Desertfest London 2020 Second Lineup Announcement: Witchcraft Headlining; Conan, Naxatras, Sacri Monti & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest london 2020 header

Going head-to-head, toe-to-toe, back-to-back, belly-to-belly with Desertfest Berlin 2020’s second lineup announcement, that of Desertfest London 2020 brings a whopping 13 bands. Witchcraft join Corrosion of Conformity and Masters of Reality among the headliners, and Naxatras, Conan — playing Monnos in full, no less — Pissed Jeans, Raging Speedhorn, Sacri Monti, Huntsmen, MonarchSpirit AdriftFire Down BelowGrottoDesert Storm, and Morag Tong have signed on for the fray in what’s becoming a quickly-packed bill. Nothing to complain about there, I guess. As noted in the Berlin post, some of these groups are shared between the two fests, but there’s a lot here that’s set for London alone, and I suspect in terms of the UK acts like Raging SpeedhornDesert Storm and Morag Tong, it’s likely to stay that way. It’s been so fascinating to watch these festivals grow since their inception into incubators for UK/European heavy. Desertfest London has become an epicenter for one of the most packed scenes on the planet.

That’s a big deal. And you can hear in the work of bands coming out of the UK the effect it’s having aesthetically as well. It’s awesome. Keep up the good work.

From the social medias:

desertfest london 2020 poster

DESERTFEST LONDON ANNOUNCES WITCHCRAFT AS HEADLINER FOR 2020 EDITION PLUS 12 MORE ACTS ADDED!

Tickets: dice.fm/festival/desertfest20

Desertfest is honoured to be welcoming Swedish doom icons Witchcraft to London, for the first time in a decade, as 2020 headliners. Their exceptional blend of psychedelic-folk melodies and distinctly doom-laden riffs swiftly elevated Magnus’ musical coven to legendary status. The pace picks up with the bludgeoning sludge-punk sounds of Pissed Jeans, whose narrative continues to be as societally insightful as it is tongue-in-cheek. We welcome back the unholy trio Conan for a very special performance as they play ‘Monnos’ in full. Following last years unforeseen travel issues, we are thrilled to have Naxatras on the bill ready to bathe listeners in their psychedelic groove. British sludge pioneers Raging Speedhorn will provide a lesson in brutality for all who cross their path.

Celestial tones awaken as SACRI MONTI make their debut with a spectrum of far-out jams expertly pieced together for an otherworldly trip. Huntsmen will bring their diversely progressive concoction of doom metal and melancholic Americana storytelling for its first UK outing. Elsewhere we welcome experimental psych-rock champions Monarch -band, Arizona’s Spirit Adrift who effortlessly carry the torch for traditional doom with lashings of classic 80’s heavy metal. Belgium offers up an excellent fusion of fuzz from Fire Down Below, alongside space-psych drifters Grotto. Oxfordshire riff hounds Desert Storm will deliver a shock-wave of groovy stoner-metal and locals Morag Tong will showcase their dynamic take on psychedelic doom.

For more info and weekend tickets for Desertfest London 2020 hit up www.desertfest.co.uk

See you in May!

TICKETS: https://dice.fm/festival/desertfest20 (*YOU DO NOT NEED THE DICE APP TO PURCHASE)

Artwork by Piotr w. Osburne

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

Sacri Monti, “Waiting Room for the Magic Hour”

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Elder Druid Announce English Touring with Barbarian Hermit & Satlan

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 31st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

elder druid (Photo by Twentyone Photography)

Elder Druid will hop islands at the end of November to do a four-show British run of shows with Barbarian Hermit and Satlan. My understanding from this past Spring was that the Northern Irish five-piece were planning to release their new album, Golgotha, before the end of 2019. I haven’t heard word either way as to whether that’s still going to happen as was initially laid out, but figure if it is, this tour would either be the band’s way of celebrating the record’s arrival or maybe heralding it for early next year, barring some kind of more significant delay.

Either way, good for them getting out. Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters will sit in for Satlan on the London show, and there’s local support as well. More on Golgotha when I hear it — either the news or the album, that is. Ha.

Here’s the tour info:

elder druid uk tour

ELDER DRUID – UK TOUR UPDATE – CARDIFF SHOW

Very stoked to finally announce our English tour coming up at the end of November. We’ll be joined by the incredible Barbarian Hermit and Satlan as our main tour supports, with the lads in Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters stepping in for Satlan on the London date.

We can finally announce the last date of our UK shows at the end of November/start of December.

We’ll be playing FUEL ROCK CLUB in Cardiff, Wales on Sunday 1st December with our touring heavyweights Barbarian Hermit, Satlan and Wales’ very own stoner doom/post-metallers Kong Lives.

TOUR DATES:

28.11 • LEEDS • Temple Of Boom Leeds
Elder Druid / Barbarian Hermit / Satlan / Gandalf the Green

29.11 • COVENTRY • The Phoenix
Elder Druid / Barbarian Hermit / Satlan / Slowbro

30.11 • LONDON • The Lounge Promotion: Nightclub Kolis
Elder Druid / Barbarian Hermit / Bad Kush

01.12 • CARDIFF • FUEL ROCK CLUB
Elder Druid / Barbarian Hermit / Satlan / Kong Lives

Elder Druid is:
Gregg McDowell – Vocals,
Jake Wallace – Guitar,
Mikey Scott – Guitar,
Dale Hughes – Bass,
Brien Gillen – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/elderdruidband
https://elderdruid.bandcamp.com/releases
http://www.instagram.com/elderdruidband

Elder Druid, Carmina Satanae (2017)

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The River Announce Dec. 11 Release for Vessels into White Tides; “Vessels” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the river

So, I’ll admit that for a band whose roots stretch back some 20 years, London’s The River are new to me. But dig into the video at the bottom here for “Vessels.” It’s awesome. The song is atmospheric, patience, sprawling, string-laden and melodic in a way that reminds me of a rawer take on SubRosa, but at the same time, it’s more thoroughly doomed as well. It’s 11 minutes long and absolutely gripping for the duration. I downloaded the rest of the promo immediately to check out and can’t wait to dive into it. It’s moved to the top of the queue.

And by some coincidence, I think I might’ve been in the bar/restaurant where the promo shot above was taken the last time I was in Camden Town. It was an upstairs room at a place on Camden High St. a little bit down the way from the Whole Foods. I can’t remember what it was called. I don’t think it’s the Oxford Arms, but I could be wrong. Anyway, if that’s the spot, just something odd to notice. I remembered that sign about party reservations when I saw it.

Here’s some more useful info, courtesy of the PR wire:

The River Vessels into White Tides

British Doom Dealers THE RIVER Releasing New Album ‘Vessels Into White Tides’ December 11 on Nine Records

After a decade since last their last full-length album (In Situ) British Doom Dealers The River return with long-anticipated third full-length album, Vessels Into White Tides, December 11 on Nine Records. If you like melancholic doom metal, then this one is essential! Check out the official video for “Vessels” below.

Fusing texture and light with a heavy set foundation, The River have been honing their craft over the past two decades with two well-received albums and EPs. Incorporating space and subtlety with a strong emphasis on melody, the band mixes fragile vocals over down tempo rhythms, and dense ebb and flow of guitar to create a bittersweet, wistful sound.

The band’s third album, Vessels Into White Tides, brings new colours to their musical palette, taking the music through greater peaks and valleys that heard on previous releases. The multi-instrumental nature of the songs helps to explore and push the sound into a richer, more varied, and ultimately more mature form without ever sacrificing their heavier roots.

Track Listing

1. Vessels
2. Into White
3. Open
4. Passing
5. Tides

It started in 1999. The dust in the room began to dance and bask in the amber glow of the valves as the amps began to rumble into life. Adding the battery controlled the monolith whilst the soothing tones of the voice healed the wounds from the bludgeon. Light from the cracks in the boarded windows cast shadows across the walls, the haze only adding to the core of the sound as the aural mantra continued. The constant tapping of the rain outside only added to the rhythm and flow, not a downpour but a constant nonetheless, mixing with the evening sun to cast a kaleidoscope of colours sprawling through the air. The clouds that burned in the fading violet sky fell perfectly in step…

Line-up
Jenny Newton – Guitars, Vocals, Strings, Percussion
Christian Leitch – Guitars, Percussion
Stephen Morrissey – Bass
Jason Ludwig – Drums

facebook.com/riverbanduk
riverbanduk.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/_riverbanduk/
shop.nine-records.com/
ninerecords.bandcamp.com/
facebook.com/NineRecords/

The River, “Vessels” official video

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Kurokuma & Under to Release Kurokunder Split 7″ Nov. 15

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I played the crap out of the original Ecco the Dolphin on Sega Genesis in 1992, but I don’t recall ever picking up the sequel, Ecco II: The Tides of Time, when it came around two years later in ’94. No doubt I was too busy reveling in the easy access to porn and bootlegged software provided by America Online on my dial-up, finding beta versions of Windows 95 that invariably destroyed whatever Pentium PC I was using. Oh, also solitaire. Played a lot of solitaire. I was a pretty lonely kid.

What were we talking about?

Ah yes. Apparently the second Ecco installment made an impression on the dudes from Kurokuma, as their inclusion on a new split 7″ with Under is a cover of the soundtrack to the game, so hey, that’s fun. Under, meanwhile offer the eight-minute “Abyssal Gigantism,” which leaves one to wonder how they’re even fitting it on a 7″ platter. Science, I guess. The future is wow.

There’s a trailer below with a kind of atmospheric snippet taken from what’s been cleverly dubbed Kurokunder, and info follows from the PR wire as well. Have at it:

kurokuma under split

KUROKUMA / UNDER SPLIT 7″ EP RELEASE – ASTRAL NOIZE RECORDS

NOV 15th 2019 – VINYL / DIGITAL – AN 016

Two of the weirdest bands from the UK heavy underground, KUROKUMA and UNDER join forces to each release a brand new song for this 7″ vinyl exclusive through ASTRAL NOIZE RECORDS. Available to pre-order here.

Kurokuma follow from the success of their latest EP release Sheffield’s Best Metal Bands, Vol.1, keeping up their love of unlikely cover songs with a doomy rendition of the theme music from retro gaming classic Ecco The Dolphin: The Tides of Time. The song builds patiently around a swirling arpeggio, slowly escalating into a pulverising and trippy doom riff, leading to one of Kurokuma’s most melodic and grandiose songs yet.

Under push their craft further forward with their lengthiest composition to date, Abyssal Gigantism. Sonically and compositionally, this track branches further from their dense and eerie sophomore album Stop Being Naive. Abyssal Gigantism is a multi-faceted nightmare, taking the listener through unsettling twists and turns. Their signature use of harmonised vocals and unconventional time signatures are intact, but with a much more daring exploration of erratic tempo changes, recalling the wild ebb and flow of The Dillinger Esc. Plan.

Pairing Kurokuma and Under for this exclusive 7″ vinyl release makes perfect sense. Both are unique and talented acts that think outside the box and stand tall amongst their contemporaries. The two bands have already toured together and share a dark and twisted sense of humour, absurd lyrical themes and a daring desire to experiment and challenge listeners.

TRACKLIST
A. Kurokuma – The Tides of Time [5:32]
B. Under – Abyssal Gigantism [8:03]

CREDITS
ANR 016. Artwork by Mullet. Mastered by John Simm at Hidden Colour Audio.
‘The Tides of Time’ written by Attila Dobos, Andras Magyari, David Javelosa and Andy Armer.
Performed by Kurokuma. Recorded and mixed by Tich.
‘Abyssal Gigantism’ written and performed by Under. Recorded and mixed by Rian Gamble.

KUROKUMA
Joe E Allen – Drums
George Ionita – Bass
Jacob Mazlum – Guitar

UNDER
Matt Franklin – Bass & vocals
Simon Mayo – Guitar & vocals
Andy Preece – Drums & vocals

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

https://www.facebook.com/understockport/
https://www.instagram.com/under_ist_krieg/
https://understockport.bandcamp.com/

https://astralnoizeuk.com/
https://www.facebook.com/astralnoizerecords/
https://www.instagram.com/astralnoize/
https://astralnoize.bandcamp.com/music

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Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell Premiere “Mr. Freedom” from Very Uncertain Times

Posted in audiObelisk on October 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

admiral sir cloudesley shovell

Oh Admiral, my admiral. UK trio Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell will release their new album, Very Uncertain Times, through Rise Above Records on Oct. 25. It’s the answer to 2016’s Keep it Greasy (review here), and the introduction of new drummer/backing vocalist Serra Petale to the fold with guitarist/vocalist Johnny Gorilla and bassist Louis Comfort-Wiggett, and the core of the Hastings-based band’s approach remains firm in their commitment to raw, mean and dirty heavy garage rock and roll. Since their first 7″ showed up through Rise Above in 2010, followed by their debut LP, Don’t Hear It… Fear It! (review here), that’s been their way, and the intervening years have only made them grittier and greasier of sound. The spirit of Motörhead weighs heavily on the riffs in opener “Very Uncertain Times” and in the structure of hooks on early-goers “Ten Years Later,” “The Third Degree” and “Mr. Freedom,” but if you’re taking on Very Uncertain Times looking for some solution to the world’s larger sociopolitical problems — climate change, Brexit perhaps, the rise of nationalism and the arc of history’s bent toward injustice — that ain’t what Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are about. I have no doubt that were the band collectively made prime minister they’d get some righteous shit done, but their fourth LP is hardly their way of announcing their candidacy.

Rather, it is a swaggering, show-up-to-the-party-trashed classic rocking bruiser. Gorilla‘s vocals are perhaps the most Kilmisterian aspect of the record, but a ’70s shove is fervent throughout one way or the other, and even when “Mr. Freedom” cuts the tempo inAdmiral sir cloudesley shovell very uncertain times its midsection to a sleeker boogie as a preface to the sleazy “Blackworth Quarry” later on, the change is momentary before the forward thrust resumes. Only three of the total eight tracks reach beyond the five-minute mark, and the longest is the opening title-track (immediate points) at 5:39, with the mid-paced “The Third Degree” (track three, of course) at 5:31 and closer “No Man’s Land” capping at 5:02 with a “War Pigs”-style apex in its bridge before closing on its central riff, but whatever Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are doing in a given cut, their interest is not in wasting time. They start out at a sprint with “Very Uncertain Times” and hold to that ethic throughout, relying on a classic sound and sheer songwriting to carry them through. In that, they’re nearly as much proto-punk as they are proto-metal, but they’re lizard-brain heavy rock one way or the other, and the primitivism of the material is a crucial tie to their aesthetic that isn’t to be undervalued. It’s worth noting that while the songs are unmistakable in their intent and the production is natural, there’s little about it that feels like it’s playing toward vintage-ism nearly as much as toward a live presentation, and that energy carries through in scorching moments and nods alike, the chorus melody of “Iceberg” touching on psychedelia and the later shuffle of “Biscuits for Victor” as much loaded with biker-style swagger as it is, well, just plainly loaded.

You won’t find me arguing with the basic premise of Very Uncertain Times. If anything, the band seem aware of the understatement they’re making — hence “very” — but by the same token, their approach itself has never sounded more certain. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell have flirted here and there with ethereal premises and still offer a touch of the otherworldly every now and again, but the great irony of Very Uncertain Times is how grounded it is and just how much the three-piece know what they want their songs to be doing at any given moment. With the addition of Petale‘s vocals alongside those of Gorilla, the dynamic has shifted some, but that only works in favor of the songs and the band as a whole. More than 10 years since their start, they’ve hit, and duly flattened, their stride.

PR wire info follows the premiere of “Mr. Freedom” below.

Please enjoy:

The more things change, the more they seem to plummet down the shitter. Fortunately, rock ’n’ roll is alive and well and guaranteed to make us all feel a little bit better about the state of things. Purveyors of nuts-out, ragged and riotous proto-metal since 2008, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell have dedicated the last decade to kicking against the pricks and whipping up a thunderous storm of gritty, snotty and irresistible heavy rock. In 2019, Hastings’ finest three-man riff squad will save the day yet again with their fourth album, the shrewdly-titled Very Uncertain Times.

A reassuring presence for ferocious rock ‘n’ roll and medicated madness in a crazy, doomed world, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are back in the van and heading towards proto-metal nirvana at maximum speed and with no brakes. These may be uncertain times, but you can rely on the Admiral to keep the sonic accelerator floored.

“Our main hope, as always, is that we sell millions of copies enabling us to retire,” laughs Johnny. “Purely to spare the world from having to endure another greasy Shovell album! Oh, and we want to plague the world’s population with as many stupidly loud gigs as possible. Let’s face it, we sure don’t sound like anything else out there!”

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell live:
Supporting Church of Misery (except the 17th)
Monday 14-10-2019 Berlin (GER), Zukunft
Tuesday 15-10-2019 Mannheim (GER), Jugendhaus
Wednesday 16-10-2019 Lille (FR), La Bulle Café
Thursday 17-10-2019 Landgraaf (NL), Oefenbunker (Shovell only show, no COM)
Friday 18-10-2019 Siegen (GER), Vortex
Saturday 19-10-2019 Antwerp (BE), Desertfest
Sunday 20-10-2019 Haarlem (NL), Patronaat
Monday 21-10-2019 Hamburg (GER), Hafenklang

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records website

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Cybernetic Witch Cult to Release Absurdum ad Nauseam Dec. 6; New Video Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

cybernetic witch cult

This past weekend, UK heavy rock weirdos Cybernetic Witch Cult unveiled the first single from their upcoming third album, Absurdum ad Nauseam. As you might expect given the title, it’s intended as a commentary on the current state of, well, everything I guess, and the video below for “The Myth of Sisyphus” finds the band having a ball — of their own making, no less — out in the woods. Of course, thematically, it’s not all fun and games, but if you can appreciate absurdity there’s certainly enough of it to go around. The full-length will be self-released on Dec. 6, so should get some attention as a late arrival to wind down a busy year, and to herald its coming, the trio will head out from their hometown in Cornwall to do a round of English touring.

Those dates, the video, and copious background all came down the PR wire like so:

cybernetic witch cult absurdam ad nauseam

Cybernetic Witch Cult: New album – New video – UK Tour this October!

Cornwall’s finest psychedelic stoner rock band, Cybernetic Witch Cult, will release a new studio album this December following an extensive tour and video premiere in October.

As seen live at Bloodstock Open Air and headlining 2018’s HRH’s Doom V Stoner Festival second stage; Cybernetic Witch Cult’s third album ‘Absurdum ad Nauseam’ sees the trio focusing and honing in on key sonic elements to elevate their own unique perception and create a heavier experience for listeners, without losing the progressive and 70s influences the band are well known for.

“The song is about Albert Camus’ philosophical essay ‘the Myth of Sisyphus’ which is all about struggle and the acceptance of an absurd universe”, says vocalist/guitarist Alex Wyld. “For the music video we made a giant boulder out of cardboard, duct tape, bamboo and a mic stand and set about rolling it around the Cornish countryside.

For us as-well as being a metaphor for the humanistic struggles in life, the boulder represents the literal struggle of pushing an independent band around the country. We had a lot of fun making this video and wanted to keep it tongue in cheek, which fits the quote from Camus’ essay.

There is no denying though that this album is quite a dark one for us as it has come from a general consensus of dread within the band about what the future holds for humanity”, explains vocalist/guitarist Alex Wyld. “However, we have tried to poke some fun into the absurdity of it all. We like to think each song has some meaning and hope that our listeners will enjoy exploring some of the sonic themes.”

With this new album, Cybernetic Witch Cult have produced their most complete work to date and built on the foundations of progressing their own sound in riff drenched science fiction (including Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Dune) that musically drifts in whatever direction the mood of the band and its members take.

Intelligent, progressive whilst accessible, the songs on ‘Absurdum ad Nauseam’ reflect on troubling times in the world, notably climate change. Wyld says, ” I first took climate change seriously at university in 2010: During my Astrophysics degree I opted for a course called ‘Energy and the Environment’ and during our first lecture a student asked the professors “what are our chances like?” and the lecturers gave a solemn look to each other and said “very bleak with the current state of affairs”, everyone had a solemn feeling after that lecture and I think the state of things have gotten worse since then.

It’s tragic to see that while there’s more general awareness of the crisis now, there’s also more (non factual) vocal opposition to climate science and crazy talk of conspiracy theories. I do worry for the future, and I think that’s partly why this album turned out so much heavier and more serious than our older material. But you have to hope that things will improve and that the people who are in power will start to actually make some policy changes to safeguard our civilisation’s future.”

Ahead of the new album release, the South West stoner rock trio release the lead single and new music video for ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ before heading out on the road for an extensive set of live dates.

Cybernetic Witch Cult’s new release was recorded, mixed and mastered at ‘The Crow’s Nest’ in London by Sam Thredder (Slabdragger).The album’s unique artwork was designed by Aimee Wyld at Unlikeness Art.

‘Absurdum ad Nauseam’ is released 6th December 2019. Pre-order it here:
https://cyberneticwitchcult.bandcamp.com/album/absurdum-ad-nauseam

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Hypercomputer (Part 1)
3. Cromagnonaut
4. The Cetacean
5. The Ivory Tower
6 . Spice
7 . The Myth of Sisyphus
8 . Hypercomputer (Part 2)

Tour dates:
18th October – FALMOUTH – Jacobs Ladder
19th October – BANBURY – The Wheatsheaf
20th October – CROYDON – The Ship
21st October – PLYMOUTH – The Underground
22nd October – EXETER – The Cavern
23rd October – PORTSMOUTH – Edge of the Wedge
25th October – WEYMOUTH – Finns
26th October – SOUTHAMPTON – Firehouse
28th October – BRISTOL – The Lanes
31st October – NEWQUAY – Whiskers
2nd November – LONDON – The Unicorn
30th November – YEOVIL – The Railway Inn
14th December – LONDON – The Black Heart
20th December – PLYMOUTH – The Junction

Cybernetic Witch Cult are:
Alex Wyld – Vocals & Guitar
Doug MacKinnon – Bass Guitar
Lewis May – Drums & Percussion

www.cyberneticwitchcult.com
www.facebook.com/cyberneticwitchcult
www.instagram.com/cyberneticwitchcultband
https://cyberneticwitchcult.bandcamp.com

Cybernetic Witch Cult, “The Myth of Sisyphus”

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Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell Announce Very Uncertain Times LP out Oct. 25

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

admiral sir cloudesley shovell

Who doesn’t want some new Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell? Jerks? Stiffs? Squares? Certainly no one I know. Thus it is with no small amount of joy that I post word of the impending — like in a couple weeks — release of their new album, Very Uncertain Times, through Rise Above Records, from which you’ll find the title-track streaming at the bottom of this post. Very Uncertain Times follows behind 2016’s sleazebag rocker Keep it Greasy (review here) — spoiler alert: they did — and offers more than a bit of the Motörheaded vibe in the advance cut, while also delving into a sleek riff and airy solo in its second-half jam out, layers of guitar eventually solidifying around the center of a boogie and the proto-NWOBHM progression that started things off just a few minutes earlier in the verse. Cool as hell, but one would expect no less.

They’ve got a new drummer as well, as one might occasionally. Does not seem to have stymied their pursuit of dirty righteousness, however.

Preorders are up from Rise Above now. The PR wire has this:

Admiral sir cloudesley shovell very uncertain times

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell To Release New Album Very Uncertain Times October 25th on Rise Above Records

The more things change, the more they seem to plummet down the shitter. Fortunately, rock ’n’ roll is alive and well and guaranteed to make us all feel a little bit better about the state of things. Purveyors of nuts-out, ragged and riotous proto-metal since 2008, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell have dedicated the last decade to kicking against the pricks and whipping up a thunderous storm of gritty, snotty and irresistible heavy rock. In 2019, Hastings’ finest three-man riff squad will save the day yet again with their fourth album, the shrewdly-titled Very Uncertain Times.

As frontman Johnny Gorilla explains, this band began in the pursuit of simple pleasures, and nothing much has changed…

“Our original masterplan was that we had no plan… and even fewer clues!” he laughs. “It was just three mates getting together to play covers of the stuff we’d always liked, and play a few pub gigs. We just wanted to play music inspired by the stuff we loved, 70’s heavy rock, 60’s garage and psych. But It turned out that we enjoyed our pre rehearsal jams more than our inept covers! We wrote four half-decent songs for a cassette demo, and thought it’d be a blast to get one single out that would immediately disappear into obscurity. Luckily, Lee at Rise Above thought the same. But we never imagined we’d be four albums in!”

Three years on from the widely acclaimed Keep It Greasy!, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are audibly on blistering form on the new record. Very Uncertain Times is the first Admiral album to feature new drummer Serra Petale alongside Johnny and bassist Louis Comfort-Wiggett, and you will immediately hear the fizzing chemistry that has already been established by this reshuffled threesome on the record’s rambunctious opening title track. Recorded at Broadoak Studios in Sussex with long-time collaborator Harvey Summers manning the desk, Very Uncertain Times has the simple aim of rocking your face off.

A celebration of tweaked-out jamming and turbocharged psychedelic rock, every last moment on Very Uncertain Times speaks of a band with a full tank of sonic petrol. From the short-sharp Sabbath squall of Ten Years Later and the raging motör-he(a)donism of Mr Freedom to the loping grooves of The Third Degree and closer No Mans Land’s spiralling freak-out, it’s a powerful salute to the magic that happens when three mates get in a dark, sweaty room and crank everything up to 11. In uncertain times, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell will never let you down.

A reassuring presence for ferocious rock ‘n’ roll and medicated madness in a crazy, doomed world, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are back in the van and heading towards proto-metal nirvana at maximum speed and with no brakes. These may be uncertain times, but you can rely on the Admiral to keep the sonic accelerator floored.

“Our main hope, as always, is that we sell millions of copies enabling us to retire,” laughs Johnny. “Purely to spare the world from having to endure another greasy Shovell album! Oh, and we want to plague the world’s population with as many stupidly loud gigs as possible. Let’s face it, we sure don’t sound like anything else out there!”

Very Uncertain Times Tracklisting:
1. Very Uncertain Times
2. Ten Years Later
3. The Third Degree
4. Mr. Freedom
5. Iceberg
6. Blackworth Quarry
7. Biscuits for Victor
8. No Man’s Land

https://www.facebook.com/theshovell/
https://www.facebook.com/riseaboverecords/
http://www.riseaboverecords.com/

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, “Very Uncertain Times”

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Review & Full LP Premiere: Sons of Alpha Centauri, Buried Memories

Posted in audiObelisk on October 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI Buried Memories Cover

[Click play above to stream Sons of Alpha Centauri’s Buried Memories in full. It’s out Friday and available to order here.]

UK progressive instrumentalists Sons of Alpha Centauri will release the new LP Buried Memories on Oct. 13 through H42 Records, and it’s an offering that immediately begs inspection. Is it an album or a collaboration? An EP, since the first side is three different versions of the same track? As the follow-up to the band’s 2018 outing, Continuum (review here) — which was essentially the band on their own, even if they did work with Aaron Turner (Sumac, ex-Isis) as producer/mixer and John McBain (ex-Monster Magnet) for mastering — it continues a string of joined-f0rces efforts that goes back to their 2009 outing with Karma to Burn side-project Treasure Cat, which included tracks by Alpha Cat with both bands working together. Along the way, in addition to their 2007 self-titled debut (discussed here) and Continuum some 11 years later, they’ve also worked with Gary Arce of Yawning Man as Yawning Sons for the 2009 album, Ceremony to the Sunset (review here), and had a trilogy of splits with Karma to Burn (2010, 2014, 2015) as well as splits with A Death Cinematic and Hotel Wrecking City Traders/WaterWays (review here) in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

All of this, as one might expect, has made them somewhat hard to track, as they’re in and out of different incarnations and collaborations, but I think the band probably wouldn’t have it another way, and Buried Memories shows some of where that impulse comes from. The six-track/47-minute 12″ dwells in its complication no less than it dwells in instrumentalists depth and purpose, and I should point out right away that while “Hitmen” is the first three songs, not one version is immediately recognizable from the others. And that’s doubly to Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s credit, because it shows how much they’re willing to let their material be malleable. You see, each half of Buried Memories is dedicated to an outside mix collaboration. For “Hitmen,” they bring in three different incarnations of Godflesh‘s Justin K. Broadrick, who takes the song on first under the guise of himself, then as Jesu and finally as JK Flesh, bringing a distinctly different feel to each edition of the same root work. It’s perhaps easier to do since the songs don’t have verses or choruses weighing them down to a strict structure, but it’s true that each one carves its own impression, and as they move from eight-and-a-half, nine- and nine-and-a-half-minute versions, Broadrick seems to pull the track further from its foundation and bring something of his own to it. It’s not just a simple process of mixing in the sense of finding the right volume for Marlon King‘s guitar or Blake‘s synth, Nick Hannon‘s bass and Stevie B.‘s drums, but of exploring what distance “Hitmen” can cover from its origin. As the Broadrick mix turns to the more melodic Jesu mix to the avant-electro JK Flesh mix, that distance turns out to be pretty vast.

The second-side collaborator is no less than James Plotkin, whose mastering and production work covers myriad outfits and whose work in Khanate alone — never mind his copious other projects — deserves an eternity of thank-you cards, who takes on three different songs, all under the guise of himself. So side A, one song mixed by three versions of the same person. Side AA, three songs mixed by one version of the same person.

Everyone got it?

Okay.

Sons of Alpha Centauri 2019

And much to Plotkin‘s credit, the three inclusions he takes on also push further and further out as they go. “Warhero” (9:33) is relatively straight ahead, but in comparison to Broadrick‘s “Hitmen” shows a focus on bringing out a sense of space in the work, while the shorter “Remembrance” (2:42) dips into minimalist drone guitar almost as a transition into closer “SS Montgomery,” which also takes on a more electronic vibe, in a kind of dark-industrial vein that still holds a heavy presence thanks to the prominence of the live drums, but nonetheless surrounds those with a chaos-swirl of synth and the guitar. “SS Montgomery” is the payoff for the whole release, pushing through clarity toward destructive noise wash in its quick apex and leaving behind residual noise on a long outward fade, and the fact that even given all the shifts of style and intent that Buried Memories holds, Sons of Alpha Centauri would be able to pull everything together at the end speaks to what makes them so underrated in the first place. They are very much a conceptual outfit but still not blind to the basic purpose of making an album, of making songs.

That underlying message comes through clearly across Buried Memories, and whether you consider it an album, an EP, a one-off, or something else, there’s never any doubt Sons of Alpha Centauri are ready and willing to push themselves to take their music to new places and to try and encompass different ideas and evoke various mindsets as they go. It’s not every band who would be willing to hand off their material like this, even to the likes of Plotkin and Broadrick, let alone put it out in such a way that allows the tracks to take on a life of their own within their overarching catalog. I won’t pretend to know what Sons of Alpha Centauri might do next or where they’ll go from here — though they were certainly busy enough in between, it’s notable that it was 11 years from their self-titled to Continuum — but the way their progressiveness extends not only to the sound of the band but to the very makeup and intent thereof continues to make them individually flexible in a universe that seems rigid by comparison. Whatever they might do, this openness and dexterity can only continue to bolster their work. Imagine asking Justin Broadrick for three mixes by different personae. Imagine telling James Plotkin, “Just go with it.” The beauty of Buried Memories is in its outward movement and the sense of freedom it portrays: art as a living thing, music as sculpting clay to be shaped and re-shaped. As regards the creative, there are few ideas more noble.

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