Return of the Riff UK Live Show Series Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

return-of-the-riff-banner

Hey kid, you like live shows? Think you can get behind a three-day/20-band extravanganza spread out over a couple weeks in Bristol? Fucking a right you can. Snuff Lane presents the aptly-named Return of the Riff show series, with three nights of killer UK-native acts doing what they do in celebration of reemerging from out of the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic. My understanding is the UK is getting ready to completely open up, so hey, these shows might even happen. Pretty rad. And so are the lineups.

You can see below the headliners respectively are Desert Storm, Ken Pustelnik’s Groundhogs and Slabdragger — all worthy — but note too the inclusion of Desert Storm offshoot Wall, as well as Sigiriya and Ritual King, Cybernetic Witch Cult (who have a new lineup) and perennial favorites Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters. Wren and Trevor’s Head and Ten Foot Wizard and Old Man Lizard on back-to-back nights? I won’t get to see any of it, but hell’s bells I’m glad it exists.

Info follows here, courtesy of the PR wire. If you make it to Bristol, enjoy:

return of the riff Series Poster

Return of the Riff – Bristol, July-August ‘21

To celebrate the return of live music within England, we are uncontrollably excited to have teamed up with The Crofters Rights, Bristol to host ‘Return of the Riff’.

Three events with heavily stacked line-ups, offering rare performances with some of the UK’s finest Riffslingers within an intimate setting. We are excited to finally unveil the full line-up; now boasting 20 artists, across 3-days.

Sunday 25th July now hosts Brighton born post-hardcore, sludgy post-rockers Earth Moves, (formed of members from We Never Learned To Live, Grappler, and Cloud Boat).

Sadly, due to the drummer breaking his leg, 1968 have had to withdraw from Saturday 8th July’s RotR. They are now replaced by both Bristol-based three-piece psychedelic post-rockers Mammoth Toe, and stonerpunks from the sewers of Surrey, Trevor’s Head.

20-Bands / 3-Days / 1-Venue / Whole Lotta Riff
The Crofters Rights, Bristol

Sunday 25th July ’21 ~ 16:00 – 23:30
Desert Storm + Gurt + Monolithian + Cybernetic Witch Cult + Sail Band + Earth Moves + Wall

Saturday 7th August ’21 ~ 16:00 – 22:30
Ken Pustelnik’s Groundhogs + Sigiriya + Ritual King + Suns of Thunder + Trevor’s Head + Mammoth Toe

Sunday 8th August ’21 ~ 16:00 – 23:30
Slabdragger + Ten Foot Wizard + Wren + Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters + Old Man Lizard + Made of Teeth + The Malefic Grip

More Info/RSVP: https://bit.ly/3A3iOor
Tickets: http://hdfst.uk/return-of-the-riff

Bundle option is available when purchasing from any event. Limited bundle tickets remaining.

Ken Pustelnik’s Groundhogs, “Garden” Live in Norwich, UK, March 2020

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Desertfest London 2022 Announces Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

desertfest london 2022 banner

It’s good to see you again, Desertfest London. The 2022 lineup of the esteemed British edition of Desertfest brings some returning presences who were to have been at the 2020 edition, then the 2021 — both of course gone the way of corona. But we see Electric WizardShellac and Witchcraft in headlining spots, while Corrosion of Conformity will bring their delayed 25th anniversary of Deliverance to Camden Town, and returning kingpins Orange Goblin will play, along with YOB, TruckfightersEarthlessMy Sleeping KarmaMos GeneratorConanThe Obsessed, the reunited JosiahLowrider come for a Refractions victory lap well earned, along with Elephant TreeElderSteakDeathwhite and a ton from the UK’s own ever-blossoming underground scene — Blind MonarchThe Brothers KegKing Witch, the more established Alunah and Trippy Wicked, and so on and so many.

Note Slomosa. Note Wolftooth. I would expect both to be touring Europe around this time. Green Lung too, for that matter.

There’s no way this isn’t going to be one to remember and it is my sincere hope to be there for it. Maybe I’ll see you there. Maybe we can hug.

Kudos and thanks to the Desertscene crew — Sarika, Jake and Reece — on and for a job well done.

Here’s looking forward:

desertfest london 2022

DESERTFEST LONDON ANNOUNCE FULL LINE-UP FOR 2022 ·

A DECADE IN THE DESERT
CELEBRATING TEN YEARS WITH THE BIGGEST & MOST DIVERSE LINEUP YET

EXCLUSIVE UK PERFORMANCES FROM
WITCHCRAFT
(FIRST UK SHOW IN OVER A DECADE)
and
SHELLAC

As the home for all the things truly heavy, leading independent UK festival Desertfest have announced their full line up for 2022, which will take place in Camden, London from Friday 29th April – Sunday 1st May.

Celebrating their tenth year, next year’s festival promises to be their biggest and most diverse yet. Covering six venues across the heart of Camden and now including a full line up at The Roundhouse on both Saturday 30thApril and Sunday 1st May.

Founding owner of Desertfest Reece Tee comments, “Desertfest is 10 years old! I’m so proud that our independent festival has stood the test of time. What we have created is special, a decade of great bands, great friends and amazing memories. This year’s line up is a true reflection of how diverse Desertfest has become and with such a loyal audience, Desertfest can champion the underground for decades more to come.”

Headlining the Friday will be Swedish heavy rock masters Witchcraft, with a UK exclusive performance and their first UK show in over a decade.
Saturday’s headliners are none other than Chicago’s Shellac, who in another UK exclusive will be bringing their experimental post-hardcore sound to the Roundhouse. Fronted by the iconic Steve Albini, Shellac are one of those bands we all need to experience live, at least once. Whilst closing the festival on Sunday will be UK doom legends Electric Wizard, whose heavy sound encompasses the spirit of Desertfest.

Other acts confirmed include the likes of Corrosion Of Conformity, Orange Goblin and Truckfighters who all played the festival in its debut year in 2012 and there are further UK exclusive performances from hardcore-punks Integrity and the Ukrainian psych space rock trio Somali Yacht Club.

The festival will also see desert legends Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri’s new band Stoner, who will be playing the Electric Ballroom and doomed heavy metallers Khemmis making their UK debut at The Underworld.

Please see below for the full Desertfest 2022 line up / stage splits.
Tickets are on sale now and are available at www.desertfest.co.uk

NEW TICKETS FOR 2022
Weekend Ticket (all venues) – £132 +fees
Friday Day Ticket (all venues) – £45 +fees
Saturday Day Ticket (all venues) – £50 +fees
Sunday Day Ticket (all venues) – £50 +fees
Saturday Roundhouse only – £35 +fees
Existing ticket holders from 2020’s postponed event have a number of options as the festival is now larger, with an added Roundhouse line-up on Saturday 30th April & Sunday 1st May.

EXISTING WEEKEND + DAY TICKET HOLDERS OPTIONS
Full refund
Weekend roll-over to 2022 without Roundhouse upgrade (access only to Electric Ballroom, Underworld, Black Heart & The Dev)
Weekend roll-over to 2022 with Roundhouse upgrade – £15 +fees
Day ticket holders can upgrade to a full weekend ticket – £92 + fees – or will be issued a refund. Upgrade options only available until May 7th ’21.
For any ticketing enquiries please contact sarika@desertscene.co.uk

Desertfest 2022’s artwork is hand drawn by legendary artist Arik Roper who has created illustrations for the likes of Sleep, Earth, Sunn O))), High on Fire, Kvelertak, Windhand and many more. As always, posters and other merch will be available to buy at the festival.

https://www.facebook.com/events/464163361105416/
http://www.desertscene.co.uk/support
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.desertfest.co.uk/

Electric Wizard, Live at Desertfest London 2016

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Cvltfest 2021 Announces Two-Day Lineup for November

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 20th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

cvltfest 2021 art banner

This is going to be a very heavy couple of days. Put together by the reignited Lizard King Promotions and Riffolution Promotions, the upcoming 2021 edition of Cvltfest will follow on from September’s previously announced Riffolution Festival (lineup here) in Manchester. Booked at Cafe Indie in Scunthorpe — also in the relative north of England, east of Manchester and Sheffield, bit south from Leeds, etc. — on Nov. 13 and 14, there is some spillover between the two events, as Desert Storm, Pijn, Ritual King, Ohhms and Ten Foot Wizard will play both, but hell’s bells, can you imagine complaining about that? These are festivals. Happening on Earth! Wonder of wonders!

It’s been three years since Cvltfest was last held, but part of bringing back Lizard King Promotions from out of whatever cavern was trapping it is indeed breathing new life into the event, and you can see in the lineup below, they’re not half-assing it whatsoever. This and Riffolution together are complementary beasts emphasizing just how slammed and slamming the UK heavy underground is.

Fucking a:

cvltfest 2021 poster

Cvltfest 2021 – Nov. 13-14 – Cafe Indie, Scunthorpe, UK

This is the 3rd rendition of Cvltfest having seen both Elephant Tree and Witchsorrow Headliner respectively in 2017 and 2018, 3 years have passed since including the year of the Rona.

Now after a long break break away Lizard King Promotions which turns 10 years old this May, makes a return with its most ambitious line up of riff worshiping titans ever.

Working alongside Riffolution Promotions who’ve who’ve collectively seen Riffolution Festival now fully sold out 5 months ahead of the event we now bring you Cvltfest 2021.

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1155620918226438/

We’re so happy to have been working with Riffolution Promotions on such a heavy festival. Tickets are live now, so get them while they’re hot.

Tickets: lizardkingpromotions.bigcartel.com

Beautifully crafted poster artwork by Dominic Sohor Design and a line up consisting of:

SATURDAY – Black Tongue / Palm Reader / Ohhms / Pijn / Hundred Year Old Man / Gurt / Mastiff / King Witch / Ritual King / Mountain Caller / Barbarian Hermit / Blind Monarch

SUNDAY – Raging Speedhorn / Slabdragger / Ungraven / Ten Foot Wizard/ Desert Storm / Corrupt Moral Altar / Old Man Lizard / Battalions / Goblinsmoker / Voidlurker

https://www.facebook.com/LizardKingPromotions
https://lizardkingpromotions.bigcartel.com
http://instagram.com/lizardkingpromotions
https://twitter.com/LizardKingPromo
https://www.facebook.com/Riffolution/
https://riffolutionpromotions.bigcartel.com/

Raging Speedhorn, Hard to Kill (2020)

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Riffolution Festival 2021 Announces Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

riffolution festival logo

The UK being the hotbed that it has been for heavy acts over the last, say, 50 years, I guess you can do this kind of two-day festival there comprised mostly if not entirely of homegrown outfits and still have it be both a show well worth seeing — think the borders will be open by September? — and the kind of thing where you could easily add another day of bands. I don’t know what social-distancing regulations will be in place in Manchester come end of summer, and to be perfectly honest with you, I don’t care. Elephant Tree and Conan headlining a two-dayer after live music has been on pause for a year and a half? That’s a gig worth watching if the floor’s made of lava, never mind whether or not you’ve been vaccinated.

People gonna be d-r-u-n-k.

I probably don’t need to tell you how refreshing I find it to see a list of logos and band names on a poster, even one with a cartoon butt. Again, I don’t care. I’ll take what I can get at this point.

Friggin’ SigiriyaChubby Thunderous? It’d be like five years’ worth of the UK-based bands I’d love to see all piled onto one bill.

Alas:

riffolution festival 2021 poster

Finally the day has come to release the line-up we’ve been so eager to share with you all.

We know it was a great disappointment not to be able to host shows in 2020, but this is set to be such a monster of a weekend to make up for it.

Special thanks to the support from our partners in Lizard King Promotions / Stonebaked Promotions / The Sophie Festival

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/192423792629484/

Tickets and other goodies can be found here: https://riffolutionpromotions.bigcartel.com/

Here’s our line-up:
Conan / Elephant Tree / Telepathy / OHHMS / Ten Foot Wizard / Desert Storm / Witchrider / Pijn / Tuskar / Under / Ritual King / Cybernetic Witch Cult / Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters / Sigiriya / Lacertilia / Morass Of Molasses / Everest Queen / Duskwood / Deltanaut / Orbital Junction / Mother Vulture / Trevor’s Head / SODEN / Son Of Boar / Pelugion / Torus

https://www.facebook.com/events/192423792629484/
https://www.facebook.com/Riffolution/
https://riffolutionpromotions.bigcartel.com/

Elephant Tree, Live at Buffalo Studio & The Preservation Room

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Ten Foot Wizard Premiere “Broken Man” from Get Out of Your Mind; Album Preorder Available

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 5th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

ten foot wizard

Manchester, UK, groove rockers Ten Foot Wizard will release their third full-length, Get Out of Your Mind, on July 10 through their own Beard of Zeus imprint. If so inclined, one could easily spend the better part of an afternoon sitting down and dissecting the eight tracks of the 42-minute offering for their component influence, be it the prominence of Clutch-style funk-informed riffing in starts and stops throughout, the harsh sludge bite that surprises in the screaming chorus of opener “Namaste Dickhead,” a little flash of Asteroid in the vocals for the verse of the subsequent “Broken Man,” the Queens-y desert thrust of “Noble Lie,” the surf mania in the apex of “Summer Love,” the deft turn between the angular bridge of “Get Out of Your Mind” and its post-C.O.C. hook, the Motörhead-via-OrangeGoblin burl and speed of “How Low Can You Go?,” the manner in which the UK-style sludge metal of “Working Towards a Bitter Future” gives way to Sleep-y drift-riffing en route to an uptempo boogie-nod finish or the keyboard-laced sum-it-all-up closer that is the eight-minute “King Shit of Fuck Mountain.” As I say, in could spend an afternoon engaged in such an activity.

It’s far more fun, however, to follow the shenanigans-fueled bounce riffing wherever the band might let it lead, because whatever else Ten Foot Wizard are as they move into their third album, they’re well in control of the proceedings. This generation of UK heavy underground acts isn’t at all shy about having a good time, and certainly that applies across Get Out of Your Mind as well, but as with some other of that very populated national scene — Manchester is north of the epicenter in London, but still — there’s Ten Foot Wizard Get Out of Your Mindno sacrifice in terms of craft being made. “Namaste Dickhead?” The song’s a blast, and the same holds for the record front-to-back, whether it’s the push in “Broken Man,” the catchy callout of the title-cut or the bed of ultra-fuzz guitarists Gary Harkin (also vocals) and Adam Henry put down as the foundation for “King Shit of Fuck Mountain,” but they aren’t just screwing around, and more over, it’s not like one impulse works against the other. HarkinHenry, drummer Jonny Banyard and bassist Emlyn Spiers make the album itself the party, instead of just having a party instead of an album. That’s a huge difference when it comes to the final listening experience, and it’s basically the difference between a band putting together a quality full-length and a band fucking around. Ten Foot Wizard position themselves decisively in the former category.

Is that a gong in “King Shit of Fuck Mountain?” I don’t know, but it sounds cool over the slow part that consumes the second half of the song and that’s good enough for me. Get Out of Your Mind, in following the band’s 2017 split with Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters (review here) and prior 2015 sophomore outing, Sleeping Volcanoes, has any number of accomplishments to its credit, not the least of which are the tonal presence brought to bear in the guitars and bass, the percussive variety Banyard uses to complement the riffs, and the diversity in Harkin‘s vocals, but it is in bringing the different sides together around memorable songs that Ten Foot Wizard‘s third long-player makes its greatest mark. If this is the band realizing their potential, then it’s been worth the five-year wait since their second album, and if there’s more to come as they continue to move forward, then all the better. Let the party roll on. In that sense, Get Out of Your Mind only seems like an open invitation.

Preorders are up now for Get Out of Your Mind through Ten Foot Wizard‘s Bandcamp, and all proceeds from said preorders are going to Black Lives Matter. In light of that, here’s the direct link: https://tenfootwizard.bandcamp.com/album/get-out-of-your-mind

It’s my pleasure to host “Broken Man” premiering on the player below. Gary Harkin offers some comment on the track and there’s more PR wire info beneath that.

I hope you enjoy:

Gary Harkin on “Broken Man”:

The song started with Jonny bringing the chorus riff to the band, and we wrote the song collaboratively from there. This is actually the first song we’ll have released that’s been written by the whole band.

The lyrics are about being pushed to the edge, being taken to breaking point, and finally snapping. Similar to the protagonists in Taxi Driver and Falling Down. Everyone has their limit, and when you find it, it can be scary. We live in time in which a lot of people are marginalised, and the frustration and anger are palpable. Broken Man speaks of the mental and emotional deterioration of someone who’s been pushed too far, and that desperate state where a person can be capable of doing just about anything.

Manchester’s cheeky heavy rock unit TEN FOOT WIZARD announce the release of their juggernaut third album ‘Get Out Of Your Mind’ on July 10th, which is available right now for preorder.

Blending the classic sounds of Sabbath and ZZ Top with the grooves of contemporary luminaries such as Clutch, and the funk of Parliament/Funkadelic, Manchester’s tropical riff storm TEN FOOT WIZARD are set to raise the bar for fans of swaggering rock anthems with the release of their gigantic third album ‘Get Out Of Your Mind’.

Mixed by Grammy Award-winning producer Nic Hard (Snarky Puppy/The Bravery/Bokante) in Brooklyn, the follow-up to 2015’s ‘Sleeping Volcanoes’ truly ups the ante of the foursome’s groove-infused formula. Its juggernaut riffs and sexy grooves are taking no prisoners, as TEN FOOT WIZARD go harder and stronger than ever, elevated by the deep-toned vocals — when they’re not turning into a monastic growl coming from the depths of the universe — from frontman Gary Harkin. ‘Get Out Of Your Mind’ creates its own path of glorious and highly entertaining brand of rock’n’roll, embarking in its wake all those eager to celebrate the end of the world the right way. With a special appearance from Snarky Puppy’s keyboard genius Justin Stanton on final track “King Shit Of Fuck Mountain”, TEN FOOT WIZARD spread their sonic wings wider and let their creativity flow through this 8-minute epic of pace-shifting psychedelic heaviness. Another TFW track for the books!

The album will be available on July 10th via the band’s Beard Of Zeus label, and available to preorder via Bandcamp on LTD orange vinyl, CD and digital. All vinyl preorders will be shipped with a free TFW patch!

TEN FOOT WIZARD is:
Gary Harkin – Vocals/Guitar
Adam Henry – Guitar
Jonny Banyard – Drums/Percussion
Emlyn Spiers – Bass Guitar

Ten Foot Wizard on Thee Facebooks

Ten Foot Wizard on Instagram

Ten Foot Wizard on Bandcamp

Ten Foot Wizard BigCartel store

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Playlist: Episode 32

Posted in Radio on April 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Last episode, I did comfort songs the whole way through, new stuff and old, and at the risk of saying something remotely nice about myself, I thought it was the best show I’ve ever done. This time, of course, something completely different.

Yeah, the theme is still affected by the COVID-19 pandemic — how could it not be? — but it’s basically me reminding myself that when times are hard, harder, harder than that, still harder, okay-hardest-my-head’s-gonna-friggin’-explode-make-it-stop-make-it-stop, there’s still new music and new music is still awesome.

So here we are. Brand new tracks from Curse the Son, Vine Weevil, Ten Foot Wizard (who emailed me as I was putting the playlist together, as though to emphasize the point), Witchkiss, Dopelord, Nighthawk & Heavy Temple, The Mountain King, High Priestess, Wight, Marmalade Knives, Kanaan, Frozen Planet….1969 and The Swell Fellas. Some of this has been streamed here, some of it hasn’t, but it’s all new and it’s all excellent and I found that this week, at just this particular moment in time, that’s what I needed. It’s that simple, and I hope you can relate.

Thanks for listening if you do. I hope you enjoy. Or even if you just look at the list and find something new to dig on, I hope you enjoy that too. Thanks.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at http://gimmeradio.com

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 04.17.20

Curse the Son Suicide by Drummer Excruciation*
Vine Weevil You are the Ocean Sun in Your Eyes*
Ten Foot Wizard Namaste Dickhead Get Out of Your Mind*
BREAK
Witchkiss Splitting Teeth Splitting Teeth*
Dopelord Doom Bastards Sign of the Devil*
Nighthawk & Heavy Temple Astral Hand VA – Women of Doom*
The Mountain King As Below, So Below Wicked Zen*
High Priestess Invocation Casting the Circle*
BREAK
Wight Motorgroove Spank the World*
Marmalade Knives Rivuleting Marmalade Knives*
Kanaan O?resund Double Sun*
Frozen Planet….1969 900 Mile Head Rush Cold Hand of a Gambling Man*
The Swell Fellas Scatterbrain The Great Play of Extension*

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is May 1 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Radio website

The Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

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Quarterly Review: Les Discrets, Test Meat, Matus, Farflung, Carpet, Tricky Lobsters, Ten Foot Wizard & Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, The Acid Guide Service, Skunk, The Raynbow

Posted in Reviews on July 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

My friends, the time has come. Well, actually the time came about two weeks ago at the end of June, but I won’t tell if you don’t. Better late than never as regards all things, but most especially The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review, which this time around features releases recent, upcoming and a bit older, a mix of known and lesser known acts, and as always, hopefully enough of a stylistic swath to allow everyone whose eyes the series of posts catches to find something they dig between now and Friday. As always, it’ll be 50 records from now until then, 10 per day, and I see no reason not to jump right in, so let’s do that.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Les Discrets, Prédateurs

les discrets Prédateurs

After offering a preview of their marked stylistic turn in last year’s Virée Nocturne EP (review here), Lyon, France’s Les Discrets return with the suitably nighttime-urbane vibing of their Prédateurs full-length via Prophecy Productions. Five years after Ariettes Oubliées (review here), Fursy Teyssier and company reinvent their approach to the sonic lushness of their earlier work, departing the sphere of post-black metal they previously shared with sister band Alcest in favor of an anything-goes heavy experimentalism more akin to Ulver on cuts like “Le Reproche” or the deeply atmospheric “Fleur des Murailles.” Drones pepper “Rue Octavio Mey” and closer “Lyon – Paris 7h34” effectively conveys the sense of journey its train-schedule title would hint toward, and indeed Les Discrets as a whole seem to be in flux throughout Prédateurs despite an overarching cohesion within each track. It’s a fine line between multifaceted and disjointed, but fortunately, Teyssier’s grip on melodicism is unflinching and enough to tie otherwise disparate ideas together here.

Les Discrets on Thee Facebooks

Les Discrets at Prophecy Productions

 

Test Meat, Demo

test meat demo

Considering the pedigree involved in guitarist/vocalist Darryl Shepard (ex-Milligram, Blackwolfgoat, Kind, etc.), bassist Aarne Victorine (UXO, Whitey) and drummer Michael Nashawaty (Planetoid, Bird Language), it’s little surprise that Test Meat’s Demo would have a pretty good idea of where it wants to come from. The five-track first showing from the Boston trio blends raw-edge grunge and noise rock on “He Don’t Know” after opening with its longest inclusion (immediate points) in the 3:50 “Cuffing Season,” and though centerpiece “Done” nods at the starts-and-stops of Helmet, the subsequent 2:35 push of “If You Wanna” is strikingly post-Nirvana, and closer “Permanent Festival” rounds out by bridging that gap via a still-straightforward heavy rock groove. Formative, yeah, but that’s the whole point. Test Meat revel in their barebones style and clearly aren’t looking to get overly lush, but one can’t help but be curious how or if they’ll develop a more melodic sensibility to go with the consuming, full buzzsaw tones they elicit here.

Test Meat on Thee Facebooks

Test Meat on Bandcamp

 

Matus, Intronauta

matus intronauta

Worth noting that while the opening cut here, “Claroscuro,” shares its title with Matus’ 2015 full-length (review here), that song didn’t actually appear on that album. Does that mean that the Lima, Peru, classic progressive rockers are offering leftovers from the same sessions on their new EP and perhaps final release, Intronauta? I don’t know, but the four tracks of the digital outing are a welcome arrival anyway, from the laid back easy vibes of the aforementioned opener through the riffier “Intronauta (Including Hasta Que El Sol Descanse en Paz),” the Theremin-soaked finish of the harder-driving “Catalina” and the acoustic-led four-part closer “Arboleda Bohemia,” which unfolds with lushness that remains consistent with the naturalism that has always been underlying in the band’s work. They’ve said their last few times out that the end is near, and if it’s true, they go out with a fully-cast sonic identity of their own and a take on ‘70s prog that remains an underrated secret of the South American underground.

Matus on Thee Facebooks

Matus on Bandcamp

 

Farflung, Unwound Celluloid Frown

farflung unwound celluloud frown

The jury, at least when it comes to the internet, still seems to be somewhat divided on whether the name of Farflung’s five-track/34-minute EP is Unwound Celluloid Frown or Unwound Cellular Frown. I’d say another argument is whether it’s an EP or an LP, but either way, let the follow-up to the more clearly-titled 2016 album (review here) demonstrate how nebulous the long-running Los Angeles space rockers can be when it suits them. Hugely and continually underrated, the troupe once again aligns to Heavy Psych Sounds for this release, which is rife with their desert-hued Hawkwindian thrust and weirdo vibes, permeating the rocket-fuel chug of the title-track and the noise-of-the-cosmos 13-minute headphone-fest that is “Axis Mundi,” which seems to end with someone coming home and putting down their car keys before a slowly ticking clock fades out and into the backwards swirling intro of lazily drifting closer “Silver Ghost with Crystal Spoons.” Yeah, it’s like that. Whatever you call it, the collection proves once again that Farflung are a secret kept too well.

Farflung on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Carpet, Secret Box

carpet secret box

Immersive and progressive psychedelia unfolds from the very opening moments of Carpet’s third album, Secret Box (on Elektrohasch Schallplatten), as the Augsberg, Germany-based five-piece explore lush arrangements of Moog, Rhodes, trumpet, vibraphone, etc. around central compositions of fluid guitar-led melodies and engaging rhythms. Their 2015 Riot Kiss 7” (review here) and 2013 sophomore long-player, Elysian Pleasures (review here), came from a similar place in intent, but from the funk wah and percussion underscoring the pre-fuzz-explosion portion of “Best of Hard Times” and the okay-this-one’s-about-the-riff “Shouting Florence” to the serene ambience of “For Tilda” and ethereal fluidity of “Pale Limbs” later on, the secret of Secret Box seems to be that it’s actually a treasure chest in disguise. Opening with its longest track in “Temper” (immediate points), the album hooks its audience right away along a graceful, rich-sounding melodic flow and does not relinquish its hold until the last piano notes of the closing title-track offer a wistful goodbye. In between, Carpet execute with a poise and nuance all the more enjoyable for how much their own it seems to be.

Carpet on Thee Facebooks

Carpet on Bandcamp

 

Tricky Lobsters, Worlds Collide

tricky lobsters worlds collide

Full, natural production, crisp and diverse songwriting, right-on performances and a name you’re not about to forget – there’s nothing about Tricky Lobsters not to like. Worlds Collide is their sixth album and first on Exile on Mainstream, and the overall quality of their approach reminds of the kind of sonic freedom proffered by Astrosoniq, but the German trio of guitarist/vocalist Sarge, bassist/vocalist Doc and drummer/vocalist Captain Peters have their own statements to make as well in the stomping “Battlefields,” the mega-hook of “Big Book,” the dreamy midsection stretch of “Father and Son” and the progressive melody-making of “Tarred Albino” (video premiere here). The emphasis across the nine-song/42-minute outing is on craft, but whether it’s the patient unfolding of “Dreamdiver Pt. I & II” or the harp-and-fuzz blues spirit of closer “Needs Must,” Tricky Lobsters’ sonic variety comes paired with a level of execution that’s not to be overlooked. Will probably fly under more radars than it should, but if you can catch it, do.

Tricky Lobsters on Thee Facebooks

Tricky Lobsters at Exile on Mainstream Records

 

Ten Foot Wizard & Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, Special

ten-foot-wizard-chubby-thunderous-bad-kush-masters-special

Dubbed Special for reasons that should be fairly obvious from looking at the cover art, this meeting of minds, riffs and cats between Manchester’s Ten Foot Wizard and London’s Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters brings four tracks – two per band – and goes so far as to find the groups collaborating on the former’s “Get Fucked,” which opens, and the latter’s “Dunkerque,” which begins their side of the 7”, as vocalists The Wailing Goblin (of Chubby Thunderous) and Gary Harkin (of Ten Foot Wizard) each sit in for a guest spot on the other band’s cuts. Both bands also offer a standalone piece, with Ten Foot Wizard digging into heavy rock burl on “Night Witches” and Chubby Thunderous blowing out gritty party sludge in “Nutbar,” which rounds out the offering, and between them they showcase well the sphere of the UK’s crowded but diverse heavy rock underground. Kind of a niche release in the spirit of Gurt and Trippy Wicked’s 2016 Guppy split/collab, but it works no less well in making its impact felt.

Ten Foot Wizard on Thee Facebooks

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters on Thee Facebooks

 

The Acid Guide Service, Vol. 11

the acid guide service vol 11

It turns out that Vol. 11 is actually Vol. 1 for Garden City, Idaho, three-piece The Acid Guide Service, who dig into extended fuzz-overdose riffing on the 52-minute nine-tracker, proffering blown-out largesse even on shorter cuts like the five-minute “Into the Sky” while longer pieces like opener “Raptured” (7:16), “EOD” (9:38) and closer “Black Leather Jesus” (10:04) skirt lines between structure and jams as much as between heavy rock and psychedelia. Proffered by the trio of guitarist/vocalist Russ Walker, bassist/vocalist Tyler Walker and drummer Nick McGarvey, one can hear shades of Wo Fat in the guitar-led expanse of “Rock ‘n’ Roll (Is the Drug I’m On),” but on the whole, Vol. 11 speaks more to the late-‘90s/early-‘00s post-Kyuss stoner rock heyday, with flourish of Monster Magnet and Fu Manchu for good measure in the hard-swinging “Dude Rockin’” and its chugging companion piece, “Marauder King.” Big tones, big riffs, big groove. The Acid Guide Service are preaching to the converted, but clearly coming from a converted place themselves in so doing. Right on.

The Acid Guide Service on Thee Facebooks

The Acid Guide Service on Bandcamp

 

Skunk, Doubleblind

skunk doubleblind

Professing a self-aware love for the earliest days of heavy metal in idea and sound, Oakland’s Skunk offer their full-length debut with the self-released Doubleblind, following up on their 2015 demo, Heavy Rock from Elder Times (review here). That outing featured four tracks that also appear on Doubleblind – “Forest Nymph,” “Wizard Bong,” “Black Hash” and “Devil Weed.” Working on a theme? The theme is “stoned?” Yeah, maybe, but the cowbell-infused slider groove and standout hook of “Mountain Child” are just as much about portraying that ‘70s vibe as Skunk may or may not be about the reefer whose name they bear. Presumably more recent material like that song, “Doubleblind,” closer “Waitin’ Round on You” and leadoff cut “Forest Nymph” coherently blend impulses drawn from AC/DC, Sabbath and Zeppelin. John McKelvy’s vocals fit that spirit perfectly, and with the grit brought forth from guitarists Dmitri Mavra and Erik Pearson, bassist Matt Knoth and drummer Jordan Ruyle, Skunk dig into catchy, excellently-paced roller riffing and cast their debut in the mold of landmark forebears. Mothers, teach your children to nod.

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Skunk on Bandcamp

 

The Raynbow, The Cosmic Adventure

the raynbow the cosmic adventure

As they make their way through a temporal drift of three tracks that play between krautrocking jazz fusion, psychecosmic expansion and Floydian lushness, Kiev-based explorers The Raynbow keep immersion central to their liquefied purposes. The Cosmic Adventure (on Garden of Dreams Records) is an aptly-titled debut full-length, and the band who constructed it is comprised of upwards of eight parties who begin with the 16-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Changes,” which builds toward and through a metallic chug apex, sandwiching it on either side with ultra-patient molten tone and soundscaping that continues to flourish through the subsequent “Cosmic Fool” (5:17) and “Blue Deep Sea Eyes” (8:18), the whole totaling a still-manageable outward trip into reaches of slow-moving space rock that whether loud or quiet at any individual moment more than earns a volume-up concentrated headphone listen. The kind of outfit one could easily imagine churning out multiple albums in a single year, The Raynbow nonetheless deliver a dream on The Cosmic Adventure that stands among the best first offerings I’ve heard in 2017.

The Raynbow on Thee Facebooks

Garden of Dreams Records on Bandcamp

 

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Skraeckoedlan Headlining Riffslingers Bash this Weekend

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 11th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

snuff lane riffslingers bash banner

Kudos to the UK’s Snuff Lane Promotions on their first anniversary, which they’ll celebrate in style this weekend in Bristol by bringing Swedish bashers Skraeckoedlan over for their first ever show in England, headlining a huge bill that’s been dubbed the Riffslingers Bash. Rightly so with GrifterOld Man LizardTen Foot WizardLacertiliaMother CoronaEarthmassBeggarWren and Cybernetic Witch Cult in the lineup — I’m not really sure what else you’d call such a thing, and while I’ll readily admit that I’m a little bummed out I haven’t yet heard the new Skraeckoedlan album, Sagor, which seems to be out now, I can still heartily support showing up to wherever they might be to check out a set. I’m sure they’ll bring it to Stag and Hounds in Bristol as they headline. Not much choice in the matter, with the company they’re keeping.

Info on the gig follows, courtesy of Snuff Lane as sent down the PR wire. Dig it:

snuff lane riffslingers bash

Snuff Lane Promotions celebrates anniversary with debut Riffslingers Bash

Snuff Lane Promotions is celebrating its one year anniversary with a debut all-day party. Headlining the celebration with an exclusive UK performance will be Swedish fuzzience fiction rockers Skraeckoedlan, who’ll be making their first appearance in the United Kingdom in support of their new release ‘Sagor’.

Snuff Lane are also delighted to be showcasing some of the UK’s finest dirty, doomy, fuzzed-up, psych-prog, stoner rock, sonic maestros known to mankind. Joining Skraeckoedlan will be Grifter, Old Man Lizard, Ten Foot Wizard, Lacertilia, Mother Corona, Earthmass, Beggar, Wren and Cybernetic Witch Cult; showcased across two floors with plenty of party shenanigans for extra messy measures.

Snuff’s dirty, fuzzed-out, Riffslinger bash!
Ten Bands / Two Stages
Saturday 12th September
Stag & Hounds, Bristol

Events: https://www.facebook.com/events/839683822794969/
Tickets: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/328049
Merely £10 for advanced tickets that’s a minuscule £1 a band!

https://www.facebook.com/snuffylane
https://twitter.com/snuffylane

Skraeckoedlan, “2-Wheel Nation” (Acid King cover)

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