Review & Track Premiere: Tony Reed, Funeral Suit

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

tony reed funeral suit

[Click play above to stream ‘Waterbirth’ from Tony Reed’s Funeral Suit. Album is out Nov. 6 on Ripple Music. Says Reed, ‘Musically the genesis of “Waterbirth” came to me by accident. I was visiting a friend who had an old National M4 resonator that he was playing in a tuning I wasn’t familiar with (DGDGBD). He was playing it with a slide in a blues style. I asked him if I could borrow it for the night to write something in my style with that tuning. This is what I recorded that night. The song is about being hopelessly lost and turning to the one you love to help guide you home.’]

The acoustic solo debut from Are you about starting a abd finish that dissertation? If YES, here is a complete sample freelance writing business plan template & FREE feasibility report Tony Reed arrives as part of a creative explosion that has been going on for years at this point. Recording at his own Summary Report for: 27-3042.00 - Final Term Past Papers Of Mth301s. Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance HeavyHead Studio in Port Orchard, Washington, Affordable papers - buy Government Accounting Homework Help online! Accessing the benefits of using custom paper writing services for writing quality papers with ease. Order now! Reed issues Pay someone to Resume Writing For High School Students Basics - confide your coursework to qualified writers engaged in the service Instead of worrying about essay writing get Funeral Suit through Get affordable papers quickly with our assistance. Very often students think that making an order on a Do My Homework Help is too long and Ripple‘s ‘Blood and Strings’ series — which began with All students want to get only A+ but not all of them ready to spend their time on study. If you one of that busy student you can always Rita Horner Phd Thesis. Wino‘s custom author archive page thesis This Sites custom college essay papers essay about high school life teachers Forever Gone this summer –and it joins at least two splits, a dug-up-and-deconstructed single and another EP from his main outfit,  We are glad to introduce you the Photobooth Business Plan! We understand the trust you are placing in us, so your paper will match the highest grade level! Mos Generator, an archival release from the earlier goth-tinged project  Matibe honoured Competition is Go Here of whereupon High nowhere African School Southern winners Essay Limpopo made the leg however of Constance Tomb (with a promise of a new album to follow, already in the works), and a debut full-length and second EP from the supergroup official sites - where each expert freelance technical writer has demonstrated expertise in documentation, instructions or spec sheets. Big Scenic Nowhere, in which  http://hibinoiro.net/thesis-and-dissertation-services-ucf/ - No more Fs with our top essay services. Best HQ writing services provided by top professionals. professional papers at competitive Reed works alongside members of  Georgetown Application Essay Nhs - delrayfunding.com Fu Manchu and  A blog on National Merit Essay with expert advice and examples. Yawning Man, among a rotating cast of guests. Plus a swath of mixing and mastering projects for other artists and bands, as always. And there’s a good chance that I’ve left one or two things out.

In the context of this frenetic productivity, it’s somewhat astonishing that  personal statement for it check my blog Ekrn division essay subjects essay help online free Reed found the time to add nuances like the self-harmonies and the Mellotron early in and the dual-layers of strum in the final fadeout of the title-track of  Custom Dissertation Writing Service 2011 - professional scholars working in the company will fulfil your task within the deadline Quality reports at affordable costs available Funeral Suit, or to tap into  CatStevens-meets-AlainJohannes vibes on the progressive, finger-plugged and richly melodic opener “Waterbirth.” There are a couple reworked Mos Generator songs in “Lonely One” — originally “Lonely One Kenobi” from 2012’s Nomads (review here), which began the band’s association with Ripple Music — and “Wicked Willow” from 2016’s Abyssinia (review here), as well as closer “Who Goes There,” which appeared as a two-parter on late-2019’s Spontaneous Combustions EP (review here), but even these are given due treatment rather than simply played in “unplugged” fashion. To wit, the impassioned vocal of “Lonely One” and layers of guitar that accompany, or the slow piano balladry that suddenly feels like such a natural context for “Wicked Willow” and the choral effect that acts as a culmination for the entirety of Funeral Suit at the end of “Who Goes There.” These moments balance intimacy and melodic grandeur, emotional expression and stylistic experimentation.

As those who follow Reed‘s work to some degree or other would have to expect, he delivers this material with a steady, masterful hand. His approach to melody is clean and clear, his playing is precise but organic, and across the ultra-manageable eight-song/34-minute span of Funeral Suit, he demonstrates an awareness of his audience not only through a customary lack of pretense or in the lyrics to “Lonely One” (“I can tell you right now, people…”) and “Funeral Suit” (“…Can I find worth in you and you and you?”), but also in the breadth of arrangements throughout. A crucial first clue of the diversity to come arrives with “Waterbirth,” which is played in a style unlike anything else on the album. It’s the shortest track at 3:07, and along with the charm of a subtle Voivod reference in the first verse, it brings a melodic wash worthy of its title, Reed joining himself in the chorus for an effect conveying depth and melancholy.

tony reed

There’s a turn just before the last minute that brings handclaps and a feel like languid gospel, but of course a return to the chorus finishes, the structure duly reinforced. Even so, the message to the listener that Funeral Suit is more than guy-and-a-guitar folk emulation is immediate, and by putting “Waterbirth” first and then following it with the more straight-ahead strum of “Moonlighting,” the aforementioned Mellotron on “Funeral Suit,” and the relatively serene amble of “Along the Way” on the record’s first side, Reed likewise frames the progressive reach of the album as a priority. Thus the mind of the audience is more open to whatever the subsequent tracks might bring, and because the material that follows asks relatively few indulgences, it’s that much easier to follow along where each piece leads. This is a skill born of experience, and it makes an essential contribution to the spirit of the album as a whole.

“Lonely One Kenobi” was a standout hook on Nomads, and there may be a bit of reorienting the listener happening as “Lonely One” — the title dropping the Star Wars reference that seemed to distract from the emotionally-fueled, frankly lonely lyrics — but whether or not one assumes a given listener taking on Funeral Suit is already familiar, its harder-edged strum and its soulful vocals find it serving as a memorable inclusion here as well. It is followed and complemented by “Wicked Willow,” which departs from guitar in classic side B fashion, taking its own familiar basis and from it bringing a new texture to Funeral Suit only previously hinted toward. Slow, mellow and wistful as only a slow piano can be, it’s about as stripped-down as Reed gets here, and as it inevitably would, it highlights the songcraft that underscores all of these pieces, new or old. The same applies to the subsequent and penultimate “Might Just…” which feels stylistically like a reset back to where the album was on side A circa “Moonlighting” or “Along the Way,” with doubled-vocals in the repeated-line chorus of “Rolling along…,” melodic and straightforward, short at 3:30 but enough to satisfy and do its job between “Wicked Willow” and “Who Goes There,” which is the longest inclusion at 5:37 as well as the already-noted finale of the record, encompassing and ready for judgment-free sing-alongs as it is.

A linear build, it holds a tension in the guitar of its first half, the title lyric delivered with due paranoia. A break after two verse/chorus cycles comes at 3:25 in, and from there, the song launches into its righteous capstone movement, not a departure from what’s come before throughout Funeral Suit, but an extension thereof that speaks to one more prevailing factor of Reed‘s work across the LP, which is the forward potential. Not that he doesn’t have plenty going on besides, but having so risen to the challenge of this first offering, as a fan (I also wrote the bio for the album, which I’ll note was uncompensated only because I knew I’d want to review it as well), one only hopes he’ll continue to explore outward from the already-broad reach he establishes here. If Funeral Suit is a one-off, fair enough, but what it conveys to the listener feels far more substantial.

Tony Reed, Funeral Suit (2020)

Tony Reed on Bandcamp

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Mos Generator on Instagram

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Ripple Music website

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Ripple Music Signs Four Bands During a Pandemic Like it Ain’t a Thing

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Something of a shopping spree for Ripple Music here in terms of announcing four new bands signed at the same time. With two domestic and two international acts, the Bay Area imprint continues to further its reach in terms of geography as well as style, and as all the groups involved — Jakethehawk, Thunder Horse, Starified and Appalooza — had records out, they’ll all be well due by the time their 2021 release dates come around. I’d have to wonder how many of these records are already in the can and just pushed back because of THE OBVIOUS, but either way, Ripple says they’re coming, they’re coming.

And seriously, maybe save some rock and roll for everyone else, Ripple Music? Or, you know, don’t. Whatever works.

The PR wire brought you all this info:

ripple music shopping spree

RIPPLE MUSIC welcome new bands Starified, Appalooza, Jakethehawk and Thunder Horse to their roster for the release of new albums in 2021!

Bay Area-based independent label RIPPLE MUSIC just inked deals with Starified (Russia), Appalooza (France), Jakethehawk (USA) and Thunder Horse (USA) for the release of their upcoming new albums in early 2021. Let’s have a quick roundup!

RIPPLE MUSIC is an independent, California-based label revered worldwide for unearthing the finest bands in heavy rock, stoner, doom and metal through a constant flow of quality releases since 2010, including the latest outings from Scott “Wino” Weinrich, Tony Reed, Wo Fat, Mothership, Mos Generator, The Necromancers, Zed, Vokonis and many others. The label is also known for initiating memorable collaborations between great musicians from the heavy rock world through the release of their sold-out ‘Second Coming of Heavy’ and ‘Turned To Stone’ split records, as well as the more recent ‘Blood and Strings’ acoustic series.

JAKETHEHAWK (USA)

Appalachian rockers JAKETHEHAWK take things into the high-as-hell eighties and lowlife nineties, dredging from the lake floor Kyuss and early Soundgarden but with a bit more hipshake and no Subpop pretension or cynicism. Expect some skyscraping solos, mammoth riffs wrapped in a delightful dose of mystique, as the Pittsburgh foursome is ready to release its third album in early 2021.

THUNDER HORSE (USA)

Hailing from Texas, THUNDER HORSE delivers metal that is played slow and low, with an intensity few others can replicate. A wall of amps and an almost tribal rhythmic vibe produces a guttural sound with intense and mind-bending sensations. Imagine if Black Sabbath and Jane’s Addiction melded into one band and had a Pink Floyd influenced stage show with a Quadraphonic PA.

STARIFIED (Russia)

Moscow’s heavy progressive rockers STARIFIED are a hard-hitting, groove-driven power trio led by a singing drummer. The band call themselves students of the old school rock masters: from Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to Foo Fighters and Jack White, the Russian trio worships at the altar of powerful riffs, stirring melodies and a raw and dirty garage sound.

APPALOOZA (France)

APPALOOZA is a long-gone stallion speeding after a lost freedom. Formed in Brest, France, in 2012, the band takes its cue from the alt-heavy firepower of Alice in Chains, as well as the rock’n’roll stampede of the likes of Queens of the Stone Age or Them Crooked Vultures, propelling itself with a creativity and sense of direction that are the essence of great bands.

https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://www.instagram.com/ripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Jakethehawk, To Build a Fire (2018)

Thunder Horse, Thunder Horse (2018)

Starified, Feathers (2018)

Appalooza, Appalooza (2018)

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Wolftooth and Psychlona Vinyl Represses Coming Soon from Cursed Tongue Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

There was some drama or some shit this week on the social medias about Cursed Tongue Records. Someone on the label — I honestly don’t even remember who it was; it was the kind of thing where I rolled over in the middle of the night and dicked around on my phone for probably longer than I needed to before falling asleep again — was unsatisfied with the level of promotion or whatever. Whatever it was. I don’t think you can do what any record label does and not have someone gripe along the way, that’s the nature of the business and you’re never, ever, ever going to meet everyone’s expectations, but as someone who’s watched this imprint grow from its inception to where now they’re sharing releases with Ripple Music and selling out quality vinyl pressings on preorders, I’ll throw in my two cents to say I respect their work.

Obviously my dealings with them aren’t the same as someone putting out music through them, but for what it’s worth, I’ve never heard of them ripping anyone off, and they’ve always seemed like passionate, forward-looking individuals to me. Whoever that was might have a legit argument to make, again, I don’t remember and don’t really care enough to go back and search out that post from the depressing miasma of misinformation that is my Facebook feed at this time — once it’s gone, it’s lost — but if I was putting 0ut a record, I’d be stoked to work with them.

I’m not putting out a record, but you know what I mean.

Couple represses coming up for Wolftooth and Psychlona, and I’ll have a new signing announcement from Cursed Tongue next week too, so keep an eye out for that:

psychlona venus skytrip lp

wolftooth valhalla lp

WOLFTOOH – ‘VALHALLA’ AND PSYCHLONA – ‘VENUS SKYTRIP’ VINYL REPRESSES ON CURSED TONGUE RECORDS RELEASES WORLDWIDE NOVEMBER 27, 2020

Cursed Tongue Records is super pleased to announce the repressing of two of 2020’s best performing releases, name Richmond, IN based riff-welding behemoth Wolftooth and Bradford, UK kebab-slinging, fuzz-riff, space-traveling stoner desert rockers Psychlona.

Earlier this year both Wolftooth and Psychlona released their sophomore album that both were immediate barnburners, and both vaporized from the record store shelves and online stores quite rapidly.

We thus look forward to the repressing of ‘Valhalla’ and ‘Venus Skytrip’ and to be able to bring both albums out again on premium, heavyweight 180 grams coloured vinyl and get it into the hands of the fans that missed out on the first pressing. Vinyl pre-orders start from the label’s webstore October 2nd at 6PM CET: https://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/

WOLFTOOTH – ‘VALHALLA’ REPRESS OUT NOVEMBER 27, 2020 [VINYL PRE-ORDER OCTOCER 2ND]

On their sophomore album Wolftooth has truly upped the ante, expanded on their already tested and tried formula, added more layers of sound and variation in the song writing and overall musical execution. The production has improved markedly and the tracks oozes of the much attention that has gotten into capturing both detail, feel and vibe during the recording. As the band members, they express it: “We started work on this album back in August 2019; it is our masterpiece haha”

‘Valhalla’ is everything you would come to expect from a follow-up album to Wolftooth’s über popular self-titled debut album – and then some! And even more! Seriously, we have been heavy-nodding, headbanging and fist pumping on a daily basis since these four hoosiers submitted their new stellar opus. God damn ‘Valhalla’ is great, oh yeah! As if there would ever be a more suiting set of rock hymns to accompany the Aesir Gods to their sacred halls at Asgard after having slain all giants (Jætter, ed.) at the battlefield it has to be ‘Valhalla.’

PSYCHLONA – ‘VENUS SKYTRIP’ REPRESS OUT NOVEMBER 27, 2020 [VINYL PRE-ORDER OCTOCER 2ND]

With ‘Venus Skytrip’ Psychlona has truly taking everything they have come to stand for and kicked it to a whole new level of fuzzy stoner rock space ecstacy. Standing on the pedigree the foursome gained with their critically acclaimed ‘Mojo Rising’ album they have build an entire new spaceship of might and power, but also of bloody coherent beauty and memorability. There’s no escaping from the hum-worthy refrains and hypnotic grooves.

Behold eight tracks of new Psychlona, and as the band expresses it themselves: “When the fog receded from our scorched minds it appeared we’d taken a year long ride through space taking in Venus and Mars before doing a quick lap of the Sun (Blast Off), encountered 27 club rock ‘n’ roll tragedy (Star), drifted around in a smoke fuelled beachside dream (Resin) before taking a lengthy acid trip courtesy of The Owl himself. We’re beyond proud of this album. Comments we hear regularly at live shows mention the power of the sound and the energy in the performance. We believe we’ve captured that power and energy in this record. Oh yeah – we’re still space truckin’ desert rockin’ kebab eating mofos so no change there.” So get your trip on and head for Venus…

http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtongue/

Psychlona, Venus Skytrip (2020)

Wolftooth, Valhalla (2020)

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Curse the Son Premiere “Novembre” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

curse the son novembre video

By now the narrative of 2020 being a crap year — period — should be well familiar. If you want to know just how deep that extends, consider a record like Curse the Son‘s Excruciation (review here). It came out through Ripple Music in June and is unquestionably the broadest ranging and most accomplished outing of the Connecticut-based band’s tenure, building on 2016’s Isolator (review here) while marking the second appearance of bassist Brendan Keefe alongside founding guitarist/vocalist Ron Vanacore, who this time acted as a writing partner and whose experience following a motorcycle accident and subsequent recovery formed much of the thematic basis for the album as a whole. As one might expect, it is not easy listening.

“Novembre” might be the best song Curse the Son have ever written. You’re not going to hear me say a bad word about really anything they’ve done along the way, from the earlier straight-up tone-and-riff-rolls of their first two records through this latest one — unless it’s a bad word like, “shit, this is pretty cool” — but the development of the melody in “Novembre” is just another league, as is the scope of its production. KeefeVanacore and drummer Robert Ives (making his first appearance) deep-dive into turmoil and a grueling, harrowing mindset, conveying sonic and emotional weight in kind in a way that Curse the Son have hinted toward but never manifest to the degree they do in this one song.

Newsflash: doom band is miserable? Yeah, maybe there’s some of that happening here, but that’s not the end of the story by a longshot. If you missed Excruciation either due to the pandemic or you were out protesting or you were fretting about the state of democracy worldwide, consider yourself invited to stream it at the bottom of this post. The video for “Novembre” is mostly atmospheric images — as opposed to band performance, that is — but it certainly gets the point across in terms of vibe. See the empty hallway above if you’re not sure what I’m talking about.

Enjoy:

Curse the Son, “Novembre” official video premiere

From the album ‘Excruciation’
Ripple Music (2020)
Available at http://cursetheson.com
Directed By: Ron Vanacore

Footage from:
‘The Horrors of Pennhurst Asylum’
‘Psychiatric Hospitals & Asylums in 1950’s’
‘Amazing Nature Scenery, Suns and Sunsets’

CURSE THE SON are:
Ron Vanacore – Guitars & Vocals
Brendan Keefe – Bass & Vocals
Robert Ives – Drums

Curse the Son, Excruciation (2020)

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Curse the Son on Bandcamp

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Ripple Music website

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Tony Reed Announces Solo Acoustic Funeral Suit Album out Nov. 6 on Ripple Music

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

tony reed

This is one of the best records I’ve heard this year. Period. Tony Reed‘s Funeral Suit pushes well beyond the dude-and-guitar expectation of a rock frontman’s “solo acoustic debut” and unfolds a new breadth of his well established songcraft. I was fortunate enough to write the bio for it that you’ll see below, and I mean every single word I say in that thing. It’s time to start thinking of Tony Reed on a different level. Like, I hope I get to, but I probably shouldn’t be cool enough to do a premiere from the album, that kind of thing. It could not be more fitting in my mind that Reed is following Wino in Ripple‘s ‘Blood and Strings’ series. That’s the kind of level on which his work should be considered at this point.

Album info, preorder links, the bio I wrote and streaming single follow here, all via the PR wire. More to come:

tony reed funeral suit

TONY REED to release solo acoustic album ‘Funeral Suit’ on Ripple Music; first single streaming!

TONY REED New solo album ‘Funeral Suit’ Out November 6th on Ripple Music

US Preorder: https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search=funeral+suit
EU Preorder: https://en.ripple.spkr.media/artists/tony-reed/tony-reed-funeral-suit.html

Ripple Music announce the signing of Seattle heavyweight, multi-instrumentalist and respected producer TONY REED (also frontman of Mos Generator) for the release of his debut solo acoustic album ‘Funeral Suit’, as part of the ‘Blood And Strings: The Ripple Acoustic’ series. Stream the first single and preorder the album now!

With ‘Funeral Suit’, TONY REED delivers his most up-close and personal work to date. Known for being the driving force behind heavy rock stalwarts Mos Generator since 2000, the prolific songwriter made his solo debut with ‘The Lost Chronicles Of Heavy Rock Vol. 1’ tribute record in 2018, yet never had he found the right occasion to sit down, grab a guitar and lay himself bare as freely and soulfully as he does on ‘Funeral Suit’.

“A large percentage of the compositions on this album where the first or second takes of the music and vocals for songs that had been written and arranged only minutes earlier”, he says. Whether it’s the delicate arrangements, Reed’s velvet-smooth vocal harmonies or stirring piano-based moments, ‘Funeral Suit’ conveys a life-wide array of emotions that resonate in a universal way, regardless of the listener’s music inclinations. The debut single and title track showcases perfectly this multi-faceted aspect: a beautiful lament progressively turning into a ray of hope.

About the album themes, Tony Reed explains: “The album is titled ‘Funeral Suit’ because my father passed on August 16th 2019, and I went out and bought a nice suit for the funeral. The song is about how I felt and the wonder of how his passing may change me in the future. It’s also about the ones who are the closest to you in this life. Many of the songs are about guilt and regret. Insecurity, selfishness, and ego are matched by integrity, compassion and confidence.”

‘Funeral Suit’ comes as the second chapter of Ripple Music’s ‘Blood And Strings: The Ripple Acoustic’ series, in which some of the most admired names in rock and metal unplug to record albums of acoustic heaviness. It was recorded and mixed by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Recording Co., and will be issued on November 6th, 2020 and available now to preorder on deluxe edition vinyl, CD and digital edition via Ripple Music.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Waterbirth
2. Moonlighting
3. Funeral Suit
4. Along The Way
5. Lonely One
6. Wicked Willow
7. Might Just…
8. Who Goes There

BIO:

TONY REED belongs to a rare echelon of relentless creativity. A rock and roll lifer since his days self-recording tape demos as a teenager, he has spent the last three decades in an increasingly progressive pursuit of his art. In bands like Treepeople, Twelve-Thirty Dreamtime, Constance Tomb, Stone Axe, and his steadiest and most influential, Mos Generator, he has refined a songwriting, performance and recording process that is unmatched, and amassed a lifetime discography broad enough to make the rest of the universe seem outright lazy.

Tony Reed has toured on multiple continents and especially since revitalizing Mos Generator as a stage act in the early 2010s, earned a reputation for bringing the same ferocity to the stage as to the studio. As a frontman, Reed harnesses a classic rocker’s energy, but is only ever forward-thinking in his execution and engagement with his audience. At dive bars or huge festivals, his name is synonymous with a level of mastery that is no less his own than the songs he writes.

Headquartered in Port Orchard, Washington, his HeavyHead Studio is home to a fully-stocked production facility, and though Reed most often uses it for his own ends, the words “Mixed and Mastered by Tony Reed” have become a staple of heavy underground releases. His collaborations with artists, whether through split releases or actually sitting in with other bands, are rousing endorsements for listeners in the know, and his exploration continues unabated.

Whether it’s incorporating new elements of space and prog into Mos Generator, reviving the goth-tinged Constance Tomb, or beginning the entirely new pursuit of an acoustic/piano-based solo incarnation under his own name, TONY REED is a treasure of American rock and roll and someone whose soul bleeds into everything he crafts. It is time to start including his name among rock’s truest ambassadors.

https://tonyreed.bandcamp.com/
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http://www.instagram.com/mos_generator
https://mosgenerator.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
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http://www.ripple-music.com/

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War Cloud to Release Chain Gang Two-Songer Sept. 25

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Lest they be accused of taking the rest of the year off after putting out May’s Earhammer Sessions (review here) live-in-studio affair, Oakland heavy metal rockers War Cloud have a new two-song EP out next month called Chain Gang. The release, once again through Ripple Music, brings together a track written immediately following their European tour — which would seem to have been a transformative experience for them as a band, considering they recorded Earhammer Sessions as a means of building off the energy of that tour as well — and a track tracked by Steve “Thee Slayer Hippy” Hanford, whose posthumous tribute to Blue Öyster Cult is also seeing release soon through Ripple and in which War Cloud are also talking part. Presumably the two were recorded at the same time, but I guess one never knows.

The PR wire brought art and details about Chain Gang thusly:

war cloud chain gang ep

Prolific Rapid-Fire Metallers WAR CLOUD Drop Energized “Chain Gang” EP

Searing 2-song blast channels the band’s furious power ahead of expected new album in 2021

Quickly becoming one of Ripple Music’s most prolific bands, War Cloud returns just a few months behind their high-octane Earhammer Sessions with the two-song Chain Gang EP.

The title track was written in Vigone, Italy during a few days off after their last European tour while staying at a recording/rehearsal space called Positive Music. Says singer/guitarist Alex Wein:

“Positive Music is a secluded spot. No distractions. This was the first time we actually got to write as an entire band, with the current lineup, so there’s a lot of energy between all the members. We kept sharing riffs, lyrics, and bands we were vibe’n on the entire tour. You could feel a song shaping through all our conversations. After playing a show one night in Vigone, we went to the town’s local hangout bar and started coming up with a melody for the tune. We wanted this song to express how we’ve grown as a band: Dirty, raw, and heavy. Bad boys who don’t care. The opening line is a tribute to one of the bands favorite songwriters, Lemmy Kilmister. “Judge says I’m guilty of being born / the only thing I did was what I want” That’s our way of way of saying fuck it.”

The second song is a cover of a Rock Goddess song. Recorded in the summer of 2019 in an old empty house in the woods outside of Portland, Oregon by Thee Slayer Hippy, Steve Hanford, and mixed/mastered by Nocturnal Media in Louisville, Kentucky, this burst of metal godliness features guest vocals by Janiece Gonzalez of San Francisco’s Wild Eyes.

Chain Gang will be released on digital formats from Ripple Music on September 25th.

WAR CLOUD:
Alex Wein – Vocals/Guitar
Nick Burks – Guitar
Joaquin Ridgell – Drums
Sam Harman – Bass

http://facebook.com/WarCloudisComing
http://warcloudiscoming.bandcamp.com/
http://warcloud.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ripple-Music/369610860064
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

War Cloud, Earhammer Sessions (2020)

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Ripple Music to Release Dominance and Submission: A Tribute to Blue Öyster Cult

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Initially a project of Steve Hanford — known for his work in Poison Idea and a slew of others, including most recently Portland, Oregon’s Ape Machine — the various artists project Dominance and Submission: A Tribute to Blue Öyster Cult will see release in the coming months via Ripple Music. What began as a loving homage from Hanford to his favorite band has become a meta-tribute, as it fell to others to complete the project following Hanford‘s death earlier this year. It is, then, honoring as much to him and his work as much as Blue Öyster Cult, since Hanford sits in on many the tracks, including those featuring the likes of Billy Anderson, Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain) and Andrea Vidal (Holy Grove), Jeff Matz of Zeke and High on Fire, Year of the Cobra, Mos Generator and others.

No audio yet, and I expect a solid release date is forthcoming, but the heart with which this has been put together, on both ends, comes through clearly in the announcement below — also the cover art rules — so dig into that in the meantime and when I hear about the rest, I’ll let you know.

Here goes:

va dominance and submission tribtue to blue oyster cult

Dominance and Submission: A Tribute To Blue Öyster Cult

Californian powerhouse RIPPLE MUSIC is proud to announce the upcoming release of their all-star tribute album to Blue Öyster Cult: ‘Dominance and Submission: A Tribute to Blue Öyster Cult’. The album will feature covers by Steve Hanford, Mark Lanegan, Billy Anderson, Jeff Matz, Zeke, Mondo Generator and other major names of the heavy rock world.

This special tribute album was initiated by Poison Idea’s departed drummer Steve Hanford, in conjunction with Ian Watts of Ape Machine. Founded in 1967, Blue Öyster Cult are considered pioneers of occult rock’n’roll, marking generations with timeless anthems such as “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”, “Burnin’ for You”, “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll” or “Godzilla”. The New-York outfit has since then remained a reference act of the 70s rock scene alongside Black Sabbath, MC5, The Stooges or Steppenwolf.

The “Dominance and Submission: A Tribute To Blue Öyster Cult” record will highlight some of the finest work from the legendary American band, with unique contributions from JEFF MATZ of ZEKE and HIGH ON FIRE, MONDO GENERATOR, MOS GENERATOR, GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST, QUASI, HOLY GROVE, WAR CLOUD, APE MACHINE, ZEKE, YEAR OF THE COBRA, FETISH, SPINDRIFT as well as MARK LANEGAN and BILLY ANDERSON. The artwork was designed by Dave Snider.

The concept:

Steven Hanford AKA Thee Slayer Hippy lived the rocky road of the rock and roll veteran. As drummer and producer in Poison Idea he played on two of the most influential records of hardcore – War All The Time and Feel The Darkness. As producer he worked on indie rock projects such as Heatmiser (with frontman Elliot Smith) and punk albums for notable names like The Hard Ons. Due to some struggles with addiction which he later attributed to repressed sexual abuse as a child, Steve found himself in prison on multiple occasions, most recently in 2008 for a seven-year sentence after robbing a Walgreens. While in prison, Steve turned his life around and started recording albums for prisoners with a fellow inmate named Sam Redding (Sam appears on this record). After being released in 2015, Steve jumped on a tour playing drums in The Skull and was soon after introduced to Ape Machine by mutual friend Tony Lash (Heatmiser). Steve quickly joined Ape Machine on drums and also as producer for Darker Seas. While on the road with Ape Machine, Steve decided he wanted to produce a tribute record to one of his favorite bands, Blue Öyster Cult.

Steve had a vision of building a studio and originally wanted to use funds from the sale of the tribute record to get some gear. The goal was to be able to work in his own studio, producing records for other bands. The idea was to have bands come and record BÖC tribute songs in his fledgling studio (temporarily using borrowed gear from Ian Watts) which he would produce, simultaneously making a name for the studio, his production techniques, and his drumming skills. Much of the gear and engineering would be provided by Ian Watts.

Unfortunately, Steve didn’t make it to see the project through to release due to his suffering a heart attack on May 21st 2020. Fortunately for music fans though, he had completed most of the recording for the project, leaving Ian Watts to gather the final pieces and mix the record.

Steve was an accomplished and respected musician and was able to round up a star studded cast of bands for the tribute, including members of Mondo Generator, Quasi, Holy Grove, War Cloud, Mos Generator, Great Electric Quest, Ape Machine, Zeke, Year of the Cobra, High on Fire, Fetish, Spindrift as well as notable names such as Mark Lanegan and Billy Anderson.

With Steve no longer being with us, the proceeds of the record will go to benefit his widowed partner, Kitty Diggins who was left with some financial hardships, including much needed house repairs.

TRACK LISTING & LINEUP
1) ME262 (Steve Hanford, Nick Oliveri, Ian Watts, Mike Pygmie)
2) Dominance and Submission (Steve Hanford, Mark Lanegan, Sam Coomes, Sam Redding)
3) Wings Wetted Down (Steve Hanford, Billy Anderson, Rob Wrong, Andrea Vidal)
4) Tattoo Vampire (Mondo Generator)
5) Stairway to the Stars (War Cloud)
6) Veteran of the Psychic Wars (Ape Machine)
7) Flaming Telepaths (Great Electric Quest)
8) Transmaniacon MC (Mos Generator w/ Steve Hanford)
9) 7 Screaming Dizbusters (Fetish)
10) Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll (Zeke w/ Jeff Matz and Steve Hanford)
11) Fireworks (Year of the Cobra w/ Steve Hanford)
12) Don’t Fear the Reaper (Spindrift and Steve Hanford)

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Poison Idea, War All the Time (1987)

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Cortez Premiere “Look at You” Video; Sell the Future out Oct. 22

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on August 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

cortez

Boston heavy rockers Cortez release their new album, Sell the Future, on Oct. 22 through Ripple Music. Preorders are up at the link below, and the long-player — their third — follows three years behind 2017’s The Depths Below (review here), which is the shortest stretch between offerings of the band’s 13-years-so-far career, and all the more so considering the 2018 split with Wasted Theory (review here) that marked their arrival on RippleCortez have never been a full-time, in-the-van-for-weeks kind of band. Most of their shows have been regional to New England or the Eastern Seaboard, and though their first EP, 2007’s Thunder in a Forgotten Town, was put out by Belgium’s Buzzville Records, they are and have always primarily been a Boston band in terms of the traditions they follow in melody and drive and the underlying edge of aggression that has emerged in their material. Or as vocalist Matt Harrington puts it in the opening line of “Vanishing Point,” “Born into a place of cutthroats and of the insane.”

I had the pleasure some months ago of writing the bio for Sell the Future. Not the first I’ve done for Cortez, I think, and hopefully not the last. According to my email dates, I turned in the draft to guitarist Scott O’Dowd on March 15, 2020, at 6:44AM, which might explain the somewhat foreboding tone of the thing as the US was just in the beginning throes of its COVID-19 lockdown. One suspects Sell the Future would have been released sooner than the Fall had that lockdown not taken place, but then, well, blah blah blah. Ultimately what matters is the record itself, which brings together eight Mad Oak-recorded tracks that, beginning right from the outset with “No Escape,” careen along the line between heavy rock and heavy metal, Harrington‘s soulful vocals — he gives the best performance here I’ve ever heard from him — backed by bassist Jay Furlo (plus some gang shouts) as guitarists Scott O’Dowd and Alasdair Swan rip into leads and chunky riffs with a vitality that’s all the more punctuated with the let’s-just-get-this-cowbell-out-of-the-way-now drumming of Alexei Rodriguez. It quickly becomes apparent that Cortez are about to go on a tear, and the 42-minute offering does that and more, be it in speeders like “No Escape,” “Look at You,” Deceivers” and the penultimate “Vanishing Point,” or more mediated pieces like the title-track, “Faulty Authors,” or the seven-minute finale “Beyond.”

Uniting the material of course is the production, which is as crisp, full and unremittingly professional as one expects when one sees the words “Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studio” accompany a release. Dude is a brand you can trust. On a somewhat more subtle level, though, the songs are brought together by a socially conscious thematic that comes across in the lyrics front-to-back. Harrington isn’t naming names, exactly, but neither is he looking around him and ignoring the gross inequalities of the age in which we live. The title Sell the Future itself does Cortez Sell the Future Timur Khabirovmore than simply hint at this, and along with the classic heavy rock methodology the band employs, the pointedly metal riff that launches side B with “Deceivers” and the chug that ensues is met by a critique of capitalist greed that puts it about as straightforward as possible in saying outright, “Why don’t you understand/Can’t trust the businessman,” reminding just a touch of some of C.O.C.‘s more discourse-fueled moments but pushing farther in letting the whole record speak to a variety of issues.

It’s something of a turn on the part of the band — though certainly one could position the three-part saga that consumed the middle of The Depths Below as a metaphor — but the renewed focus fits well alongside the shove of their grooves and the largesse of more lumbering moments like “Sell the Future,” with its seeming lyrical nod to the “gathering” in Sabbath‘s “Sign of the Southern Cross,” or even side B’s “Sharpen the Spear,” which isn’t by any means slow, but still boasts the more spacious feel lent to the title-cut or “Beyond”; a sonic element one might liken to post-thrash Metallica were The Black Album not an eternal thorn in the side of allegedly “true” metal. Cortez, as they will, use it to their advantage.

And aside from the band laying claim to this particular niche of semi-aggro melodic heavy, it’s worth noting that they do so with a consistency in songwriting that is undeniably their own. They’re not in a rush. Even cuts like “Look at You,” which are by no means bloated, can run five minutes long and feature a host of solos and other movements aside from the verses and choruses, and likewise, “Vanishing Point,” which is the shortest inclusion at just over four minutes, spends the entirety of minutes two-to-three trading between guitar leads. Really, it’s on the dot, one minute. They finish in harmony and the verse picks back up. But Cortez have always been a guitar-driven band, and from their 2012 self-titled debut (review here) onward, their project has been about refining their craft along those lines. Sell the Future is the farthest they’ve yet pushed themselves in doing that — if you doubt it, “Beyond” should silence any counterargument with its near-YOB subdued opening and unfolding build and melodic breadth that brings in the recognizable voice of Jess Collins from Set Fire (also ex-Mellow Bravo) to back Harrington and finishes after its apex by allowing itself a genuine moment of comedown to cap the record.

It may or may not be fair to consider Cortez a well kept secret three albums in. Perhaps “underrated” is more like it, and they’re certainly that. Even in such a crowded sphere as that of heavy rock, they prove there’s a place for something that’s less about genre trickery than nuance and a well-honed individualism of approach. Each Cortez release has been a step forward from the one before it, and each one — in part because they’ve generally taken a while to show up one after the other, whatever stopgaps have surfaced along the way — has been a thing to appreciate for aficionados of both traditional and forward thinking heavy rock and roll. Sell the Future is not only no exception to these ideas, it is their epitome, and unquestionably the finest work Cortez have done to-date.

My pleasure to host the video premiere for “Look at You” below. Under that you’ll find the preorder link and the bio I wrote (short and sweet) for the album. Thanks for reading.

And enjoy:

Cortez, “Look at You” official video premiere

Album preorder: https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/product/cortez-sell-the-future-deluxe-vinyl-editions

BIO:

The future is fast, the future is sharp, and the future has already been sold, baby, so you missed your shot. Better luck next time.

Boston heavy rockers Cortez have always embodied an underdog spirit, from their 2007 debut EP, Thunder in a Forgotten Town, through their 2012 self-titled debut LP and 2017’s The Depths Below, but they’ve never sounded as supercharged as they do on Sell the Future.

With the precision of heavy metal, the soul of classic rock, and the unbridled attitude of a band who care less about your expectations than they do about writing kick-ass, drive-fast, dynamic, hugely-grooved, hugely melodic and expansive tunes, Cortez arrive at their third album with a well-earned sense of freedom in their approach. It isn’t about what style they play or the genre niche you want to fit them in — it’s about the crawling sleek of Sell the Future’s title-track, the crash of drums in “Sharpen the Spear” and the urgency of songs like opener “No Escape” and “Look at You.”

Sell the Future is a record of and for turbulent times, but its working themes aren’t so pointed as to sound already dated in the fast-moving, unending “No Escape”-is-right news cycle the universe seems to inhabit. As much as the band have come into their own operating as the five-piece of vocalist Matt Harrington, guitarists Scott O’Dowd and Alasdair Swan, bassist/backing vocalist Jay Furlo and drummer Alexei Rodriguez, their dedication to classic, timeless rock and roll songwriting is unflinching.

After taking part in Ripple Music’s The Second Coming of Heavy split series in 2018, Cortez have pushed themselves even further with Sell the Future, finding a passion and instrumental fury that comes through regardless of tempo and makes their songs all the more memorable. Whatever the days ahead might bring, Cortez stand ready.

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