Days of Rona: Somali Yacht Club (Lviv, Ukraine)

Posted in Features on April 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

Somali Yacht Club photo 2020

Days of Rona: Somali Yacht Club (Lviv, Ukraine)

try here: Academic proofreading. Are you an international or native English student who needs to improve your essays? Contact me for proofreading... How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

We’re all alive and well! Could say the crisis isn’t so crucial for us (Desertfests in London and Berlin have been canceled, Australian tour was postponed to November), but rather untimely. We got a good boost after the autumn tour and we feel that it is worth to tour more now. In addition, the autumn will be full of concerts. It is already difficult to find a free date.

We are now actively using the time to record a new album. This is our almost our only reason for leaving home.

follow url Pharmaceutical Industry ē Sales Training Manuals ē Regulatory Documents What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Most people work from home or at quarantine. All establishments are closed except supermarkets / grocery stores, pharmacies and banks. We must wear a mask in crowded places. Authorities do not restrict people from walking, but after warm weekends imposed penalties for picnics. People are enough responsible — they are queued at a distance from each other, the city center is empty. Only in sleeping quarters are quite crowded.

Worried about the increase in police force on the streets and possibly tougher quarantine rules. There is a feeling that these measures are exaggerated and will be used to strengthen positions of power (e.g., for suppressing unwanted rallies). Let’s see.

Recommended Site - Order the needed essay here and put aside your concerns witness the merits of qualified custom writing assistance How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

The impact of quarantine is obvious — musicians, organizers, venues, etc. just stopped. As I see it, people are just waiting. Someone is immersed in creativity (is engaged in music, mastering tracks, etc.), someone is trying to establish business in new conditions (acquaintances from renting musical equipment shoot live shows). The whole is ecosystem stopped and can’t earn money. Quarantine losses will depend on its duration.

At the highest level, we have the situation that the government is seriously (more than half!) reducing the cost for cultural development. There is never a time for culture in Ukraine and now it will take a few steps back.

Professional Business Plans - Dissertations and essays at most attractive prices. Top reliable and trustworthy academic writing service. professional What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

From us — we are actively recording demos, for you — just stay at home as much as it’s possible and survive in this interesting time.

http://facebook.com/Somaliyachtclub
http://somaliyachtclub.bandcamp.com
http://instagram.com/somaliyachtclub
http://facebook.com/RobustfellowProds/
http://robustfellow.bandcamp.com
http://instagram.com/robustfellow_prods
http://facebook.com/kozmikartifactz
http://kozmik-artifactz.com
http://shop.bilocationrecords.com

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Desertfest Berlin 2020 Adds Motorpsycho, Black Rainbows, Somali Yacht Club, Los Bitchos and Love Machine

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 19th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

desertfest berlin 2020 banner

It is increasingly bittersweet, as it has been in the past, to see the lineup for¬† We provide professional check it outs, plagiarized free papers to ensure guaranteed satisfaction. Desertfest Berlin 2020 taking shape, with bands like¬† http://www.kpria.cz/?a-essay-about-loveĖ Get top quality custom written papers, custom written essays, custom written term paper, dissertation, research papers, thesis and Lowrider,¬† allison taylor dissertation heinrich schliemann.Buying papers online college.Trusted Essay Writing Service.Academic essay writers | professional essay writing services Motorpsycho,¬† Looking for quality essay help online? Essay helper is one of the most demanded services by students Whenever I ask to my blog, Black Rainbows,¬† custom essay service org http://www.fischhase.de/?how-to-write-a-good-scholarship-application-essay Guide help writing essays english search hindi essays online Masters of Reality,¬† procurement masters thesis this page dissertation consulting fees essay death penalty Corrosion of Conformity,¬† Amanita Phalloides Dissertation. Essay and Resume Service provides professional writing services for students, executive, management and entry level positions in Brant Bjork,¬† Writing Services In C#. This section gives guidelines on writing in everyday situations, from applying for a job to composing letters of complaint or making an insurance claim. There are plenty of sample documents to help you get it right every time, create a good impression, and increase the likelihood of achieving your desired outcome. Puta Volcano,¬† StudyMooseô is the largest database in 2018 with thousands of free recommended you read for college and high schools Find essays by subject & topics Inspire 1000mods and¬† best college application essay king&39s People Wood Working Coursess research proposal research questions essay on my ambition as a teacher Orange Goblin on the bill knowing that, unless that Nigerian prince who emailed me comes through with a life-changing amount of money, that’s a lineup I won’t see.¬† The best free Online How To Plan A Business Tool that generates unique sentences and high quality human readable content with our Rewriter tool. Change sentence Black Rainbows,¬† Motorpsycho,¬†Somali Yacht Club,¬†Los Bitchos and¬†Love Machine are fresh adds to the bill, and you can see for yourself the list of groups they join — I didn’t even mention¬†S√āVER or¬†Temple Fang or Somali Yacht Club in the list above,¬†mostly in an effort not to make myself sad — in the poster below. Nothing less than amazing to see what¬†Desertfest Berlin and the festival brand as a whole have become. I look forward to the New York edition in September.

Here’s word from the PR wire:

desertfest berlin 2020 poster

MOTORPSYCHO + SOMALI YACHT CLUB + BLACK RAINBOWS + LOS BITCHOS + LOVE MACHINE to join the Line-Up of Desertfest Berlin!

Desertfest Berlin, the leading cult and underground festival of all heavy psych sounds, has announced 5 new and incredible names for their 9th edition, taking place May 1st – 3rd at the Arena Berlin. Progressive psych rock masters, MOTORPSYCHO, Ukrainian stoner rock trio SOMALI YACHT CLUB and Italy’s finest, heavy psych rock unit BLACK RAINBOWS are joining the eclectic Line-Up of Desertfest Berlin 2020! And if that’s not all of today’s great news, Desertfest Berlin has also just added up&coming underground funkers, LOS BITCHOS, and superb garage psych rockers, LOVE MACHINE!

Music writers have never had it easy with Motorpsycho, perhaps less now than ever. Much has been made of the ‚Äėprog rock‚Äô tag in regards to the band‚Äôs more recent output, yet they still manage to fall in between the cracks of any definable genres: ‚Äútoo musically unwieldly for the punks, too gnarly for the prog nerds,‚ÄĚ as the band puts it. ‘The Crucible’, Motorpsycho’s latest record, is an even further step forward, showing no signs of timidity in songwriting nor performances. Self-contra-dictory as the band is, who has its origins way back in the mid-1980s, it’s somehow more focused, compositionally more ambitious, and undoubtly 100% Motorpsycho. The band, who is known for their outstanding live performances, will play an exclusive show at DF Berlin this year!

Somali Yacht Club is a stoner rock trio from Lviv, Ukraine. The band mixes elements of stoner rock, psychedelic rock, shoegazing and post-metal in their music. The trio has released an EP and two highly acclaimed full-length records to date, followed by countless shows on tour with bands alike Elder, Red Fang, Mars Red Sky and Stoned Jesus. They have already turned the European Festival scene at such as Keep It Low, Void or Swamp Fest into some heavy psychedelic rock wonderlands, Desertfest Berlin will be next!

Black Rainbows have established themselves among the best Heavy Psych Stoner Space bands coming from Europe, spreading the word of Fuzz since 2007! Their sound has oozed between classic ‚Äė90s-style stoner fuzz and deep-cosmos psychedelia, drawing on the best of hard-driving space rock to conjure a vibe totally tripped-out. Two years after their last record, Black Rainbows enter 2020 refreshed and with well-earned veteran status resulting from countless tours, festival appearances, and their track record of absolutely unstoppable energy. Perfect in time for Desertfest Berlin, the band will release their 8th album on May 1st: Get ready for the ‚ÄúCosmic Ritual Supertrip‚ÄĚ!

Los Bitchos are fronted by multi-instrumentalist Serra Petale on lead guitar. She’s flanked by Carolina Faruolo (guitar), Agustina Ruiz (keytar), Josefine Jonnson (bass), and Nic Crawshaw (drums / percussion). Currently the gang reside in London but the members hail from as far and as wide as Perth (Australia), Montevideo, Stockholm, and Croydon. In a short space of time they have already toured with Mac De Marco, Ty Segall, The Black Lips or Kikagaku Moyo to name just a few. These ladies have also smashed out sun-tinged sets at numerous festivals, and will be finally taking over Desertfest Berlin!

Love Machine are back with a new release, a new cast and a fresh breeze on garage and psychedelic rock! On ‘Mirrors & Money’, the five-piece from D√ľsseldorf, Germany, is more versatile and daring than ever. While its predecessor, ‘Times To Come’, is still all about Westcoast Psychedelia, their new record has a much more complex and modern influence. The band’s proven herb and psychedelic rock is now joined by garage, slacker and soul. The impossible mix, LOVE MACHINE embrace themselves, without any claim to remain in a field for too long and meet the expectations there in the least. Of genre boundaries and conventions, the five would like to know nothing here.

Desertfest Berlin, known for the best band Line- Ups of the entire heavy psych underground as well as its unique atmosphere and surroundings visited by desert rock fans from all over the globe, is directly located at the riverside in the heart of Berlin, the Arena. After last year’s changes of a new sound system, the ‘Black Box’, that got high praise from both guests and critics alike finding themselves back at an intimate, high-energy underground club show, the festival will provide many more specials, space, and again a chill- party – AND live area on the popular “Hoppetosse” boat! Trip into the ultimate riff & heavy psych party of the year this Spring in Berlin, and grab your ticket now! Day and weekend passes, as well as tickets for the infamous DF WARM-UP Party, are now available at THIS LOCATION: https://www.desertfest-tickets.de/produkte

https://www.facebook.com/events/520164272080736/
www.desertfest.de
www.facebook.com/DesertfestBerlin
www.instagram.com/desertfest_berlin

Motorpsycho, “The Crucible”

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Sonic Whip 2020 Completes Lineup; 1000mods, Causa Sui, Spaceslug, Samavayo & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

sonic whip 2020 banner

This looks like fun, simple as that. Well, maybe not three two-headed, four-armed, knife-and-pill-wielding snake beast on the poster. Though obviously cool looking too, that just kind of looks like it would kill you after opening your third eye. But the event itself, Sonic Whip 2020. That looks like a good time. It’s important to be specific about these things.

The Netherlands-based Spring festival to be held May 1 and 2 has completed its lineup, adding seven more names to an already impressive initial batch. Newcomers include Spaceslug, Big Business, and Greek heavy rock forerunners 1000mods, the latter whose addition to the bill makes me wonder if they’ll be on tour at the time, and if so, if their new album might be out to coincide. If that’s so, an announcement would be coming shortly, I’d think. An exciting prospect, whether it pans out that way or not.

You can see the full list of new adds and the complete final lineup below. Dig:

sonic whip 2020 finished poster

SONIC WHIP 2020 – NEW NAMES – LINE-UP COMPLETE

1000MODS (gr), Causa Sui (dk), Big Business (usa), Somali Yacht Club (ukr), Samavayo (ger), Netherlands (usa) and Spaceslug (pol) have been added to the line-up of Sonic Whip 2020.

With these last seven names the line-up is complete. We are proud to have been able to book these twenty artists for the upcoming edition. In our opinion a nice cross section of what the sonic and psychedelic -heavy rock- genre has to offer at the moment. From old heroes and established names to new artists who know how to push the boundaries again. Next to that also a number of special acts that can rarely be admired live in the Netherlands like Masters of Reality, Pissed Jeans, Causa Sui and Rotor. Look for the daily schedule on the website or event of Sonic Whip.

Day tickets: http://bit.ly/SonicWhip2020
Combi-tickets: http://bit.ly/SonicWhip2020Combi

Sonic Whip, the multi-headed rock monster that combines roaring guitars riffs with steaming bass lines, pounding drums and other sonic, psychedelic excesses, is preparing for the third edition. We kick off on May 1 with a pre-party deluxe in Doornroosje to completely unleash sonically on May 2 at the same location.

LINE-UP
MASTERS OF REALITY
KADAVAR
1000MODS
BRANT BJORK
CAUSA SUI
PISSED JEANS
BIG BUSINESS
ROTOR
SOMALI YACHT CLUB
MAIDAVALE
THE COSMIC DEAD
SAMAVAYO
SACRI MONTI
FORMING THE VOID
ACID ROOSTER
SPACESLUG
GUM TAKES TOOTH
NETHERLANDS
BONNACONS OF DOOM
DHIDALAH

https://www.facebook.com/events/427908701471605/
https://www.facebook.com/Sonicwhipfestival/
https://www.instagram.com/doornroosjenl/
https://www.doornroosje.nl/event/sonic-whip-2020/

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Desertfest London 2020: I Mean, Seriously. God Damn.

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

desertfest london 2020 header

Even apart from how it relates to the other festivals under the Desertfest banner — Berlin, Belgium, New York — Desertfest London set an extremely high standard for itself last year, and it was obvious coming into Desertfest London 2020 that they’d have their work cut out for them in reaching those same heights. Their lineup isn’t finished yet, and of course we’ll see how it all looks when the day-schedule is fully unveiled, but bringing Lowrider on board to support their first release in 20 years, Refractions, is nothing if not significant — they played there in 2013 and were fantastic — but they’ll also be the the UK debut for Khemmis from the US and at least the first time at¬†Desertfest for MaidaVale from Sweden. They’ve pretty much lost their minds and added 20 bands in a single shot here, so there’s plenty to dig into, but you’ll note King Witch, who are frickin’ awesome, as well as The Hazytones, Alunah and the slew of others taking part. They’re building a desert empire in Camden Town.

Has it been nine years already? I may have to start planning my return for year 10 if they’ll have me.

From thee social medias:

desertfest london 2020 poster

DESERTFEST ADDS 20 NAMES TO LONDON LINE-UP, INCLUDING GRAVEYARD AS NEXT HEADLINER

Tickets – https://dice.fm/festival/desertfest20

Desertfest is thrilled to be kicking off the new year in style with the apt number of 20 names added for our 9th edition this May. Sweden’s most beloved export of hard rock, the impeccable Graveyard will bring their unique bluesy tones to London as headliners of Desertfest London 2020. The Swedish family reunion continues as we welcome back one of the most synonymous desert rock (and Desertfest) bands, the iconic Lowrider return with not only a rare live performance, but their first record in almost two decades. A masterclass in the melting pot of genre fluidity comes from two-man powerhouse Big Business, whilst psychedelic stoner rock trio Somali Yacht Club will make the trip from Ukraine to play Desertfest for the first time.

Speaking of debuts we’ll play host to the first UK show for Denver melancholic doom outfit Khemmis and Sweden delivers once again with rock’n’roll four-piece MaidaVale. Elsewhere on the bill we are thrilled to welcome Your Highness, Hexis, FIREBREATHER, The Hazytones, Opium Lord, King Witch, GURT, Alunah, 1782, Tides Of Sulfur, Doomicidal, Under, A Gazillion Angry Mexicans and Dunes.

As you may have noticed, The Picturebooks have unfortunately had to cancel their performance at Desertfest due to a schedule conflict out of our control. However with more acts still to be unveiled, plus day tickets on sale soon there’s much more to come for our 9th edition.

Weekend tickets are on sale now via this link – https://link.dice.fm/desertfest20

Artwork by Piotr w. Osburne

https://www.facebook.com/events/464163361105416/
http://www.desertfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/

Lowrider, Ode to Io Deluxe Edition (2017)

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Up in Smoke 2020 Announces Somali Yacht Club, Unhold and Echolot to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 31st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

up in smoke pre-banner

The festival artwork hasn’t even been posted yet, as evidenced by the letters-floating-on-black placeholder above, but the eighth Up in Smoke Festival set for Oct. 2 and 3, 2020, in Pratteln, Switzerland, has already unveiled its first three confirmations. The announcement sneaked out just before the holiday, but it’s already bringing together a couple native Swiss acts with a killer band from beyond the borders. That latter is Somali Yacht Club, and they’re joined by Unhold and Echolot on the Sound of Liberation-presented bill.

Of course, this is the time of year when rampant speculation about new releases is most fun, so I’m wondering if Somali Yacht Club might be touring Europe in Fall to herald a follow-up to early 2018’s The Sea (review here), but it was four years between their debut and that sophomore outing, so that would be cutting that time-split significantly. We’ll see. They’re a cool band either way and bring an atmospheric edge to their heavy that makes an encouraging leadoff to Up in Smoke 2020’s first announcement.

Which, as it happens, follows here:

SOMALI YACHT CLUB, UNHOLD & ECHOLOT are the first names for Up in Smoke 2020

Early bird ticket sale ends on Monday noon, you can get them here: https://www.sol-tickets.com

We are stoked to welcome Somali Yacht Club from Lviv, Ukraine. The band creates their very very own sound by mixing psych and stoner with elements of shoegazing and post-metal in their music.

The Swiss formation Unhold has been an active band for over 25 years, fusing together a unique mix of sludge, doom, post metal and noise rock. We are happy to finally welcome the extreme and hard hitting institution at UP in SMOKE festival at Z7.

ECHOLOT from Basel City are delivering an ocean of sound, fresh and psychedelic jams that drive you from the depths of doom into cosmic lightness.

We are back in January with the next band announcement, the artwork, festival passes, sleepover Tickets and additional info.

We wish you all some merry X mas days and a happy new year!!!

Your UIS Team

https://www.sol-tickets.com/
http://www.z-7.ch/
https://www.facebook.com/UpInSmokeIndoorFestivalInZ7/
https://www.facebook.com/events/545324436300685/
https://www.upinsmoke.de

Somali Yacht Club, The Sea (2018)

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The Obelisk Presents: Sonic Ride Tour Feat. My Sleeping Karma, Stoned Jesus & Somali Yacht Club

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on May 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

my sleeping karma

If maybe you’ve been around this site for any length of time, or even if you haven’t really and you just wound up here right now through internet happenstance — the thing about happenstance: it happens — I don’t imagine it’s much of a mystery to you why I’d jump at the chance to co-present a tour featuring My Sleeping Karma, Stoned Jesus and Somali Yacht Club. All three are quality acts I’ve never had the opportunity to see live, and if I can’t do that, then living vicariously through encouraging others to do so seems like an obvious correct decision. The run is put together by Sound of Liberation and has been dubbed the “SOL Sonic Ride Vol. 1,” which seems immediately to drop the clue that there’s intent toward a “Vol. 2.” So be it.

Shows start Nov. 15 in Cologne, Germany, and finish in Stuttgart with the second of two nights of the run that also include Belzebong. Stoned Jesus will mark their 10th anniversary as the internet’s favorite heavy rock band, My Sleeping Karma will have new material and Somali Yacht Club will offer highlights from their two to-date full-lengths. Sounds awesome.

Here’s the info:

my sleeping karma tour

MY SLEEPING KARMA announce SONIC RIDE TOUR VOL. I with STONED JESUS and SOMALI YACHT CLUB!

Instrumental hypnotic rockers, genre pioneers My Sleeping Karma, have announced to embark on an extensive tour this Fall, with very special guests Stoned Jesus and Somali Yacht Club on the bill!

THE SONIC RIDE, presented by powerhouse live institution Sound of Liberation, will feature this eclectic tour package in its first edition of a new SOL roadshow trip, a must-see run for every psychedelic and heavy rock fan with stops in Germany, France, Italy, Austria and many more European locations!

Beside timeless classics My Sleeping Karma will introduce their upcoming album material live on stage, well-respected heavy fuzz rock unit Stoned Jesus, who just released their brand new album Pilgrims with Napalm Records, have announced to play an exclusive “greatest hits”-set in celebration of their 10th band anniversary. Psych post rockers Somali Yacht Club to open these November nights will perfectly round up this very special line-up you do not want to miss!

Get on a SONIC RIDE with MY SLEEPING KARMA, STONED JESUS and SOMALI YACHT CLUB live at the following dates:

15.11.19 Cologne | Live Music Hall (DE)
16.11.19 Neunkirchen | Gloomaar Festival (DE)
17.11.19 Brussels | Botanique (BE)
18.11.19 Paris | Alhambra (FR)
19.11.19 Rennes | Antipode MJC (FR)
20.11.19 Toulouse | Rex (FR)
21.11.19 Genf | L’Usine (CH)
22.11.19 Bologna | Freak Out (ITA)
23.11.19 Salzburg | Dome of Rock Festival (AT)
24.11.19 Budapest | A38 (HU)
25.11.19 Munich | Feierwerk (DE)
26.11.19 Vienna | Arena (AT)
27.11.19 Leipzig | Werk2 (DE)
28.11.19 Hamburg | Markthalle (DE)
29.11.19 Berlin | Festsaal Kreuzberg (DE) + Belzebong
30.11.19 Stuttgart | Hallschlag (DE) + Belzebong

www.soundofliberation.com
www.facebook.com/MySleepingKarma
www.facebook.com/stonedjesusband
www.facebook.com/Somaliyachtclub

My Sleeping Karma, Live at Freak Valley 2018

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The Obelisk Presents: THE TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2018

Posted in Features on December 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the-top-30-of-2018

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 2018 to that, please do.

‚ÄĒ

It just wouldn’t be a year if it wasn’t completely overwhelming, right?

2018 has certainly met that standard and then some. The swath of output, whether it’s a new generation adopting and adapting established methods or out and out reinventing the stylistic wheel and then pushing it uphill on a seemingly endless barrage of tours, has been staggering, and it’s still happening. There’s a little more than a week to go in the year. You think a band isn’t putting something out today? Of course they are. It’s every day. It’s all the time.

But this year wasn’t just about quantity either. I think one of my biggest struggles in writing about albums in 2018 — and with the last Quarterly Review and various premieres and video posts that were basically album reviews in disguise, let’s estimate we’re somewhere past 300 records reviewed one way or another — was in conveying just how killer so much of the stuff coming through was. How many times can you say the word “awesome?” Well, I’m sure we’ll see it a few more times before this list is over, so there you go.

I say something like this every time I do a list, but please keep in mind these are my picks and I’m one person. But I am a person. I know there’s the whole internet-anonymity thing, but I assure you, I’m a human being (more of a cave troll, really) typing these words. I’m all for everyone sharing their own picks in the comments, and all for passionate advocating, but please, let’s keep it civil and respectful. These things can spiral out of control quickly, but let’s remember that we’re all human beings and worth of basic courtesy, even if some of us are dead wrong about a good many things. You should definitely punch nazis, though.

Thanks in advance for reading. Here we go:

[UPDATE: You’ll notice the inclusion of an ’18a.’ I had Stoned Jesus in my notes as number 18 initially and they got dropped as I was adjusting things along the way. I’ve added them back in, but it didn’t seem fair to bump everyone else down after the post had already been published. That was the best I could come up with for a solution. If you’re pissed about one more killer record being added, please feel free to email me and tell me all about it.]

30. The Skull, The Endless Road Turns Dark

The Skull The Endless Road Turns Dark

Released by Tee Pee Records. Reviewed Sept. 12.

Chicago’s The Skull had no small task before them in following up their 2014 debut, For Those Which are Asleep (review here) — let alone living up to their pedigree — but their second album demonstrated a creative growth that sacrificed nothing of memorability when it came to songs like “Breathing Underwater” and “All that Remains (Is True).” They got down to work and got the job done, which is what a working band does. 2018 was by any measure a fantastic year for doom, and The Skull were a big part of why.

‚ÄĒ

29. Foghound, Awaken to Destroy

foghound awaken to destroy

Released by Ripple Music. Reviewed Nov. 21.

The Dec. 2017 murder of Rev. Jim Forrester was tragic. No other way to say it.¬†Foghound, who were in the midst of making¬†Awaken to Destroy¬†at the time, put together an album that not only features¬†Forrester‘s last recorded performance, but pays respect to his memory while the wound is still raw and manages to kick ass all the while. It’s a record that can’t ever be divorced from its circumstances — just can’t — and so it can be a heavy listen in more than just its tones, but it’s basically¬†Foghound proving they’re unstoppable. And so they are.

28. Orange Goblin, The Wolf Bites Back

orange goblin the wolf bites back

Released by Spinefarm Records. Reviewed June 13.

Who among us here today is not a sucker for Orange Goblin? Come forward an be judged. I mean, really. Nine records deep, the London sceneforgers are nothing less than an institution, beloved by boozehounds, riffhounds, doomhounds, and really, a wide variety of hounds the world over. Also dudes. With its essential title-track hook and highlight cuts in “Ghosts of the Primitives” and “Burn the Ships” — or, you know, any of them — they added to one of heavy’s most unshakable legacies with an album as furious as it is welcoming to its generations-spanning fanbase.

27. Fu Manchu, Clone of the Universe

fu manchu clone of the universe
Released by At the Dojo Records. Reviewed Feb. 15.

There are two kinds of people in this world, and they’re both Fu Manchu fans. Clone of the Universe turned heads with a guest appearance from Rush‘s Alex Lifeson on the 18-minute side-B-consuming ‚ÄúIl Mostro Atomico,‚ÄĚ but really to focus on that instead of ‚ÄúIntelligent Worship,‚ÄĚ ‚Äú(I‚Äôve Been) Hexed,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt Panic,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúSlower than Light,‚ÄĚ etc., is only seeing half the point of the album in the first place. The long-running lords of fuzz hit a new stride with¬†2014‚Äôs¬†Gigantoid¬†(review here), and¬†Clone of the Universe¬†was in every way a worthy successor.

26. Witch Mountain, Witch Mountain

Witch-Mountain-Witch-Mountain
Released by Svart Records. Reviewed May 16.

It was an unenviable task before Witch Mountain in replacing vocalist Uta Plotkin, but founding guitarist¬†Rob Wrong and¬†drummer¬†Nathan Carson¬†found the right voice in Kayla Dixon and solidified the lineup with her and bassist¬†Justin Brown enough to make a declarative statement in¬†Witch Mountain‘s self-titled LP. That’s the story of it. They pulled it off. Met with what was unquestionably a bummer circumstance, they pushed through and moved their sound forward through a new beginning — and not their first one. Watch out when their next record hits.

25. Windhand, Eternal Return

windhand eternal return

Released by Relapse Records. Reviewed Oct. 3.

Richmond, Virginia, doomers Windhand‘s second collaboration with producer Jack Endino produced a marked and purposeful expansion of their sound, encompassing classic grunge influences and a heavy psychedelic swirl that added color their previously-greyscale sonic haze. Resonant in tone and emotionalism, Eternal Return readjusted Windhand‘s trajectory in such a manner that, where one might’ve thought they knew where the band were headed in terms of their progression, they’ve made themselves a less predictable outfit on the whole. For that alone, it’s a triumph. Then you have the songs.

24. Sun Voyager, Seismic Vibes

Sun Voyager Seismic Vibes

Released by King Pizza Records. Reviewed April 18.

I don’t even want to admit how long I was waiting for Sun Voyager‘s first long-player to show up, but when it finally did, the New York trio did not disappoint. Catchy, energetic, fuzzed-out tunes with driving rhythms and a heavy psych flourish, they tapped into shoegaze and desert vibes without losing any sense of themselves in the process, and if the extra wait was so they could be so remarkably coherent in their expression on their full-length, then I wouldn’t want it to have shown up any sooner. An easy pick to stand among 2018’s best debut albums. Now to wait for the next one.

23. Forming the Void, Rift

forming the void rift

Released by Kozmik Artifactz. Reviewed July 27.

It should tell you something that after working quickly to produce three albums, Louisiana’s Forming the Void are still defined by their potential. If I had my druthers, I’d put the recent Ripple signees on tour for the bulk of 2019, across the US and in Europe for festivals and support-slot club shows, really give them an opportunity to hammer out who they are as a band and then hit the studio for LP four. I don’t know if that’ll happen, but they’d only be doing the universe a favor by kicking into that gear. As it stands, their progression is palpable in their material and they stand absolutely ready for whatever the next level might be for them.

22. Spaceslug, Eye the Tide

spaceslug eye the tide

Released by BSFD Records and Oak Island Records. Reviewed June 29.

Aside from the speed at which Spaceslug have turned around offerings — with Eye the Tide following 2017’s¬†Mountains and Reminiscence¬†EP (review here) and¬†Time Travel Dilemma¬†(review here) full-length and their 2016 debut,¬†Lemanis¬†(review here) — the Polish outfit have undertaken significant progression in their sound, moving from pure heavy psychedelic warmth to incorporating elements out of extreme metal as they did on¬†Eye the Tide. Adding to the latest record’s accomplishment is the smoothness with which they brought seemingly opposing sides together, only adding depth to an approach already worthy of oceanic comparison.

21. Conan, Existential Void Guardian

Conan Existential Void Guardian
Released by Napalm Records. Reviewed Sept. 14.

Conan‘s reign of terror has been unfolding for more than a decade now, and each of their albums has become a kind of step along a path of incremental growth. Consider the melody creeping into the shouts of founding guitarist Jon Davis, or the emergence of bassist Chris Fielding as a vocal presence alongside, the two sharing a frontman role more than ever before while welcoming drummer Johnny King to the fold of destructive tonality and doomly extremism. Existential Void Guardian¬†may end up just being another stomp-print on their way to the next thing, but it affirmed the fact that as much as¬†Conan¬†grow each time out, their central violence continues to hold sway.

20. Pale Divine, Pale Divine

PALE DIVINE S/T
Released by Shadow Kingdom Records. Reviewed Nov. 21.

Look. A new Pale Divine record doesn’t come along every day, so yeah, their self-titled was probably going to be on my list one way or the other, but it definitely helps that not only was it their first outing in six years since 2012’s Painted Windows Black (review here), but it had the songs to live up to a half-decade-plus of anticipation. It marked the first studio appearance from bassist/backing vocalist Ron “Fezz” McGinnis alongside guitarist Greg Diener and drummer Darin McCloskey — now both of Beelzefuzz as well — and made a strong argument for how much Pale Divine¬†deserve more than 20 years on from their initial demo to be considered classic American doom.

19. Mos Generator, Shadowlands

mos generator shadowlands
Released by Listenable Records. Reviewed May 11.

The return and rise to prominence of¬†Washington pure heavy rockers¬†Mos Generator might be the underground’s feelgood story of the decade, but it hasn’t by any means been easily won. In addition to rebuilding the band however many albums ago, guitarist/vocalist¬†Tony Reed has put in innumerable hours on tour and worked to actually develop the group creatively in addition to in terms of stage presence. This is shown throughout some of the classic prog elements making their way onto¬†Shadowlands, and perhaps some of the collection’s moodier aspects are born of the aforementioned road time as well. Hard for that kind of thing not to be a slog after a while, but at least they have killer tunes to play.

18a. Stoned Jesus, Pilgrims

STONED JESUS PILGRIMS

Released by Napalm Records. Reviewed Sept. 5.

The only safe bet about Stoned Jesus‘ fourth long-player, Pilgrims, was that it was going to sound different than the third. That 2015 outing, The Harvest (review here), preceded the band touring to celebrate the fifth anniversary and after-the-fact success of 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here), but Pilgrims defied narrative in that instead of incorporating elements from the second record in more of a heavy psych or jam sound, Stoned Jesus instead showcased a tighter, more sureheaded sense of craft than they’ve ever displayed before, and arrived on Napalm Records with a collection of songs that demonstrated the growth and sense of creative will that drives them. While one can take a look at their moniker and think immediately they know what’s coming, Stoned Jesus have made themselves one of the least predictable bands in heavy rock.

18. Backwoods Payback, Future Slum

backwoods payback future slum

Self-released. Reviewed Aug. 15.

“Pirate Smile.” “Lines.” “Whatever.” “It Ain’t Right.” “Threes.” “Cinderella.” “Generals.” “Big Enough.” “Alone.” “Lucky. Mike Cummings, Jessica Baker, Erik Larson. Every player, every song, every minute. If you want to know what heart-on-sleeve sounds like, it fucking sounds like Backwoods Payback. In their line from hardcore punk to grunge to heavy rock, they encompass experiences and emotionalism that are both shown in raw form throughout Future Slum, and build all the while on the chemistry they set out in developing with 2016‚Äôs¬†Fire Not Reason¬†(review here), when they welcomed¬†Larson¬†to the lineup on drums and revitalized their mission. Also worth noting, they were the best live band I saw this year. Anywhere.

17. Corrosion of Conformity, No Cross No Crown

corrosion of conformity no cross no crown

Released by Nuclear Blast Records. Reviewed Jan. 3

No question the excitement of C.O.C. putting out their first record with frontman Pepper Keenan involved since 2005’s In the Arms of God was one of this year’s top stories in heavy. And No Cross No Crown tapped directly into the spirit of¬†1994‚Äôs¬†Deliverance¬†(discussed here) and 1996‚Äôs¬†Wiseblood¬†(discussed here) in terms of direction, while updating the band’s style with a four-part 2LP in mind. In some ways, it’ll be their next album that really gives listeners a sense of where they’re at and where they might be headed, but as welcome returns go, having¬†Keenan alongside¬†Mike Dean,¬†Woody Weatherman and¬†Reed Mullin is in no way to be understated, and neither is the quality of their output together, then and now.

16. Naxatras, III

naxatras iii

Self-released. Reviewed Feb. 14.

It is no simple feat to hypnotize an audience and convey serenity while at the same time holding attention with songcraft, so that the listener isn’t actually so much unconscious as malleable of mood and spirit in such a direction as the band suggests. Greek trio¬†Naxatras have worked quickly to become experts at this, and their third full-length fosters tonal warmth and jammy progressions with an overarching naturalism that finds them so committed to analog recording that one can buy direct transfers of the tape master of¬†III. Some acts take classic-style practices as an aesthetic choice. With¬†Naxatras, it seems to be the stuff of life, yet their sound is only vibrant and human in a way that, at least one hopes, is even more representative of the future than the past.

15. Clutch, Book of Bad Decisions

clutch book of bad decisions

Released by Weathermaker Music. Reviewed Aug. 27.

It was time for Clutch to make a change in producers, and the Maryland overlords of groove seemed to know it. Known as a live band, they went with Vance Powell, who’s known a live band producer. The results on Book of Bad Decisions might not have been so earth-shatteringly different from 2015‚Äôs¬†Psychic Warfare¬†(review here), which was the too-soon follow-up to 2013‚Äôs¬†Earth Rocker¬†(review here) — both helmed by¬†Machine — but the inimitable four-piece indeed succeeded in capturing the electricity of their stage performance and, as ever, treated fans to a collection of songs bearing¬†Clutch‘s unmistakable hallmarks of quirky lyrics, funky rhythms and heavy roll. They may always be a live band, but¬†Clutch‘s studio work is in no way to be discounted, ever, as this record reaffirmed. Plus, crab cakes.

14. Ancestors, Suspended in Reflections

Ancestors Suspended in Reflections

Released by Pelagic Records. Reviewed Aug. 3.

After¬†2012‚Äôs¬†In Dreams and Time¬†(review here), I wasn’t sure¬†Ancestors were going to put out another record. They kicked around word of one for a while, but it wasn’t until the end of last year that it really seemed to congeal into a possibility. And by then, who the hell knew what they might get up to on a full-length? With¬†Suspended in Reflections, in some says, they picked up where they left off in terms of finding a niche for themselves in progressive and melodic heavy, but I think the time showed in the poise of their execution and the control of the material.¬†Suspended in Reflections can’t help but be six years more mature than its predecessor, and that suits its contemplative feel. In tracks like “Gone,” and “The Warm Glow,” they tempered their expansive sound with an efficiency that can only be had with time.

13. High on Fire, Electric Messiah

high on fire electric messiah

Released by eOne Heavy. Reviewed Sept. 28.

The narrative here was hard to beat. Matt Pike spending an album cycle talking about Lemmy Kilmister and paying homage to his dirt-rock forebear and the gods of old? It doesn’t get much more perfect than that.¬†Electric Messiah was the third collaboration between¬†High on Fire¬†and producer¬†Kurt Ballou behind¬†2015‚Äôs¬†Luminiferous¬†(review here) and 2012‚Äôs¬†De Vermiis Mysteriis¬†(review here), and while it seemed after the last record that the formula might be getting stale,¬†the band only sounded more and more lethal throughout the latest offering. Even putting aside their contributions to underground heavy, they’ve become one of the most essential metal bands of their generation. Metal, period. Doesn’t matter what subgenre you’re talking about it. If you’re listening to¬†High on Fire, you know it. Usually because you’ve just been decapitated.

12. Yawning Man, The Revolt Against Tired Noises

yawning man the revolt against tired noises

Released by Heavy Psych Sounds. Reviewed July 2.

You know, if you take the time to separate Yawning Man from their 30-plus-year history and their legacy as one of the foundational acts of what later became desert rock, and you listen to The Revolt Against Tired Noises, you’re still left with basically a dream of an album. Mostly instrumental, as is their wont, they nonetheless had bassist Mario Lalli (also Fatso Jetson) sing this time around on a version of the previously-unreleased “Catamaran,” which Kyuss covered once upon a whenever although Yawning Man had never officially put it to tape. But really, that and all other novelty aside, guitarist Gary Arce, Lalli and drummer Bill Stinson are a chemistry unto themselves. I don’t know if they’ll ever be as huge as they should be, but every bit of acclaim they get, they’ve earned, and if¬†The Revolt Against Tired Noises¬†helps them get it, all the more so.

11. Greenleaf, Hear the Rivers

greenleaf hear the rivers

Released by Napalm Records. Reviewed Nov. 26.

Swedish heavy rock mavens Greenleaf have become an entirely different band than they once were. No longer a Dozer side-project from guitarist Tommi Holappa with a rotating cast of players, they’re a solidified, road-tested, powerhouse unit, and Hear the Rivers bleeds soul as a result. Holappa, frontman Arvid H√§llag√•rd, bassist Hans Fr√∂hlich and drummer Sebastian Olsson sound like they’re absolutely on fire in the album’s tracks, and far from being staid or formulaic as one might expect a sixth long-player to be, Hear the Rivers built on what the band accomplished with¬†2016‚Äôs¬†Rise Above the Meadow¬†(review here) and came across as all the more vital and nearly frenetic in their energy. I won’t say¬†Greenleaf¬†has seen their last lineup change, because one never knows, but the band as they are today is the realization of potential I don’t think even Greenleaf knew was there.

10. Gozu, Equilibrium

gozu equilibrium

Released by Blacklight Media / Metal Blade Records. Reviewed April 4.

Five records deep into a career into its second decade, Gozu haven’t had a miss yet. Admittedly, some of their early work can seem formative considering where they are now, but still. And after the 2016 rager,¬†Revival¬†(review here), to have the band return to the same studio —¬†Wild Arctic in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where strides producer¬†Dean Baltulonis¬†— for the follow-up allows for the four-piece to directly show how their sound has grown more encompassing in the last couple years. And it has. Equilibrium is a rich and varied listen that holds true to¬†Gozu‘s well-established penchant for soulful vibes and crunching, hard-hitting riffs and groove, but while it shares the directness of approach with¬†Revival, it makes moves that a band could only make moving from one record to the next. I expect nothing less their next time out as well, because a decade later, that’s Gozu‘s proven track record.

9. Monster Magnet, Mindfucker

monster magnet mindfucker
Released by Napalm Records. Reviewed Feb. 23.

The battle for the best album title of 2018 ended early when New Jersey everything-rockers Monster Magnet announced the release of Mindfucker. And what else to call a Monster Magnet LP at this point? They’ve stopped writing to genre. They’re driven by the creative mania of frontman/founder Dave Wyndorf, and they’ve seen psychedelic expanses and commercial success the likes of which would serve the tenure of four lesser bands. What’s left to do but whatever the hell you want? So that’s what Monster Magnet are doing. It just so happens that while they’re doing it, they’re still basically outclassing the entirety of the former planet earth as songwriters. As¬†Monster Magnet¬†fan in 2018, there was nothing more I could’ve asked than what¬†Mindfucker delivered. And if you’re still trying to get your brain around it however many months later, you’re not alone. I think that’s the idea.

8. Apostle of Solitude, From Gold to Ash

Apostle of Solitude From Gold to Ash

Released by Cruz del Sur Music. Reviewed Feb. 20.

Best doom album of 2018. The combination of craft and passion behind the delivery. The way the dark tones fed into the emotions so clearly on display and sheer presence of it in listening to songs like “Keeping the Lighthouse,” “Ruination by Thy Name” and “My Heart is Leaving Here.” Apostle of Solitude never seem to be the highest profile band out there, but their work seems never to be anything less than outstanding, and I refuse to accept them as anything less than among the most pivotal American acts out there making traditional doom. And not just making it, but making it their own, with a sense of new pursuits and individualism that extends to playing style as well as atmosphere. I know doom isn’t exactly in short supply these days — figuratively or literally — but if you miss out on what Apostle of Solitude are doing with it, you’ll only regret it later. I’ll say it one more time: Best doom album of 2018.

7. Holy Grove, Holy Grove II

holy grove ii
Released by Ripple Music. Reviewed Oct. 31.

Every now and again, anticipating the crap of an album really pays off, and such was the case with Holy Grove II, the Ripple Music debut from the Portland outfit whose 2016 self-titled (review here) seemed like such a herald of excellence to come while also, you know, being killer. Holy Grove II brought the four-piece of vocalist Andrea Vidal, guitarist Trent Jacobs, bassist Gregg Emley and drummer Eben Travis to entirely new levels of composition and execution. In songs like “Blade Born,” the shorter, sharper “Aurora,” the patiently rolling “Valley of the Mystics,” “Solaris” and closer “Cosmos,” which boasted a not-really-necessary-but-definitely-welcome guest vocal appearance from YOB‘s Mike Scheidt, — and oh wait, that’s all of the tracks — Holy Grove entered a different echelon. Anticipation will likewise be high for¬†Holy Grove III, but it’ll be hard to complain with this record to keep company in the meantime.

6. All Them Witches, ATW

all them witches atw
Released by New West Records. Reviewed Sept. 18.

Over five All Them Witches albums, the Nashville four-piece have gone from a nascent heavy Americana jam band to one of the most distinct acts in the US underground. Their development in sound is chemistry-driven, so it was a risk when the founding trio of bassist/vocalist Charles Michael Parks, Jr., guitarist Ben McLeod¬†(who also produced) and drummer Robby Staebler welcomed new keyboardist Jonathan Draper into the lineup to take the place of Allan van Cleave. Amid a more naturalist production than that of 2017’s¬†Sleeping Through the War¬†(review here), the revamped four-piece flourished in terms of songwriting and conveying their stage-born sonic personae. From the gleeful fuckery of opener “Fishbelly 86 Onions” to the memorable moodiness of “Diamond” and the back-end jam “Harvest Feast” en route to the stretched-out end of “Rob’s Dream,”¬†All Them Witches essentially confirmed they could do whatever they wanted and make it work.

5. YOB, Our Raw Heart

yob our raw heart
Released by Relapse Records. Reviewed June 7.

Actually, if you want a sample of YOB‘s raw heart, the place to go is probably 2014’s Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here), but whatever the Eugene, Oregon, shapers of cosmic doom might’ve lacked in titular accuracy on their eighth long-player, they made up for in a new, statesman-like posture. Their approach was mature, hammered out to a professionalism working completely on its own terms, and they never sounded so sure of who they are as a band or as confident of their direction. In extended cuts “Beauty in Falling Leaves” and “Our Raw Heart,” they explored new and progressive textures and melodies, and managed to reaffirm their core aspects while finding room for conveying emotion that came across as nothing but ultimately sincere. They have been and still are one of a kind, and as they continue to move forward, they remain a band that makes one feel lucky to be alive to witness their work. Our Raw Heart¬†was perhaps more refined than it let on, but the heart was there for sure, as always.

4. Brant Bjork, Mankind Woman

brant bjork mankind woman

Released by Heavy Psych Sounds. Reviewed Sept. 13.

I’m not going to say I wasn’t a fan of the (relatively) harder-hitting approach¬†Brant Bjork and his Low Desert Punk Band took on¬†2014‚Äôs¬†Black Power Flower¬†(review here) and 2016‚Äôs¬†Tao of the Devil¬†(review here), but¬†Mankind Woman¬†brought in some more of his soul influences, and whether it was the subtly subversive funk of “Chocolatize” and “Brand New Old Times” or the callout “1968” and laid back vibes of the title-track and “Swagger and Sway,”¬†Bjork — working with guitarist¬†Bubba DuPree on songwriting and production — offered a definitive look at what has made his 20-year solo career so special and demonstrates not only his longevity and his legacy, but his will to continue to progress as an artist honing his craft. His discography is well populated by now to be sure, but¬†Mankind Woman represents a turn from the last couple records, and if it’s in any way portentous of things to come, it bodes well.¬†Bjork is right at home nestled into classic-style grooves, and his legacy as one of the principal architects of desert rock is continually reaffirmed.

3. Earthless, Black Heaven

earthless black heaven

Released by Nuclear Blast Records. Reviewed March 15.

They’ve been great, not just good, for a long time now, and as forerunners of the San Diego heavy scene, they’re godfathers to an up and coming generation of bands taking their influence — let alone acts from the rest of the world — but Black Heaven is a special moment for them because of its departure. No, it wasn’t not the first time guitarist Isaiah Mitchell sang on an Earthless recording, but it did represent a tip of the balance in that direction for the band on a studio full-length, and that resulted in a special moment. Album opener “Gifted by the Wind” was one of the best songs I heard this year, and while “End to End” and the all-thrust “Volt Rush” affirmed that more traditional songwriting was well within the grasp of Mitchell, bassist Mike Eginton and drummer Mario Rubalcaba, they still found space for a sprawling jam or two, keeping their claim on the instrumentalism that’s (largely) fueled their tenure to date.¬†Earthless¬†don’t want for acclaim, but every bit of it is earned, and while their primary impact has always been live,¬†Black Heaven saw them construct a traditional-style LP that still bore the hallmarks of their collective personality. It was the best of all worlds.

2. King Buffalo, Longing to Be the Mountain

king buffalo longing to be the mountain
Self-released/released by Stickman Records. Reviewed Sept. 27.

In the dark early hours of 2018, the Rochester, New York, trio of guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay, bassist Dan Reynolds and drummer Scott Donaldson issued the¬†Repeater¬†EP (review here) as a follow-up to their 2016 debut,¬†Orion¬†(review here), so¬†Longing to Be the Mountain didn’t exactly come out of nowhere, but even with¬†Repeater preceding its arrival, I don’t think anyone necessary expected¬†King Buffalo‘s second album to have such a scope or to be so engrossing with it. In its melody, patience, atmosphere and heft, it was an absolute joy to behold. Its songs were memorable at the same time they were far-reaching, and while¬†Orion was already my pick for the best debut of 2016,¬†Longing to Be the Mountain realized even more potential than that record had hinted toward. It could be intimate or majestic at its whim, and its dynamic set an individual characterization of heavy psychedelia and blues-style sprawl that the band wholly owned. With production by¬†Ben McLeod of¬†All Them Witches behind them, they worked to serve notice of a progression undertaken the results of which are already staggering and still seem to be looking ahead to the next stage, literally and figuratively. One of the principal standards I use in constructing this list every year is what I listen to most. That’s this record.

1. Sleep, The Sciences

sleep the sciences

Released by Third Man Records. Reviewed May 1.

Obviously, right? To some extent, when Sleep surprise-announced on April 19 they’d release their first album in 15 years the next day, and then did, they took ownership of 2018. Even with records still to come at that point from YOB and Sleep guitarist Matt Pike‘s own High on Fire, there was no way that when the end of the year came around, it wasn’t going to be defined by the advent of a new Sleep record. And even if it sucked, it would probably still be Album of the Year, but fortunately, as Pike, bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros (also Om) and drummer Jason Roeder (also Neurosis) took their long-running stage reunion to the studio, they brought material that highlighted the best elements from all players. Pike‘s wild soloing, Cisneros‘ meditative vocals and Roeder‘s intricate but smooth style of roll all came together in older pieces like “Antarcticans Thawed” and “Sonic Titan” and newer highlights “Giza Butler” and “Marijuanaut’s Theme,” and aside from the excitement at their existence, they showed the mastery of form that Sleep had been demonstrating live since 2009 and which they hinted toward in the 2014 single,¬†The Clarity¬†(review here). A new¬†Sleep full-length was something long-discussed, long-rumored and long-considered, but when it finally happened, I think the results vaporized expectation in a way no one could’ve anticipated. There’s a reason¬†Sleep are¬†Sleep. Having¬†The Sciences as a reminder of that brought about the defining moment of 2018.

The Next 20

Indeed, it wouldn’t be much of a Top 30 at all if it didn’t go to 50. Don’t try to make sense of it, just look at the records.

31. Atavismo, Valdeinfierno
32. Grayceon, IV
33. Clamfight, III
34. Seedy Jeezus, Polaris Oblique
35. Megaton Leviathan, Mage
36. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Wasteland
37. Arcadian Child, Superfonica
38. Freedom Hawk, Beast Remains
39. The Machine, Faceshift
40. Messa, Feast for Water
41. Black Rainbows, Pandaemonium
42. Church of the Cosmic Skull, Science Fiction
43. Domkraft, Flood
44. Träden, Träden
45. Mythic Sunship, Another Shape of Psychedelic Music
46. Samavayo, Vatan
47. Foehammer, Second Sight
48. Bongripper, Terminal
49. Mansion, First Death of the Lutheran
50. Sunnata, Outlands
51. Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, Come and Chutney

Believe me when I tell you, I sweated over this section more than I did the actual top 30. Mansion should be higher. So should Chubby Thunderous, though something in me thought they might like being #50 on a list of 30. Church of the Cosmic Skull, Clamfight, Black Rainbows, Foehammer, Seedy Jeezus, Messa, Domkraft. All of these were fucking awesome. And there are more (we’ll get there). Eventually numbers add up. I won’t say a bad word about any of these. That’s it.

Honorable Mention

This section always winds up expanded as other people point out things I missed and so on, but here’s what I’ve got in the immediate, alphabetically:

  • Alms,¬†Act One
  • Ape Machine,¬†Darker Seas
  • Belzebong, Light the Dankness
  • Black Moon Circle, Psychedelic Spacelord
  • Blackwater Holylight, Blackwater Holylight
  • Bong, Thought and Existence
  • Carpet, About Rooms and Elephants
  • Churchburn, None Shall Live… The Hymns of Misery
  • Deadbird, III: The Forest Within the Tree
  • Dead Meadow,¬†The Nothing They Need
  • Death Alley, Superbia
  • Drug Cult, Drug Cult
  • Dunbarrow,¬†II
  • Electric Citizen, Helltown
  • Eagle Twin, The Thundering Heard: Songs of Hoof and Horn
  • Evoken, Hypnagogia
  • Funeral Horse,¬†Psalms for the Mourning
  • Fuzz Evil, High on You
  • Graven,¬†Heirs of Discord
  • Graveyard, Peace
  • Green Dragon, Green Dragon
  • Green Druid, Ashen Blood
  • Here Lies Man, You Will Know Nothing
  • High Priestess, High Priestess
  • Horehound, Holocene
  • IAH, II
  • JIRM, Surge ex Monumentis
  • Killer Boogie, Acid Cream
  • Lonely Kamel, Death’s Head Hawkmoth
  • MaidaVale,¬†Madness is Too Pure
  • Moab, Trough
  • Mountain Dust, Seven Storms
  • Mouth,¬†Floating
  • Mr. Plow,¬†Maintain Radio Silence
  • T.G. Olson, Earthen Pyramid
  • Ons√©gen Ensemble, Duel
  • Orango, Evergreen
  • Owl, Nights in Distortion
  • Pushy,¬†Hard Wish
  • Rifflord,¬†7 Cremation Ground/Meditation
  • River Cult, Halcyon Daze
  • Rotor,¬†Sechs
  • Somali Yacht Club,¬†The Sea
  • Sumac,¬†Love in Shadow
  • Sundrifter, Visitations
  • Svvamp, Svvamp II
  • Thou, Magus
  • Thunder Horse,¬†Thunder Horse
  • Weedpecker, III

Special Note

Somehow it didn’t seem appropriate to include these in the list proper because they’re not really underground releases, but there were two more records I especially wanted to highlight for their quality:

  • Alice in Chains, Rainier Fog
  • Judas Priest, Firepower

Best Short Release of the Year

Normally I’d do this as a separate post, but as a result of being robbed earlier this year, I feel like my list is woefully incomplete. If you have any demos, EPs, splits, singles, etc., to add to it, please feel free to do so in the comments below. Still, the top pick was clear:

  • Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard & Slomatics,¬†Totems Split

Rarely do two bands work in such coherent tandem to their mutual benefit. Here are a few other essential short releases for 2018, alphabetically:

  • All Them Witches,¬†Lost and Found
  • Alunah,¬†Amber & Gold
  • Canyon,¬†Mk II
  • Demon Head,¬†The Resistence
  • Destroyer of Light,¬†Hopeless
  • Ecstatic Vision,¬†Under the Influence
  • Godmaker & Somnuri, Split
  • Holy Mushroom,¬†Blood and Soul
  • King Buffalo,¬†Repeater
  • Minsk & Zatokrev, Split
  • Sleep,¬†Leagues Beneath
  • Stonus,¬†Lunar Eclipse
  • Sundecay,¬†Gale

Looking Forward

A good many albums have already been announced or hinted at for 2019. I in no way claim this to be a complete roundup of what’s coming, but here’s what I have in my notes so far, in absolutely no order:

Kings Destroy, Lo-Pan, Cities of Mars, Heavy Temple, Mr. Peter Hayden, Curse the Son, High Fighter, Destroyer of Light, Year of the Cobra, Buffalo Fuzz, Zaum, The Sonic Dawn, Alunah, Candlemass, Elepharmers, Grandier, Dorre, Abrahma, Mars Red Sky, Eternal Black, Elephant Tree, Atala, No Man’s Valley, Sun Blood Stories, Crypt Sermon, The Riven, Hibrido, Snail, Red Beard Wall, 11Paranoias, Dead Witches, Monte Luna, Captain Caravan (LP), Swallow the Sun, Oreyeon, Motorpsycho, Vokonis, Hexvessel, Saint Vitus, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Kind, Mastiff, Shadow Witch, Om.

Okay, That’s It

Yeah, no, I’m serious. List is done. Everybody go back to your lives. Your families miss you.

Really though, while this is by no means my last post of 2018, I can’t let it pass without saying thank you so much to everyone for checking out the site this year, or for just digging into this, or for sending me music, or hitting me up on social media, sharing a link, anything. Thank you. Thank you. I could never have imagined when it started out where it would be now. Or that I’d still be doing it. Your support means more to me than I can say, and I thank you so much for being a part of this with me.

So thanks.

If you have something to add to the list, please do so by leaving a comment below, but keep in mind as well the above note requesting civility. Please don’t make me feel stupid because I forgot your favorite record. I forgot a lot of people’s favorite records. I’m one dude. I’m doing my best.

And please keep in mind if you’ve got a list together that the Year-End Poll is open and results will be out Jan. 1.

Everybody have a great and safe 2019.

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Somali Yacht Club: The Sun+1 Reissue Due Aug. 17

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

somali yacht club

Earlier this year, Ukrainian trio¬†Somali Yacht Club released their second album,¬†The Sea (review here), through¬†Kozmik Artifactz and¬†Robustfellow Productions. As of Aug. 8, the latter imprint will have the band’s¬†2014 debut,¬†The Sun¬†(discussed here), available for preorder as a CD and tape reissue with a bonus track included. Dubbed¬†The Sun+1¬†suitably enough, the new version of the offering will feature the track “Sun’s Eyes,” an outtake from the original recording session that¬†Somali Yacht Club had previously posted on their Bandcamp page but which hasn’t been physically pressed until now. The release date is a quickly-approaching Aug. 17.

Somali Yacht Club toured earlier this year alongside Stoned Jesus and have dates still coming together for a tour next month as well, including stops in Romania and Greece. More info below and at the links that follow word from the PR wire:

somali yacht club the sun+1

Ukrainian finest dreamtone trio Somali Yacht Club will get their debut album “The Sun” reissued via Robustfellow Prods. on the 17th of August. The bonus track included in the reissue is an outtake from the first edition of the album. It was recorded in one session to serve as the logical continuation and enhance The Sun’s story. Being called “The Sun+1”, the re-issue will be released on CDs, tapes and as a digital download.

Preorder here: https://robustfellow.bandcamp.com/album/the-sun-1

“The Sun+1” Track-list:
1. Loom
2. Sightwaster
3. Up In The Sky
4. Signals
5. Sun
6. Sun’s Eyes (bonus track)

CD info:
‚ÄĘ Replicated CD
‚ÄĘ 2-panel digipak, matte lamination
‚ÄĘ Remaster
‚ÄĘ 1 Bonus Track
‚ÄĘ High quality recording and mixing

MC info:
‚ÄĘ Pro-done cassette tape, manufactured in UK
‚ÄĘ 1st press is strictly limited to 100 yellow body cassettes
‚ÄĘ Exclusive Matt Laminated ‚ÄúSloth‚ÄĚ Tape Box
‚ÄĘ Lyrics card
‚ÄĘ DL Card (mp3/FLAC/Wav)

Somali Yacht Club is a psychedelic/stoner rock trio from Lviv, Ukraine. Formed in 2010 as a jam band, Somali Yacht Club quickly transformed from a side-project into the main musical activity of its members. In August 2011 they self-released their first four-song EP ‚ÄúSandsongs‚ÄĚ, followed by a single ‚ÄúDesert Walls‚ÄĚ in 2013. In their first full-length ‚ÄúThe Sun‚ÄĚ they changed their musical direction from straightforward to more abstract and progressive. The album blends stoner, blues, dub, shoegazing, psychedelic rock, and post rock and beautifully wraps all these styles in fuzz in a very thoughtful, cohesive, and atmospheric way causing its listeners to experience a multitude of emotions and attitudes.

In early 2018, Robustfellow Prods. released the band‚Äôs second album ‚ÄúThe Sea‚ÄĚ which took the Ukrainian outfit‚Äôs sound to the next level and quickly became one of the main contenders for the top-2018 lists.

facebook.com/Somaliyachtclub
somaliyachtclub.bandcamp.com
twitter.com/somaliyachtclub
instagram.com/somaliyachtclub
robustfellow.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/RobustfellowProds
twitter.com/robust_fellow
instagram.com/robustfellow_prods

Somali Yacht Club, “Sun’s Eyes”

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