Quarterly Review: Witchcraft, The Wizar’d, Sail, Frank Sabbath, Scream of the Butterfly, Slow Draw, Baleful Creed, Surya Kris Peters, Slow Phase, Rocky Mtn Roller

Posted in Reviews on July 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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Day Three is always special when it comes to Quarterly Reviews because it’s where we hit and pass the halfway point on the way to covering 50 albums by Friday. This edition hasn’t been unpleasant at all — I’ve screened this stuff pretty hard, so I feel well prepared — but it still requires some doing to make it all come together. Basically a week’s worth. Ha.

If you haven’t found anything yet that speaks to you, I hope that changes either today, tomorrow or Friday.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Witchcraft, Black Metal

witchcraft black metal

Four years ago, If you are searching for Help Writing Catholic Annulment Essay you have come to the right place. Business plans are the core of our business. We provide custom written Witchcraft frontman/founder Cheap Custom Writing Service are available for you at our service. You have the opportunity of contacting with your writer by easily exchanging messages. Feel free! Magnus Pelander released a solo album under his own name called We are the Best http://www.samavayo.com/research-papers-vodafone-marketing-strategy/ UK, USA. You can find all types of Cheap CourseWork Writing services here. Buy coursework online Time (review here) as a quick complement to the band’s own 2016 offering, How SpeedyPaper paraphrasing and How To Start A Clothing Line Business Plan works. The easiest way to get your paper done. 1. Fill in the order form. Nucleus (review here). Students have probably been writing essays since the whole concept of education has existed. Essays have survived time without modern technology. They were being written even before electricity! Surprisingly enough, it is today that many arguments have appeared as to whether students should Masters Degree Essays at all. Pelander‘s look at this site help is your first choice for Cheap custom essay writing service in the United States. We Provide Expert essay writing help on any subject Time was his first solo outing since a 2010 four-song EP that, for a long time, seemed like a one-off. Now, with can you write my essay. page. website for essays. thesis write for me. Category : Other Hardware Snapshots Tags : Black Metal, Buy Essay. Looking to buy Why choose Ultius when Phd Thesis Us Colleges? Ultius deeply understands your frustration when it comes to buying essays for reference Witchcraft strips down to its barest essentials — how to make assignment Financial Plan Template For Business Plan custom writing assignments critical thinking application paper creative Pelander‘s voice and guitar — and he is the only performer on the seven-track/33-minute LP. Style-wise, it’s mostly sad, intimate folk, as http://g-x-m.de/phd-history-dissertation writing services at affordable prices. When you buy a research paper, we guarantee you'll get a 100% original one... READ MORE HERE Pelander begins with “Elegantly Expressed Depression” and tells the stories of “A Boy and a Girl,” “Sad People,” and even the key-inclusive “Sad Dog” before “Take Him Away” closes out with a bluesy guitar figure that features twice but is surrounded by a space that seems to use silence as much as music as a tool of its downer presentation. The title, obviously tongue-in-cheek, is clearly nonetheless a reference to depression, and while exaple of research http://www.swapkit.ie/?buy-a-college-paper-online point park admissions essay tips to writing a college essay Pelander‘s performance is gorgeous and honest, it’s also very clearly held down by a massive emotional weight. So too, then, is the album.

Witchcraft on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

 

The Wizar’d, Subterranean Exile

the wizar'd subterranean exile

Making their debut on Best Dissertation Writing 3 Dayss for international journals likes Scopus, SCI,IEEE, Elsevier, Springer, Thomson Reuters, ISI, Ssci and publication support Cruz Del Sur Music, Australia’s thesis sentence generator click Free what are the disadvantages of us foreign aid dissertation sur la culture gnrale The Wizar’d return from the doomliest of gutters with Reliable http://representationco.com/psychology-thesis-paper/ is here for you. Best experts, strong guarantees, best results. It's right here! Subterranean Exile, opening the album with the title-track’s take on capital-‘c’ Classic doom and the pre-NWOBHM-ism of When developing your career as a my blog, consider the extensive salary and job outlook data we've collected. Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General, and, duh, Black Sabbath. In just 35 minutes, the four-piece make the most of their raw but epic vibes, using the means of the masters to showcase their own songwriting. This is doom metal at its most traditional, with two guitars intertwining riffs and leads on “Master of the Night” and the catchy “Long Live the Dead,” but there’s a dungeon-style spirit to the solo in that track — or maybe that’s just build off of the prior interlude “Ecstatic Visions Held Within the Monastic Tower” — that sets up the speedier run of “Evil in My Heart” ahead of the seven-minute finale “Dark Fortress.” As one might hope, they cap with due lumber and ceremony befitting an LP so thoroughly, so entirely doomed, and while perhaps it will be seven years before they do another full-length, it doesn’t matter. The Wizar’d stopped time a long time ago.

The Wizar’d on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Sail, Mannequin

Sail Mannequin

A follow-up to their later-2019 single “Starve,” the three-song Mannequin release from UK progressive metallers Sail is essentially a single as well. It begins with the ‘regular’ version of the track, which careens through its sub-five minutes with a standout hook and the dual melodic vocals of guitarists Tim Kazer and Charlie Dowzell. This is followed by “Mannequin [Synthwave Remix],” which lives up to its name, and brings bassist Kynan Scott to the fore on synth, replacing the drums of Tom Coles with electronic beats and the guitars with keyboards. The chorus works remarkably well. As fluidly as “Mannequin” fed into the subsequent remix, so too does “Mannequin [Synthwave Remix]” move directly into “Mannequin [Director’s Cut],” which ranges past the seven-minute mark and comes across rawer than the opening version. Clearly Sail knew they could get some mileage out of “Mannequin,” and they weren’t wrong. They make the most of the 16-minute occasion and keep listeners guessing where they might be headed coming off of 2017’s Slumbersong LP. Easy win.

Sail on Thee Facebooks

Sail on Bandcamp

 

Frank Sabbath, Compendium

Frank Sabbath Compendium

They’re not kidding with that title. Frank Sabbath‘s Compendium covers four years of studio work — basic improvisations done in 2016 plus overdubs over time — and the resulting freakout is over an hour and a half long. Its 14 component pieces run a gamut of psychedelic meandering, loud, quiet, fast, slow, spacey, earthy, whatever you’re looking for, there’s time for it all. The French trio were plenty weird already on 2017’s Are You Waiting? (review here), but the scales are tipped here in the extended “La Petite Course à Vélo” (11:16) and “Bermuda Cruise” (17:21) alone, never mind on the Middle Eastern surf of “Le Coucous” or the hopping bass and wah of “Gallus Crackus” and “L’Oeufou.” The band has issued live material in the past, and whatever they do, it’s pretty jammy, but Compendium specifically highlights this aspect of their sound, shoving it in front of the listener and daring them to take it on. If you’re mind’s not open, it might be by the time you’re done.

Frank Sabbath on Thee Facebooks

Frank Sabbath on Bandcamp

 

Scream of the Butterfly, Birth Death Repeat

scream of the butterfly birth death repeat

Scream of the Butterfly made a raucous debut in with 2017’s Ignition (review here), and Birth Death Repeat stays the course of bringing Hammond organ to the proceedings of melodically arranged ’90s-style heavy rock, resulting in a cross-decade feel marked by sharp tones and consistency of craft that’s evident in the taut executions of “The Devil is by My Side” and “Higher Place” before the more moderately-paced “Desert Song” takes hold and thickens out the tones accordingly. ‘Desert,’ as it were, is certainly an influence throughout, as the opener’s main riff feels Kyuss-derived and the later “Driven” has a fervent energy behind it as well. The latter is well-placed following the ballad “Soul Giver,” the mellower title-track interlude, and the funky but not nearly as propulsive “Turned to Stone.” They’ll soon close out with the bluesy “I’ve Seen it Coming,” but before they do, “Room Without Walls” brings some marked solo shred and a grungier riff that scuffs up the band’s collective boot nicely, emphasizing that the record itself is less mundane than it might at first appear or the title might lead one to believe.

Scream of the Butterfly on Thee Facebooks

Scream of the Butterfly on Bandcamp

 

Slow Draw, Gallo

Slow Draw Gallo

From minimalist drone to experimental folk, Slow Draw‘s Gallo sets a wide-open context for itself from the outset, a quick voice clip and the churning drone of “Phase 2” leading into the relatively straightforward “No Words” — to which there are, naturally, lyrics. Comprised solely of Mark Kitchens, also known for drumming in the duo Stone Machine Electric, Slow Draw might be called an experimentalist vehicle, but that doesn’t make Gallo any less satisfying. “No Words” and “Falling Far” and the just-acoustic-and-voice closer “End to That” serve as landmarks along the way, touching ground periodically as pieces like the strumming “Harvey’s Chair” and the droned-out “Industrial Aged” play off each other and “Angelo” — homage to Badalamenti, perhaps — the minimal “A Conflict” and “Tumoil” [sic] and “Playground” tip the balance to one side or another, the penultimate krautdrone of “Phase 1” unveiling perhaps what further manipulation turned into “Phase 2” earlier in the proceedings. At 33 minutes, Gallo feels careful not to overstay its welcome, and it doesn’t.

Slow Draw on Thee Facebooks

Slow Draw on Bandcamp

 

Baleful Creed, The Lowdown

baleful creed the lowdown

Belfast’s Baleful Creed present a crisp 10 tracks of well-composed, straightforward, doom-tinged heavy rock and roll — they call it ‘doom blues boogie,’ and fair enough — with their third long-player, The Lowdown. They’re not pretending to be anything they’re not and offering their sounds to the listener not in some grand statement of aesthetic accomplishment, and not as a showcase of whatever amps they purchased to make their sound, but instead simply for what they are: songs. Crafted, honed, thought-out and brought to bear with vitality and purpose to give the band the best representation possible. Front-to-back, The Lowdown sounds not necessarily overthought, but professional enough to be called “cared about,” and whether it’s the memorable opening with “Mr. Grim” or the ’90s C.O.C. idolatry of “Tramalamapam” or the strong ending salvo of “End Game,” with its inclusion of piano, the mostly-subdued but swaggering “Line of Trouble” and the organ-topped closer “Southgate of Heaven,” Baleful Creed never veer too far from the central purpose of their priority on songwriting, and neither do they need to.

Baleful Creed on Thee Facebooks

Baleful Creed on Bandcamp

 

Surya Kris Peters, O Jardim Sagrado

Surya Kris Peters O Jardim Sagrado

Though he’s still best known as the frontman of Samsara Blues Experiment, Christian Peters — aka Surya Kris Peters — has become a prolific solo artist as well. The vinyl-ready eight songs/37 minutes of O Jardim Sagrado meet him in his element, bringing together psychedelia, drone and synthesizer/keyboard effects to convey various moods and ideas. As with most of the work done under the Surya Kris moniker, he doesn’t add vocals, but the album wants nothing for expression just the same, whether it’s the Bouzouki on “Endless Green” or the guest contribution of voice from Monika Saint-Oktobre on the encompassing 11-minute title-track, which would be perfect for a dance hall if dance halls were also religious ceremonies. Experiments and explorations like “Celestial Bolero” and “Saudade” bring electric guitar leads and Mellotron-laced wistfulness, respectively, while after the title-cut, the proggy techno of “Blue Nebula” gives way to what might otherwise be a boogie riff on closer “Southern Sunrise.” Peters always seems to find a way to catch the listener off guard. Maybe himself too.

Surya Kris Peters on Thee Facebooks

Surya Kris Peters on Bandcamp

 

Slow Phase, Slow Phase

slow phase slow phase

A strong if raw debut from Oakland three-piece Slow Phase, this 39-minute eight-tracker presents straight-ahead classic American heavy rock and roll in the style of acts like a less garage The Brought Low, a looser-knit Sasquatch or any number of bands operating under the Ripple Music banner. Less burly than some, more punk than others, the power trio includes guitarist Dmitri Mavra of Skunk, as well as vocalist/bassist Anthony Pulsipher of Spidermeow and vocalist/drummer Richard Stuverud, the rhythm section adding to the blues spirit and spiraling manic jangle of “Blood Circle.” Opener “Starlight” was previously issued as a teaser single for the album, and stands up to its position here, with the eponymous “Slow Phase” backing its strength of hook. “Psychedelic Man” meanders in its lead section, as it should, and the catchy “Silver Fuzz” sets up the riotous “Midnight Sun” and “No Time” to lead into the electric piano of “Let’s Do it Again (For the First Time),” which I’d kind of take as a goof were it not for the righteous jam that finishes it, referencing “Highway Star” during its fadeout. Some organizing to do, but they obviously know what they’re shooting for.

Slow Phase on Thee Facebooks

Slow Phase on Bandcamp

 

Rocky Mtn Roller, Rocky Mtn Roller

rocky mtn roller rocky mtn roller

This band might actually be more cohesive than they want to be. A double-guitar four-piece from Asheville, North Carolina, with a connection to cult heroes Lecherous Gaze via six-stringer Zach Blackwell — joined in the band by guitarist Ruby Roberts, bassist Luke Whitlatch and drummer Alex Cabrera — they’re playing to a certain notion of brashness as an ideal, but while the vocals have a drunk-fuckall stoner edge, the construction of the songs underlying is unremittingly sound on this initial EP. “Monster” opens with a welcome hook and “When I’m a Pile” sounds classic-tinged enough to be a heavy ’70s nod, but isn’t so easily placed to a specific band as to be called derivative. The longest of the four cuts at 5:30, “Bald Faced Hornet” boasts some sting in its snare sound, but the Southern heavy push at its core makes those dueling solos in the second half all the more appropriate, and closing out, “She Ran Off with the Dealer” has both charm and Thin Lizzy groove, which would basically be enough on their own to get me on board. A brazen and blazing candidate for Tee Pee Records‘ digital annex, if someone else doesn’t snag them first.

Rocky Mtn Roller on Thee Facebooks

Rocky Mtn Roller on Bandcamp

 

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Monte Luna Release Mind Control Broadcast EP Today

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

monte luna

Well yes, that’s quite heavy. Quite fucking heavy indeed, Monte Luna. How’s that new lineup of Monte Luna sound? If the issued-today Mind Control Broadcast three-songer is anything to judge by, they sound rather heavy. Like over-the-top tone. All-in heavy. Even the quiet part of “Blackstar” is fucking heavy. Introducing bass was a good idea.

Guitarist/vocalist James Cl and newcomers Garth Condit (bass) and Danny Marschner (drums) are premiering the tracks “Blackstar,” “Rust Goliath” and “Fear the Sun” as a part of some video thing today, and that’s super, but I guess they’re putting out the audio too in order to help The Lost Well in Austin. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a show there or not because every time I was ever at SXSW I was so miserable I got blackout drunk — and no, I’m not proud of that — but helping venues when the entire country is taking a shit is probably a nice thing to do.

So: Nice and heavy. My kind of band. Maybe we could hang out. Nah, these guys are way too cool for my ass. They probably stay up, like, past 9PM and stuff. Still, Mind Control Broadcast is fucking righteous — exactly what sludge should sound like in this wretched horror show of a reality we’re living — and you should listen to it.

Check it out:

monte luna mind control broadcast

MONTE LUNA RELEASE ‘MIND CONTROL BROADCAST’ EP JULY 3RD

Austin, Texas Psychedelic Sludge slingers Monte Luna are making lots of noise with a new line up and a new ep.- ‘Mind Control Broadcast’

Being a band that thrives on stage, close and one with their audience, these last few months have been trying to say the least for Monte Luna. But with their strong resilience and will to make art no matter what obstacle lies ahead, they have managed to make the absolute most of their time. The band has been fortunate enough to be isolated together during Covid-19, which has created a perfect environment for artistic genius to flourish. Monte Luna might be locked down, but this beast is far from caged!

James says: “We are thankful to have been stuck together during all of this. Most of our families live elsewhere, this music scene for us is family (Austin) we are thankful for it. We aren’t sure when we will be able to play on a real stage again but we are looking forward to it, in the meantime we are trying to figure out ways to better connect with our fans! We hope this ep reflects our efforts and helps friends, followers and people around the world get to the other side of this historical and humbling time.”

James says: “Phil’s departure left some big shoes to fill, and with his blessing, we sought to expand on something we had wanted to do for a long time. Just wait till you hear the album versions of all these songs and more!”(3 more not revealed)

About release:
Monte Luna are pleased to unveil 3 new songs to unleash onto the world which is the audio from an upcoming video stream in partnership with CVLT Nation on July 3rd, and will release on the same day. A portion of the album sales will be donated to help “The Lost Well”, an Austin, Texas live music venue to help keep their doors open. The stream can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/F404rOYGJ_A

These live takes are the early demos of the bands next full length album set to debut sometime in 2021/2022, depending on the state of the world. The main goal of this ep is to raise money for a worthwhile cause, while planting the seeds of anticipation for the upcoming full length album and demonstrating the full power of Monte Luna’s brand new line-up. The album touches on the topics of fear, loss, paranoia, depression and the vastness of the universe while still holding a very Dungeons and Dragons theme.

Monte Luna says: “Sonically it’s a whole new ball park. Bringing Bass into the mix really changed what we can do as a band. We’ve always been a two piece, but wanted to move past our limitations, because creativity should be as vast as the universe itself.”

Monte Luna says: “We do this because we love our community and this is what makes us happy. We’ve all had a lot of jobs, but this is the only job that brings us true happiness.”

Track list:
1- Blackstar
2- Rust Goliath
3 – Fear the Sun

Monte Luna is:
James cl – Guitar/vox
Danny Marschner – Drums
Garth Condit – Bass

www.facebook.com/pg/MonteLuna666
www.monteluna666.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/monte_luna_tx/
www.argonautarecords.com

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Warlung Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds; Optical Delusions Due in October

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

I don’t know about you, but I take some measure of comfort in the fact that Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds has gone back to snag-mode. Last week the venerable label announced it had picked up Mountain Tamer (info here) and they’re following that up with Warlung from Houston, Texas. The four-piece have made a splash with their two records to-date, the latest of which, Immortal Portal (review here), was issued in 2019, and they’ll make their debut on Heavy Psych Sounds with their third overall LP, Optical Delusion, this October. I would expect preorder and album info to follow soon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Warlung aren’t Heavy Psych Sounds‘ last announcement for the Fall season that seems to be catching up a bit from the last Spring and early Summer. The more the merrier.

News came down the PR wire:

warlung

Texas Heavy Rockers WARLUNG Sign Worldwide Deal With HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS!

Italy’s cult and fuzz rock label, Heavy Psych Sounds Records, is proud to welcome Texas heavy rock unit WARLUNG to their eclectic artist roster. Formed by longtime friends and brothers in 2016 and inspired by a vintage sound, WARLUNG create heavy, catchy songs with a psychedelic twist. Following the band’s sophomore, 2019- album Immortal Portal, the band will release their third full-length album titled Optical Delusions via Heavy Psych Sounds in October 2020!

“We are excited and honored to be a part of the Heavy Psych Sounds family.“ The band comments. “We couldn’t think of a better place that represents who we are. A special thanks to Gabe Fiori for giving us the opportunity to expand our music worldwide. We can’t wait to see where this road takes us!”

WARLUNG took the heavy rock world by storm in 2017 with the release of their debut album, Sleepwalker. Playing festivals such as End Hip End It Fest and opening for acts like Wo Fat and Dead Meadow, they quickly gained a cult following and high praise by both fans and critics alike.

Less than a year later, they entered the studio to record their second album, which was released in February 2019. WARLUNG continued to host various breweries and festivals alike SXSW, and quickly became a fan favorite within the local rock community and abroad. Their audience grew as they opened for bands such as High Reeper, Forming the Void or King Buffalo.

Their upcoming, hotly anticipated album, Optical Delusions, is slated for a release in October 2020, with a pre-sale to start on July 2nd with Heavy Psych Sounds. Watch out for many more news and album tunes to follow in the days ahead!

WARLUNG is:
George Baba: Guitar/Vocals
Philip Bennett: Guitar/Vocals
Chris Tamez: Bass
Ethan Tamez: Drums

https://www.facebook.com/WARLUNGBAND/
https://www.instagram.com/warlung/
http://www.warlung.bandcamp.com/releases
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

Warlung, Immortal Portal (2019)

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Album Review: Tia Carrera, Tried and True

Posted in Reviews on June 15th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

tia carrera tried and true

The prospect of a new Tia Carrera album inherently brings familiar echoes and the promise of something different. On the most basic level, the latest LP’s title, Tried and True, could easily apply to the band’s methodology itself. It is the second record the Austin, Texas-based three-piece have issued since being joined on bass by Curt Christenson, formerly of Dixie Witch, and the fourth overall they’ve done for Small Stone Records. Comprised of five tracks laid out neatly across two LP sides, it is a relatively compact 37-minutes. That’s more or less of a kind with 2019’s Visitors / Early Purple (review here), the two extended tracks of which showed up through Small Stone last Fall as the band’s first full-length release since 2011’s Cosmic Priestess (review here). Why the delay for a band whose guitarist engineers their own recordings and who specialize in jamming out improvised heavy psychedelia? Shouldn’t they be putting out four records per year?

The narrative — blessings and peace upon it — has it that Tia Carrera are perfectionists, and that while they have a vast archive of recorded material, what they consider worth releasing to public ears is in far shorter supply. So be it. The shuffle and swing that takes hold in opener “Layback” and the all-go Hendrixian scorch of the leads in the subsequent “Taos” tell the story, and whatever it may be that holds Tia Carrera back from amassing a huge catalog of LPs, what they do choose to issue certainly has no trouble meeting a high standard. With Erik Conn on drums anchoring the jams as Jason Morales — whose studio is the BBQ Shack, in Austin; Chris Goosman mastered at Baseline Audio Labs in Michigan — tears into one solo after the next and Christenson locks in fluid lines in the low end, each piece is able to hone a spirit of its own despite sharing a stated commonality of approach. It is tried, and it is true. What it isn’t — as Visitors / Early Purple and Tried and True both reaffirm — is broken.

It seems fair to think of the two releases as complements to each other, both because they appear in such quick succession relative to what the band has done before — Cosmic Priestess was preceded by 2009’s The Quintessential (review here) — and because the CD version of Tried and True includes the prior outing’s two extended tracks as bonus cuts. That brings the running time of the CD version of Tried and True to a whopping 71 minutes, which proves to be more than enough time to sink oneself in its ocean of lead lines and expressive exploration, classic boogie and off-the-cuff ramble, be it the scoot of “Swingin’ Wing,” which rounds out side A of the LP but feedbacks and crashes neatly into the fade-in screech and cymbals of “Zen and the Art of the Thunderstorm,” which seems to nod at the verse melody of “Within You Without You” before finding its own tense course for its relatively brief three minutes, which give way to the 14-minute title-track.

tia carrera

“Tried and True” is the longest piece on Tried and True by a margin of two, and makes a ready companion for “Visitors” and “Early Purple,” with a languid guitar solo stretching out over another solidly rhythmic exploration, the band’s reputation for coming up with this stuff on the spot meshing against the presumption that what they’re choosing to deliver on a record is only the best of the best of whatever unknown total amount might exist. The question that raises is whether or not songwriting isn’t the same thing? Aren’t even the most structured of songs at some point born of improvisations just like Tia Carrera‘s tracks here? And the trio’s modus is its own way of carving down the entirety to a piece deemed fit for consumption; they are, in essence, whittling out songs. Through creative fades in and out along the way, a feeling of longer expanse is maintained, and especially on the shorter pieces before the title-track, the sense is of Tia Carrera letting the listener have a snippet of some broader entirety.

In that way, Tried and True is in communion not only with the LP before it — and included with it, when it comes to the CD — but with the larger processes driving the band’s work. One has to wonder if perhaps the alignment of Conn and Morales with Christenson hasn’t reinvigorated the creativity of Tia Carrera as a whole, and if so, if new releases might begin to show up with more regularity, just as this one has followed behind Visitors / Early Purple. I don’t know that, of course, but for a group whose basis is in jamming, the joy of doing so is clearly expressed in these tracks — both long and short — despite whatever personality each might also demonstrate in itself. Cuts like “Swingin’ Wing,” the especially howling “Taos” and “Layback” bring glimpses at what it might be like to be in the rehearsal space with the band while they go, go, go, and on the CD, “Zen and the Art of the Thunderstorm” becomes a transition point to 49 minutes of ripper bliss that are raucous and spacious in kind. Maybe this is just how Tia Carrera roll now, and after more than 20 years together, who could say they haven’t earned the designation of being tried and true — all the more so because they remain so decidedly underrated.

The sonic elephant in the room as regards their style continues to be Earthless, but Tia Carrera distinguish themselves from that three-piece in their method of recording themselves as well as through improvisation, not to mention the personality of their play. Both come through wholly on Tried and True, whether a given listener chases down the vinyl or the compilation Tried & True & Visitors / Early Purple CD (the more the merrier, as far as I’m concerned), and one way or another, MoralesConn and Christenson shine with engaging, immersive, explosive groover jams that, unless the very idea of such a thing is a turnoff, will be hard to resist. If this is who Tia Carrera are now, and they’re going to start belting out records one after the other after more than two decades of existence, then it only serves to emphasize how righteous the spirit of their creativity has been all along.

Tia Carrera, Tried and True (2020)

Tia Carrera on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records website

Small Stone Records on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records on Bandcamp

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Red Beard Wall Premieres “Tell Me the Future of Existence” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

red beard wall

Empowerment through sludge? Maybe. It’s as good a bet as anything I can give you, for sure. And Red Beard Wall make a fairly compelling case with The Fight Needs Us All, from which the new video for “Tell Me the Future of Existence” comes. The question the song is asking, “Can we destroy the world to save it/Or do we worship it to raise it?” feels particularly relevant for a reality that has changed shape multiple times over since Argonauta Records released the album in Feb. 2019. Remember how simple things were when we were only locking kids in cages? Ah, those were the days… also of horror.

Anyhoo, I have no doubt that by now you’ve dug into The Fight Needs Us All one way or the other, and in so doing, taken at least a core sample of what it is that the band’s founder, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Aaron Wall has on offer in red beard wall tell me the future of existence lyricsterms of blending sludge with more aggressive groove-style chugging. His rasp reminds of Kenny Bones of Negative Reaction and his oft-intertwined clean vocals almost speak to a rawer Page Hamilton — at least to my child-of-’90s-aggro ears — but for what’s essentially a one-man outfit with George Trujillo playing drums live, there’s more than enough subtlety to the changes from one moment to the next to hold fickle listeners despite both the scathe and the relatively barebones production that, one suspects, does little to encompass the full tonal breadth Red Beard Wall bring on stage, despite lacking no impact in itself. That is to say, when the bounce of “To My Queen” hits into the nod, I’d imagine that standing in front of the speaker cabinets it might sound like oblivion, and intentionally so.

And if one has to go out, there are certainly worse ways. “Tell Me the Future of Existence” appears late in The Fight Needs Us All, between “Reign of Ignorance” and the closing title-track, and if the theme is having something to say, Wall certainly passes muster. As Wall explained in his recent days of rona and notes again below, a new Red Beard Wall album is in progress to follow-up The Fight Needs Us All, though perhaps since touring would seem to be something of an impossibility, perhaps it’s all the better that the still-current full-length gets the excuse for a revisit that the new video provides. Aside from the message of the song itself, which, again, is nothing if not an apt description of the times in which we live, even as those times seem to morph daily into unforeseen surrealities, and the visual accompaniment given in images of mass protest and rallying for righteous causes, the track rocks. That always helps too, as far as I’m concerned.

More to come on the new Red Beard Wall when I hear (of) it. Until then, enjoy “Tell Me the Future of Existence” below, followed by a few words from Wall himself:

Red Beard Wall, “Tell Me the Future of Existence” official video premiere

Aaron Wall on “Tell Me the Future of Existence”:

“As we record and put finishing touches on the new RBW album, we thought it very apropos and vital to release this video/song to the world. While it was written over two years ago, it speaks to NOW more than I could’ve imagined. We humbly ask ALL, to listen, stand up, and ACT. Revolt. Revolt. Revolt. Revolution is ours. The Fight Needs Us All. ALL LOVE. ALL RESPECT. ALL HAIL!!!”

Red Beard Wall, The Fight Needs Us All (2019)

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Friday Full-Length: True Widow, Circumambulation

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Yesterday was miserable. Wretched. Front to back. I wanted nothing more than for the day to end. I slept late, until about 6:30AM, took a two-hour nap in the afternoon — same as The Pecan — and went to bed around 8:30PM, and it was still too much day, by far. I wished I could’ve run through the thing at 1.5x speed, like you can do on YouTube. Just get it over with.

Today will be better. Or it won’t. I don’t know. It’s kind of out of my hands these days, or at least it feels that way.

I asked on the Twitterer a little bit ago where to start with True Widow, and 2013’s Circumambulation, above, was the clear pick. I’ll admit I haven’t dug in as deep as I might otherwise like to do before I write about something — though if I was to put a number to it I’d say I’ve made it through listening five or six times, and certainly I’ve reviewed records on less, if poorly — but even superficially it’s clear enough to understand why. The Austin, Texas-based three-piece’s third album came out in 2013 (right time) on Relapse Records (right place) with a murky sound that has helped define heavy/doomgaze in the years since. I read somewhere someone comparing them to Dead Meadow — their bio, maybe? I don’t know — and can’t get that out of my head, though the mood throughout Circumambulation is plainly darker. And in addition to the drums of Timothy “Slim Texas” Starks keeping things rolling, the well placed lead vocal tradeoffs between bassist Nicole Estill and guitarist Dan Phillips — as on “S:H:S” and “Fourth Teeth” — are an asset toward staving off ‘gaze monotony that, frankly, even Dead Meadow don’t have.

But it’s mellow, and it’s melancholy, and it has tonal presence, and for a lot of people into the heavier end of stuff finding it due to the exposure from releasing on Relapse — their first two records, a 2008 self-titled and 2013’s As High as the Highest Heavens and From the Center to the Circumference of the Earth were on End Sounds and Kemado, respectively — it’s easy enough to understand why it would make an impression. I did write about it in 2013, but it was only basically to note that I hadn’t heard it. What can I say? I suck at this. My head was elsewhere that year.

I wonder if I’ll say that about 2020 seven years from now. “Oh that? That was the plague year. No wonder I missed that record.”

Haven’t been sleeping, or sleeping well. I was up just about every hour last night, and I’ve been taking ZzzQuil, which is NyQuil’s sleep aid that’s not a cough suppressant. The Patient Mrs. has also been up, and has been sharing her anxiety dreams with me. She remembers more than I do. Yesterday morning, before I went upstairs to get The Pecan and received the first of the day’s many toddler-faceslaps for the effort, she told me about one in which we were running to find safety in a kind of posttrue widow circumambulation-apocalyptic dystopian ethnofascist state — so now, basically — while being chased I guess by republicans who were maybe zombies but were definitely coming for us probably because she read the wrong books and one time on the internet I said Bernie Sanders wasn’t liberal enough, and we had a rag-tag crew with us but no kid I guess so at least it was probably quiet. The way she described it was somewhere between National Lampoon’s Vacation and The Walking Dead.

For what it’s worth, last night I dreamt I was at SXSW but SXSW was also Roadburn and I was hanging out with Jarvis from Scissorfight (random; he’s a nice guy in the times we’ve spoken, but I don’t know him that well) talking about old sludge bands and then I went and saw Usher and I was the only white person there but Usher was good and it wasn’t too crowded so that’s a win. There were no zombies or republicans.

I yelled at a couple cops outside Wegman’s the other day for not wearing masks. It was a minor thrill.

I’m afraid.

I don’t even know of what anymore though. Getting sick and dying in horrible pain? Fine. Bring it.

I’ve kept The Patient Mrs. on pretty severe lockdown. She doesn’t go in places or anything like that. My family is on pretty severe lockdown, as overseen by my sister. And The Pecan is young enough that I’m not worried about him getting it — I think of the 73,000-plus US deaths, one has been a child under three. Something like that. In any case, I’m way more concerned he’ll undo the locks on his window and climb out saying to himself “I can do it” before he plummets from the second floor.

When I think about it, our position could be far worse, but these are hard days and not at all given to logical reasoning.

We’re ramping up rhetoric about getting a dog. I don’t want one. I still miss my little dog Dio and any dog we get is going to pale in comparison to She Who Was The Best Dog. But on the other hand it might still be months before The Pecan can be around other kids and he needs something that isn’t his parents to spend his time with. So, dog. Ugh. Have fun, kid. Here’s a thing you can watch get old and die. That’s what’s going to happen to daddy!

Last night for dinner I made a salad with baby spinach, some leftover roasted chicken breast cut up and heated on the stove with oil, pepper and fresh-grated parm reg cheese, peppers, and toasted pine nuts. The internet is out here — need a new router, maybe, I don’t know; that’s today’s problem to solve (yesterday it was removing an old fridge from the kitchen, which I did in satisfyingly dudely fashion) — so after putting The Pecan to bed The Patient Mrs. and I ate at the table instead of on the couch streaming Star Trek, as is our wont, and then we moved into the living room to read for a bit and have dessert. She streamed an Indigo Girls live-in-the-living-room thing and was into that and I read and ate too much dessert, as I will do these days. Gotta have some reason to hate myself when I go to bed, apart from, you know, the rest of it.

But hey, the True Widow record is pretty good and I’m glad to hear something I whiffed on seven years ago. They followed it up with Avvolgere in 2016 so maybe I’ll check that out next and when the next one comes along not be such a dope. See? Learning is a lifelong process.

It’s just past 6:30AM now and I can hear the kid banging on the walls upstairs, so I should go grab him. Great and safe weekend. Wash your hands and all that shit.

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Days of Rona: Daniel Pruitt of Lord Buffalo

Posted in Features on May 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

lord buffalo daniel pruitt

Days of Rona: Daniel Pruitt of Lord Buffalo (Austin, Texas)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? How is everyone’s health so far?

Fortunately we’re all healthy and ¾ of the band has been able to keep their jobs and work from home. I work in the service industry and was laid off. I am lucky to work for a solid musician-owned company that paid me for a few weeks after the shop closed and also made it easy to get unemployment. I’m hiding out in Oklahoma City for a bit and the rest of the band is in Austin. We Facetime weekly and are cooking up ideas for some new music. On top of that I’ve got a few collaborations I’m working on with friends that are nice distractions.

Have you had to rework plans at all?

This whole thing hit right as we were leaving for a West Coast tour in support our LP Tohu Wa Bohu. We made it three dates in before it became clear that trying to tour wasn’t safe for us or our fans. Not great timing. We arrived home to find SXSW and the rest of our spring schedule was canceled. Since then we’ve had several summer shows and festivals cancel and/or tentatively reschedule.

I sent Desert Records the final mixes for a split LP with Palehorse/Palerider a couple days before we left for tour. The release date and road shows for this release are getting pushed back until later in the summer. We’re trying to reschedule everything we can, but at this point no one really knows when it will be ok to gather for live music again. Everything is a little up in the air.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In the city of Austin we have smart local government who made shelter-in-place happen relatively quickly. Essential businesses are open with social distancing in effect. Everyone who can work from home is doing that. The city is asking people to wear masks in public. Meanwhile, the Governor of Texas is an idiot who values dollars over humans and is reopening the state already. I think it’s a huge mistake. I hope I’m wrong. Many businesses are disregarding the lifting of restrictions from the governor’s office because they value the safety of their employees and customers, which is heartening to see.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

The isolation is certainly strange, I wonder how it will affect our communities in the long run. Crossing the street when you see another human does something to you after a while. Initially we all approached this pandemic as a sprint, but now that it’s clear that it’s more of a marathon I think there is a different sort of stress that sets in. I have family and friends who work in healthcare and I worry about them. Not just in the sense of exposure to the virus but the long term psychological effects of waking up everyday and putting yourself and your family into harm’s way. Heavy stuff.

As far as the musical community, there’s been a proliferation of live music streams and social media events, which are good and necessary placeholders. I think live music is a form of creative release for the performer and the audience. At the same time, live streams are not a substitute for the stink of making a proper mess in a room together with other humans and I think we’re all trying to figure out when we can do that again. We’ve done some interviews remotely and live on Instagram. There’s definitely a captive audience in these times. Outside of social media, it seems there’s more getting in touch with fellow musicians and saying, “Hey, you know how we’ve talked about collaborating on X, let’s finally do it.” I’m excited to see some of those come to life.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

I’ve struggled with productivity, worrying I’m not as productive as I think I should be right now. You spend your whole adult life trying to simultaneously pay rent and bills and make music, wishing you had more time to focus on music without the physical and emotional drain of outside work. Then, Boom, out of nowhere, it’s forced on you, but it’s paired with the financial stress of losing your job and the anxiety of being in the midst of a pandemic. Suddenly, it’s hard to feel creative. Anxiety is a drain on your brain, keeping you from mentally getting into a creative space.

I wonder if the larger problem isn’t how we derive our personal value? How we base our self-worth on our production? I’m trying not to engage in the circular thinking of what I should be accomplishing, instead attempting to be present, to value slowness, to take a breath and try to get acquainted with who I am when I’m not running, running, running; who I am when I’m not defining myself by my work. Do I really know? I still sit down to work, but I’m trying not to get mad when nothing seems to come of it. Making yourself available is all you can do sometimes. I trust that when glacier starts to thaw and the juices flow again, when the muse is coaxed down from her perch, this time spent grounding and expanding this knowledge of ourselves will be an undeniable asset.

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Days of Rona: Temptress

Posted in Features on April 23rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

temptress

Days of Rona: Kelsey Wilson, Andi Cuba, Erica Pipes, and Christian Wright of Temptress (Dallas, Texas)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band?

We are following established CDC recommendations and following our local ordinances. Three out of four of us are out of work at the moment due to business shutdowns. We hope things get back to normal in a reasonable amount of time. Safety first, we are just going with the flow at the moment.

Have you had to rework plans at all?

Indeed. We had to cancel all SXSW appearances, including Lucky Duck lineup, Stoner Jam and Spider ball. Our upcoming Arkansas and Oklahoma dates were scrapped, as well as our local/regional support slots for Weedeater/Goddamn Gallows, Weed Demon/Mother Iron Horse, War Cloud, Elder/Bask/Wo Fat, and our appearances at Sloth Fest and Thin Line Fest (Denton, TX) were all canned. We are 90 percent sure we will be cancelling our dates at the very end of May, as well. We are waiting until we are about two weeks out in hopes that the scale tips back in our favor, however it appears unlikely.

We had planned to finish recording the new album and have it pressed for a late summer/fall tour, but we all live separate and are practicing social distancing as not to put others at risk. This has stopped our rehearsal schedule and pushed back the remaining studio time we had planned. We looked at scheduling tour dates for late summer/fall regardless, since we seem to have a bit of time on our hands, however venues are saturated with holds as everyone is trying to move tours to that window at this time. Half the venues are worried about even surviving the storm. A lot are living off Go Fund Me donations and the like. I am sure we will gig regionally when things stabilize. Beyond that for 2020, only time will tell.

How is everyone’s health so far?

We are alright, stir crazy, but faring better than a lot of folks.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

We are currently under stay at home orders until 5/20 in Dallas County. Otherwise, we are on par with other large urban centers nationally. https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

Yes, retail, hospitality, event staff and venues are screwed. Working musicians screwed, streaming for tips seems to be a trend and pushing merch like timeshare salesmen. Got do what you have to do, that is the short of it. All the homies are feeling it.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

We are going to persevere, personally and as a band. We are in uncharted waters, but we are strong. Look out for your family, friends, community and fellow humans, be kind and help when and where you can. We love you and we hope to see you soon. One love.

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