Friday Full-Length: Monster Magnet, Monolithic Baby!

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

monster magnet monolithic baby

By the time Pay people to do homework and sit back to who can i get to write my paper relax! Do My Homework For Homework Power Buy Cheap. Math.com . Monster Magnet put out doctoral thesis sections Job Description . Job Data: Job Title: Service Writer . Department: Service Department, Pro Power Sports & Marine, Inc. Supervisor: Service Monolithic Baby! in 2004, they were some six years removed from the commercial-radio triumph of 1998’s A Conversation with Editors-in-Chief of a Journal about the Role and Value of Dissertation On Oriental Gardening William Chambers Powertrip. 2000’s But in case a client wants custom research paper done quickly, they will custom write one proposal based on the order you give. You can choose from a variety and decide which one to buy. Scientific Research Papers. This is a research piece which needs a lot of experiments to be done before conclusively writing a paper. It is based on facts, not things which have been made up. The client God Says No had been their final outing through best write my essay site Community Service Essay High School 2014 term paper for sale thesis in physics A&M Records as the label went belly-up, and as they signed to Need best Jennings Randolph Peace Scholarship Dissertation Programs UK, MBA essay writing Help in UK? Want to get noticed with your MBA essay? Then, get in touch with us today and get your SPV — no small shakes, but not with a major imprint’s promotional power/resources — the landscape of music had also changed around them. File sharing at the turn of the century meant that music that was out there was in a sense tossed into a yet-untamed landscape of peer-to-peer traded mp3s. The entire industry would be remade by it, and in addition to rendering FM radio largely irrelevant (print media too, I’ll note as someone who spent a decade-plus writing for now-defunct publications), many of the has-all-the-cards capitalist excesses the music business indulged in the ’90s — CD singles, $18.99 discs at Sam Goody downstairs at the Rockaway Mall, etc. — were no longer a viable model. This, as well as the rise of hip-hop as a commercial mega-enterprise with the beginnings of a next-generation listenership, would seem to have left acts like¬† How To Write A Phd Cover Letters. If youíve arrived on this page, it probably means youíve lost someone. I have no words to share other than Iím sorry. Monster Magnet in uncharted, uncomfortable territory. What on earth was a heavy rock band who had made their name in the before-times to do?

Many fell right apart, and with good reason. http://www.dettling-marmot.ch/?words-to-help-in-essay Online To Succeed In School. No matter what subject you studied in school, your dissertation plays an important part in determining your overall grade. That said, if writing isnít one of your strongest suits, coming up with a well-written paper might cause you a lot of stress. On the other hand, by purchasing dissertations through ThesisRush.com, you can relieve the strains Monster Magnet wrote yet another collection of killer songs. Looking to http://www.plurmac.mx/how-do-u-make-a-bibliography/? We are the trusted provider of custom academic writing for students worldwide and have written many of these types Monolithic Baby! is crisp, it is clear, and it is loaded with hooks that speak to the band’s radio-edit-ready viability no less than its 63-minute runtime (for the US version) speaks to the CD era in which it was released. One would call its first four tracks — “Slut Machine,” “Supercruel,” “On the Verge” and the made-a-video-with-boobs-in-it single “Unbroken (Hotel Baby)” — a striking initial salvo, and it is, but the fact of the matter is there’s no letup from there whatsoever. “Radiation Day,” which follows directly, is an absolute highlight, and the subsequent semi-title-track “Monolithic,” with founding frontman Things You Should Know About Assignment Of Chemistry. Before you buy thesis, this online you have to remember. Thereís no location for incompetent professional at our site. BOAH is the best place to purchase inexpensive dissertation online, enough said! Ideas, Formulas and Shortcuts for Buy Masters Dissertation . Even our writers have zero access to customer information besides the order Dave Wyndorf‘s smart, reference-laced lyrics already positioned as a generational indictment, sounds like what¬† Homepage Now: Save Your Time With Our Writing Service. Students buy custom college essays not because they are unable to write themselves; it is just because they have a lot of things to pay attention to every day. Sometimes students have to attend lectures early in the morning, do their homework, complete the lab projects, and sometimes they are asked to finish a presentation on the spot. In AC/DC might’ve become if they’d gone to college. The rush of “The Right Stuff,” its insistent rhythm and blown-out vocal, comes from¬† Ask: can you Research Paper On Alcohol Abuse for me? And we are here to help you. ONLINE QUALITATIVE WEBSITE TO DO YOUR Homework. Our homework writing service guarantees that you get the job done fast and that it will be of high quality. It will be valued better, and it will contribute to your better academic reputation. When you are struggling, you might try additional classes or hire personal tutors. Or, you Hawkwind‘s¬† http://www.herniengesellschaft.de/?essay-my-favourite-customs-and-traditions-in-kazakhstan is essential for successful application! Our college essay editors will refine your writing and make it perfect! Get more chances Robert Calvert but thumps like dance music — and works, somehow — and the moody “There’s No Way Out of Here” is another cover, of the band¬† Ask us 'Dissertation And Dismissal Of Tenured Teachers' and we will make you live your academic dream. Let's get in touch now to start working on A grades right away. Unicorn, and momentary departure ahead of the prototypical grandiose declarations of “Master of Light” — “I’m Jesus, I’m Satan, I’m anyone you want me to be,” etc. — and the ever-righteous, always-welcome lead guitar of How To Do My Homework Quickly Online! Being a student is hard. On the one hand, you are enjoying your best years, grasping something new every day, communicating with peers, and having fun after classes. On the other hand, there is one thing that can darken your sweet days and it is homework. Thousands of essays wonít stop snowing on your head from the very first day at college and till your graduation Ed Mundell.

As the album starts its wind-down with “Too Bad,” a jangly riff hints at¬† Wyndorf‘s affinity for ’60s psych without really going there — long gone were the days of 1995’s¬†Dopes to Infinity (discussed here), 1993’s¬†Superjudge (discussed here) and 1991’s landmark ¬†Spine of God¬†(discussed here;¬†reissue review here)¬†— but provides a breather as then-drummer¬†Michael Wildwood, who’d soon be replaced by¬†Bob Pantella (Raging Slab, etc.), sat out ahead of the largesse harnessed in the seven-minute “Ultimate Everything.” A slower riff from¬†Mundell and guitarist¬†Phil Caivano, and the unmitigated swagger of¬†Wyndorf‘s vocals over top, details of effects and layering bringing a welcome sense of weirdness and unpredictability to the proceedings as ever as the song builds to its and the album’s churning apex before capping with the mostly-instrumental “CNN War Theme,” an epilogue of sorts but a reminder now of the conflicts of that time, the US having “shocked and awed” Iraq in March 2003 and the oh-there’s-no-way-anything-could-ever-be-worse-than-this-post-9/11-ineptitude and feeding-Lockheed greed of the George W. Bush administration’s warmongering.

Simpler times.

A re-recording of “King of Mars,” aptly-titled “King of Mars 2004” revisits and adds percussion and spaciousness to that Dopes to Infinity¬†track, and “Venus in Furs” by¬†Velvet Underground wraps the US edition of¬†Monolithic Baby!, which is one of the best of the many covers¬†Monster Magnet have ever done, laced with mellotron as it is. The ability of the band at this point to be grounded in craft and so clear-headed in production while still tapping into these classic-but-outlying elements isn’t to be underappreciated. “Venus in Furs” sounds like it’s unearthing ancient secrets, and maybe that’s exactly what was happening,¬†Wyndorf‘s middle-finger to the next generation backed by such arcane noisemaking. Maybe that’s reading too much into it. Oh well. That’s what I do. That’s why it’s fun.

Monolithic Baby!¬†was also the point at which¬†Monster Magnet welcomed bassist Jim Baglino (Lord Sterling) to the fold, and the final album the band would release before¬†Wyndorf‘s much-publicized getting clean. The album that followed, 2007’s¬†4-Way Diablo, has been all but disavowed by the band —¬†Wyndorf will tell you he wasn’t there when it was mixed, though I’ve always been a little unclear if he’s speaking literally or figuratively — and 2010‚Äôs¬†Mastermind¬†(review here), which would prove to be¬†Mundell‘s last with the group. Massive in its production value,¬†Mastermind took¬†Monster Magnet to¬†Napalm Records, where they’d remain through 2013‚Äôs return to their space-rock-roots Last Patrol¬†(review here), 2014 and 2015‚Äôs Milking the Stars¬†(review here)¬†and¬†Cobras and Fire¬†(review here) ‚ÄĒ revisits of Last Patrol¬†and¬†Mastermind, the latter of which was a particular triumph — and 2018‚Äôs¬†Mindfucker¬†(review here), the last of which is their most recent offering.

Monolithic Baby!¬†and¬†Mindfucker have some commonalities in my head, and not just in that both their titles start with the letter ‘m.’ Both are rooted in¬†Wyndorf‘s intricate songwriting — and hardly alone in the band’s catalog for that — but both would seem to hint at changes to come in the band’s sound.¬†In the case of the earlier album, those involved matters both personal and of personnel, and as well as the kind of post-oblivion feel of¬†4-Way Diablo, the songs of which remain strong. I don’t know what¬†Monster Magnet might do next — re-sign with¬†Napalm? maybe embrace statesman-status on¬†Nuclear Blast or¬†Century Media? — but they were at the forefront of 2020’s pandemic reschedulings, pushing their Spring US tour themed around Powertrip to early next year which, now that we’re looking ahead to autumn, still seems ambitious.

Whatever outlet might get behind it, one hopes their studio exploration — mostly self-contained at this point with Wyndorf and¬†Caivano, though the band is rounded out by bassist¬†Chris Kosnik, guitarist¬†Garrett Sweeny and the aforementioned Pantella on drums; the latter three doubling as¬†The Atomic Bitchwax, whose new LP is out this month on¬†Tee Pee — continues, no matter where it might lead. I’ll forever advocate for¬†Wyndorf to get weirder, as¬†Last Patrol and¬†the two subsequent redux offerings did, but to be perfectly honest, I’ll take it as it comes, and as it isn’t generally what I reach for when I put on¬†Monster Magnet, I was glad to have the excuse to revisit¬†Monolithic Baby!¬†and gain a newfound appreciation for its tracks.

I hope you experience the same. Thanks for reading.

Ups and downs this week. Days with The Pecan and Puppy Omi are hard. He hits her, she nips at him. Through the gate to the kitchen, he swats, she jumps. What a mess. I yelled at him hard on Tuesday I guess it was, held his face in my hands and made him look at me — I’ve been concerned about his eye contact since he was like three months old — and told him his behavior was unacceptable, and there followed an argument with The Patient Mrs. about my being too aggressive and shaming. I had counterpoints. They don’t really matter. She gave me a book recommendation, I started reading and continued to feel awful until I fell asleep.

They found a rehab facility for my father and at the hospital, where he’d been for a month. They were waiting for a negative COVID test to move him. The results didn’t come back in time, but they moved him anyway. They sent me some medicaid form to fill out. I’m not sure I have the legal authority to do that. So yeah. That’s still fun.

I’m also starting to hate this puppy. Strange to think of three weeks ago when I was ONLY trying to raise a toddler with speech issues in a global pandemic as being easy days, but having this dog has made everything more difficult. She whines. She barks. She pisses on the floor. She bites. And indeed, every time The Pecan gets within arm’s reach, he tries to smack her. I mean, I get it, but we can’t really have that in the long run. I don’t know how long we’re supposed to let the experiment go before calling it “nice shot” and moving on with our lives, but if it was today, that’d be fine. I have to take her to the vet in like 40 minutes. Maybe I can convince them to keep her.

Tonight is the Clutch Doom Saloon thing, which if I can get a pass I’ll review, otherwise might try to do the Dunbarrow one, but it’s kind of one or the other in terms of my available time to write. I have another premiere for Monday, so the day’s already good and full. Only so many hours and seemingly fewer all the time. I’ve been starting to transition back to waking up on either side of 4AM again — taking the dog out overnight has actually facilitated, since I was up — so that at least helped yesterday.

There’s other stuff next week. I can’t think clearly enough to remember what. Sorry. Probably more reviews slated than I’ll have energy to write. So it goes.

Alright. I gotta go. Great and safe weekend. Gimme show at 5 Eastern if you can listen. Thanks either way.

FRM.

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Friday Full-Length: Dio, Master of the Moon

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Dio, Master of the Moon (2004)

In 2004, legendary vocalist Ronnie James Dio (Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, also Elf) was already 21 years removed from his band’s legendary debut, Holy Diver (discussed here), released in ’83 after a stint fronting Black Sabbath that resulted in two landmark LPs in 1980’s Heaven and Hell (discussed here) and its 1981 follow-up, Mob Rules (discussed here). And what a 21 years it had been. Aside from another brief stint with¬†Black Sabbath for 1992’s¬†Dehumanizer (discussed here), the entirety of that time was devoted to the development and sustaining of the¬†Dio band, which thrived across a holy trinity that¬†Holy Diver¬†began and 1984’s¬†The Last in Line (discussed here) and 1985’s¬†Sacred Heart¬†completed, and survived both the rising of a generation fueled by the adrenaline of thrash and the grunge and n√ľ-metal movements. They might not have been playing arenas across the US and selling millions of albums by the time 2004 came around and the band presented their final studio album,¬†Master of the Moon, but there was no question they — and he — remained in righteous form and had enjoyed a sprawling influence that continues to spread even 15 years later.

Dio released three albums in the 2000s. The millennium was greeted by¬†Magica, a narrative concept piece that reportedly had two more chapters in progress at the time of the singer’s death in 2010, 2002’s¬†Killing the Dragon, and¬†Master of the Moon. In hindsight, the 2002 offering was a landmark. It represented a shift in mindset that saw¬†Dio understanding his place — and I say “his” instead of “their” because it was very much him guiding the direction of the band — in the sphere of heavy metal as a classic act. One might think that automatically obviates relevance, but to listen to¬†Killing the Dragon, the singer and the band around him both sound liberated by it. After struggling in the ’90s to find his identity amid a shifting generational landscape and producing some great material in¬†Lock up the Wolves (1990),¬†Strange Highways (1993) and¬†Angry Machines (1996), but not finding nearly the same audience response attained for his efforts in the mid-’80s, and getting¬†Magica out of his system,¬†Dio¬†was able to be the heavy metal statesman his voice had always been so suited to being.¬†Master of the Moon, a crisp 10-song/46-minute all-pro offering with¬†Craig Goldy on guitar,¬†Scott Warren¬†on keys — mixed low in trad-metal fashion but filling out the sound nonetheless —¬†Jeff Pilson on bass and¬†Simon Wright on drums, may have been the last new studio record¬†the¬†Dio band put out, but it was also emblematic of the new era of the band that¬†Killing the Dragon began. It built on that album and featured memorable songs crafted in a style that didn’t need to play anymore to ideas of modernity and found the singer and the band around him able to do what they did best. And they did exactly that.

dio master of the moonOpener “One More for the Road” is a barn-burner in the “Neon Knights” or “Stand up and Shout” tradition, and the signal it sends is both a dogwhistle to the converted that they should know the formula being put to use and a display of the enduring vitality of that approach. The subsequent title-track deals in feelings of isolation via the kind of epic imagery that was¬†Dio‘s stock and trade. I was fortunate enough to interview him at the time and I asked him about the lyrics to “Master of the Moon” itself, thinking it was an allegory for a kind of post-9/11 political sphere, the booming (literally) War on Terror and all that, but no, he told me he liked that idea but he wrote it for a friend’s teenage son feeling alone and misunderstood. This ability to translate the mundane into grand imagery was an essential facet of what made¬†Dio the larger-than-life persona he was, on record as well as on stage and in the history of heavy metal more generally. As a backdrop for his powerful vocal delivery, songs like “The Man Who Would be King” and “The End of the World” indeed touched on the prevailing mood of the time, but in a vague and roundabout way, so that the stories being told were allegories, personal and otherwise. The swagger in the verses “Shivers” set up a standout hook backed by a theatrically creepy keyboard line, while “The Eyes” tapped into the kind of chugging stomp that made¬†Dehumanizer sound so mechanized, and all the while, images and settings and characters populated the songs to give listeners paying attention something to dig into more than just another hooky melody or another cool riff. That is to say, there may have been a formula at work, but the paint on that canvas was fresh.

Perhaps the most personal-seeming of inclusions on¬†Master of the Moon was “Living the Lie,” in which the identifier “I” was only used once. The lyrics dealt with the cloying desperation surrounding fame, and seemed to be as much about those seeking to hold onto the past as those outside trying to get in. The first verse ended, “She was never in the circle, or the round would be a square/And the more she seemed to want it, oh the less they seemed to care,” and the culture of fame was taken into direct observation later on:

If you’re looking at tomorrow
To forget about today
Then the past will be your future
And it’s there you’ll always stay
What about the pictures that smile from magazines
The ultimate temptation, all our kings and our queens

This led to the conclusion: “Such heat and too much pressure, not worth the try/No more for them, now it’s I/And no more living the lie.” There are of course multiple ways to read it, but particularly as “Living the Lie” was backed by the declarative “I Am,” it seemed to be¬†Dio finding strength in self-actualization and having the sing-along chorus to prove it. Its long fadeout probably should’ve been the end of the record, but the trademark woman-as-evil-temptress “Death by Love” and the more doomly closer “In Dreams” follow, the latter tapping some of the keyboard feel of¬†The Last in Line, but not quite living up to the apex set by “I Am.”

I don’t think anyone is going to pitch¬†Master of the Moon¬†as being¬†Dio‘s most essential work. Were he alive, I don’t think¬†Dio himself would make that claim. But the course that¬†Master of the Moon continued coming off of¬†Killing the Dragon showed a way for¬†Dio to move forward and be who they were as a band without cowing to the trend of the day. Of course, after the touring cycle for¬†Master of the Moon,¬†Ronnie James Dio,¬†Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and¬†Vinny Appice would have a by-any-other-name¬†Black Sabbath reunion as¬†Heaven and Hell, and¬†Dio‘s final studio performance would be on their 2009 album,¬†The Devil You Know¬†(review here), and his final tours would be to support that release before he ultimately succumbed to stomach cancer, his legacy long since cemented and unmatched among heavy metal frontmen.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I expect today to be tense. The Patient Mrs. has a phone interview for a professor job in New Jersey at one of her several alma maters, and that kind of thing always defines a day. Of course she’ll nail it — because that’s what she does and the school in question, like any fucking place that has any sense at all, would be lucky to have her, what with the utter brilliance and unparalleled dedication that I so much admire in her — but still, I think she’s nervous. There is no doubt in my mind of her greatness, and she shines in that kind of situation, talking to people about her work, because she’s driven as much by passion as by professionalism. She gets excited and that gets others excited. It’s fun to watch.

However, I won’t be there to watch it. I’ll take The Pecan and roll down to the mall like the old man I am and buy the new record from The Claypool Lennon Delirium at Newbury Comics, because I live in Massachusetts and that’s the place to buy records. Plus there are a lot of colorful things to show the baby and he likes that. I might treat myself to the new Candlemass as well. We’ll see.

Next week will end with shows in Boston and New York as I follow Kings Destroy down the I-95 corridor and maybe sit in with Clamfight for a guest vocal spot, but even before that, it’s a busy time. Here are the notes as they are today:

MON 02/25 Codeia video premiere; Snowy Dunes video premiere.
TUE 02/26 Mountain Tamer single premiere; Volcano review.
WED 02/27 Orbiter track premiere.
THU 02/28 Almost Honest track premiere.
FRI 03/01 Possible song premiere or Hexvessel review.

Some of that will change, obviously, but it’s a start. This week was absolutely slammed. I don’t know if you noticed and I won’t fool myself into thinking you did, but there wasn’t one day this week with anything less than six posts. I think it was Wednesday had eight! It was completely overwhelming and I was out of my mind for much of it, but we got here and it’s done now, so whatever. My inflated self-importance will get a couple hours to recover before I start in again on Monday’s stuff and maybe make a playlist for the next The Obelisk Show, which will air next weekend.

Always something to do. 10 years later.

As ever, I wish you a great and safe weekend. Forum, Radio, merch at Dropout:

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Wight, Love is Not Only What You Know: Hot on the One

Posted in Reviews on September 7th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

wight love is not only what you know

Each of Wight‘s albums has represented a significant jump in sound from the one before it. At this point, they have a decent track record going of shifting sonically from release to release. Their first outing, Wight Weedy Wight (review here), lived up to its name in 2011 with fuzzy groove and stonerized riffing. The 2012 follow-up, Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here), found the Darmstadt trio working quickly on a path of progression, greatly expanding their scope and psychedelic undertones with a natural, jammy vibe.

Their awaited third full-length, Love is Not Only What You Know (on Fat and Holy Records, Kozmik Artifactz, Import Export Music and SPV), may have been much slower in arriving, but brings with it no less a sense of departure from its predecessor(s).

First of all, it marks the introduction of percussionist Steffen Kirchpfening to the lineup with guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist/producer Ren√© Hofmann, bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn and drummer Thomas Kurek, making it Wight‘s first record as a four-piece, but it also brazenly incorporates elements of classic funk and soul in songs like opener “Helicopter Mama,” “The Muse and the Mule,” “Kelele” and the 11-minute closer “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” that are at once the band’s most clearheaded work to-date but also their most outwardly grooving.

No doubt the inclusion of Kirchpfening plays a role in this — percussion certainly gets its say throughout, right from the bouncing start of “Helicopter Mama,” which was also released as a 7″ single (review here) last year — but as each Wight full-length has moved past the one before it, it has also brought choice elements along for that trip. Through the Woods into Deep Water held to the tonal largesse and fluid spirit of Wight Weedy Wight, and similarly, the seven tracks/46 minutes of Love is Not Only What You Know carry forward the second album’s graceful flow, memorable songwriting, and for the most part, its looser feel and swing.

It’s the context in which those elements arrive that has shifted. Conveniently, the liner notes to the CD version list the band’s influences for each track, and they range from James Brown and Stevie Wonder on “Helicopter Mama,” to broken hearts, David Gilmour and Jack Bruce on “The Muse and the Mule,” to traveling, cultures and chaos on the Eastern-inflected interlude “Three Quarters.” Through the longer stretches in “The Muse and the Mule” (10:10) and “Kelele” (9:29) which follows to round out side A, Hofmann seems to play the role of bandleader.

“Helicopter Mama” was more straightforward, and it gets a complement on side B’s “I Wanna Know What You Feel,” but particularly in the more fleshed out pieces — it goes for “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” (11:47) as well — Hofmann shines vocally, on guitar played through a range of effects, and in adding keyboard flourish. That’s not to say the rest of the band doesn’t make pivotal contributions as well. As with Through the Woods into Deep Water, it’s Schierhorn‘s bass keeping the material grounded, and “The Muse and the Mule” would simply fall flat without him.

Ditto that for “Kelele” and really the record as a whole, including the more subdued penultimate cut “Biophilia Intermezzo,” shorter at three minutes than everything but “Three Quarters,” which is two, but still soulful enough to make an impression. After a dreamier departure in the second half of “The Muse and the Mule,” “Kelele” starts with funky thrust and delivers its hook sans pretense, Kurek holding down the march while Kirchpfening fills the spaces between beats with shekere and djembe.

wight-700

Just past four minutes in, the song comes to a halt and they launch into a guitar-led heavy psych jam, Hofmann taking an extended solo as the band pushes further and further out, eventually bringing back to the initial progression and the repetitions of the title that seem to beg for a sing-along without actually begging for it, bookending the track excellently and underscoring the sense of control with which Wight execute their material at this stage.

Their stylistic fusion extends even more on “Three Quarters,” which plays up Mideastern drones and chanting for a quick but hypnotic psychedelic centerpiece effect to transition into side B, which comes back to classic funk-infused rock on “I Wanna Know What You Feel,” reminiscent of Humble Pie or early John Mayall if they decided to incorporate sitar accent.

Both “I Wanna Know What You Feel” and “Biophilia Intermezzo” are shorter than anything on side A, including “Helicopter Mama,” but the groove of one and the key-laced soul explosiveness of the other make them standouts nonetheless and though the sound varies widely throughout side B, basically from one song into the next, by the time “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” comes on to close out with a return to the funkier, jammy feel of “The Muse and the Mule,” it all makes an odd kind of sense within the sphere in which Wight seem to be operating.

With Hofmann doing a more than capable Chris Cornell on vocals, the finale opens patiently with a key-solo jam before unfolding its first verse and moving into its chorus, and the difference turns out to be that when the band launches into the last jam this time, there’s no coming back, unlike, say, “Kelele.”

Keys, claves, temple blocks, drums, bass, guitar — all of it creates a fitting swirl to end the expansive feel of the record as a whole, but it’s important to note that the more pervasive vibe comes from the live feel of the song itself, and that’s also a consistent thread tying Love is Not Only What You Know together even as it continues to introduce new ways of working in its final moments. It is unquestionably Wight‘s most vibrant release, and to listen to it and Wight Weedy Wight next to each other, one would hardly even recognize it’s the same band. Because it’s not.

I said their last time out that I wouldn’t want to predict where they head next, and while they seem to have found a niche for themselves otherwise largely unoccupied in European heavy rock, the same applies here. Wight have shown time and again that their commitment is to following their creative will rather than a predetermined “sound,” and on their third album, that will has produced an accomplished collection of intricate but vital songs that redefine the band’s scope entirely.

What that might mean for the future, who knows? Who cares? It’s a party. Groove out and rock on.

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Buried Treasure: Mother Superior, The Mothership Has Landed

Posted in Buried Treasure on February 6th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

I was talking (or at least typing) not too long ago with Lowrider bassist/vocalist Peder Bergstrand — not to drop the name, but it’s relevant — and he mentioned Mother Superior‘s 1996 debut, The Mothership Has Landed, as having been an especially pivotal album for him in his band’s earliest going. He was a teenager at the time. I think we all have those records, and if you’re passionate about music, then probably you can also recall an album or a song or an artist whose work seemed to hit you just in the right way at just the right time in your life. It’s part of what makes us who we are, and being a nerd for Swedish heavy in general, I was curious to delve into what might have been a piece of its history I’d previously missed.

Whatever it was The Patient Mrs. was ordering from Amazon a few weeks back, I don’t even remember, but I do remember the utter (lack of) smoothness with which I said, “Well maybe I’ll just pick up one or two things for myself too.” Nicely done, chief.

Mother Superior recorded The Mothership Has Landed in Gothenburg, and it’s one of two full-lengths they released in their time, the other being 1998’s The Mothership Movement. Danish label Freakophonic reportedly reissued The Mothership Has Landed on vinyl in 2004, but the CD was through Velodrome/SPV, and though it’s 44 minutes long, the album works well in linear form, with middle cuts “Too Bad (Freddie’s Song)” and “Down the Straight and Narrow” both topping six minutes, albeit with markedly different atmospheres. Vocalist David Berlin has a touch of Mick Jagger in his voice on “Breakin’ it Down” and slide-guitar-and-piano-infused closer “Reach Out” — but cuts like “Radically Cool” and “C’Mon” are fuzzier and fuller than any blatant classic rock worship, and whatever else it is, The Mothership Has Landed is heavy. Opening duo “Yeah Baby” and “Velocity City” work at a pretty fast clip, and the penultimate “Love Gone Bad” seems to bookend with the same idea, but even then, the guitars of S√∂lvi Bl√∂ndal and Per Ellverson keep a thicker tone and bassist Fredrik Cronsten and drummer Anders Stub swing more than much of the garage rock Sweden was producing at that time, whatever other influence they may have taken from it.

In that regard, it’s interesting to try to put Mother Superior‘s first outing in the context of its day. Spiritual Beggars had one album out by 1996 and would release their second, Another Way to Shine, that year, but nothing on it got quite as funky as “Keep on Movin'” does here. Stockholm’s The Hellacopters, who are basically unavoidable in any discussion of Scandinavian garage rock of any era, released their own debut, Supershitty to the Max!, in ’96 following a single the year prior. Sparzanza formed in 1996 but didn’t have their first album out until 2001, and of course by then, both Dozer and Lowrider had issued their respective first full-lengths in 2000. The Awesome Machine was a year earlier than that, in 1999, and Mustasch‘s The True Sound of New West arrived a year later than Lowrider and Dozer‘s albums, in 2001. It’s hard to imagine that in 1996 there wasn’t also a huge contingent of Swedish heavy with its interest invested in the groundbreaking metal being crafted by the likes of At the Gates (their Slaughter of the Soul was 1995), Meshuggah (Destroy Erase Improve, 1995), In Flames (The Jester Race, 1996), Arch Enemy, and so on.

So while there was plenty of rock around, it’s easy to hear in listening to The Mothership Has Landed what might resonate with a burgeoning heavy riffer. The album flows like a classic rock record and for all its stomp and fuzz, it’s still clean enough to be accessible. Stub went on to drum in On Trial prior to their breakup in 2011 and in 2009 released a solo LP called The Silent Boatman that’s available to download for free from his website. The last Mother Superior offering seems to have been a Bad Afro Records 7″ called Brothers and Sisters in 1999 and then like so many others, seem to have just dissipated. Fair enough, but here we are almost two decades later and The Mothership Has Landed still holds up, so I’m glad to have chased it down.

Mother Superior, “C’Mon”

Anders Stub’s website

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Who Cares What He’s Selling, I Like Watching Ed Mundell Play Guitar

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Whathaveyou on June 1st, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Blabbermouth put this up as some promotional video for a pedal or something, but I’ll be honest, I could give a crap what he’s selling, I just like watching Monster Magnet guitarist Ed Mundell — who, one of these days, will put out a solo album — play guitar. Moral of the story: here he is:

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