Rain City Doom Fest Announces Lineup for Dec. 16

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 16th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

An all-dayer set for Saturday, Dec. 16, at El Corazon and Funhouse in Seattle, Washington, Rain City Doom Fest was announced late last week by the bands. There are eight of those, which is probably plenty, considering you’ve got Matt Pike bringing his Pike vs. the Automaton solo band through with direct support from Witch Ripper and Mos Generator. Un, Sorcia, Sun Crow, Grim Earth and Mother Root round out, and if you know all of those bands or you don’t — Sorcia in July put out a record called Lost Season (review here); Witch Ripper gleaned fervent hyperbole around their The Flight After the Fall (review here) this Spring; Sun Crow are working toward their next LP; the list goes on — but if I’ve earned any trust in the last 14 years, I hope maybe you’ll take my word for it when I say it’s a solid lineup between established and newer acts, and that I hope it continues to be a regular thing.

Because a homegrown heavy fest isn’t anything to sneeze at and it’s not easy to put together, learning many invariably crucial lessons the only way they can be learned: by doing the thing. I didn’t know it when I first posted the lineup, but Jessica Brasch of Sorcia books this one and it’s been going for three years. This is the first time it will be at two venues — I think — and it remains a killer bill.

Have at it:

Rain city doom fest

El Corazon & The Funhouse present:


2 stages, 8 bands. Showcasing some of the heaviest music in the PNW and beyond.

Pike Vs The Automaton
Witch Ripper
Mos Generator
Sun Crow
Grim Earth
Mother Root

Saturday, Dec. 16

Doors @ 6pm | Show @ 7pm
$20 ADV | $25 DOS | 21+

(#127903#)️ on sale Friday 10/13 at 9am

Poster: Brian Kim

Event page: https://facebook.com/events/s/rain-city-doom-fest-2023/1021960045617875/

Sorcia, Lost Season (2023)

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Burque Rock City Fest: Weedeater, Matt Pike, Belzebong, Early Moods & More to Play New Fest in Albuquerque, NM

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 20th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

If I’d had a soul, it would’ve wept bitter soul-tears last September at my being unable to attend Monolith on the Mesa 2022 (lineup here, if you’d like a refresher) in Taos, New Mexico. Now, I don’t know what Roman Barham, also of heavy trio Red Mesa, has in store for the first-and-maybe-only installment of Burque Rock City Fest, which moves the proceedings from Taos to Albuquerque and is set to have its inaugural edition take place in early August, but I’m more than willing to trust that by the time he and his crew have their shit together and know what they’re doing, based on past evidence as well as the already well-on-its-way lineup they’ve unveiled for Burque Rock City Fest 2023, highlighted by Belzebong coming over from Poland, Weedeater at the top of the bill (unclear if they’re headlining or just there for now), Matt Pike‘s solo-project, Early Moods, High Desert QueenSorcia and Thunder Horse alongside Prism Bitch and Coma Recovery.

It’s two days — Monolith was three last year — and will happen across two venues, neither of which I know anything about more than their name from lists of tour dates. But again, it’s a new fest but familiar parties behind it, so also not a worry. Barham notes in the quote below that Monolith on the Mesa will be back in Taos in 2024, so it’s unclear whether Burque Rock City Fest is a one-time-only placeholder or will be an ongoing second festival. I wouldn’t attempt to guess, but as it’s worth keeping an eye on, that’s what I’m doing. Will continue to do so as the lineup takes shape.

For now, the first announcement and early-bird ticket links, as per the PR wire:

Burque City Rock Fest

Monolith On The Mesa Presents: Burque Rock City Fest

August 4th & 5th 2023

The Historic El Rey Theater & Insideout Bar in Downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The first round of bands has been announced…

Weedeater * Pike Vs The Automaton * Belzebong * Early Moods * High Desert Queen * ThunderHorse * Sorcia * Prism Bitch * Coma Recovery

Many More To be Announced!!

Early Bird Day Pass-$100: https://holdmyticket.com/event/412535

Early Bird 2 Day Pass-$200: https://holdmyticket.com/event/412537

Roman Barham, co-founder of Monolith on the Mesa has been quietly working on Burque Rock City Fest.

Barham says:

“Monolith On The Mesa crew would love to thank everyone who helped make Monolith 2022 an awesome fest. Huge thanks from The Taos Mesa Brewery crew, the Hotel Luna Mystica crew and to all the very respectful patrons that came out and made Monolith On The Mesa 2022 an amazing tribute to our fallen brother Dano Sanchez (deceased Monolith co-founder).

We have decided to take a year off from Monolith and bring it back in 2024 to Taos Mesa Brewery.

Branching south from the Monolith On The Mesa tree is Burque Rock City Fest in Albuquerque, NM At The Historic El Rey Theater & Insideout Bar On Friday August 4th & Saturday August 5th 2023.

More band announcements & more exciting info soon.



Weedeater, “Jason… the Dragon” live in Jacksonville, FL, March 1, 2023

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Pike vs. the Automaton Announce November Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 21st, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Well, it’s established that Matt Pike formed the project Pike vs. the Automaton basically so he could keep going when the pandemic was on, High on Fire weren’t up to much and Sleep were actively taking a break, so why not continue to support earlier-2022’s Pike vs. the Automaton (review here) with another tour? What, you thought dude was going to sit on ass for the Fall? Maybe do a few Cameos? Turns out you can do both.

They’ll start in Dallas and head to the upper Midwest before wrapping in Iowa City. I don’t know if it snows in Minneapolis in mid-November or not, but I’d play the mother hen and tell dudes to take coats anyway. No, you won’t get sick just from being cold, but freezing your ass off is no way to go through life either.

Interesting to see Pike ascend to “heavy metal icon” status, but I can’t really debate it, even before you take into account the Grammy. Maybe more “heavy” than “metal,” but why quibble? I know there’s been some blowback because he read some dirtbag’s book or whatever, but you can’t really argue with the impact he’s had on at least two generations of heavy music in basically two once-in-a-lifetime-if-you’re-lucky bands. Seems to me if you were getting your politics from High on Fire lyrics anyway, that one’s on you, and the whole thing was pretty low stakes, made bigger because the internet is toxic too all forms of life.

Anyway, go get ’em, I guess, not that they need me to say it. From the PR wire:

Pike vs the Automaton

High on Fire’s Matt Pike Announces ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’ U.S. Tour Dates

Heavy Metal Icon Hits the Road In Support of Debut Solo LP

From rewriting the hard rock rulebook with his Grammy award-winning trio, High on Fire, to reverse engineering doom metal with his genre-defining trio Sleep, Matt Pike has channeled his natural talents and chiseled a steely path straight to the heart of modern-day metal’s molten core. Today, Pike announces a string of autumn U.S. tour dates in support of his debut solo LP, ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’, out now via MNRK Heavy.

The ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’ mini-tour will launch on November 13 in Dallas, TX. The weeklong jaunt will run through November 20 in Iowa City, IA. Tickets for all dates are on sale at this location: https://pvta.ffm.to/tourdates

The just-released live dates are as follows:

Matt Pike’s ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’ tour dates:

November 13 Dallas, TX Amplified Live
November 14 Little Rock, AR White Water Tavern
November 15 Memphis, TN Growlers
November 17 Chicago, IL Reggies
November 18 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
November 19 Minneapolis, MN Turf Club
November 20 Iowa City, IA Gabe’s

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Pike when asked for comment. “We’re going to let our music do the talking. See you at the shows.”



Pike vs. the Automaton, Pike vs. the Automaton (2022)

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Pike vs. the Automaton Announce First Live Shows

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 19th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

matt pike (Photo by G Florez)

Though not unheard of, Matt Pike side-projects don’t happen all the time. It’s been more than a decade since he fronted Kalas on the side from High on Fire, and in the years since, splitting duty with High on Fire and Sleep has no doubt been enough, so Pike vs. the Automaton, which released its self-titled debut (review here) earlier this year on MNRK Heavy (formerly eOne), is something of an outlier. I don’t know how much touring Pike and company will ultimately do for the project, and that record’s enough of a brainscrew that I’d be curious to check it out live. I’m not trying to sell you on a show or anything — dude needs my promotion not in the slightest — but if you go or don’t, this isn’t necessarily a ‘they’ll be back’ kind of situation.

Food for thought. There’s elements in Pike vs. the Automaton that draw from all sides of his approach and then some from what he’s shown to-date. I wonder what that would be like blasting at you from a stage at full volume. Torrential, maybe.

From the PR wire:

matt pike vs the automaton tour

Matt Pike Announces First Live Shows Supporting Debut Solo LP ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’

From rewriting the hard rock rulebook with his Grammy award-winning trio, High on Fire, to reverse engineering doom metal with his genre-defining trio Sleep, Matt Pike has channeled his natural talents and chiseled a steely path straight to the heart of modern-day metal’s molten core. Pike’s debut solo LP, ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’, was released on February 18 via MNRK Heavy. Music, merch and more is available at PikeVstheAutomaton.com.

Matt Pike announces the very first live shows with his solo band, which includes drummer Jon Reid, bassist Chad “Chief” Hartgrave, guitarist Chris Evans (Lord Dying), and “possible special guests”. The group has booked live dates in Seattle (May 5), Tacoma, WA (May 6), Port Angeles, WA (May 7) and Portland, OR (May 8) with additional live performances expected to be detailed soon.

On the topic of the first “Automaton” shows, Pike bellows, “Who’s ready to be crushed by sound?!? Rehearsals for our inaugural shows have been deafening! We are primed and ready to deliver and destroy! See you soon!”

‘Pike vs. the Automaton’ live dates:

May 5 Seattle, WA Barhouse
May 6 Tacoma, WA Plaid Pig
May 7 Port Angeles, WA Devil’s Lunchbox
May 8 Portland, OR High Water Mark


Pike vs. the Automaton, Pike vs. the Automaton (2022)

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Quarterly Review: Pike vs. The Automaton, End Boss, Artifacts & Uranium, Night City, Friends of Hell, Delco Detention, Room 101, Hydra, E-L-R, Buffalo Tombs

Posted in Reviews on April 8th, 2022 by JJ Koczan


You have your coffee yet? I’ve got mine. Today’s Friday, which means day five of this six-day Spring 2022 Quarterly Review, and it’s been a hell of a week. Yesterday was particularly insane, and today offers not much letup in that regard. If you’d have it another way, I’m sorry, but there’s too much cool shit out there to write about stuff that all sounds the same, so I don’t. I’ve had a good time over this stretch and I hope you have too if you’ve been keeping up. We’ll have one more on Monday and that’s it until late June or early July, so please enjoy.

And thanks as always for reading.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Pike vs. the Automaton, Pike vs. The Automaton

matt pike vs the automaton

Matt Pike acoustic? It happened, and YOU were there! Truth is, the strumming foundation on which “Land” is built is just one example of Pike vs. The Automaton‘s singular get-weirdness, and followers of his career arc through Sleep and High on Fire from playing basements to winning a Grammy will recognize pieces of cuts like “Abusive” and “Trapped in a Midcave,” the all-out rager “Alien Slut Mom” (which of course was the lead single), the bombastic expanse of “Apollyon,” the even-more-all-out-rager “Acid Test Zone” and the dug-in get-weirdness of “Latin American Geological Formation” as one of heavy music’s most influential auteurs welcomes (?) listeners into a world of swirling chaos, monsters, conspiracies and, of course, riffs. The album saves its greatest accomplishment for last in the 11-minute “Leaving the Wars of Woe,” but if you’re old enough to remember when Rob Zombie did those off-the-wall cartoons for White Zombie videos and the Beavis and Butt-Head movie, listening to Pike vs. the Automaton is kind of like living in that for a while. So yeah, awesome.

Pike vs. The Automaton website

MNRK Heavy website


End Boss, They Seek My Head

End Boss They Seek My Head

Maybe the heaviest sans-bass low end since Floor? That’s not a minor claim, but at very least Wellington, New Zealand’s End Boss put themselves in the running with They Seek My Head, their debut album. The guitars of Greg Broadmore and Christian Pearce are the crushing foundation on which the band is built, and with Beastwars‘ own Nathan Hickey on drums, there’s a reliable base of groove to coincide as all that weight becomes the backdrop for E.J. Thorpe‘s vocals to soar over top on cuts like “Heart of the Sickle” and “Punished.” It’s a wide breadth throughout the eight songs and 33 minutes, allowing “Becomes the Gold” to show some emotive urgency while “Nail and Tooth” seems only to be sharpening knives at the outset of side B, while “The Crawl” just about has to be named after its riff and fair enough. “Lorded Over” hints at an atmospheric focus that may or may not further manifest in the future, but the closing title-track is what it’s all about, and it’s big nod, big melody, big hooks. You can’t lose. Onto the ‘best debuts of 2022’ it goes.

End Boss on Facebook

Rough Peel Records website


Artifacts & Uranium, Pancosmology

Artifacts and Uranium Pancosmology

Fred Laird (Earthling Society, Taras Bulba) and Mike Vest (Bong, Blown Out, etc.) released their self-titled debut as Artifacts & Uranium in 2021 as a collection of three massive dronescapes. Their follow-up, Pancosmology, telegraphs being more compositionally-focused even before you put it on, running eight songs instead of three, and indeed, that’s how it turns out. There are still massive waves of exploratory drones, guitar, electric piano, drums programmed and real — Nick Raybould plays on half the tracks, so a potential third in the duo — synth, bass, whatever a Gakken Generator is, it all comes together with an understated splendor and a sense of reaching into the unknown. Witness the guitar and synth lines of “Silent Plains,” and are those vocals buried so deep in that mix? I can’t even tell. It doesn’t matter. The point is that for 37 minutes, Laird and Vest (and Raybould) take you on a psych-as-spirituality trip into, around and through the universe, and by the time they get to “The Inmost Light” noisewashing at the finish, the feeling is like being baptised in a cold river of acid. If this is the birth of the gods, I’m in.

Taras Bulba on Facebook

Echodelick Records website

Weird Beard Records webstore


Night City, Kuang Xi

Night City Kuang XI

After the slower rolling opener “Broken Dick,” Night City‘s debut cassette EP, Kuang Xi, works at a pretty intense clip, taking the Godflesh vibe of that lead track, keeping the abiding tonal thickness, and imbuing it with an also-’90s-era Ministry-ish sense of chaos and push. The four-song outing works from its longest track to shortest and effectively melds heavy industrial with brutal chug and extreme metal, and one should expect no less from Collyn McCoy, whose plumbing of the dark recesses of the mind in Circle of Sighs is a bit more purely experimentalist. That said, if “Encryptor/Decryptor” showed up as a Circle of Sighs track, I wouldn’t have argued, but the use of samples here throughout and the explicitly sociopolitical lyrics make for coherent themes separate from McCoy‘s other project. “Steppin’ Razor” uses its guitar solo like a skronky bagpipe while calling out Proud Boy bullshit, and in fewer than three minutes, “Molly Million$” finds another gear of thrust before devolving into so much caustic noise. The version I got also featured the dancier “Tomorrow’s World,” but I’m not sure if that’s on the tape. Either way, a brutalist beginning.

Night City on Facebook

Dune Altar website


Friends of Hell, Friends of Hell

friends of hell friends of hell

Rise Above Records signing a band that might even loosely be called doom is immediately noteworthy because it means the band in question has impressed label owner Lee Dorrian, formerly of Cathedral, who — let’s be honest — has some of the best taste in music the world over. Thus Friends of Hell unleash 40 minutes of dirt-coated earliest-NWOBHM-meets-CelticFrost chugging groove, with former Electric Wizard bassist Tasos Danazoglou (currently Mirror) on drums and Sami “Albert Witchfinder” Hynninen (Spiritus MortisReverend BizarreOpium Warlords) on vocals, biting through catchy classic-sounding cuts like “Into My Coffin” and side B’s “Gateless Gate” and “Orion’s Beast.” Unremittingly dark, the nine-song collection ends with “Wallachia,” a somewhat grander take that still keeps its rawness of tone and general purpose with a more spacious vibe. It is not a coincidence Friends of Hell take their name from a Witchfinder General record; their sound seems like prime fodder for patch-on-denim worship.

Friends of Hell on Instagram

Rise Above Records website


Delco Detention, What Lies Beneath

Delco Detention What Lies Beneath

The second full-length keeping on a literally-underground theme from 2021’s From the Basement (review here), the 10-song/35-minute What Lies Beneath finds founding Delco Detention guitarist Tyler Pomerantz once again getting by with a little help from his friends, up to and including members of Hippie Death CultEddie Brnabic shreds over instrumental closer “FUMOFO” — The Age of Truth, Kingsnake and others. Angelique Zuppo makes a highlight of early cut “Rock Paper Scissors,” and Dave Wessell of Ickarus Gin brings a performance that well suits the strut-fuzz of “War is Mine,” while instrumentals “What Lies Beneath” and “Velcro Shoes” find Tyler (on bass and guitar) and drummer Adam Pomerantz digging into grooves just fine on their own. The shifts between singers give a compilation-style feel continued on from the first record, but a unifying current of songwriting brings it all together fluidly, and as “A Slow Burn” and “Study Hall Blues” readily demonstrate, Delco Detention know how to take a riff out for a walk. Right on (again).

Delco Detention on YouTube

Delco Detention on Bandcamp


Room 101, Sightless

Room 101 Sightless

Put Lansing, Michigan’s Room 101 up there with Primitive Man, Indian and any other extreme-sludge touchstone you want and their debut long-player, Sightless, will hold its own in terms of sheer, concrete-tone crushing force. In answering the potential of 2019’s The Burden EP (review here), the album offsets its sheer bludgeoning with stretches of quiet-tense atmospherics, “Boarded Window” offering a momentary respite before the onslaught begins anew. This balance is further fleshed out on longer tracks like “Dead End,” with a more extended break and the title-cut with its ending guitar lead, but neither the sub-five-minute “Windowlicker” nor “Boarded Window” earlier want for mood, and even the finale “The Innocent, the Ignorant and the Insecure” brings a feeling of cohesion to its violence. This shit is lethal, to be sure, but it’s also immersive. Watch out you don’t drown in it.

Room 101 on Facebook

Room 101 on Bandcamp


Hydra, Beyond Life and Death

Hydra Beyond Life and Death

Heralded by the prior single “With the Devil Hand in Hand” (posted here), which is positioned as the closer of the 41-minute five-tracker, Hydra‘s second full-length, Beyond Life and Death, finds the Polish four-piece pushing deeper into doomed traditionalism. Where their 2020 debut, From Light to the Abyss (review here), had a garage-ist edge, and if you work hard, you can still hear some of that just before the organ kicks in near the end of “On the Edge of Time” (if that’s a “Children of the Sea” reference we can be friends), but after the more gallop-prone opener “Prophetic Dreams” and the penultimate “Path of the Dark”‘s whoa-oh backing vocals, the crux of what they’re doing is more NWOBHM-influenced, and blending with the cult horror lyrical themes of centerpiece “The Unholy Ceremony” or the aforementioned closer, it gives Hydra a more confident sound and a more poised approach to doom than they had just two years ago. The adjusted balance of elements in their sound suits them, and they seem quickly to be carving out a place for themselves in Poland’s crowded scene.

Hydra on Facebook

Piranha Music on Bandcamp


E-L-R, Vexier

e-l-r vexier

The two 12-minute tracks “Opiate the Sun” and “Foret” bookend Swiss trio E-L-R‘s second LP for Prophecy Productions, Vexier, and the intention would seem to be plain in hooking and immersing the listener in the experience and flow of the album. Like their wildly impressive 2019 debut, Mænad (review here), this collection has plenty of post-metallic elements, and there’s specifically a post-black metal bent to “Three Winds” in its earliest going — by the midsection it’s come apart into broad, open spaces, but the rush comes back — and the centerpiece and shortest track, “Seeds,” which seems to shine even brighter in its melody than the opener, as the vocals are once more presented on a level plane with the rest of the atmospheric elements, far back in the mix but not at all lacking resonance for being vague. “Seeds” is a fitting summary, but “Fleurs of Decay” leans into the expectation of something harsher and “Foret” boasts a more complex linear build, stretches of drone and a broader vocal arrangement before bringing the record to its gentle finish. I liked the first record a lot. I like this one more. E-L-R are doing something with sound that no one else quite has the same kind of handle on, however familiar the elements making it up might be. They are a better band than people yet know.

E-L-R on Facebook

Prophecy Productions store


Buffalo Tombs, III

Buffalo Tombs III

Titled Three or III, depending where you look, the third long-player from Denver instrumental heavy rockers Buffalo Tombs follows relatively hot on the heels of the second, Two (review here), which came out last October. Spearheaded by guitarist/bassist Eric Stuart, who also recorded the instrumentation sans Patrick Haga‘s own self-recorded drums (lockdown? depends on when it was) and mixed and mastered — Joshua Lafferty also adds bass to “Ancestors” and “Monument,” which are just two of the six contemplations here as Buffalo Tombs explores an inward-looking vision of heavy sounds and styles, not afraid to shove or chug a bit on “Swarm” or “Gnostics/Haint,” but more consistently mellow in mood and dug into its own procession. “Familiars” hints at aspects of heavy Americana, but the root expression on III comes across as more personal and that feeling of intimacy suits well the mood of the songs.

Buffalo Tombs on Facebook

Buffalo Tombs on Bandcamp


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Matt Pike Sets Feb. 11 Release for Pike vs. the Automaton

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

matt pike the band (Photo by Juan Carlos Cacares)

As one might expect, High on Fire frontman and Sleep guitarist Matt Pike is keeping good company on his forthcoming debut solo release, Pike vs. the Automaton. The newly announced record — really, the press release just came in — follows Pike‘s illustrated book of lyrics and the announcement that Sleep will return for at least a few shows next year. This, plus awaited word of the next High on Fire LP adds up to one busy heavy icon.

And Pike is that, make no mistake. As much as anyone could be without having actually been in Black Sabbath, he’s an influence on generations of acts across a range of styles. High on Fire earned that Grammy. Needless to say, this is anticipated.

I could go on, but here’s this from the PR wire:

matt pike vs the automaton

High on Fire’s Matt Pike to Release Debut Solo LP, ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’, February 18, 2022

Iconic Heavy Metal Guitarist, Frontman Unleashes Diverse, Skyscraping Album Constructed during COVID-19 Pandemic; New Video “Alien Slut Mum”

From rewriting the hard rock rulebook with his Grammy award-winning trio, High on Fire, to reverse engineering doom metal with his genre-defining trio Sleep, Matt Pike has channeled his natural talents and chiseled a steely path straight to the heart of modern-day metal’s molten core. On February 18, Pike will release his debut solo LP, ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’, via MNRK Heavy. Pre-orders are live at PikeVstheAutomaton.com.

Born out of the challenges brought on by a worldwide pandemic, birthed under hellish red-orange skies bred from rampaging west coast wildfires, and built amidst the yearlong political riots and rallies in Portland, OR, Pike’s solo debut, ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’, is both a musical and emotional release. The record was written by Pike with drummer Jon Reid, features contributions from a slew of family and friends, and was recorded with longtime conspirator Billy Anderson, the producer who brought the best out of Pike previously on touchstone titles such as ‘Surrounded by Thieves’ and ‘Sleep’s Holy Mountain’.

“I was just going bonkers during the pandemic. It was like really, truly miserable. And then all the riots here in Portland and all the political shit. I was trapped in my garage, which was the only place I could go and jam and do anything,” confesses Pike. “I was trapped in there ’cause I couldn’t go jam with High on Fire, I couldn’t do this, I couldn’t do that, no one could fly. I was going crazy. My friend Jon Reid, who was the original drummer for Lord Dying, had moved to Portland and was babysitting my dog, Crom, and he was drumming for my wife’s band, so he had his drums already set up at my place. I finally said, “Dude, do you want to come over and just start jamming? So, I just started this thing with my friend Jon. I was like, “Dude, fuck it. Let’s start a side band and we’ll just demo this and act like we’re starting it as teenagers, you know?”

‘Pike vs. the Automaton’ is advanced by the bizarrely titled track “Alien Slut Mum”.

When asked for comment on the clip, Pike cryptically replies, “Four friends enter the woods, for a getaway, little did they know they would never return! Dogmen, Sasquach, Reptilians, or alien slut mum?!?! Where have they gone??” Feast your eyes on “Alien Slut Mum” at this location.

“Necessity is the mother of invention” is a well-known proverb that has proven itself true time and time again. When the need for something becomes imperative, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it. In this true story, the need for Pike was to create and play music with others at a time when that lifelong love was seemingly out of reach. Guest musicians on ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’ include Alyssa Maucere-Pike (Lord Dying / Grigax), Chad “Chief” Hartgrave, Brent Hinds (Mastodon), Steve McPeeks (West End Motel), Josh Greene (El Cerdo), Todd Burdette (Tragedy), and High on Fire’s Jeff Matz, who lays down Turkish electric saz on the album’s towering closing track “Leaving the Wars of Woe”.

‘Pike vs. the Automaton’ track listing:

1.) Abusive
2.) Throat Cobra
3.) Trapped In A Midcave
4.) Epoxia
5.) Land
6.) Alien Slut Mum
7.) Apollyon
8.) Acid Test Zone
9.) Latin American Geological Formation
10.) Leaving The Wars Of Woe

The album title, ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’, wasn’t an ego thing for me,” says Pike. “Billy and Jon said, “Dude, you should use your name in this. This is your solo project.” I said, “I don’t want to do that”. The Automaton, in Greek mythology, is the big robot that’s the guardian of the Gods, basically. It’s a soulless, big machine named Talos. The big machine that’s working against mankind at this moment. In ‘Jason and the Argonauts’, Jason and the Argonauts have to battle this big machine guy that protects the island. Basically, what the album title is saying, metaphorically, is ‘Pike against the World.'”

“I made a psychedelic rock record that Sleep and High on Fire fans would like,” Pike continues when asked for a CliffsNotes description of ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’. “And maybe if you’re not a Sleep or High on Fire fan, you might like it too. I definitely think it’s interesting; it has D-Beat punk, two-step. It’s got everything and it still works together, it doesn’t sound odd. It’s just an off-the-wall psychedelic rock record.”


Matt Pike, “Alien Slut Mum” official video

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