Video Interview: Eddie Brnabic of Hippie Death Cult

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features on July 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

hippie death cult

We’re more than halfway through 2021 by now and nothing else has come down the line to vibe in quite the same way as Hippie Death Cult‘s Circle of Days (review here). Released in May through Heavy Psych Sounds as the follow-up to 2019’s 111 (review here), the components the Portland, Oregon, four-piece put to use are familiar enough — warm tones in the guitar of Eddie Brnabic and the bass of Laura Phillips, steady groove from drummer Ryan Moore, vocal melodies in increasingly complex arrangements from organist/keyboardist Ben Jackson and Phillips, fluid songwriting, etc. — but there’s something intangible about what they conjure on the five-track outing that’s distinct in mood and presentation alike.

Accordingly, since Brnabic (pronounced “brenn-a-bic”) has helmed all the band’s recordings and is the principle songwriter, he seemed likeHippie Death Cult Circle of Days the cat to hit up for a discussion about making Circle of Days both as a producer and an artist involved in the baseline creative process. Turned out he was. The conversation was initially mired in technical difficulties — it’s amazing that “crappy connection” has continued to be a theme throughout decades and generations of communication technologies, from “Mabel can you put me through to Klondike-609” to “Let me send you a new Zoom link, hang on,” but here we are — but Brnabic‘s personality actually mirrors the style of Hippie Death Cult in its subdued engagement. Neither performer nor group is a full-on blowout, but both offer an assurance of purpose and a subtlety. With the songs of Circle of Days, even the drift feels heavy.

Brnabic discusses digging deep into the tracks during the writing, digging deep into tones during the recording under pandemic lockdown, and puts that against the process of making 111, which as he tells it was essentially the band’s demo cuts put together as an album. Fair enough. One way or the other, the work done in making Circle of Days what it is shows a dedication to craft that is both structural and atmospheric, audience-considerate while in search of its own breadth and progressive boundaries yet to be discovered. Hippie Death Cult are already jamming new songs even as they look to embark on a West Coast tour supporting the current album, their release show for which was canceled in May, resulting in their playing a last-minute rooftop set at their practice space instead.

Well of course I wanted to talk about that too.

Interview follows here. Please enjoy:

Hippie Death Cult, Circle of Days Interview with Eddie Brnabic, July 27, 2021

Hippie Death Cult‘s Circle of Days is available to order through Heavy Psych Sounds. West Coast tour dates follow, including Psycho Las Vegas and Crucialfest X. More info and whatnot at the links.

Hippie Death Cult West Coast tour:
8/14 Portland, OR – Star Theater
8/17 Nevada City, CA – The Brick Venue
8/18 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
8/20 Psycho Las Vegas , NV – Mandalay Bay
8/23 Tempe, AZ – Yucca Tap Room
8/24 Albuquerque, NM – @monolithonthemesa
8/25 Denver, CO – Hi-Dive Denver
8/27 Salt Lake City, UT – Crucialfest 10
8/28 Boise, ID – Neurolux

Hippie Death Cult, Rooftop Show in Portland, OR, May 22, 2021

Hippie Death Cult, Circle of Days (2021)

Hippie Death Cult on Bandcamp

Hippie Death Cult on Instagram

Hippie Death Cult on Facebook

Hippie Death Cult on Soundcloud

Hippie Death Cult website

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

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Quarterly Review: Per Wiberg, Body Void, Ghorot, Methadone Skies, Witchrot, Rat King, Taras Bulba, Opium Owl, Kvasir, Lurcher

Posted in Reviews on July 16th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

In my hubris of adding an 11th day to this Summer 2021 Quarterly Review — why not just do the whole month of July, bro? what’s the matter? don’t like riffs? — I’ve rendered today somewhat less of a landmark, but I guess there’s still some accomplishment to be felt in completing two full weeks of writing about 10 records a day, hitting triple digits and all that. Not that I doubted I’d get here — it’s rare but it’s happened before — and not that I doubt I’ll have the last 10 done for Monday, but yeah. It’s been a trip so far.

Quarterly Review #91-100:

Per Wiberg, All Is Well In the Land of the Living But for the Rest of Us… Lights Out

per wiberg all is well in the land of the living but for the rest of us lights out

The cumbersome-seeming title of Per Wiberg‘s new solo EP derives from its four component tracks, “All is Well,” “In the Land of the Living,” “But for the Rest of Us…” and “Lights Out.” The flow between them is largely seamless, and when Wiberg (whose pedigree as an organist/keyboardist includes Opeth, Candlemass, Big Scenic Nowhere and more others than I can count) pauses between tracks two and three, it feels likewise purposeful. It’s a dark mood inflected through the melodies of the opener and the atmospheric piano lines of “But for the Rest of Us…,” but Wiberg offers a driving take on progressive heavy rock with “In the Land of the Living” and the build in the subsequent “Lights Out” is encompassing with the lead-in it’s given. Wiberg sounds more comfortable layering his voice than even on 2019’s Head Without Eyes, and his arrangements are likewise expressive and fluid. Dude is a professional. I think maybe that’s part of the reason everybody wants to work with him.

Per Wiberg on Facebook

Despotz Records website

 

Body Void, Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth

Body Void Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth

Massive, droning lurch, harsh, biting screams and lumbering, pummeling weight, Body Void‘s third album and first for Prosthetic, Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth, boasts feelgood hits like “Wound” and “Laying Down in a Forest Fire,” bringing cacophonous, Khanate-style extremity of atmosphere to willfully, punishingly brutal sludge. It is not friendly. It is devastating, and it is the kind of record that sounds loud even when you play it quietly — and that’s before you get to “Pale Man”‘s added layers of caustic noise. Front to back in the four songs — all of which top 12 minutes — there’s no letup, no moment at which the duo relent in order to let the listener breathe. This is intentional. A conjuring of aural concrete in the lungs coinciding with striking lines like “Your compromises are hollow monuments to your cowardice” and other bleak, throatripping poetry of dead things and our complicity in making them. Righteous and painful.

Body Void on Facebook

Prosthetic Records website

 

Ghorot, Loss of Light

ghorot loss of light

Ghorot is the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Carson Russell (also Ealdor Bealu), drummer/vocalist Brandon Walker and guitarist Chad Remains (ex-Uzala), and Loss of Light is a debut album no less gripping for its push into darkness, whether it’s the almost-toying-with-you Sabbath-style riff of “Harbinger” or the tortured atmospherics in the back end of “Charioteer of Fire,” which follows. Competing impulses result in a sense of grueling even through the barks and faster progression of “Woven Furnace,” while “Dead Gods” offers precious little mourning in its charred deathsludge, saving more ambience for the 12-minute closer “In Endless Grief,” which not only veers into acoustics, but nods toward post-metal later on, despite holding firm to cavernous growls and wails. Obscure? Opaque? There isn’t a way in which Loss of Light isn’t heavy. Everywhere they go, Ghorot carry that weight with them. It is existential.

Ghorot on Facebook

Transylvanian Recordings on Bandcamp

Inverse Records on Bandcamp

 

Methadone Skies, Retrofuture Caveman

methadone skies retrofuture caveman

Lush from the outset and growing richer in aural substance as it plays out, the 17:56 longest/opening (immediate points) title-track of Methadone Skies‘ latest work, Retrofuture Caveman, is an obviously intended focal point, and a worthy one at that. Last heard from with 2019’s Different Layers of Fear (review here), the Romanian four-piece break down walls across the bulk of this fifth full-length, with “Retrofuture Caveman” itself setting the standard early in moving instrumentally between warm heavy psychedelia, prog, drone, doom and darker black metal. It’s prog heavy that ultimately wins the day on the subsequent linear build of “Infected by Friendship” and centerpiece “The Enabler,” but there’s room for more lumber in the 11-mminute “Western Luv ’67” and closer “When the Sleeper Awakens” offers playful shove riffing in its midsection before a final stretch of quiet guitar leads to a last-minute volume burst, no less consuming or sprawling than anything before, even if it feels like it finishes too soon.

Methadone Skies on Facebook

Methadone Skies on Bandcamp

 

Witchrot, Hollow

witchrot hollow

Stood out by the gotta-hear bass tone of Cam Alford, the ethereal-or-shouting-and-sometimes-both vocals of Lea Reto, the crash of Nick Kervin‘s drums and the encompassing wah of Peter Turik‘s guitar, Toronto’s Witchrot offer a striking debut with their awaited first full-length, Hollow, oozing out through opener/longest track (immediate points) “Million Shattered Swords” before the stomping wash of “Colder Hands” sacrifices itself on an altar of noise, leading to the more directly-riffed “Spiral of Sorrow,” which nonetheless maintains the atmosphere. Things get noisier and harsher in the second half of Hollow, which is presaged in the plod of “Fog,” but as things grow more restless and angrier after “Devil in My Eyes” and move into the pair “Burn Me Down” and “I Know My Enemy,” both faster, like blown-out Year of the Cobra toying with punk rock and grunge, Witchrot grow stronger for the shift by becoming less predictable, setting up the atmospheric plunge of the closing title-track that finishes one of 2021’s most satisfying debut albums.

Witchrot on Facebook

Fuzzed and Buzzed Records website

DHU Records store

 

Rat King, Omen

Rat King Omen

Omen is the first long-player from Evansville, Indiana, four-piece Rat King, who use rawness to their advantage throughout the nine included tracks, at least one of which — “Supernova” — dates back to being released as a single in 2017. With manipulated horror samples and interludes like the acoustic “Queen Anne’s Revenge” and “Shackleton” and the concluding “Matryoshka” spliced throughout the otherwise deep-toned and weighted fare of “Capsizer” and the chugging, pushing, scream-laced “Druid Crusher,” Omen never quite settles on a single approach and is more enticing for that, though the eight-minute “Vagrant” could well be a sign of things to come in its melodic reach, but the band revel in the grittier elements at work here as well — the thunderplod of “Glacier,” the willful drag of “Nepenta Divinorum,” and so on — and the ambience they create is dreary and obscure in a way that comes across as purposeful. Is Omen a foreshadow or just the name of a movie they dig? I don’t know, but I hope it’s not too long before we find out.

Rat King on Facebook

Rat King store

 

Taras Bulba, Sometimes the Night

Taras Bulba Sometimes the Night

What was Earthling Society continues to evolve into Taras Bulba at the behest of Fleetwood, UK’s Fred Laird. Sometimes the Night (on Riot Season) is a mostly solo affair, and truth be told, Laird doesn’t need much more than his own impulses to conjure a full-sounding record, as he quickly shows on the acid lounge opener “The Green Eyes of Dragon,” but the guest vocals from Daisy Atkinson bring echoing presence to the subsequent “Orphee” and Mike Blatchford‘s late-arriving sax on “The Sound of Waves,” “The Big Duvall” and “House in the Snow” highlight the jazzy underpinnings of the organ-laced “Night Train to Drug Town” and the avant, anti-anything guitar strum and piano strikes of “One More Lonely Angel.” No harm done, in any case, unless we’re talking about the common conception of what a song is, and hey, if it didn’t need to happen, it wouldn’t have. An experiment in vibe, perhaps, in psychedelic brooding, but evocative for that. Laird‘s no stranger to following whims. Here they lead to moodier space.

Taras Bulba on Facebook

Riot Season Records website

 

Opium Owl, Live at Hodila Records

Opium Owl Live at Hodila Records

I’ll admit, there’s a part of me that, when “Intro” hits its sudden forward surge, kind of wishes Opium Owl had kept it mellow. Nonetheless, the Riga, Latvia-based double-guitar (mostly) instrumental heavy psych four-piece offer plenty of serenity throughout the four-song live set Live at Hodila Records, and the back and forth patterning of the subsequent “Echo Slam” is all the more effective at winning conversion, so fair enough. “Stone Gaze” dips into even bigger riffage, while “Tempest Double” dares vocals over its quieter noodling, dispensing with them as it pushes louder toward the finish. For a live recording, the sound is rich enough to convey what would seem to be the full warmth of Opium Owl‘s tonality, and in its breadth and its impact, there’s no lack of studio-fullness for the session-style presentation. Live at Hodila Records may be formative in terms of establishing the methods with which the band — who formed in 2019 — will continue to work, but showcases significant promise in that.

Opium Owl on Facebook

Hodila Records on Facebook

 

Kvasir, 4

kvasir 4

Doled out with chops to spare and the swagger to show them off, Kvasir‘s eight-song debut LP, 4, puts modern heavy rock riffing in blender and sets it on high. Classic, epic heavy in “Where Gods to to Pray” and a more nodding groove in “Authenticity & the Illusion of Enough” meet with the funkier starts-stops of “Slow Death of Life” and the languid Sabbathism of “Earthly Algorithms.” “Chill for a Church” opens side B with trashier urgency and suitable rhythmic twist, and “The Brink” sets its depressive lyric to a ’70s boogie swing, not quite masking it, but working as a flowing companion piece for “The Black Mailbox,” which follows in like-minded fashion, letting closer “Alchemy of Identity” underscore the point with a rawer take on what once made The Sword so undeniable in their groove. There’s growing to do, patience to learn, etc., but Kvasir make it easy to get on board with 4 and their arguments for doing so brook little contradiction. Onto the list of 2021’s best debut albums it goes.

Kvasir on Facebook

Glory or Death Records on Bandcamp

 

Lurcher, Coma

lurcher coma

Lurcher might go full-prog before they’re done, but they’re not their yet on their four-song debut EP, Coma, and the songs only benefit from the band’s focus on impact and lack of self-indulgence. The leadoff title-track has an immediate hook that brings to mind an updated, tonally-heavier version of what Cave In innovated for melodic post-hardcore, and the subsequent “Remove the Myth From the Mountain” follows with a broader-sounding reach in its later solo that builds on the heavy rock foundation the first half of the song put forth. Vocalist/guitarist Joe Harvatt — backed by the rhythm section of bassist Tom Shortt and drummer Simon Bonwick — is prone, then, to a bit of shred. No argument as that’s answered with the Hendrix fuzz at the outset of “All Now is Here,” which both gets way-loud and drones way-out in its seven minutes, in turn setting up the lush-and-still-hard-hitting capper “Cross to Bear,” which rounds off the 26-minute release with all the more encouraging shifts in tempo, flowing melody, and mellotron sounds to add to the sweeping drama. I know the UK underground is hyper-crowded at this point, but consider notice served. These cats are onto something.

Lurcher on Instagram

Trepanation Recordings on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Geezer, Spaceslug, Expo Seventy, Boss Keloid, Bong-Ra, Zebu, Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel, LáGoon, Maha Sohona, The Bad Sugar Rush

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

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

Oh my breaking heart as we move into day seven of the Summer 2021 Quarterly Review and I am reminded that the wages of hubris are feeling like a dumbass later. I was loading up my laptop on Saturday — so pleased with how ahead-of-the-game I was able to stay all last week — when the thing decided it was gonna give itself some time off one way or the other.

I dropped it for repair about 20 minutes before the guy I’ve come to trust was closing shop. He said he’d be in touch on Monday. Needless to say, I’m on my backup cheapie Chromebook, reviewing off Bandcamp streams, eagerly awaiting that call which I can only hope has come in by the time this is posted. I’ll keep you in the loop, of course, but putting together the reviews for yesterday? That was not pretty.

I expressly thank The Patient Mrs., through whom all things are possible.

Onward.

Quarterly Review #61-70:

Geezer, Solstice

Geezer Solstice

Geezer‘s ambition could hardly be clearer in their 17-minute “Solstice” jam. It was the Solstice — Winter 2020, to be specific — and the Kingston, New York, trio jammed. Guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington (who doesn’t sing on the track) added some dreamy synth after the fact, and the affect is all the more hypnotic for it. Harrington, bassist Richie Touseull and drummer Steve Markota are no strangers to exploratory fare, as they showed on 2020’s righteous Groovy (review here), and as a Bandcamp Friday-era stopgap offering, “Solstice” brings a sampling of who they are in the rehearsal space, willing to be heavy, willing to not, ready to go where the music leads them. If Geezer wanted to do a whole full-length like this, I wouldn’t fight them, so you most definitely will not find me arguing against a digital single either. With jams this tasty, you take what you can get.

Geezer on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Spaceslug, The Event Horizon

spaceslug the event horizon

Issued less as a stopgap, which a digital-only single might normally be, than as a response to the band having lost gear in a practice space flood, the 8:52 single-song outing The Event Horizon was recorded at the same time as Spaceslug‘s late 2020 EP The Leftovers (review here) and in a way acts to bridge the melancholy beyond-genre push of that release with the more weighted, spacious roll that has typified the Polish outfit’s work to-date — their latest full-length was 2019’s Reign of the Orion (review here), and they recently finished a new one. So perhaps “The Event Horizon,” with its hypnotically languid rhythm and concluding drift, is a stopgap after all, but between helping the band recoup their losses and thinking of what might be coming next, it’s an exciting if not-unalloyed listening experience, and the three-piece move deeper into a signature sound even as they continue to bring the definition of what that means to new places.

Spaceslug on Thee Facebooks

Spaceslug on Bandcamp

 

Expo Seventy, Evolution

Expo Seventy Evolution

Creating sometimes-scorching, droning psychedelic soundtracks to all your favorite classic sci-fi films that never existed, Kansas City’s Expo Seventy offer a call to worship for freaks and converted heads on their new album, Evolution. Still headed by guitarist James Wright as on late-2016’s America Here and Now Sessions (review here), the band offer new glories celestial and terrestrial instrumental chemistry throughout the six tracks (seven on the CD) of Evolution, lumbering away on “Echoes of Ether” only after floating in brass-section antigrav conditions on “The Slow Death of Tomorrow.” Can you hang? You’ll know one way or the other as the culminating duo “Second Vision, First Sight” and “First Vision, Second Sight” are done with you, having altered dimensions so thoroughly that the ethereal will either come to feel like home or you will simply have melted. In any case, lash yourself to it. Own that shit.

Expo Seventy on Facebook

Essence Music on Bandcamp

 

Boss Keloid, Family the Smiling Thrush

boss kelod family the smiling thrush

Peak-era Faith No More reborn in progressive heavy fuzz? What stoner rock might’ve been if it went to college instead of spending all that time hanging around talking about old cars? I don’t know where UK four-piece Boss Keloid ultimately stand on their admirable fifth LP, Family the Smiling Thrush — the follow-up to 2018’s also-well-received Melted on the Inch (review here) — but they most certainly stand on their own. Across seven tracks, the band careen, crash, lumber, rush and ponder — lyrics no less worth a close read than any other component — and from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Orang of Noyn” on, they make it abundantly clear that their style’s unpredictability is an asset, and that just because you might not know where they’re going next doesn’t mean they don’t. Melodic, complex and cerebral, there’s still a human presence here, a sense of a plan unfolding, that makes the album seem all the more masterful.

Boss Keloid on Facebook

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Bong-Ra, Antediluvian

BONG-RA Antediluvian

Though it’s ultimately less electric-kool-aid than endless-churning-abyss-with-psychdelic-saxophone-screaming-up-at-you-like-free-jazz-trapped-in-the-downward-tonal-spiral, Bong-Ra‘s four-tracker Antediluvian is duly experimentalist in being born out of the mind of Jason Köhnen, whose work on this project not only extends more than 20 years, but who has been a part of landmark Dutch outfits like Celestial Season, The Kilmanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation, among scores of others. The procession on this full-length, originally released in 2018 through Svart Lava, is wild times indeed, but immersive despite feeling at times like a litmus for how much you can take, with Köhnen‘s bass/keys/etc. and Balazs Pandi‘s drums meeting with Colin Webster‘s saxophone and Chloe Herrington‘s bassoon, willfully plodding through long-ish form improv-seeming movements of atmospheric heft creation.

Jason Köhnen website

Tartarus Records store

 

Zebu, Reek of the Parvenu

zebu reek of the parvenu

A coherent and forceful debut full-length, Reek of the Parvenu quickly shows the metallic undercurrent from Athens-based four-piece Zebu on opener “The Setting Dust,” and pushes from there in groove metal fashion, taking some impulses from heavy rock but holding largely to a central aggressive stance and tension in the rhythm that is a backdrop even as the later “Nature of Failure” breaks from its chugging shove for a quieter stretch. That is to say, the next punch is always coming, and Zebu‘s blows are effectively delivered — looking at you, “Burden” — though some of the slower, sludgier cuts like “Our Shame” or the doomier finale “The City” bring a welcome atmosphere to go with the coinciding burl. I’m not sure if “People Under the Stairs” wants to kick my ass or crack a beer, but the songwriting is air tight and the thrashy threat only contributes to the immediacy of the release on the whole. They’re not screwing around.

Zebu on Facebook

Zebu on Bandcamp

 

Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel, Polaris

Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel Polaris

It’s been 11 years since France’s Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel debuted with Soundtrack From the Motion Picture (review here), an engaging, kind of silly play on stoner rock and B-movie tropes. Beneath that, however, it was also a concept album, and the band — who now seem to prefer LDDSM for a moniker — still work from that foundation on their fourth full-length, Polaris. The difference scope and sonic maturity. Rife with vocal harmonies and progressive flourish, the 10-track answer to 2016’s Human Collapse (review here) smoothly shifts between the patient and the urgent, the intimate and the grand — and that’s in the first two minutes of “Blue Giant” alone — finding their way into a proggy post-heavy rock that’s too clearheaded to be psychedelic, but that balances the crunch of “Horizon” with a sense of the otherworldly just the same.

Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel on Facebook

Klonosphere Records website

 

LáGoon, Skullactic Visions

LáGoon skullactic visions

With their fourth long-player, guitarist/vocalist Anthony Gaglia and drummer Brady Maurer of Portland, Oregon’s LáGoon welcome bassist Kenny Combs to the fold and dive as a trio — their first three-piece outing was last year’s Father of Death EP — headfirst into murky riffing and heady heavy rock, made all the more spacious through cavern echo and the garage doom vocals Gaglia brings on the title-track, as well as the synth that surfaces on the subsequent interlude “Buried” and elsewhere throughout. The earlier “Beyond the Trees” is particularly bleak and otherworldly, but I won’t take away from the further-down procession of “Hill Bomb” and “The Slow Down” into “Final Ride,” the last of which closes out with scummer doom that’s familiar but distinct enough to be their own. There are moments on Skullactic Visions where, for as much as they could sound like Electric Wizard given the ingredients, I’m all the gladder they don’t.

LaGoon on Facebook

Interstellar Smoke Records webstore

Forbidden Place Records on Bandcamp

 

Maha Sohona, Endless Searcher

Maha Sohona endless searcher

Maha Sohona‘s second album comes some seven years after their self-titled debut, but who cares about time when you’ve got your headphones on and you’re surrounded by the richness of tone on offer throughout Endless Searcher‘s five rolling tracks? Heavy and laid back, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Johan Bernhardtson, bassist Thomas Hedlund and drummer David Lundsten finding some kinship with Polish three-piece Spaceslug in their post-Sungrazer blend of weight and flow, a jam like “Luftslot” nodding and conjuring depth even as it soars. Can’t argue with the quicker push of “A Black Star” or the purposefully straightforward “Scavengers” (where the title-line is delivered) but some of the mellow moments in opener “Leaves” and especially the building instrumental finisher “Orbit X” are even more satisfying for how effectively they move you place to place almost without your realizing it. I’ve got nothing for you if you can’t dig this vibe.

Maha Sohona on Facebook

Made of Stone Recordings on Bandcamp

 

The Bad Sugar Rush, Liar/Push Me

The Bad Sugar Rush Liar Push Me

Keen observers will recognize The Bad Sugar Rush vocalist René Hofmann from his work with Wight, but the work here alongside guitarist Josko Joke-Tovic, bassist Minyeong Fischer and drummer Peter Zettl is distinct from that other unit here, even as the Humble Pie-esque “Push Me” and semi-sleeze “Liar” both have some shade of funk to their procession. Both cuts circa four minutes makes for a suitable debut 7″ with respected purveyor H42 Records doing the honors, and the results are an encouragingly catchy display of what a first full-length might accomplish when and however such a thing emerges. There’s classic heavy rock as the foundation, but more than outright ’70s worship — though some of that too — it’s the organic feel of the songs that leaves an impression on the listener, though the background singers on “Push Me” don’t hurt in that regard, certainly. An auspicious and intriguind first showing.

The Bad Sugar Rush on Facebook

H42 Records website

 

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Quarterly Review: Howling Giant, Rose City Band, The Tazers, Kavrila, Gateway, Bala, Tremor Ama, The Crooked Whispers, No Stone, Firefriend

Posted in Reviews on July 9th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

You know what? We’re through the first week of the Quarterly Review as of this post. Not too bad. I feel like it’s been smooth going so far to such a degree that I’m even thinking about adding an 11th day comprised purely of releases that came my way this week and will invariably come in next week too. Crazy, right? Bonus day QR. We’ll see if I get there, but I’m thinking about it. That alone should tell you something.

But let me not get ahead of myself. Day five commence.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Howling Giant, Alteration

howling giant alteration

Let the story be that when the pandemic hit, Nashville’s Howling Giant took to the airwaves to provide comfort, character and a bit of ‘home’ — if one thinks of live performance as home — to their audience. With a steady schedule of various live streams on Twitch, some playing music, some playing D&D, the band engaged their listenership in a new and exciting way, finding a rare bright point in one of the darkest years of recent history. Alteration, a crisp four-song/20-minute EP, is born out of those streamed jams, with songs named by the band’s viewers/listeners — kudos to whoever came up with “Luring Alluring Rings” — and, being entirely instrumental from a band growing more and more focused on vocal arrangements, sound more like they’re on their way to being finished than are completely done. However, that’s also the point of the release, essentially to showcase unfinished works in progress that have emerged in a manner that nobody expected. It is another example from last year-plus that proves the persistence of creativity, and is all the more beautiful for that.

Howling Giant on Facebook

Blues Funeral Recordings website

 

Rose City Band, Earth Trip

Rose City Band Earth Trip

Vaguely lysergic, twanging with a non-chestbeating or jingoistic ’70s American singer-songwriter feel, Rose City Band‘s Earth Trip brings sentiment without bitterness in its songs, engaging as the title hints with nature in songs like “Silver Roses,” “In the Rain,” “Lonely Planes,” “Ramblin’ with the Day,” “Rabbit” and “Dawn Patrol.” An outlet for Ripley Johnson, also of Wooden Shjips and Moon Duo, the “band” isn’t so much in Rose City Band, but there is some collaboration — pedal steel here and there, as on “Ramblin’ with the Day” — though it’s very much Johnson‘s own craft and performance at the core of this eight-song set. This is the third Rose City Band long-player in three years, but quickly as it may have come about, the tracks never feel rushed — hushed, if anything — and Johnson effectively casts himself in among the organic throughout the proceedings, making the listener feel nothing if not welcome to join the ramble.

Rose City Band on Facebook

Thrill Jockey Records website

 

The Tazers, Dream Machine

The Tazers Dream Machine

Johannesburg, South Africa’s The Tazers are suited to a short-release format, as their Dream Machine EP shows, bringing together four tracks with psychedelic precociousness and garage rock attitude to spare, with just an edge of classic heavy to keep things grooving. Their latest work opens with its languid and lysergic title-track, which sets up the shove of “Go Away” and the shuffle in “Lonely Road” — both under three and a half minutes long, with nary a wasted second in them, despite sounding purposefully like tossoffs — and the latter skirts the line of coming undone, but doesn’t, of course, but in the meantime sets up the almost proto-New Wave in the early going on “Around Town,” only later to give way to the band’s most engaging melody and a deceptively patient, gentle finish, which considering some of the brashness in the earlier tracks is a surprise. A pleasant one, though, and not the first the three-piece have brought forth by the time they get to the end of Dream Machine‘s ultra-listenable 16-minute run.

The Tazers on Facebook

The Tazers on Soundcloud

 

Kavrila, Rituals III

Kavrila Rituals III

Pressed in an ultra-limited edition of 34 tapes (the physical version also has a bonus track), Kavrila‘s Rituals III brings together about 16 minutes of heavy hardcore and post-hardcore, a thickened undertone giving something of a darker mood to the crunch of “Equality” as guitars are layered in subtly in a higher register, feeding into the urgency without competing with the drums or vocals. Opener “Sunday” works at more of a rush while “Longing” has more of a lurch at least to its outset before gradually elbowing its way into a more careening groove, but the bridge being built is between sludge and hardcore, and while the four-piece aren’t the first to build it, they do well here. If we’re picking highlights, closer “Elysium” has deft movement, intensity and atmosphere in kind, and still features a vocal rawness that pushes the emotional crux between the verses and choruses to make the transitions that much smoother. The ending fades out early behind those shouts, leaving the vocals stranded, calling out the song’s title into a stark emptiness.

Kavrila on Facebook

The Chinaskian Conspiracy on Bandcamp

 

Gateway, Flesh Reborn

gateway flesh reborn

Brutal rebirth. Robin Van Oyen is the lone figure behind Bruges, Belgium-based death-doom outfit Gateway, and Flesh Reborn is his first EP in three years. Marked out with guest guitar solos by M., the four-track/25-minute offering keeps its concentration on atmosphere as much as raw punishment, and while one would be correct to call it ‘extreme’ in its purpose and execution, its deathliest aspects aren’t just the growling vocals or periods of intense blast, but the wash of distortion that lays over the offering as a whole, from “Hel” through “Slumbering Crevasses,” the suitably twisting, later lurching “Rack Crawler” and the grandeur-in-filth 12-minute closing title-track, at which point the fullness of the consumption is revealed at last. Unbridled as it seems, this material is not without purpose and is not haphazard. It is the statement it intends to be, and its depths are shown to be significant as Van Oyen pulls you further down into them with each passing moment, finally leaving you there amid residual drone.

Gateway on Facebook

Chaos Records website

 

Bala, Maleza

Bala Maleza

Admirably punk in its dexterity, Bala‘s debut album, Maleza, arrives as a nine-track pummelfest from the Spanish duo of guitarist/vocalist Anx and drummer/vocalist V., thickened with sludgy intent and aggression to spare. The starts and stops of opener “Agitar” provide a noise-rock-style opening that hints at the tonal push to come throughout “Hoy No” — the verse melody of which seems to reinvent The Bangles — while the subsequent “X” reaches into greater breadth, vocals layered effectively as a preface perhaps to the later grunge of “Riuais,” which arrives ahead of the swaggering riff and harsh sneer of “Bessie” the lumbering finale “Una Silva.” Whether brooding in “Quieres Entrar” or explosive in its shove in “Cien Obstaculos,” Maleza offers stage-style energy with clarity of vision and enough chaos to make the anger feel genuine. There’s apparently some hype behind Bala, and fair enough, but this is legitimately one of the best debut albums I’ve heard in 2021.

Bala on Facebook

Century Media Records website

 

Tremor Ama, Beneath

Tremor Ama Beneath

French prog-fuzz five-piece Tremor Ama make a coherent and engaging debut with Beneath, a first full-length following up a 2017 self-titled EP release. Spacious guitar leads the way through the three-minute intro “Ab Initio” and into the subsequent “Green Fire,” giving a patient launch to the outing, the ensuing four songs of which grow shorter as they go behind that nine-minute “Green Fire” stretch. There’s room for ambience and intensity both in centerpiece “Eclipse,” with vocals echoing out over the building second half, and both “Mirrors” and “Grey” offer their moments of surge as well, the latter tapping into a roll that should have fans of Forming the Void nodding both to the groove and in general approval. Effectively tipping the balance in their sound over the course of the album as a whole, Tremor Ama showcase an all-the-more thoughtful approach in this debut, and at 30 minutes, they still get out well ahead of feeling overly indulgent or losing sight of their overarching mission.

Tremor Ama on Facebook

Tremor Ama on Bandcamp

 

The Crooked Whispers, Dead Moon Night

The Crooked Whispers Dead Moon Night

Delivered on multiple formats including as a 12″ vinyl through Regain Records offshoot Helter Skelter Productions, the bleary cultistry of The Crooked Whispers‘ two-songer Dead Moon Night also finds the Los Angeles-based outfit recently picked up by Ripple Music. If it seems everybody wants a piece of The Crooked Whispers, that’s fair enough for the blend of murk, sludge and charred devil worship the foursome offer with “Hail Darkness” and the even more gruesome “Galaxy of Terror,” taking the garage-doom rawness of Uncle Acid and setting against a less Beatlesian backdrop, trading pop hooks for classic doom riffing on the second track, flourishing in its misery as it is. At just 11 minutes long — that’s less than a minute for each inch of the vinyl! — Dead Moon Night is a grim forecast of things to come for the band’s deathly revelry, already showcased too on last year’s debut, Satanic Whispers (review here).

The Crooked Whispers on Facebook

Regain Records on Bandcamp

 

No Stone, Road into the Darkness

No Stone Road into the Darkness

Schooled, oldschool doom rock for denim-clad heads as foggy as the distortion they present, No Stone‘s debut album, Road into the Darkness, sounds like they already got there. The Rosario, Argentina, trio tap into some Uncle Acid-style garage doom vibes on “The Frayed Endings,” but the crash is harder, and the later 10-minute title-track delves deeper into psychedelia and grunge in kind, resulting in an overarching spirit that’s too weird to be anything but individual, however mmuch it might still firmly reside within the tenets of “cult.” If you were the type to chase down a patch, you might want to chase down a No Stone patch, as “Devil Behind” makes its barebones production feel like an aesthetic choice to offset the boogie to come in “Shadow No More,” and from post-intro opener “Bewitched” to the long fade of “The Sky is Burning,” No Stone balance atmosphere and songcraft in such a way as to herald future progress along this morose path. Maybe they are just getting on the road into the darkness, but they seem to be bringing that darkness with them on the way.

No Stone on Facebook

Ruidoteka Records on Bandcamp

 

Firefriend, Dead Icons

Firefriend Dead Icons

Dead Icons is the sixth full-length from Brazilian psychedelic outfit Firefriend, and throughout its 10 songs and 44 minutes, the band proffer marked shoegaze-style chill and a sense of space, fuzzy and molten in “Hexagonal Mess,” more desert-hued in “Spin,” jangly and out for a march on “Ongoing Crash.” “Home or Exile” takes on that question with due reach, and “Waves” caps with organ alongside the languid guitar, but moments like “Tomorrow” are singular and gorgeous, and though “Three Dimensional Sound Glitch” and “666 Fifth Avenue” border on playful, there’s an overarching melancholy to the flow, as engaging as it is. In its longest pieces — “Tomorrow” (6:05) and “One Thousand Miles High” (5:08) — the “extra” time is well spent in extending the trio’s reach, and while it’s safe to assume that six self-recorded LPs later, Firefriend know what they want to do with their sound, that thing feels amorphous, fleeting, transient somehow here, like a moving target. That speaks to ongoing growth, and is just one of Dead Icons‘ many strengths.

Firefriend on Facebook

Cardinal Fuzz store

Little Cloud Records store

 

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Robots of the Ancient World Premiere “Out of the Gallows” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 7th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

robots of the ancient world (Photo by Eddie Brnabic)

Portland, Oregon’s Robots of the Ancient World released their second album, Mystic Goddess, on May 21 through Small Stone Records and Kozmik Artifactz. And while it’s immediately notable that the five-piece worked with producer/legend Jack Endino (and Mikel Perkins) on the recording of this follow-up to their 2019 debut, Cosmic Riders, having solidified their lineup in the interim, what’s even more notable as one makes the trip through the eight-track/42-minute outing is the cross-microgenre stylistic melange with which the band is working.

There are certainly uniting factors in the guitars of Nico Schmutz and Justin Laubscher, the Doors-via-Danzig (Doorzig?) vocal style of Caleb Weidenbach that tops the rolling, fluid groove of bassist Trevor Berecek and drummer Harry Silvers, but the open creative spirit is palpable, from the low-end centered sway and epic-tales vibe of the opening title-track through “Wasteland”‘s heavy blues also nodding to Kadavar in its vocal melody, on down through the willful plunge into doom of the 10-minute “Lucifyre” — a penultimate track swaying along to its own languid bassline, rife with trippy leads, shouts of its title and a long noise-and-sample finish (David Icke, who was booted from social media last year for spreading COVID-19 misinformation) followed only by the CD/DL-only acoustic-into-grunge-riffed closer “Ordo ab Chao,” which asks the question “Who do you think you are?” less as a challenge than a genuine query of how one sees oneself in the universe. As that song, and the album, finishes like a raw, minus-harmonies outtake from Sap, one can’t help but wonder indeed how Robots of the Ancient World might answer the question.

Perhaps they’d be so brazen as to think they’re themselves. That’s how Mystic Goddess ultimately makes it sound, robots of the ancient world mystic goddesswhatever elements they may smash together in the Hadron collider of a bluesy, wah-infused cut like “Agua Caliente” to get there. The unmitigated Pacific Northwest janga-janga stonerly chug of “Out of the Gallows” — which, oh, hey, just happens to have a video premiering below — betrays the secret of the ooze in its bassy righteousness. If Robots of the Ancient World are the rock ’em sock ’em type, it’s the low end providing the force behind their punches. So be it as “Unholy Trinity” opens side B with a darker and more atmospheric turn, still lumbering rock, drunken swagger and so on, but culminating with more foreboding heft in preface for what’s to come after the don’t-mind-us-we’re-just-gonna-sneak-in-this-tambourine-party “MK Ultra Violence” is there and gone in three and a half minutes and “Lucifyre” takes hold.

The word is “dynamic,” but the band’s mission isn’t just to put together parts in a this-sounds-like-this-and-this-sounds-like-that succession of new and old stylistic references, and neither are they tucked in that prodigious, riff-filled corner of the US without purpose behind their craft. I wouldn’t call what they do progressive if only for the level of self-indulgence that automatically implies, but there is underlying thought even to their bluesiest, loosest-seeming moments, a willful letting go that makes a forward charge like “Out of the Gallows” that much richer. It’s rock and roll, kids. Mystic Goddess alights on a whole bunch of this and that aesthetically, and they do it well, but to miss the preach of rock and roll is to miss the point entirely.

Check out the aforementioned video for “Out of the Gallows” below — one can’t help but be reminded of Axl Rose‘s disappearing t-shirt in “Welcome to the Jungle” while watching the sunglasses come and go from Weidenbach‘s face — and dig into the full album stream after the PR wire info, which has more about the recording.

Most of all, enjoy:

Robots of the Ancient World, “Out of the Gallows” official video premiere

ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD entered Seattle’s Soundhouse Studios in February 2020 to record with Jack Endino, famed sonic architect of the grunge revolution, and his longtime protégé Mikel Perkins. They emerged through the wormhole with Mystic Goddess, a forty-three-minute hallucinatory sound excursion through a wide range of styles that keeps listeners engaged while never losing focus or sacrificing flow.

“Raw, powerful, no nonsense production is what we were seeking,” says guitarist Justin Laubscher. After connecting with Endino through a friend and veteran of the grunge wars, Laubscher says the band “scraped up every nickel we could and went for it.”

Recorded, mixed, and mastered in six days, Mystic Goddess almost crashed and burned prior to liftoff. Four days in, Endino abruptly fell ill, “wrecked from this weird flu from hell,” according to Laubscher. “At the time, COVID-19 was not yet a thing in the US.” Perkins engineered the final two days of tracking. “Perkins is a legend, stepped in without missing a beat, and we all felt at ease. He entertained our more fringe ideas, the ones up until that point I was apprehensive to present to Jack.” Endino eventually finished the mixes remotely and Perkins is credited as co-producer.

“I’m intrigued by psychedelics, esotericism, and conspiracy theories. I love to go deep with secret societies, other dimensions, and all that jazz. So, when you hear the Carl Sagan intro to ‘Cosmic Riders’ or David Icke closing out ‘Mystic Goddess,’ it’s a tribute,” notes Laubscher, “a nod to those dudes who are a creative inspiration for my song writing.”

ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD:
Caleb Weidenbach – vocals
Nico Schmutz – guitar
Justin Laubscher – guitar
Trevor Berecek – bass
Harry Silvers – drums

Robots of the Ancient World, Mystic Goddess (2021)

Robots of the Ancient World on Facebook

Robots of the Ancient World on Instagram

Robots of the Ancient World on Bandcamp

Small Stone Records website

Small Stone Records on Facebook

Small Stone Records on Twitter

Small Stone Records on Instagram

Small Stone Records on Bandcamp

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

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Red Fang Announce US Tour Dates; Arrows out Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 4th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

red fang (Photo by James Rexroad)

Got an album, got a couple videos, got a beer, got a whole bunch of tour dates — it would seem that Portland, Oregon’s Red Fang haven’t missed a beat for all the tumult and chaos the last year-plus has wrought. The four-piece release Arrows today through Relapse Records and they’ll set out this Fall to support it, hitting both coasts, spots in between and even Alaska. The latter is one of the few places — presumably on the planet — they haven’t yet been in the last decade-plus, so kudos to them for ticking that box. Try the salmon, don’t feed the bears.

Of course, they’ll be at Psycho Las Vegas in August as well, and they’ll support All Them Witches in that band’s native Nashville on Halloween. That sounds more like a celebration of life than a concert, frankly.

Dates and all the whatnot came down the PR wire:

red fang tour

RED FANG ANNOUNCE U.S. TOUR

ARROWS ARRIVES THIS FRIDAY VIA RELAPSE RECORDS

PRE-ORDERS: http://bit.ly/redfangarrows

RED FANG X WAYFINDER BEER AVAILABLE JUNE 4

Red Fang, who release their eagerly-awaited new album Arrows (Relapse Records) arrives this Friday, have announced a U.S. tour that sees the Portland-based band trek across the continent, including the group’s first Alaskan performance.

“It’ll be two years in the waiting, but we’re finally hitting the road in October! If we don’t stop pinching ourselves we’re gonna draw blood,” guitar player Bryan Giles enthusiastically shares. “I’m so happy to announce that Starcrawler, Here Lies Man and Warish are joining us on this epic tour! It’s gonna be a barn burner from start to finish with this line-up for sure. I can’t wait to play tunes off our new album on stage for the first time and see old friends and new, so please come join the celebration with us! Long live LIVE!!!”

Tickets for the month-long outing are also available this Friday, June 4, at 10 am local time. Starcrawler opens on all headlining dates (except Alaska), with Here Lies Man (Oct. 15 to Oct. 27) and Warish (Oct. 29 to Nov. 18) rounding out the bill. Previously announced performances include Aug. 21 at Psycho Las Vegas, Sept. 26 at Louder Than Life, and a special Halloween show with All The Witches at the fabled Ryman Auditorium.

Red Fang tour dates:

August 21 Las Vegas, NV Psycho Las Vegas *
September 26 Louisville, KY Louder Than Life Festival *
October 15 Tacoma, WA Sabertooth @ Spanish Ballroom
October 16 Portland, OR Sabertooth @ Crystal Ballroom
October 17 Eugene, OR Sessions Music Hall
October 19 TBA
October 20 TBA
October 21 TBA
October 22 TBA
October 23 Tucson, AZ 191 Toole
October 25 Dallas, TX Granada Theater
October 26 Houston, TX Secret Group
October 27 Austin, TX Empire Control Room & Garage
October 29 Atlanta, GA Terminal West
October 30 Birmingham, AL Saturn
October 31 Nashville, TN The Ryman Auditorium **
November 2 Washington, DC Black Cat
November 3 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
November 4 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw
November 5 New Haven, CT Toad’s Place
November 6 Cambridge, MA The Sinclair
November 8 Pittsburgh, PA Spirit Hall
November 10 Detroit, MI El Club
November 11 Chicago, IL Metro
November 12 St. Paul, MN Amsterdam
November 13 Madison, WI Majestic Theatre
November 15 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater
November 16 Boulder, CO Fox Theatre
November 17 Salt Lake City, UT Metro Music Hall
November 18 Boise, ID The Olympic
November 20 Anchorage, AK Koot’s ***

* Previously announced
** w/All Them Witches (previously announced)
*** Different support acts to be announced

Red Fang is Aaron Beam (bass/vocals/guitar/keyboards), Bryan Giles (guitar/vocals), John Sherman (drums) and David Sullivan (guitars).

www.redfang.net
www.facebook.com/redfangband
www.instagram.com/redfangband
http://redfang.bandcamp.com
www.relapse.com
relapserecords.bandcamp.com

Red Fang, Arrows (2021)

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Hippie Death Cult Premiere “Hornet Party”; Circle of Days out May 21

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

HIPPIE DEATH CULT

Portland, Oregon’s Hippie Death Cult will release their second album, Circle of Days, May 21 through Heavy Psych Sounds. Comprised of five songs, it runs a tidy 37 minutes and uses its time to unfold a melting pot of an aesthetic, bringing together ideas born of classic heavy rock and roll, psychedelia, cult rock and outlying elements like post-rock drift (in the bass of the title-track, of all places) and organic-ized Ministry-style gallop/echo vocals — quick but there — on “Hornet Party” (premiering below), and a creeping Americana paranoia in closer “Eye in the Sky.” After the four-piece’s impressive 2019 debut, 111 (review here), they push past genre lines and are more atmospheric, dynamic and, from the opening organ-style keys of “Red Meat Tricks,” able to pursue dramatic ideas and vibes without falling into a trap of sounding like a silly put-on. Guitarist Eddie Brnabic, vocalist/keyboardist Ben Jackson (also Hundred Eyes, ex-Sioux), bassist Laura Phillips and drummer Ryan Moore (ex-Nether Regions), riding solid grooves into esoteric territories varied of spirit but unified by the fullness of the underlying performance. These songs still sound like there are humans playing them, in other words.

What comes through clearest, however, is that the humans in question are pushing themselves on the level of craft. “Red Meat Tricks,” “Hornet Party” and “Walk Within” are the first half of the LP, and the latter seems to hint toward Annie Lennox‘s “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” in its opening guitar line but follows its own course led by piano and a duel vocal from Jackson and Phillips. Despite the clearly intentional breaking of Circle of Days into vinyl-ready form, putting the just-under-10-minute title-track and closer “Eye in the Sky” together in semi-monolithic fashion on side B, “Walk Within” makes a telling centerpiece in terms of the band’s priority toward melody and a move past some of the more pointedly grunge-derived aspects of their debut. In literalHippie Death Cult Circle of Days terms of the tracklisting, they are putting their progression at the center of the record for all to behold, following the assuring fuzzy roll of “Red Meat Tricks” and the outbound melding and toying with tempo of “Hornet Party” — not to mention the shred later — with something that pushes them to places in sound they haven’t yet been while also setting up the final pair of songs with its soft lead-out.

“Circle of Days” starts out relatively straightforward, but at 9:55 there’s plenty of room to flesh out and it takes advantage. Patient in its execution and solid in its construction, the immediate impression is that Hippie Death Cult have a plan, and they do. A scream and some muted crashes lead toward a pre-chorus making subtle use of janga-janga-janga stoner riffing before the title-line is finally delivered, giving the album its signature hook before rolling back to the verse. After cycling through again, they slow it down to back a guitar solo with organ flourish, and that’s how they end it, with the guitar reaching past the song and cutting before the fade-in ambience of “Eye in the Sky.” Like “Hornet Party,” the feel in its lyrics is a chronicle of our times, and as heavy rock overcomes its stigma against social critique — or at least acknowledgement in more than monster-laced metaphor — Jackson‘s vocals are a worthy method of delivery for the band’s ideas. “Eye in the Sky” is less readily verse/chorus than the song before it, but complements “Walk Within” in its atmosphere — even with drums — and in its build over most of its first half, it helps draw the diverse notions on which the album is based into a unified focus. Riffs are still there, and might be the foundation from which the song is based, but like the bulk of Circle of Days, “Eye in the Sky” spreads out in multiple directions, capping with matched-note leads from the keys and guitar and the residual echoes of a final crash.

Among its accomplishments of songwriting and style, Circle of Days establishes Hippie Death Cult as a more complex band on the whole. The melodic breadth they demonstrate, the periodic intensity of rhythm and the manner in which that’s offset by the overarching flow of the pieces that make up the entirety of the album speaks to their engaging with their material at its conceptual heart, thinking not only about what they’re saying in the bigger picture, but the instrumental and verbal language alike with which they’re saying it. For anyone who dug 111 or who might be encountering them for the first time with these tracks, this is invariably good news. They have added to, rather than subtracted from, their approach.

Circle of Days is up for preorder now ahead of the already-noted May 21 release. You’ll find those links under the player below, where you can hear “Hornet Party” premiering, and read some comment from Brnabic about the song.

Please enjoy:

Hippie Death Cult, “Hornet Party” official track premiere

Eddie Brnabic on “Hornet Party”:

“Choosing singles to premiere for this new album has been a bit of a challenge for us. Each song (as well as each song on the Doom Sessions split) feels really unique from one another and its tough to say that one really defines the album more than another. I kind of view us as more of an album band rather than a singles band. That being said, “Hornet Party” is the second song on the record following “Red Meat Tricks” so we are going chronologically for this one. I think it might be the shortest song on the album and it’s a total rager both musically and lyrically. It’s probably the most physically demanding song for each of us to perform on the album, but it’s our way of kind of holding up some sort of artistic mirror to the current climate that we live in. Extreme times call for extreme art, so…”

HORNET PARTY is the second single taken from the Hippie Death Cult brand new album Circle Of Days. The release will see the light May 21st via Heavy Psych Sounds.

GRAB YOUR COPY HERE:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS170?

USA SHOP:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop-usa.htm

HIPPIE DEATH CULT is
Ryan Moore – Drums
Ben Jackson – Vocals/Keys
Eddie Brnabic – Guitar
Laura Phillips – Bass

Hippie Death Cult, Circle of Days (2021)

Hippie Death Cult on Bandcamp

Hippie Death Cult on Instagram

Hippie Death Cult on Facebook

Hippie Death Cult on Soundcloud

Hippie Death Cult website

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

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Robots of the Ancient World to Release Mystic Goddess May 21

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

robots of the ancient world (Photo by Eddie Brnabic)

Haven’t heard this one in its entirety yet, but the track they’re streaming sure sounds right on. Small Stone and Kozmik Artifactz team up once again to present the second full-length from Portland, Oregon’s Robots of the Ancient World. Dubbed Mystic Goddess, the record leads off with its title-track, and it’s that six-minute fuzz push you can stream now. With its two guitars underscored by righteously fuzzed bass, my immediate impression of the track takes my head to Acrimony, and that’s neither a complaint nor the sum of what the five-piece have on offer — Jack Endino production never hurts — what with the Pacific Northwestern crunch of their bridge and the mellow stretches that begin and end the song. I’d be just fine if Robots of the Ancient World at some point let that drift go and just jammed out for 14 minutes on the record. Now, I don’t know that that does or doesn’t happen, but I’m just saying, it’d be alright if it did.

And I mean “alright” in the McConaughey sense of the word. As in, “alright alright alright.”

PR wire brings info and preorders:

robots of the ancient world mystic goddess

ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: Portland Psychedelic Stoner Doom Collective To Release Mystic Goddess Full-Length May 21st Via Small Stone; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available

Portland, Oregon based psychedelic stoner doom collective ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD will release their Mystic Goddess full-length via Small Stone on May 21st!

Forged thanks to a rare 2015 planetary alignment, ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD made an immediate impact with a meteor shower of cosmic grooves and high-octane riffs in the galactic vortex where doom, psych, and stoner rock collide. As a live act, they are a force with which to be reckoned and their 2019 debut Cosmic Riders has garnered over 300,000 plays and counting on digital streaming sites, including Bandcamp, Spotify, and YouTube.

Eager to take their sound to uncharted regions of the galaxy, ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD entered Seattle’s Soundhouse Studios in February 2020 to record with Jack Endino, famed sonic architect of the grunge revolution, and his longtime protégé Mikel Perkins. They emerged through the wormhole with Mystic Goddess, a forty-three-minute hallucinatory sound excursion through a wide range of styles that keeps listeners engaged while never losing focus or sacrificing flow.

“Raw, powerful, no nonsense production is what we were seeking,” says guitarist Justin Laubscher. After connecting with Endino through a friend and veteran of the grunge wars, Laubscher says the band “scraped up every nickel we could and went for it.”

Recorded, mixed, and mastered in six days, Mystic Goddess almost crashed and burned prior to liftoff. Four days in, Endino abruptly fell ill, “wrecked from this weird flu from hell,” according to Laubscher. “At the time, COVID-19 was not yet a thing in the US.” Perkins engineered the final two days of tracking. “Perkins is a legend, stepped in without missing a beat, and we all felt at ease. He entertained our more fringe ideas, the ones up until that point I was apprehensive to present to Jack.” Endino eventually finished the mixes remotely and Perkins is credited as co-producer.

Musically, the new album includes nods to stoner rock titans like the Stooges, Kyuss, and Boris but the band also wasn’t afraid to borrow ideas from Guns ‘N’ Roses and Santana, while deep diving into their usual lyrical fetishes.

“I’m intrigued by psychedelics, esotericism, and conspiracy theories. I love to go deep with secret societies, other dimensions, and all that jazz. So, when you hear the Carl Sagan intro to ‘Cosmic Riders’ or David Icke closing out ‘Mystic Goddess,’ it’s a tribute,” notes Laubscher, “a nod to those dudes who are a creative inspiration for my song writing.”

In advance of the release of Mystic Goddess, ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD is pleased to unveil the record’s hypnotic opening title track. Vocalist Caleb Weidenbach comments, “I think for us, this song really is in a way a blueprint to our sound. Justin showed up with these killer riffs and I was hooked on the track. A lot of times my lyrics come from a place of feeling and the words often just spill out of my mouth when they are ready. It’s about women who captivate you, it’s about loneliness and those times we feel lost. I was going through some heavy shit at that time and this song pulled out a lot of the feelings.”

Mystic Goddess, which features cover art by Swedish artist Robin Gnista, will be released on CD and digital formats via Small Stone with Kozmik Artifactz handling a limited vinyl edition. Find preorder options at THIS LOCATION: https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/mystic-goddess

Mystic Goddess Track Listing:
1. Mystic Goddess
2. Wasteland
3. Agua Caliente
4. Out Of The Gallows
5. Unholy Trinity
6. MK Ultraviolence
7. Lucifyre
8. Ordo Ab Khao

ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD:
Caleb Weidenbach – vocals
Nico Schmutz – guitar
Justin Laubscher – guitar
Trevor Berecek – bass
Harry Silvers – drums

http://www.facebook.com/RobotsoftheAncientWorld
http://www.instagram.com/rotaw_official
http://robotsoftheancientworld.bandcamp.com/
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
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Robots of the Ancient World, Mystic Goddess (2021)

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