The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2016

Posted in Features on December 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk top 20 short releases

medical school secondary essays - Perfectly crafted and custom academic essays. Instead of spending time in inefficient attempts, receive qualified help here Please note: This post is not culled in any way from the Year-End Poll, which is ongoing. If you haven’t yet contributed your favorites of 2016 to that, please do.

Yeah, I know I said as much when the Top 20 Debut Albums of 2016 went up, but I take it back: this is the hardest list to put together. And to be honest, there’s a part of me that’s hesitant even to post it because I know as soon as I do someone’s going to be like, “No way you dick your entire existence is shit because you forgot Release X,” and very likely they’ll be right. Up to the very moment this post is going live, I’ve been making changes, and I expect I’ll continue to do so for a while after it’s out there.

So what’s a “short release?” That’s another issue. Pretty much anything that’s not an album. Singles, digital or physical, as well as EPs, splits, demos, and so on. The category becomes nebulous, but my general rule is if it’s not a full-length, it qualifies as a short release. Sounds simple until you get into things like, “Here’s a track I threw up on Bandcamp,” and “This only came out as a bonus included as a separate LP with the deluxe edition of our album.” I’m telling you, I’ve had a difficult time.

Maybe that’s just me trying to protect myself from impending wrath. This year’s Top 30 albums list provoked some vehement — and, if I may, prickishly-worded — responses, so I might be a bit gunshy here, but on the other hand, I think these outings are worth highlighting, so we’re going forward anyway. If you have something to add, please use the comments below, but remember we’re all friends here and there’s a human being on the other end reading what’s posted. Thanks in advance for that.

And since this is the last list of The Obelisk’s Best-of-2016 coverage, I’ll say thanks for reading as well. More to come in the New Year, of course.

Here we go:

scissorfight chaos county

The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2016

1. Scissorfight, Chaos County EP
2. Earthless / Harsh Toke, Split
3. Mars Red Sky, Providence EP
4. Mos Generator, The Firmament
5. Soldati, Soldati
6. Monolord, Lord of Suffering / Die in Haze EP
7. Wren, Host EP
8. Goya, The Enemy EP
9. The Sweet Heat, Demo
10. River Cult, Demo
11. Stinkeye, Llantera Demos
12. Megaritual, Eclipse EP
13. Ragged Barracudas / Pushy, Split
14. Mindkult, Witchs’ Oath EP
15. Iron Jawed Guru, Mata Hari EP
16. Brume, Donkey
17. Bison Machine / Wild Savages / SLO, Sweet Leaves Vol. 1 Split
18. BoneHawk / Kingnomad, The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Three Split
19. Wicked Gypsy, EP
20. Love Gang, Love Gang EP

Honorable Mention

An expansive category as ever. In addition to what’s above, the following stood out and no doubt more will be added over the course of the next few days. If you feel something is missing, please let me know.

Presented alphabetically:

Cambrian Explosion, The Moon EP
Candlemass, Death Thy Lover EP
Cultist, Cultist EP
Danava, At Midnight You Die 7″
Dos Malés, Dos Malés EP
Druglord, Deepest Regrets EP
Fu Manchu, Slow Ride 7″
Geezer, A Flagrant Disregard for Happiness 12″
Gorilla vs. Grifter, Split
Holy Smoke, Holy Smoke! It’s a Demo!
Karma to Burn, Mountain Czar
LSD and the Search for God, Heaven is a Place EP
Pallbearer, Fear and Fury
Reign of Zaius, Planet Of…
Sea of Bones / Ramlord, Split
Shallows, The Moon Rises
The Skull, EP
Snowy Dunes, “Atlantis Part I” digital single
Sun Voyager / The Mad Doctors, Split
Valborg, Werwolf 7″

Notes

Was it just the raw joy of having Scissorfight back? No, but that was for sure part of it. It was also the brazenness with which the New Hampshire outfit let go of their past, particularly frontman Christopher “Ironlung” Shurtleff, and moved forward unwilling to compromise what they wanted to do that made their Chaos County so respectable in my eyes. Having always flourished in the form, they delivered an EP of classic Scissorfight tunes and issued a stiff middle finger to anyone who would dare call them otherwise. They couldn’t have been more themselves no matter who was in the band.

At the same time, it was a hard choice between that and the Earthless / Harsh Toke split for the top spot. I mean, seriously. It’s Earthless — who at this point are the godfathers of West Coast jamadelica — and Harsh Toke, who are among the style’s most engaging upstart purveyors, each stretching out over a huge and encompassing single track. I couldn’t stop listening to that one if I wanted to, and as the year went on, I found I never wanted to.

I was glad when Mars Red Sky included the title-track of the Providence EP as a bonus cut on their subsequent album, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul), both because it tied the two releases together even further and because it gave me another opportunity to hear it every time I listened to the record. Their short releases have always shown significant character apart from their full-lengths, and this was no exception. I still tear up when I hear “Sapphire Vessel.”

To bounce around a bit: Had to get Mos Generator on the list for the progressive expansion of the live-recorded The Firmament. Stickman was right to put that out on vinyl. Both Monolord and Goya provided quick outings of huge riffs to sate their respective and growing followings, while Megaritual’s Eclipse basked in drone serenity and the debut release from Sergio Ch.’s Soldati provided hard-driving heavy rock with the particular nuance for which the former Los Natas frontman is known. It’s the highest among a slew of first/early outings — see also The Sweet Heat, Wren (Host was their second EP), River Cult’s demo, Stinkeye, Mindkult, Iron Jawed Guru, Brume, Wicked Gypsy and Love Gang.

Ultimately, there were fewer splits on the list this year than last year, but I’ll credit that to happenstance more than any emergent bias against the form or lack of quality in terms of what actually came out. The BoneHawk and Kingnomad release, the Ragged Barracudas and Pushy split, and that heavy rocking onslaught from Bison Machine and company were all certainly welcome by me, and I’ll mention Gorilla vs. Grifter there too again, just because it was awesome.

One more time, thank you for reading, and if you have something to add, please do so in the comments below. Your civility in that regard is appreciated.

This is the last of my lists for 2016, but the Readers Poll results are out Jan. 1 and the New Year hits next week and that brings a whole new round of looking-forward coverage, so stay tuned.

As always, there’s much more to come.

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Ragged Barracudas & Pushy, Split LP: Free Range Boogie (Plus Track Premieres)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 16th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

ragged barracudas pushy split

[Click play above to stream Ragged Barracudas’ ‘Tables Turn’ and Pushy’s ‘Salem Man.’ Their split LP is out mid-July and available now to preorder.]

There’s just nothing to argue with here. German trio How to Format a Thesis to APA Guidelines. our follow can ensure your document is perfectly styled to APA and if your university Ragged Barracudas and Portland, Oregon’s Courseworktutors Dissertation In Marketing provides students with excellent homework solutions. It is a service created to help to account students complete their homework without any hassle. Not only that but these services are suitable for any accounting student from any university located in any country. Pushy team up for a split 12″ on DoMyWriting provides Buying Papers Online service. We process all "write my essay" requests fast. Only 100% plagiarism free essays Who Can You Trust? Records, four tracks apiece on two sides obviously divided by band, three originals and one cover each. Let the boogie ensue. It is neither act’s first time working with the label. If you hesitate to blog projects online, you should get more information about the advantages that you can get this way. Ragged Barracudas released a 7″ (review here) early in 2014 and took part in the latest installment of the imprint’s When you How To Type A College Essay services and other academic writing papers online help related to any subject by proofreading, editing by professional expert Sweet Times series of four-way split singles, Source. There are many reasons wherefore students simply cannot cope with assignments, like essays or papers. The interesting part is that Sweet Times Vol. 5. Looking for the source urls? Youre on the Right Track! How many times have you been completely uninspired by college essay topics? Pushy, meanwhile, featured on Avail admission essay editing services who has used @.99/Page from 90+ Native Phd Experts. Get 20% Discount on every assignment with 100% Guaranteed Ontime Delivery. 100% Sweet Times Vol. 4 last year, and as kite runner comparison essay Where To Buy Dissertation Publishing For Me gender pay gap thesis miranda vs arizona essay Ragged Barracudas drummer/vocalist  The Uk Written Report,essay,thesis, Uk' Handbook is an essential guide, useful for brand new writers and experienced professionals. Christian Dräger doubles as the head of  personal statement for it Please Write My Essay Ekrn division essay subjects essay help online free Who Can You Trust? and  Doctoral Thesis Innovation - True Helping Hand Whenever You Need It. Our benefits: ?Timely delivery ?Highest possible standard of the essay ?Top-quality service for a Pushy guitarist/vocalist  Top list of the https://wenxiaow.com/3446.html is your key to success! We are glad to provide you with freshest proofreading services reviews and trustworthy Adam Burke has done artwork for label releases from  Research Paper On Legalizing Marijuana - Perfectly written and HQ academic papers. Dissertations, essays and research papers of top quality. Forget about those sleepless Pastor and the aforementioned  Sweet Times Vol. 4, it’s safe to assume nobody on one side is a stranger to the other.

Those connections come hand-in-hand with a similarity of sonic mindset, both acts embroiled in a modernization of ’70s impulses across the LP’s engaging 33-minute span. They share a lack of pretense in their methods and the circumstance that this 12″ platter is the most substantive release to-date from each of them, Pushy having offered up a digital-only demo in 2014 (review here) and a couple other odds and ends on Bandcamp in addition to the above-mentioned. Both acts sound formative, purposefully, but assured of what they’re trying to accomplish and how they want to get to the natural, classic atmosphere that ultimately unites them and makes the record flow between its two sides.

In the case of Ragged Barracudas, no doubt at least partial credit should go to Guy Tavares. Also the drummer/vocalist of Orange SunshineTavares holds the reins on Motorwolf Studios in Den Haag, the Netherlands, and Ragged Barracudas‘ output benefits greatly from the sweat-soaked rawness of the “Motorwolf sound” on their four songs, “Burning” (on which Tavares also contributes ghungroo bells), “Tables Turn,” “Walking on My Grave” (a Dead Moon cover) and “Conclusions.” With a strong sense of live performance and a down-to-business feel in the lightly blown-out vocals of Dräger, joined in the band by guitarist Janik Ruß and bassist Tom WeitenRagged Barracudas manage to keep a friendly edge to a successfully dangerous execution.

ragged barracudas pushy split ad

Some of that might be pacing. “Burning” and “Walking on My Grave” both move at a pretty decent clip, but “Tables Turn” — a highlight of the release and the longest cut on it at six minutes flat — and “Conclusions” contrast with a more patient take. This direct back and forth, particularly over the condensed 17-minute runtime of the vinyl’s side A, sets up a flow that carries the listener along with the changes the band is making. I don’t know the circumstances of the recording exactly, but if it wasn’t completely live I’d guess it was at least mostly so, and whether it’s the almost-gothabilly ride cymbal on “Walking on My Grave” or the melancholic rumble of “Conclusions,” Ragged Barracudas show themselves as having a firm grip on their sound and a growing songwriting process that sounds ready for exploration on a debut full-length.

That’s something else they have in common with Pushy, who sound like the swing-fueled next step the Pacific Northwest has been waiting for since Portland arrived on the heavy rock map seven-plus years ago. They’re not the only band from what’s become a capitol of US heavy to take a bite out of the ’70s grooves of ZZ Top and James Gang, but they do it exceedingly well, whether it’s the start-stop bass groove from Neal Munson on “Zionara” or the sleaze in Burke‘s vocals on side-opener “In My Mouth.”

Blue Cheer are a major factor in that song, and not to its detriment, as BurkeMunson, guitarist Ron Wesley and drummer Travis Claw set themselves up for the funky turn that “I Need More Time” — a cover of The Meters — brings, twisting guitars leading the way into a resounding hook before twin-leads meet up for a scathingly bluesy apex that shifts back into the chorus to finish out. “Salem Man” follows with an admirably believable “rama-lam-bam-bam” worked into its lyrics, and as Pushy‘s tracks are arranged shortest to longest, as they make their move toward “Zionara” to finish out, they get correspondingly bolder, so that the final nod of “Zionara” is not only its own payoff but that also for the band’s entire portion, played out over a lean, deceptively-efficient 15 minutes.

Like I said at the outset, there’s just nothing to argue with here. In performance and songwriting, Ragged Barracudas and Pushy complement each other fluidly. It’s telling that the split’s cover artwork — presumably by Burke — is on what looks like reclaimed wood from an old barn, since both bands have an underlying element of the organic to their approach as well. In accord with that, their combined output sounds ready to stand the test of time.

Ragged Barracudas on Thee Facebooks

Ragged Barracudas on Bandcamp

Pushy on Thee Facebooks

Pushy on Bandcamp

Ragged Barracudas & Pushy split preorder

Who Can You Trust? Records on Bandcamp

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Banquet, Ragged Barracudas, Queen Crescent and Plant Tribe Team up for Sweet Times Vol. 5

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Sweet Times Vol. 5 continues Who Can You Trust? Records‘ admirable penchant for packing as much rock as possible onto a relatively tiny platter. This edition features Ragged Barracudas, Queen Crescent, Plant Tribe and Banquet and furthers the thread of upstart boogie rock that prior editions have established, each act offering a quick sampling of their wares, getting in and getting out in quick succession. The longest of them is Queen Crescent‘s “Zodiacal Woman,” at 3:21, if that gives you some idea.

The garaged-out tone of Ragged Barracudas sets a proto-punk course, and that Queen Crescent track follows with a fuller, classically-styled fuzz, while on side B, Plant Tribe‘s churning, building boogie leads smoothly into the similarly-minded but still distinct vibe Banquet bring to the table. Like all the Sweet Times offerings to-date, there’s little to argue with here in concept or execution, and each band basically has enough time to introduce themselves and rush on their way, but as ever, that proves to be long enough to leave an overarching impression.

Info from the PR wire:

sweet times vol 5

VA “SWEET TIMES – Volume 5” 7-Inch OUT NOW !!!

SWEET TIMES for the 5th time… what could I say?

If you’ve made it here, you’re either just walking by, or… you ran through all the previous volumes and know what you’re in for! The formula hasn’t changed as Who Can You trust? is still the same old label you used to love (or not)! …you decide!

On the fifth volume you have to expect a new jam by the Ragged Barracudas from Germany, as well as exclusive recordings by San Francisco’s Banquet, Queen Crescent and Long Beach’s Plant Tribe!”

TRACKLIST:
A1 – RAGGED BARRACUDAS “Blissful Lack Of Mind”
A2 – QUEEN CRESCENT “Zodiacal Woman”
B1 – PLANT TRIBE “The Sea Bitch”
B2 – BANQUET “Moments”

Artwork by Clint Baechle.
Edition of 500 copies on black vinyl.

http://whocanyoutrustrec.bigcartel.com/product/va-sweet-times-volume-5-7-vinyl
https://whocanyoutrustrec.bandcamp.com/album/sweet-times-volume-5
whocanyoutrustrec.wordpress.com

Various Artists, Sweet Times Vol. 5 (2016)

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On Wax: Ragged Barracudas, Living the Dream b/w Cheap Allure/Motor Jam 7″

Posted in On Wax on August 19th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

ragged barracudas living the dream

The swing and analog garage fuzz of Ragged Barracudas‘ debut 7″ are immediate. Putting on “Living the Dream,” the A-side, is like unearthing a relic. Something you stumbled on from the stage just before punk became punk, when rock was heavy without realizing it, and the drugs were friendly but the vibe still a touch dangerous. They’re a modern trio from Germany, and you’d be right if you called them retro, but Ragged Barracudas sidestep most of the tropes and Sabbath/Graveyard-isms of the modern European throwback movement in favor of an acid rock sound more obscure, and ultimately, more original. Vocals and drums are blown out and the bass and guitar — layered in the first quick solo part — are warmly toned and more or less daring your stereo system to be older, but drummer/vocalist Christian Dräger, guitarist Janik Ruß and bassist Tom Weiten show off something of a jammy sensibility as well, both in the later stretches ragged barracudas singleof “Living the Dream” and deeper into side B’s “Cheap Allure/Motor Jam.”

Pressed in an edition of 600 black-vinyl copies and released through an assortment of labels that includes Unholy AnarchyCardinal Fuzz, At War with False Noise, and Who Can You Trust? Records, the 7″ really gets down and dirty on the B-side. Listening to the record — that is, the physical version — I couldn’t even tell where “Cheap Allure” ended and “Motor Jam” started, but it became clear with the stream on Who Can You Trust?‘s Bandcamp. “Cheap Allure” slows down some of the jet-engine stutter in the main riff of “Living the Dream,” but is catchy in a subtler way and, with a stop preceding an instrumental finale, puts its boogie tradeoffs into a different perspective — just because you see the shuffle coming doesn’t mean you don’t still want to get down. Ruß trips out a psychedelic soul-o and Dräger holds back on vocals to dedicate himself more fully to the forward drive, which stomps to a finish before “Motor Jam” announces its arrival proper with dueling layers of ultra-buzzsaw riff fuzz with some sweet low end buried underneath. That part of the B-side is less than two minutes long, but I’d ragged barracudashave been fine if Ragged Barracudas had filled the whole side with it. That’s not to take away from “Cheap Allure,” which most definitely lives up to its title, just to say that “Motor Jam” — named for the Netherlands’ Motorwolf Studios in Den Haag, where the single was recorded — gets locked in during its short runtime and sounds like the band could’ve easily carried that vibe further.

They don’t, however, and ultimately, “Living the Dream and “Cheap Allure/Motor Jam” conk out after 11 minutes or so of raw righteousness. Probably best for Ragged Barracudas to keep it short, since the classic spirit they’re going for — and, I’d argue, attain — did likewise, but I’d be interested to hear how they manage over the course of a longer release, even if it’s just a 10″ EP, and if their analog-worship holds up as their methods expand. For now, and for this single, the simpler they go, the better off they are, and in capturing a raw, heavy, proto-punk sound, DrägerRuß and Weiten show that there’s room for nuance both in primitivism and in traditional structures. Bonus points for the killer Adam Burke cover art.

Ragged Barracudas, “Living the Dream” b/w “Cheap Allure/Motor Jam” (2014)

Ragged Barracudas on Thee Facebooks

Ragged Barracudas at Who Can You Trust?’s Bandcamp

 

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