Sacri Monti Announce Retrieval Out July 26; European Tour Set for August

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 27th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Sacri Monti

This news came through last week, but I was in Quarterly Review Land, so I do hope you’ll pardon the tardiness. In any case, the internet’s big enough to accommodate me being late on a thing, and in the interim, Sacri Monti‘s Retrieval hit the inbox so I’ve actually had a chance to listen to a thing that’s coming out before writing about it. Novelty, I know.

First of all, it’s way ’70s sounding. Not vintage like they’re trying to pretend it’s 1973 and instead of Nixon and war it’s weed and riffs, but organic in its root and you can hear that right away on “Maelstrom,” which is both the lead single and opening track. A driving chug of guitar given tension through low-key ace-in-the-hole drumming and complemented by organ and a glut of effects, in and out in three minutes’ time. Easy to dig. The record grows more expansive as it moves into side B, but they keep that it’s-called-prog-rock-because-it’s-progressive-and-it-rocks sentiment throughout and I stoked to get to know the songs better. It’s been five long years since 2019’s Waiting Room for the Magic Hour (review here), and the San Diego five-piece sound like they’re ready to move forward.

They’ll do so later this summer on a European tour following Retrieval‘s July 26 release through Tee Pee Records, as the PR wire tell it:

SACRI MONTI’s Retrieval will be released via Tee Pee Records on 26th July 2024

San Diego’s premier spaced-out psych quintet are back in Europe with their heaviest and most progressive album yet…

Preorder: https://hypeddit.com/sacrimonti/maelstrom

In recent years, Sacri Monti has transcended sonic expectations to create a singular sound so unique that their name has become synonymous with invention.

Signed to Tee Pee Records, this July the SoCal five-piece are back to show once again why they are one of the label’s leading progressive lights with the release of their third studio album, Retrieval.

Formed in Oceanside in 2012 the band has ridden the crest of an enduring wave of unmissable heavy psych bands that have emerged from the San Diego area. So much so that in 2018, Roadburn Festival invited them to take part in a ‘San Diego Takeover’, which found the band showcasing their inimitable sound alongside peers such as Arctic, Harsh Toke, Joy, and a handful of others.

The first single taken from Retrieval also happens to be the opening salvo, ‘Maelstrom’; a whirling 70s prog rock opus that recalls the chugging riff/organ majesty of Machine Head-era Deep Purple, slung with the Space Ritual vibes of Hawkwind. A fine and fitting way to ease listeners into a heady and head-banging assembly of new songs which, like previous album – 2019’s Waiting Room for the Magic Hour – thrives on the art of keeping you guessing.

Fans will also be pleased to hear that this summer Sacri Monti embark on a European tour in support of the album, dates, and details of which can be found below.

There’s no question that Sacri Monti has upped their game on Retrieval. Due for release on 26th July 2024 via Tee Pee Records we highly advise you to do the same. Pre-order the album here and check out ‘Maelstrom” now!
EUROPEAN TOUR DATES:

1/8 – Blah Blah – Turin, Italy
2/8 – Pietra Sonica Fest – Osoppo Udine, Italy
3/8 – Palp Festival – Couvert du Goly. Switzerland
5/8 – Stone Smoker – Louny, Czech Republic
6/8 – Channel Zero – Ljubljana, Slovenia
9/8 – Sonic Blast Festival – Moledo, Portugal
10/8 – Hoflarm Open Air – Seelbach, Germany
11/8 – Urban Spree – Berlin, Germany
14/8 – dB’s – Utrecht, Netherlands
15/8 – Merlyn – Nijmegen, Netherlands
17/8 – Volcano Sessions – Montpeloux, France
18/8 – Secret Place – Montpellier, France
21/8 – Le Cirque Electrique – Paris, France
22/8 – The Black Heart – London, UK
23/8 – 1865 – Southampton, UK
24/8 – Kazimier Stockroom – Liverpool, UK
25/8 – Cosmic Vibration Fest – Sheffield, UK

TRACK LISTING:
1. Maelstrom
2. Desirable Sequel
3. Intermediate Death
4. Brackish/Honeycomb
5. Moon Canyon
6. More Than I

Sacri Monti is:
Brenden Dellar -Guitar
Dylan Donovan- Guitar
Anthony Meier- Bass
Evan Wenskay- Organ, Synth
Thomas Dibenedetto- Drums

https://www.facebook.com/sacrimontiband/
https://www.instagram.com/sacri_monti_band/
https://sacrimonti.bigcartel.com/
https://soundcloud.com/sacri-monti

teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://www.instagram.com/teepeerecords/
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Sacri Monti, “Maelstrom”

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Legions of Doom to Record Debut Album This Month; Here’s the Bio I Wrote

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 12th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Sometimes it’s kind of funny to write a band’s bio — in this specific case it’s also a frickin’ honor — and then not know when it’s going to be used and be surprised to see it come back down the PR wire. You do a thing, send it off, and a little while later, it comes back to you. I thank Liz Ciavarella, who has only been supporting my efforts and making me a better writer AS WELL AS giving me stuff to write about for the last, oh, 18 years or thereabouts, for putting my name out for bio writing stuff. Sometimes I get a little Paypal money for Bandcamp, sometimes it’s just a cool thing to do, but it’s always appreciated and if someone thinks enough of my work in general to ask, well, that’s a push to do a thing right there.

But to get to the point, Legions of Doom are recording this month their debut album. They’re in kind of a fluid situation, sort of transitioning out of The Skull but still keeping that band — whose frontman Eric Wagner passed away in 2021 — in reserve for special slots at festivals and such, and moving ahead with Legions of Doom as a next phase for bassist Ron Holzner, guitarist Lothar Keller and drummer Henry Vasquez. That that core trio are working with vocalists Scott Reagers (original frontman of Saint Vitus) and Karl Agell (Lie Heavy, ex-Leadfoot, C.O.C. Blind, Kinghitter) tells you the size of the gap left by Wagner‘s absence and also shows a readiness to explore new ideas. Guitarist Scott Little, also formerly of Leadfoot, will be a part of both Legions of Doom and The Skull, at least as I understood it.

Interested as always to hear what Sanford Parker, who will engineer the impending session leading toward a Fall release, gets from the band, especially working in Electrical Audio, which will make it a good day to be Vasquez for drum sounds. The bio I wrote appears in blue text below, as served up by the PR wire. Note they’ll be at Ripplefest Texas in September as I also hope very much to be:

LEGIONS OF DOOM by Krista B

LEGIONS OF DOOM: Doom Metal Supergroup Featuring Vocalist Duo Karl Agell And Scott Reagers To Enter Studio This Month

Banded together out of mutual respect, admiration, history, and a strong desire to move ever forward, LEGIONS OF DOOM brings together split-duty lead singers Scott Reagers (Saint Vitus) and Karl Agell (Lie Heavy, Karl Agell’s Blind, Leadfoot), bassist Ron Holzner (The Skull, Trouble, Earthen Grave), guitarists Lothar Keller (The Skull, Sacred Dawn), and Scott Little (Leadfoot), and drummer Henry Vasquez (The Skull, Saint Vitus, Blood Of The Sun), and was born as a project following the death of The Skull vocalist Eric Wagner (also ex-Trouble) in 2021. Initial The Skull/LEGIONS OF DOOM shows in tribute to Wagner were held in 2023, and in 2024, LEGIONS OF DOOM will record both the album that The Skull would have made and a new collection of original material that’s been worked on since.

Plans to record at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio with engineer Sanford Parker (YOB, Wovenhand, Eyehategod) will lead to a first release this Fall on Tee Pee Records, and in the interim, LEGIONS OF DOOM will again take to the stage. Fall/Winter European and US touring is being discussed, with a just announced appearance in September of this year at Ripplefest in Austin, Texas. While LEGIONS OF DOOM will step forward as the priority, Holzner assures The Skull isn’t fading completely.

“The Skull, featuring me, Lothar, Henry, Scott Little, and Karl singing, will continue in a limited capacity doing occasional shows,” informs Holzner. “The Skull shows will consist of 90-95 percent The Skull music. LEGIONS OF DOOM shows consist of all our combined history: Blind-era Corrosion Of Conformity, Trouble, Leadfoot, The Skull, Saint Vitus, and LEGIONS OF DOOM material, too.”

Adds Karl Agell, “When Ron asked me to join him in carrying on the doom metal tradition that he was part of and established first with Trouble and then The Skull, there was only one path forward. I truly look forward to performing songs from the massive legacy of all the members of LEGIONS OF DOOM.”

Having already appeared at Hellfest in France, Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium, and Legions Of Metal in Chicago, expect LEGIONS OF DOOM to continue to roll out confirmations as they move toward the album release, because with these guys, it’s never just about what’s been done in the past, but adding to that legacy as well. Just as The Skull built on the foundations Trouble laid at the core of the doom metal genre, look for LEGIONS OF DOOM to push to new ground along that familiar path. [words by JJ Koczan]

LEGION OF DOOM:
Ron Holzner – bass
Lothar Keller – guitars
Scott Little – guitars
Henry Vasquez – drums
Karl Agell – vocals
Scott Reagers – vocals

http://www.facebook.com/legionofdoom
https://www.instagram.com/legionsofdoomband/

http://www.facebook.com/troubletheskull
http://www.instagram.com/theskullusa

teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://www.instagram.com/teepeerecords
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Legions of Doom, Live at Legions of Metal Fest 2023, Chicago, IL

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Sacri Monti Finish Recording New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 22nd, 2024 by JJ Koczan

San Diego heavy psychedelic rockers Sacri Monti have finished recording their yet-untitled third full-length for release later this year. Pictured below with producer Eric Bauer at Discount Mirrors, the band issued Live at Sonic Whip MMXXII (review here) last year through Burning World/Sonic Whip, and though one assumes Tee Pee Records will handle the studio release to come since they did 2019’s Waiting Room for the Magic Hour (review here) and Sacri Monti‘s 2015 self-titled debut (review here), but it occurs to me I have no confirmation of that.

But it seems to have been a joyous process, if the posts I saw from bassist Anthony Meier were anything to go by. Osees‘ John Dwyer stopped in for a bit, which was surely rad, and it looked like the focus was on playing live, getting that energy onto tape as best as possible. I hope to and look forward to engaging with the results and hearing what the last five years have brought to Sacri Monti‘s sound. I haven’t heard any of it beyond the new songs that were on the live record, but I’ve got a good feeling about this one with just about nothing to base that on except the band’s own history and the fact that they looked like they had a good time putting it together. But I think that might be enough to go on, at least for now.

When I see or hear anything else, I’ll post it. Expect release news and tour dates both, as Sacri Monti will return to Europe this summer and are already confirmed to appear at SonicBlast Fest and Hoflärm 2024, happening on the same weekend in Portugal and Germany, respectively. While a just-that trip would likely be intense enough to count as a whole tour, more dates to come feels like a safe expectation.

So, for now, here’s what I saw to mark the end of the recording/mixing process:

sacri-monti-with-eric-bauer-discount-mirrors-studio-2024

Just wrapped up recording and mixing our third studio album in the past 7 days. The process was a lot of fun and everything came together sonically with this one. It was a pleasure and an honor to work with Eric Bauer at Discount Mirrors Studio in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for release date and upcoming plans. Onward!

Sacri Monti is:
Brenden Dellar -Guitar
Dylan Donovan- Guitar
Anthony Meier- Bass
Evan Wenskay- Organ, Synth
Thomas Dibenedetto- Drums

https://www.facebook.com/sacrimontiband/
https://www.instagram.com/sacri_monti_band/
https://sacrimonti.bigcartel.com/
https://soundcloud.com/sacri-monti

teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://www.instagram.com/teepeerecords/
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Sacri Monti, Waiting Room for the Magic Hour (2019)

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Telekinetic Yeti Post “Beast” Video; On Tour Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 8th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

telekinetic yeti

As you and I sit comfortably in our reclining easychairs, gently clinking crystal highballs of actually-old-fashioned old fashioneds and toasting the ease of our lives, Iowa two-piece Telekinetic Yeti are once again out on the road, slogging away and carrying a silly-billy amount of amplifiers and playing louder than is recommended by medical professionals. The yeoman’s work of riffs. They’re out with JD Pinkus, who if you were going to put a bassist in the band would be a good one for the job, and will hit up the Southeast region and a little bit in their native Midwest as they put yet more miles between themselves and last year’s Tee Pee Records label debut, Primordial (review here).

And yes, that album was primordial. Willfully lunkheaded in how it clubbed your unassuming skull with riff after fuzz-coated riff. And I’m glad to have the excuse to revisit it that the video provides. Maybe this is Telekinetic Yeti saying goodbye to Primordial as they round out the tour cycle and begin to think about moving forward again — they don’t strike me as the ‘go home for two years’ types, but one never knows — with new material and, subsequent to that, probably a whole other round of touring. I’m very glad I got to see them play these songs.

If you haven’t, there’s still time. Dates and PR wire info follow the clip below.

Please enjoy:

Telekinetic Yeti, “Beast” official video

TELEKINETIC YETI RELEASE “BEAST” VIDEO

ANIMATED CLIP COMES FROM BAND’S ALBUM, PRIMORDIAL

U.S. TOUR UNDERWAY; J.D. PINKUS SUPPORTS

Directed by Brodie Rush. Featuring Alex Baumann (guitar and vocals) and Rockwel Heim (drums).

The duo share the larger theme behind the track: “’Beast’ is a reflection on societal disillusionment and the inherent desire to escape the cyclical trap of wage slavery. Acknowledging that these empires are built on sand as well as the human need to escape the tentacles that bind us through mindless, obligatory, financially-centered routines facilitated by hypnotic black magic.”

Telekinetic Yeti have spent the past year-plus on the road supporting the well-received, 11-song Primordial, including multiple headlining treks and a stint with Weedeater. The band is in the midst of their final 2023 tour dates, playing tomorrow at Maggie Meyers in Huntsville, Ala. J.D. Pinkus opens on all remaining shows.

Telekinetic Yeti is on tour now! Tickets available at http://tonedeaftouring.com/yeti

11/08/2023 Huntsville AL @ Maggie Meyers
11/09/2023 Little Rock AR @ Four Quarter
11/10/2023 Lafayette LA @ Freetown Boom Boom Room
11/11/2023 New Orleans LA @ Poor Boys
11/12/2023 Panama City Beach FL @ Moseys
11/15/2023 Cape Coral FL @ Nice Guys
11/16/2023 Tampa FL @ Brass Mug
11/17/2023 Jacksonville FL @ Kona Skatepark
11/18/2023 Savannah GA @ EL Rocko Lounge
11/19/2023 Charleston SC @ Trolley Pub
11/20/2023 Piedmont SC @ Tribbles
11/21/2023 Raleigh NC @ Pour House
11/22/2023 Atlanta GA @ Star Bar
11/24/2023 Wilmington NC @ Reggies
11/25/2023 Chesapeake Bay VA @ Riffhouse
11/26/2023 Bensalem PA @ Broken Goblet

New album, Primordial, out now via Tee Pee Records Limited-edition Vinyl and CDs available here: https://teepeerecords.com/collections/frontpage/products/telekinetic-yeti-primordial-cd-lp

Telekinetic Yeti Merch:
https://telekineticyeti.bigcartel.com/

Telekinetic Yeti is:
Alex Baumann – Guitar/Vocals
Rockwel Heim – Drums

Telekinetic Yeti, Primordial (2022)

Telekinetic Yeti on Facebook

Telekinetic Yeti on Instagram

Telekinetic Yeti on Bandcamp

Tee Pee Records website

Tee Pee Records on Facebook

Tee Pee Records on Bandcamp

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Satan’s Satyrs: New Single “Quick Quiet Raid” Out Friday; Band Signs to Tee Pee Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 7th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

satan's satyrs (Photo by Jordan Vance)

A bit of housekeeping here as the PR wire steps up to make official the return of Satan’s Satyrs. Perhaps relocated from their Virginia home to NY, the classic heavy rock unit led by bassist/vocalist Clayton Burgess announced early last month they’d reunited with a new lineup, would have a new single and live shows and all that we’re-a-band-again stuff. What’s new here is making public the band’s signing to Tee Pee Records for Quick Quiet Raid and the preorder link for the 7″. One assumes this is kind of a precursor to a fuller return in 2024, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an LP at least in the works by the end of next year if not before. You’ll note in the below Burgess says he’s been writing all the while.

Cool stuff to come, one hopes. We’re into November now, so there’s as much that’s going to be about next year as this one, but with the single on the way, I don’t think you’re wrong to think of it as something to applies to today as much as eight months in the future, or however long it ends up being until they get another record together. Gets the old “we’ll see,” I guess.

From the PR wire, as noted:

satan's satyrs quick quiet raid

Cult Scuzz Rockers Satan’s Satyrs Return with 7″ Single, Live Shows, and a Pledge of Allegiance to Tee Pee Records

After calling it a day in 2019, this Friday the NY-based biker trash/occult obsessed quartet will be reborn again via new single ‘Quick Quiet Raid’

Pre-order their 7″ single here ahead of its release through Specimen Records/Tee Pee Records on 10th November 2023: https://teepeerecords.com/products/satans-satyrs-quick-quiet-raid-7-out-11-10-23

After years in the void, heavy rock devotees Satan’s Satyrs are back to deliver a lumbering, glam doom Frankenstein of a tune with 7″ single ‘Quick Quiet Raid’, the band’s first stab at new music since 2018’s The Lucky Ones.

Having harboured a cult following for over ten years and four indispensable albums prior to their split – Electric Wizard’s Jus Oborn once described them as, “Violent, filthy, ugly and loud like it should be” – the band is thrilled to announce that they’ve signed to legendary New York label, Tee Pee Records.

“It’s a great fit for us because they can appreciate our odd-band-out legacy,” explains bassist, Clayton Burgess. “Tee Pee Records has a long history of cultivating a heavy freak rock underground and we feel right at home in that universe.”

Soaking Sabbath, Venom, The Stooges, and Blue Cheer in acid and acrimony, the quartet’s love of exploitation movies and horror culture have always permeated their music, and none more so than on their latest paean to primitive rock. Replete with howling vocals and a freak-fuzz guitar meltdown, this is volcanism at its finest and signals a return to form for Dungeon Rock’s wayward sons.

“Even during the band’s recess, I never stopped writing,” Burgess continues. “We were always the riffy band on punk bills, the fast band on doom bills, the glam-tinged band on metal bills, with each album sounding different from the last. As new material slowly amassed and the right players fell into place, the potential couldn’t be ignored. The band could be a vital force again.”

The band also take to the road this month for a string of live dates, all of which you’ll find below. Pre-order their 7″ single here ahead of its release via Specimen Records/Tee Pee Records on 10th November 2023.
LIVE DATES:

14/11 – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
15/11 – The Warehouse – Richmond, VA
16/11 – The Runaway – Washington, DC
13/12 – Knitting Factory – Baker Falls, NY

SATAN’S SATYRS:
Russ Yusef – Drums
Morgan McDaniel – Guitar
Clayton Burgess – Bass, Vocals
Jarrett Nettnin – Guitar

https://www.instagram.com/satanssatyrs/
http://satanssatyrs.bandcamp.com/
https://satanssatyrs.bigcartel.com/

teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Satan’s Satyrs, “Quick Quiet Raid” teaser

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Telekinetic Yeti Fall Tour Starts Oct. 28

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 12th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Telekinetic Yeti

Think we’ll get a new record from these guys in 2024? I wouldn’t mind one showing up. Based in Iowa but spending markedly little time there the past couple years, Telekinetic Yeti seem to treat hard-touring as a defining ethic. This past summer, they undertook their first headlining stint on the US West Coast with the backing of Tone Deaf Touring, with support from Stinking Lizaveta, Somnuri and Rifflord (at various points, though that’d be a mean package tour if those are still a thing) after going to the UK in Spring with Weedeater and Mars Red Sky. At least to-date in the tenure of the band, this is what they do.

And 2022’s Primordial (review here), as the ostensible cause they’re supporting, stands up to the volume and vitality they bring to it on stage. It hasn’t been so long that the record has lost its mud-tinted luster, whatever that might even mean — I guess just that it still sounds good listening to it as I put this together — but for an act with such an intense focus on forward momentum, it might not be unreasonable to think that would extend to recording. Or maybe the full-color shirts do well enough on the road that they can take their time and keep re-pressing sold out LPs. Good work if you can get it. Also hard work. Fair enough.

They’re out this time with JD Pinkus of Butthole Surfers, Melvins, etc., which will certainly not make any given gig less raucous. Telekinetic Yeti put up the poster with a quick blurb on social media, and wouldn’t you know it, here it is:

Telekinetic Yeti tour

Get ready! We are joining forces with JD Pinkus this fall for a road trip! Highly excited about this one! Get your tickets now! Where will we see you?

ALL TICKET LINKS: http://tonedeaftouring.com/yeti

Telekinetic Yeti is:
Alex Baumann – Guitar/Vocals
Rockwel Heim – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/telekineticyetiband/
https://www.instagram.com/telekinetic_yeti/
https://telekineticyeti.bandcamp.com/releases
https://telekineticyeti.com/

teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Telekinetic Yeti, Primordial (2022)

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Quarterly Review: Samsara Blues Experiment, Restless Spirit, Stepmother, Pilot Voyager, Northern Liberties, Nyxora, Old Goat Smoke, Van Groover, Hotel Lucifer, Megalith Levitation

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

the obelisk winter quarterly review

I broke my wife’s phone yesterday. What a mess. I was cleaning the counter or doing some shit and our spare butter dish — as opposed to the regular one, which was already out — was sitting near the edge of the top of the microwave, from where I bumped it so that the ceramic corner apparently went right through the screen hard enough that in addition to shattering it there’s a big black spot and yes a new phone has been ordered. In the meantime, she can’t type the letter ‘e’ and, well, I have to hand it to Le Creuset on the sturdy construction of their butter dishes. Technology succumbing to the brute force of a harder blunt object and gravity.

Certainly do wish that hadn’t happened. What does it have to do with riffs, or music at all, or really anything? Who cares. I’m about to review 10 records today. I can talk about whatever the hell I want.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Samsara Blues Experiment, Rock Hard in Concert

samsara blues experiment rock hard in concert

10 years after releasing 2013’s Live at Rockpalast (review here), and nearly three after they put out their 2021 swansong studio LP, End of Forever (review here), German heavy psych rockers Samsara Blues Experiment offer the 80-minute live 2LP Rock Hard in Concert, and while it’s not their first live album, it gives a broader overview of the band from front to (apparent) back during their time together, as songs opening salvo of “Center of the Sun,” “Singata Mystic Queen” and “For the Lost Souls” from 2010’s debut, Long-Distance Trip (review here), melds in the set with “One With the Universe” and “Vipassana” from 2017’s One With the Universe (review here), End of Forever‘s own title-track and “Massive Passive,” and “Hangin’ on a Wire” from 2013’s Waiting for the Flood (review here) to become a fan-piece that nonetheless engages in sound and presentation. If you were there, it’s likely must-own. For the rest of us, who maybe did or didn’t see the band during their time — glad to say I did — it’s a reminder of how immersive they could be, especially in longer-form material, and how much influence they had on the last decade-plus of jam-based heavy psych in Europe. Recorded in 2018 at a special gig for Germany’s Rock Hard magazine, Rock Hard in Concert follows behind 2022’s Demos & Rarities (review here) in the band’s posthumous catalog, and it may or may not be Samsara Blues Experiment‘s final non-reissue release. Whether it is or not, it summarizes their run gorgeously and puts a light on the chemistry of the trio that led them through so many winding aural paths.

Samsara Blues Experiment on Facebook

World in Sound Records website

Restless Spirit, Afterimage

Restless Spirit Afterimage

Sounding modern and full and in opening cut “Marrow” almost like the fuzz is about to swallow the rest of the song, Restless Spirit step forward with their third long-player, Afterimage, and establish a new level of craft for themselves. In 2021, the Long Island heavy/doom rock trio offered Blood of the Old Gods (review here), and their guitar-led energetic surges continue here in Afterimage riffers like the chug-nod “Shadow Command” and “Of Spirit and Form,” which seems to account for the underlying metallic edge of the band’s execution with its sharper turns. Their first album for Magnetic Eye Records, its eight tracks fit smoothly into the label’s roster, which at its baseline might be said to foster modern heavy styles with a particular ear for songwriting and melody, and Restless Spirit dig into “All Furies” like High on Fire galloping into a wall of Slayer records, only to follow with the 1:45 instrumental reset “Brutalized,” which is somehow weightier. They touch on the ethereal with the guitar in “The Fatalist,” but the vocals are more post-hardcore and have a grounding effect, and after starting with outright crush, “Hell’s Grasp” offers respite in progressive flourish and midtempo meandering before resuming the double-plus-huge roll and pointed riff and noodly offsets, the huge hook coming back in a way that makes me miss doing a radio show. “Hell’s Grasp” is the longest piece on the collection at 6:25, but “From the Dust Returned” closes, mindful of the atmospherics that have been at work all along and no less huge, but clearly saving a last push for, well, last. I’ll be interested in how it holds up over the long term, but Magnetic Eye has become one of the US’ most essential labels in heavy music and releases like this are exactly why.

Restless Spirit on Facebook

Magnetic Eye Records store

Stepmother, Planet Brutalicon

stepmother planet brutalicon

When did Graham Clise from Witch Lecherous Gaze, etc. — dude used to be in Uphill Battle; I remember that band — move to Australia? Doesn’t matter. It happened and Stepmother is the raw, garage-ish fuzz rock outfit the now-Melbourne-residing Clise has established, with Rob Muinos on bass and vocals and Sam Rains on drums. With Clise on guitar/vocals peppering hard-strummed riffs with bouts of shred and various dirtier coatings, the 12-tracker goes north of four minutes one time for “Do You Believe,” already by then having found its proto-Misfits bent in the catchy “Scream for Death.” But whether they’re buzz-overdosing “Waiting for the Axe” or digging into the comedown in “Signed DC” ahead of the surf-informed rager of a finale “Gusano,” Planet Brutalicon is a debut that presents fresh ideas taking on known stylistic elements. And it’s not a showcase for Clise‘s instrumental prowess on a technical level or anything — he’s not trying to put on a clinic — but from the sound of his guitar to the noises he gets from it in “The Game” (that middle part, ultra-fuzz) and at the end of “Stalingrad,” it is very much a guitar-centered offering. No complaints there whatsoever.

Stepmother on Instagram

Tee Pee Records website

Pilot Voyager, The Structure is Still Under Construction

Pilot Voyager The Structure is Still Under Construction

WARNING: Users who take even a small dose of Pilot Voyager‘s The Structure is Still Under Construction may find themselves experiencing euphoria, or adrift, as though on some serene ocean under the warm green sky of impossibly refracted light. The ethereal drones and melodic textures of the 46-minute single-song LP may cause side effects like: momentary flashes of inner peace, the quieting of your brain that you’ve been seeking your whole life without knowing it, calm. Also nausea, but that’s probably just something you ate. Talk to your doctor about whether this extended work from the Hungarian collective Psychedelic Source Records (szia!) is right for you, and if it is, make sure to consume responsibly. Headphones required (not included or covered by insurance). Do not be afraid as “The Structure is Still Under Construction” leaves the water behind to float upward in its midsection, finally resolving in intertwining drones, vague sampled speech echoing far off somewhere — ugh, the real world — and birdsong someplace in the mix. Go with it. This is why you got the prescription in the first place. Decades of aural research and artistic movement and progression have led you and the Budapesti outfit to this moment. Do not operate heavy machinery. Ever. In fact, find an empty field, take off your pants and run around for a while until you get out of breath. Then drink cool water and giggle. This could be you. Your life.

Pilot Voyager on Facebook

Psychedelic Source Records on Bandcamp

Northern Liberties, Self-Dissolving Abandoned Universe

northern liberties Self-Dissolving Abandoned Universe

Philadelphia has become the East Coast US’ hotbed for heavy psychedelia, which must be interesting for Northern Liberties, who started out more than two decades ago. The trio’s self-released, 10-song/41-minute Self-Dissolving Abandoned Universe — maybe their eighth album, if my count is right — with venerated producer Steve Albini, so one might count ‘instant-Gen-X-cred’ and ‘recognizably-muddy-toms’ among their goals. I wasn’t completely sold on the offering until “Infusorian Hymnal” started to dig a little further into the genuinely weird after opener “The Plot Thickens” and the subsequent “Drowned Out” laid forth the crunch of the tones and gave hints of the structures beneath the noise. “Crucible” follows up the raw shove of “Star Spangled Corpse” by expanding the palette toward space rock and an unhinged psych-noise shove that the somehow-still-Hawkwindian volatility of “The Awaited” moves away from while the finale “Song of the Sole Survivor” calls back to the folkish vocal melody in “Ghosts of Ghosts,” if in echoing and particularly addled fashion. Momentum serves the three-piece well throughout, though they seem to have no trouble interrupting themselves (can relate), and turning to follow a disparate impulse. Distractable heavy? Yeah, except bands like that usually don’t last two decades. Let’s say maybe their own kind of oddball, semi-spaced band who aren’t afraid to screw around in the studio, find what they like, and keep it. And whatever else you want to say about Albini-tracked drums, “Hold on to the Darkness” has a heavier tone to its snare than most guitars do to whole LPs. Whatever works, and it does.

Northern Liberties website

Northern Liberties on Bandcamp

Nyxora, “Good Night, Ophelia”

Nyxora Good Night Ophelia

“Good Night, Ophelia” is the first single from the forthcoming debut full-length from semi-goth Portland, Oregon, heavy rock four-piece Nyxora. There are worse opening shots to fire than a Hamlet reference, I suppose, and if one regards Ophelia’s character as an innocent driven to suicide by gender-based oppression, then her lack of agency is nothing if not continually relevant. Nonetheless, for NyxoraVox on, well, vox, guitarist E.Wrath, bassist Luke and drummer Weatherman — she pairs with dark-boogie riff recorded for edge with Witch Mountain‘s Rob Wrong at his Wrong Way Studio. There are some similarities between Nyxora and Wrong‘s own outfit — I double-checked it wasn’t Uta Plotkin singing some of the higher-reaching lines of “Good Night, Ophelia,” which is a definite compliment — but I get the sense that fuller atmosphere of Nyxora‘s first LP isn’t necessarily encapsulated in this one three-and-a-half-minute song. That is, I’m thinking at some point on the album, Nyxora will get more morose than they are here. Or maybe not. Either way, “Good Night, Ophelia” is an enticing teaser from a group who seem ready to dig their niche when the album is released, I’ll assume in 2024 though one never knows.

Nyxora on Facebook

Nyxora on Bandcamp

Old Goat Smoke, Demo

Old Goat Smoke Demo

I hate to do it, but I’m calling bullshit right now on Sydney, Australia’s Old Goat Smoke. Sorry gents. To be sure, your Bongzilla-crusty, ultra-stoned, Church of Misery-esque-in-its-madcap-vocal-wails, goat weed metal is only a pleasure to behold. But that’s the problem. How’re you gonna write a song called “Old Goat Smoke” and not post the lyrics? I shudder to think of the weed puns I’m missing. Fortunately, it’s not too late for the newcomer band to correct the mistake before the entire project is derailed. In that eponymous one of three total tracks included, Old Goat Smoke cast themselves in the mold of the despondent and disaffected. “Return to Dirt” shifts fluidly in and out of screams and harsher fare while radioactive-dirt tonality infects the guitar and bass that have already challenged the drums to cut through their morass. So that there’s no risk of the point not being made, they cap this initial public offering with “The Great Hate,” and eight-and-a-half-minute treatise on feedback and raw scathe that’s likewise a show of future nastiness to manifest. Quit your job, do all the drugs you can find, engage the permanent fuck-off. Old Goat Smoke may not have ‘bong’ in their moniker, but that’s about all they’re missing. And those lyrics, I guess, though by the time the 20 minutes of Demo have expired, they’ve made their caustic point regardless.

Old Goat Smoke on Facebook

Old Goat Smoke on Bandcamp

Van Groover, Back From the Shop

Van Groover Back From the Shop

German transport-themed heavy rock and rollers Van Groover — as in, one who grooves in or with vans — made a charming debut with 2021’s Honk if Parts Fall Off (review here), and the follow-up five-song EP, Back From the Shop, makes no attempt to fix what isn’t broken. That would seem to put it at odds with the mechanic speaking in the intro “Hill Willy’s Chop Shop,” who runs through a litany of issues fixed, goes on long enough to hypnotize and then swaps in body parts and so on. From there, the motor works, and Van Groover hit the gas through 21 minutes of smells-like-octane riffing and storytelling. In “A-38″ — the reference being to the size of a sheet of paper in Europe; equivalent but not the same as the US’ 8.5″ x 11” — they either get arrested, which would seem to be the ending of “The Bandit” just before,” or are at the DMV, I can’t quite tell, but it doesn’t matter one you meet “The Grizz.” The closer has an urgency to its push that doesn’t quite sound like I’d imagine being torn apart by a bear to feel, but the Lebowski-paraphrased penultimate line, “Some days you get eaten by the bear, some days the bear eats you,” underscores Van Groover‘s for-the-converted approach, speaking to the subculture from within. Possibly while driving. Does look like a nice van, though. The kind you might write a song or two about.

Van Groover on Facebook

Van Groover on Bandcamp

Hotel Lucifer, Hotel Lucifer

Hotel Lucifer Hotel Lucifer

Facts-wise, there’s not much more I can tell you about Hotel Lucifer than you might glean from looking at the New York four-piece’s Bandcamp page. Their self-released and self-titled debut runs 43 minutes and eight tracks, and its somewhat bleak, not-obligated-to-heavy-tonalism course takes several violent thematic turns, including (I think.) in opener “Room 222,” where Katie‘s vocals seem to talk about raping god. This, “Murderer,” “Torquemada,” “The Ultimate Price,” “Picking Your Eyes Out” and 12-minute horror noisefest closer “Beheaded” — only the classic metaller “Training the Beast” and the three-minute acoustic-backed psychedelic voice showcase “Echidna” seem to restrain the brutaller impulses, and I’m not sure about that either. With Jimmy on guitar, Muriel playing bass and Ed on drums, Hotel Lucifer are defined in no small part by the whispers, rasps and croons that mark their verses and choruses, but that becomes an effective means to convey character and mood along with the instrumental ambience behind, and so Hotel Lucifer find this strange, almost willfully off-putting cultish individualism, and it’s not hooks keeping your attention so much as the desire to figure it out, to learn more about just what the hell is going on on this record. I’ll wish you good luck with that as I continue my efforts along similar lines.

Hotel Lucifer on Bandcamp

Megalith Levitation, Obscure Fire

Megalith Levitation Obscure Fire

Its five songs broken into two sections along lines of “Obscure Fire” pairing with “Of Silence” and “Descending” leading to “Into the Depths” with “Of Eternal Doom” answering the question that didn’t even really need to be asked about which depths the Russian stoner sludge rollers were talking about. The Sleep-worshiping three-piece of guitarist/vocalist SAA, bassist KKV and drummer PAN — whose credits are worth reading in the band’s own words — lumber with purpose as they make that final statement, each side of Obscure Fire working shortest to longest beginning with the howling guitar and drum thud of the title-track at nine minutes as opposed to the 10 of “Of Silence.” At two minutes, “Descending” is barely more than feedback and tortured gurgles, so yes, very much a fit with the concrete-toned plod of the subsequent “Into the Depths” as the band skirt the line between ultra-stoner metal and cavernous atmospheric sludge without necessarily committing to one or the other. That position favors them, but after a certain point of being bludgeoned with huge riffs and slow-nodding, deeply-weighted churn, your skull is going to be goo either way. The route Megalith Levitation take to get you there is where the weed is, aurally speaking.

Megalith Levitation on Facebook

Addicted Label on Bandcamp

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Black Moon Cult to Release “Supernova” Single Oct. 27; Touring Midwest w/ Mirror Queen

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 28th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

black moon cult

It’s about a month’s wait for the new single from Black Moon Cult, which is called “Supernova,” actually arrives on Oct. 27. If you don’t feel like sitting tight for that long and, say, now is more your speed, you’ll be interested to find out that the eight-minute track (it takes a minute or two to get going; give it time) recently featured as track number 63 on Weedian‘s Trip to Ohio compilation, and thus is streaming now. To support the upcoming issue-proper, Black Moon Cult have been tapped to tour alongside Mirror Queen in the Midwest in late-Oct./early-Nov., just as the track hits.

The song is a full front-to-back procession though, builds some cosmic energy before it blows off the gas and dust cloud and starts making helium from hydrogen and all that. I’m kind of assuming there will be an album next year, but I realize in re-reading the info below that it doesn’t actually say that anywhere. So it goes. It’ll be here when it’s here. The song’s here now.

“And so say we all, ‘Tap into America!'” (polite applause and clinking glasses ensue):

black moon cult fall tour

From heavy-psych rockers BLACK MOON CULT, comes the pummeling new single “SUPERNOVA!” An exercise in progressive space rock, “SUPERNOVA” features hypnotizing, fuzz-laden stoner riffage, corrosive psychedelic vocal stylings and synth work that calls back to the glory days of ’70s prog rock. For fans of Truckfighters and Fu Manchu, “SUPERNOVA” drops October 27th in collaboration with Tee Pee Records.

Mirror Queen tour with Black Moon Cult Oct/Nov 2023

New York City’s hard rocking psych-proggers Mirror Queen are embarking across the Midwest this fall with Black Moon Cult. Led by a talented young guitarist in up-and-comer Kaleb Riser, the Toledo trio will have just issued the digital single “Supernova” via Tee Pee, whilst MQ are taking a break from mixing a new album to continue slinging songs from last year’s “Inviolate” LP.

10.29 Howard’s Club Bowling Green OH
10.30 Buzzbin Akron OH
10.31 Dead City/Halo Live Sandusky OH
11.01 Black Circle Brewing Indianapolis IN
11.02 Livewire Lounge Chicago IL
11.03 McAlpine Meadery Beach City OH
11.04 The Mothership Mansfield OH

Black Moon Cult:
Kaleb Riser- Guitar/Synth/Vox
Kevin Lewis- Bass/Synth/Vox
Evan Scott- Drums

https://www.facebook.com/PsychedelicBlackMoonCult/
https://www.instagram.com/blackmooncult
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5D5iLfunYONp4hSAvAmn5z
https://psychedelicblackmooncult.com/

https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://instagram.com/teepeerecords/
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/
http://teepeerecords.com/

Black Moon Cult, “Supernova”

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