Graveyard in Mexico & South America Starting This Weekend; Australian Tour Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

graveyard

For anyone who might look at the list of Do Al Capone Does My Homework Review, Boston, Massachusetts. 78 likes. We offer academic research assistance to students and other interested parties. Our priority is... Graveyard dates below and wonder, hey, where’s the US tour?, well, they were just here with If you hesitate to click here projects online, you should get more information about the advantages that you can get this way. Uncle Acid. What more could you possibly want? Out of life? In the aftermath of that righteousness, the Swedish kingpins of heavy rock and roll are keeping plenty busy, touring Latin America starting on Friday in Guadalajara, Mexico, and wrapping May 19 in Rio de Janeiro, before heading back to Europe for festivals then returning to the US for The True Story Of How I Wrote Someone Else's Master's How To Write A Personal Statement For Graduate School Admissions ó the British version of a thesis advisor. He would meet the tutors to Psycho Las Vegas — like you do — before shipping themselves out a week later to Australia for a quick run of shows there. They’ll also be at a big, commercial-type metal festival in Tennessee this October called Go to the right place for the best a fantastic read. We are an enthusiastic group of young students and we ha ve launched a new Exit 111 that has a bunch of bands you’ve heard of. Someone actually recommended Custom Dissertations How To Write A Personal Essay For High School page. Fully customized. Custom written dissertation headings metricer com Custom written. Fever 333 to me not so long ago. I should’ve been like, “Thanks brah, but I’m more of a Best Writers 30 Days Money Back 3 hours Delivery at custom writing agents: custom essays, term papers, research papers, thesis papers and dissertations Graveyard kind of guy.” It’s a shame sometimes the only one living in my head is me.

And The Patient Mrs., I guess. She’s all up in there.

In any case, more Job Segment: apa research paper proposal, SAP, ERP, Engineer, Developer, Technology, Engineering Apply now Ľ Apply now . Start Graveyard touring, wherever and whenever it happens, certainly isn’t going to hurt anybody. After all, we got a taste of the world without them during their brief breakup in late 2016, and that was enough to begin a riding tide of troubling right wing populism that even their reformation hasn’t been able to stem. That’s right. I’m blaming the outcome of the last US election on Try the impactful professional Research Paper On Customer Value service that crafts stellar papers. Ditch your essay writing guide now and order cheap essay writing help online! Graveyard‘s breakup. Live with it.

Stay tuned for more hard-hitting political analysis:

TOUR DATES GRAVEYARD
2019-05-10 Guadalajara (Foro Independencia) MX
2019-05-11 Monterrey (Café Iguana) MX
2019-05-12 Mexico City (Foro Indie Rocks) MX
2019-05-14 Lima (C.C. Festiva) PE
2019-05-16 Santiago (Rock y Guitarras ) CL
2019-05-17 Buenos Aires (Teatro Vorterix) AR
2019-05-18 S√£o Paulo (Fabrique Club) BR
2019-05-19 Rio de Janeiro (BCO) BR
2019-06-08 N√ľrnberg (Rock im Park) DE
2019-06-09 N√ľrburg (Rock am Ring) DE
2019-06-13 Interlaken (Greenfield Festival) CH
2019-06-14 Fuengirola (Rock The Coast) ES
2019-06-16 Donington (Download Festival) GB
2019-06-21 Clisson (Hellfest) FR
2019-07-12 Kristianstad (Rockfest) SE
2019-08-08 Moledo (Sonic Blast) PT
2019-08-16 Las Vegas, NV (Psycho Las Vegas) US
2019-08-23 Brisbane (The Brightside) AU
2019-08-24 Sydney (Crowbar) AU
2019-08-25 Melbourne (Corner Hotel) AU
2019-10-12 Manchester, TN (Exit 111) US

Graveyard:
Joakim Nilsson (vocals, guitar)
Truls Mörck (bass)
Oskar Bergenheim (drums)
Jonatan Ramm (guitar)

https://www.facebook.com/graveyardofficial
https://twitter.com/graveyard
https://instagram.com/graveyardmusic/

Graveyard, “Please Don’t” official video

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Vista Chino, Peace

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Vista Chino, Peace (2013)

Was it even real? Did it actually happen? And five years later, how are we supposed to think about macaulay honors college essay Homework Help Writing A Story Phd harding university admissions essay custom service resume objective Vista Chino‘s lone studio effort? Were they really as close to a Watch best videos about Cover doctoral dissertation help reference Jobs on our tube site! Kyuss reunion as we’ll ever get?

Even when http://boca.vn/?writing-on-a-paper from University of Colorado Boulder. Writing well is one of the most important skills you can learn for success in the business world. Napalm Records put out Get Qosmio Homework Helper in Texas for dissertation writing, data analysis, proposal writing and proofreading services via our expert dissertation writer. Peace (review here) in 2013, the story of the band was always going to be their second record. True, their beginnings might have been in vocalist Discover how our http://www.gemeindebund.steiermark.at/?how-to-write-college-paper can produce a powerful & compelling CV that secures the interviews you want and beats 100s of other applicants John Garcia performing Write My Papersin Canada - Research Proposal For Phd Admissions Louisiana State University, Georgia State University Garcia Plays Kyuss on tour in Europe — I was there at College Dissertation Scholarships Education - Let specialists do their responsibilities: order the needed report here and expect for the best score Dissertations and Roadburn 2010 when they played — and they did their time touring as the exclamatory¬† Kyuss Lives! before a lawsuit from former¬†Kyuss¬†guitarist/Queens of the Stone Age frontman¬†Josh Homme forced the name change, but wasn’t that going to be a blessing in disguise? By the time¬†Vista Chino were touring in support of¬†Peace, they were a completely different entity from a¬†Kyuss reunion. True, the middle of the stage housed¬†Garcia and Brant Bjork behind him playing drums, but to the right of the stage was guitarist¬†Bruno Fevery and to the left was¬†Mike Dean of Corrosion of Conformity, so the¬†Garcia/Bjork¬†collaboration, while the impetus for the band, was still only half the story. Particularly once¬†Dean¬†got involved, taking over for¬†Nick Oliveri, the potential for¬†Vista Chino to move forward from¬†Kyuss‘ status¬†as one of the principle sculptors of desert rock became huge. They were their own band. And it was going to be the second album that showed it.

Although, listening back,¬†Peace was its own entity at the time as well. Even in its more active stretches — “Dargona Dragona” or “Sweet Remain” early in the tracklist — it didn’t feel outwardly aggressive in the same way¬†Kyuss was, and moreover, it didn’t feel like it wanted to be. With¬†Bjork and the Belgian import¬†Fevery¬†— for whose band,¬†Arsenal,¬†Garcia had previously done a guest vocal spot — as the principle songwriters, tracks like “As You Wish,” “Adara,” “Barcelonian” and certainly the ending jam in “Acidize…. The Gambling Moose” carried the¬†Bjorkian stamp of laid back swing as heard so often throughout his solo work, even if the tone of the fuzz in the guitar and bass was different and so many of the lyrics, and indeed, the album’s title, centered their theme around the aforementioned lawsuit. The name change allowed¬†Vista Chino to be their own band, separate and distinct more than just legally from¬†Kyuss and the insurmountable legacy thereof, vista chino peaceand allowed¬†Peace to be considered on its own terms. Listening to Brant step in to trade off vocal duties with¬†Garcia on “Planets 1 & 2,” there was so much there still to be explored. So much chemistry and so much still to say.

Peace wasn’t a perfect album by any means. “Dargona Dragona” pushes¬†Garcia‘s vocals forward in the mix to an almost abrasive level — his voice would cut through either way, put it lower and make the guitar sound more spacious — and that made for a somewhat rough first impression, but as the record unfolded, the likes of “As You Wish,” the boogie-laden “Dark and Lovely” and the dreamily melodic hook of “Barcelonian,” as well as “Planets 1 & 2,” the interlude “Mas Vino” and the already noted ending jam-out, typified a mellow soul that in combination with the tonal weight helped exemplify one of the essential dynamics of desert rock. That something can still have presence without beating its chest in anger. And not that¬†Peace didn’t have its angry moments — remember the legal trouble — but the ultimate character of the songs wasn’t defined entirely by that anymore than¬†Vista Chino were going to be defined by who¬†Kyuss were when they were around.

And a sophomore full-length would have been essential to that. In the narrative of the band, particularly with their lineup solidified as¬†Garcia,¬†Fevery,¬†Dean and¬†Bjork, it would have been the moment where they fully transitioned from a reunion act to a forward-moving group engaged in a creative progression. No doubt a second LP would have learned some lessons from the first, but I believe firmly they would have been able to push themselves forward in terms of the songwriting and build on the accomplishments that came through in¬†Peace, which were already considerable. A second¬†Vista Chino album would have been the point at which they’d be able to prove once and for all that their aim wasn’t just to capitalize on the internet and social media-born cult popularity of¬†Kyuss and play bigger venues than they¬†Garcia and¬†Bjork might otherwise on solo tours, but to establish a new dynamic as a four-piece and work with that in terms of songwriting and an overarching development of craft. Peace¬†already started to push them forward from simply engaging with what¬†Bjork and¬†Garcia had done in the past — though certainly some of the lyrics dealt with it in positive and negative terms — but it was the next one that was going to really be the point where they came into their own.

One never says never in rock and roll, but half a decade later, there’s been no external sign of any Vista Chino activity whatsoever. Garcia released John Garcia (review here), his first solo album, on Napalm in 2014, and Bjork likewise stepped back into his already-in-progress solo career, building in some ways on what¬†Vista Chino did with his next two records,¬†2014‚Äôs¬†Black Power Flower¬†(review here) and 2016‚Äôs¬†Tao of the Devil¬†(review here) before signing with¬†Heavy Psych Sounds for this year’s excellent¬†Mankind Woman (review here).¬†Garcia has evolved solo work into band-leadership, and after the mostly-acoustic early 2017 outing,¬†The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues (review here), he’ll front his newly-rebranded backing group as¬†John Garcia and the Band of Gold on a fully-plugged self-titled LP due out early next year.¬†Bjork did a full US stint in the company of¬†Corrosion of Conformity and¬†Mothership, but aside from an appearance at¬†Planet Desert Rock Weekend in Las Vegas last week,¬†Garcia‘s priorities in terms of live performance have been almost exclusively based in Europe.

I don’t know that¬†Vista Chino won’t get together five, seven, 10 years from now and do a follow-up to¬†Peace. As right on as¬†Garcia and¬†Bjork‘s solo stuff has been — which is not to mention¬†Dean and¬†C.O.C., who reunited with guitarist/vocalist¬†Pepper Keenan a couple years back and issued¬†No Cross No Crown (review here) on Nuclear Blast early in 2018 –I¬†wish they already had. But as it stands five years later,¬†Vista Chino‘s lone full-length occupies an odd place as something of an underrated footnote in the¬†Kyuss family tree. Tarnished by the lawsuit and abandoned by the players, its songs nonetheless continue in their vitality to carry the spirit of what could have been.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Oh my goodness.

The good news is we got through the first week of the first-ever two-week Quarterly Review, and there wasn’t really a point at which I didn’t think I wouldn’t live to tell the tale. Still another five days of 10 records per day to go, but you know. I get up, bust out a few reviews, finish what needs finishing during baby naptimes. I make it work. That’s what I’ve done with The Obelisk all along. I’ve made it work.

In thinking about the rest of this month: This week is obviously locked in, and the Year-End Poll is up. Sweet. My own Best of 2018 list will be up Dec. 20. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a top 20 or a top 30 this year, but somehow it always seems to involve at least 100 records anyway, so I don’t think it really matters. The next episode of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio is also a year-end edition. I already sent in the playlist.

And yeah, I kind of feel like I’m about to keel over, but whatever. Nothing in life is permanent. You do what you have to do to get through a day, then there’s another day until there isn’t.

That’s all.

This has been a weird year. Ups and downs. Severe. Stark contrasts. I saw The Pecan take his first steps and I still don’t go a day without just loathing every part of myself. I traveled to Tilburg, to London and to Oslo, to Vegas and Maryland, but I feel like there’s so much I haven’t seen. King Buffalo played Boston last weekend. The show was sold out at O’Brien’s. I didn’t go, in part because my sleep schedule is such that I need to be in bed early so I can get up early and write, and in part because the thought of going to a show makes me so anxious that I can’t really handle it anymore. Not only does no one give a shit when I do a live review — fests are one thing, and even that’s meh — but a regular gig? I’ll spend hours going through photos and writing it up, and it just falls flat. And it takes the space that otherwise would go to an album review. But it’s more the thought of talking to people, or not talking to people, or just being at a club, that has me locked in. I’m just not there in my head. Still, I was sorry to miss that show. I usually am.

Weird year. Weird couple weeks. I’d love to stop taking meds. Every time I try it’s a fucking nightmare.

This weekend I’ll catch up on email and get a jump the Quarterly Review and other stuff that’ll be posted next week. As I’m sure you can imagine, I’m way behind on news and whatnot, but thankfully it’s December and things are lighter to a degree as we move into list season for press. I don’t know if I’ll do the full round of lists — best debuts, best EPs, etc. — on account of having been set back for basically three months’ worth of stuff when I got robbed in May, but I’ve got my notes and I’ll cobble together whatever I can and have it up before the end of the month.

I’m also going to start doing a post wrapping up each episode of The Obelisk Show. I want to have my own archive of playlists, so that’ll be that.

Thank you for your continued support. Please have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum, radio stream, and merch.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

Tags: , , , ,

Jesus Tapdancing Christ. Uncle Acid and Graveyard are Touring Together.

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (Photo by Ester Segarra)
graveyard

God damn. I mean, come on. Really? Isn’t there some kind of quota for awesome that this violates? When is it too much for one show?

March 2019. Uncle Acid and Graveyard. North American tour. Co-headline. Come on. I can’t even write the words. You gotta be kidding me.

I don’t know who the fuck sat down and was, okay America, you get Uncle Acid and Graveyard on the road together now. Have fun with that. Like the UN of Doom decided to do us a favor or something. God damn.

Blah blah blah Uncle Acid supporting Wasteland (review here), blah blah blah Graveyard supporting Peace (review here). Are you still reading this? Just go look at the fucking dates and get your ticket already. Think these shows won’t sell out? Come on.

From the PR wire:

uncle acid graveyard tour

UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS and GRAVEYARD Announce “Peace Across the Wasteland” Co-Headlining North American Tour

UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS and GRAVEYARD are teaming up next March for the “Peace Across the Wasteland” co-headlining North American Tour. The tour kicks off March 6th in Philadelphia, PA and runs through March 30th in Toronto, ON. Twin Temple will provide support through the March 16th date in San Francisco, CA. On March 18th, Demob Happy will join the tour for the rest of the run. A complete list of dates can be found below. Pre-sales start this Wednesday October 24th and the official public on-sale is this Friday October 26th

Revered Swedish heavy rock band Graveyard is touring in support of their critically heralded 5th album, “Peace”, which is available now from Nuclear Blast. The band’s latest chapter in a celebrated catalog, guides the listener through an ever-changing musical landscape filled with their trademark take on classic rock. From the opening track’s blistering declaration that ‘It Ain’t Over Yet’ to the final note of heart beating bass on the epic and moody rocker ‘Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)’ the band manages to squeeze out every last creative drop of what there is to know, hear and love about the band.

“It’s time to let Peace roll out across the Wasteland. Graveyard and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats will co headline a tour of North America in march 2019. This will be the first time the bands tour together and were both bringing tons of new music. This one is going to leave no mind unblown,” says Graveyard of the upcoming run.

The brainchild of singer and guitarist Kevin Starrs, Uncle Acid &The Deadbeats have been making extraordinary music since 2009. After the succesful reissue of “Vol 1” in 2017, they have now returned in support of their widely acclaimed fifth album, “Wasteland” The record is 47 minutes of vital, audacious and frequently bewildering heavy psychedelia, and is instantly recognizable as Starrs’ most immersive and evocative body of work yet.

“We’re looking forward to travelling across the wasteland and destroying minds with Graveyard in 2019. This will be our first North American tour in three years so it feels long overdue. See you down the front!” says Uncle Acid frontman Kevin Starrs.

“Peace Across The Wasteland Tour”
3/6: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer*
3/7: Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live!*
3/8: Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel*
3/9: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade*
3/11: Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall*
3/12: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live!*
3/14: Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren*
3/15: Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern*
3/16: San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield*
3/18: Seattle, WA @ The Showbox#
3/19: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom#
3/20: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater#
3/22: Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall#
3/23: Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre#
3/25: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue#
3/26: Chicago, IL @ Metro#
3/28: Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel#
3/29: Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre#
3/30: Toronto, ON @ The Danforth Music Hall#

*Twin Temple Supports
#Demob Happy Supports

https://www.uncleacidband.com
https://www.facebook.com/uncleacid/

www.facebook.com/graveyardofficial
https://twitter.com/graveyard
https://www.instagram.com/graveyardmusic

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, “Shockwave City” official video

Graveyard, “Please Don’t” official video

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Graveyard, Peace: And the Price of It

Posted in Reviews on May 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

graveyard peace

It has been a tumultuous few years for Swedish boogie kings¬†Graveyard. In Sept. 2016, the four-piece announced their breakup. It followed the release of 2015’s fourth album,¬†Innocence and Decadence (review here), which was more defined by its plays toward melancholy soul than anything¬†the four-piece had done previously, and with an effective-immediately disbanding and string of cancelled tour dates, it sent shockwaves through the heavy underground in Europe and beyond, as¬†Graveyard‘s influence¬†had by that point already spread across borders to nearly a whole generation of retro and/or boogie-minded bands. It was a genuine surprise, and not the last.

A few months later, in Jan. 2017, they pulled the rug out from their own breakup by getting back together, and for another shocker, announced that¬†guitarist/vocalist¬†Joakim Nilsson, guitarist¬†Jonathan Ramm¬†and still relatively recently returned bassist¬†Truls M√∂rck¬†had parted ways with drummer¬†Axel Sj√∂berg (now of¬†Big Kizz), and replaced him with¬†Oskar Bergenheim, who makes his first appearance on the band’s fifth long-player, Peace (on Nuclear Blast). It was no minor change. This wasn’t just a band swapping out one expendable drummer or another. Anyone who ever saw¬†Graveyard live could tell you¬†Sj√∂berg¬†was a major part of their sound and stage presence both, and as a founder of the band, he’d been there over the years as the inimitable chemistry developed between them. Whatever¬†Peace — its title perhaps aspirational given all the madness of the few years prior — would have to offer, it was going to be a new¬†Graveyard standing behind its delivery. And so it is.

Or at very least it’s one that sounds refreshed in their purpose and like they’re shaking off the rust they never quite let gather on them considering the touring they did to make up for lost time after¬†Bergenheim joined. No doubt that helped them reestablish the dynamic that’s so prevalent instrumentally throughout the 10 tracks/43 minutes of Peace, which as ever is driven by Nilsson‘s gravely and sometimes bluesy vocals — especially well done on organ-laced closer “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)” — and as the record begins with the full-on thrust of “It Ain’t Over Yet,” the message comes through clear and the band’s energy proves infectious. Part of a spectrum-spanning opening salvo with the more midpaced “Cold Love” and the subdued,¬†M√∂rck-fronted “See the Day” behind it, “It Ain’t Over Yet” is just the first of several all-out rushes that one wouldn’t have expected from¬†Graveyard three years ago.

The hooks and the songcraft are still there, and when “Please Don’t” kicks in after the quiet end of “See the Day,” it’s¬†Bergenheim driving the movement that¬†Nilsson tops with a bluesy ballad of coming to the city and trying to survive. In its swing and vibrancy, “Please Don’t” is essential¬†Graveyard, and it builds toward an exciting finish with keys backing the guitars of¬†Ramm and¬†Nilsson as it races to its finish and the swirling, semi-garage start of “The Fox,” the shortest inclusion on¬†Peace¬†¬†at a brisk 2:45 and a carrying a sans-frills hook that likely finishes side A¬† and leads to the longer “Walk On” at the start of the tracklist’s second half, which is longer and shifts from one of the album’s most memorable choruses into a wide open section of echoes that set the bed for a build into the last run through the hook and a finish that finds the instruments cutting out as Nilsson recites, “It’s time to walk on” one more time, far, far off the mic.

graveyard

“Walk On” would stand as a video-worthy single, and but one might say the same of the quieter “Del Manic,” which follows. Catchy and memorable for its repetitions of the line “It’s just like staring at the sun” and its might-just-be-a-waltz rhythm, it shifts past its midpoint into a momentary swell of lower end tone, but recedes back to¬†Nilsson‘s croon before trading back again before the next hook, “Don’t you need a little more to feel it?/Don’t you feel a little like you need it?/Don’t need a little more to feel it?/Don’t you feel a little like you need it?” sets up a swirl-backed solo and a final drop back to bluesy guitar that fades into the more uptempo start of “Bird of Paradise,” which brings¬†M√∂rck¬†back to the frontman position, his voice vaguely recalling¬†Thin Lizzy if in rawer fashion. His presence alongside¬†Nilsson on vocals is more than just a change-things-up tactic — he genuinely brings something different to the material he tops, and it gives¬†Graveyard even more breadth to their sound.

That shows itself as “Bird of Paradise” gives way to the semi-title-track “A Sign of Peace,” which may or may not ultimately be based thematically on everything the band’s been through to get to this album release, but has a feeling of culmination to it anyway and moves fluidly through a kind of build before closer “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)” takes hold quietly at first but ultimately with the unfurling of a blues-locomotive rhythm that turns near the midpoint to dual-guitar stomp backed by¬†Bergenheim‘s kick. That quickly sets the foundation for an increasingly chaotic-sounding crescendo which recedes past the four-minute mark — the keys remaining prevalent alongside softly noodled and strummed guitar — and just when near-silence hits at about 4:50, they kick back in and give “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)” a full revival for¬†Peace‘s final apex, ending by cutting off cold and giving way to a kind of manipulated and echoing moan that also is shortly to disappear.

Peace¬†will likely not be hailed as one of¬†Graveyard‘s most innovative releases. The days of their landmark 2007 self-titled debut,¬†2011‚Äôs¬†Hisingen Blues¬†(review here) and 2012‚Äôs¬†Lights Out¬†(review here) are gone and despite having a signature sound, the band show little interest in repeating themselves from record to record, instead offering something different each time out within the sphere of their aesthetic and songwriting. But while it’s not revolutionary, the album should still be welcomed by fans, both for the fact that it marks¬†Graveyard‘s return — something that, if only for months, didn’t seem like it was going to happen anytime soon — and for the reassurance it provides that despite the high highs and the low lows they’ve had since¬†Innocence and Decadence, they remain strong, certain of who they are, and masters of the form of heavy boogie and blues rock. They’re as essential on¬†Peace as they’ve been all along, and reestablishing that place seems to have been part of the idea anyhow.

Graveyard, “The Fox” official video

Graveyard, “Please Don’t” official video

Graveyard on Thee Facebooks

Graveyard on Twitter

Graveyard on Instagram

Graveyard at Nuclear Blast

Tags: , , , , ,

Graveyard Post “The Fox” Video; Euro & UK Tour Dates Confirmed

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

graveyard

The new Graveyard record has a couple barnburners on it, from the opener “It Ain’t Over Yet” to the penultimate semi-title-track “A Sign of Peace,” but as has been the case with their last several full-lengths, there’s more to the Swedish heavy rockers’ sound than just one approach. To wit, each half of the 10-song/43-minute LP gets a slower, moodier track, be it “See the Day” on side A or “Del Manic” on side B. Assuming the vinyl splits the tracklisting in half, that makes “The Fox” the finale on side A, and it draws a little bit from both sides. Where Graveyard‘s last video from Peace for “Please Don’t” (posted here), was a little more psychotic in its feel and a little more manic in the song itself, “The Fox” seems to be drawing from multiple sides.

I’m going to have an album review sometime in the coming weeks full of wax critique about what makes Graveyard such a special band and the serious risk they took in continuing on with new drummer Oskar Bergenheim after an initial hiatus, so I’ll save a lot of that kind of commentary for that, but for those looking forward to the arrival of Peace through Nuclear Blast on May 25, there’s much answered in this second video that the first one left to wonder about where the band was headed in terms of overall direction. The answer? They’re headed toward sounding like Graveyard Go figure.

Once again, the album is out May 25 on Nuclear Blast and Graveyard have newly confirmed tour dates in the UK and Europe for the Fall. All that whatnot follows via the PR wire. Dig it:

Graveyard, “The Fox” official video

Swedish classic rock connoisseurs GRAVEYARD are about to release their highly anticipated comeback album Peace, on May 25th through Nuclear Blast.

Today, the band releases another brand new song off their forthcoming record. Watch the music video for ‚ÄúThe Fox‚ÄĚ here.

Furthermore the band has announced the dates for their upcoming European and UK tours. See below.

Pre-order Peace in various formats, here: http://nblast.de/GraveyardPeace
Pre-order the album digitally to receive ‚ÄúPlease Don’t‚ÄĚ instantly!
Pre-save the album now via Spotify: http://nblast.de/GraveyardPeacePresave

Listen to ‚ÄúPlease Don’t‚ÄĚ in the NB Novelties Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/nuclearblastrecords/playlist/6aw9wiedFzzhJiI96DhNhw

The Nuclear Blast Mailorder Edition will feature the CD as well as a red 7″ vinyl single containing 2 exclusive and previously unreleased non-album tracks (‘Headache City’ & ‘Something Else’). Aside of that, the album will be available as digipak CD as well as on black, blue, yellow, beige, white and clear vinyl.

Peace – Track Listing:
01. It Ain’t Over Yet
02. Cold Love
03. See The Day
04. Please Don’t
05. Del Maniac
06. The Fox
07. Walk On
08. Bird Of Paradise
09. A Sign Of Peace
10. Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)

GRAVEYARD live:
08.06. S Sölvesborg РSweden Rock
15./16.06. S Norrköping РMetallsvenskan
17.06. F Brétigny-Sur-Orge РDownload Festival
21. – 23.06. DK Copenhagen – Copenhell
14.07. NL Weert – Bospop
21.07. S Stockholm – Ullevi (w/ GUNS N’ ROSES)
28.07. S √Ėland – Borgholm Brinner
08. – 11.08. D Eschwege – Open Flair Festival
08. – 11.08. CZ Jarom?? – Brutal Assault
15.08. D Dinkelsb√ľhl – Summer Breeze

Peace over Europe 2018
+ BOMBUS
20 sept Columbia Club / Berlin (D)
22 sept Täubchenthal / Leipzig (D)
23 sept Futurum / Prague (CZ)
25 sept Arena Wien / Wien (AT)
26 sept A38 / Budapest (HUN)
28 sept Zona Roveri / Bologna (IT)
29 sept Bloom / Mezzago (IT)
2 oct Technikum / M√ľnchen (D)
3 oct Zoom / Frankfurt (D)
4 oct Garage Kleiner Klubb / Saarbr√ľcken (D)
5 oct Im Wizemann / Stuttgart (D)
6 oct Den Atelier / Luxembourg (LU)
10 oct Ancienne Belgique / Brussels (BE)
11 oct De Oosterpoort / Groningen (NL)
12 oct Melkweg Max / Amsterdam (NL)
13 oct Luxor / Cologne (D)

PEACE over UK 2018
(support TBA)
30 nov Leadmill / Sheffield
1 dec The Key Club / Leeds
2 dec Rescue Rooms / Nottingham
3 dec G2 / Glasgow
5 dec Scala / London
6 dec Manchester Academy / Manchester
7 dec Birmingham 02 Academy 2 / Birmingham
8 Dec The Thekla / Bristol

Line-up:
Joakim Nilsson | vocals, guitars
Truls Mörck | bass
Oskar Bergenheim | drums
Jonatan Ramm | guitars

Graveyard on Thee Facebooks

Graveyard on Twitter

Graveyard on Instagram

Graveyard at Nuclear Blast

Tags: , , , , ,

Graveyard Post “Please Don’t” Video; Peace out May 25

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

graveyard

I’m not saying I don’t dig the new Graveyard track. I’m not. That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is that for all the hullabaloo surrounding the May 25 release of the Swedish classic heavy rock forerunners’ new album, Peace, listening to “Please Don’t” doesn’t tell us all that much that we didn’t already know. Graveyard can write a hook. Joakim Nilsson is an awesome frontman with an ever-expanding range of melody and expression in his voice. The band rocks. These are all things that Graveyard fans know well. It’s part of the reason there are so many of them around.

So don’t think I’m trying to talk smack on Graveyard as they come back from the hiatus after their graveyard peace2015 album, Innocence and Decadence (review here), that led to guitarist/vocalist Joakim Nilsson, guitarist Jonathan Ramm and bassist Truls M√∂rck parting ways with drummer Axel Sj√∂berg and bringing in Oskar Bergenheim to fill that role. Quite the opposite. Listen to that shuffle. Check out that boogie. That bluesy feel. It’s Graveyard alright. As many bands as have come along in the last decade trying to sound like that, nope. Graveyard still own it, vintage production or no.

But that brings us back to where we started. These are already established facts. Graveyard with a boogie track is awesome. It’s not, however, answering the question of whether Peace will follow in the melancholy soul footsteps of Innocence and Decadence, which had its boogie tracks too. It’s giving a solid first impression of Bergenheim on drums, to be sure, but it’s hardly answering the question of how the band’s personality will have invariably shifted with him behind the kit. It’s a full song, but it’s still also just a teaser for what’s invariably a more complete offering than one song could possibly convey.

So satisfying in some ways, leaving some questions in others. I guess that makes it an effective single…

Peace is out May 25 on Nuclear Blast. Album preorder link and more info follow here, courtesy of the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Graveyard, “Please Don’t” official video

Swedish classic rock connoisseurs GRAVEYARD have released the official music video for the first single, ‚ÄúPlease Don’t,‚ÄĚ off their eagerly anticipated upcoming comeback album, Peace.

Commented the band: ‚ÄĚAs you may know, we’ve been doing some traveling lately. In many ways and on many levels. The good thing is that we brought back a few things for you all. Here’s a first souvenir from the road to PEACE.‚ÄĚ

The album is now available for pre-order in various formats. The Nuclear Blast Mailorder edition will feature the CD as well as a red 7″ vinyl containing 2 exclusive and previously unreleased non-album tracks (‚ÄúHeadache City‚ÄĚ & ‚ÄúSomething Else‚ÄĚ). Aside of that the album will be available as digipack CD as well as on black, yellow, mint, beige and clear vinyl.

Peace will be released on May 25, 2018 via Nuclear Blast.

Secure your copy via this link: http://nblast.de/GraveyardPeace

Graveyard – Peace – Track List:
01. It Ain’t Over Yet
02. Cold Love
03. See The Day
04. Please Don’t
05. Del Maniac
06. The Fox
07. Walk On
08. Bird Of Paradise
09. A Sign Of Peace
10. Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)

Line-Up:
Joakim Nilsson – vocals, guitar
Truls Mörck Рbass
Oskar Bergenheim – drums
Jonatan Ramm – guitar

Graveyard on Thee Facebooks

Graveyard on Twitter

Graveyard on Instagram

Graveyard at Nuclear Blast

Tags: , , , , ,

The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 of 2013

Posted in Features on December 16th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Please note:¬† These are my picks, not the results of the Readers Poll, which is still going on. If you haven’t added your list yet, please do.

It’s always strange to think of something so utterly arbitrary as also being really, really difficult, but I think 2013 posed the biggest challenge yet in terms of getting together a final list of my favorite records. As ever, I had a post-it note on my office wall (when I moved, it moved with me) and I did my best to keep track of everything that resonated throughout the year. I wound up with over 40 picks and had to start putting them in order to whittle the list down.

I wound up with a top 20 that, even though it feels somewhat incomplete, I’ve found that I can at very least live with. That’s what I’ve done for the last week: Just lived with it. Even up to this morning, I was making changes, but in general, I think this gives some scope about what hit me hard in 2013. Of course, these are just my picks, and while things like my own critical appreciation factor in because that affects how I ultimately listen to a record, sometimes it just comes down to what was stuck in my head most often or what I kept putting on over and over.

That’s a simple formula to apply, but still, 2013 didn’t make it easy. Please note as you go through that there are some real gems in the honorable mentions. I thought about expanding the list to 30 this year, but the thought made my skull start to cave in, so I reconsidered.

Anyway, it only comes around once a year, so let’s do this thing. Thanks in advance for reading:

 

20. All Them Witches, Lightning at the Door

Self-released.

Traditionally, I’ve reserved #20 for a sentimental pick. An album that’s hard to place numerically because of some personal or emotional connection. This year wasn’t short on those, but when it came to it, I knew I couldn’t make this list without Lightning at the Door included, and since it was released just last month as the follow-up to the earlier-2013 Elektrohasch reissue of the Nashville, Tennessee, outfit’s 2012 debut, Our Mother Electricity (review here), I didn’t feel like I’ve had enough time with it to really put it anywhere else. It needed to be here, and so it is, and though I’ve listened to it plenty in the month since its release, I still feel like I’m getting to know Lightning at the Door, and exploring its open-spaced blues rocking grooves. All Them Witches are hands down one of the best bands I heard for the first time this year, and I’m looking forward to following their work as they continue to progress.

19. Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork

Released by Matador Records. Reviewed June 4.

For a while after I first heard …Like Clockwork and around the time I reviewed it, I sweated it pretty hard. By mid-June, I had it as one of the year’s best without a doubt in my mind. Then I put it away. I don’t know if I burnt myself out on it or what, but I still haven’t really gone back to it, and while the brilliance of cuts like “Kalopsia” and “Fairweather Friends” and “I Appear Missing” still stands out and puts Josh Homme‘s songwriting as some of the most accomplished I encountered in 2013, that hasn’t been enough to make me take it off the shelf. I doubt Queens of the Stone Age will cry about it as they tour arenas and get nominated for Grammy awards, but there it is. I wouldn’t have expected …Like Clockwork to be so low on the list, certainly not when I was listening to “My God is the Sun” six times in a row just to try and get my head around the chorus.

18. I are Droid, The Winter Ward

Released by Razzia Records. Reviewed Sept. 19.

Gorgeously produced and impeccably textured, The Winter Ward by Stockholm-based I are Droid aren’t generally the kind of thing I’d reach for, but the quality of the craft in songs like “Constrict Contract” and “Feathers and Dust” made it essential. Bits and pieces within harkened back to frontman Peder Bergstrand‘s tenure in Lowrider, but ultimately The Winter Ward emerged with a varied and rich personality all its own, and that became the basis for the appeal. As the weather has gotten colder and it’s gotten dark earlier, I’ve returned to The Winter Ward for repeat visits, and as much as I’ve got my fingers crossed for another Lowrider album in 2014, I hope I are Droid continue to run parallel, since the progressive take on alternative influences they managed to concoct was carried across with proportionate accessibility. It was as audience friendly and satisfying a listen as it was complex and ripe for active engagement.

17. Magic Circle, Magic Circle


Released by Armageddon Shop. Reviewed Feb. 18.

There was just nothing to argue about when it came to the self-titled debut from Massachusetts-based doomers Magic Circle, but what worked best about the album was that although the songs were strong on their own and seemed to have lurching hooks to spare, everything throughout fed into an overarching atmosphere that was denser than the straightforwardness of the structures might lead the listener to initially believe. It was a record worth going back to, worth getting lost in the nod of, and as the members are experienced players in a variety of New England acts from The Rival Mob to Doomriders, it should be interesting to find out what demons they may conjure in following-up Magic Circle, if they’ll continue down the path of deceptively subversive “traditionalism” or expand their sound into more progressive reaches. Either way they may choose, the material on their first outing showed an ability to craft an enigmatic, individualized sonic persona that never veered into cultish caricature.

16. Iron Man, South of the Earth

Released by Rise Above/Metal Blade Records. Reviewed Oct. 14.

If you’re into doom and you have a soul, I don’t know how you could not be rooting for Iron Man in 2013. Produced by Frank Marchand and the first full-length from the long-running Maryland doomers to feature vocalist Dee Calhoun and drummer Jason “Mot” Waldmann alongside guitarist/founder “Iron” Al Morris III (interview here) and longtime bassist Louis Strachan. The difference in South of the Earth was palpable even in comparison to 2009’s I Have Returned (review here). With more professional production, excellent performances all around in the lineup, memorable songs like “Hail to the Haze” and “The Worst and Longest Day,” and the considerable endorsement of a release through Rise Above/Metal Blade behind them, the four-piece sounded like the statesmen they are in the Maryland scene and showed themselves every bit worthy of inclusion in the discussion of America’s finest in traditional, Sabbathian doom. May they continue to get their due.

15. Sasquatch, IV


Released by Small Stone Records. Reviewed Sept. 16.

Whether it was what the lyrics were talking about or not, the message of “The Message” was clear: Never count out a catchy chorus. Now in operation for a decade, Sasquatch practice an arcane artistry with their songwriting. Void of pretense, heavy on boogie, they are as genuine a modern extension of classic heavy rock as you’re likely to find. The Los Angeles power trio outdid themselves with IV, veering boldly into psychedelia on “Smoke Signal” and honing their craft over various moods and themes on “Sweet Lady,” “Me and You” and “Eye of the Storm.” They remain one of American heavy rock’s key and consistently underestimated components, and the three years since the release of their third album, III (review here), seemed like an eternity once the quality grooves of “Money” and “Drawing Flies” got moving, the former an insistent rush and the latter open, dreamy and atmospheric, but both executed with precision and confidence born of Sasquatch‘s familiarity with the methods and means of kicking ass.

14. Black Pyramid, Adversarial

Released by Hydro-Phonic Records. Reviewed April 12.

It was hard to know what to expect from Black Pyramid‘s Adversarial, their first release with guitarist/vocalist Darryl Shepard at the fore with bassist Dave Gein and drummer/engineer Clay Neely, but the Massachusetts outfit flourished on tracks like “Swing the Scimitar,” incorporating a heavy jamming sensibility with marauding riffs and grooves carried over from the style of their first two albums. Adversarial took the band to Hellfest in France this past summer, where they shared a stage with Neurosis and Sleep, and whether it was the raging chorus of “Bleed Out” or the clarion guitar line of “Aphelion,” the band showed their war ensemble could not be stopped. Their future is uncertain with Neely having relocated and Gein having an impending move of his own, but if Adversarial is to stand as the final¬†Black Pyramid outing, they will at very least have claimed enough heads in their time to line fence-posts for miles. Still, hopefully they can find some way to continue to make it work.

13. Across Tundras, Electric Relics

Released by Electric Relics Records. Reviewed July 11.

Even the interlude “Seasick Serenade,” just over a minute and a half long, was haunting. Electric Relics marked the first full-length from Nashville’s Across Tundras to be released on their own label and the first since they issued Sage through Neurot in 2011 (review here), and as rolling and exploratory as its vibe was, songs like “Solar Ark,” “Pining for the Gravel Roads” and “Den of Poison Snakes” also represented a solidification of Across Tundras‘ sound, another step in their development that refined their blend of rural landscapes and heavy tones. Issued in April, it’s been an album that throughout the course of the year I’ve returned to time and again, and the more I’ve sat with it and the more comfortable it’s become, the more its songs have come to feel like home, which it’s easy to read as being their intent all along. Guitarist/vocalist Tanner Olson (read his questionnaire answers here), bassist/vocalist Mikey Allred and drummer Casey Perry hit on something special in these tracks, and one gets the sense their influence is just beginning to be felt.

12. Borracho, Oculus

Released by Strange Magic/No Balls/AM Records. Reviewed July 26.

Initially a digital self-release by the Washington, D.C. riff purveyors, Oculus just this month got a tri-color, tri-label and tri-continental vinyl issue, and the fanfare with which it arrived was well earned by the five songs contained on the two sides. Borracho‘s second album behind 2011’s Splitting Sky (review here) also marked a lineup shift in the band that saw them go from a four-piece to a trio, with guitarist Steve Fisher (interview here) stepping to the fore as vocalist in the new incarnation with Tim Martin on bass and Mario Trubiano on drums. The results in songs like “Know the Score” and closer “I’ve Come for it All” were in line stylistically with the straightforward approach they showed on their first offering, but tighter overall in their presentation, and Fisher‘s voice was a natural fit with the band’s stated ethic of “repetitive heavy grooves” — a neat summary, if perhaps underselling their appeal somewhat. Oculus showed both that the appeal of Splitting Sky was no fluke and that Borracho with four members or three was not a band to be taken lightly.

11. Ice Dragon, Born a Heavy Morning

Released by Navalorama Records. Reviewed Aug. 14.

Like the bulk of Ice Dragon‘s work to date, Born a Heavy Morning was put out first digitally, for free or pay-what-you-want download. A CD version would follow soon enough on Navalorama, with intricate packaging to match the album’s understated achievements, taking the Boston genre-crossers into and through heavy psychedelic atmospheres added to and played off in longer pieces like “The Past Plus the Future is Present” and the gorgeously ethereal “Square Triangle” by thematic slice-of-life set-pieces like “In Which a Man Daydreams about a Girl from His Youth” and “In Which a Man Ends His Workweek with a Great Carouse” that only enriched the listening experience and furthered Ice Dragon‘s experimental appeal. Ever-prolific, Born a Heavy Morning wasn’t the only Ice Dragon outing this year, physical or digital, but it stood in a place of its own within their constantly-expanding catalog and showcased a stylistic fearlessness that can only be an asset in their favor as they continue to chase down whatever the hell it is they’re after in their songs and make genuine originality sound so natural.

10. Devil to Pay, Fate is Your Muse

Released by Ripple Music. Reviewed March 19.

It seemed like no matter where I turned in 2013, Devil to Pay‘s Fate is Your Muse was there. Not that it was the highest-profile release of the year or bolstered by some consciousness-invading viral campaign or anything, just that once the songs locked into my head, there was no removing them, and whether it was straightforward rockers like “This Train Won’t Stop,” “Savonarola” and “Tie One On,” the moodier “Black Black Heart” or the charm-soaked “Ten Lizardmen and One Pocketknife” — which might also be the best song title I came across this year — it was a pretty safe bet that something from the Indianapolis four-piece was going to make a showing on the mental jukebox if not in the actual player (it showed up plenty there as well). Devil to Pay‘s first album since 2009, first for¬†Ripple and fourth overall, Fate is Your Muse was a grower listen whose appeal only deepened over the months after its release, the layered vocals of guitarist Steve Janiak (interview here) adaptable to the varying vibes of “Wearin’ You Down” and “Already Dead” and soulful in classic fashion. They’ve been underrated as a live act for some time, and Fate is Your Muse translated well their light-on-frills, heavy-on-riffs appeal to a studio setting.

9. Beast in the Field, The Sacred Above, the Sacred Below

Released by Saw Her Ghost Records. Reviewed May 30.

Such devastation. Even now, every time I put on Beast in the Field‘s The Sacred Above, the Sacred Below, it makes me want to hang my head and wonder at the horror of it all like Marlon Brando hiding out in a cave. If anything at all, there wasn’t much I heard in 2013 that hit harder than the Michigan duo’s fifth long-player, released on CD in March through Saw Her Ghost with vinyl reportedly on the way now. Toward the middle of the year, it got to the point where I wanted to go door to door and say to people, “Uh excuse me, but this is absurdly heavy and you should check it out.” I settled for streaming the album in full and it still feels like a compromise. I tried to interview the band, to no avail — sometimes instrumental acts just don’t want to talk about it — but what guitarist Jordan Pries and drummer Jamie Jahr were able to accomplish tonally, atmospherically and bombastically in expansive and overwhelmingly heavy cuts like the 22-minute “Oncoming Avalanche” or the noise-soaked riffing of “Hollow Horn” put The Sacred Above, the Sacred Below into a weight class that it had pretty much to itself this year. It’s a good thing they had no trouble filling that space. I still feel like I haven’t recommended the album enough and that more people need to be made aware of its existence.

8. Beelzefuzz, Beelzefuzz

Released by The Church Within Records. Reviewed Aug. 30.

When I finally listened to Beelzefuzz‘s self-titled debut, I was really, really glad I had seen the three-piece — its members based in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania — play some of the material live. I don’t know if otherwise I’d have been able to distinguish between the progress elements of effects and looping and the live creation of layers and organ sounds through¬†the guitar of Dana Ortt (interview here) and the simple humdrum of studio layering one finds all the time. I almost think for their next record they should track it live, just the three of them, and heavily advertise that fact to help get the point across that it’s actually just three players — Ortt, bassist Pug Kirby and drummer Darin McCloskey (also of Pale Divine) — creating the richness of sound on “All the Feeling Returns” and the eerie, gleefully weird progressive stomp on “Lonely Creatures.” The album became a morning go-to for me, and I don’t know how many times I’ve been through it at this point, but “Reborn” and “Hypnotize” and “Lotus Jam” continue to echo in my head even when it’s been a few days. That said, it’s rarely been a few days, because while I appreciate what the trio accomplish on their first record on an analytical level, the reason it is where it is on this list is because I can’t stop listening to the damn thing. Another one that more people should hear than have heard.

7. Samsara Blues Experiment, Waiting for the Flood

Released by World in Sound/Electric Magic Records. Reviewed Oct. 22.

One of the aspects of Samsara Blues Experiment‘s third offering that I most enjoyed was that it wasn’t the album I expected German four-piece to make. After their 2011 sophomore album, Revelation and Mystery (review here), shifted its focus away from the jam-minded heavy psychedelia of their 2009 debut, Long Distance Trip (review here), my thinking was that they would continue down that path and coalesce into a more straightforward brand of heavy rock. Instead, when the four extended tracks of Waiting for the Flood showed up with no shortage of swirl or sitar or open-ended expansion in their midst, it was a legitimate surprise. Repeat visits to “Shringara” and “Don’t Belong” show that actually it’s not so much that Samsara Blues Experiment turned around and were hell-bent on jamming out all the time, but that rather for their third, they took elements of what worked on their first two LPs and built lush movements on top of those ideas. As a happy bonus, this having grown more and more into their sound has helped push the band — guitarist/vocalist Christian Peters, guitarist Hans Eiselt, bassist Richard Behrens and drummer Thomas Vedder — into their own niche within the wider European heavy psych scene, and they’ve begun to emerge as one of its most enjoyable and consistent acts.

6. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Mind Control

Released by Rise Above/Metal Blade Records. Reviewed April 8.

Kind of inevitable that there would be a lot of comparisons made between Mind Control and the preceding Uncle Acid¬†album, Blood Lust. Certainly the newer outing — their third and first for Rise Above/Metal Blade — is more psychedelic, more tripped out and less obscure feeling than its predecessor. It didn’t have the same kind of crunch to the guitar tone, or the same kind of horror-film atmosphere or psychosexual foreboding, but the thing was, it wasn’t supposed to. The UK outfit continue to prod cult mentality¬†even as their own cult grows, and as I see it,¬†Mind Control¬†made a lot of sense coming off Blood Lust in terms of the band not wanting to repeat the same ideas over again, but grow from them and expand their sound. Of course, with the strut at the end of opener “Mt. Abraxas,” they’ve set a high standard on their albums for leadoff tracks, but where Mind Control really made its impression was in the hypnosis of cuts like the Beatlesian “Follow the Leader,” the lysergic “Valley of the Dolls” or the maddening “Devil’s Work.” The deeper you went into side B, the more the band had you in their grasp. It was a different kind of accomplishment than the preceding effort — though “Mind Crawler” kept a lot of that vibe alive — and it showed Uncle Acid had more in their arsenal than VHS ambience and garage doom malevolence while keeping the infectiousness that helped Blood Lust make such an impression.

5. Lumbar, The First and Last Days of Unwelcome

Released by Southern Lord. Reviewed Dec. 3.

Of the ones reviewed, Lumbar‘s The First and Last Days of Unwelcome was the most recent inclusion on this list. Having worked with Lumbar multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Aaron Edge (interview here) in the past with his band Roareth releasing what would be their only album on The Maple Forum, this was a project to which I felt an immediate connection given the circumstances of its creation: Being written almost in its entirety and recorded in everything but vocals during a bedridden period following Edge‘s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. The contributions of YOB/Vh√∂l frontman Mike Scheidt and Tad Doyle of TAD and Brothers of the Sonic Cloth were what got a lot of people’s attention for Lumbar‘s The First and Last Days of Unwelcome, but with the situation are the core of the seven tracks named “Day One” through “Day Seven,” what stood out to me even more than those performances was the utter lack of distance and the level of rawness in the album’s presentation. It puts you there. What you get with Lumbar is the direct translation of a range of emotions from hopeful to hopeless, angry, sad, beaten down and wanting answers, wanting more. There’s no shield from it, and as much in concept as in its execution, there’s no other word for it than “heavy.” The intensity Edge packed into just 24 minutes — and not all of it loud or over the top doomed or anything more than atmospherics — was unmatched by anything else I heard this year.

4. Vista Chino, Peace

Released by Napalm Records. Reviewed July 30.

From just about any angle you want to view it, the situation that turned Kyuss Lives! into Vista Chino was unfortunate. However — and I know I’ve said this before — I really do believe that becoming¬†Vista Chino, that furthering the distance from the¬†Kyuss moniker, brand, legacy, and so on, was for the better of the band creatively. And not because the songs don’t stand up. I doubt it helped their draw much, but for vocalist John Garcia and drummer Brant Bjork (interview here), working as Vista Chino for the creation of Peace, and especially or Bjork working with guitarist Bruno Fevery for the first time in the writing process, it allowed them to step outside of what would’ve been insurmountable expectations for a “fifth Kyuss album” and create something honest, new, and ultimately, more true to the spirit of that now-legendary band. Let’s face it, you hear John Garcia, Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri are working on a project together, you’re immediately comparing it to Kyuss anyway. At least with Vista Chino, they’ve given themselves the potential for growth beyond a preconceived idea of what Kyuss should sound like. Well what does Vista Chino sound like? It sounds like whatever the hell they want. On¬†Peace, though many of the lyrics dealt with their legal battles over the Kyuss name, the vibe stayed true to a desert rock ethic of laid back heavy, and the round-out jam in “Acidize/The Gambling Moose” left Peace with the feeling that maybe¬†that’s where they’ve ended up after all. Fingers crossed Mike Dean (of C.O.C. and the latest live incarnation of Vista Chino) winds up playing bass on the record, but other than that, wherever they want to go with it, as a fan, I’m happy to follow along.

3. Gozu, The Fury of a Patient Man

Released by Small Stone Records. Reviewed Jan. 24.

The second outing from Gozu on Small Stone, The Fury of a Patient Man tapped into so much of what made the Boston band’s 2010 Locust Season label debut (review here) work so right on and just did it better. Don’t get me wrong, I still dig on “Meat Charger,” but with tracks like “Snake Plissken,” “Bald Bull,” “Signed, Epstein’s Mom” (note: it was “signed, Epstein’s mother” on Welcome Back Kotter) and the thrashing “Charles Bronson Pinchot,” Gozu put forth a collection of some of 2013’s finest heavy rock and did so with not only their own soulful spin on the tropes of the genre, but a mature and varied approach that was no less comfortable giving High on Fire a run for their money than reveling in the grandiose chorus of “Ghost Wipe,” which was also one of the best hooks of the year, guitarist/vocalist¬†Marc Gaffney (interview here) delivering lines in crisp, confident layers, perfectly mixed by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios and cutting through the fray of his own and Doug Sherman‘s guitars, the bass of Paul Dallaire (who split duties with J. Canava; Joe Grotto has since taken over the position) and Barry Spillberg‘s drumming. What the future might hold for Gozu with the recent shift in lineup that replaced Spillberg with drummer Mike Hubbard (ex-Warhorse) and added third guitarist Jeff Fultz (Mellow Bravo) remains to be seen, but with European touring on the horizon for 2014 and appearances slated for Roadburn and¬†Desertfest, the band seem to be looking only to expand their reach, and with the material from The Fury of a Patient Man as a foundation, they’ve got some major considerations acting in their favor. Another album from which I simply could not escape this year, and from which I didn’t want to.

2. Monster Magnet, Last Patrol

Released by Napalm Records. Reviewed Sept. 12.

Billed largely and at least in-part accurately as a return to the group’s psychedelic roots, Last Patrol was Monster Magnet‘s ninth full-length, their first in three years and their second for¬†Napalm. The New Jersey outfit led by guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, founder and, in this case, co-producer Dave Wyndorf (interview here) did indeed delve into the space rock side of their sound more than they have in over a decade, and the effect that doing so had was like a great shaking-off of dust, as though the Bullgod in the John Sumrow cover art just woke up after a long slumber. Perhaps even more than tripping on the Donovan cover “Three Kingfishers” or on the more extended freakouts “Last Patrol” and “End of Time,” what really made Last Patrol such a complete experience was the depth of emotion. Wyndorf wasn’t just standing above an overproduced wall of distortion talking about how he’s the best lay in the galaxy or whatever — fun though that kind of stuff is and has been in the past — but songs like “I Live behind the Clouds,” “The Duke (of Supernature),” “Paradise” and “Stay Tuned” offered a humbler take, a spirit of melancholy that rested well alongside the unmitigated stomp of “Hallelujah” or the driving heavy rock of “Mindless Ones.” Even in its most riotous stretches, Last Patrol was a humbler affair, with a more honest vibe than their last four, maybe five albums. A Monster Magnet release would’ve been noteworthy no matter what it actually sounded like, because that’s the level of impact they’ve had on heavy psych and underground rock over the last two decades-plus. The difference with Last Patrol was that it was a refreshing change from what had started to sound like a formula going stale, and it was¬† just so damn good to have them be weird again.

1. Clutch, Earth Rocker

Released by Weathermaker Music. Reviewed Feb. 28.

Finally, an album that asked the question, “What it was I’m going to do I haven’t done?” I knew at the year’s halfway point that Clutch‘s Earth Rocker was going to be the one to beat, and that it wasn’t going to be easy for anyone else to top the Maryland kings of groove, who sounded so reinvigorated on songs like “Crucial Velocity,” “Book, Saddle and Go,” “Unto the Breach,” and “Cyborg Bette,” and on funkfied pushers like “D.C. Sound Attack!,” “The Wolfman Kindly Requests…” and “The Face.” They’d hardly been in hibernation since 2009’s Strange Cousins from the West, but¬†four years was the longest they’d ever gone between albums, and it was past time for a new one. To have it arrive as such a boot to the ass just made it that much better, the band shifting away from some of the blues/jam influences that emerged over the course of 2005’s Robot Hive/Exodus and 2007’s From Beale Street to Oblivion — though those certainly showed up as well in the subdued “Gone Cold” and elsewhere — but¬†thanks in no small part to the production of Machine, with whom the band last worked for 2004’s Blast Tyrant, Earth Rocker was huge where it wanted to be and that gave Clutch‘s faster, more active material all the more urgency, where although the songwriting was quality as always, Strange Cousins from the West languished a bit at a more relaxed pace. The difference made all the difference. Whether it was the hellhounds on your trail (what a pity!) in “D.C. Sound Attack!” or the Jazzmasters erupting from the bottom of the sea to take flight, Clutch‘s 10th album was brimming with live, vibrant, heavy on action and heavy on groove, and on a sheer song-by-song level, a classic in the making from a band who’ve already had a few. At very least, it’s a landmark in their discography, and though vocalist Neil Fallon (interview here), guitarist Tim Sult, bassist Dan Maines and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster always change from record, but it’s the unmistakable stamp they put on all their outings that have earned them such a loyal following, and that stamp is all over Earth Rocker. Front to back, it is a pure Clutch record, and while I’ll happily acknowledge that it’s an obvious pick for album of the year, I don’t see how I possibly could’ve chosen anything else. Like the best of the best, Earth Rocker will deliver for years to come.

The Next 10 and Honorable Mentions

I said at the outset I had 40 picks. The reality was more than that, but here’s the next 10 anyway:

21. Blaak Heat Shujaa, The Edge of an Era
22. The Freeks, Full On
23. Luder, Adelphophagia
24. The Flying Eyes, Lowlands
25. Black Skies, Circadian Meditations
26. At Devil Dirt, Plan B: Sin Revolucion No Hay Evolucion
27. Kadavar, Abra Kadavar
28. Naam, Vow
29. M√ľhr, Messiah
30. Uzala, Tales of Blood and Fire

Further honorable mention has to go to Pelican, Endless Boogie, Earthless, Phantom Glue, Goatess, Windhand, Gonga, Toner Low, Jesu and Sandrider.

Two More Special Records

I’d be unforgivably remiss if I didn’t note the release in 2013 of two albums that wound up being incredibly special to me personally: I vs. the Glacier by Clamfight and A Time of Hunting by Kings Destroy. Since it came out on this site’s in-house label, I didn’t consider the Clamfight eligible for list consideration and while I didn’t help put it out, the Kings Destroy I also felt very, very close to — probably as close as I’ve felt to a record I didn’t actually perform on — so it didn’t seem fair on a critical level, but I consider both of these to be records that in a large part helped define my year, as well as being exceptional in and of themselves, and they needed very much to be singled out as such. These are people whom I feel whatever-the-godless-heathen-equivalent-of-blessed-is to know.

Before I end this post, I want to say thank you for reading, this, anything else you may have caught this year, whatever it might be. To say it means a lot to me personally is understating it, but it’s true all the same. I’m not quite done wrapping up the year — I’ll have a list of the best album covers, another for EPs and singles and demos, and of course the albums I didn’t hear — so please stay tuned over the next couple weeks, but it seemed only fair to show my appreciation now as well. Thank you.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Live Review: Vista Chino, Black Pussy and Kings Destroy in Manhattan, 09.26.13

Posted in Reviews on September 27th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

I had a pretty set vision in my head of how the night was going to work. Having left Massachusetts the evening prior and spent the day at work like so, so many others, I left the office early to get into the city. Traffic was anticipated and delivered, but I still arrived at Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan well advance of doors opening for Vista Chino — the time limit on needing to put “formerly¬†Kyuss Lives! after their name seems to be running its course now that they have an album, Peace (review here), out — Black Pussy and Kings Destroy. The plan was simple: Get up front and plant. Take pictures of the bands and then, a little while into Vista Chino‘s set, drop back, relax and enjoy the fuzz. I’m happy to report that more or less that’s exactly how it went.

No joke, it was Kings Destroy who sealed the deal on my hitting New York instead of Philadelphia to catch the tour. There was no Boston date, and if I’m already driving four hours south, what’s another two? But when Kings Destroy got added to the bill as openers, that made the decision much easier. I knew I’d manage to catch them somehow before they headed north next month, and I don’t regret doing so. Their set, as has been the case the last couple times I’ve seen them, emphasized just how far they’ve come in their sound, opening with “The Mountie” from the first album but nestling into its real groove with cuts like “The Toe,” “Blood of Recompense” — an early highlight of the show — and the always gleefully bizarre “Turul” from this year’s A Time of Hunting.

That’s nothing new. The change was the size of the stage they were playing on. Now, I know Kings Destroy has done runs through Europe, that they played the Getaway Rock festival in Sweden, that they’ve done Chaos in Tejas and others — not to mention the shows some of these guys have done in bands like Killing Time, etc. — I’m not shocked they can hold it down on a big stage. Hell, the stage at¬†the St. Vitus bar is pretty sizable and they kill it there on a regular basis, but it was particularly awesome to watch Kings Destroy deliver a pro-grade and unbelievably heavy sampling of their material — Rob Sefcik‘s drums came across especially loud and were welcome, and I stood in front to the side of the stage by bassist Aaron Bumpus and guitarist Chris Skowronski with no regrets; Carl Porcaro‘s solos had no trouble cutting through —¬†with vocalist Steve Murphy not making mention of the fact that he, Sefcik and Porcaro played with Kyuss at C.B.G.B. nearly two decades prior, working at the time under the banner of Mind’s Eye.

The changeover between Kings Destroy and Black Pussy was quick enough, though honestly it didn’t matter if the Portland, Oregon, five-piece took the stage and delivered the stoner rock equivalent of “Raining Blood,” there was no way their music was going to make a bigger impression than their name. I’m not sure how you get five guys to agree on calling a band something like Black Pussy, but okay. Never mind the fact that “pussy” is one of three words in the English language I wouldn’t say in front of my mother, the group says that they took “Black Pussy” from the working title of The Rolling Stones‘ “Brown Sugar,” and that they don’t condone any kind of racism or sexism or whatever else. All well and good dudes, but whether you condone it or not, you still called your band Black Pussy and here I am talking about it instead of your music, which was actually pretty cool in that ultra-groovy and relaxed heavy psych kind of way.

It wasn’t long before white dudes in the crowd were doing DaveChappelle-as-RickJames voice saying the band’s name between songs, and the whole thing was both a bum-out and a distraction from their material, which again, was quality: Thick guitar and bass filled out with analog synth and Korg swirl, pusher-manned by classic rock attitude-soaked vocals and drums that were both theatrical and precise. As a privileged white guy whose only experience with cultural discrimination has been getting called fatass by, well, everyone ever, it was easy enough for me to look past the racial element and get lost in the dense fog of immersive nod, but the simple fact that it was there to be looked past seemed needless. I’m not going to pretend it’s cool just because they played well. Saying you’re not racist doesn’t undo racism, and if you need to go out on a limb and put it out there that, “we’re not racist,” maybe a harder look is needed at the reasoning pushing you to do that. If you want to say I don’t get it, fine. They were a better band than their shitbird moniker. I didn’t have cash on hand to buy a record, but I would have picked one up if I had.

Brant Bjork produced their forthcoming second album, Less Info More Mojo, so that they’d wind up on the road with Vista Chino made sense — certainly their first album, last year’s¬† On Blonde, which was dedicated to Bjork, owed him a sonic debt as well — but the night belonged to the headliner. I saw Kyuss Lives! twice during their run with that name, in New Jersey and in Philadelphia, but with the new songs from Peace and Mike Dean of Corrosion of Conformity on bass in place of Nick Oliveri standing opposite on the stage from guitarist Bruno Fevery, the appeal of Vista Chino was fresh despite the added appeal of seeing the four-piece play Kyuss songs as well. I won’t discount the value of hearing John Garcia sing “Gardenia” and “Thumb” and “Freedom Run” live, especially as someone who never got to see Kyuss during their original run, but I was just as happy to hear him absolutely nail “Sweet Remain” from Peace and make a home in the laid back groove of “Adara,” which opened their set leading into “One Inch Man” from Kyuss‘ 1995 swansong, …And the Circus Leaves Town.

Presumably, the hope is that as Vista Chino continues to develop as a new band apart from Kyuss and Kyuss Lives!, they’ll work more original material into shows. As of now, there’s only so much they have to put into a 90-minute set. The ratio was six Vista Chino to 10 Kyuss songs, but the division was equitable, bouncing back and forth initially only to deliver a one-two-three of classics to finish with “Thumb,” “Green Machine” and “Freedom Run” before coming back out for an encore that included the¬†new song “Planets 1 & 2,” on which Bjork shared vocals with Garcia as he does on the album. Frankly, new or old, it all rocked. The frontman made one mention of the lawsuit from former bandmates Josh Homme¬†and¬†Scott Reeder that forced him and Bjork to give up the Kyuss name last year, working it into the lyrics of “Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop,” but other than that, it was encouraging to see Vista Chino pairing their own work with the Kyuss songs and¬†having Mike Dean on bass takes them to a whole new level.

I won’t say anything against Scott Reeder or Nick Oliveri. Not a fucking chance. They are tremendous bassists and hugely influential songwriters. I know it’s easy and fun for fans to pick sides in that kind of thing, but that’s not what I’m about. I like music. So to watch Mike Dean live in those parts — not just play them like a recital, but to crawl inside the new and the old material and actually make it his own — was vividly exciting, and it made Vista Chino that much more of its own entity. He owned “Hurricane.” And he made the shuffle in “Dark and Lovely” positively irresistible, Garcia‘s voice cutting through front and center of the Bowery‘s P.A. while Fevery‘s guitar seemed to fluctuate in prominence but ultimately settled in nicely. Bjork, who said recently in an interview here that¬†Dean was his favorite rock bassist, was clearly enjoying sharing the rhythm section with him, and the swing the two concocted felt righteous and invigorated. I shudder to think what those guys and Fevery would/will be able to come up with when it comes time to jam on new material for a follow-up to Peace.

“Planets 1 & 2” fit well in the encore with a medley of “Whitewater” into “Odyssey” from Kyuss‘ genre-defining Welcome to Sky Valley and at the end of the set, Garcia offered a heartfelt applause for the crowd who stayed till the end. It had dwindled some as they pushed past midnight — nothing like a late Thursday to turn Friday into an utter blur — but for me, however long and far they go and however many times I’m fortunate enough to see these guys play, I don’t want to miss any of it.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,