Review & Full Album Stream: Outsideinside, Outsideinside II

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

outsideinside ii

[Outsideinside’s II is out March 6 on Rock Freaks Records. Click play above to stream the album in full.]

Since they made their debut in 2017 with the somewhat undervalued Sniff a Hot Rock (review here), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, classic-style heavy rockers Outsideinside — who take their name from Blue Cheer‘s 1968 sophomore album — have toured Europe and signed to the Freak Valley-affiliated Rock Freaks Records as well as added a fourth member to the band in James Hart, who brings organ/keys and guitar to the proto-heavy style proffered by the returning trio of drummer Panfilo Dicenzo, bassist Jim Wilson and vocalist/guitarist Dave Wheeler. Accordingly, their own sophomore album, Outsideinside II, is a somewhat richer affair than its predecessor, but its root mission is nonetheless consistent with its predecessor in not only paying homage to the heroes of two generations prior — the names are myriad, but the band cites FreeHendrixSpooky Tooth and Funkadelic, among others — but in giving new life to the sound and style those bands proffered. Thus, songs like side B’s “Ancient Faces” and the earlier swaggering “Fine Line” are more vintage in construction and tone than actual production, which remains clear modern, if organic and live sounding, finding a balance throughout its unassuming 40 minutes that is neither pretentious nor overblown in either direction.

It’s a line Wheeler and Wilson were able to tread in their previous outfit, Carousel, as well, but as Hart finds his place in the mix by Nate Campisi, who also recorded at Mr. Smalls Studio, here alongside the other three players, be it in the brash and speedy “In Your Mind” or the near-10-minute “Maggot Brain”-plus-vocals-esque finale “Eventide,” Outsideinside also seem to come into their own, building on the accomplishments in songcraft and overarching flow of their first LP — learning those lessons well and integrating them into what they do — while exploring new challenges and methods with a rightly won confidence. Thus it is a song like the presumed side A capper “I Ain’t Waitin'” is able to place a multifaceted hook in a verse position and shift fluidly into a thrilling pair of organ and guitar solos ahead of its last fadeout — what might be called a “duel” if the two elements weren’t so clearly working as part of the same team and toward the same ends.

While Hart makes key contributions throughout Outsideinside II as much figuratively as literally, one would be remiss not to point out the presence Wheeler brings to his performance throughout this material. As he leads the way through the Humble Pie-style mid-tempo boogie opener “My Mother’s Son” — those waiting to spot the record’s first use of cowbell will not have to wait long — he taps into a particular kind of soulfulness that few modern singers can effectively portray. Dru Brinkerhoff of Stone Axe could do it, but one is hard pressed to come up with other names besides Wheeler. It’s a style that is able to conjure booze-addled sway and follow-the-riff party vibes and emotional sincerity in kind, and amid all the swing and shove of the penultimate “Top 10” or “In Your Mind,” it shouldn’t be forgotten that after “My Mother’s Son” at the album’s outset comes “Sisterman,” wherein the lyrics position the idea of a sister as one who helps shoulder burdens and provides support apart even from what a brother or a parent might.

outsideinside (Photo by Susan Pedrazzi)

The first two tracks, then — the most immediate impressions Outsideinside II makes — are about notions of family. The hook of “My Mother’s Son” is likewise heartfelt: “Born and raised my mother’s son/Mama prays/Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” It’s not only a welcoming groove to start the LP and warm in tone and general feel in a way that represents well what follows, but a sweet sentiment that “Sisterman” complements even as it brings on more of a strut and stomp in terms of its rhythm. That too represents a defining aspect of the album as an entirety — not just how one track shifts into the next, but how the songs play off each other as a result of that. The sleek motion of “Fine Line” picks up from the opening duo and smoothly leads the listener into the next section of the LP, with “In Your Mind” and “I Ain’t Waitin'” right behind to bolster and further flesh out side A.

And after that organ/guitar fade at the end of “I Ain’t Waitin’,” it’s also worth noting that “Ancient Faces” answers right back at the (again, presumed) outset of side B with a likeminded procession in its introduction, and though the personality of the song is more mellow and built around its changes in volume between the verse and chorus and a kind of noodling lead in its second half as it builds to a more patient but still effective payoff, ahead of the last shakedown in “Top 10,” that momentum brings them into the increased breadth of “Eventide,” wherein Hart arguably makes his presence most felt in filling out what would otherwise be empty spaces in the ensuing jam. It is a moodier vibe that persists in the closer, and purposefully so, but Wheeler‘s vocals are able to fit the shifts that ensue, and the subtle wash of Dicenzo‘s cymbals behind and the foundation of Wilson‘s low end prove no less crucial in the quiet places than in any of the album’s prior boogie.

Thus it is that Outsideinside become a genuine four-piece on their second offering, and the change in dynamic from a classic power trio is evident despite the fact that the natural feel remains paramount. “Eventide” breaks at its halfway point and goes to ground to begin the final instrumental build that will close, and it is an especially engaging moment of the band functioning at all levels to bring together old and new strengths. In more than just the actual makeup of the group, Outsideinside II is an important forward step in aesthetic as well as songwriting, and while it never veers — somewhat refreshingly — into territory one might call progressive, the evolution on display from Outsideinside could hardly be called anything else. As yet, they are a better band than people know.

Outsideinside on Thee Facebooks

Outsideinside on Spotify

Rock Freaks Records on Thee Facebooks

Rock Freaks website

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Ruff Majik Closing 2018 with Cape Town Shows

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ruff majik

When last heard from, South African trio Ruff Majik were getting ready to hit the studio in September to track a quick-turnaround sophomore album to answer their 2018 debut, Seasons (review here). They did shows throughout the country last month following up on two European tours earlier this year, and I’d have to imagine the new record is at least finished in terms of the actual recording process, if not mixed or yet mastered. Their eye was on an early 2019 release, so hopefully that actually comes together.

In the meantime, they’ll play four shows in Cape Town to close out the year, two of which are free. That in itself is pretty nifty, but kudos the band on getting four bookings in the same city on four consecutive nights. It’s not every group in every town who could make that happen, even with a variety of openers. Clearly there’s some respect there, so right on.

The PR wire brings the dates and the whatnot:

ruff majik tour

Ruff Majik Reveal Cape Town Tour Dates for December

Pretoria’s sludge n rollers Ruff Majik have announced a couple dates for Cape Town shows in December. They’ll be joined by Cape Town based hardcore heroes Peasant for two shows along with a host of the city’s finest heavy bands including MA-AT, Monstroid, Behest, Blood Ret, Pooch, The Man Motels and more.

Pieter Jordaan from Peasant comments on the tour “Cape Town is often starved of the doomy goodness that a band like Ruff Majik can provide, so we are very stoked to have them pull through for the long weekend! With Peasant joining on two dates, and some of the best garage, fuzz and hardcore the city has to offer, the tour will be the best way to start off the holiday season right!”

Ruff Majik guitarist and vocalist Johni Holiday does on to add “Cape Town is always such a magic experience. The crowds are always intensely invested in the music, and we get the best green when we visit! This time around, we’re really excited to be joined by the dudes of Peasant and some of the finest doom, garage and hardcore bands that CPT has to offer!”

THUR 13 DEC – Black Irish – 1 Scher Street, Durbanville R40 ENTRANCE
FRI 14 DEC – Prison – 28 Somerset Rd, Green Point, Cape Town FREE ENTRANCE
SAT 15 DEC – Scary Canary – 225 Long St, Cape Town City Centre R50 ENTRANCE
SUN 16 DEC – Surfarosa – 61a Harrington St, Zonnebloem FREE ENTRANCE

Ruff Majik:
Johni Holiday – Guitar, vocals
Jimi Glass – Bass guitar
Benni Manchino – Drums

https://www.ruffmajik.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ruffmajik
https://twitter.com/ruff_majik
https://www.instagram.com/ruffmajik/
https://forbiddenplacerecords.bandcamp.com/album/ruff-majik-seasons
http://shop.rockfreaks.de/en/home/92-ruff-majik-seasons-coming-soon-.html

Ruff Majik, Seasons (2018)

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Ruff Majik to Begin Recording New Album; Announce South Africa Shows

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

South African heavy psych trio Ruff Majik are set to enter the studio to record the follow-up to their 2018 debut album, Seasons (review here), for an early 2019 release. I won’t claim to have any insight on the band’s processes, but given the live sound of the last record and the series of EPs that preceded it, it doesn’t seem out of line to expect they’ll get their sophomore full-length to tape with all good speed. That’s all the better since at the end of the month they’ll take stage at the Krank’d Up festival in Johannesburg, as one of a select round of live dates they’ll do in their home country to correspond with the European tour they undertook this past Spring following Seasons‘ release. You’ll note in the announcement below for the shows it says they’ve never played in their hometown of Lydenburg. Even knowing nothing about urban populations and demographics in South Africa, that seems astonishing to me. Smaller town, I guess? Still fascinating.

Gotta figure they’ll be back in Europe supporting the new album whenever it arrives. Hopefully that happens sooner than later.

From the PR wire:

ruff majik

Pretoria’s Ruff Majik Divulge Details for their “Season of the Witch” tour.

Coming off the back of 2 very successful European tours, South Africa’s sludge n roll kings Ruff Majik have revealed dates and details for their Season of The Witch tour.

Kicking off on the 29th September with their mainstage appearance at this year’s chapter of the mighty Krank’d Up Music Festival, the tour will see them play in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and for the very 1st time in their home town of Lydenburg.

“We’re extremely excited to be hitting the road for a few select dates with some good friends! Each show will be an entirely different experience with these line-ups, so we can’t wait!” – Johni Holiday, vocals / guitar

29 September // JHB // Krank’d Up Music Festival
12 October // PTA // The Grind Bar // with from Apocalypse Later, Wolkberg
13 October // JHB // Sundowners // with Them Dirty Shrikes, Caution Boy
20 October // DBN // Winston // with Pollinator, Mad God
26 October // LYD // Jam Jar Lounge // with Wolkberg, Them Dirty Shrikes

The band released their debut full length album Seasons on the 20th April 2018 which was well received by the local and international metal and rock media.

Seasons available now on all digital platforms including BandCamp Apple Music Spotify Deezer and on CD and cassette via Forbidden Place Records

The band will be in studio in September 2018 recording the follow up to Seasons with the aim of releasing early in 2019.

Ruff Majik:
Johni Holiday – Guitar, vocals
Jimi Glass – Bass guitar
Benni Manchino – Drums

https://www.ruffmajik.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ruffmajik
https://twitter.com/ruff_majik
https://www.instagram.com/ruffmajik/
https://forbiddenplacerecords.bandcamp.com/album/ruff-majik-seasons
http://shop.rockfreaks.de/en/home/92-ruff-majik-seasons-coming-soon-.html

Ruff Majik, Seasons (2018)

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Glanville and Galactic Superlords Announce Oct. Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

glanville

galactic superlords

Classic hard rock? Heavy heavy metal? Wherever you might think Glanville and Galactic Superlords respectively reside on the genre spectrum, I think it’s safe to assume the shows are going to be a good time. The Germany/UK and just-Germany-based five-pieces — that’s one crowded-ass van, if they’re sharing — head out together beginning Oct. 2 in Darmstadt and will seven shows throughout Germany, hitting Galactic Superlords‘ native Köln along the way.

Galactic Superlords go supporting their 2018 self-titled debut full-length, and Glanville head out on the heels of their debut EP, First Blood (review here), and the pairing couldn’t be more appropriate, since in addition to whatever sonic elements they might have in common, Glanville frontman René Hofmann (also of Wight) recorded the Galactic Superlords album. It’s nice to have friends, or so I hear.

To the PR wire:

glanville galactic superlords tour

GLANVILLE AND GALACTIC SUPERLORDS TEAM UP FOR TOUR THIS FALL!

A bit of Thin Lizzy, a bit of Iron Maiden, with hints of Dio. GLANVILLE sounds like Rob Halford wearing Dennis Hopper’s leather jacket in Easy Rider. An introduction of exciting things to come: After the critically acclaimed debut EP ‘First Blood’ released in May 2018, GLANVILLE have teamed up with the GALACTIC SUPERLORDS for a tour this Fall!

René Hofmann and Philipp Michel started playing music together as teenagers but at such a young age nobody knows what will happen the next day, much less in the far future. 13 years later Hofmann is a music producer in Darmstadt and Michel is an active touring guitar player and songwriter, still based in the Hessian hinterland. After all these years the two decide to start a new project together, a classic duo like Page and Plant. The search for the rest of the band GLANVILLE took more than a year, but finally a line-up of experienced musicians was completed: Peter-Philipp Schierhorn on bass, Thomas Hoffmann on drums, and Chris West on second guitar. After a quick and dirty pre-production the band met at a studio in Darmstadt, with most members never having played together and some even meeting each other for the first time. Everyone’s prepared and focused. Two days of rehearsals, two days of recording. Live, real and with passion for the music.
Catch GLANVILLE live and real on the following dates this Fall, with GALACTIC SUPERLORDS on the bill:

02.10.18 DE – Darmstadt – HoffART Theater
03.10.18 DE – Berlin – Toast Hawaii
04.10.18 DE – Hamburg – Bar227
05.10.18 DE – Leipzig – Black Label
06.10.18 DE – Pratteln – Up In Smoke
12.10.18 DE – Köln – Museum
13.10.18 DE – Heidelberg – Beatfabrik

“When meeting Superlords drummer Carsten for the first time, sharing a cigarette at Desertfest Berlin, I immediately noticed that both of us are slightly crazy in a very similar way. And of course we found out that our respective bands also had something in common – fucking heavy metal! Over the years, we have grown to be good friends, and both our bands have become great teams, but still, nobody has ever heard of either one. So we decided to organize a DIY tour under the name “Your New Favourite Metal Bands You’ve Never Heard Of.” We are really looking forward to deliver some serious heavy metal together, real rock music on real stages, without playbacks, modelling amps or macbooks.” – René Hofmann, vocalist of Glanville

Glanville is:
René Hofmann (vocals)
Philipp Michel (lead guitar)
Peter-Philipp Schierhorn (bass)
Thomas Hoffmann (drums)
Chris West (rhythm guitar)

Galactic Superlords is:
Vocals: Katharina Heldt
Vocals/Guitars: Dennis Sennekamp
Guitars: Alex Miller
Bass: Christian Lantin
Drums: Carsten Krohn

https://www.facebook.com/SirGlanville/
https://glanville.bandcamp.com/
http://www.glanvilleofficial.com
https://fatandholy.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/galacticsuperlords/
https://galacticsuperlords.bandcamp.com/
http://superlords.com/
http://www.rockfreaks.de/

Glanville, First Blood EP (2018)

Galactic Superlords, Galactic Superlords (2018)

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Ruff Majik Announce Seasons Physical Releases

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ruff majik

A conceptual work wherein each batch of three songs was actually written in a different season, the suitably titled Seasons was self-released by Pretorian trio Ruff Majik digitally on April 20. As the band is set to tour Europe this summer twice, making stops first at Freak Valley and then at SonicBlast Moledo, and, you know, as the album kicks ass, it’s not a huge surprise that it’s been picked up for physical release. And it’s all the more telling that rather than trickle out one format at a time over a period of years (or seasons, for that matter), Ruff Majik are taking care of it all in one shot. The limited 2LP will be out through the Freak Valley-associated Rock Freaks Records in a variety of editions, and the CD and tape versions will arrive through US imprint Forbidden Place.

Both labels have the album up for preorder now. Here’s the PR wire to tell you pretty much exactly what I just told you using different words:

ruff-majik-seasons

Ruff Majik Reveal Details to Release SEASONS on CD, Cassette and Vinyl

2018 is turning out to be an incredible year for South African Sludge n Rollers Ruff Majik. With two European tours booked that will see them playing Freak Valley Festival and SonicBlast as well as a host of club shows.

They also released their debut full-length album Seasons on the 20th April to widespread critical acclaim. The guys are happy to announce that they have signed deals with US label Forbidden Place Records to release and distribute Seasons on CD and cassette, while German label Rock Freaks Records will be releasing three versions of the double LP: classic black, coloured (still a secret) and die-hard (very limited).

Vocalist and guitarist Johni Holiday commented on the news “Ruff Majik is immensely excited to take the next step in furthering our career by bringing out physical copies. With the backing of Rock Freaks and Forbidden Place, we’re making a lifelong dream come true!”

Pre-order Seasons on CD or Cassette here and on Vinyl here.

Tracklisting:
1. Harpy 04:49
2. Gone down in the woods today 05:15
3. Breathing ghosts 04:20
4. Last of the witches 03:53
5. It flies at night 03:48
6. Hanami Sakura (and the ritual suicide) 04:26
7. The deep blue 08:04
8. Hammered are the gods 04:42
9. Birds stole my eyes 04:17
10. Tar black blood 03:15
11. Come all ye druids 05:04
12. Asleep in the leaves 14:10

Ruff Majik:
Johni Holiday – Guitar, vocals
Jimi Glass – Bass guitar
Benni Manchino – Drums

https://www.ruffmajik.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ruffmajik
https://twitter.com/ruff_majik
https://www.instagram.com/ruffmajik/
https://forbiddenplacerecords.bandcamp.com/album/ruff-majik-seasons
http://shop.rockfreaks.de/en/home/92-ruff-majik-seasons-coming-soon-.html

Ruff Majik, Seasons (2018)

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Friday Full-Length: Snowy Dunes, Snowy Dunes

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Snowy Dunes, Snowy Dunes (2015)

It does not take long for Snowy Dunes‘ 2015 self-titled debut to demonstrate why it has been so continuously well-received by the heavy rock underground in and beyond Europe. Released by the band digitally and issued via Rock Freaks Records as a gatefold 2LP, the nine-track/51-minute first offering from the Stockholm, Sweden, feels like something special at the outset, and the fact that the four-piece of guitarist Christoffer Kingstedt, bassist Carl Oredson, drummer Stefan Jakobsson and vocalist Niklas Eisen traveled to Los Angeles to record with Dead Meadow bassist Steve Kille only reinforces this position. Their psychedelic blues, whether portrayed in the 90-second harmonica-and-voice of “Watch out for Snakes,” the ultra-Hendrixian purple-haze-all-in-the-brain funk of “Electric Love,” or the nine-minute swaggering jam that follows on “Diablo” and finds Eisen calling out the moves the band will make in the second half of the song — “Alright we’re gonna do this for you, do some harmonies,” and then they do — is a right-on-target preach to the converted, and the sense of righteousness it finds in its execution is even more prevalent for the live-sounding feel behind it. That is, Snowy DonesSnowy Dunes goes far out — way far out — and all the while it sounds like, hey man, these songs just happened. Could’ve been different on any other day. The vague possibility that that’s actually the case would seem to make the record something even more vital, but it’s really just the starting point of an ultra-organic breadth that unfurls across its extended but immersive runtime.

When one thinks of the generational surge of heavy psychedelia throughout Europe that’s taken place over the last five or 10 years, it’s usually the post-Colour Haze bringers of tonal warmth who come to mind, or the slew of groups embroiled in even jammier fare, improvised or not. Lately, neo-psych influenced by space rock has emerged to converse with the Californian post-Earthless swirl set and the massive influence of Australia’s King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard, and that will no doubt continue to reshape the underground in the next few years to come, but Snowy Dunes set themselves apart with their self-titled. While they for sure have their psychedelic aspects, and their jammy side comes to such a prevalence particularly later in the record that one wonders if Eisen isn’t making up his lines on the spot for a song like “Bad Wolf,” and whether he is or not is ultimately secondary since that’s the vibe the band are giving off. In terms of modern comparison points, Snowy Dunes have way more in common with Australia’s Child or a super-slowed-down Radio Moscow than they do the bulk of what’s coming from even the bluesiest corners of Europe, let alone Sweden, although one could just as easily argue that the classic mentality behind “Tranquil Mountain Lake” or “Dawn” is born just as much of Swedish retro rockism as of any outsider heavy blues. At a certain point, this becomes splitting hairs and the important factor — the deep sense of identity imbued within Snowy Dunes‘ material on their debut album — is lost. If it’s one or the other, I’d rather listen to the songs.

And Snowy Dunes certainly make that easy. Whether you’re flipping the vinyl platters over as you go or making your way through digitally, their Snowy Dunes brings its tracks to life with a rare level of flow, and while at 51 minutes, it borders on what one would generally think of as unmanageable — or at least less-manageable than standard single-LP length — there’s no more redundancy in “Turn Around,” “Watch out for Snakes” or “Desert Cold” — the latter as close as they come to naming a song after the band — than is intended, and the bring-the-listener-into-the-studio feel of the tracks as the recording progresses becomes one of the greatest assets with which Snowy Dunes works, though I won’t discount Eisen‘s easy-flowing soul or the bass tone Oredson uses to anchor the material without actually holding Kingstedt‘s wah-laced tonality down from meandering where it will (worth noting that the last thing you hear on the record is Oredson being introduced by Eisen). That dynamic emerges almost immediately on “Tranquil Mountain Lake” and remains firm across the bulk of the tracks, but amid the ebbs and swells of “Desert Cold,” and the blowout at the end of “Turn Around,” there’s plenty of heft brought to bear as well; Snowy Dunes just keep it baked perfectly so that whether they want to boogie on “Bad Wolf” or let loose one more time in closer “The Light” with starts and stops filled out by a croaking voice from Eisen, they can. Hell, by the time they get to that point, Snowy Dunes have shown pretty clearly that, wherever they’re looking to travel in a given path, they know just how they want to get there.

Snowy Dunes got a mention in my list of the best debut albums of 2015, but especially having had the chance recently to revisit the vinyl edition, it’s held up remarkably well. Early 2016 brought word of a concept album follow-up, Atlantis, and a 19-minute first installment thereof streaming at their Bandcamp page. Updates have trickled out since, including cover art this past May, but I’ve yet to catch wind of a firm release date for it. Part of that, perhaps, is Snowy Dunes sorting out a label situation for the release, but either way, whenever it arrives, Atlantis has a considerable task ahead of it in following-up Snowy Dunes, which has only continued to flourish where many of the other “best debut albums” on that list linked above have fallen by the wayside. Some records just grow on you over time, I guess.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading and listening.

Spent a pretty decent portion of this week out of my head, and not really in a good way. You might recall last Friday, my wonderful, now 32-weeks-pregnant wife The Patient Mrs. and I headed to New Jersey because my 102-year-old grandmother had been taken to the hospital. No one ever found out how she broke her hip, but it wound up requiring surgery. They put in two rods, like she was gonna get up and start running laps afterward. They said physical therapy. Uh huh. Then the lady had a stroke the next night and that put the kibosh on that.

As of this writing, she’s still alive. I guess you don’t get to be 102 and then just drop dead suddenly — clearly at that point you’re working on your own scale as regards time. She can’t swallow water, won’t eat, but took in some ice cream the day before yesterday — so fucking typical for my family — and yesterday she was moved to a hospice facility out of the hospital. They’re not going to do any physical therapy for the hip. They’re not going to think she’s really coming back to full consciousness at any point from here on out. They’re going to let her be, give her as much ice cream as she wants/is willing to take, and wait. We’re all waiting. Death limbo.

102 years old. There is no dignity at the end of life. You can die in a famous glorious battle and still shit your pants when you go. I’m not looking her to have a righteous, graceful departure. Wouldn’t be her style anyway. But she’s 102, and her body, acting on the purest, most unthinking of instinct, still can’t bring itself to let go and not squeeze every single last second out of her life. The arrangements are made, everything’s in order. It’s like she’s late to her own party. Obviously I’m sad to see her die — she’s been a major presence in my life for my 35-plus years and especially when I lived in NJ and after I got married and was a bit more of an adult, we got to be pretty close — but I also know there’s no way in her conscious mind she’d want to go on the way she is. And my poor mother. Ugh.

The Patient Mrs. and I came back to Massachusetts last weekend, said our goodbye and made our way back north, but I’ve been in touch with my family all week and gotten a steady string of updates, been conferenced in with doctors and so on. We wait. Excruciating. And I feel guilty for living five hours away from them, which I do anyway, but even more in situations like this.

Anyway, that’s my vent. Thanks for letting me have my moment.

This weekend is the baby shower in CT for The Pecan, who again, is due in October near to my own birthday. I don’t know who’s coming, but I know we’ll be there. Then on Wednesday I fly to Ireland for the Emerald Haze fest (info here) that I still can’t believe I’ll be fortunate enough to attend. The Patient Mrs. is also traveling this week — to San Francisco for a conference; she’s not even going to have time to go to Amoeba Music, much to my vicarious dismay — so plenty of chaos abounds. I’ve got a couple extra days on the back end of my trip to see Dublin slated as well, so I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting, but there are reviews to write so I’ll get stuff done anyway.

What will I do if Gramma dies in the interim or while I’m away? Cross that bridge when I come to it.

To put it another way, the notes for next week? They’re even more “subject to change” than usual. Here they are anyhow:

Mon.: Motorpsycho track premiere; Vision Éternel video premiere.
Tue.: Ruby the Hatchet review; new video from Cosmic Fall.
Wed.: Six Dumb Questions with Destroyer of Light; Ufomammut review.
Thu.: Biblical track premiere.
Fri.: Emerald Haze coverage.
Sat./Sun.: Emerald Haze coverage.

Much to do, much to do. The Obelisk stuff has been good because it’s given me something to focus on and deflect stress into. Gotta listen to this, gotta write about that, etc. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate you reading and being a part of this site, how much it means to me to have this be a conversation. Thanks to everyone who checked out that Ozzy piece earlier this week, or shared the Earthless news, or who commented on the Queens of the Stone Age review on Thee Facebooks, or who entered the Vokonis giveaway. Turned out to be a pretty killer week, even if I was distracted for most of it. If you’re reading, that’s on you, so yeah, thanks.

Please have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Mountains Sign to Rock Freaks Records; Dust in the Glare Vinyl out this Fall

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

mountains

Though it starts off showcasing some thickened All Them Witches-style psych-blues influence in its opening cut, what unfurls from there on Mountains‘ debut album, Dust in the Glare, digs into a crisp and progressive take on heavy rock by the time its gone from “Everglades” to “Towards the Woods.” An efficient delivery throughout veers toward the aggressive on “Fortess” and the closing title-track — also the only cut to cross the other side of the four-minute mark — but there’s a steady sense of atmosphere as a complement, and Dust in the Glare thereby avoids the chestbeating that so much of London’s underground can’t seem to escape.

The short full-length was originally released in March as a digital offering direct from the band — you can stream it via their Bandcamp on the player at the bottom of this post — and has been newly picked up by the Freak Valley fest-associated Rock Freaks Records for a vinyl pressing this Fall, which will also find Mountains playing shows around town with Green Lung and Wychhound.

As the PR wire confirms:

mountains dust in the glare

From the ale-swamps of the South come London based heavy-trio Mountains. Comprising of David Jupp (guitar/vocals), Chris Randall (bass) and Josh Hussey (drums), the band finalised their line-up in 2015 and began work on their debut album. In the summer of 2016 Mountains entered Rogue Studios in London to record the eight songs that would make up ‘Dust in the Glare.’

Mastered by Ed Woods (The Who, Ghost of a Thousand, Reuben) and released digitally on March 24th 2017, the record garnered great reviews from some of the big names in the scene. This momentum culminated in August 2017 with Mountains signing to German label Rock Freaks Records (Freak Valley Festival) for a run of heavyweight vinyl across white, marble and splatter variants. The release will be issued in the autumn to coincide with Mountains fall tour with Wychhound and Green Lung.

Tracklisting:
1. Everglades 03:13
2. Lonely Cities 03:59
3. Towards the Woods 02:57
4. Ten Paces 03:42
5. Keep Watch 03:04
6. Fortress 02:43
7. Ithaca 02:03
8. Dust In The Glare 04:24

Mountains live:
Sat Sept 30th – The Devonshire Arms – Camden / London
Sat Nov 11th – The Big Red – Holloway / London
Sat Nov 18th – Scream Lounge – Croydon / London
Thu Dec 14th – The Black Heart – Camden / London

Mountains are:
David Jupp – Guitar/Vocals
Chris Randall – Bass
Josh Hussey – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/mountainsuk/
https://mountains-uk.bandcamp.com
http://mountainsofficial.uk/
https://twitter.com/Mountains___
https://www.facebook.com/rockfreaksrecords/
http://www.rockfreaks.de/

Mountains, Dust in the Glare (2017)

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Wrapping up #VinylDay2017

Posted in Features on July 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Grooves and platters galore. My motivation behind doing Vinyl Day 2017 was simple: I felt like listening to records and sharing that process. It was kind of an off-the-cuff thing. Just an idea I had and ran with it. I figure it doesn’t need to be anything more than that, right? Isn’t putting on an album its own excuse for putting on an album? I tend to think so.

And yeah, I made it a hashtag. Because it’s the future, and hashtags. Instagrammaphone and whatnot. I’m a novice at best when it comes to the social medias, but it seems to me that if you’re going to share a full day’s worth of what you’re listening to, that’s the way to do it. So that’s what I did. If I clogged up your feed or whatever and it pissed you off, sorry.

For anyone who might’ve missed it, it turned out to be nine records of various sorts. Here they are, complete with accompanying audio when I could get it, because it’s the age of instant gratification:

There you have it. Had to be Sleep to end it. Pretty awesome day of music on the whole, and whatever was on your playlist yesterday, if it was this stuff or anything else, I hope you enjoyed. I’m gonna call Vinyl Day 2017 a definite win. Thanks for reading.

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