Karkara Announce Spring Tour Plans; All is Dust Out March 22

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 21st, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Heading out from their home in Toulouse, France, on March 13 puts Karkara a little more than a week ahead of the arrival of their new album, All is Dust, which is out March 22. The record brings together heavy psych rock and classic impulses born of kraut and space rock(s) that feels current-gen in its expanded mindset, digging less into Easternism in terms of balance than did 2020’s Nowhere Land (review here), but still showing that dug-in side somewhat on the advance track “Anthropia” that you can stream below. Progressive in its texturing, it is nonetheless an easy, and pleasurable, ride to take into a communal unconscious.

Though some of the shows are split up — that is, the chunk of dates below isn’t all concurrent — gives a chance to see further ahead to the band’s summer plans, as they’ll make stops at Rabastock in July and Krach am Bach in August. They call this ‘the first round,’ so it wouldn’t be a surprise if a second one followed in summer, or certainly a stint through sundry Fall fests would be a possibility and will be all the more after the record, which is Karkara‘s third overall, lands next month. In the meantime, intermittent teaming with spacey spearheads Slift feels appropriate. You’ll find those dates noted below among the others in Europe and the UK.

Right under the poster, in blue. Can’t miss ’em:

Karkara tour

Hello friends 🖤

We’re thrilled to announce the first round of the ALL IS DUST tour.

We’re sharing gigs with SLIFT on this so dig in 🖖✨

Can’t wait to see you all 👇

🇫🇷 13.03 – Toulouse, Le Bikini | w/ SLIFT
🇫🇷 29.03 – Ventabren, Secret Place
🇫🇷 30.30 – Marseille, L’Intermediaire Live
🇫🇷 31.03 – Chambery, Brin de Zinc
🇫🇷 02.04 – Dijon, Singe en Hiver Asso Mondofuzz
🇳🇱 03.04 – Luxembourg, Rockhal | w/ SLIFT
🇨🇭 04.04 – Zurich, Mascotte Club Zürich | w/ SLIFT
🇫🇷 05 .04 – Lyon, L’Épicerie Moderne / salle musiques actuelles | w/ SLIFT
🇫🇷 06.04 – Paris, La Mécanique Ondulatoire
🇫🇷 10.04 – Rouen, Le 3 Pièces Muzik’Club
🇫🇷 11.04 – Lille, La Bulle Café – Maison Folie Moulins
🇫🇷 12.04 – Ardres, Le saxhorn
🇧🇪 13.04 – Bruxelles, Cheval Marin Brussels
🇫🇷 15.04 – Vannes, Le barailleur
🇬🇧 16.05 – London, Strongroom
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 17.05 – Edinburgh, Bannermans Live
🇬🇧 19.05 – Newcastle, Star and Shadow. Wandering Oak
🇬🇧 21.05 – Leicester, The Musician
🇬🇧 23.05 – Lancaster, The kanteena
🇬🇧 24.05 – Bristol, The Lanes
🇬🇧 25.05 – Cambridge, TBA
🇧🇪 22.06 – Namur, Ramd’Âm
🇫🇷 20.07 – Rabastock Festival
🇩🇪 02.08 – Krach am Bach

Stolen Body Records | EXAG’ Records | Le Cèpe Records | Bullet Seed | NRV Promotion

Karim Rihani – Guitar , Vocals , Didgeridoo
Hugo Olive – Bass
Maxime Marouani – Drums , Vocals



Karkara, All is Dust (2024)

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Gondhawa to Release Mäanthagori EP Nov. 25; Teaser Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 25th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

gondhawa (Photo by Matthias Eyer)

Look, my coffee pot wouldn’t turn on at four this morning — whole plug was off — and I don’t yet know why, and Gondhawa have all of 20 seconds of music posted from their upcoming Mäanthagorī EP, so you’re just gonna have to pardon me if I just tell you I don’t know what the hell to expect from the thing when it arrives. I know I dug last year’s Käampâla (review here) well enough, but they don’t strike me as the kind of band who want to do the same thing all the time. Usually in cases like that, the press releases don’t include words like “boundless,” and Stolen Body Records has a knack for fostering the unpredictable.

So yeah, not much to go on at this point, but they honestly don’t need more than the 20 seconds in the aforementioned teaser to tell you it’s gonna be weird. The point comes across.

As you’ll see:

gondhawa maanthagori

Offbeat psych-prog trio GONDHAWA to unveil details on new EP ‘Mäanthagorī’ – out this November 25th via Stolen Body Records.

Exuberant, quirky and brilliant, psychedelic magicians GONDHAWA bring to life uncommon and unique musical colours. Their boundless rock picks from the best of African, Oriental and even fictive cultures! Supported by British psychedelic record label Stolen Body Records (Slift, Karkara, Wyatt E.), the French trio announce the release of their new EP ‘Mäanthagorī’ on November 25th 2022.

Angers-based psych-prog three-piece GONDHAWA are an eclectic sonic tumult that ignore geographical and genre limitations. Their imagination ends where the impossible begins! Straddling the line between psychedelic and progressive rock, they write songs in their very own language: Gondhawii. Lulled by science-fiction literature, Gondhawa’s luminous and high-spirited universe rubs shoulders with afrobeat, oriental rhythms and the rock’n’roll frenzy.

GONDHAWA’s new EP ‘Mäanthagorī’ is a successful synthesis of revisited folk music and space rock. Hypnotic loops a la Moon Duo tickle with exuberant and futuristic ethnic elements. The two-track EP was recorded and mixed by Elliot & Stew at La Cuve studio (Angers, France) and mastered by Thibault Chaumont of Deviant Lab. Artwork by Léo Zedinn. The EP is coming out on November 25th 2022 via Stolen Body Records at the following formats: vinyl and digital. Watch teaser.

GONDHAWA new EP ‘Mäanthagorī’
Out November 25th 2022 in Stolen Body Records
Artwork Leo Zedinn.

1. Go!Go! Sinay
2. Toko Mieko

GONDHAWA were born in 2018, following the musical wanderings of their three members who met a year before. Evolving in a garage rock direction until then, the three musicians from Angers, France, decided to break out of the mould and set off on a hallucinatory journey inspired by science fiction literature. From psychedelia to oriental music, passing through afrobeat and progressive rock, Gondhawa draw inspiration from all over the World. All of this converge towards an eclectic and singular musical universe, with lyrics written in their very own language : Gondhawii.

On stage, the power trio takes on a whole new dimension by introducing traditional Chinese instruments (sanxian), Malian instruments (n’goni) or a micro-tonal guitar, always seeking to expand their sound spectrum. Their performances are peppered with improvisations, immersing the audience into unique journeys around this rich blend of influences.

Gondhawa’s debut album ‘Käampâla’ was released on October 2021 on Bristol-based record label Stolen Body (Yo No Se, Slift, Karkara, Bad Pelican). Through the micro-tonal groove of “Raba Dishka”, the afrobeat stoner power of “Käampâla”, or the softness of “Djoliko” – a beautiful ballad lulled by the melancholy of acoustic strings from all around the World – Gondhawa deliver the soundtrack of an interstellar road-movie. Six tracks of electric tornado with a bunch of rhythms and textures.

Gondhawa’s new EP ‘Mäanthagorī’ arrives on November 25th 2022 through Stolen Body Records.

Idriss Besselievre: vocals, guitar, sanxian
Paul Adamczuk: bass
Clément Pineau: drums



Gondhawa, EP teaser

Gondhawa, ‘Astral Session’

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Quarterly Review: Hemlock Branch, Stiu Nu Stiu, Veljet, Swamp Lantern, Terror Cósmico, Urna, Astral Magic, Grey Giant, Great Rift, Torpedo Torpedo

Posted in Reviews on July 7th, 2022 by JJ Koczan


Somewhat unbelievably, we’ve reached the penultimate day of the Summer 2022 Quarterly Review. I believe it because every time I blink my eyes, I can feel my body trying to fall asleep. Doesn’t matter. There’s rock and roll to be had — 10 records’ worth — so I’mma get on it. If you haven’t found anything yet that speaks to you this QR — first of all, really??? — maybe today will be the day. If you’re feeling any of it, I’d love to know in the comments. Otherwise, off into the ether it goes.

In any case, thanks for reading.

Quarterly Review #81-90:

Hemlock Branch, Hemlock Branch

hemlock branch (Photo by Nikita Gross)

[Note: art above (photo by Nikita Gross) is not final. Album is out in September. Give it time.] Those familiar with Ohio sludge metallers Beneath Oblivion might recognize Scotty T. Simpson (here also guitar, lap-steel and vocals) or keyboardist/synthesist Keith Messerle from that band, but Hemlock Branch‘s project is decisively different on their self-titled debut, however slow a song like “The Introvert” might be. With the echo-laden vocals of Amy Jo Combs floating and soaring above likewise big-sky riffs, the far-back crash of drummer David Howell (White Walls) and the it’s-in-there-somewhere bass of Derda Karakaya, atmosphere takes a central focus throughout the 10 tracks and 22 minutes of the release. Hints of black metal, post-metal, doom, heavy psychedelia, and noise-wash dirgemaking experimentalism pervade in minute-long cuts like “Incompatible,” the sample-topped “Temporal Vultures” and “Küfür,” which gives over to the closing duo “Lifelong Struggle” and “High Crimes & Misdemeanors.” As even the longest track, “Persona Non Grata,” runs just 4:24, the songs feel geared for modern attention spans and depart from commonplace structures in favor of their own ambient linearity. Not going to be for everyone, but Hemlock Branch‘s first offering shows an immediate drive toward individualism and is genuinely unpredictable, both of which already pay dividends.

Hemlock Branch on Facebook

Hemlock Branch on Bandcamp


Știu Nu Știu, New Sun

Știu Nu Știu new sun

In “Siren” and at the grand, swelling progression of “Zero Trust,” one is drawn back to The Devil’s Blood‘s off-kilter psychedelic occultism by Swedish five-piece Știu Nu Știu — also stylized all-caps: ŞTIU NU ŞTIU — and their fourth album, New Sun, but if there’s any such direct Luciferianism in the sprawling eight-song/47-minute long-player, I’ve yet to find it. Instead, the band’s first outing through respected purveyors Heavy Psych Sounds takes the stylistic trappings of psychedelic post-punk and what’s typically tagged as some kind of ‘gaze or other and toss them directly into the heart of the recently born star named in the title, their sound subtle in rhythmic push but lush, lush, lush in instrumental and vocal melody. “New Sun” itself is the longest piece at 8:17 and it closes side A, but the expanses crafted are hardly more tamed on side B’s “Nyx” or the get-your-goth-dance-shoes-on “Zero Trust,” which follows. Opening with the jangly “Styx” and capping with the also-relatively-extended “Dragon’s Lair” (7:57) — a noisy final solo takes them out — Știu Nu Știu bask in the vague and feel entirely at home in the aural mists they so readily conjure.

Știu Nu Știu on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds website


Veljet, Emerger de la mentira llamada dios

Veljet Emerger de la mentira llamada dios

The title of Veljet‘s debut LP, Emerger de la mentira llamada dios, translates from Spanish as, ‘Emerge from the lie called god.’ So yes, the point gets across. And Veljet hint toward metallism and an overarching darkness of purpose in “Estar vivo es nada,” “La construcción de los sentimientos negativos,” and the buzzing, bounce-bass-until-it-falls-apart “Arder al crecer,” despite being instrumental for the album’s half-hour duration save perhaps for some crowd noise filling out the acoustic “Mentir con tristeza” at the finish, people talking over acoustic guitar notes, as they almost invariably, infuriatingly will. That three-minute piece rounds out and is in form a far cry from the push of “Inundata” or the buzz-tone-click-into-airiness “Lucifer luz del mundo,” but there’s room for all of these things in what feels like Satanic escapism more than any occult trappings — that is to say, while it’s pretty safe to say Veljet aren’t religious types, I don’t think they’re rolling around holding devil-worship masses either — and the album as a whole is drawn together by this immersive, mood-altering slog, a sense of the day’s weight conveyed effectively in that of the guitars, bass and drums, making the acoustic finish, and the human shittiness of speaking over it, all the more of a poignant conclusion. If god’s a lie, people aren’t much better.

Veljet on Facebook

LSDR Records on Bandcamp


Swamp Lantern, The Lord is With Us

Swamp Lantern The Lord is With Us

Longform avant metal that draws on atmospheres from Pacific Northwestern blackened tropes without bowing completely to them or any other wholly rigid style, doom or otherwise. Some of the vocals in the more open moments of “Still Life” bring to mind Ealdor Bealu‘s latest in their declarative purpose, but Swamp Lantern‘s The Lord is With Us takes its own presumably-left-hand path toward aural identity, finding a sound in the process that is both ambient and obscure but still capable of deep heft when it’s called for — see “Still Life” again. That song is one of two to cross the 10-minute mark, along with closer “The Halo of Eternal Night,” though wholly immersive opener “Blood Oath (on Pebble Beach)” and “Graven Tide” aren’t far off, the latter nestling into a combination of groove-riding guitar and flourish lead notes intertwining on their way toward and through a well charred second half of the song, the way eventually given to the exploratory title-track, shorter but working off a similarly building structure. They cap vampiric with “The Halo of Eternal Night,” perhaps nodding subtly back to “Blood Oath (On Pebble Beach)” — at least the blood part — while likewise bookending with a guest vocal from Aimee Wright, who also contributed to the opener. Complex, beautiful and punishing, sometimes all at once, The Lord is With Us is a debut of immediate note and range. Who knows what it may herald, but definitely something.

Swamp Lantern on Instagram

Swamp Lantern on Bandcamp


Terror Cósmico, Miasma

Terror Cosmico Miasma

The hellscape in the Jason Barnett cover art for Mexico City duo Terror Cósmico‘s fourth full-length, Miasma, is a fair update for Hieronymus Bosch, and it’s way more Hell than The Garden of Earthly Delights, as suits the anxiety of the years since the band’s last album, 2018’s III (review here). The eight instrumental selections from guitarist Javier Alejandre and drummer Nicolás Detta is accordingly tense and brooding, with “En un Lugar Frio y Desolado” surging to life in weighted push after seeming to pick at its fingernails with nervousness. A decade on from their first EP, Terror Cósmico sound fiercer than they ever have on “Tonalpohualli” and the opener “Necromorfo” sets the album in motion with an intensity that reminds both of latter day High on Fire and the still-missed US sans-vocal duo Beast in the Field. That last is not a comparison I’ll make lightly, and it’s not that Miasma lacks atmosphere, just that the atmospherics in question are downtrodden, hard-hitting and frustrated. So yes, perfectly suited to the right-now in which they arrive.

Terror Cósmico on Instagram

LSDR Records on Bandcamp

Stolen Body Records store


Urna, Urna

urna urna

Somewhere between aggressive post-metal, post-hardcore, sludge and ambient heavy rock, Stockholm’s Urna find a niche for themselves thoroughly Swedish enough to make me wonder why their self-titled debut LP isn’t out through Suicide Records. In any case, they lead with “You Hide Behind,” a resonant sense of anger in the accusation that is held to somewhat even as clean vocals are introduced later in the track and pushed further on the subsequent “Shine,” guitarist Axel Ehrencrona (also synth) handling those duties while bassist William Riever (also also synth) and also-in-OceanChief drummer Björn Andersson (somebody get him some synth!) offer a roll that feels no less noise-derived than Cities of Mars‘ latest and is no more noise rock than it either. “Revelations” fucking crushes, period. Song is almost seven minutes. If it was 20, that’d be fine. Centerpiece indeed. “Werewolf Tantrum” follows as the longest piece at 8:06, and is perhaps more ambitious in structure, but that force is still there, and though “Sleep Forever” (plenty of synth) has a different vibe, it comes across as something of a portrayed aftermath for the bludgeoning that just took place. They sound like they’re just getting started on a longer progression, but the teeth gnashing throughout pulls back to the very birthing of post-metal, and from there Urna can go just about wherever they want.

Urna on Facebook

Urna on Bandcamp


Astral Magic, Magical Kingdom

Astral Magic Magical Kingdom

Finnish songwriter, synthesist, vocalist, guitarist, bassist, etc. Santtu Laakso started Astral Magic as a solo-project, and he’s already got a follow-up out to Magical Kingdom called Alien Visitations that’s almost if not entirely synth-based and mostly instrumental, so he’s clearly not at all afraid to explore different vibes. On Magical Kingdom, he somewhat magically transports the listener back to a time when prog was for nerds. The leadoff title-track is filled with fantasy genre elements amid an instrumental spirit somewhere between Magma and Hawkwind, and it’s only the first of the eight explorations on the 42-minute offering. Keyboards are a strong presence throughout, whether a given song is vocalized or not, and as different international guest guitarists come and go, arrangements in “Dimension Link” and “Rainbow Butterfly” are further fleshed out with psychedelic sax. Side B opener “Lost Innocense” (sic) is a weirdo highlight among weirdo highlights, and after the spacious grandiosity of “The Hidden City” and the sitar-drone-reminiscent backing waveforms on “The Pale-Skinned Man,” closer “Seven Planes” finds resolution in classic krautrock shenanigans. If you’re the right kind of geek, this one’s gonna hit you hard.

Astral Magic on Facebook

Tonzonen Records website


Grey Giant, Turn to Stone

grey giant turn to stone

The story of Turn to Stone seems to take place in opener “The Man, the Devil and the Grey Giant” in which a man sells his soul to the devil and is cursed and turned into a mountain for his apparent comeuppance. For a setting to that tale, Santander, Spain’s Grey Giant present a decidedly oldschool take on heavy rock, reminiscent there of European trailblazers like Lowrider and Dozer, but creeping on chunkier riffing in “Unwritten Letter,” which follows, bassist/vocalist Mario “Pitu” Hospital raw of throat but not by any means amelodic over the riffs of Ravi and Hugo Echeverria and the drums of Pablo Salmón and ready to meet the speedier turn when it comes. An EP running four songs and 26 minutes, Turn to Stone Sabbath start-stops in “Reverb Signals in Key F,” but brings about some of the thickest roll as well as a particularly righteous solo from one if not both of the Echeverrias and the Kyussy riff of closer “Last Bullet” is filled out with a grim outlook of Europe’s future in warfare; obviously not the most uplifting of endings, but the trippier instrumental build in the song’s final movement seems to hold onto some hope or at very least wishful thinking.

Grey Giant on Facebook

Grey Giant on Bandcamp


Great Rift, Utopia

Great Rift Utopia

Symmetrically placed for vinyl listening, “The Return” and “Golden Skies” open sides A and B of Great Rift‘s second long-player, Utopia, with steady grooves, passionate vocals and a blend between psychedelic range and earthier tonal textures. I feel crazy even saying it since I doubt it’s what he’s going for, but Thomas Gulyas reminds a bit in his delivery of Messiah Marcolin (once of Candlemass) and his voice is strong enough to carry that across. He, fellow guitarist Andreas Lechner, bassist Peter Leitner and drummer Klaus Gulyas explore further reaches in subsequent cuts like “Space” and the soaringly out-there “Voyagers” as each half of the LP works shortest-to-longest so that the arrival of the warm heavy psych fuzz of “Beteigeuze” and minor-key otherworldly build-up of the closing title-track both feel plenty earned, and demonstrate plainly that Great Rift know the style they’re playing toward and what they’re doing with the personal spin they’re bringing to it. Four years after their debut, Vesta, Utopia presents its idealistic vision in what might just be a story about fleeing the Earth. Not gonna say I don’t get that.

Great Rift on Facebook

StoneFree Records website


Torpedo Torpedo, The Kuiper Belt Mantras

Torpedo Torpedo The Kuiper Belt Mantras

Most prevalent complaint in my mind with Torpedo Torpedo‘s The Kuiper Belt Mantras is it’s an EP and not a full-length album, and thus has to go on the Best Short Releases of 2022 list instead of the Best Debut LPs list. One way or the other, the four-song first-outing from the Vienna psychedelonauts is patient and jammy, sounding open, lush and bright while retaining a heaviness that is neither directly shoegaze-based nor aping those who came before. The trio affect spacious vibes in the winding threads of lead guitar and half-hints at All Them Witches in “Cycling Lines,” and cast themselves in a nod for “Verge” at least until they pass that titular mark at around five and a half minutes in and pick up the pace. With “Black Horizon” the groove is stonerized, righteous and familiar, but the cosmic and heavy psych spirit brought forth has a nascent sense of character that the fuller fuzz in “Caspian Dust” answers without making its largesse the entire point of the song. Loaded with potential, dead-on right now, they make themselves the proverbial ‘band to watch’ in performance, underlying craft, production value and atmosphere. Takes off when it takes off, is languid without lulling you to sleep, and manages to bring in a hook just when it needs one. I don’t think it’s a listen you’ll regret, whatever list I end up putting it on.

Torpedo Torpedo on Facebook

Electric Fire Records website


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Slift Announce First US Tour Dates

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

Slift live

Ostensibly, French uptempo heavy psych/space rockers Slift will be coming to the US to support 2020’s Ummon (review here), and fair enough. That record landed with an immediate impact crater and I’m already hearing bands working off their influence in trying to make the cosmos dance to their righteous interstellar punk.

Given these dates are in the Fall, and that Slift were playing new material live this Spring, it’s that much easier to wonder if a new album announcement is coming. Feasibly an LP could arrive in late September in time for the tour to start, and with momentum from pre-album hoopla on their side, they’d be that much better off, but they’re hardly short on hype as it is, so maybe the right move for them is hold the next record back until 2023 and give it its due. If past is prologue with things like this, they’ll announce the record, like, tomorrow and I’ll feel like a dope for having just posted about the tour.

But that will happen when it happens. Or doesn’t. Or whatever. Slift coming to the States feels like a big deal, in no small part because they don’t seem like the kind of band who are only going to do so on a one-and-done basis, and at very least it’s an occasion worth marking. Dear posterity: this was the first time Slift played in the US. Their coming was anticipated.

From social media, this:

Slift tour

Oï !

STOKED to announce that we’ll be playing in the US for the very first time this fall !!!

TICKETS at bit.ly/SLIFT-USTour

We never thought we would ever cross an ocean to play music when we started this band but hey, here we are !

Thank you very much to all the people involved in this tour, and to you all for your continuated support. It’s gonna be loud !

See you on the other side.

Hellfest Extended 2022
Clisson, France

Rock In Bourlon 2022
Bourlon, France

SonicBlast Fest 2022
Viana Do Castelo, Portugal

Check-In Party 2022
Saint-Laurent, France

Motocultor Festival 2022
Saint-Nolff, France

The Echo
Los Angeles (LA), CA, US

Desert Daze Festival
Palm Springs, CA, US

Brick & Mortar Music Hall
San Francisco, CA, US

The Crocodile
Seattle, WA, US

Doug Fir Lounge
Portland, OR, US

The Shredder
Boise, ID, US

The HQ
Denver, CO, US

The Bottleneck
Lawrence, KS, US

Reggie’s Rock Club
Chicago, IL, US

Rumba Cafe
Columbus, OH, US

The Bug Jar
Rochester, NY, US

Cambridge, MA, US

Brooklyn, NY, US

Metro Gallery
Baltimore, MD, US

Asheville Music Hall
Asheville, NC, US

The Earl
East Atlanta, GA, US

The Abbey
Orlando, FL, US

Poster art by CAZA.

SLIFT are:
Jean Fossat : guitar, vocals, synth
Rémi Fossat : bass
Canek Flores : drums



Slift, “Heavy Road” Levitation Session

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Terror Cósmico Launch Preorders for Miasma out May 23

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


Situated in the hotbed of heavy that is Mexico City, the two-piece Terror Cósmico are set to release their fourth album (and first in four years) Miasma on May 23 through UK imprint Stolen Body Records. The links are below if you want to just hit it and quit it — I won’t be offended — and if you need more info on what’s up, I might recommend you just dive into the six-minute album opener “Necromorfo,” for which there’s a new video at the bottom of this post. The instrumentalist track is what Karma to Burn might’ve been had they been raised on Gojira, but its heart and its tones are clearly given to capital ‘H’ heavy, which they admirably shove along at a near-thrasher’s pace.

I’d say something here like, “hey, cool vibe,” but it kind of vibes like a downward mental spiral. So maybe I’ll just say I hope everyone’s alright.

Info from the PR wire:

Terror Cosmico Miasma


Stolen Body Records is thrilled to announce the release of Mexican Doom Metal band Terror Cósmico’s first album in 4 years – Miasma. Out on LP/CD/DL on May 23rd.

Miasma is the fourth album from Mexico City based duo, Terror Cósmico. The record takes a different turn in production from past albums, having a more aggressive tone, having drums and guitar recorded separately in the studio, being able to create an intense and surrounding sound.

Miasma is made up of 8 tracks which deliver a great range of emotions, going through desperation, anguish and desolation mixed with an air of nostalgic mystery.

Recorded in January of 2021 in Testa Studio in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. The sessions held a vibe of doubt and fear to what the pandemic could bring. The album is charged with all the emotions of a very strange moment in our timeline. The artwork was a commissioned task by Portland artist Jason Barnett.

Track Listing
En un lugar frío y desolado
Alguien vendrá desde el fondo del mar
Cepa mortal
Las máquinas colapsan
Se mueren

Preorder: https://www.stolenbodyrecords.co.uk/shop/terror-csmico-miasma

Preorder EU: https://www.stolenbodyrecordseu.com/eushop/terror-csmico-miasma



Terror Cosmico, “Necromorfo” official video

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Quarterly Review: Ruby the Hatchet, Wyatt E., Famyne, Humanotone, Madmess, Eaters of the Soil, NYOS, Endtime, Bloodshot Buffalo, Oh Hiroshima

Posted in Reviews on April 6th, 2022 by JJ Koczan


Day Three of the Spring 2022 Quarterly Review — commence! As you well know because I’m quite certain you’re the type of person to sit around and think about these things and I’m in no way the only human who gives enough of a crap to notice, today we hit the halfway point of this particular QR, not in the middle, but at the end, as today will culminate with review number 30 of the total 60 to come by the end of the day next Monday. Is it cheating to get a full weekend to do the last installment? Depends entirely on the weekend. In any case, starting tomorrow we go downhill, numerically, not in terms of the quality of what’s covered.

Until then.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Ruby the Hatchet, Live at Earthquaker

ruby the hatchet live at earthquaker

While on tour with Kadavar in late-2019, New Jersey heavy psych rockers Ruby the Hatchet swung through Earthquaker Devices in Ohio and put these three songs to tape. In addition to being the band’s first release for Magnetic Eye Records, the EP serves these years after the fact as a still-foreshadowing glimpse at their next full-length, the follow-up to 2017’s Planetary Space Child (review here), which but for plague probably would be on its third pressing by now. At least it would be if the rolling riffs and organ shimmer of “1,000 Years” and the bluesier what-I’ll-just-assume-is-an-homage-to-the-band-of-the-same-name “Primitive Man” are anything to go by. Paired with Ruby the Hatchet‘s take on Uriah Heep‘s “Easy Livin’,” the new songs herald the awaited album in a way that seems to justify their having been kept in-pocket for just the right moment. I’m glad that moment is now, and I also kind of feel like Ruby the Hatchet need to start recording more shows and putting out their own soundboard bootlegs. This is clearly mixed, pro-mastered and all that, but still. They make every second of these 14 minutes count.

Ruby the Hatchet links

Magnetic Eye Records store


Wyatt E., āl bēlūti dārû

Wyatt E al beluti daru

Anonymous Belgian outfit Wyatt E. return five years after their debut with āl bēlūti dārû, comprising two tracks of all-in Mesopotamian-themed drone ritualizing. The robed outfit top 18 minutes with “Mušhuššu” and “Šarru Rabu” both, and their intention toward immersing the audience in a whole-side experience isn’t misplaced as their arrangements branch beyond genre typicality in service of the Middle Easternism around which much of what they do is based. More than cinematically wrought, the two pieces here are striking in moving from the crescendos of their respective builds into richly conjured explorations, the former of saz and other instruments, the latter of percussion and voice. Likewise, with two drumkits, they want nothing for rhythmic urgency, despite the open structures of the actual material. One wonders at the Orientalism on display throughout as potentially a kind of minstrelsy, particularly with the hooded unknown figures casting themselves as decidedly ‘other’ from a European mainstream, but the same anonymity guards against the notion since it’s unclear just who these people are. I’m not sure I’m all the way on board, but they effectively convey spectacle without losing artistic presence. And if you spend the rest of your day reading about the Akkadian Empire, I’m sure worse things have happened.

Wyatt E. on Facebook

Stolen Body Records website


Famyne, II: The Ground Below

Famyne ii the ground below

My impression of Canterbury, UK, doomers Famyne‘s 2016 self-titled debut (review here) were of a band burgeoning in atmosphere anchored by strong songwriting and melodic vocals with periodic likeness to Alice in Chains and The Wounded Kings. Arriving through Svart Records, the eight-song/45-minute II: The Ground Below doesn’t do much to detract from that core impression, but the ambient “A Submarine” and the mean chug in the back half of the later “The Ai” take them to new places and demonstrate the individualization of genre tropes underway in their sound. “Once More” taps a more NWOBHM style, while “Babylon” touches on Candlemassian grandiosity, and “Gone” fluidly begins to transition from the crush of opening duo “Defeated” and “Solid Earth” before “A Submarine” takes hold, which is only further evidence they know what they’re doing.




Humanotone, A Flourishing Fall in a Grain of Sand

Humanotone A Flourishing Fall in a Grain of Sand

Evidently a number of years in the making from front-to-back, Humanotone‘s second full-length, A Flourishing Fall in a Grain of Sand, finds the solo-project spearheaded by Jorge Cisternas Monsalves, aka Jorge Cist, working once more completely on his own save for some saxophone on 12-minute closer “Even Though.” Given the lush, progressive, and thoughtful execution of progressive heavy rock the Chile-based Cist manifests throughout cuts like “Light Antilogies” and “Ephemeral” prior — taking lessons from Elder‘s Dead Roots Stirring and applying them well for his own purposes — it wouldn’t have been surprising if he picked up the sax himself, frankly. He proves visionary throughout the proceedings one way or the other, and atop a bed of his own drumming is able to cast deep landscapes of keys and guitar and bass in “A Flourishing Fall” and a build and payoff in “Scrolls for the Blind” before the 3:45 “Beyond the Machine” goes straightforward in a way that feels like a gift ahead of the closer, while still retaining its proggy vibe vocally, melodically and rhythmically. There’s been some word-of-mouth hype around this one. Not unwarranted.

Humanotone on Facebook

Humanotone on Bandcamp


Madmess, Rebirth

madmess rebirth

Big on vibe, crunches when it wants, spaces out with broader jams, takes its time, flows as it will but still hits with an impact — yeah, there’s no shortage of things to like about MadmessHassle Records-issued second full-length, Rebirth. If you, yourself, have been born-again semi-instrumentalist psych-prog, then no doubt you’ll relate to the careening and twisting path that the five mostly-extended tracks take, unfolding with a focus on liquefied echo on “Albatross” before the companioning “Mind Collapse” introduces the vocals that will show up again on closer “Stargazer” (not a Rainbow cover). Between those two, the title-cut and “Shapeshifter” back-to-back build on some of the mellower stretches prior at least before locking into their own heavier parts, but by then you’re long since hypnotized anyway, and the drift that serves to transition into “Stargazer” is only pushing further out as it goes. I’m not sure who in the Portugese trio (if anyone) is the vocalist, but the voice suits the songs well, even if they’re plainly comfortable going without, and reasonably so.

Madmess on Facebook

Hassle Records website


Eaters of the Soil, EP II

Eaters of the Soil EP II

Mostly instrumental, the aptly-titled EP II — the second short release from Utrecht, the Netherlands, trombone-inclusive experimentalist doomers Eaters of the Soil — runs four tracks and 35 minutes and, early on, uses spoken samples from this or that serial killer about putting plastic bags over women’s heads to suffocate them. Through “V – Point of Capture” and even into “VI – Untouched, Unspoken To” (the Roman numeral numbering system continued from their pandemic-minded 2021 first EP), a somewhat slowed down version of whoever it is goes on about killing women and this and that. The second half of the release with “VII – Burrowing, Feasting” and “VIII – Subcurrent,” are both dark enough to be considered affected by the same atmosphere — “VI – Untouched, Unspoken To” has a bit of float to it, so it’s not all grim — churning, meandering and freaking out in at-least-partially improv-jazz style, but Eaters of the Soil cast a grim vision of humanity and that impression stays resonant even as “VIII – Subcurrent” lumbers into its wash of a finish. Is extreme jazz a thing? Turns out maybe.

Eaters of the Soil on Facebook

Forbidden Place Records website


NYOS, Celebration

nyos celebration

With its just-slightly-off-beat drum loop, “Light” seems to build into a wash until even the song can’t take anymore and needs to drop out. It’s not the first take on NYOS‘ second offering for Pelagic Records, Celebration — that would be the improvised opener “First Take” — but it and the serene hum that emerges in the subsequent “Something Good” and even the shimming almost steel-drum sounds of “Tucano” demonstrate the Finland-based instrumentalist duo’s stated intentions toward dance music. The later “Gold Vulcan,” the first single, gets into some noisier fare as if to remind that guitarist Tom Brooke (also recording) and drummer Tuomas Kainulainen are coming from a harder-hitting place, but in the also-improv “Cloudberry” just before and particularly the willfully gorgeous “Rosario” (Dawson?) after, the intentions are gentler and more welcoming, and that continues into the final drone stretch and far, far back drumming that consumes most of closer “Surface” before it ultimately explodes in resonant light, reinforcing the notion of joy inherent in the album’s title, feeling like a grand finale to an aural fireworks display.

NYOS on Facebook

Pelagic Records store


Endtime, Impending Doom

Endtime Impending Doom

Making their debut on Heavy Psych Sounds with Impending Doom, Sweden’s Endtime are not shy about their influence from horror cinema. Their sound blends sludge and classic doom together such that opener “Harbinger of Disease” comes through like Mike IX Williams of Eyehategod stepping in to front Cathedral, and his harsh wails echo out a tolling (for thee, make no mistake) bell to foretell the harsh terrors soon to unfold. “ICBM” kills quick and lets its church organ mourn later, and the centerpiece “They Live” (a classic) adjusts the balance such that the cinematic, post-Uncle Acid vibe comes to the front still with the barking vocals overtop; a blend I can’t think of anyone else pulling off as well as Endtime do. The longer “Cities on Fire with the Burning Flesh of Men” follows and is more purely about the crunch at least until the sitar shows up — a nice curve to throw — ahead of its severe closing section, and closer “Living Graves” wraps the 28-minute LP by pushing the organ forward again and dissolving into a wash of noise before the feed seems to cut out like channel 11 just stopped broadcasting in the middle of the night. Hey man, I was watching that. Not quite revolutionary, but onto something. Impending, if you will.

Endtime on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds website


Bloodshot Buffalo, Light EP


By my count, Bloodshot Buffalo — the solo-project of Santa Rosa, California’s Sheafer McOmber — has put out no fewer than four full-lengths since 2019. Accordingly, the two-song Light EP is most likely a stopgap en route to the next one, but “Light” and “Don’t Follow Me” make an enticing sampler of the band’s wares all the same, digging into an energetic heavy progressive rock like a less-low-end-focused Forming the Void in the title-track as McOmber carefully weaves in a multi-layered guitar solo panning channels from one to the other and “Don’t Follow Me” reaffirms the groove on which that happens while sorting out its own languid flow. The shorter of the two, “Don’t Follow Me” doesn’t feature the same kind of midsection break as “Light” itself, and once it heads out, it doesn’t come back, unlike “Light,” which returns to the hook at the finish. Some structural play as enticement to dig further into the Bloodshot Buffalo catalog while waiting for the seemingly inevitable next thing. This being my first exposure to McOmber‘s work, I hope to do exactly that.

Bloodshot Buffalo on Facebook

Bloodshot Buffalo on Bandcamp


Oh Hiroshima, Myriad

oh hiroshima myriad

Swedish now-duo Oh Hiroshima present their fourth album, Myriad, as a collection of weighted, spacious and emotive contemplations. Their heavy post-rock is stylized to be patient and broad-reaching, and in pieces like “All Things Pass” and “Veil of Certainty” early on, they find a niche for themselves between harder-hitting atmospheric material marked out by droning horn arrangements and more straight-ahead melodic verses, the ambience open enough to pull the focus away from underlying structures. It’s an immersive-if-somewhat-familiar modern take, but the two-piece of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Jakob Hemström and drummer Oskar Nilsson stem into moodier vibes on “Tundra” and closer “Hidden Chamber” takes a less effects-centered, more organic-sounding approach, emphasizing the strings for its build while staying earthbound in the drums, bass and guitars beneath. Some will pass Myriad up entirely, others will worship its depth. Either way, the pair seem like they’ll keep moving forward in their well-crafted, considered approach.

Oh Hiroshima on Facebook

Napalm Records website


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Chew to Release Horses on Friday; Title-Track Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 8th, 2022 by JJ Koczan


When it comes to stuff I’m posting about, I usually have a pretty good idea if something will go over or not. Not so much here. I think Chew‘s “Horses” is a pretty interesting eight-minute run combining three or four different genres minimum that is able to pull itself off simply by doing so. The swagger in the now-this-happens of it, if not necessarily in a showiness for the track itself. It’s the title-track of their third album, and the record is out this Friday, March 11, through reliable purveyors Stolen Body Records, who you always know are up to some fascinating shenanigans, and yeah, I’ve got a certain amount of trust in their taste — not everything is a fit all the time, but none of it is boring — but I also feel like what I’m hearing in “Horses” backs that up.

Maybe you’ll dig it too. Maybe you won’t. Music like this isn’t intended for a universal audience, though I don’t think they’d argue if everybody caught on all at once. Vinyl preorders start next month.

UK and European tour dates, as well as album background and of course the aforementioned video all follow here, courtesy of the PR wire:

chew horses


We are delighted to announce the third album from Atlanta psych experimenters CHEW. Check out out the video for the new single Horses.

TITLE: Horses
RELEASE DATE: March 11th

We are delighted to announce the third album from Atlanta psych experimenters CHEW. Horses is another leap into the unknown. Another trip through the weird. A wonderfully crafted instrumental album that takes elements of psych, break beat, prog, electronica and much much more. Delve into the world of CHEW.

Chew explain the process of their third album.

Through multiple sessions, the skeleton of HORSES was crafted. Bone by bone by experimental noise freak-out shut-ins. For days at a time, we would lock ourselves in our rehearsal space with no pre-arranged music and tried to incorporate more synthesisers and electronics to establish an atmosphere. Riffs and patterns formed until they resembled songs, eventually polished to purity in live sets until taking their final alchemical shape.

In the summer of 2021, we started production and HORSES was the dream sequence pulled from our heads. Recording dreams is highly experimental and often times resembles the warm, nostalgic warble of the unstable VHS format. We did all we could to salvage the integrity of the original dreams, but we did lose a lot in the process.

In an attempt to refurbish the dream state, we imported more delicious synth, incorporated electronic drums and breaks, and added extreme new flavour with the addition of our friend and multi-instrumentalist Morgan Soltes. Having completed the triptych of 3D EP, A Fine Accoutrement, and Darque Tan, HORSES rides in a new direction for CHEW defining an upcoming era of style and creativity.

Track List
1. Kisouma
2. Horses
3. Holy Fountain
4. If You Are Sensitive To Simulators, Close Your Eyes And The Feeling Will Pass
5. Palo Santo
6. Pseudocide
7. All Operators Will Be On Site
8. Rosette Pattern
9. The Mall

CHEW pushes the boundaries of psychedelic electronic and post-rock with a combination of articulated and monstrously heavy rhythm section work, sample-based analog leads, and discorded psychedelic guitar. What at first seems like a strange mix of concepts quickly pulls you in and immerses you in a controlled chaos of the most melodic kind.


Sarah Wilson: Drums, Electronic Drums, Percussion Brett Reagan: Guitars, Electronics, Sound Manipulation Morgan Soltes: Bass, Synth, Effects

We are doing this one a little different than normal. The album comes out next Friday! The vinyl pre order goes live April 8th and will be very special and very limited. With current wait times as they are we felt this to be the best way to present the album. Especially as the band head out on their postponed EU tour in May/June. Dates below.

Escape From USA Tour (May/June 2022)
20.05.22 – IT- SAVONA – RAINDOGS
21.05.22 – IT – VERONA – FINE DI MONDO
22.05.22 – IT – BOLOGNA – FREAKOUT
25.05.22 – CZ – PRAGA – CROSS CLUB
26.05.22 – DE – MANNHEIM – ALTER
31.05.22 – FR – ROUEN – Le 3 Pièces Muzik’Club
02.06.22 – UK – LONDON – The Victoria, Dalston
04.06.22 – UK – HASTINGS – THE PIPER
05.06.22 – UK – BRISTOL – THE LANES
06.06.22 – FR – BRUXELLES – CHAFF
07.06.22 – FR – ALENCON – Chapêlmêle
08.06.22 – FR – Angoulême – Le Point CaRré
09.06.22 – FR – PARIS – SUPERSONIC
10.06.22 – FR – NANCY – LE ROYAL
11.06.22 – FR – LYON – LE FARMER
12.06.22 – IT – SOLIERA (MO) – NOWHERE

Written, Produced and Mixed by: CHEW
Engineered by: Morgan Soltes
Recorded at: Grandma’s Casket at Ember City, West End, Atlanta, Georgia.
Mastered By: Benjamin Price
Published by: Church of the Abundant Cheeseburger (ASCAP)
Video by: Riley Morgan

Brett Reagan – guitar/electronics
Sarah Wilson – drums/percussion
Morgan Soltes – bass/synth bass




Chew, “Horses” official video

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Quarterly Review: Sergio Ch., Titanosaur, Insect Ark, Never Kenezzard, The Kupa Pities, Warpstormer, Ricardo Jiménez y Antonio Ramírez, Children of the Sün, Desert Clouds, Gondhawa

Posted in Reviews on January 19th, 2022 by JJ Koczan


Getting to the halfway point of a Quarterly Review is always something special. I’m not trying to say it’s a hardship reviewing 50 records in a week — if anything it’s a relief, despite the strain it seems to put on my interpersonal relationships; The Patient Mrs. hates it and I can’t really fault her for that since it does consume a fair amount of my brain while it’s ongoing — but some days it comes down to ‘do I shower or do I write’ and usually writing wins out. I’ll shower later. Probably. Hopefully.

But today we pass halfway through and there’s a lot of killer still to come, so plenty to look forward to either way. The day starts with an old favorite I’ve included here basically as a favor to myself. Let’s go.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Sergio Ch., La Danza de los Tóxicos

Sergio Ch La Danza de los Tóxicos

Comparatively speaking, La Danza de los Tóxicos is a pretty straightforward solo offering from Soldati/Ararat/ex-Los Natas frontman Sergio Chotsourian, whose ealrier-2021 full-length, Koi (review here), featured both of his children, one rapping and one joining him on vocals for a Nine Inch Nails cover. Perhaps it’s in reaction to that record that this one feels more traditionalist, with Chotsourian (aka Sergio Ch.) still finding 11 minutes to drone out instrumentalist style on closer “Thor Hammer” and to sample Scarface at the start of “Late Train,” but in his guy-and-guitar ethic, a lot of this material sounds like the roots of things to come — Chotsourian has shared songs between projects for years — while keeping a balance between exploratory vibe and traditional structures on pieces like “Skinny Ass,” “La Esquina” and “88.”

Sergio Ch. on Facebook

South American Sludge Records on Bandcamp


Titanosaur, Absence of Universe

Titanosaur Absence of Universe

Coated in burl and aggressive presentation as well as the occasional metaphors about stellar phenomena and hints/flourish of Latin rhythm and percussion, Titanosaur‘s fourth long-player, Absence of Universe, sees multi-instrumentalist, producer and vocalist Geoff Saavedra engaging with aggressive tonality and riff construction as well as the various instabilities of the moment in which the album was put together. “Conspiracy” feels somewhat self-explanatory from a lyrical standpoint, and both opener “The Echo Chamber” and “Shut Off the Voices” feel born of the era in their theme, while “So Happy” seems like a more personal perspective on mental health. Whatever a given song’s subject throughout the nine-track/42-minute offering, Saavedra delivers with a heavy rock born out of ’90s metal such that the breakdown in “So Happy” feels natural when it hits, and the rush of finale “Needed Order” seems like an earned expulsion of the tension so much of the record prior has been building, incluing the chugging force of “I Will Live Forever” immediately prior.

Titanosaur on Facebook

The Swamp Records on Bandcamp


Insect Ark, Future Fossils

insect ark future fossils

Future Fossils would seem to take its name from the idea of bringing these tracks together in some effort toward conservation, to keep them from getting lost to time or obscurity amid the various other works and incarnations of Insect Ark. The first three songs are synth-only solo pieces by Dana Schechter, recorded in 2018, and the final piece, “Gravitrons,” is a 23-minute live improvisation by Schechter and then-drummer Ashley Spungin recorded in New York in 2016. The sense that these things might someday be “discovered” as one might unearth a fossil is fair enough — the minimalism of “Gypsum Blade” has space enough to hold whatever evocations one might place on it, and while “Anopsian Volta” feels grounded with a line of piano, opener “Oral Thrush” seems more decidedly cinematic. All this of course is grist for the mill of “Gravitrons,’ which is consuming unto itself in its ambience and rife with experimentalist purpose. Going in order to have gone. As ethics go, that one feels particularly worth preserving.

Insect Ark on Facebook

Consouling Sounds website


Never Kenezzard, The Long and Grinding Road

Never Kenezzard The Long and Grinding Road

Sludge and grind come together on Denver trio Never Kenezzard‘s The Long and Grinding Road, and through what seems to be some modern metallurgical miracle, the album sounds neither like CarcassSwansong nor Dopethrone. After the pummeling beginning of “Gravity” and “Genie,” the interlude “Praer” and the subequent channel-panning-screamer “Ra” expand an anti-genre take as bent on individuality of sound as they apparently are on clever wordplay. “Demon Wheel” has a genuine heavy rock thrust, and “Slowburn” and the looped clock noise of “11:59:59” provide buffers between the extended cuts “Seven Statues” (11:31) and “The Long and Grinding Road” (14:55) itself, which closes, but by then the three-piece have established a will and a way to go wherever they want and you can follow if you’re up for it. So are you? Probably. There’s some underlying current of Faith No More-style fuckery in the sound, something playful about the way Never Kenezzard push themselves into abrasion. You can tell they’re having fun, and that affects the listening experience throughout the purposefully unmanageable 57 minutes of the album.

Never Kenezzard on Facebook

Never Kenezzard on Bandcamp


The Kupa Pities, Godlike Supervision

The Kupa Pities Godlike Supervision

There’s a thread of noise rock that runs throughout Godlike Supervision, the debut full-length from Munich-based four-piece The Kupa Pities, and it brings grit to both the early-Clutch riffing of lead cut “Anthology” and the later, fuzz-overdose “Queen Machine.” It’s not just about aggression, though there’s some of that, but of the band putting their own spin on the established tenets of Kyuss-style desert and Fu Manchu-style heavy rocks. “Black Hole” digs into the punkish roots of the former, while the starts-and-stops of “Dance Baby Dance” and the sheer push of the title-track hint toward the latter, even if they’re a little sharper around the edges than the penultimate “Surfing,” which feels like it was titled after what the band do with their own groove — they seem to ride it in expert fashion. So be it. “Black Hole” works in a bit of atmosphere and “Burning Man” caps with a fair-enough blowout at the finish, ending the album on a note not unfamiliar but indicative of the twists The Kupa Pities are working to bring to their influences.

The Kupa Pities on Facebook

The Kupa Pities on Bandcamp


Warpstormer, 1

warpstormer logo

A newcomer trio, London’s Warpstormer brings together guitarist Scott Black (Green Lung), drummer Matthew Folley and bassist/vocalist Richard J. Morgan (ex-Oak), and their aptly-titled first EP, 1, presents four bangers of unrepentantly brash heavy rock and roll, channeling perhaps some of earlier Orange Goblin‘s boozy-wrecking-crew vibes, but on “Ride the Bomb” digging into post-hardcore and metal as well, the abidingly aggro sense undercut by a quiet stretch holding its tension in the drums as well as the drunken quiet start of “Devourer,” which gets plenty bruising by its finish but is slower in procession certainly than were “Here Comes Hell” and “Storm Caller” at the outset. They’re in and out and done in 19 minutes, but as what otherwise might be a demo, 1 gives a look at where Warpstormer are coming from and would seem to herald future incursions to come. I’ll take it. The songs come across as feeling out where the band wants to be in terms of sound, but where they’re headed, they’re headed with due charge.

Warpstormer on Facebook

Warpstormer on Bandcamp


Ricardo Jiménez y Antonio Ramírez, Génesis Negro

Ricardo Jiménez y Antonio Ramírez Génesis Negro

Génesis Negro perhaps loses something in the audio-only experience. To wit, while Ricardo Jiménez Gómez is responsible for all the music on the album, it’s the illustrations of Antonio Ramírez Collado, bringing together in Blake-esque style mysticism, anatomy, and ideas born of research into early Christian gnostics, that serve as the root from which that music is sprung. Instrumental in its entirety and including a reprint of the article that ties the visuals and audio together and was apparently the inspiration for exploring the subject to start with, its 43-minute run can obviously offer the listener a deeper dive than just the average collection of verse/chorus songs, and no doubt that’s the intention. Some pieces are minimal enough to barely be there at all, enough to emphasize every strum of a string, and others offer a distorted tonal weight that seems ready to interpret any number of psychedelic spiritual chaos processes. If you want to get weird, Ricardo Jiménez y Antonio Ramírez are way ahead of you. They might also be ahead of themselves, honestly, despite whatever temporal paradox that implies.

Sentencia Records on Facebook

Sentencia Records on Bandcamp


Children of the Sün, Roots

Children of the Sün Roots

Tracks like “Leaves,” “Blood Boils Hot,” and “Thunder” still rock out a pretty heavy classic blues rock vibe, but Swedish outfit Children of the Sün — as the title Roots would imply in following-up their 2019 debut, Flowers (review here) — seem to dig deeper into atmospheric expression, emotive melodies and patience of craft in the 13-track/44-minute offering. From the the mellow noodling of “Reflection” at the start, a piano-led foreshadow for “Eden” later on, to the acoustic-till-it-ain’t “Man in the Moon” later on, the spirit of Roots feels somewhere between days gone by and days to come and therefore must be the present, strutting accordingly on “The Soul” and making a pure vocal showcase for Josefina Berglund Ekholm, on which she shines as one has come to expect. There are moments where the vocals feel disconnected from the instrumental portions of the songs, but where they go, they go organically.

Children of the Sün on Facebook

The Sign Records on Facebook


Desert Clouds, Planexit

desert clouds planexit

Is that flute on “Planexit,” the opener and longest track (immediate points), on Planexit, the latest outing from London-based grunge-informed heavy rockers Desert Clouds? It could well be, and after the somewhat bleaker progression of the riffs prior, that escape into melody comes across as well-placed. The band are likewise unafraid to pull off atmospheric Nick Cave-style storytelling in “Wheelchair” and more broodingly progressive fare in “Deceivers,” leaving the relatively brief “Revolutionary Lies” to rest somewhere between Southern heavy, early ’90s melodicism and a modern production. Throughout the 45-minute LP, the band swap out various structural ideologies, and while I can’t help be immersed in the groove and bassline of “Deceivers,” the linear build and receding of the penultimate “Pearl Marmalade” feels no less essential to the impact of the record overall. Behold a band who have found their niche and set themselves to the task of refining its parameters. As ever, it works because songwriting and performance are both right on.

Desert Clouds on Facebook

Mandrone Records website


Gondhawa, Käampâla

Gondhawa - Käampâla

Comprised of Clement Pineau (drums, kamele n’goni, vocals, percussion), Idriss Besselievre (vocals, guitar, sanxian), Paul Adamczuk (bass/guitar, keyboard) and Margot GuilbertGondhawa bring forth a heavy psychedelic cultural sphere throughout the still-digestible six tracks and 37 minutes of Käampâla, with the French trio’s penchant for including instrumentation from Africa or Asia alongside the more traditional guitar, bass, drums, keys and vocals resulting in a lush but natural feeling psychedelia that seems to be all the more open for their readiness to jam outside whatever box expectation might put them in. The title-track feels like Mideastern prog, while the subsequent “Assid Bubu” shreds out an echoing lead over a slow-roller of a stoner-jam nod. Their willingness to dance is a strength, ultimately, and their inclusion of these arrangement elements, including percussion, comes across as more than dabbling in world music. They’re not the first to look beyond their effects pedals in manifesting psych rock, but there’s not a lot out there that sounds like this.

Gondhawa on Facebook

Stolen Body Records website


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