Thinning the Herd Premiere “Sarcophagus Dust” Video; New Album CullComing Soon

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 14th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

thinning the herd

Thinning the Herd in a social media post not so long ago referred to their style as “lawnmower metal.” It was a joke, but clearly the New York band is enjoying the upstate life and all the richness not-the-city has to offer as they inch toward the release of their new album, Cull, sometime this year. “Sarcophagus Dust” is the follow-up single to “Trampled by Deer” (video posted here), which was posted in February, and if it’s a case of the band putting out songs as they’re finished, building the full-length as they go, well, they’d hardly be the first. It’s 2024. What the hell even is an album, anyway?

They’ve teased a few other songs from Cull to come as well — the third single is apparently called “Harley Davidson”; I haven’t heard it yet — but the snarl and swagger of “Sarcophagus Dust” speak for themselves, with a professed lack of sleep and the roll of Gavin Spielman‘s riff punctuated by Rob Sefcik‘s crash, lo fi in the production but clear enough to get their point across to be sure. It doesn’t sound like a lawnmower, but it does layer in a noisy lead to coincide with the downer bounce of its finish before fading out. There’s no pretense, no proggy indulgences to be made, nothing overly showy about it except maybe in the soloing where it should be, and its attitude is less about itself than the song but still heavy in mood. It’ll make sense when you hear it, and “Sarcophagus Dust” makes a solid teaser for the record as well since it’s under four minutes long.

I haven’t seen an exact release date for Cull yet, but that’s life, and I honestly don’t think Thinning the Herd need to or even really should be working to anyone’s schedule other than their own. Whenever it arrives, Cull will be the band’s first album in more than a decade, in addition to the first with the Spielman/Sefcik configuration, and as both of the to-date songs they’ve dropped from it hint, it’s gonna be a rocker. So much the better.


Thinning the Herd, “Sarcophagus Dust” video premiere

“Sarcophagus Dust is the second single off the upcoming album “Cull” by New York’s own Thinning the Herd. TTH’s brand of heavy blues is often described as Doom, Sludge or Grunge and are often compared to Black Sabbath. TTH’s style incorporates elements of early NY/HC, traditional Blues and Stoner Rock.

Stay tuned for the next single entitles “Harley-Davidson” out at the end of June, marking the third single off of the antic aped album “Cull.

Video by Bert Crosby

Thinning the Herd are:
Gavin Spielman on Guitar and Vocals.
Rob Sefcik – Drums

Thinning the Herd, “Trampled by Deer” official video

Thinning the Herd on Facebook

Thinning the Herd on Instagram

Thinning the Herd on Bandcamp

Thinning the Herd website

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Thinning the Herd Post “Trampled by Deer” Video; Cull Coming Soon

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 9th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

thinning the herd

Sometime in the near notnow, long-running New York heavy rockers Thinning the Herd will release their third album, which has been given the synonymous title Cull. The first single from the record, which is the band’s first in the 11 years since 2013’s Freedom From the Known (discussed here), “Trampled by Deer,” is also the first output from the band since founding guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and sometimes-the-only-dude-in-the-band Gavin Spielman brought in drummer Rob Sefcik last Fall. Known for his work in Begotten and Kings Destroy (pretty sure he was in Electric Frankenstein as well?), Sefcik hits hard and has no trouble emphasizing the nod in Spielman‘s riff, a strong C.O.C. influence roughed up by the recording but still able to put through a punch of bass and account for a divergence into acoustics behind and alongside its solo section.

The song’s three and a half minutes long, so the break doesn’t last, and Spielman‘s guitar scorches back with a shredding solo as the video takes us out to a snowy field and woods somewhere outside the city (Westchester?), splicing in shots of animals and hunting implications, life, death, the icy river and ancient, drowsy Appalachian peaks. These make a fitting accompaniment for the band’s take on heavy rock, which is naturalist in its own way, and if they’re drawing inspiration from this setting — I don’t know the circumstances behind the clip’s making, but some of it looks self-filmed on a phone camera, which makes sense in terms of the story they’re telling here even as an impression given — and basing Cull around that, it seems only suited to their aesthetic generally. This riff breathes. I dig that.

It’s been a while since Thinning the Herd put out a full-length, as noted above, but they’ve trickled out singles and videos in the time since Freedom From the Known, including the 2021 single “Wolves Close In” (posted here) that boasted a guest appearance on guitar by Pat Harrington of Geezer. No clue if that song will be on Cull or not, but at very least if it was you could say it was on theme with “Trampled by Deer.” Rough times out there in the forest.

More to come I’m sure as we get closer to Cull, but here’s “Trampled by Deer” with all its attendant freeze and groove. Right on.


Thinning the Herd, “Trampled by Deer” official video

We’re super excited to bring you the first single to be distributed worldwide since the last record!

The song “Trampled by Deer” is about those moments in life when a positive change only to finds you mentally worse off. The track also features a minor guest spot from an old crony Cosmos Sunshine. He plays the shorter bluesy solo after my fast one, after the acoustic break.

We’re already hit in the tail of this single, next one drops end of next month entitled “Next Level”.

We hope you enjoy and add our tune “Trampled by Deer” to your playlist, download and stream that shiz!

Thinning the Herd are:
Gavin Spielman on Guitar and Vocals.
Rob Sefcik – Drums

Thinning the Herd on Facebook

Thinning the Herd on Instagram

Thinning the Herd on Bandcamp

Thinning the Herd website

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Thinning the Herd Welcomes Rob Sefcik on Drums

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 31st, 2023 by JJ Koczan


New York heavy rockers Thinning the Herd have announced the addition of Rob Sefcik (also Kings Destroy, Northern Heretic, Begotten, etc.) on drums. In 2021, the long-running outfit led by guitarist, vocalist, songwriter Gavin Spielman presented the single “Wolves Close In” (premiered here) as the preface to what would then have been their first album in eight years. It’s now been a full decade since they released 2013’s Freedom From the Known, and the post from the band below doesn’t mention recording one way or the other, but it’s easy enough to imagine Speilman plugging away at it behind the scenes. No doubt having a drummer helps.

I don’t know how many times I’ve watched Sefcik play live, with Kings Destroy mostly but also Begotten, but he’s both a monster behind the kit and a classy player mindful of the songs in which he’s working. You might recall Thinning the Herd drummer Rick Cimato passed away in 2012 ahead of the 2013 album release, and Spielman has seen a few others come and go since. I don’t know what their plans are if there are any other than local shows, or even if bassist Wes Edmonds is still in the band, but here’s what they had to say:

Mr. Sefcik, in 2014, in Denver, with Kings Destroy (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Thinning the Herd would like to give a big horns up Welcome to Rob S. on the drums! Filling the shoes of previous drummers ain’t an easy task but he’s a bad ass – and up for it!

Rob’s played in many bands that rocked, and we are super excited to have a solid guy and heavy drum smasher in the band for the long haul. We look forward to bringing y’all new music and performing old tunes as well as the new heaters.

If interested in an interview or to book our band hit the DM.

Since 2006 TTH has y’all groovin’ on the sludgy New York Metal, and look how far it’s come!

Thinning the Herd, “Wolves Close In” (feat. Pat Harrington) official video

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Thinning the Herd Premiere “Wolves Close In” Video Feat. Geezer’s Pat Harrington

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 6th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

thinning the herd

New York’s Thinning the Herd are moving toward releasing a new album later this year. That’s cool. What’s cooler though is they’ve got a new video to prove it. “Wolves Close In” heralds the first Thinning the Herd long-player since 2013’s Freedom From the Known, and in its instrumental sound and kind of mellow groove, one might be tempted to liken it to “Gaikatt Mountain,” for which the band premiered a video here last year, sort of as a way of announcing their return. The difference, of course, is this song is new and that one was from the album already seven years old, but if further enticement is required, a guest solo by Geezer‘s Pat Harrington certainly doesn’t hurt. More fuzz, you say? That’ll do just fine.

I don’t know in what direction founding guitarist/vocalist Gavin Spielman will ultimately be taking Thinning the Herd as they push through the making of this next record, but with “Wolves Close In,” the intent toward engagement with the natural world is clear. Watch it in the highest definition you can, and bask in the video’s green leaves, flowers in bloom, running water, smooth stones, tall grasses and drone footage of treetops. It’s lush and gorgeous and a reminder that summer means going outside. I would not expect the single track to speak for the entirety of the full-length to come, whenever it might show up, but it is hypnotically engaging just the same and bodes well in its overall flow. You know I’m a sucker for a video in the woods.

And while we’re on the subject, kudos to Thinning the Herd on having a video, in the woods, with a lady in it, and not having that lady be chased and/or killed in that video. Seems like a pretty basic thing, right? You’d be amazed. Lot of misogynist cult murder happening in clips these days. A break from that is refreshing.


Thinning the Herd, “Wolves Close In” (feat. Pat Harrington) video premiere

The song was recorded by Gavin remotely during the pandemic in the summer of 2020. Written by G Spielman – this is a stripped down instrumental production focused on a more psychedelic bluesy sound. Garth on Drums, Gavin on Guitars, Wes On Bass, this tune features added lead guitar Pat Harrington of Geezer. The song can be found on TTH’s next self-titled drop slated this fall.

Thinning the Herd on Facebook

Thinning the Herd website

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Thinning the Herd Premiere “Gaikatt Mountain” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 15th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

thinning the herd

It’s been a while since the last check-in from New York-based heavy rockers Thinning the Herd. It happens. Their last album was 2013’s Freedom From the Known and after that came out they went through a few lineup shifts as a band will, and already in 2012 they’d lost drummer Rick Cimato in a fatal auto accident, so yeah, after something like that, you might need some time. Still, led by guitarist/vocalist Gavin Spielman, the band have a new video for the instrumental track “Gaikatt Mountain” from the aforementioned 2013 LP, made in homage to Cimato, and I’m happy today to host the premiere for it. You’ll find it below, followed by some comment from Spielman.

The track itself unfolds as a mellow jam, beginning with light strings strumming and gradually moving into fuzzier terrain. You can hear the live feel that Steve Albini recordings are known for in the rhythm section, even as acoustic and electric guitars intertwine, the bass punching through insistently all the while. Its easy flow is contrasted soon enough with a quick shift to a rushing riff and tempo-surge progression. You’ll see in the video it’s when the shift happens from landscape to cityscape, and there’s live footage spliced in as well, but later on the drone shots return and make a fitting cap even as the shift to quiet ends up more permanent. As these cats always were, it’s no pretense heavy rock with some metal oomph behind it that asks little indulgence beyond four minutes of your time.

The album’s seven years old, so absolutely, you can find it streaming in the places where streaming happens.

Enjoy the video:

Thinning the Herd, “Gaikatt Mountain” video premiere

Gavin Spielman on “Gaikatt Mountain”:

The inspiration for this song came during a shroom experience in my early teens. It was just a warm up technique, a riff that bridged spirit and technique for me, rudimentary but a melody I never stopped playing. I played this tune in bands before Thinning the Herd, and it went by “Hard To See” and had lyrics, but abandoned them. I feel the main riff is pure Thinning the Herd stripped down to its bare bones, and somewhat of a departure from our heavy tone. It’s the only instrumental song we’ve put out, and I’m glad we did because it’s a reminder of an angel flying overhead, watching us.

This new video signifies our drummer Rick watching us, looking down upon our journey into the unknown, blessing us with understanding of knowledge, showing us the simplicity of birth and death, capturing the ephemeral experience in between.

GAIKATT MOUNTAIN by THINNING THE HERD: The 9th Song off the third record (FREEDOM FROM THE KNOWN) by THINNING THE HERD (on St. Mark’s Records). This tune is an instrumental written in 2011 specifically for the record.

Available through all major online retailers including AMAZON and Apple Music, Bandcamp and Streaming on Spotify.

Recorded by Steve Albini in Chicago
Mixed by Wes Edmonds
Mastered by Tony Gillis in NYC
All lyrics and music G. Spielman
Video Production by Green Pine Tree Studio

Thinning the Herd on Thee Facebooks

Thinning the Herd website

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Thinning the Herd May or May Not be Monks from Outer Space in New Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 14th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

…Actually, there’s very little possibility they aren’t, but I always like to allow for some interpretation. Once a trio and now a four-piece, New York City heavy rockers Thinning the Herd have a new video for the track “Rabbits” from their 2013 full-length, Freedom from the Known. This isn’t the first time their videos have been featured here (see also last year’s “Never Wanted”), but the band continues to entertain, this time with a kind of invasion of alien monks, played of course by the band themselves, who travel in a reflective silver disc and seem to monk it up in varying ecosystems amid a wash of digital visual effects.

As the PR wire informs below, Thinning the Herd have a couple gigs in the works including one in Brooklyn with Geezer, Borracho and Moon Tooth that looks pretty choice.

Dig it:

THINNING THE HERD Releases New Video

Lineup Expands To Quartet

Mind melting NYC pillagers THINNING THE HERD have just completed their newest official video for their ripping anthem “Rabbits,” the track hailing from the act’s sophomore full-length album, Freedom From The Known. The self-produced epic new video is a more than five-minute movie starring the band –including Rick Cimato, the band’s previous bassist who tragically passed away last year (RIP) — with a shit-ton of CGI and special effects integrating visuals from across the universe into an amusing film depicting ancient wizard monks migrating to Earth by command of a flying disc.

THINNING THE HERD continues to hook up shows in support of Freedom From The Known, with several late Summer and early Fall gigs locked and more in the works across the region. These pending shows will be the very first TTH performances as a quartet, as the longtime trio has just expanded, bringing in new blood Brian Murphey on bass and moving Wes Edmonds to second guitar. The rest of the current lineup is rounded out by drummer Garth Macaleavey, also Murphey’s bandmate in previous act Madame Trashy, and founding guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Gavin Spielman.

9/13/2013 The Grand Victory – Brooklyn, NY @ Stoned Fry Day The 13th w/ Geezer, Borracho, Moon Tooth
10/26/2013 Webster Hall – New York, NY @ Stoned Halloween Show

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Thinning the Herd’s Freedom from the Known Due May 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 5th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

NYC heavy rockers Thinning the Herd have had about as tough a couple months as a band can have, with the untimely death of drummer Rick Cimato over the holidays and questions as to whether or not the band would even continue on and release their Steve Albini-recorded sophomore full-length, Freedom from the Known. After soul searching and a series of tryouts, guitarist/vocalist Gavin Spielman and bassist Wes Edmonds have recruited Garth Macaleavey for the drummer position and will press ahead with not only putting the album out, but shows and new material as well.

As someone fortunate enough to see Thinning the Herd when Cimato was in the band, I can say the trio was definitely at their strongest point yet going into this album, and I’m glad to see it’s coming out and the band is going to keep going. Here’s word of the May 9 release for Freedom from the Known, courtesy of  the PR wire:

THINNING THE HERD Confirms Details Of Delayed But Anticipated New Album

Following a tumultuous several months of hardships and hard work, once again restructuring the band for the second time in a year, NYC’s THINNING THE HERD this week confirms the details of the band’s pending second full-length, Freedom From The Known.

Founding vocalist/guitarist Gavin Spielman had replaced the crew on TTH’s 2011-released debut full-length, Oceans Rise, recruiting a new rhythm section in 2012 with bassist Wes Edmonds and drummer Rick Cimato (ex-Locked In A Vacancy). The ultra-solid new lineup honed the newest songs, and shipped out to Chicago last Summer to record the sophomore album Freedom From The Known at Electrical Audio Studios with studio guru Steven Albini. The trio filmed a new video for the album, and as they were preparing to release the best THINNING THE HERD material yet, Rick Cimato was tragically killed in a head-on collision over the 2012 holiday season.

Mourning the loss of their friend, Spielman and Edmonds hosted several local listening parties of the album for local fans and friends to honor Rick and his family, then started the process of bringing yet another lineup together to execute the new songs live, proudly, as Cimato would have wished. Spielman recently crossed paths with Brooklyn drummer Garth Macaleavey, and after hitting it off, brought Garth into the THINNING THE HERD camp.

With nearly forty-five minutes of brand new material, the varied Freedom From The Known continues the THINNING THE HERD tradition of avoiding genre pigeonholing, merging their blues, jam, sludge and NYHC influences into their expansive doom/rock foundation. Lyrically the band explores as wide an array of topics; surviving everyday life, achieving a higher consciousness through transcendentalism, the existence of alien and otherworldly life forms and more. This is where party-hard buildups melt into boundary-free jam sessions; THINNING THE HERD is the pinnacle of prime underground New York City rock. Freedom From The Known will finally be released on the band’s own Saint Marks Records, just as their previous EP and Oceans Rise full-length were, on May 9th, 2013.

Live THINNING THE HERD shows and regional tour plans are in the works for the immediate future, and will be announced in the coming days and through the Summer months in support of Freedom From The Known; stay tuned.

Thinning the Herd, “Never Wanted” Video

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Thinning the Herd Reveal Video for “Never Wanted” from Forthcoming Album Freedom from the Known

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 16th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Some videos just have it all, man. Drug innuendo, psychedelic booty dancing, a swirling drummer, tripped out ’90s-type digital effects, Orange stacks, the Buddha. The list goes on. Such is the case with “Never Wanted,” the first featured new track from NYC heavy rock trio Thinning the Herd‘s new full-length, Freedom from the Known. The three-piece, led by guitarist/vocalist Gavin Spielman (who also directed the video), put the album to tape with none other than Steve Albini and are expecting a release by the end of the year.

Mixed by bassist Wes Edmonds, it’s the most natural sound I’ve heard yet from the band, who issued their Oceans Rise debut last year (review here), and it seems that together with drummer Rick Cimato, Edmonds and Spielman have been able to tap into the rawness of sound the band has always been begging for while still conveying the strong core of songwriting that carries through their approach. Aside from the video being killer, it makes me look forward to hearing the album when the time comes.

Here’s “Never Wanted” followed by the album release info, courtesy of the ol’ PR wire:

Thinning the Herd, “Never Wanted”

New York-based THINNING THE HERD announces the completion of their new studio full-length as they plan for its liberation into the general population before the end of the year.

Over the Summer, the band shacked up with studio guru Steven Albini to harness the newest tunes for what will be the metallic doom/rock act’s third studio effort. Entitled Freedom From The Known, the ten-song crusher features an entirely new and improved THINNING THE HERD lineup, revamped once again by founding member Gavin Spielman and now including drummer Rick Cimato (ex-Locked In A Vacancy) and bassist Wes Edmonds. An act constantly striving to not be pigeonholed as “another doom band,”’ the newest material reflects more of the members’ blues and NYHC influences, though the presence of classic doom metal and 90’s grunge/sludge influences still shine through, and alien life forms, motorcycles, ego death, higher consciousness, transcendentalism and racism are just a few of the issues touched upon lyrically. Freedom From The Known is due out in December on the band’s own Saint Marks Records as with their previous album and EP.

Freedom From The Known Track Listing:
1. Never Wanted
2. Dr. Reed
3. Sludge
4. Buildings
5. Rabbits
6. White Liver
7 Blood
8. Path of Gold
9. Gaikat Mountain
10. In Front Of Me

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