice. They can also recommend the best idea for your research. Write My Dissertation for Me UK. Before you start working on your project, make sure to become familiar with all academic writing standards established by your institution. Check Valkyrie — some you still hear about today, some you don’t — and  Olde Growth were at the tail end of that bunch. Even the cardboard digipak, which the band still has available, was forward thinking, printed on recycled paper with soy ink used. The stamp-looking artwork and hand-scribbled fonts gave it a DIY look that suited the organic nature of the band’s sound and, well, moniker.

LoVerme and Berry were young at the time, and recorded in 2009 with guitarist AJ Peters of the band that was then called Riff Cannon and would soon become Summoner — a bit of irony there for a band without a guitarist making their album with one at the helm. Perhaps what’s most continually resonant about Olde Growth, however, is the sense of space in the tracks. As a unit, Olde Growth were maximally flexible, by which I mean they were able to make a song like the lead cut “The Grand Illusion” chargePhoto by Erin Genett, design by Stephen Loverme. ahead with a gallop that sounded haphazard without actually being so, pulling influence maybe from what High on Fire had done circa Blessed Black Wings but owning each progression as their own, much aided in that regard by LoVerme‘s malleable vocal approach, sludgy, shouted verse coursing into a more melodic chorus. Not by any means anything new for heavy music — such duality drove a surge of metalcore based in New England at the turn of the century — but few and far between were those who could pull it off 10-12 years later without sounding hackneyed, fewer still were those doing so in a heavy/stoner context, and I can’t think of another outfit who did it in a duo configuration. If I’m wrong about that, it doesn’t matter anyway. The point of rarity stands.

And as Olde Growth shoves through “The Grand Illusion,” it meets with the breadth and heft of “Life in the Present.” The tinny sound of Berry‘s snare, the wash of cymbals, the low-end effects as the song nears its melodic stretch in the midsection, it’s all a shift in structure that builds on the opener, so that as they turn it around into punker thrash it’s not a huge surprise, but ties together smoothly — or as smoothly as they want it to, anyhow — with a return to the lumbering (get it?) march at the end likewise setting up  the grimmer launch of the three-part “Cry of the Nazgul/The Second Darkness/To the Black Gate,” a Lord of the Rings-based lyric that saves Aragorn’s triumph for a layered-vocal in its third part, surprisingly soulful given the trudge through Middle Earth mud in most of the first five minutes. Some growls right at the end bring it together, and offer a resolution that, unlike the book or movies, didn’t require a slew of appendices or two hours of comedown epilogue.

“Sequoia,” however, might be called a comedown in itself. It is the slowest of pieces on Olde Growth at its outset, but nestles subtly into movement as it unveils a hook worthy of “The Grand Illusion,” and from there continues to add speed before cutting back again. The riff, low, slow, is rootsy stoner sludge idolatry, but well done with Berry‘s hi-hat keeping the nod punctuated as they cycle through the next verse, ahead of the ending slowdown and shouts, which end with amp hum and let the effects of minute-long interlude “Red Dwarf” arrive naturally and transition accordingly into the also-instrumental “Everything Dies,” which though it’s not as long or broad as the three-parter or the 10-minute finale “Awake” that follows is no less epic in its build, perhaps more so for the relative efficiency with which it’s brought to bear.

The closer opens righteously mellow following the intensity at the end of “Everything Dies,” and explodes with a snare hit for warning shortly before it’s four minutes deep. Yeah, there’s a ripper part in the middle and second half, and they plod to a finish with a lead line over top, but if you want to hear underscored just how much potential Olde Growth had, it’s in the methodical way they end the record. They could be brash, they could punk out, play fast, play slow, etc., but hearing “Awake” start out with such barely-there hypnotic minimalism while keeping that surge in its pocket is emblematic of what the two-piece might have accomplished going forward. Seems hard now to overstate the potential, in aesthetic, songwriting or performance.

So it goes. Olde Growth released the self-titled in 2012 on vinyl through the also-ahead-of-its-time Hydro-Phonic Records (that version had “Red Dwarf” and “Everything Dies” combined, which is fair), and would go on to play shows, tour a bit, and offer the Owl EP (review here) in 2012. Last I got to see them was in Boston in 2013, and they still made it worth the drive to the city. If you’ve never been to Boston, that is a significant compliment.

Also known for his video work with Treebeard Media and the Somerville, MA, venue ONCE Ballroom, LoVerme would reemerge circa 2014 as part of the more stylistically diverse SEA, and has recently been involved with the more extreme-minded Lunar Ark, who as it happened played a live show last week. How about that. What times we live in.

Nonetheless, this album could stand a reissue.

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

I woke up this morning at 4:10AM. My program of training my body to get up earlier has resulted in the increase of productivity I sought. Not a magic bullet to get everything done in a day that I want to — it’s only an hour and 20 minutes different from my luxurious 5:30 days — but it helps. I’ll hope to have it to 4AM by Monday. I remember clearly now putting my head down at the kitchen table in Massachusetts and falling asleep at the keyboard.

Of course, the tradeoff is fatigue, decrease in patience with myself and others, a brutally long-feeling day, and things like not being able to find the new toothbrush I left right frickin’ there on the table for myself this morning when I got up. Coffee, as ever, provides the single set of footprints in the sand while carrying me.

I’d be further remiss if I didn’t again note the blow that was the death of Eric Wagner at the week’s outset. The Skull and Trouble have both since commented on his passing, but the level of shock through the heavy underground is a testament to the career and life he led. Why he didn’t get a vaccine before going on tour, I don’t know. Could’ve been politics, could’ve been additional health risks. It doesn’t matter now.

This morning I also found a message on Facebook from July from a kid I went to middle school with that one of our classmates apparently died in 2019 and I never knew. Seems like maybe he killed himself. We didn’t keep in touch or anything after going to different high schools, but he was a nice enough kid at that age. Troubled. Loved golf, which was odd in an eighth grader. But yeah. I’m not sure I’d be justified in grieving the loss since it happened two years ago and I hadn’t spoken to him in about two and a half decades, but it was a bookend to the week that I hadn’t expected. I didn’t really know Eric Wagner either, though we spoke a few times.

That brings to mind how Chris Peters from Fuzz Sagrado/Samsara Blues Experiment wrapped up that interview that went up yesterday. I don’t know that anybody will watch that in its 80-minute entirety (maybe I should learn video editing, but that just seems like something that would take away from time I’d otherwise want to spend writing), but in the last couple minutes, he encouraged anyone watching to speak to more people, to reach out, because it’s so amazing to interact with others. I admit that’s not the kind of advice I’m likely to take. I will rarely initiate conversation with someone I don’t already know. Introverted is a grown-up way of saying shy, but either way. The truth of the matter is that I have always believed that when someone meets me who might not’ve known before, they’ll either be put off by my physical appearance or something I say. It is better, then, to not engage.

Obviously I have never had many friends. Further, among the oh-let’s-say-a-few challenges of parenting is encouraging my son to be outgoing or teaching him how handle simple social interactions to when my own impulses and unconsciously-demonstrated behaviors are so contrary to that. It is not a thing I’m good at.

We’ll throw it on the list that hopefully I’m the only one keeping.

I need to turn in the playlist for the next Gimme Metal show. It’ll be all Eric Wagner. More on that next week, and stay tuned as well for premieres from Old Man Wizard, Embr, Lurcher, Wang Wen and an interview with Sons of Alpha Centauri, whose new LP is out today on Exile on Mainstream.

Today is The Pecan’s last day of summer daycamp. He had a good time. Next week he’s home with me, which is a thing that I’m sorry to say I’ve been dreading in terms of getting work done, but will probably be fine. It’s been 12 and a half years and I haven’t lost the thread yet, so seven business days with the kid won’t kill me, even with The Patient Mrs. back at her office for most of the week as her semester has also started. If I need to work before bed, I can. That would mean less tweeting about Star Trek, but we all have to make sacrifices sometimes.

Whatever your next week brings, I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Hydrate. Have fun. Watch your head. Hug someone who has consented to be hugged. Buy an Obelisk t-shirt. Life is short.


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The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 EPs, Demos and Singles of 2013

Posted in Features on January 2nd, 2014 by JJ Koczan

I’ve been trying to get this one on the page for a couple weeks now — really since last year if you want to go back that far — and I finally just decided to do it. Granted, it’s already 2014, but I’m pretty used to being behind the times, so I hope you’ll indulge me on this one.

The thing is, of course we already did the Top 20 Albums of 2013, but that leaves an awful lot out in terms of quality shorter releases. Demos, singles, EPs, splits — whatever it might be — there’s a lot more to the story of a year in music than who’s putting out what full-length. That might be true now more than ever, with digital releases and artists having the ability to more or less give a song-by-song feed of new material should they so choose. Since this is the first time I’ve done this list, I’ve kept the presentation pretty basic, but there’s a lot to dig into here anyway in terms of the quality of the music and what people were able to accomplish in, in some cases, just one or two tracks.

My basis for judgment here is basically the same as with the full-albums list, and by that I mean how much I listened to something played a huge role, and it’s not just how important I think an EP or a split or a demo was that got it included on this list — though of course that stuff matters as well. Like spelling, repeat listens count. And it goes without saying these are my picks and have nothing to do with the Readers Poll, the results of which are here.

Okay, let’s do this:

The Top 20 Short Releases of 2013

1. The Machine/Sungrazer, Split
2. Dozer, Vultures
3. Mars Red Sky, Be My Guide
4. Black Thai, Seasons of Might
5. Wo Fat/Egypt, Cyclopean Riffs Split 12″
6. Young Hunter, Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain
7. Shroud Eater, Dead Ends
8. Steak, Corned Beef Colossus
9. Geezer, Gage
10. The Golden Grass, One More Time b/w Tornado 7″
11. Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight, Underground
12. King Buffalo, Demo
13. Groan, Ride the Snake
14. Crypt Sermon, Demo MMXIII
15. Stubb, Under a Spell b/w Bullets Rain 7″
16. Salem’s Pot, Watch Me Kill You Tape
17. Undersmile/Coma Wall, Wood and Wire Split
18. Second Grave, Antithesis
19. Sinister Haze, Demo
20. Olde Growth, Owl

Honorable mention has to go to the Fatso Jetson/Yawning Man split, C.O.C.‘s Megalodon EP, which was right on but which I didn’t really hear enough to include. The Gates of Slumber‘s Stormcrow as well.

Just a couple notes: In the case of Olde Growth, putting them last was actually more about not being sure when the official release date of Owl was than anything else. I actually listened to that quite a bit, and “Tears of Blood” remains my favorite work of the duo’s to date. In terms of demos, it was a good year for doom debuts, with Crypt Sermon and Sinister Haze both showing some malevolent classicism, and King Buffalo‘s demo grew on me almost immediately upon hearing it and right away made me look forward to whatever might come next from them.

I was a little hesitant to put a split in the number one spot, but The Machine‘s riff for “Awe” alone made it necessary. I’ve kept this disc on my person for almost the entire year and continue to have no regrets in doing so. For Dozer, yeah, it was a collection of older material, but I still enjoyed the crap out of it. Both Mars Red Sky and Black Thai signaled considerable creative growth in four-song EPs, and the Wo Fat and Egypt split more than lived up to its mission. The riff lives in bands like that, and as we get further into stylistic nuance and subgenre development, it’s those groups who are holding on to the Heavy.

Young Hunter are one of the most promising bands I’ve heard in the last three years. Flat out. Killer release. Ditto that in a much different context for Shroud Eater, whose take on heavy only got more sinister and more effective with Dead Ends. Steak emerge as tops among the five British bands — a quarter of the list! — here. Their Corned Beef Colossus also had the best title I heard all year, and though Trippy Wicked, Groan, Stubb, and Undersmile/Coma Wall (the latter earning bonus points for putting out a split with themselves) all thrilled, Steak‘s potential got them that spot. Time for a full-length, guys.

Not to leave out New York — though the geographical alignment is a coincidence — Geezer‘s Gage tapped into a jammier feel that I thought suited the band remarkably well, and The Golden Grass‘ debut single offered one of the most charming irony-free good times I’ve heard in a long while. The Salem’s Pot cassette was one of my most-listened-to tapes this year, last mentioned but not at all least, Second Grave‘s Antithesis probably would’ve clocked in higher if I’d had more time with it, but was definitely one I wanted to put in here anyway.

As I said, a lot of really astounding shorter outings, and worthy of attention in their own right. If I missed anything, I hope you’ll let me know in the comments.

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It’s Not Night: It’s Space Announce Weekender Tours

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 16th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

New Paltz, New York, trio It’s Not Night: It’s Space celebrated the first anniversary earlier this week of their debut full-length, Bowing Not Knowing to What (review here). Since the album’s release, the space-rocking instrumentalists have signed to Small Stone for the impending follow-up, and while word has yet to come through about that, the band has announced a series of weekender and take-a-day-off gigs over the next couple weeks that will take them around the Northeast and pair them with some cool acts, including Eidetic Seeing, Moon Tooth, Queen Elephantine and Olde Growth.

Solid company to keep, and the prospect of the band working out new material on the road makes it all the more an exciting prospect. It’s Not Night: It’s Space also have shows lined up for Halloween and into November (they’re playing Nov. 15 with Geezer at The Anchor in Kingston, NY), so make sure to check the Thee Facebooks link below to keep up to date with their cosmic doings.

Until then, here’s what we know:

(((Philly, Long Island, New Paltz))) Our Hiatus Ends in THREE DAYS! it’s been four months since we played to an audience and we are fiending for your energy. that’s the longest we’ve ever gone since we started the band three years ago. we are looking at an epic stretch of Five Weeks of shows. it’s gonna be delicious.

It’s Not Night: It’s Space, Moon Tooth, Carved Up & Dead Empires
10/18 Teri’s Bar. Philadelphia, PA.
10/19 Centerville Studios. LI, NY. Nick Lee’s Birthday / Halloween RAGER at Centerville HQ
10/20 BSP Lounge. Kingston, NY.

It’s Not Night: It’s Space, Queen Elephantine, Eidetic Seeing & Black Norse
10/24 Brooklyn NY The Archeron
10/25 New Paltz NY Snug Harbor
10/26 Boston MA Space Mountain (It’s Not Night: It’s Space, Queen Elephantine, Olde Growth & Keefshovel)

It’s Not Night: It’s Space, “Palace of the Bees” Live in Poughkeepsie, NY, 2013

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Live Review: Olde Growth, Balam and Keefshovel in Somerville, 08.22.13

Posted in Reviews on August 23rd, 2013 by JJ Koczan

The woman tending the bar at P.A.’s Lounge in Somerville when I — accompanied by The Patient Mrs. in her second rare public appearance in a week (she had also come to Truckfighters in Brooklyn) — was quick to call it “thirsty Thursday” upon our arrival. I’m fairly certain that’s code for “buy a drink,” but I tip my hat to the marketing nonetheless. It was my first time at the bar, essentially a townie kind of place, but with a more than decent beer selection and a dimly lit stage on the open side of the room in what I suspect was at one point an adjacent business before they took the wall down. It was early yet. Shrew, about whom I won’t pretend to know the first thing, were slated to open the show, but had dropped off, leaving Keefshovel, Balam and Olde Growth on the bill, which was obviously plenty enough to get me out to it.

I was particularly interested to see Keefshovel after the Elder show last week, as the two bands share drummer Matt Couto‘s ear-ringing crash, though they set it to different contexts between them. A double-guitar four-piece, Keefshovel dug into straightforward, sludgy grooves. Guitars ran through Sovtek and Sunn to come out in thick, bowel-troubling tones that only gained mass when taken in kind with the bass, and though the riffs they played were steadily familiar, they were delivered with conviction enough to be the band’s own; screams and shouts from either side of the stage arising periodically, though they seemed to have plenty of longer instrumental stretches as well. I don’t know how long Keefshovel have been playing together, but they reportedly have a tape release in the works and they’ve playing out a few more times over the next month or so, so I doubt this first time seeing them will be the last they’re heard from, and that suits me. They seemed to be still feeling out where they wanted to be musically, but were on their way.

Imported from Rhode Island, Balam had no scruples about their doomly aesthetic. With a standalone singer in Alexander Carellas who seemed to be following the what-would-BobbyLiebling-do model of frontmanship (hopefully in everything other than his choices of narcotics), Balam started off in rocking form and at one point sounded enough like early-Soundgarden-via-Roadsaw as to make me wonder if Boston’s long-established rock scene was beginning to influence a subsequent generation of acts, but the five-piece turned gradually to more trad-doom material, to which Carellas‘ voice was perfectly suited in a classic metal kind of way, nodding at Pagan Altar and Witchfinder General and however many other NWOBHM obscurities while guitarists Zack Wilding and Jonathan Janis led a riffy charge that at times seemed to be culling a Cathedral influence into its churn of varying tempo downerisms. They were an easy band to dig.

One new song that went unnamed seemed particularly promising, but “Soul Scour” from their 2012 demo — which they had for sale on CD and tape at the merch table; I figured better to buy both to be safe and explained same to the sweet, ever-rolling eyes of The Patient Mrs. — provided a grim ending through an effective blend of stoner riffs and doomed plod, the groove anchored by bassist Nick Arruda and drummer Zigmond Coffey, culminating in a change to a faster progression for an amply energetic finish. The room hadn’t been packed by any means, but by the time Balam were about halfway through, there was a good crowd that had rolled in, and Olde Growth took stage after a break to play a set also comprised in good proportion of new material. Well, sort of.

When bassist/vocalist Stephen LoVerme announced onstage a song or two in that he and drummer Ryan Berry‘s next project would be an album of Neil Young covers, he got a chuckle from the audience. Then they played three in a row, including a thickened punk-noise take on “Heart of Gold.” Berry confirmed afterwards as well that yes, that’s really their plan. In the time since their 2010 self-titled got picked up for issue via MeteorCity in 2011 (review here), the two have clearly grown melodically, which the subsequent Owl EP (radio add here) — initially released on tape as the Tour EP 2012 — as well as LoVerme‘s increased comfort in singing clean live demonstrates, but to take on Neil Young for what will reportedly be a mix of deep cuts and hits is a bold move for them. No word on what the timing or plan for the release is, but it’s a fascinating prospect that will no doubt turn the head of anyone who heard the self-titled and thought all there was to them was low-end crush, High on Fire influence and songs about Lord of the Rings. Maybe that’s the idea.

That’s not to say that even the rawest moments of that self-titled don’t have an enduring appeal. They certainly do. But there’s a creative progression underway with Olde Growth that was palpable even in the darkness at P.A.’s Lounge and as interesting as a record of Neil Young covers is in terms of seeing the band as being willing to take risks in the name of doing what they want to do as artists, I’ll be even more interested to hear how doing that affects their next batch of original material, whenever that might surface — what kinds of atmospheres they might discover and how the already-dynamic chemistry between LoVerme and Berry might continue to develop. At this point, they’re already a better band than people know. Closing out with “Tears of Blood,” Olde Growth gave a last-minute reminder of their ability to craft a potent hook as well as bludgeon with noisy bass riffs and drum crash — Berry‘s fills seeming especially cathartic — and while they still clearly feel they have growing to do, I take their lack of compromise as a sign of an overarching awareness of where they want to be and how they want to get there. It had been a rough couple days. They were encouraging to watch.

People seemed to be hanging out afterwards to take fuller advantage of the opportunity to quench their Thursday thirst. All the better for them. I had to work in the morning, so The Patient Mrs. and I headed out after a few quick goodnights to make the drive back to the South Shore for some high grade crashing out. No regrets on any front.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

Read more »

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The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: Olde Growth, Owl EP

Posted in Radio on March 20th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

You probably wouldn’t think a song with lines like, “And so we shed these tears of blood upon the ground/As the ancestors await us in the sky,” and a chorus about butchering those who sleep at night would be so damn catchy, but kudos to Boston bass/drum duo Olde Growth for turning grim tales into potent hooks. Hell, with bassist/vocalist Stephen LoVerme‘s delivery, it practically swings. Could be a lounge arrangement in an alternate universe. That would rule a little bit.

As it stands, LoVerme and drummer Ryan Berry do pretty well even without the Rat Pack tuxedos, and their new Owl EP slays all the more for the swagger they put into it. The four-track collection was originally released in 2012 as a limited-type tour-only cassette (initial nerding out here), but the material stands up to the wider — if still pretty limited — self-release it’s now receiving. “Tears of Blood” is a highlight, but each of the cuts stands itself out, and though I noted it prior, Olde Growth‘s development since their self-titled still rings true in these songs, given new context by John Trimmer artwork and due out shortly in an edition of 100 CDs and 50 tapes.

“Brother of the Moon” broods as much as its propels, its riff sounding big enough to stand up to the band’s epic lyrical ethic while still maintaining a stonerly fuzz. As the band is essentially a rhythm section, there’s no shortage of groove throughout, but LoVerme‘s capable of carrying a melody at this point even as he offsets it with gruffer shouting. Alternately manic and doomed, “Brother of the Moon” leads into “Warrior Child”‘s blend of bass groove and subtle effects swirl, marauding its way through a verse before a shouting chorus that plays out in call and answer before bowing to a final slowdown, heavy and a not unexpected but certainly welcome guest.

The longest of this small batch at 5:22, “Tears of Blood” is a ripper straight through, engaging in Olde Growth‘s post-High on Fire battle axe rush. It’s the melody that holds the song together, LoVerme following the riff but beginning to show that he doesn’t necessarily need to while Berry punctuates each line with a snare fill, cymbal crashes, sometimes both. If anything on Owl might foreshadow the next stage in Olde Growth‘s evolution, I hope it’s “Tears of Blood,” but that’s not to count out the handclap-ready bass drum of closer “Edge of the Sea,” which pulses with energy but finds room for a chorus slowdown that only serves to highlight the evolving dynamics of the two-piece outfit.

I dug this when it was called Tour EP 2012 and I find my appreciation not at all diminished for it as Owl, so I’m glad to have the excuse to revisit it by making it The Obelisk Radio‘s Add of the Week. In addition to having the CD and tape up for preorder, LoVerme and Berry have put the EP up for a limited-time-only pay-what-you-will download at the Olde Growth Bandcamp, from whence the following is also hoisted:

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Buried Treasure: Olde Growth’s Tour EP 2012 and the Imperial Impulse

Posted in Buried Treasure on August 27th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

I consider myself pretty progressive, politically speaking. As in all facets of my existence, I’m at very least an opinionated dick. But even though I’ll rant about wealth redistribution and the need for violent uprising among the American working and middle classes against the corporate fascists and right wing demagogues stealing their potential for social advancement and polluting their bodies and minds, there’s still a part of me that gets all imperialist when it comes to limited runs and “I have it and you don’t.”

That being the case, I was all the more stoked when Massachusetts stonerly doom stompers Olde Growth sent over a copy of their Tour EP 2012, a limited-to-50 tape release that they brought with them on their Spring 2012 tour. I almost got to see them on that string of shows (almost-review here), but even though I creeped myself out in the process, the band was kind enough to mail in the last remaining copy of the cassette, along with a CD version of earlier mixes of the tracks that apparently wasn’t ever for sale.

The tape, which is hand decorated as you can see above, is blown way the fuck out. Like, into the next room blown out. Like, went down the street to the deli blown out. I guess when bassist/vocalist Stephen LoVerme and drummer Ryan Berry had James Plotkin master the thing, they didn’t share the info that it was going to be a cassette. I like that about it, but the gnarl is strong in this one, running through each of the four tracks that, though Berry‘s snare is a little high and raw in the mix, sound much clearer on CD.

Apart from the whole appeal of having it, though, I wanted to post about Olde Growth‘s Tour EP 2012 specifically to note the quality of the songs themselves. There are four tracks on the tape — “Brother of the Moon,” “Warrior Child,” “Tears of Blood” and “Edge of the Sea” — and even in relation to their 2010 MeteorCity self-titled debut, growth is evident in their songwriting and overall approach. LoVerme‘s vocals are clearer, and cleaner, the melodies more prevalent, and though the songs are kind of barebones in terms of the recording itself, there’s a natural feel that sounds recorded live, and the songs are almost instantly familiar, the opener and closer being particularly memorable.

There’s noise to bridge the gaps between the cuts, and it you didn’t get the chance to get Tour EP 2012 when Olde Growth were on the road earlier this year, rest easy, as I hear there’s a vinyl release in the works for 2013. One imagines it’ll get a different name between now than then — any one of the four would do for a title-track, though “Brother of the Moon” has a special ring to it — but either way, the EP is a more than suitable follow-up to what was an impressive debut, and something to look out for when it comes to vinyl. In the meantime, I’m stoked to have my nerdly completist greed sated and glad I got to hear these songs.

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Too Old for the House Show

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 26th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

My plan last night was to drive down to New Brunswick to catch a house show of up-and-coming Jersey sludge bands topped off with the final gig of Massachusetts duo Olde Growth‘s most recent tour. Also on the bill were Pharaoh (not to be confused with the trad metal band from Chicago), the previously On the Radar-ized Eternal Fuzz, and Dutchguts, whom I’ve seen kicking around Jersey a couple times and who run the multi-stage basement venue The Meatlocker in Montclair — where Olde Growth played last time they came through.

Being forever in the shadow of NYC as regards actual venues — that is, the second anyone’s big enough to fill a bar, they’re not doing it here anymore — New Jersey has a long tradition of house shows. In the mid to late ’90s, it was how frantic tech metallers The Dillinger Escape Plan and numerous others first cut their teeth, and it’s been the foundation of the state’s obnoxiously/admirably persistent punk rock scene ever since. I wasn’t a part of that scene. Too young. The place where this show was held was just an old house on a wide street full of old houses. They called it The Alamo, and I walked through the side yard and around the back and knew almost immediately I was too old to be there.

I’d left work at six, dropped the dog off at home and driven, hurriedly, an hour south to go to the show. I genuinely wanted to see it. But you gotta understand, these were kids. I played a New Brunswick house show a few years back, but it’s different when you’re not actually in a band, and it was weird. I had my camera bag with me, but as the first band was getting ready to go on — the dude I asked didn’t know their name but said they had the guitar player from Sonofabitch, which didn’t help much — my choice very quickly became clear. I could stand around and be the old guy no one knows at the house show, or I could split. There wasn’t going to be any middle ground.

The year I was born, 1981, is listed as the dividing point between Generation X and the Millennials, but the reality of the situation is, I’ve never felt like I’ve belonged to one generation or another. I turn 31 later this year, and by the time I was a senior in high school, I knew the freshmen were coming from someplace completely different. Most of my youth I spent trying to hang around with people older than me. I sucked at being young. But I never really hit a point where I could relate to the perspective of those older than me either. It’s an awkward middle-ground that feels half a decade on the wrong side of either place. Born too late, born too early.

I don’t have a problem with being too old for the house show. Like I said, I sucked at being young, and so youth — inasmuch as it’s something I’ve “lost” — isn’t something I really miss. Youth had a lot of dire-seeming bullshit that I hated, and everyone treated each other like a motherfucker. But being where I was when I was, I never had a scene like the one growing now in Jersey, and the lesson I learned last night was that at least in the capacity of going to the shows and digging on these bands as they come up and get their footing creatively and in terms of performance, it’s just not going to work. I can support bands the way I do (i.e. writing), but being a part of it, being actually in it and of it, is something I’ve missed out on.

And in another three or four years, assuming they can keep it together, these bands are going to slay. Dutchguts, Pharaoh. I haven’t seen Eternal Fuzz yet, but I can only assume from what I’ve heard on the recording that the same applies. They’re young and arrogant enough to have their discovery of bands like Eyehategod be a natural outcrop of post-hardcore, and not so self-aware yet that they’ve lost their edge. I heard a report on the BBC yesterday that adolescence, that brain development, continues until the age of about 25. If they can make the most of the freedom they have — and especially doing it in an environment where they support and encourage each other, as they seem to be — then New Jersey’s heavy future is bright. I’ll look forward to hearing those records.

But there are things you can do that come with age and things you can’t, and at 30, my needs and my desires aren’t what they were even three years ago, let alone five or 10. I made my way through the house and down the small entranceway to the old basement, a pipe coming down from the already-low ceiling that I had to duck under, and watched that first band for a couple songs. Two guitars, drums, vocals, coming through Sunn heads and a shitty P.A., grooving out slow riffs like they just invented them, and just knew I was in the wrong place. I didn’t even want to take the camera out of my bag to take pictures. I didn’t want to move except to leave. So I left.

Maybe it didn’t matter. I don’t live under the delusion that wherever I go people are automatically paying attention to me, but I stood out and it made me uncomfortable. I was older, I was bigger, and if I wasn’t going to enjoy being there, what’s the point? Everything else sucks, music doesn’t. If going to shows is going to be a pain in my ass, then pretty much I’ve got nothing going for me. I didn’t see the Olde Growth dudes, and I didn’t get to catch Dutchguts, Pharaoh or Eternal Fuzz, as I wish I had, but in that place at that time, it just wasn’t going to work. Whether or not I actually was, I felt like I was intruding.

On my way out, I spoke to Rich Bukowski from Pharaoh for a bit. He was a couple years behind me (of course) at Seton Hall, and I’ve seen him around at shows ever since, so we’re friendly enough to say hey when we run into each other. I told him I envy what’s happening with these bands right now, that I wished it had been going on six years ago, and that I was going home. And then I did. The band inside was just launching into a cover of “Sister Fucker Pt. 1.” I got back in my car, turned on the Yankees, and the dulcet tones of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman provided theatre of the mind for what turned out to be a shitty game as I made my way the hour back north to my humble river valley, where upon arrival I made myself a bowl of cereal, checked my email, and went to bed, kept awake yet for hours by the caffeine I’d ingested prior to heading out in the first place.

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Video Premiere: Olde Growth Unveil Clip for “Sequoia,” Announce Vinyl Release, New Tour Dates

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 13th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Normally I’d hold off posting these dates and this video until I’m back in the States next week, but by then, the tour will have already started, so here we are. Massachusetts thunderduo Olde Growth are hitting the road out through the Midwest and back up the East Coast starting on Sunday, April 15, to herald the forthcoming Hydro-Phonic Records vinyl issue of their 2010 self-titled (review here). The new pressing features a cover by John Trimmer, and the band will be bringing along a limited edition tape of new material on the road.

In addition, they’ve got a new video for the song “Sequoia” that they’ve given me permission to be the first to host. It reminds me of something you would’ve seen on Headbangers Ball at two in the morning in the early ’90s. Dig it:

And here are those shows. Updates will be posted on Olde Growth‘s Thee Facebooks page:

04/15 Wacky Kastle, Allston, MA (email for address with Set, Vaast
04/17 J Watt’s Barista House, Soctia, NY with Yoma
04/18 TBA (help needed) Buffalo/Rochester NY
04/19 The Sco (Oberlin College), Oberlin, OH with Blackout
04/20 Mulligans Pub, Grand Rapids, MI with Ozenza, BerT, Mass Murder Phenomena
04/21 TBA (help needed)
04/22 The Gourley Hole, 1003 W Gourley Pike, Bloomington, IN with Dolphin Mouth, LEGS
04/23 Carabar, Columbus, OH with Traitors Return to Earth, Drose
04/24 222 Sapling Way, Pittsburgh, PA with Low Man, Purge, Us, Erased
04/25 Alamo, New Brunswick, NJ (email for address) with Pharoah, Eternal Fuzz

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