King Buffalo Announce Oct./Nov. Touring; Post “Quickening” Video

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Well, King Buffalo are currently wrapping up their pre-release tour for the upcoming Longing to be the Mountain, which they’ll release Oct. 12 on their own in the US and through Stickman Records in Europe, so I guess the only thing left to do is announce the dates for the post-release tour. That will start Oct. 27 in Montreal and run through the first couple weeks-plus of November. They haven’t yet announced plans to head to Europe in support of the new record, but I’d expect that to follow not too long behind, maybe early 2019 or so.

And if you want to hear a particular example of the sonic progression between Longing to be the Mountain and its 2016 predecessor, Orion (review here), take a listen to the solo late in “Quickening,” the video for which is posted at the bottom here. The level of melodic engagement from guitarist Sean McVay, not to mention the confidence in his vocals, is an absolute standout on the record. And the record, as well, is an absolute standout among 2018’s releases. I’ll have a review up sometime in the next couple weeks.

Here are the dates from the PR wire:

king buffalo (Photo by Mike Turzanski)

KING BUFFALO: psych-rockers premiere “Quickening” video, announce 2nd leg of North American tour

New King Buffalo track “Quickening” has made its debut today, in the form of an animated video.

The song appears on the Rochester, New York trio’s sophomore album Longing to Be the Mountain, out October 12th (self-released in the US, Stickman Records in Europe.)

Longing to Be the Mountain is a feast of haunting vocals, hypnotic grooves, mounting tension and explosive finalés, earning more than a few comparisons to Pink Floyd. It was produced by All Them Witches guitarist Ben McLeod.

Pre-order the album (vinyl and digital):
http://kingbuffalo.com/

The band is currently on tour in North America and has revealed a second leg of North American tourdates, kicking off October 27th in Montreal:

Sep 12 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
Sep 13 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
Sep 15 – Toronto, ON @ Bovine Sex Club

Oct 27 – Montreal, QC @ Montreal Zombie Walk
Nov 1 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
Nov 2 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
Nov 3 – Fawn Grove, PA @ South County Brewing Co.
Nov 4 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
Nov 5 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle Back Room
Nov 6 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Nov 7 – New Orleans, LA @ Santos Bar
Nov 8 – Houston, TX @ Rudyard’s
Nov 9 – Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
Nov 10 – Fort Worth, TX @ Lola’s Saloon Sixth
Nov 12 – Nashville, TN @ The End
Nov 13 – Indianapolis, IN @ White Rabbit Cabaret
Nov 14 – Louisville, KY @ Jimmy Can’t Dance
Nov 15 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
Nov 16 – Detroit, MI @ PJ’s Lager House
Nov 17 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern

Lineup:
Sean McVay – vocals, guitar, synth
Dan Reynolds – bass, synth
Scott Donaldson – drums

kingbuffalo.com
facebook.com/kingbuffaloband
instagram.com/kingbuffaloband
twitter.com/kingbuffaloband
kingbuffalo.bandcamp.com

King Buffalo, “Quickening” official video

Tags: , , , , , ,

King Buffalo Announce New Album Longing to be the Mountain out Oct. 12; Touring This Month; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

king buffalo (Photo by Mike Turzanski)

Rochester’s King Buffalo have spent a good portion of the last couple years on the road and they’re back with a sprawling new collection they’ve dubbed Longing to be the Mountain that showcases the willful growth they’ve undertaken. Really. You know I loved Orion (review here). Still do, in fact. Longing to be the Mountain, in its performance and in the writing of the material itself is absolutely on a different plane of achievement. It’s a top-ten kind of album, and it distinguishes King Buffalo‘s mode of expression as having become all the more their own. I’m dead serious. It’ll be the kind of review that I’ll end with “recommended,” and you know I don’t break that one out often.

They’re streaming a new single now to give a taste, and you can check it out at the bottom of this post. Longing to be the Mountain was produced by Ben McLeod of All Them Witches and features cover art by Adrian Dexter, also known for his work with Elder. The appearance of neither is a coincidence, since King Buffalo have toured extensively with both groups.

And speaking of touring, they’re on the road this month to Psycho Las Vegas, as the PR wire informs:

king buffalo longing to be the mountain

KING BUFFALO announces sophomore album “Longing to Be the Mountain”; first single streaming; North American touring begins this month

King Buffalo announces the October 12th release of its second full-length album, Longing to Be the Mountain.

From Rochester, New York, King Buffalo is the trio of vocalist/guitarist Sean McVay, bassist Dan Reynolds, and drummer Scott Donaldson. Since forming in 2013, the self-proclaimed “heavy blues” band has made its name via debut album Orion, follow-up EP Repeater, and tours with the likes of The Sword and All Them Witches.

Sophomore album Longing to Be the Mountain is an enthralling piece of work that sees King Buffalo fulfill its promise. In six songs, clocking in at 42 minutes, the band cements the style initiated on previous releases. Sure to delight fans of psych, stoner, and krautrock, Longing to Be the Mountain is timeless rock music, greater than any one genre.

Donaldson’s clean, sturdy drumming and Reynolds’ hypnotic basslines lock into grooves that propel the songs, traveling from cool, spacious zones into all-out explosive finalés. Frontman McVay mesmerizes with a haunting vocal style that commands full attention despite its sedated tone – early Pink Floyd is a reference point. Within each song, he showcases a palette of vivid guitar playing, from jangly rhythms to ripping solos.

Some songs make their point in 4 minutes or less, others sprawl out above the 10-minute mark. In either case, there is no fat to trim. King Buffalo moves with purpose. Reynolds names British Invasion bands like The Animals as an influence on him during the making of Longing to Be the Mountain, noting how he came to respect simplicity – “just playing the right notes in the right places.” With the three members in sync, songs progress steadily and fluidly, from world-weary lulls into squalls of transcendence.

King Buffalo’s music and lyrics are in harmony, both painting pictures of traveling, questing, evolving. Of the lyrics, McVay says, “The album is about searching for meaning. It’s a story about finding one’s place in an increasingly turbulent and chaotic world.” We, the listeners, are lucky to witness King Buffalo’s journey as they cruise onward and upward, leaving behind an amazing soundtrack as they go.

Longing to Be the Mountain was produced by All Them Witches guitarist Ben McLeod. It was recorded at Main Street Armory in Rochester by Grant Husselman, mixed by Sean McVay, and mastered by Bernie Matthews. Acoustic guitar throughout the album was played by McLeod. The artwork was created by Adrian Dexter. The album will be released on vinyl and CD, and digitally.

King Buffalo embarks on a North American tour in August, including a stop at Psycho Las Vegas and numerous Canadian dates. More touring will follow in the fall.

King Buffalo on tour:
Aug 15 – Chicago, IL @ Reggies
Aug 16 – Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
Aug 17 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
Aug 18 – Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater
Aug 19 – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas
Aug 21 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
Aug 22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Five Star Bar
Aug 24 – San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
Aug 25 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver
Aug 27 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Loading Dock
Aug 28 – Boise, ID @ The Shredder
Aug 29 – Spokane, WA @ The Pin
Aug 30 – Portland, OR @ High Water Mark
Aug 31 – Seattle, WA @ Highline
Sep 1 – Vancouver, BC @ Astoria
Sep 2 – Kamloops, BC @ Grind House Cafe
Sep 4 – Calgary, AB @ Palomino Smokehouse
Sep 5 – Edmonton, AB @ Bohemia
Sep 6 – Saskatoon, SK @ Capitol Music Club
Sep 7 – Regina, SK @ Cloud 9
Sep 8 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Handsome Daughter
Sep 9 – Fargo, ND @ Aquarium
Sep 11 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Sep 12 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
Sep 13 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
Sep 15 – Toronto, ON @ Bovine Sex Club

Tracklist:
1) Morning Song
2) Sun Shivers
3) Cosmonaut
4) Quickening
5) Longing to Be the Mountain
6) Eye of the Storm

Lineup:
Sean McVay – vocals, guitar, synth
Dan Reynolds – bass, synth
Scott Donaldson – drums

Discography:
Longing to Be the Mountain (self-released, 2018)
Repeater EP (Stickman Records, 2018)
Orion (self-released, 2016)
Electric Ladyland Redux compilation (Magnetic Eye Records, 2015)
Split w/ Le Betre (STB Records, 2015)
Demo (2013)

kingbuffalo.com
facebook.com/kingbuffaloband
instagram.com/kingbuffaloband
twitter.com/kingbuffaloband
kingbuffalo.bandcamp.com

Tags: , , , , ,

King Buffalo Announce West Coast Tour with The Sword

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Rochester trio King Buffalo recently sold through the test pressings of their latest EP, Repeater (review here), at their BigCartel store — I mean, they were there and then they were gone, just like that — and I assumed it was because the psych rockers were looking to get together funds ahead of an impending return trip to Europe to once again tour alongside Massachusetts heavy prog forerunners Elder on a stint that includes stops at Desertfest Berlin and Desertfest London, but it seems that was only part of the story.

Newly announced today is the fact that King Buffalo will hit the road on the West Coast to tour with Austin, Texas, riff veterans The Sword. Not to take anything away from the stints King Buffalo have done in the US with All Them Witches or anyone else, but I think this qualifies for sure as the highest-profile US touring they’ve done to-date, and of course one wishes them all the best as they continue to turn heads everywhere they go. Dudes are killing it.

Dig the specifics:

King Buffalo on their upcoming tours:

KB from the outset was always determined be a touring band. In the four years since our creation we’ve never been to the west coast. Something for whatever reason always seemed to elude us. We’re excited to be making our maiden voyage with some absolute legends in The Sword.

King Buffalo w/ The Sword west coast tour:
3/21 Austin, TX – Mohawk
3/23 El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
3/24 Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
3/25 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey
3/26 San Francisco, CA – Fillmore
3/27 Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
3/29 Seattle, WA – Neumos
3/30 Spokane, WA – The Pin
3/31 Boise, ID – Neurolux
4/2 Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall
4/3 Grand Junction, CO – The Mesa Theater
4/4 Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre (Englewood)
4/6 Lincoln, NE – Bourbon Theatre
4/7 Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre
4/8 Milwaukee, WI – The Rave II
4/9 Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
4/10 Memphis, TN – 1884 Lounge
4/11 Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre

King Buffalo w/ Elder European tour:
24.04.2018 DK – Copenhagen, VEGA
25.04.2018 SWE – Stockholm, Undergången
26.04.2018 NOR – Oslo, Parkteatret
27.04.2018 NOR – Bergen, Landmark Bergen
28.04.2018 NOR – Stavanger, Folken
30.04.2018 SWE – Gothenburg, Sticky Fingers // Göteborg
01.05.2018 GER – Hamburg, Hafenklang
03.05.2018 PL – Kracow, TBA
04.05.2018 PL – Warsaw, Klub Hydrozagadka
05.05.2018 DE – Berlin, Desertfest Berlin
06.05.2018 UK – London, Desertfest London
07.05.2018 B – Brussels, Ancienne Belgique – AB
08.05.2018 NL – Haarlem, Patronaat Haarlem
09.05.2018 CH – Winterthur, Gaswerk
10.05.2018 F – Gueret, Festival Metal Culture(s) VIII
12.05.2018 ES – Madrid, Kristonfest
18.05.2018 IS – Reykjavik, Gaukurinn

http://kingbuffalo.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/kingbuffalolives/
http://www.twitter.com/_kingbuffalo
http://www.instagram.com/_kingbuffalo
http://kingbuffalo.com/
https://www.stickman-records.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Stickman-Records-1522369868033940/

King Buffalo, Repeater (2018)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Review & Track Premiere: King Buffalo, Repeater EP

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

King Buffalo Repeater

[Click play above to stream ‘Centurion’ by King Buffalo. Their Repeater EP can be preordered as a 12-inch vinyl as of Jan. 5.]

The question of how Rochester, New York, heavy psych upstart trio King Buffalo will follow-up their debut full-length, Orion (review here), is answered in the form of the three-track Repeater EP. In the year-plus since the album’s first, (self-)release in 2016, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay, bassist Dan Reynolds and drummer Scott Donaldson signed to Stickman Records and oversaw an official issue of the record and have toured Stateside with All Them Witches and in Europe alongside labelmates Elder, and the EP brings three new cuts that represent the first new music they’ve produced following this productive time.

It is 24 minutes of material, and more than 13 of that resides within the opening title-track (also the longest of the set; immediate points), but in terms of flow and conveying a sense of how their progression is unfolding, Repeater feels like the first chapter in a larger story more than a standalone offering. That is to say, the vibe is more mini-album than single-song showcase for throwaways or “extras” from a recording session.

Part of that may of course owe to the fluidity in King Buffalo‘s approach overall, which was certainly a factor on Orion and just as certainly hasn’t at all been diminished by the stretches of time they’ve spent on the road, but there’s a perceptible resounding in the molten aspects of “Repeater,” “Too Little too Late” and “Centurion” that underlines the purposefulness with which King Buffalo engage such an open feel in what they do. Jamming is a crucial part of it at their foundation, but as far out as they go, their chemistry is put to use in servicing a song, even in something as vast as “Repeater” itself, which is their longest single track to-date.

Nearest competition in that regard is “Providence Eye,” which appeared both on their first demo in 2013 (review here) and on the subsequent 2015 STB Records-issued split with now-defunct Swedish troupe Lé Betre (review here) and in its longer incarnation topped 11 minutes, so the intrigue around “Repeater” is immediate. The song sounds like it was born on the road, and the lyrics, about repetition, about monotony, with a kind of hurry-up-and-wait undertone of theme, could easily be about touring life (I don’t have a lyric sheet to confirm that), but more importantly, its graceful, patient unfolding around an initial drone and subdued build of drums and guitar leads to a progression that feels as though on any given night, at any given show, it might sound just a little different.

Some nuance might change. Some flourish of guitar might be added, or the drums might tick in a different direction, or Reynolds‘ bass — which make no mistake is the root holding King Buffalo‘s songs together — might add a complementary run to the open-strummed echo of McVay‘s effects. The first verse ends with the line repeated, “Every day is the same” and a move into psychedelic drift around a gorgeous guitar tone worthy of comparison to Sungrazer at their best — yes, I mean that — and before the listener has blinked, the trio are four minutes deep and into a second verse en route to a semi-jam in the midsection from which they return to set “Repeater”‘s build in motion across the second half, the guitar signaling an uptick in tension before an explosion of fuzz just past the eight-minute mark brings them to the next stage, rolling out a thickened, full-volume riff and crash executed in dynamic form.

king buffalo

They pull back momentarily circa 10 minutes in, but are soon enough knee deep once again in this sonic heft, McVay‘s guitar howling atop the low end rumble from Reynolds and the shoving, insistent plod of Donaldson‘s drums. A residual hum finishes that fades to amp noise for the last minute or so, and a volume swell bleeds directly (on the digital version, anyway) into the beginning of “Too Little too Late,” the two songs tied together very much as they might appear on a proper long-player.

That decision does not and should not feel like a minor signal on the part of the band in terms of the work Repeater is doing for them on the whole, signaling their audience that the potential for growth Orion represented was indeed no fluke and that that work has been duly undertaken. “Too Little too Late,” the shortest inclusion at 4:43, is an instrumental piece based around a central drum figure topped by one-two hits, fluidic effects noise, spaced-out swirl, feedback and a generally hypnotic execution.

In its third minute, it devolves from what up till then was its central figure and casts itself out into minimalist drone rumble, a helicopter-esque feedback noise rising and fading to silence ahead of the more clear-headed guitar line that begins “Centurion.” Once again, with Reynolds‘ bass in the underscore position, McVay sets what sounds increasingly like a signature King Buffalo-style opening progression even before the arrival of Donaldson‘s drums, and as the first verse leads to the hook, the easy transition to the chorus highlights how natural their motion has become over such a short period of time.

This ultimately speaks to how loaded with potential King Buffalo are on the whole at this stage in their career — their material is welcoming to listeners and friendly in its tone, but immersive and characterized by a depth that, whether in the subdued beginning moments of “Centurion” or following the volume thrust at the halfway point, feels like an exploration undertaken by audience as much as performer. “Centurion” hits its peak loudness and carries a layer of washing guitar lead across for good measure as its apex serves the entirety of Repeater as much as its own flow, and moves into its final minute with a resolve that seems very much like, again, on any given night, at any given show, King Buffalo might just shove it outward for an indeterminate amount of time; whenever a head-bob or hand signal is given to change, in other words.

Here, they skillfully follow that last change and cut back to the initial bounce of the verse for a measure or two and then end cold, the signal coming through clearly that Repeater is more than ready to live up to its name and go another round. I don’t know and won’t try to speculate where King Buffalo might go with their sophomore full-length when the time comes for it, how they might continue to grow, what they might push toward in terms of arrangements or execution or general sound, but Repeater finds them brimming with confidence both as individuals and as a unit, and their songwriting here hits a new level of craftsmanship that only raises one’s hopes even after such an impressive debut long-player. The question isn’t so much whether King Buffalo are prepared for their next step as it is whether their audience is ready to realize the special moment playing out in front of them.

King Buffalo BigCartel store

King Buffalo website

King Buffalo on Thee Facebooks

King Buffalo on Twitter

King Buffalo on Instagram

Tags: , , , , ,

King Buffalo Announce Repeater EP out Jan. 5

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Rochester, New York, three-piece King Buffalo spent an admirable portion of 2017 on the road supporting their 2016 debut album, Orion (review here), which was issued by Stickman Records, including runs that took them to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and a European tour alongside formidable labelmates Elder that just recently wrapped. Somewhere along the way, they found time to put some new material to tape, and the resulting Repeater EP — named for its sprawling, 13-minute-long opening title-track — will arrive just after the first of the year, right in time to be the first inclusion in my notes for the best of 2018’s short releases. Funny how that works out.

They don’t have any of it streaming publicly yet, but vinyl preorders for the self-release are up now through their BigCartel store, where one can also find a digipak CD pressing of their initial demo and loads of other goodies audible and wearable. They sent the following announcement along the PR wire:

King Buffalo Repeater

KING BUFFALO RELEASE EP, REPEATER, ON JAN. 5

King Buffalo, the Rochester three-piece whose discography includes, a 2013 EP titled Demo, a 2015 split 12” with Le Betre, a 2016 debut album Orion, will self-release their newest EP, Repeater, on January 5th.

The three-song release has vinyl preorders available via: (http://kingbuffalo.bigcartel.com).

“Repeater is something we spent a lot of time with,” drummer Scott Donaldson explained. “We originally envisioned it being part of our sophomore full length, but soon realized it was a release of its own. These three songs developed organically in our practice/recording space in early 2017. They flow through a cohesive vision and form a complete thought like Orion. It wouldn’t have made sense to us, to have them released in any other way. They’ve become some of our favorite songs to play live and you can really sense that from the recordings. We look forward to seeing what people think, and we’re beyond excited on how it all turned out.”

In discussing the EP, Nick DiSalvo of Elder said “Repeater is a spacious, warm sounding record — and as the title implies, it’s deceptively repetitious: the songs breathe, bloom organically and envelop the listener while still being hypnotized by its groove. Somewhere between psychedelic, fuzz rock and shoegaze King Buffalo claim their sonic turf, and it’s not hard for me to imagine this is what big sky country sounds like.”

King Buffalo is Scott Donaldson (drums), Sean McVay (guitar/vocals/synth) and Dan Reynolds (bass/synth).

Repeater track list:
1. Repeater
2. Too Little Too Late
3. Centurion

http://kingbuffalo.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/kingbuffalolives/
http://www.twitter.com/_kingbuffalo
http://www.instagram.com/_kingbuffalo
http://kingbuffalo.com/
https://www.stickman-records.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Stickman-Records-1522369868033940/

King Buffalo, Live at Wicked Squid Studios (6.16.16)

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Orodruin, Epicurean Mass

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Orodruin, Epicurean Mass (2003)

Next time you’re looking for an example of a band who really, really, really, really need to get another record out, keep Orodruin in mind. I’m talking about the kind of band who’d be doing the world a favor by putting out something new, and that’s the Rochester doomers all the way. Not saying I need something from them every six months or anything like that — like they’re about to turn into some Upstate New York Hawkwind or something — but it’s been over 14 years since their debut full-length, Epicurean Mass, came out via PsycheDOOMelic Records, and if you believe in the concept of “overdue,” then there’s just about no way a sophomore outing from Orodruin doesn’t qualify.

True, the band have had a number of short offerings out since then. 2004 brought a split with Reverend Bizarre as well as the compilation Claw Tower… and Other Tales of Terror that’s basically stood in ever since where a second full-length might’ve otherwise been, but that was basically it until they were selling a new demo at Days of the Doomed in 2011 and they had copies of the subsequent, limited-to-30-copies In Doom EP for sale when they played the Wisconsin-based fest in 2012 as well — as I recall it was in a paper sleeve; without looking I’m at least 90 percent sure mine is upstairs on the rack with the other sleeve purchases — but even that was half a decade ago now and throughout most of that stretch, news of a follow-up hasn’t gone much beyond “it’s in progress” or “we’re writing”-type updates. Nothing even close to a firm release date, label news, etc., and listening to the Epicurean Mass, that only adds to the void conjured by the classic-style doom of songs like “Burn the Witch” and “Melancholia.” With the mournful vocals of bassist Mike Puleo at the fore over the schooled-and-schooling riffs of guitarists Nick Tydelski and John Gallo, the latter also of Blizaro and his own admirably Paul Chain-esque solo work, backed by the lumbering drums of Mike WaskeEpicurean Mass has to stand among one of the most underrated US trad doom releases of all time.

Think about it this way. Orodruin formed in 1998 and issued Epicurean Mass in 2003. That puts them roughly concurrent to Indianapolis’ The Gates of Slumber, who formed in ’98 and put out their first record, The Awakening, in 2004. Think about the trajectory of the two bands. The Gates of Slumber spent years touring their collective ass off and released a total of five albums between ’04 and their swansong in 2011, and came to represent the head of a movement of traditionalist doom the influence of which is still spreading. Maybe you have to have seen Orodruin play live to get this sense, but there’s no way Orodruin couldn’t have been right there with the Midwesterners in profile and prestige. I think that comes through when you hear to the harmonies in “Peasants Lament” and “War Cry” — let alone the organ in the latter, which sets up the perfect preface for the final stretch of the eight-minute closing title-track — or the downer shuffle of “Pierced by Cruel Winds,” the rumble of “Unspeakable Truth” and the tempo shifts in “Melancholia.” In tone and presence, Orodruin were no less dynamic than The Gates of Slumber or anyone else working in the style at the time — hell, look at the legacy Reverend Bizarre have left behind in Europe; you can still see the ripples in new doom acts almost every week on release day. That’s not to take away from RevBiz or The Gates of Slumber at all. Those bands worked hard in the studio and on the road to earn the prestige they enjoyed during their respective time together. Nobody was sneaking their way to popularity there or getting away with a shortcut. I’m just saying the quality of Orodruin‘s craft, particularly on Epicurean Mass, meets that same quality standard, and in no small part because they never toured as much or as widely and haven’t to-date issued a follow-up LP, they never got to the same level of recognition for their work.

Is it too late? I don’t know. On July 5 of this year, Orodruin posted an update saying they would be tracking demos in August and September to kick around to labels and had picked out a studio to begin recording proper on their second album in December. Never say never in rock and roll. It could be that 2018 will finally bring a new Orodruin full-length and perhaps that will let them get some measure of the recognition they’ve long since deserved. Some 14 years — by then it will be 15 — after Epicurean Mass, one hesitates to offer a prediction either way, but if there’s hope of it coming together and actually happening, it’s hard to imagine labels like Shadow KingdomThe Church Within, or maybe even someone like Svart wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to stand behind the four-piece’s work. And as to what it might sound like? My guess is it would be doomed as hell. Frankly, it’s hard to think about the prospect and not get excited at what might come, but if it even happens, it’s probably a ways off, so yeah. Measured response. Cool your jets.

And in the meantime, one of the most righteous aspects of Epicurean Mass is that its decay is as ripe today as it was when it first came out, so if you’ve never heard it or if you’re revisiting after a while, I most definitely hope you enjoy its doomly processions.

Thanks as always for reading.

Oy, this week.

Though it started out exceedingly pleasant as The Patient Mrs. and I continued a long weekend in Vermont to celebrate our anniversary, I’ll say I’m not at all sorry to see it come to an end. The site, as you may or may not have noticed, shit the bed on Tuesday. The deal was basically that HostGator, the company I’ve used for the last however many years to host it, decided that it took up too much processor power and shut it down, more or less holding it hostage until I either did some shit that wasn’t going to actually fix anything and was going to take up a bunch of time or — and something tells me this was actually what they were going for — gave them more money to move to a dedicated server.

Well fuck that, and fuck them. With the generosity of Behrang Alavi of Samavayo, who it just so happens offered a while ago to host the site, we’re now in the process of making a switch. The site’s back up (you’re reading it, so yeah), and Behrang and Slevin have been working hard all week to make the transition happen while I’ve sat and fretted to no fucking end and tried to keep up with the writing end of things in no small part to stop myself from going insane. Minimally effective. We were back live yesterday. Two days’ downtime. On the grand scheme that’s nothing, but still kind of excruciating for me personally in a way I’m not sure I can properly express.

Came back from Vermont on Wednesday because The Patient Mrs. had work, kind of feeling like we were getting away with something by sneaking that trip in before the baby comes. Getting closer to the Oct. 15 due date. Just a couple weeks now. All’s well on that front. The Patient Mrs. remains aglow despite some well-earned discomfort, and all the ultrasounds and midwife visits show The Pecan as healthy and basically just waiting to show up and start kicking ass. We’re stoked.

As I noted last week was our wedding anniversary, this week — yesterday, actually — was the anniversary of when The Patient Mrs. and I first got together. 20 years ago. In 1997. Unbelievable. She is so much a part of my life. Like, all of it. And I feel like we’re just about to start this whole new adventure. It’s an amazing time and it’s going to be really challenging and really exciting and all of these things. But we’re doing it together, is the thing. I’m so lucky. 20 years. I was 15.

Having just come back from Vermont the day before, we didn’t really do much to celebrate. She went to work and I plowed away catching up on Obelisk stuff at home, but I grilled her some chicken and a garlic-infused burger for myself (also made a garlic/truffle aioli to go on top of that, which was amazing) and sauteed some baby kale and we sat down to dinner together and then watched baseball on the couch for a while before crashing out, so not by any means an unpleasant evening. This weekend we’re in Connecticut to see her family and my family and then back to MA on Sunday for The Patient Mrs.’ baby shower with her coworkers. I’m told I have to go. Seems debatable to me at best.

Next week, we wrap the Quarterly Review on Monday and there’s more to come besides. Here’s what’s in my notes now, subject to change as always and as this week certainly has been:

Mon.: Quarterly Review Day 6; Tronald video; Freak Valley 2018 announcement.
Tue.: Young Hunter track premiere/review; Asteroid video premiere.
Wed.: Enslaved review; Aux track premiere.
Thu.: Black Mare review; Rancho Bizarro video.
Fri.: Radio Moscow review.

Those reviews and some more slated for the week after is stuff I’m trying to get in before The Pecan shows up, but we’ll see how it goes. We’re close enough now to the due date that it could basically be anytime, so if it happens that’s obviously going to affect my ability to get reviews done as slated at least in the immediate for a few days, right? Can’t really be like, “Hey baby, I know you’re in labor but this Radio Moscow album ain’t gonna write itself up! Also what’s the hospital wifi?” So yeah. Please know I’ll do what I can when I can. Same as always.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend, whatever you’re up to. I appreciate you taking the time to read, and I think you for your patience with the downtime this week. Hopefully that’s over with at this point, but in any case, yeah, thanks. And special thanks to Slevin and Behrang as well.

Have fun. Be safe. Thanks for reading. Back Monday. Forum and Radio.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , ,

The Obelisk Radio Adds: Tia Carrera, Humulus, King Buffalo, Telekinetic Yeti, High Plains

Posted in Radio on April 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio cavum

You may or may not be overly concerned to find out, but we’re still running on the backup server for The Obelisk Radio while the data is transferred to the new hard drive. Judging by the number of listeners at any given point, you’re not. The numbers are still pretty good. Nonetheless, I cannot express the depth of my appreciation to Slevin for sorting out this mess. I had no idea when I hit him up on a Sunday to be like, “Uh, the stream is down” that it would be a project requiring more than a month of his valuable time. Dude is a godsend. I should send him a cheese basket.

Instead, he gets a zip file with the following releases to add to that temporary stream (they’ll go on the new server as well when that’s operational). Because I am a shitty friend, and because cheese baskets are expensive as hell. Let’s do this.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for April 10, 2017:

Tia Carrera, Laid Back (Frontside Rock ‘n’ Roll)

tia-carrera-laid-back-front-side-rock-and-roll

It’s been a hot minute since last we heard from Austin, Texas, three-piece instrumentalists Tia Carrera. The last offering the heavy psych jammers had out with a 2013 vinyl edition (review here) of their 2011 full-length, Cosmic Priestess (review here). So upwards of six years, if you want to go by the original release date of what was their second album for Small Stone Records. They reportedly have a new one coming this Fall, so one might think of the nine-and-half-minute single “Laid Back (Frontside Rock ‘n’ Roll),” which was recorded live this past January with the lineup of guitarist Jason Morales, bassist Curt Christiansen and drummer Erik Conn, as a lead-in for that. True, Tia Carrera haven’t been completely absent — they played Psycho Las Vegas in 2016 and one sees their name on various SXSW bills each year — but either way, it’s a welcome studio return from a band who were ahead of the post-Earthless curve that has swelled further out West, and who, despite a kind of raw, garage-style recording here, nonetheless showcase the chemistry and fluidity that separated them from the pack to start with. As the title promises, the jam is laid back, rife with swirling guitar, winding basslines and drumming that, while propulsive doesn’t take away from the languid overarching vibe. They’ve made the song a name-your-price download, so all the better should you be inclined to dig in. And you should be.

Tia Carrera on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records website

 

Humulus,Reverently Heading into Nowhere

humulus-reverently-heading-into-nowhere

With nodding groove, fuzzed tonality and, for good measure, flourish of psychedelia, Brescia, Italy, trio Humulus may be working amid familiar elements on their second long-player, Reverently Heading into Nowhere (on Taxi Driver and Oak Island Records), but the results are impeccably constructed. The album, which follows their 2015 Electric Warlrus EP (review here) and 2012 self-titled debut, offers six tracks that carefully balance atmosphere and heft, cuts like “Catskull” digging into classic desert rock sensibilities via the modern European approach of a band like 1000mods while longer pieces like opener “Distant Deeps or Skies,” “Anachronaut” and the 11-minute finale “Rama Kushna” save room for increasingly expansive jamming, the latter the most spacious of all with floating guitar over a satisfyingly warm bass in its midsection leading to an instrumental apex that, while predictable, is no less engaging for that upon its arrival. Even shorter pieces like “The Gold Rush” and “The Great Hunt” find a balance between rolling rhythm and broader psychedelic consciousness, and when guitarist/vocalist Andrea Van Cleef, bassist Giorgio Bonacorsi and drummer Massimiliano Boventi lock into a slowdown, as at the end of “The Great Hunt” or in the Snail-esque “Anachronaut” earlier, the effect is duly massive to fit with the rhinoceros on the album’s cover. Their reverence is palpable, and throughout the 43-minute outing, Humulus make it plain that wherever they’re actually heading, they welcome their audience to come along for the trip.

Humulus on Thee Facebooks

Taxi Driver Records webstore

Oak Island Records on Thee Facebooks

 

King Buffalo, Live at Wicked Squid Studios (6.16.16)

king-buffalo-live-at-wicked-squid-studios

It’s nothing more or less than a live set, but as King Buffalo have already wrapped a round of US touring and were recently announced as support for Stickman Records labelmates Elder on their next European run, it seems only fair to grab the name-your-price Live at Wicked Squid Studios (6.16.16) while the grabbing’s good and consider the four-track/29-minute release a document of their chemistry as a live band as they marked the release of their debut album, Orion (review here), last summer. Not everything they play comes from that record — “New Time” was featured on their 2015 STB Records split with Lé Betre (review here) — but in their tone, breadth and expanse, they represent the full-length all the same. The psychedelic wash of “New Time” leads the way out of opener “Orion” and into a one-two medley of “Kerosene / Goliath Pt. 2,” and they finish by setting the controls for the heart of a nine-minute rendition of “Drinking from the River Rising,” which also closed Orion and proves no less immersive in this setting than it did on the studio offering. I’ve made no secret of the potential that I think resides in the Rochester, NY, three-piece, and as they move further into becoming a touring band, they’re only doing the work of bringing that potential to life. It may be that at some point we’ll look back on Live at Wicked Squid Studios as a kind of primitive beginning — I don’t want to predict where they’ll go or how their sound will continue to develop — but even so, it’s fortunate that we’ll have it to look back on at all.

King Buffalo on Thee Facebooks

Stickman Records website

 

Telekinetic Yeti, Abominable

telekinetic yeti abominable

This shit is like catnip for riff-hounds. Iowan two-piece Telekinetic Yetstoner-march their way into the hearts and minds of the converted and onto the list of 2017’s best debuts with Abominable (on Sump Pump Records), a clean eight-track/41-minute long-player marked out by its tonal thickness and shifts between using it for Sleep-style roll and fuzzier fare, perhaps most directly and efficiently summarized on the single “Stoned and Feathered,” but in fluid proportion throughout cuts like the lumbering “Lightbearer” and the neo-stoner-delic chug of “Beneath the Black Sun” as well. Comprised just of guitarist/vocalist Alex Baumann and drummer Anthony Dreyer — though I’ll be damned if somebody isn’t playing bass on “Electronaut” — Telekinetic Yeti seem to burst out of the gate with a solid idea of who their audience is and what their audience wants, and to their credit, they deliver just that and have been met with a flurry of hyperbole for their efforts. I can’t really argue with the heft or cohesion of the material on Abominable, and the willingness on the part of Baumann and Dreyer to inject some atmospheric depth into the aptly-named nine-minute tour de force “Colossus” and closer “Himalayan Hymn” bodes well for their chances of leaving a mark over the longer term, even if there’s growing to be done before they get there. Still, as their first time out, Telekinetic Yeti‘s Abominable signals a righteousness of intent and wholly succeeds in capturing the attention it plainly seeks. The next few years will write their story, but if these guys take this show on the road, they could indeed turn into a monster.

Telekinetic Yeti on Thee Facebooks

Sump Pump Records on Bandcamp

 

High Plains, Cinderland

high plains cinderland

The story goes that Cinderland was recorded in Wyoming in a refurbished schoolhouse by the duo of ambient multi-instrumentalist Scott Morgan and classical cellist Mark Bridges — working together under the moniker High Plains — and composed very much with that high-altitude, utterly empty landscape in mind. Represented in a pervasive minimalism that makes every swell of volume on “The Dusk Pines” stand out and shifts between piano, cello, guitar, drone and electronics cinematic in their drama like the soundtrack to one of those foreboding Westerns where nobody talks because they’re afraid that if the earth hears them speak it will open up and swallow them whole — which it might — it is an immersive, resolutely melancholy execution across nine tracks and 36 minutes that is likewise stark and beautiful. “A White Truck” and “Hypoxia” carry some nuance of the paranoid, but there’s resolution in “Blood that Ran the Rapids” and “Song for a Last Night” that, like the high desert itself, teems with life while giving the impression of being a void for the lack of human presence. Mood-affecting in its atmospherics, Cinderland draws the listener into this world that is both gorgeous and threatening, and fits itself to the narrative that birthed it with resonance and depth. One hopes it is not a one-off collaboration between the Canadian Morgan and Wisconsin-based Bridges and that wherever their next trip together takes them — go to New Mexico! — they’re able to likewise capture the setting in such evocative fashion.

High Plains on Thee Facebooks

Kranky Records on Bandcamp

 

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

King Buffalo Announce Tour Dates; Playing Austin Terror Fest at SXSW and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Rochester heavy psych rockers King Buffalo have had some work done on their Buffalo Bills van and would seem to be ready to hit the road ahead of a round of US tour dates next month. They’ll do a couple Upstate kickoff shows this weekend in Buffalo and their hometown, and then head to Columbus on March 1 to begin the run proper, which includes gigs at SXSW at Austin Terror Fest — the Texan manifestation of the Southwest Terror Fest held each fall in Arizona — and alongside fuzz forebears Dead Meadow before they go to Fort Worth and meet up with Wo Fat. Nice to know they’ll be in good company.

They go, of course, supporting last year’s stellar debut, Orion (review here), which was picked up for issue by Stickman after being released initially by the band themselves, and this run should make for a decent preparation for their first trip to Europe this summer. They’re already confirmed for Stoned from the Underground in Germany this July, and at this point I’m wondering if a full tour is in the works around that. As the list of dates below would indicate, they’re clearly looking to hit the road in a bigger way this year. Too bad they won’t be able to take that van across the Atlantic.

I don’t know how to say it more clearly. Go see King Buffalo:

king buffalo

KING BUFFALO TOUR DATES:
FEB 24 FRI Mohawk Place Buffalo, NY
FEB 25 SAT KB Tour Send Off Continental Drift Rochester, NY
MAR 1 WED Spacebar Columbus, OH
MAR 2 THU Living Room Stroudsburg, PA
MAR 3 FRI The Garage Winston-Salem, NC w/ All Them Witches, IRATA
king buffalo vanMAR 4 SAT The Cave Chapel Hill, NC
MAR 6 MON Strange Matter Richmond, VA
MAR 7 TUE Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia, PA
MAR 9 THU Reggies Chicago, IL
MAR 11 SAT FUBAR Saint Louis, MO
MAR 12 SUN Your Mom’s Place Oklahoma City, OK
MAR 13 MON The Mix San Antonio, TX
MAR 15 WED Spiderhouse Ballroom Austin, TX
MAR 16 THU Austin Terror Fest Austin, TX
MAR 17 FRI Grizzly Hall Austin, TX w/ Dead Meadow
MAR 18 SAT Lola’s Saloon Fort Worth, TX w/ Wo Fat, The Great Electric Quest
JUL 14 FRI Stoned from the Underground Erfurt, Germany

King Buffalo is:
Dan Reynolds – Bass & Lights
Scott Donaldson – Drums & Vocals
Sean McVay – Guitar & Lead Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/kingbuffalolives/
http://www.twitter.com/_kingbuffalo
http://www.instagram.com/_kingbuffalo
http://kingbuffalo.com/
https://www.stickman-records.com/shop/king-buffalo-orion/
https://www.facebook.com/Stickman-Records-1522369868033940/

King Buffalo, Live at Wicked Squid Studios (6.16.16)

Tags: , , ,