Quarterly Review: High on Fire, Ruff Majik, Merlin, Workshed, E-L-R, Sibyl, Golden Legacy, Saint Karloff & Devil’s Witches, Burden Limbs, El Supremo

Posted in Reviews on October 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Another day, another batch of 10 reviews on the march to 50 by the end of the week. Will we make it? Yeah, probably. I mean, I think there was once when I had to skip a day or something but even then I made up for it and there’s never been an instance where the Quarterly Review fell apart. The one quarter I decided to nix it (was it last year?) I made up for it by doing 100 reviews instead of 50 the next time out, so we got there eventually. It being Tuesday, the end of the week looks far off, but indeed we’ll ge there eventually, and there’s a lot of good music between now and then, so let’s hit it.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

High on Fire, Bat Salad

high on fire bat salad

A limited vinyl EP released as part of Record Store Day 2019, High on Fire‘s Bat Salad comprises three songs: an original instrumental and two covers, one of Celtic Frost and one of Bad Brains. And I won’t take away from the “Rat Salad” Sabbath-does-blues-jazz-jam-except-it’s-HighonFire-so-it-sounds-nasty-as-hell spirit of “Bat Salad” at all, but the real highlight here is hearing Matt Pike‘s gravel-throated vocals take on “Into Crypts of Rays.” Celtic Frost have always been a central factor in what High on Fire were doing stylistically, so to have the band take them on directly seems long in the making. They approach Bad Brains‘ “Don’t Bother Me” with due reverence as well, careening through an intense three-minute burst of energy with the grit and underlying precision one has come to expect from these singular masters. Soon enough, bands will be covering High on Fire with the same spirit of fan homage. Doubly notable for being founding drummer Des Kensel‘s last recorded appearance alongside Pike and bassist Jeff Matz in the band.

High on Fire on Thee Facebooks

eOne Heavy on Thee Facebooks

 

Ruff Majik, Tårn

ruff majik tarn

Guitarist/vocalist Johni Holiday, bassist Jimmy Glass and drummer Ben Manchino return with Tårn, Ruff Majik‘s second album on a quick turnaround from their 2018 debut, Seasons (review here). Aligned with Lay Bare Recordings for the vinyl release, the deceptively quick and even more deceptively complex seven-track/36-minute offering finds Ruff Majik digging into dirt-caked tonality and classically punkish sneer in Holiday‘s vocals. There are moments where they sound like Queens of the Stone Age (“Speed Hippie”) and moments where they sound like Black Flag (parts of opener “Schizophrenic”), but as a roller like “Heretically Happy” or the earlier post-Zeppelin stoner sneak of “Gloom & Tomb” show, Ruff Majik are perhaps most interested in sounding like themselves. They’re gleeful as they toy with doomed vibes on closer “Seasoning the Witch,” and the seven-minute “I’ll Dig the Grave” earlier thrills with changes drawn together by a pervasive and righteous groove. With Tårn, Ruff Majik have found their wavelength, and it suits them.

Ruff Majik on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Merlin, The Mortal

merlin the mortal

Be it heretofore established that sax-laced Kansas City psych-doomers Merlin don’t give a fuck. They don’t give a fuck what you expect, they don’t give a fuck what everyone else is doing, they don’t give a fuck if they meme the crap out of their own band. They’ve got their thing and they’re doing it. And you know what? They’re right. The Mortal is their fifth full-length in six years, following as a sequel to early-2018’s The Wizard (review here), and with flourish galore in arrangements of organ, sax, flute, percussion, accordion, trumpet, etc., alongside the foundation of songcraft that comes through the guitar, bass, drums and always-theatrical vocals of Jordan Knorr, the band recount tales along a dark-magical mystery tour of gorgeously flowing and still-weighted psychedelic plunder. They have become a buried treasure of weirdo/geek rock, and whether it’s the peaceful drift of “Ashen Lake” or the cacophonous heavy riffing of “Basilisk,” the stage-setting prog of “Towerfall” or the consuming swell that carries out the apex of closer “The Mortal Suite” — King Crimson chase and all — Merlin‘s work has never sounded so masterful. Will there be a third installment in the tale? Nothing quite like a trilogy.

Merlin on Thee Facebooks

The Company BigCartel store

 

Workshed, Workshed

workshed workshed

They’ve since added a third party in bassist Helen Storer (Fireball Ministry, among others), but Workshed‘s self-titled Rise Above Records debut LP was recorded as the duo of guitarist/vocalist Adam Lehan and drummer Mark Wharton. More than a quarter-century ago, both Lehan and Wharton played on Cathedral‘s pivotal first two albums, but in Workshed, and certainly there are some shades of doom on a stomper like “Anthropophobic” here, but the bulk of Workshed‘s nine-song/47-minute first offering is given to post-Entombed buzzsaw noise sludge, riffs crunched one into the next in an aggro, punk-rooted fashion that rife with a sense of willful punishment that comes through in sheer impact from front to back. Vocals call to mind Tom G. Warrior immediately and are suited to the social commentary of “If This is How it Is” and “This City Has Fallen,” while the grueling march of “A Spirit in Exile” leaves room for some atmosphere to eek through, which it does. They trash out in centerpiece “On Sticks of Wood” and chug their into a last fade on closer “It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way,” but by then they’ve long since made their statement and left a trail of destruction behind them. Would they have been signed to Rise Above without the Cathedral connection? Probably not. Does the album earn their place? Absolutely.

Workshed on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records website

 

E-L-R, Mænad

e-l-r maenad

With their first full-length, Mænad, Swiss post-metallers E-L-R cart a gorgeous and textured course through patient and progressive songweaving that lends itself to hypnosis through its churning rhythm as much as its overarching melodies seem to evoke other worlds. It is not without its sense of challenge and certainly plenty heavy in its tone and groove — at least where it wants to be — but it’s also rich and provides a level of depth to its mix that should have others in the genre asking how they did it. A transitional drone at the end of “Devotee” brings about the 10-minute “Above the Mountains There is Light” and a long contemplation begins, working from the ground up on a pilgrim’s path to the eventual payoff. The resonance there is something unto itself, but even as “Ambrosia,” “Lunar Nights” and “The Wild Shore” find the stylistic footing that opener “Glancing Limbs” and “Devotee” seemed to hint at earlier, E-L-R maintain both an ambient sprawl and a consuming sense of passion that makes their work here all the more thrilling. This is a debut, following only a single 2018 demo that had two of the same tracks. What that tells me is look out for this band, because this kind of potential doesn’t come along every day and when it does, you want to be there for the follow-up. The impeccable taste of Prophecy Productions pays dividends once again.

E-L-R on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions website

 

Sibyl, The Magic Isn’t Real

sibyl the magic isn't real

Otherworldly doom rock marked by echoing vocals oozing out from deep in the mix and gotta-hear-it bass tone complemented by choice riffage and a fervent thud in the drums, even if the aesthetic of Richmond’s Sibyl is familiar enough, there’s plenty to dig about their debut EP — what one might’ve called a “demo” in eras past — The Magic Isn’t Real. The stylistic elephant in the room is RVA’s own Windhand, but Sibyl take a more psychedelic path to heavy oblivion, and with four tracks in the range of four to five minutes, The Magic Isn’t Real comes across as well focused in its songwriting despite the ethereal touches in the actual sound. Cool vibe, and as they work some noisy shuffle into “Spinning Webs,” they show themselves as being less restricted than otherwise might be the case if they were purely committed to doomed drudgery. I’ll give bonus points as well for naming the penultimate track “Sexpionage,” just on principle, but it’s in stretches like the subdued creeper opening of “Blood Moon” and the engrossing, still-somehow-moving wash of “Pendulums” that Sibyl really showcase their intention.

Sibyl on Thee Facebooks

Sibyl on Bandcamp

 

Golden Legacy, Golden Legacy II

golden legacy golden legacy ii

London heavy noise duo Golden Legacy offer five tracks and 23 minutes of anti-genre, adrenaline rock to follow-up their 2016 self-titled EP. There’s a strong undercurrent of modern punk and indie to their sound, which is what gets them the “anti-genre” consideration, but it’s the energy of their delivery carrying them one way or the other as they drive through the harsh snare of “Cut and Crash” following the chunkier tone of opener “Moon” and just before centerpiece “Dirty Mouth” finds its way into grunge-style howling beastliness. Comprised of drummer/vocalist Lorena Cachito and guitarist Yanni Georgiou, the two-piece find winning momentum in “Salvation,” while closer “Thirsty” opens with a mellow drum progression gradually joined by the guitar and builds into more progressive and dramatic movement, casting off some of the rawness of the songs before it in favor of more complex fare. It still manages to soar at the end, though, and that seems to be what counts. They might be rawer now than they’ll eventually turn out, but that suits most of what they’re doing in adding to the emotionality on display in Cachito‘s vocals.

Golden Legacy on Thee Facebooks

Golden Legacy on Bandcamp

 

Saint Karloff & Devil’s Witches, Coven of the Ultra-Riff

saint karloff devils witches coven of the ultra-riff

Alright, look. I don’t even think I have the full thing, but whatever. Saint Karloff and Devil’s Witches came together to release the Coven of the Ultra-Riff split — it can be so hard to find the right coven for your family; have you considered the Ultra-Riff? — and they each play an original track and then they cover each other’s songs and then Saint Karloff introduce the progression of “Supervixen (Electric Return)” and Devil’s Witches take up the mantle and run with it on “Supervixen (Acoustic Return),” so yeah, it’s pretty awesome and kind of all over the place but whatever. Get your head around it and get on board with whatever version you can grab. Vinyl came out through Majestic Mountain Records and tapes were through Stoner Witch Records and I’m fairly certain it’s all sold out already and probably stupid expensive on Discogs, but do what you need to do, because this is what Sabbath worship in the year 2019 is supposed to sound like. It’s bombed out of its gourd and has long since dropped out of life. It’s exactly where and what it wants to be.

Saint Karloff on Thee Facebooks

Devil’s Witches on Thee Facebooks

Majestic Mountain Records BigCartel store

Stoner Witch Records BigCartel store

 

Burden Limbs, There is No Escape

burden limbs there is no escape

I’m not going to pretend to have the grounding in post-hardcore to toss off the influences under which Burden Limbs are working, but to listen to the blast of noise in “How Many Times Must I Reset” and the near-industrial wash of noise they conjure in the subsequent “Hypochondriac,” it’s clear they’re working under one influence anyway. There is No Escape (released through Glasshouse Records) runs 24 minutes and carries four songs, but in that time the band around founding figurehead and guitarist/vocalist Chad Murray manage to challenge themselves and the listener alike to keep up with their turns and emotional resonance. Murray is joined by two bassists, another guitarist, keyboards/synth and drums, so yes, there’s something of a busy feel to it, but even echoing cavernous as they are, the vocals seem to draw the songs together around a central presence and add a human core to the proceedings that only makes them all the more affecting as would seem to be the intent.

Burden Limbs on Thee Facebooks

Glasshouse Records on Bandcamp

 

El Supremo, Clarity Through Distortion

El Supremo Clarity Through Distortion

Sometimes these things take a while, but El Supremo was formed by now-ex-Egypt bassist Chad Heille has a solo-project and released a self-titled demo in 2008, to which Clarity Through Distortion is the follow-up full-length. Now joined by guitarist Neil Stein (also ex-Egypt, and who also played some on the demo) and organist Chris Gould as well as bassist Cam Dewald who came aboard after the album’s completion, the instrumentalist full-band incarnation of El Supremo waste no time diving into dead-on tonal and riffy righteousness, taking classic heavy cues and running with them in modern production richness, sounding clear but natural as a jam like “Moanin’ & Groanin'” turns into a shuffler as it moves into its second half, or the mellow sway of the 14-minute “Supercell” at last runs head-on into the lumbering motion that will carry it through to the end. I don’t know how much clarity — at least of the existential sort I think they mean in the title — they might’ve found by the time the bluesy “Lotus Throne” rolls over into the shreddy “Outro” that caps, but if the method is distortion, they’ve certainly got that part down.

El Supremo on Thee Facebooks

El Supremo on Bandcamp

 

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

No Requests Premiere Nobody Knows What We’re Doing… Neither Do We EP in Full; Out Tomorrow

Posted in audiObelisk on September 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

no requests

The new No Requests EP — out tomorrow — is called Nobody Knows What We’re Doing… Neither Do We, and fair enough. But I’m not sure I believe it. That is to say, yeah, the South African three-piece probably have a decent amount of improvisation and experimentation at the heart of their approach, but this kind of progressive weirdo psych jazz funk astro rock doesn’t just happen. Even if they’re freely exploring, you can hear it in the way the bass and drums give the guitar room in the expansive solo of opener “Choir on Fire,” or the way the punch of the bass in that song and the vocals in the later title-track seem to echo Parliament-via-Primus, that at very least there’s some kind of masterplan at work. I get a cheeky title, and I’m on board with the fact that a lot of people who listen to this 26-minute four-tracker are going to have no idea what the hell is going on with it — that was part of the appeal for me in hosting the stream, to be perfectly honest — but take at least the second clause of the EP’s title with a grain of salt, because they make it pretty clear they know what they’re doing. You don’t call a song “Tonal Shampoo” that actually sounds like tonal shampoo by mistake.

But while you infuse your conceptual engagement with Nobody Knows What We’re Doing… Neither Do We with the due amount of sodium — however many grains it takes — give the audio a genuine chance. Go into it knowing that,no requests nobody knows what were doing and neither do we yeah, the bass on “Tonal Shampoo” and some of the guitar might be turned backwards. That, yeah, the title-track is way over the top. It’s supposed to be. Guitarist/vocalist Chris van der Walt, bassist Clint Falconer and drummer Gareth Bunge are perhaps playing the kind of freakout prog that’s best appreciated by other musicians but I’m willing to wager that any fan of sonic absurdity in general can get down with the repeated title-line of “Nobody Knows What We’re Doing… Neither Do We” as van der Walt swaps between different voices, and maybe even the free jazz of closer “Row-Bot,” which is just the kind of bizarre out-there six-minute conclusion the rest of the EP earns. It’s a stretch, but this is real life, what isn’t. And if you can’t get down with something that’s genuinely trying to challenge both itself and its listenership, I’ve got nothing for you. Certainly not an EP to listen to.

Otherwise, you can dig into the entirety of Nobody Knows What We’re Doing… Neither Do We via the YouTube embed below. Take a second, take a deep breath, let your expectations get loose a little bit, and be ready to have fun with it, because at its heart, it is a good time. I hope you think so as well.

Please enjoy:

No Requests, Nobody Knows What We’re Doing… Neither Do We (2019)

Nobody Knows What We’re Doing Neither Do We, the new album from South African experimental psychedelic funk rock band No Requests releases today.

Formed by Chris van der Walt (Vulvodynia), Clint Falconer (Dan Patlansky) and Gareth Bunge (The Black Cat Bones) who have been all been a constant force in the SA music scene for the last 15 years. Focusing on different styles of composition and improvisation, the band creates an unheard sound and mood that grooves deep into your soul.

The 4 track EP is a collection of free form jam sessions as bassist Chris explains, “It was a different experience. We walked in, wrote an idea, jammed it, and recorded it. Most of it is improvised.” He goes on to add, “When you jam in that unknown space the magic starts to happen. You rely on other instincts and use your musical bag of tricks to survive.”

Track Listing
1. Choir on Fire
2. Tonal Shampoo
3. Nobody Knows What We’re Doing
4. Row-Bot

Nobody Knows What We’re Doing Neither Do We is out now on all digital platforms including Spotify and Apple Music

Order Link: https://music.apple.com/za/album/nobody-knows-what-were-doing-neither-do-we-ep/1477361094

No Requests on Thee Facebooks

No Requests on Instagram

No Requests on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

MØNSTRØID Premiere “Lost in the Haze” Video; New Album in the Works

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

monstroid

There is a date-stamp on the top right corner of the VHS/camcorder-looking video for the new single from South African four-piece MØNSTRØID, and I can’t help but wonder to what it might be alluding. Their first album, Set 1, was self-released in 2017, so obviously that wouldn’t have much to do with 1994, and though that indeed is the year Kyuss released Sky Valley, that record came out in June 25 years ago, not December. Fu Manchu‘s first record was earlier in ’94 as well. So what’s Dec. 8? Maybe someone’s birthday?

I’m sure there’s a perfectly rational explanation for the choice — or at least an explanation, rational or not — but I don’t know what it is. Fun to speculate though, and the hooky, driving desert-style heavy rock of “Lost in the Haze” makes for easy company while pondering. The song is the opening track of Set 1 and speaks to MØNSTRØID‘s general songwriting modus operandi, their focus on straightforward, ’90s-style desert idolatry, guided by riffs toward the inevitable chorus impression of cuts like “Shake Down” and “Navigator,” the latter of which turns its defining Kyuss influence into more of a Roadsaw vibe, though “Life Lost” adds more atmosphere and chug in kind and “My Mind” slows things down — my mind would — ahead of the tempo revival in “Cruiser” and the instrumental closer “’80s TV Show,” which is one of two sans-vocal inclusions along with the earlier “Rocket.”

The band readily acknowledge their influences as you can see in the quote below, and indeed, as the clip for “Lost in the Haze” finds them out in the desert, magically rocking without amps as one might have in a mid-’90s era video, they would seem to pay homage on multiple levels. Kind of curious that the clip would come out some two years after the album it’s promoting, but hell, I missed the record the first time it came out, so I’ll take it however it comes, and they’ve got a new one in the works, so all the better.

Do you think they’ll call it Set 2?

Enjoy:

MØNSTRØID, “Lost in the Haze” official video premiere

Cape Town based stoner/desert rock band MØNSTRØID have released the video for their track Lost In the Haze, taken from their 2017 debut album Set 1.

Shot in both South Africa and the Namibian desert the band comments on the video, “We love where we live, and we wanted to position the Western regions of Southern Africa as the African counterpart to California’s desert rock scene, from where we draw so much inspiration. The video puts the band driving through it. From the dried-up desert pans, to the water flowing out of rocks sustaining life when all around it is dry, to the semi desert where the water flows freely. All the vast desert beauty we should celebrate.”

MØNSTRØID is the love child of 4 dudes from Cape Town, born out of a deeply shared appreciation for writing, making and sharing tectonic plate-shifting music. From the rumbling depths emerges a melodic molten soundscape. From the skies a flaming fireball of fuzz. MØNSTRØID resides where these forces collide. For lovers of growling guitars, distorted groove laden bass, melodic vocals and exploding drums of thunder.

The band are in studio at the moment working on their new album which is set to release early 2020.

MØNSTRØID, Set 1 (2017)

MØNSTRØID on Thee Facebooks

MØNSTRØID on Instagram

MØNSTRØID on Bandcamp

MØNSTRØID website

Tags: , , , , ,

Ruff Majik Post “Gloom & Tomb” Video & Announce Tårn Album Details

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ruff majik (Photo by Christelle Duvenage)

Not really sure where to place the riffage hurling forth from Ruff Majik‘s new album, Tårn. Set for release as their first offering through Lay Bare Recordings and with a European tour presumably to be announced for the Fall given their recent Keep it Low confirmation, the album is somewhere between grit metal and doomly fuzz. Dirt doom, maybe? The groove has nasty edge, but they’re not really sludge, and the guitar cuts through raw like the best of garage heavy. I’m going to take some more time and really dig in, let it get under my fingernails, and see where we’re at, but in the meantime, Ruff Majik have a new video for “Gloom & Tomb,” which is the second song on the record after the opener, “Schizophrenic.” You’re also going to want to watch out for “Heretically Happy.” There’s some cool shit happening here.

Alright, I’ve said too much. Though before I punch out, I’m glad to see in the PR wire info below that I’m not the only one who saw the Tårn cover and thought of He-Man.

Here’s the art, album details and preorder links. Video is at the bottom of the post, as usual:

ruff majik tarn

Ruff Majik reveal artwork for Tårn and video for new single Gloom & Tomb

South African riff-mongers Ruff Majik have revealed the artwork for new album Tårn along with a video new single Gloom & Tomb. Having recently announced their signing to Dutch label Lay Bare Recordings for the vinyl release of the album and with a couple European tours already lined up, 2019 is going to be a busy year for the band.

Working closely with long-time collaborator Anni Buchner on the artwork for Tårn (Norwegian for tower), guitarist/vocalist Johni Holiday explains more about the inspiration behind it all, “We chose the image of the tarot tower for this album cover because it symbolizes crisis, liberation and sudden unforeseen change. The band has been going through these motions for a few months now, and we felt it would only be fitting. We handed that over to Anni, and she turned it into magic as usual.”

“I’ve been working with the band since their first release back in 2015, and as the music has grown and developed over time, so has the art along with it in my opinion. The artwork is a new and more colourful take on the look of the classic Tower tarot card that holds a lot of significance for the band, as well as a bit of a reference to the iconic ‘Castle Grayskull’ from He-Man. Stylistically it’s also me trying out new things with gradients and textures.” adds Anni Buchner.

Johni goes on to comment on the video,” For this video, the band decided to go for a classic karaoke style sing along look, with some intense imagery in the background. Never straying too far from the psychedelic look, the video is full of eye-catching colours and dizzying sequences”

Pre-order on vinyl Here
Pre-order digital Here

Track Listing
1. Schizophrenic
2. Gloom & Tomb
3. I’ll Dig the Grave
4. Dread Breath
5. Heretically Happy
6. Speed Hippie
7. Seasoning the Witch

Ruff Majik is:
Johni Holiday (guitar/vocals)
Jimmy Glass (bass guitar)
Ben Manchino (drums)

https://www.ruffmajik.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ruffmajik
https://twitter.com/ruff_majik
https://www.instagram.com/ruffmajik/
https://laybarerecordings.com/
https://www.facebook.com/laybarerecordings/
https://twitter.com/laybarerecs

Ruff Majik, “Gloom & Tomb” official video

Tags: , , , , ,

Hellcats Release The Hex and the Healer; Live Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Hellcats 2 - Photographer Andre Badenhorst-1000

The debut full-length, such as it is, from South African two-piece Hellcats runs a brisk 22 minutes. 22 minutes and eight songs. I’m not going to argue for it not being an album, because really what’s the point, but that’s pretty short LP. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a 22-minute cardio workout of uptempo riffs and sharp production value. They’ll do a vinyl release later, but the album is out as of today digitally, and they’ve got live dates booked including a couple of boozy sounding festivals the dates for which you can see below. These guys kind of straddle the line of commerciality, but if only for the shock value of a LP under 25 minutes, I was curious enough to check it out and thought you might be as well.

From the PR wire:

Hellcats The Hex and the Healer

Hellcats Unleash Debut Full-Length Album “The Hex and The Healer”

The Hex and The Healer is the debut full length album from Hellcats. 8 tracks. 22 minutes of hard, fast, emotional, riff-heavy, drum-heavy, vocal range-defying, ear worm, bare knuckle rock ‘n’ roll.

The Hex and The Healer is a light and dark narrative of heart break and coming out of that heartbreak. So ‘The Hex’ concept is this spell casting lover and heartbreaker. And then weaving in and out of the songs throughout the album is a theme of breaking free of that spell and finding something new – ‘The Healer’.

That thematic runs through every aspect of the album, from the music, the lyrics and even the artwork. Hellcats set out to make their biggest sounding album yet alongside Audio Militia producers Craig Hawkins, Nick Argyros, and Paul Norwood, who worked super hard to stay true to the two-piece band format. Still just drums and guitar, but they aimed to make the band sound as big as they do on stage, leaving the listener floored after that 22 minutes, like being hit by a rock ‘n’ roll punch to the gut.

Track Listing:
1. The Hex
2. Vuil Goed
3. Moonlight
4. Time
5. The Healer
6. Leaving with a Hole
7. Something Wicked This Way Comes
8. Wish You Were Dead

Hellcats live:
8 Feb – Up the Creek Jägermeister presents Up the Creek 2019
9 Feb – Saggy Stone Beer Festival Saggy Stone Beer & Music Festival 2019
22 Feb – Mercury Live w/ Shadowclub A Club Called Hell (Cape Town)
23 Feb – Aandklas w/ Shadowclub A Club Called Hell (Stellenbosch)
1 March – Pretoria w/ Black Cat Bones & Shadowclub Shadowcats FT Shadowclub, The Black Cat Bones, Hellcats
16 March – The Cure JHB The Cure Live in JHB | Rock on the Lawns 2019
21 March – The Cure CPT The Cure Live in CT | Rock on the Lawns 2019
28 March – JHB album launch & Online march store launch (vinyl, USBs, badges & tees) TBA

Line Up:
Drums & Vocals: Alessandro Benigno
Guitar: Warwick Rautenbach

https://www.facebook.com/Hellcats.Official/
https://www.instagram.com/hellcatsband
https://twitter.com/Hellcatsband1

Hellcats, A Coffin Full of B-Sides (2017)

Tags: , , , ,

Durge Premiere Lyric Video for “Round and Round” from Dirge EP

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

durge

A couple things to get straight before we dig in here: The band is Durge. The EP is Dirge. And no, “Round and Round” is not a Ratt cover. Okay? Everybody on board?

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, the not-quite-shoegaze four-piece made their debut in August with the five-song Dirge, proffering heavied up ’90s alt vibes with a pervasive current of downerism. Think the grunge that made you sad, with an edge of psychedelia tossed in. “Round and Round,” for which the band has a new lyric video posted basically as a way of saying, “hey, we exist,” captures the melodic and depressive aspects of their approach well, with the vocals of guitarist Mark Ellis backed harmonically by bassist Francois Taljaardt and a sense of reach and scope between Ellis‘ and Heinrich Wesson‘s guitars given over to a massive crunch propelled by the drums of James Lombard. It’s heavy stuff, and unlike many songs written about monotony, it isn’t monotonous.

Elsewhere on the EP — which is streaming in full at the bottom of this post courtesy of Durge‘s Soundcloud page — they smash together laid back angularity and forward thrust with “On Call for Death” and adventure into minor-key leads and vocal interplay on “The Man Who Has Never Seen Snow.” Their two longest cuts round out in “Faithless” (6:24) and “Restless Nights” (8:14), making for a potent side B that drives a desert-hued patience in “Faithless” toward a momentary swell of melancholic progressivism. Drums lead the way into “Restless Nights,” but there’s plenty of time to explore reaches that on more straight-ahead cuts like “Round and Round” and “On Call for Death” sought not to tread. And they do, demonstrating a willingness to develop the track at its own pace, letting parts breathe before moving into their next stage and ultimately leaving an impression balanced between emotionalist intensity and sonic engagement.

Dig into “Round and Round” — again, an original — on the player immediately following, and the EP beneath some more background from the PR wire, which follows. You know how it goes.

Enjoy:

Durge, “Round and Round” lyric video premiere

DURGE was formed in Cape Town, South Africa in 2016 by Mark Ellis, Francois Taljaardt, James Lombard, and Heinrich Wesson. Over the past two years the band has been forging their unique sound that they call “Melandelic Rock”, a fusion of melancholy and psychedelic sounds. They’ve recently released their debut EP titled Dirge.

Vocalist/guitarist Mark Ellis comments on the EP, “Being very much a DIY project and the band’s first official release (with the help of some close friends), this EP is something close to the hearts of all four members. It also marks the start of an exploration into our sound which still has many dimensions to uncover. Dealing mostly with individualism and social issues, Dirge is a short statement to life.”

Durge is:
Mark Ellis – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Francois Taljaardt – Backing Vocals, Bass
James Lombard – Drums
Heinrich Wesson – Guitar

Durge on Instagram

Durge on Thee Facebooks

Durge on Soundcloud

Tags: , , , , ,

Ruff Majik Closing 2018 with Cape Town Shows

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

ruff majik

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

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

The PR wire brings the dates and the whatnot:

ruff majik tour

Ruff Majik Reveal Cape Town Tour Dates for December

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ruff Majik, Seasons (2018)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Pollinator Post “Missing the Past” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

pollinator

Got two minutes? Yes you do. Pollinator‘s new video doesn’t take much more than that to check out, and time is an invention anyway. That might be a response to the nostalgia of “Missing the Past,” which is the song in question, but it’s a funny coincidence that the fuzz Pollinator proliferate is timeless. So can you be “Missing the Past” and be in a place out of time? For two minutes? Somebody call the Department of Temporal Investigations.

“Missing the Past,” with its strong hook, warm tone and fervent, in-a-rush-but-not-sounding-rushed groove, comes from Pollinator‘s 2017 second album, Fruit, and while it doesn’t necessarily account for the funk of “Expectations” that follows it on the record or the later grunge-garage burst of “Turn on the AC,” or the master blaster that is “Can You Boogie?,” its good-time thrust is ready to make rockers dance awkwardly with a wallop of 17 energetic tracks most of which clock in under three minutes long and which tend toward traditionalist bounce, an edge of Queens of the Stone Age in “Master of Collisions” and elsewhere. It’s a bit of a head-spinner as it moves from song to song to song to song, bam bam bam — or as they put it with the title of the second cut, “Bingo Bango Bongo” — but the vibe is friendly and even when they dare to top five minutes with closer “Hello and Goodbye,” they keep the party going with vocal harmonies and arrangements between bassist Louise Eksteen and guitarist Every Snyman and drummer Tim Edwards right up till the end of the album.

I’ll admit the video is my first exposure to the record or to the band, and in the spirit of their work, I’ll keep this post relatively short and just say if you dig what you hear in “Missing the Past,” you can stream Fruit in its entirety at the bottom of this post.

Hope you enjoy:

Pollinator, “Missing the Past” official video

Johannesburg based stoner fuzz rock trio Pollinator have released a western themed video for their new single Missing the Past. Taken from their second full length album Fruit which released in September 2017. The video was filmed in one day by Gavin Pincus at Duikerveld Farm in Heidelberg.

Louise Eksteen, bass/vocals comments on the track: “Missing the Past is a song that dives into the theme of nostalgia. The lyrics highlight the sentimentality of fond memories and how the present can pale in comparison.” Tim Edwards, drums/vocals adds: “In typical Pollinator style, the song is over before you know it much like life itself. Gavin messed around with refractions and reflections to intensify certain parts of the video. And hammed them up hard.”

A heartfelt thanks to all the following people:

Gavin Pincus for filming and stealing our souls with his camera.
Mike Jaspan for gaffering on the day.
Sophia Lee for being our grip and cam assist.
Carmen Bekker for the location and accommodation.
Briony Macleod for the grade.
Dayle Frieman for the titling.
Brad Devine for the lenses and extras.

Pollinator, Fruit (2017)

Pollinator on Thee Facebooks

Pollinator on Instagram

Pollinator on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , ,