Scissorfight Premiere “We Ain’t Leaving” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

scissorfight photo muzzey

Are  Get College Essay Leadership from Essayssos, the well known reputed essay writing company located in US and UK. They have well experienced writers. Free Scissorfight leaving? Nope. They ain’t. At least not until there’s more fucking rock than you ever have seen.

Such was the inarguable mission statement of the New Hampshire heavy riffers’ return EP,  Our cheap essay writing service by professioanl essay typers is your answer to the question: Who can Buy An English Research Paper for me? We will recommend the best Chaos County (review here), which was issued last year via  Get high volume traffic to your site with professional Trucking Business Plan Sample. We provide best quality, copyscape pass articles for you. Know more here! Salt of the Earth Records and served as my pick for the Best Short Release of 2016. Being the first offering of any kind from the band in a decade, “We Ain’t Leaving” is probably as much about saying “we’re back” as delaying any kind of premature departure, but one way or another, its huge, swaggering groove, granite-weighted tonality and gruff vocals get the message across to any and all willing to hear it:  The world leader in online proofreading and sees. Our professional team has revised documents for +5,000 clients in +90 countries. Scissorfight still destroy. That’s basically been their thing all along.

Term Paper Vandalisms for ESL speakers. Professional editors available 24/7. Chaos County returned them to the task with particular efficiency and force. The arrival of vocalist  When you need a smart help with any kind of essays, leave the writing job to http://www.coogansbluff.de/?essay-writers-name company. Number of years of experience together with well Doug Aubin and drummer  airport chalmers master thesis. Ranked #1 by 10,000 plus clients; for 25 years our certified resume writers have been developing compelling Rick Orcutt alongside founding guitarist  This comprehensive workshop provides you with a thorough understanding of modern Custom Papers Custom Papers enabling you to write all types of documents more Jay Fortin and bassist  http://urbaclima.com/how-to-do-a-business-plan-template/ I is an 8-week online business writing course. If you want to improve your business writing skills, then this course is ideal for you! Paul Jarvis only seemed to bolster the steamroller that the EP’s five tracks became, and as the leadoff, “We Ain’t Leaving” (also listed as “We Ain’t Leavin'” on the release itself) was the opening salvo that introduced listeners to the new hand from which  how to write a phd dissertation abstract http://www.vasmetal.net/thesis-writing-companies/s Illegal el segundo high school homework help english research proposal example Scissorfight‘s collective middle finger to planet Earth extended. Having hit the road in Europe this past Spring to play  We provide excellent Write Will Online 24/7. Enjoy proficient essay writing and custom writing services provided by professional academic writers. Roadburn 2017 (review here) and  Try our custom essay has Help In College Essayss writing service, Best Dissertation Writing Services. Get your paper written by philosophy essay Desertfest London alongside compatriots  http://stadttheater.amberg.de/?custom-admission-essay-leaderships provides you the best in class, plagiarism free and value for money essay at your convenient time from expert essay writers. Backwoods Payback, it seems only fair that the official video for “We Ain’t Leaving” should also come from the stage.

It finds them on their home turf — if I’m not mistaken, it’s  The home of professional copywriter Dan Furman. Offering page, website copywriting, content marketing, sales letters, and more... The Shaskeen, in Manchester, NH — at a recent gig following their return from abroad, and you can see their rabble-rousing ways in full effect among the locals. Compiled in part from submitted footage from the show amid scenes of natural violence, car wrecks, and so on, “We Ain’t Leaving” portrays the riotousness for which  city university dissertations USA - Hire best Physics Homework writers for completing your Physics Homework writing. More than 10 years of experience with 98% Scissorfight have enjoyed a long-earned reputation live, and shows that while they’re long past the 20-year mark as a band, they’re still just getting (re-)started. Don’t expect them to leave anytime soon.

Some live dates follow the clip below. Please enjoy:

Scissorfight, “We Ain’t Leaving” official video

Scissorfight live:
Friday Oct 13 2017, The Stone Church – Newmarket NH
Friday Oct 20 2017, Empire – Portland ME
Friday Oct 21 2017, Great Scott – Allston MA

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The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2016

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

the obelisk top 20 short releases

Please note: This post is not culled in any way from the Year-End Poll, which is ongoing. If you haven’t yet contributed your favorites of 2016 to that, please do.

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

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

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

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

Here we go:

scissorfight chaos county

The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Short Releases of 2016

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

Honorable Mention

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

Presented alphabetically:

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, there’s much more to come.

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audiObelisk Transmission 060

Posted in Podcasts on December 22nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk podcast 60

Click Here to Download

 

Consider this your usual disclaimer that, like any of this site’s coverage of year-end whatnottery, this podcast is by no means attempting to capture all of 2016’s best tracks. It is, however, over four hours long, and frankly that seems like enough to ask. If you decide to take it on and sample what I found to be some of the best material to come down the line over the last 12 months, please know you have my thanks in advance. For what it’s worth, it was a lot of fun to put together, and that’s not always the case with these.

But about the length. I’ve done double-sized year-end specials for a while now. It’s always just seemed a fair way to go. And the last few at least have been posted the week of the Xmas holiday as well, which for me is of dual significance since it just so happens four hours is right about what it takes to drive from where I live to where my family lives, so when I look at this massive slew of 34 acts, from the riff-led righteousness of Wo Fat and Curse the Son to the crush of Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard and SubRosa to the psychedelic reaches of Zun and Øresund Space Collective (who probably show up in podcasts more than anyone, oddly enough), I also think of going to see my family, which has become my favorite part of the holidays.

Whatever associations you might draw with it, I very much hope you enjoy listening. Thanks for taking the time.

Track details follow:

First Hour:

0:00:00 Wo Fat, “There’s Something Sinister in the Wind” from Midnight Cometh
0:09:35 Greenleaf, “Howl” from Rise Above the Meadow
0:14:57 Elephant Tree, “Aphotic Blues” from Elephant Tree
0:20:49 Brant Bjork, “The Gree Heen” from Tao of the Devil
0:26:27 Sergio Ch., “El Herrero” from Aurora
0:29:44 Child, “Blue Side of the Collar” from Blueside
0:35:31 Geezer, “Bi-Polar Vortex” from Geezer
0:43:59 Zun, “Come Through the Water” from Burial Sunrise
0:49:27 Baby Woodrose, “Mind Control Machine” from Freedom
0:54:11 Curse the Son, “Hull Crush Depth” from Isolator
0:59:31 Borracho, “Shot down, Banged up, Fade Away” from Atacama

Second Hour:

1:05:50 Scissorfight, “Nature’s Cruelest Mistake” from Chaos County
1:09:19 Truckfighters, “The Contract” from V
1:16:30 Spidergawd, “El Corazon del Sol” from III
1:21:24 Fatso Jetson, “Royal Family” from Idle Hands
1:26:13 Worshipper, “Step Behind” from Shadow Hymns
1:30:57 Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, “Y Proffwyd Dwyll” from Y Proffwyd Dwyll
1:39:42 Druglord, “Regret to Dismember” from Deepest Regrets
1:46:34 Moon Coven, “New Season” from Moon Coven
1:52:03 Gozu, “Tin Chicken” from Revival
1:59:49 Year of the Cobra, “Vision of Three” from …In the Shadows Below

Third Hour:

2:06:53 The Munsens, “Abbey Rose” from Abbey Rose
2:14:56 Lamp of the Universe, “Mu” from Hidden Knowledge
2:21:26 1000mods, “On a Stone” from Repeated Exposure To…
2:26:45 Church of the Cosmic Skull, “Watch it Grow” from Is Satan Real?
2:30:43 Vokonis, “Acid Pilgrim” from Olde One Ascending
2:37:35 Slomatics, “Electric Breath” from Future Echo Returns
2:43:02 Droids Attack, “Sci-Fi or Die” from Sci-Fi or Die
2:47:20 King Buffalo, “Drinking from the River Rising” from Orion
2:56:51 Comet Control, “Artificial Light” from Center of the Maze

Fourth Hour:

3:06:37 Øresund Space Collective, “Above the Corner” from Visions Of…
3:22:51 Naxatras, “Garden of the Senses” from II
3:33:14 SubRosa, “Black Majesty” from For this We Fought the Battle of Ages
3:48:23 Seedy Jeezus with Isaiah Mitchell, “Escape Through the Rift” from Tranquonauts

Total running time: 4:07:32

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 060

 

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Scissorfight, Chaos County: Granite State Destruction Reborn (Plus Full EP Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 26th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

scissorfight-chaos-county

[Click play above to stream Scissorfight’s Chaos County EP in full. Out Oct. 28 on Salt of the Earth Records.]

Takes Scissorfight about 17 minutes to reclaim their position as the Granite State Destroyers with their new EP, Chaos County. Actually, it’s much less than that. By the time guitarist James Jay Fortin has made his way through the first riff cycle of opener “We Ain’t Leavin'” — a declamatory statement in itself — with his unmistakable low tone that should be marketed as a nutritional supplement to foster beard growth, Scissorfight make it clear that they’re back and, as new frontman Doug Aubin assures in a guttural delivery, they’re not going anywhere, “until there’s more fuckin’ rock than you ever have seen.”

It’s been a decade since the New Hampshire outfit’s last album, the Jaggernaut — which was, indeed, thought to be their swansong until their reunion was announced at the start of this year — and as Chaos County brings them out of this extended absence, it comes as a particularly bold re-entry as founders Fortin and bassist Paul Jarvis bring aboard Aubin and drummer Rick Orcutt.

The two newer members replace vocalist Christopher “Ironlung” Shurtleff and his brother, drummer Kevin Shurtleff, and particularly for Aubin, those are considerable shoes to fill as a frontman. Those who saw Ironlung on stage or heard his burly, always-clever lyrics could tell you he was a significant presence in Scissorfight even as he moved toward cleaner singing on the later offerings of their original run.

How does Scissorfight handle this monumental change? In typical Scissorfight fashion, of course. They don’t give a shit.

Really, that’s all they can do. Fortin and Jarvis, after years together in acts like Mess with the Bull and Supermachine, who each had something to offer but never quite took hold in the same way as their prior outfit, wanted to reignite Scissorfight, and presumably there will be plenty who decry the lineup changes, but after listening to the five tracks on Chaos County (out on Salt of the Earth Records), hearing the energy and the force behind all five — “We Ain’t Leavin’,” “Seventies,” “Giardia on My Mind,” “Nature’s Cruelest Mistake” and “Tits Up” — as captured by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studio (more on the recording here), as a fan of the band I can only think it’s their loss.

Those approaching Chaos County already familiar with Scissorfight‘s work — and after the changes the heavy rock underground has gone through in the last decade, I expect there will be many who aren’t — might find it helpful to think of it along the lines of 2000’s New Hampshire full-length. Shorter, obviously, but that was arguably the point at which the band began to turn from their even-more-aggressive earlier work toward the burl-groove style of 2001’s landmark Mantrapping for Sport and Profit (discussed here), and Chaos County, aside from sharing some artwork similarity in the landscape (plus skull), the new EP moves Scissorfight to a rawer, meaner place, especially in what Aubin brings on vocals.

scissorfight

Yeah, they’re still having fun in “Seventies” — about the ’70s; its gas, rock, boobs, etc. — and the centerpiece highlight “Giardia on My Mind,” on which Jarvis adds banjo flourish while Aubin digs into lyrics about the actual “beaver fever” one gets from drinking contaminated river water. Winks, of course, abound. Scissorfight never had much use for political correctness, and one doubts that will change, but frankly with “Giardia” in the title and lines like, “A cool mountain stream is full of beaver piss,” their public service announcement comes through loud and clear.

The subsequent “Nature’s Cruelest Mistake” nestles into a right-on roll, led by Fortin‘s riff — a more forward drive and tight interplay between verses and choruses that seems less insistent than the jerky starts and stops that rush through “Seventies” earlier on, and the band as a whole comes across as their most comfortable there. It’s a little slower, but in a way that “Seventies” kind of feels like it wants to be, and if nothing else, it shows that Scissorfight are getting back to a position of making their songs work in different ways.

Shaking off the rust? Maybe. A decade is a long time, and it feels even longer for rock and roll, but from the raucous gurgles of “We Ain’t Leavin'” to the got-drunk ode “Tits Up” that caps in high-octane, encouraging mega-chorus form — Fortin backing Aubin on vocals as he also does on “Giardia on My Mind” — Chaos County stands in the tradition of Scissorfight EPs like 2000’s Piscataqua, 2002’s Potential New Agent for Unconventional Warfare, 2003’s Deathchants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes Vol. 2, and 2005’s Victory over Horseshit, in finding their band feeling their way through a stage in their progression hopefully en route to a next full-length (their seventh, if one counts the 2001 limited-release, American Cloven Hoof Blues).

Ultimately, how a given listener feels about the prospect of new Scissorfight as they move forward I think will depend a lot on the individual — some won’t be able to get past the changes, but there’s an entire generation to take their place at shows — and on how much road-work the band are able to do, if they can get to Europe, and what they do in the studio to follow-up Chaos County, be it another EP or, hopefully, an album that can stand up to the crucial statement that not only are Scissorfight back as a reunited act looking to push ahead of where they were 10 years ago, but are ready to declare their victory once more on an ongoing basis.

A working band, in other words. The next year or two will be telling, but the fact that Chaos County ignites such looking to the future instead of longing for the past should be taken as proof of the EP’s success. It demonstrates that there is life for Scissorfight in this incarnation, and more, it fucking rocks in a way that no one else has quite been able to match since the band went away all those years ago. Welcome back, Scissorfight. You have been missed.

Scissorfight, “Tits Up” official video

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Scissorfight Sign to Salt of the Earth Records; Chaos County Due this Summer

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 1st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

I was fortunate enough to visit Mad Oak Studios last month as reunited New Hampshire bruisers Scissorfight were recording their upcoming EP, Chaos County. The short version? I liked what I heard. The songs are there. The tone is there. And if you were a fan of the band during their first run and are apprehensive about what a new lineup means to the smartassed thunderstomp they once wrought, then rest easy. Scissorfight still sound like they wouldn’t think twice about handing you your keister.

The four-piece announce today that they’ve been picked up by Connecticut’s Salt of the Earth Records (who also have a brand new website) for the Chaos County release, and in addition to that nifty news, they’ve also got a teaser for the EP with a sample of what was, when I last heard it, called “’70s Rock.” The running theme will become clear immediately upon hearing it.

More to come closer to the release, but here’s the announcement from Salt of the Earth:

scissorfight

From the majestic peak of Mt. Washington, It is with great pleasure we announce this stupendous news!!!…We have signed New Hampshire maniac riff hurlers: SCISSORFIGHT!!!

That’s right! The almighty SCISSORFIGHT have re-emerged from a secret location in the northern notches of the White mountains, with Doug Aubin on vocals and Rick Orcutt on drums, along with founding members Paul Jarvis and Jay Fortin. New blood, new tales and an unquenchable thirst for riffs and volume, they are better then ever!

SCISSORFIGHT have covered many miles over the years, and its obvious that they are running with a full tank of race fuel feeding their fully blown and antlered f250 monster truck…These new songs are UNSTOPPABLE…

We have booked Mad Oak Studios to help capture the band in all its sonic mountain glory. Hopefully the walls can withstand the blunt force riffage.

Music this good has an urgency and a fire that has to be heard to be believed. So get fucking ready for the new SCISSORFIGHT release…. “CHAOS COUNTY”

It’s God damn true… the ‘fight is on!

http://scissorfight.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Scissorfight2016/
http://saltoftheearthrecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/SaltOfTheEarthRec/

Scissorfight, Chaos County teaser clip

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In the Studio with Scissorfight at Mad Oak

Posted in Features on May 2nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

scissorfight in-studio 1 (Photo by Jay Fortin)

To run down the list of accolades that the Boston-area music scene has (rightly) foisted upon producer/engineer Benny Grotto of Mad Oak Studios over the last however many years would take a really, really long time, but suffice it to say that when an opportunity to watch him work is afforded, it’s not one you want to neglect. It’s a pleasure I first had six years ago, as Grotto — who also until recently was drumming in Slapshot — was mixing what would become Solace‘s long-awaited A.D. full-length, but of course his production credits go much further than that, including an entire pantheon of releases through Small Stone Records by DwellersRoadsaw — whose Craig Riggs is an owner of Mad Oak, along with Grotto and PK Pandey — SasquatchGozu and The Brought Low, as well as local luminaries like The ScimitarBlack Thai and Second Grave, among many others.

scissorfight in-studio 4 (Photo by Jay Fortin)But most of that, apart from the Second Grave, which is forthcoming, was done in the old Mad Oak. In January, the studio opened a new facility at 390 Cambridge St. in Allston, MA, and immediately set about filling the calendar with clients, among them reunited New Hampshire burl rockers Scissorfight, who were there tracking five songs for a new EP to be released sometime later this year. It will mark their first offering in a decade and their first with a new lineup including Doug Aubin on vocals and Rick Orcutt on drums alongside bassist Paul Jarvis and guitarist Jay Fortin that recently made their live debut to a sold-out Shaskeen in Portsmouth, NH, the first of many more live shows to come. The appeal of hearing new Scissorfight in-progress under Grotto‘s care was too good to ignore, so I headed into Allston last Wednesday to check out the tail end of the session.

Greeted outside by Jarvis‘ dog, Anna, who spent most of her time lounging on a bed made of an old flannel shirt, and Jarvis and Aubin, I made my way into the place to find Grotto, as ever, in front of a monitor filled with waveforms. A large tv on the wall behind him allowed anyone sitting on the plush couch nearby to see what he was doing, and from the spacious, clean layout of the room, it was clear that the studio had only been living in the redone space for a couple months. The floor, the ceiling, the giant monitors embedded in and in front of the wall to blast from a small stage in the control room — none of it had yet been kicked to hell by time, and the same went for the high-ceiling live room, which, if the sound of Orcutt‘s drums was anything to go by, is going to make a lot of percussionists very happy.

“From my end, I wanted to basically steal all the cool things I liked about the other studios I’d been working at, as well as minimize or eliminate the negative things that those places had,” Grotto explained. “For me, the general vibe and level of comfort were the primary issue. I wanted to set the place up in a way that really facilitates creativity and a relaxed atmosphere. We have unbelievable sight-lines scissorfight in-studio 3 (Photo by Jay Fortin)throughout the whole studio, lots of comfortable places to relax, and a wealth of instruments and gear that are all easily accessible, which helps artists to get ideas down quickly before the inspiration dries up.

“One of the big advantages to the new space is that we got to design it to our exact needs, from the ground up. So we were able take all the lessons that Riggs learned building the first place, combine them with my experience over the last couple years working in a variety of studios as a freelancer, and combine all that with PK‘s extensive experience as a studio building consultant, and really dial the whole thing into what is more or less our dream studio.”

The layout of the space reminds of a complex piece of software designed to look and operate simply. The live room is flanked on either side by isolation booths, there are big doors for load-in, the control room, a break space/kitchen, bathroom, etc., but from the cork in the ceiling to Grotto controlling colored LED lights from his phone and the acoustics as tracks were played back, what Mad Oak has become is clearly the result of meticulous work.

Craig really wanted to focus on the construction itself. He’s been on-site every day, basically working as the contractor, making sure everything is getting done to his very high standards, but he’s busting ass as a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician, everything. Very hands on. The work he and his guys have been doing in here is out of this world; the craftsmanship and attention to detail is really unlike anything I’ve seen in a recording studio.

PK has a massive amount of experience as a studio building consultant, and we were able to make use of that experience in a major way. Specifically by tapping the Walter Storyk Design Group — which is the studio architectural firm responsible for an incredible list of studios all around the world, including Hendrixscissorfight in-studio 2 (Photo by Jay Fortin)s Electric Lady — to design the control room. That really elevates us to a whole new level in terms of prestige — not to mention, the acoustics in here sound incredible.”

I wouldn’t argue. Fortin was about to lay down some acoustic guitar flourish on a maddeningly catchy track with the working title “Beaver Fever” — the twist: it’s actually about Giardia — but already the material sounded huge, with the trademark crunch in his and Jarvis‘ weighted tones that became a staple of Scissorfight‘s sound in their initial run. Over top, Aubin brought his own edge to sardonic lyrics, snarls and growls about drinking beaver piss. The band called it a public service. I’ll assume the same applies to “Tits Up” and “’70s Boobs,” another working title.

Those three were mostly done. Jarvis put some banjo on “Beaver Fever” that may or may not make the final cut — was cool but might’ve been a bit much with the acoustic already there; would need to hear it mixed — and Aubin will have to go back in for “Ol’ Taint Rot” and “Stove,” but the basic tracks were finished to the point that Grotto, grumbling about the response time of his wireless mouse, was already compiling tracks for rough mixes to send the band. The mental organization involved in that process is not to be understated. At the same time he was cross-fading two tracks joining together, he was also running hard drive backups and drawing on markers so he knew where preamp dials were, for the next time the band are in, or maybe just to keep a record of it. Either way, there’s nothing haphazard about the process.

Grotto told me in a not at all complaining fashion that he’s had one day off since January. Watching him work again, I believe it. The drive and the passion he puts into what he does is inspiring, and as Scissorfight step up to claim the utter dominance of New England that has basically been theirs for the taking for the last decade, there are no better hands they could be in. With smartass jokes a-flying, FortinJarvis and Aubin (Orcutt wasn’t there) were completely at ease at Mad Oak, and it was clear just from being there for the few hours I was how much that was also part of the intricate design.

“The new space sounds amazing,” said Grotto. “It’s made my life so much easier. Every drummer who’s donescissorfight in-studio 5 (Photo by Jay Fortin) a session in here so far has told me it’s the best drum room they’ve ever played in. The room just sings. And we laid out the gear and infrastructure in a way that speeds up the workflow, so we’re just flying through setup, and the bands play great. It’s been fantastic.”

Scissorfight‘s new EP is called Chaos County and will be out later this year. Thanks to Jay Fortin for letting me use his photos of the session.

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