Ruff Majik Tease New Single “What a Time to Be a Knife”; European Tour Starts Next Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 10th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

With just a bit less than a month to go before it’s released, no one will be able to say they weren’t warned about the new Ruff Majik single, “What a Time to Be a Knife.” The South African heavy rockers will release the new track on June 7 — it’s available now to pre-save through the usual-suspect digital outlets — and no, there isn’t even a snippet of audio to go on yet, but one assumes that will follow.

Why put word out early? Maybe it’s because the band are gearing up to travel from South Africa to Europe for a second tour supporting their most righteous 2023 long-player, Elektrik Ram (review here), and wanted to be sure they got the news out before the run started May 16, not the least since they’re on the continent until the song actually arrives. One more thing to tick off your to-do list ahead of getting on the plane. There’s a lot to be said for that.

And a lot to be said about “What a Time to Be a Knife” as well. I’ll skip playing coy and tell you outright I’ve had the chance to hear the song, and if the middle-fingery vibe of “Hillbilly Fight Song” from Elektrik Ram or the charge of “All You Need is Speed” from 2020’s The Devil’s Cattle (review here) did you right, you’ll probably want to keep an eye out. As one would both expect and hope, attitude abounds in the song, which also features a guest spot from Reegan du Buisson (Facing the Gallows, Evergloom), and by the time you feel like you can keep up with the first listen, it’s already over.

The European dates (yeah, I already posted them; bite me) follow here, as well as the knife-emoji-heavy save-the-date note and link they put out on socials. Have at it:

ruff majik what a time to be a knife

RUFF MAJIK – 🔪What A Time To Be A Knife🔪


feat. Reegan du Buisson


Illustration by Llewellyn Van Eeden
Design by Johni Holiday
Mix and master by Justin Bernardo
via Sound of Liberation

Ruff Majik :

16.5 – Cottbus (DE) @comicaze_cb , HEADLINE
17.5 – Dresden (DE) Gockelscream Festival
18.5 – Cologne (DE) @clubvolta_cologne , Siena Root + Dirty Sound Magnet
19.5 – Den Bosch (NL) W2, Monkey3
20.5 – Ede (NL) @astrant_ede , HEADLINE
21.5 – TBA
22.5 – Luxembourg (LUX) @mkbarbelval , with
23.5 – Aarau, @kiffaarau (CH), Brant Bjork
24.5 – München (DE), @feierwerk_ , Brant Bjork
25.5 – Erfurt (DE), VEB Kultur , Brant Bjork
26.5 – @desertfest_berlin (DE)
28.5 – Prague (CZ), @underdogsprague , Headline
29.5 – Nürnberg (DE), @musikzentrale_nuernberg , Headline
30.5 – TBA
31.5 – Esbjerg (DK), @esbjerg_fuzztival
1.6 – TBA
2.6 – Düsseldorf (DE), @pitcherrocknrollhq , Headline
4.6 – Lille (FR), @labullecafe
5.6 – Würzburg (DE), @immerhin.wuerzburg , Monkey3
6.6 – Biberach (DE), @abdera.bc , Monkey3
7.6 – Münster (DE), @rare_guitar , Headline
8.6 – TBA

Ruff Majik are:
Johni Holiday (vocals & guitar)
Cowboy Bez (guitar & vocals)
Jimmy Glass (bass)
Steven Bosman (drums)

Ruff Majik, Elektrik Ram (2023)

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Up in Smoke 2023 Adds Nebula, Sons of Morpheus, Heavy Temple & Howling Giant

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 17th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Admittedly, I’m a few days behind on this. I don’t know how many — I didn’t want to look — but it’s times like this I like to remind mostly myself that I’m doing the best I can here with the time and energy I have on any particular day. Up in Smoke 2023 is set for Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in Pratteln, Switzerland, the location same as ever, and seems to be the kickoff point for the Fall heavy touring and festival season in Europe. As much as there even are seasons anymore and tours and fests aren’t just happening all the time — by which I mean they are, the dead of winter kinda notwithstanding, for now — but still, moving out of summer brings a new round of beginnings and offerings coming out.

Seeing Nebula and Heavy Temple and Howling Giant together here after also being added to Desertfest Belgium in Antwerp, which takes place nearly a month later means that’s going to be some significant touring for the three American acts. I’m hoping they’re going together — love a package tour — but I have no info or confirmation that that’s what’s happening. At very least, they’ll be meeting up along the way.

Basel’s own Sons of Morpheus round out the new announcement, and as their last release was 2019’s The Wooden House Session (review here), the inevitable curiosity is piqued as to whether they might have a new release in the works for Fall. We’ll see, I guess, and in the meantime, they strengthen an already strong lineup of acts oldschool and new that still has more to come. Good fun.

From social media:

up in smoke 2023 second poster


Hey friends,

We’re more than happy to present you today the new bands for our beloved Up In Smoke Festival!

Please give a very warm welcome to:

This is just a small update – there are many more bands to come!

Stay tuned!

29. Sep – 01. Oct 2023

Konzertfabrik Z7
Pratteln (Basel, CH)

Get ready for three full days of finest heavy rock music!

Tickets (3 Day Passes and Sleepover Tickets) are on sale ->

Poster by Brookesia Estudio

Nebula, “To the Center/Come Down” live in North Carolina, March 2023

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Up in Smoke 2023 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 31st, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Some pretty good inferences one might make looking at the first lineup announcement for Up in Smoke 2023, the annual Sound of Liberation festival held each year in Pratteln, Switzerland. It says The Obsessed will be on tour in Europe this Fall, which I’m pretty sure they’ve said anyway, but it might also be a clue as to the release of their next album. On the other hand, they might just be fucking touring because they’re The Obsessed and that’s what they do. Also it’s further expansion of Alabama Thunderpussy‘s reunion and since this festival is Sep. 29 to Oct. 1 and their prior confirmation was Keep it Low from Oct. 6 to 7, they’ll likely be on the road in Europe for the better part of at least two weeks. That’s not nothing.

Consider also Yawning Man heading abroad in Fall for their new album, announced yesterday. And did you hear that Dirty Sound Magnet record? I didn’t until now but it’s a ripper. New school oldschool blues heavy. Rad. And Eyehategod getting back at it too. It’s a cool bill, mix of newer acts and recognizable with Zeal & Ardor on top nothing to complain about.

Of course, there’s more to come here, but hell, I’d go to this. You? Festival in Switzerland in October? Why on earth would you say no to that?

Also note there’s a new Facebook page for the fest. From the PR wire:

Up in smoke 2023 first announcement second version


Hey Smokers, the long awaited day has come. We’re stoked to finally reveal the first names for our 2023 edition. We hope you like it as much as we do!

Get ready for three days of finest heavy rock music… this is just the beginning.

Artwork: Brookesia Estudio

Festival info:
Up In Smoke Festival
29. Sep – 01. Oct 2023
@ Konzertfabrik Z7 // Pratteln (CH)


Facebook Event:

Dirty Sound Magnet, DSM-III (2022)

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Lazy Bones Festival 2023 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 17th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Last year was the first Lazy Bones Festival in Hamburg, Germany. Put on by Sound of Liberation — which also maintains Keep it Low in Munich and Up in Smoke in Switzerland while featuring artists on their booking roster prominently at Desertfest Belgium — it’s set for Oct. 28 and if the first eight names were the entire lineup, it would be an all-dayer well worth traveling to see. Elder and King BuffaloGreenleaf and The Atomic BitchwaxSlomosaDaily Thompson, and Gnome. Any one of those bands, on their own, is a good night.

Together, they make up what is referred to below as a “first batch,” so I guess there’s more coming. I’ll keep an eye out for a second one, to be sure, because in looking at this I’m not entirely certain what else you might need. Shit, this lineup should just tour. Package touring fests have to be due for a comeback, don’t they? Put these acts on the road for a couple weeks in the summer hitting major markets and I bet the shows sell out. You could do five dates in Germany alone.

As of now, however, it’s Hamburg-only. Info follows as per the PR wire:

Lazy Bones Festival 2023 first poster


2023 will see the LAZY BONES FEST return to Hamburg, Germany, with an eclectic line-up that doubles down all expectations within the heavy stoner, psych, doom and fuzz rock scene! While the first edition of the indoor festival, presented by SOUND OF LIBERATION, was taking place in the summer of 2022 at Grünspan, LAZY BONES FEST has moved to iconic venue Markthalle in Hamburg.

A first batch of bands has just been announced, and October 28th will see the following, high class line-up rocking the stage of LAZY BONES FEST 2023:

King Buffalo
The Atomic Bitchwax
Daily Thompson

Tickets for LAZY BONES FEST are now available at:

Event page:

Elder, Innate Passage (2022)

King Buffalo, Regenerator (2022)

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Quarterly Review: Antimatter, Mick’s Jaguar, Sammal, Cassius King, Seven Rivers of Fire, Amon Acid, Iron & Stone, DRÖÖG, Grales, Half Gramme of Soma

Posted in Reviews on January 3rd, 2023 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-winter 2023

We roll on in this new-year-smelling 2023 with day two of the Quarterly Review. Yesterday was pretty easy, but the first day almost always is. Usually by Thursday I’m feeling it. Or the second Tuesday. It varies. In any case, as you know, this QR is a double, which means it’s going to include 100 albums total, written about between yesterday and next Friday. Ton of stuff, and most of it is 2022, but generally later in the year, so at least I’m only a couple months behind your no doubt on-the-ball listening schedule.

Look. I can’t pretend to keep up with a Spotify algorithm, I’m sorry. I do my best, but that’s essentially a program to throw bands in your face (while selling your data and not paying artists). My hope is that being able to offer a bit of context when I throw 100 bands in your face is enough of a difference to help you find something you dig. Some semblance of curation. Maybe I’m flattering myself. I’m pretty sure Spotify can inflate its own ego now too.

Winter 2023 Quarterly Review #11-20:

Antimatter, A Profusion of Thought


Project founder, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mick Moss isn’t through opener “No Contact” — one of the 10 inclusions on Antimatter‘s 54-minute eighth LP, A Profusion of Thought — before he readily demonstrates he can carry the entire album himself if need be. Irish Cuyos offers vocals on the subsequent “Paranoid Carbon” and Liam Edwards plays live drums where applicable, but with a realigned focus on programmed elements, his own voice the constant that surrounds various changes in mood and purpose, and stretches of insularity even on the full-band-sounding “Fools Gold” later on, the self-released outing comes across as more inward than the bulk of 2018’s Black Market Enlightenment, though elements like the acoustic-led approach of “Breaking the Machine,” well-produced flourishes of layering and an almost progressive-goth (proggoth?) atmosphere carry over. “Redshift” balances these sides well, as does fold before it, and “Templates” before that, and “Fools Gold” after, as Antimatter thankfully continues to exist in a place of its own between melancholic heavy, synthesized singer-songwriterism and darker, doom-born-but-not-doom metal, all of which seem to be summarized in the closing salvo of “Entheogen,” “Breaking the Machine” and “Kick the Dog.” Moss is a master of his craft long-established, and a period of isolation has perhaps led to some of the shifting balance here, but neither the album nor its songs are done a disservice by that.

Antimatter on Facebook

Antimatter on Bandcamp


Mick’s Jaguar, Salvation

Mick's Jaguar Salvation

There was a point, maybe 15 years ago now give or take, when at least Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York City were awash in semi-retro, jangly-but-rough-edged-to-varying-degrees rock and roll bands. Some sounded like Joan Jett, some sounded like the Ramones, or The Strokes or whoever. On Salvation, their second LP, Mick’s Jaguar bring some chunky Judas Priest riffing, no shortage of attitude, and as the five-piece — they were six on 2018’s Fame and Fortune (review here) — rip into a proto-shredder like “Speed Dealer,” worship Thin Lizzy open string riffing on “Nothing to Lose” or bask in what would be sleaze were it not for the pandemic making any “Skin Contact” at all a serotonin spike, they effectively hop onto either side of the line where rock meets heavy. Also the longest track at 4:54, “Molotov Children” is a ’70s-burly highlight, and “Handshake Deals” is an early-arriving hook that seems to make everything after it all the more welcome. “Man Down” and “Free on the Street” likewise push their choruses toward anthemic barroom sing-alongs, and while I’m not sure those bars haven’t been priced out of the market and turned into unoccupied investment luxury condos by now, rock and roll’s been declared dead in New York at least 100,000 times and it obviously isn’t, so there.

Mick’s Jaguar on Facebook

Tee Pee Records store

Totem Cat Records store


Sammal, Aika laulaa

Sammal Aika laulaa

Long live Finnish weird. More vintage in their mindset than overall presentation, Sammal return via the ever-reliable Svart Records with Aika Laulaa, the follow-up to 2018’s Suuliekki (review here) and their fourth album total, with eight songs and 43 minutes that swap languages lyrically between Finnish, Swedish and English as fluidly as they take progressive retroism and proto-metal to a place of their own that is neither, both, and more. From the languid lead guitar in “Returning Rivers” to the extended side-enders “On Aika Laulaa” with its pastoralized textures and “Katse Vuotaa” with its heavy blues foundation, willfully brash surge, and long fade, the band gracefully skip rocks across aesthetic waters, opening playful and Scandi-folk-derived on “På knivan” before going full fuzz in “Sehr Kryptisch,” turning the three-minute meander of “Jos ei pelaa” into a tonal highlight and resolving the instrumental “(Lamda)” (sorry, the character won’t show up) with a jammy soundscape that at least sounds like it’s filled out by organ if it isn’t. A band who can go wherever they want and just might actually dare to do so, Sammal reinforce the notion of their perpetual growth and Aika laulaa is a win on paper for that almost as much as for the piano notes cutting through the distortion on “Grym maskin.” Almost.

Sammal on Facebook

Svart Records store


Cassius King, Dread the Dawn

Cassius King Dread the Dawn

Former Hades guitarist Dan Lorenzo continues a personal riffy renaissance with Cassius King‘s Dread the Dawn, one of several current outlets among Vessel of Light and Patriarchs in Black. On Dread the Dawn, the New Jersey-based Lorenzo, bassist Jimmy Schulman (ex-Attacker) and drummer Ron Lipnicki (ex-Overkill) — the rhythm section also carried over from Vessel of Light — and vocalist Jason McMaster offer 11 songs and 49 minutes of resoundingly oldschool heavy, Dio Sabbath-doomed rock. Individual tracks vary in intent, but some of the faster moments on “Royal Blooded” or even the galloping opener “Abandon Paradise” remind of Candlemass tonally and even rockers like “How the West Was Won,” “Bad Man Down” and “Back From the Dead” hold an undercurrent of classic metal, never mind the creeper riff of the title-track or its eight-minute companion-piece, the suitably swinging “Doomsday.” Capping with a bonus take on Judas Priest‘s “Troubleshooter,” Dread the Dawn has long since by then gotten its point across but never failed to deliver in either songwriting or performance. They strut, and earn it.

Cassius King on Facebook

MDD Records store


Seven Rivers of Fire, Way of the Pilgrim

Seven Rivers of Fire Way of the Pilgrim

Issued on tape through UK imprint Dub Cthonic, the four-extended-tracker Way of the Pilgrim is the second 2022 full-length from South African solo folk experimentalist Seven Rivers of Fire — aka William Randles — behind September’s Sanctuary (review here) and March’s Star Rise, and its mostly acoustic-based explorations are as immersive and hypnotic as ever as the journey from movement to movement in “They are Calling // Exodus” (11:16) sets up processions through the drone-minded “Awaken // The Passenger” (11:58), “From the Depths // Into the Woods” (12:00) and “Ascend // The Fall” (11:56), Randles continuing to dig into his own particular wavelength and daring to include some chanting and other vocalizations in the opener and “From the Depths // Into the Woods” and the piano-laced finale. Each piece has an aural theme of its own and sets out from there, feeling its way forward with what feels like a genuinely unplanned course. Way of the Pilgrim isn’t going to be for everybody, as with all of Seven Rivers of Fire‘s output, but those who can tune to its frequencies are going to find its resonance continual.

Seven Rivers of Fire on Facebook

Dub Cthonic on Bandcamp


Amon Acid, Cosmogony

Amon Acid Cosmogony

Leeds-based psychedelic doomers Amon Acid channel the grimmer reaches of the cosmic — and a bit of Cathedral in “Hyperion” — on their fifth full-length in four years, second of 2022, Cosmogony. The core duo of guitarist/vocalist/synthesist Sarantis Charvas and bassist/cellist Briony Charvas — joined on this nine-tracker by the singly-named Smith on drums — harness stately space presence and meditative vibes on “Death on the Altar,” the guitar ringing out vague Easternisms while the salvo that started with “Parallel Realm” seems only to plunge further and further into the lysergic unknown. Following the consuming culmination of “Demolition Wave” and the dissipation of the residual swirl there, the band embark on a series of shorter cuts with “Nag Hammandi,” the riff-roller “Mandragoras,” the gloriously-weird-but-still-somehow-accessible “Demon Rider” and the this-is-our-religion “Ethereal Mother” before the massive buildup of “The Purifier” begins, running 11 minutes, which isn’t that much longer than the likes of “Parallel Realm” or “Death on the Altar,” but rounds out the 63-minute procession with due galaxial churn just the same. Plodding and spacious, I can’t help but feel like if Amon Acid had a purposefully-dumber name they’d be more popular, but in the far, far out where they reside, these things matter less when there are dimensions to be warped.

Amon Acid on Facebook

Helter Skelter Productions website


Iron & Stone, Mountains and Waters

Iron and Stone Mountains and Waters

The original plan from Germany’s Iron & Stone was that the four-song Mountains and Waters was going to be the first in a sequence of three EP releases. As it was recorded in Fall 2020 — a time, if you’ll recall, when any number of plans were shot to hell — and only released this past June, I don’t know if the band are still planning to follow it with another two short offerings or not, but for the bass in “Loose the Day” alone, never mind the well-crafted heavy fuzz rock that surrounds on all sides, I’m glad they finally got this one out. Opener “Cosmic Eye” is catchy and comfortable in its tempo, and “Loose the Day” answers with fuzz a-plenty while “Vultures” metes out swing and chug en route to an airy final wash that immediately bleeds into “Unbroken,” which is somewhat more raucous and urgent of riff, but still has room for a break before its and the EP’s final push. Iron & Stone are proven in my mind when it comes to heavy rock songwriting, and they seem to prefer short releases to full-lengths — arguments to be made on either side, as ever — but whether or not it’s the beginning of a series, Mountains and Waters reaffirms the band’s strengths, pushes their craft to the forefront, and celebrates genre even as it inhabits it. There’s nothing more one might ask.

Iron & Stone on Facebook

Iron & Stone on Bandcamp




To be sure, there shades of are discernible influences in DR​Ö​Ö​G‘s self-titled Majestic Mountain Records first long-player, from fellow Swedes Graveyard, Greenleaf, maybe even some of earlier Abramis Brama‘s ’70s vibes, but these are only shades. Thus it is immediately refreshing how unwilling the self-recording core duo of Magnus Vestling and Daniel Engberg are to follow the rules of style, pushing the drums far back into the mix and giving the entire recording a kind of far-off feel, their classic and almost hypnotic, quintessentially Swedish (and in Swedish, lyrically-speaking) heavy blues offered with hints of psychedelic flourish and ready emergence. The way “Stormhatt” seems to rise in the space of its own making. The fuller fuzz of “Blodörn.” The subtle tension of the riff in the second half of “Nattfjärilar.” In songs mostly between six and about eight minutes long, DR​Ö​Ö​G distinguish themselves in tone — bass and hard-strummed guitar out front in “Hamnskiftaren” along with the vocals — and melody, creating an earthy atmosphere that has elements of svensk folkmusik without sounding like a caricature of that or anything else. They’ve got me rewriting my list of 2022’s best debut albums, and already looking forward to how they grow this sound going on from here.

DR​Ö​Ö​G on Facebook

Majestic Mountain Records store


Grales, Remember the Earth but Never Come Back

Grales Remember the Earth but Never Come Back

Rare is a record so thoroughly screamed that is also so enhanced by its lyrics. Hello, Remember the Earth but Never Come Back. Based in Montreal — home to any number of disaffected sludgy noisemakers — Grales turn apocalyptic dystopian visions into poetry on the likes of “All Things are Temporary,” and anti-capitalist screed on “From Sea to Empty Sea” and “Wretched and Low,” tying together anthropocene planet death with the drive of human greed in concise, sharp, and duly harsh fashion. Laced with noise, sludged to the gills it’s fortunate enough to have so it can breathe in the rising ocean waters, and pointed in its lurch, the five-song/43-minute outing takes the directionless fuckall of so many practitioners of its genre and sets itself apart by knowing and naming exactly what it’s mad about. It’s mad about wage theft, climate change, the hopelessness that surrounds most while a miserly few continue to rape and pillage what should belong to everybody. The question asked in “Agony” answers itself: “What is the world without our misery? We’ll never know.” With this perspective in mind and a hint of melody in the finale “Sic Transit Mundus,” Grales offer a two-sided tape through From the Urn Records that is gripping in its onslaught and stirring despite its outward misanthropy. It’s not that they don’t care; it’s that they want you to pick up a molotov cocktail and toss it at your nearest corporate headquarters. Call it relatable.

Grales on Facebook

From the Urn Records on Bandcamp


Half Gramme of Soma, Slip Through the Cracks

half gramme of soma slip through the cracks 1

Energetic in its delivery and semi-progressive in its intentions, Half Gramme of Soma‘s second album, Slip Through the Cracks, arrives with the backing of Sound of Liberation Records, the label wing of one of Europe’s lead booking agencies for heavy rock. Not a minor endorsement, but it’s plain to hear in the eight-song/42-minute course the individualism and solidified craft that prompted the pickup: Half Gramme of Soma know what they’re doing, period. Working with producer George Leodis (1000mods, Godsleep, Last Rizla, etc.) in their native Athens, they’ve honed a sound that reaches deeper than the deceptively short runtimes of tracks like “Voyager” and “Sirens” or “Wounds” might lead you to believe, and the blend of patience and intensity on finale-and-longest-song “22:22” (actually 7:36) highlights their potential in both its languid overarching groove and the later guitar solos that cut through it en route to that long fade, without sacrificing the present for the sake of the future. That is, whatever Half Gramme of Soma might do on their third record, Slip Through the Cracks shouldn’t. Even in fest-ready riffers “High Heels” and “Mind Game,” they bleed personality and purpose.

Half Gramme of Soma on Facebook

Sound of Liberation Records store


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Up in Smoke 2022 Lineup Finalized; Fest Set for This Weekend

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 26th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

up in smoke 2022 final banner

A few different tours coming together here, right? Stoned JesusGreenleaf and Somali Yacht Club on the road together. ElderPallbearer and Irist. Hippie Death Cult out there on their own now that their would’ve-been-tourmates High Reeper dropped off. Naxatras making the rounds. Sasquatch doing like they do on a stretch with Orange Goblin before continuing a longer European run (you should always stretch first; ain’t nobody getting younger). Electric Citizen out with Fu Manchu. All of this is organized, mapped out ahead of time, and a lot of it is starting this weekend at Up in Smoke 2022 in Pratteln, Switzerland, as though to save you the time, money and effort necessary to hit up all these individual tours, which may or may not be routed everywhere to start with.

You can see the final lineup below with Fu ManchuOrange Goblin and Elder getting top billing, and as the first of Sound of Liberation‘s Fall festivals in Europe — Keep it Low in Munich and Desertfest Belgium will follow in the coming weeks, and there’s a bunch of others besides — Up in Smoke is distinguished by vibe even more than timing. I’ve always been curious what it would feel like to sleep in the venue after a show. Indoor camping. Are there showers? Could be a pretty smelly affair by the third day; Up in Stink Lines, if you will. But more about the mindset. Are you so locked into the experience at that point that you wake up, find breakfast and are ready to roll as a part of the thing? I’m not sure I’d ever actually be brave enough to do it — not exactly the camping type in any context — but it could be interesting. Sound of Liberation has also posted the time-table, if you’d like to know more about what time to wake up.

The lineup below is final final final, and the day splits make it look like one hell of a festival. If you’re going to be there, I hope it’s a blast. I’d love to hear about it:

up in smoke 2022 final poster


Hey Friends,

we are getting closer and closer!

Check out the festival line up day split below!

Day Tickets are available from now on!

(#127915#)Day Tickets & 3 Day Passes:

(#127915#)Day Tickets & 3 Day Passes with sleep over possibility in the venue:

Friday, September 30th:

Fu Manchu
Mother Engine
Temple Fang
Electric Citizen

Saturday, October 1st:

Orange Goblin
Midnight Deadbeats

Sunday, October 2nd:

Stoned Jesus
Mars Red Sky
Somali Yacht Club
HALF Gramme of SOMA
Hippie Death Cult

Your SOL-Crew

Orange Goblin, Live at Hellfest 2022

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Half Gramme of Soma Releasing Slip Through the Cracks Sept. 30

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 13th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

half gramme of soma

Athenian progressive heavy rockers Half Gramme of Soma will release their third album, Slip Through the Cracks, on Sept. 30 through Fuzz Ink Records and SOL Records. The former imprint covers Greece, the latter greater EU (maybe North America? I honestly don’t know.) with distribution through The Orchard, and is a newly incarnated wing of Sound of Liberation, the booking agency responsible for, among others, a slew of festivals that Half Gramme of Soma are about to play while they tour with Naxatras to support this upcoming release.

That’s Up in SmokeKeep it Low and the SOL-friendly Desertfest Belgium in Antwerp, and those probably won’t be the last at which the band features. Their video streaming below for “Muck & Cheese” represents them well with a mind toward groove and rhythmic intricacy. It’s a little more of a rager than psychedelic, but I’m not going to argue with it either way, especially not having heard the rest of Slip Through the Cracks yet. I hope it doesn’t.

From the PR wire:

half gramme of soma slip through the cracks 1

Sound Of Liberation Launches SOL Records: Athens Rock Act HALF GRAMME OF SOMA To Release Brand New Album On September 30th!

On Tour With NAXATRAS This October!

Sound Of Liberation – the renowned, international live and booking institution for all that is heavy in the realms of stoner and heavy rock, psychedelic, doom and sludge metal, hosts of events such as Desertfest, Keep It Low, Up In Smoke and many more acclaimed festivals of the heavy music underground – has launched its own record label! Distributed by The Orchard, September 30, 2022 will see SOL Records proudly present their first record release, the new album by Athens-based rock act HALF GRAMME OF SOMA!

Formed in early 2011, HALF GRAMME OF SOMA unleashes an enthralling blend of heavy rock and a wide range of eclectic influences. 90’s-fueled, orgasmically monolithic and with a deep psychedelic soul, the band’s sound is groovy and trippy at the same time, based solely on successful teamwork rather than meaningless individual show-offs.

With their self-titled debut album in 2013, the Greek five-piece took the rock community by storm: In 2014, the band released their much acclaimed Marche au Noir EP, followed by extensive touring schedules and shows with bands such as Monster Magnet, Elder, Stoned Jesus, 1000mods, Mars Red Sky and many more. Groove Is Black, HALF GRAMME OF SOMA’s sophomore album, was released in 2017.

Just recently, the band has shared a first song taken of their upcoming, third studio album, Slip Through The Cracks, which will see the light of day on September 30, 2022 via SOL Records (PRE-ORDER HERE!). Their new album raises the bar even more, with memorable riffs, genuine heaviness, an increased use of 90’s influences, powerful driven vocals and a tight rhythm section that never ceases to impress with its precision and effectiveness. HALF GRAMME OF SOMA are once again not aiming for commercial success or innovations, but they revolutionize the modern approach to classic ingredients, creating an addictive yet effortless magma of straightforward heavy rock music and unpretentious punkery!

In support of their upcoming record release, the band will hit the road with NAXATRAS in October; make sure to catch this killer tour package of up-and-coming Greek rock gods live at the listed dates below! HALF GRAMME OF SOMA’s new video for first single and album opening track, “Muck & Cheese”, is streaming here.

02.10.2022 (CH) Pratteln / Up in Smoke
03.10.2022 (ITA) Bologna / Freak Out Club
04.10.2022 (AT) Innsbruck / PMK
05.10.2022 (AT) Salzburg / Rockhouse
06.10.2022 (DE) Passau / Zauberberg
07.10.2022 (DE) München / Keep It Low
08.10.2022 (CZ) Prague / Rock Café
10.10.2022 (PL) Warsaw / Hydrozagadka
11.10.2022 (DE) Berlin / Zukunft am Ostkreuz
12.10.2022 (DE) Wiesbaden / Schlachthof
14.10.2022 (DE) Oldenburg / Cadillac
15.10.2022 (BE) Antwerp / Desertfest
16.10.2022 (NL) Utrecht / DB´s

Slip Through The Cracks Album – Tracklist:
01. Muck & Cheese
02. Voyager
03. Magnetar
04. High Heels
05. Mind Game
06. Sirens
07. Wounds
08. 22:22

Half Gramme of Soma, “Muck & Cheese” official video

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Up in Smoke Festival Announces 2022 Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 11th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

UP IN SMOKE 2022 banner

True, most of the lineup for Up in Smoke 2022 — set for Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 in, as ever, Pratteln, Switzerland — was previously announced, and some of it goes back to what the fest would’ve been in 2020, but I’ve got two reasons for posting it now. First, it’s a new announcement and the festival’s social media has fallen into some kind of digital chasm I don’t and couldn’t hope to understand, and second, that lineup is perfect.

Seriously, they say there are more bands coming. Don’t on my account. This’ll be just fine. There was one band on this poster with whom I was not immediately familiar by name, and that was Midnight Deadbeats, who released their debut album, Moonshine Carnival, in late 2020 on Sixteentimes Music. You can stream it below. To me it sounds like earliest Dozer and if you think I’m about to complain about that you’re out of your mind. And everybody that surrounds on this bill is someone I’d like to see, whether I’ve seen them before or not. Fu Manchu and Slomosa. Irist and Orange Goblin. Naxatras and EcholotStoned Jesus and Sasquatch and Mars Red Sky and The Heavy EyesGreenleafSomali Yacht Club, High Reeper and Hippie Death Cult. Fucking a.

I won’t get there — these Fall fests are perennially out of my reach — but god damn what a show this weekend will be. Sound of Liberation is handling the promotion and that’s where to go for social media at this point. They just made the announcement that follows:

up in smoke 2022 poster


Hey friends,

Today we’re absolutely stoked to present you the majority of bands for our beloved Up In Smoke Festival!

Get ready for three days of heavy psychedelic, stoner rock and doom at the Z7 Fabrik in Pratteln, Switzerland!

Already (re-)confirmed for 2022:


More bands to be announced!


Tickets + 3 Day Sleepover Ticket:

FB & Insta: @soundofliberation


Your SOL-Crew

Midnight Deadbeats, Moonshine Carnival (2020)

Fu Manchu, Live at Freak Valley Festival 2022

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