Mammoth Mammoth Sign to Golden Robot Records; New Live Album Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 21st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Aussie troublemakers Mammoth Mammoth have pulled back together around the lineup of vocalist Mikey Tucker, guitarist Ben Couzens, bassist Pete Bell and drummer Frank Trobbiani, signed with Golden Robot Records, and announced they’ll release a new live album later on in 2021. That’s a lot of news to pack in, but the four-piece have proven nothing if not efficient in delivering boots to ass over their years together. One assumes that sooner or later the band will return to Europe, which was their touring priority prior to the apocalypse, and the fact that Golden Robot has offices in Hamburg as well as Sydney and Melbourne (and L.A. and NYC, for that matter) would seem to support that.

Of course they’re not the only ones who’ve had to or have otherwise taken the opportunity to revamp or restrcture their existence in the last year — see also: you, me, everybody — but it should be interesting to see/hear what they do with these four players back together. They’ve never been short on volatility, yet somehow they’re plenty reliable in that.

From the PR wire:

Mammoth Mammoth


After spending a year in a COVID hibernation, MAMMOTH MAMMOTH have awoken from their slumber and are back, reunited with their classic line up (Frank ‘Bones Trobbiani, Ben ‘Cuz’ Couzens, Mikey Tucker and Pete Bell), to announce they have signed with global powerhouse Golden Robot Records. They are set to unleash a live album later this year, which will give fans who are currently unable to see the band in action a dose of MAMMOTH MAMMOTH live.

MAMMOTH MAMMOTH hail from the Black Spur Forest of Victoria, Australia, and proudly represent the freight-train power of Australian born and bred rock n’ roll. They describe their sound as “more awesome than God’s tits” and “patented good-time murder fuzz”.

“MAMMOTH MAMMOTH has always been an Australian, balls-out, rock n’ roll band, and we’ve proudly flown that flag in the pubs of Australia and clubs of Europe for almost 15 years. We’re pumped to be reunited and now signed with Golden Robot. They understand what we do and how we do it… and they also have their balls-out.” – MAMMOTH MAMMOTH Guitarist, Ben ‘Cuz’ Couzens

Mikey Tucker – Vocals
Frank Trobbiani – Drums
Ben Couzens – Guitar
Pete Bell – Bass

Mammoth Mammoth, “Lookin’ Down the Barrel” official video

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Murray Acton of Stinkhorn & Dayglo Abortions

Posted in Questionnaire on May 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Murray Acton of Stinkhorn & Dayglo Abortions

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I don’t really identify with genres and from the start, I wanted this band to be genre neutral. I would like to be able to play whatever style of music seems appropriate for the song. That said I am heavily influenced by the music of my youth. I was a teenager in the ‘70s, I remember when Master of Reality came out. That changed everything for me. Back then it was all about Black Sabbath, King Crimson, Rush, UFO, basically ‘70s metal. I can’t hide nor would I try to hide where I came from. I also have a punk band called the Dayglo Abortions. I built a song around a Black Sabbath riff on all nine (I think) of their albums. I don’t consider it theft, everyone knows it’s a Black Sabbath riff. It’s more of a tribute.
Describe your first musical memory.

My first record was the Walt Disney release of “Peter and the Wolf” conducted by Leopold Stakowski. There is a part in there where the wolf is stalking Peter in the woods. The music in that part gets all low and creepy, with woodwinds and strings. I loved it. I would play it over and over again. I spent my whole childhood trying to find more music like that. I found some. The Hall of the Mountain King from the Peer Gynt symphony was one. Then when I was I think 12 or 13, Master of Reality finally made it to the backwoods town I lived in. I remember rushing home with it. My cousin had the first Sabbath album and I liked it, but it didn’t prepare me for what I was about to hear. It was as profound as my first acid trip. At that point I new what I was going to be doing with my life.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Jeasus there are so many. A few years ago the dayglo abortions played at the Montebello Rockfest in Quebec. They were really good to us and put us on the Punk stage just after the sun went down, and there was nobody playing on the corporate stages. I got to watch Converge from New York play right before us (if that doesn’t inspire you to play you’re in the wrong business). Then we went on. There were no other bands playing so the people from the corporate side all came over to see what was going on. There must have been 100,000 people in front of us. The French Canadian punks were up front and they were singing our songs with us at deafening volume that was out of hand. There’s video of it on Youtube as well. When it gets down to it though, the big shows are a bit weird. You are so disconnected from the audience, with the lights right in your face so you can’t even see them. There is nothing on earth that is as much fun as playing in a packed sweaty bar in Slovenia or something. I played in Slovenia in the middle of the Serb/Croat war. We were only a few miles from the Croatian border where the fighting was, and people from four countries, three of them were at war with each other, came to the show. It was awesome. They made us play our entire set twice, and one song four or five times in a row at the end. They would just push us back on the stage yelling, “You drink with us!”

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

Hmmm. I’m not sure. I was a weird kid. I had a bunch of beliefs right from the start. Adults are all liars and they want to take all your cool shit. No authority can be trusted for the same reason. Credit cards are a bad idea that the banks enslave people with. I really didn’t even like money for the same reasons. As I got older I picked up some more beliefs like beer and weed are good for you. The drugs that the pharma companies make are very bad for you, and the pharma companies are the worst drug pushers on the planet. Right along with the psychiatrists. There are more I’m sure… the universe is not held together by gravity. It’s electromagnetism, and there is no dark matter, or dark energy. Anyways I’ve got all these beliefs but none of them have ever been disproved.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

The Beautiful think about pursuits like that is your progression takes you to new places of creativity, which in turn inspires new ideas and directions for your so called “quest to enlightenment” I personally believe that us humans evolved into what we are with our big brains, because of the music we play, and it is our duty to the larger system that we are a part of to make our song join in with the songs of all the other creatures we share this place with. We’re not doing a very good job of it. That’s why the Mayan mystics say were disconnected from the universe. We need to connect to it with our music. It is a language that transcends spoken languages, and is capable of transmitting pure emotion. It is also the only thing we do that uses our entire brain. It’s obvious to me.

How do you define success?

Well seeing as I didn’t start playing music for the money, and I’m always broke, it’s obviously not for the money. (if that’s what you want in life, get a fucking job, you probably won’t make much playing music) Success to me is seeing three generations of a family at a show. Sitting in a locals-only bar, thousands of miles from home, with friends I’ve known for years from coming to that town once a year on tour. To have a bunch of top rated bands do a tribute album of your songs. That might be the biggest compliment I ever been given. There is a comp with bands like Napalm Death, Municipal Waste. Gwar, Agnostic Front. And stuff playing Dayglo Abortions songs. All those bands are better known than my band but apparently I was a big influence to them when they were growing up and shit. Crazy eh.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

I’ve had friends die in my arms from drug overdoses. I’ve been in multiple high speed car accidents. I’ve been beaten and pepper sprayed by the cops so many times it wasn’t even spicy anymore. But there is one thing I wish I hadn’t seen. Once in the ‘70s I walked into an orgy. It was on a kitchen floor and they were all friends. They tried to get me to stay and join in. I think I said. There’s 10 people here already, and eight of you are dudes. No thank you.
Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

When I was a kid I thought I could save the world with music. I was naive. Now I have concluded that it’s going to take more than that… wait… that’s it… something that I believed in that I have UN-believed. (to answer your question from earlier) I want to do a project that explores the use of instrumental music as a language to communicate directly to the creative force of the universe. Maybe make music that can be heard in other dimensions, or music that can be heard across the universe because it resonates with reality and propagates forever like a toroidal vortex, that folds in on itself like a smoke ring, and just keeps on going. Not sure how to go about it

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Our art does so much for us. It tells us who we should hang with, how we should dress, who to vote for. It cheers us up when were sad. It helps us remember our past. But possibly it’s most important function is to point out and provide solutions to the things that we are doing wrong. The injustices, and the intolerance. It shows us how to defeat evil. It show us what true evil really is, and helps us fight it.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

I am looking forward to our solar system crossing the galactic plane. When it does the Earth’s magnetic field flips, and the earth will start spinning in the other direction. The Sun will go micro-nova, and just about everything on the planet will be killed. It happens every 12,00 years. The last time it happened was the younger dries extinction event. Humans have survived it several times, but not very many of them. That is why our DNA can be traced back to less than a thousand individuals. That is why there are so many indications that people went underground. (it takes 200 years for us to cross the galactic plane and things will be really shitty on the surface for much of that time) That is why all of the ancient sites are astronomical clocks, and why our ancestors were so hung up about the stars. They new it would happen again at the end of the long year, aka the procession of the zodiac. The Mayan calendar maps this out, and it says that the end of this age there will be a cleansing by fire. Anyways, I think it is an incredible privileged to be alive to witness the end of the world. It should be starting in the next 20 or so years, and I hope I live long enough to be there.

[Art at top of post by Trevor R. Coles.]

Murray Acton, Covid-19 Nervous Breakdown (2021)

Stinkhorn, “High on Beans”

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Hail the Void Sign to Ripple Music for Blasko-Curated Series

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 3rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Following up on the recent snag of Austin, Texas’ Holy Death Trio, the Ripple Music series helmed and curated with the blessing of Rob “Blasko” Nicholson — who’s probably the highest-profile proponent of heavy you know — gets its second act in the form of BC trio Hail the Void. The Victoria-based outfit issued their self-titled debut (stream it below) last year and ticked the boxes of a welcome reception from the digitally-remote heavy underground (which is to say, no touring but the album was well received). Their second LP is reportedly due later this year and they have a live video up as well that’s a humble three songs and 20 minutes long. Time well spent.

With more to come, the PR wire puts it thusly:

hail the void

HAIL THE VOID ink worldwide deal with Ripple Music; new album coming as part of special series curated by Blasko

Canadian hard rockers HAIL THE VOID announce their signing to Ripple Music for the release of their sophomore full-length this year. The Victoria, B.C. trio is the second band to join the Californian label as part of the special series of releases curated by Blasko.

HAIL THE VOID are a Canadian hard rock band forged in the flames of the coronavirus pandemic. The band came together to play original material in December 2019 with Kirin Gudmundson on guitar and vocals, Dean Gustin on bass and Lucas McKinnon on drums. Within a month, they had recorded their self-titled debut LP, which received critical acclaim. Now they’ve signed with Ripple Music under the mentorship of the one and only Blasko.

About this new signing, Blasko comments: “Hail the Void released one of strongest debuts I have ever heard. The lead single ‘Parasite ‘was one of my most listened to songs of the year. I am beyond excited to work with these dudes on their sophomore release. Expect to see big moves from Hail the Void in the years to come!”

The band’s sound fuses the psychedelic magic of acts like Pink Floyd and All Them Witches with the classic doom of Electric Wizard and Windhand. Their drop-tuned riffs provide the backdrop for themes exploring societal frustration, antitheism, nihilism and mental illness. Hail The Void’s self-stated goal is to make listeners realize that the true horror and doom of this world, consistently and without fail, comes from the primitive and instinctual mind of man, and his blind ignorance to the one true master towhom we all must submit, the void.

Now, HAIL THE VOID are gearing up for their next release, their debut with Ripple Music. Beyond that, they hope to finally play a live show together, while further advancing their sound in new and increasingly original directions. Will you join them as they preach the good word of the endless void? Or will you turn in fear? Whatever you do, just know that Hail The Void are only just beginning to spread their message of madness across the globe. Bow to the void or be left vanquished in its path.

The band recently released a live performance entitled “Live at Silversound”, which you can watch in full at this location. They will soon unveil more details about their forthcoming sophomore album, keep your eyes peeled…

Kirin Gudmundson — Guitar & Vocals
Dean Gustin — Bass
Lucas McKinnon — Drums

Hail the Void, Hail the Void (2020)

Hail the Void, Live at Siverside Sound

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Quarterly Review: Iron Monkey, Deadsmoke, Somnuri, Daira, Kavrila, Ivan, Clara Engel, Alastor, Deadly Vipers, Storm of Void

Posted in Reviews on January 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Lodewijk de Vadder (1605-1655) - 17th Century Etching, Landscape with Two Farms

Day Four of the Quarterly Review! Welcome to the downswing. We’re past the halfway point and feeling continually groovy. Thus far it’s been a week of coffee and a vast musical swath that today only reaches even further out from the core notion of what may or may not make a release or a band “heavy.” Is it sound? Is it emotion? Is it concept? Fact is there’s no reason it can’t be all of those things and a ton more, so keep an open mind as you make your way through today’s batch and we’ll all come out of it better people on the other end. Alright? Alright. Here we go.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Iron Monkey, 9-13

iron monkey 9-13

I’ll admit to some level of skepticism at the prospect of an Iron Monkey reunion without frontman Johnny Morrow, who died in 2002, but as founding guitarist Jim Rushby (now also vocals), bassist Steve Watson (who originally played guitar) and new drummer Brigga revive the influential UK sludge outfit with the nine songs of 9-13 on Relapse, it somehow makes sense that the band’s fuckall and irreverence would extend inward as well. That is, why should Iron Monkey find Iron Monkey an any more sacred and untouchable property than they find anything else? Ultimately, the decision will be up to the listener as to acceptance, but the furies of “OmegaMangler,” “Mortarhex,” “Doomsday Impulse Multiplier” and the nine-minute lumber-into-torrent closer “Moreland St. Hammervortex” make a pretty resounding argument that if you can’t get down with Iron Monkey as they are today, it’s going to be your loss and that, as ever, they couldn’t care less to see you stick around or see you go. So welcome back.

Iron Monkey on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records on Bandcamp


Deadsmoke, Mountain Legacy

deadsmoke mountain legacy

Mountain Legacy, which is the second Deadsmoke album for Heavy Psych Sounds, might be the heaviest release the label has put out to-date. For the band, it marks the arrival of keyboardist Claudio Rocchetti to the former trio, and from the lumbering space of aptly-titled post-intro opener “Endless Cave” to the later creeping lurch of “Wolfcurse,” it’s an outing worthy of comparison to the earlier work of Italian countrymen Ufomammut, but still rooted in the gritty, post-Sleep plod the band elicited on their 2016 self-titled debut (review here). The central difference seems to be an increase in atmospheric focus, which does well to enrich the listening experience overall, be it in the creepy penultimate interlude “Forest of the Damned” or side A finale “Emperor of Shame.” Whether this progression was driven by Rocchetti’s inclusion in the band or the other way around, it’s a marked showing of growth on a quick turnaround from Deadsmoke and shows them as having a much broader creative reach than expected. All the better because it’s still so devastatingly weighted.

Deadsmoke on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website


Somnuri, Somnuri

somnuri somnuri

To call Somnuri a formidable trio is underselling it. The Brooklynite three-piece is comprised of guitarist/vocalist Justin Sherrell (Blackout, ex-Bezoar, etc.), bassist Drew Mack (ex-Hull) and drummer Phil SanGiacomo (Family), and the noise they make on their Magnetic Eye-released self-titled debut is as progressive as it is intense. Recorded by Jeff Berner and mixed my SanGiacomo, cuts like “Kaizen” and “Same Skies” land with a doomed heft but move with the singular fury of the Northeastern US, and even as eight-minute closer “Through the Dead” balances more rock-minded impulses and seems to touch on a Soundgarden influence, it answers for the ultra-aggro tumult of “Pulling Teeth” just before. A flash of ambience in the drone interlude “Opaque” follows the plodding highlight “Slow Burn,” which speaks to yet another side of Somnuri’s potential – to create spaces as much as to crush them. With an interplay of cleaner vocals, screams, growls and shouts, there’s enough variety to throw off expectation, and where so much of New York’s noise-metal history is about angry single-mindedness, Somnuri’s Somnuri shows even in a vicious moment like “Inhabitant” that there’s more ground to cover than just being really, really, really pissed off.

Somnuri on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records website


Daira, Vipreet Buddhi

daira vipreet buddhi

Time to get weird. No. Really weird. In the end, I’m not sure Mumbai semi-improvisationalist troupe Daira did themselves any favors by making their sophomore LP, Vipreet Buddhi, a single 93-minute/16-track outing instead of breaking it into the two halves over which its course is presented – the first being eight distinct songs, the second a flowing single jam broken up over multiple parts – but one way or another, it’s an album that genuinely presents a vibe of its own, taking cues from heavy psych, jazz, funk, classic prog, folk and more as it plays through its bizarre and ambient flow, toying with jarring stretches along the way like the eerie “Apna Ullu Seedha” but so dug in by the time it’s jammed its way into “Dekho Laal Gaya” that it seems like there’s no getting out. It’s an overwhelming and unmanageable offering, but whoever said the avant garde wasn’t supposed to be a challenge? Certainly not Daira, and they clearly have plenty to say. Whatever else you listen to today, I can safely guarantee it won’t sound like this. And that’s probably true of every day.

Daira on Thee Facebooks

Daira on Bandcamp


Kavrila, Blight

kavrila blight

Chest-compressing groove and drive will no doubt earn Hamburg four-piece Kavrila’s second album, Blight (on Backbite Records), some comparisons to Mantar, but to dig into tracks like “Gold” and “Each (Part Two)” is to find a surprising measure of atmospheric focus, and even a rage-roller like “Abandon” has a depth to its mix. Though it’s just 24 minutes long, I’d still consider Blight a full-length for the two-sided flow it sets up leading to the aforementioned “Gold” and “Each (Part Two),” both being the longest cut on their respective half of the record in addition to splitting the tracklisting, as well as for the grinding aspects of songs like “Apocalypse,” “Demolish” and “Golem” on side B, the latter of which takes the rhythmic churn of Godflesh to a point of extremity that even the earlier thrust of “Lungs” did little to foretell. There’s a balance of sludge and hardcore elements, to be sure, but it’s the anger that ultimately defines Blight, however coherent it might be (and is) in its violent intent.

Kavrila on Thee Facebooks

Backbite Records webstore


Ivan, Strewn Across Stars

ivan strewn across stars

Employing the session violin services of Jess Randall, the Melbourne-based two-piece of Brodric Wellington (drums/vocals) and Joseph Pap (guitar, bass, keys) – collectively known as Ivan – would seem to be drawing a specific line in the direction of My Dying Bride with their take on death-doom, but the emotionalist influence goes deeper than that on Strewn Across Stars, their second LP. Shades of Skepticism show themselves in opener and longest track (immediate points) “Cosmic Fear,” which demonstrates a raw production ready for the limited-cassette obscurism the band conjured for their 2016 debut, Aeons Collapse, but nonetheless fleshed out melodically in the guitar and already-noted, deeply prevalent string arrangement. The subsequent “Ethereal” (12:41), “Hidden Dimensions” (12:25) and “Outro” (8:18) dig even further into plodding shattered-self woefulness, with “Hidden Dimensions” providing a brief moment of tempo release before the violin and keys take complete hold in “Outro” to give listeners one last chance to bask in resonant melancholia. A genre-piece, to be sure, but able to stand on its own in terms of personality and patience alike.

Ivan on Thee Facebooks

Ivan on Bandcamp


Clara Engel, Songs for Leonora Carrington


Toronto singer-songwriter Clara Engel pays ambient folk homage to the Mexican surrealist painter/author with the five-tracks of Songs for Leonara Carrington, fleshing out creative and depth-filled arrangements that nonetheless hold fast to the intimate human core beneath. Engel’s voice is of singular character in its melding of gruff fragility, and whether it’s the psychedelic hypnosis of opener and longest track (immediate points) “Birdheaded Queen” or the seemingly minimalist drift of the penultimate “The Ancestor,” her confident melodies float atop gorgeous and sad instrumental progressions that cast an atmosphere of vast reaches. Even the more percussively active centerpiece “Microgods of all the Subatomic Worlds” feels informed by the gradual wash of guitar melody that takes hold on the prior “Sanctuary for Furies,” and as Engel brings in guest contributors for drums, bass, guitar, theremin and choir vocals alongside her own guitar, pump organ, flute and singing, there seems to be little out of her reach or scope. It is a joy to get lost within it.

Clara Engel on Thee Facebooks

Wist Records website


Alastor, Blood on Satan’s Claw


I don’t know whether the title-cut of Blood on Satan’s Claw, the new two-songer EP from dirge-doomers Alastor, is leftover from the same sessions that bore their 2017 debut album for Twin Earth Records, Black Magic (review here), but as it’s keeping company with a near-11-minute take on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising,” the four-piece’s return is welcome either way. Unsurprisingly, not much has changed in their approach in the mere months since the full-length was issued, but that doesn’t mean the swing of “Blood on Satan’s Claw,” the central riff of which owes as much to Windhand as to Sleep as to C.O.C.‘s “Albatross” as to Sabbath, isn’t worth digging into all the same, and with psychedelic vocals reminiscent of newer Monolord and flourish of creeper-style organ, its doom resounds on multiple levels leading into the aforementioned cover, which drawls out the classic original arrangement with a wilfully wretched tack that well earns a nod and raised claw. Alastor remain backpatch-ready, seemingly just waiting for listeners to catch on. If these tracks are any indication, they’ll get there.

Alastor on Thee Facebooks

Alastor on Bandcamp


Deadly Vipers, Fueltronaut


Give it a couple minutes to get going and Fueltronaut, the debut full-length from French four-piece Deadly Vipers, is more than happy to serve up energetic post-Kyuss desert rock loyalism that’s true to form in both spirit and production. Shades of earliest Dozer and the wider pre-social media older-school Euro heavy underground show themselves quickly in “Universe,” but in the later mid-paced reach of “Stalker,” there’s more modern bluesy vibing and as the mega-fuzzed “Meteor Valley,” the driving jam of “Supernova,” and the let’s-push-the-vocals-really-high-in-the-mix-for-some-reason “Dead Summer” shove the listener onward with righteous momentum toward pre-outro closer “River of Souls,” each track getting longer as it goes, the melody that emerges there indeed feels like a moment of arrival. My only real complaint? The intro “Fuel Prophecy” and (hidden) outro, “Watch the Road End.” Especially with the immediacy that strikes when “Universe” kicks in and the resonant finish of “River of Souls” at its six-minute mark, having anything before the one and after the other seems superfluous. A minor quibble on an impressive debut (one could also ramble about cartoon tits on the cover, but what’s the point?) and showcase of potential from an exciting newcomer outfit clearly assured of the style for which they’re aiming.

Deadly Vipers on Thee Facebooks

Deadly Vipers on Bandcamp


Storm of Void, War Inside You


Tokyo duo Storm of Void make their full-length debut with the nine-track/48-minute War Inside You, a full-length that might first snag attention owing to guest vocal spots from Napalm Death’s Mark “Barney” Greenway and Jawbox’s J. Robbins, but has no trouble holding that same attention with its progressive instrumental turns and taut execution. Released by Hostess Entertainment, it’s instrumental in bulk, with eight-string guitarist George Bodman (Bluebeard) and drummer Dairoku Seki (envy) coming together to deliver brisk and aggressive prog metal centered around chugging riffs and a tension that seems to take hold in “Into the Circle” and let up only for the momentary “Interlude” in the midsection before closer “Ghosts of Mt. Sleepwalker” finally allows for some exhalation. As for the guest spots, they’re nothing to complain about, and they break up the proceedings nicely placed as they are, but if Storm of Void are going to hook you, it’s going to be on their own merits, which are plentiful.

Storm of Void on Thee Facebooks

Hostess Entertainment website


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O.R.B. Set Oct. 6 Release for Naturality

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan


Aussie heavy psych continues to flourish as the Victoria-based trio O.R.B. prepare for the Oct. 6 release of their new album, Naturality, via Castle Face Records. Drifting, buzzing and rolling out dreamscape weirdness, the long-player seems to find them working in the influence of tourmates King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, but whatever avenue they want to take to get around to the garage-jangle and fuzzed-out lead work on “Rainbows End” is cool by me. What matters is they get there and dig into some killer vibes along the way. Not saying I’ve heard the album or anything, but it’s an effective fusion of psychedelic impulses new and old, and the vibe runs as thick as the leadoff riff in almost-centerpiece “Immortal Tortoise,” which is plenty, plenty thick.

The PR wire brings word of headtrips to come:

orb naturality

Announcing new album from Aussie heavy psych-rock trio ORB, ‘Naturality’, on Castle Face Records

An exciting development from under strange Australian lab-lights: O.R.B. have respawned from last year’s BIRTH with a further mutated slab of paranoid heavy shred, Naturality. They bring the dread with a kinetic muscularity and a pleasantly evolving synthetic strangeness, as if having eaten of the wrong part of the garden, familiar things start to seem less so. The effects of these spores on your modern brain, already clogged with a steady drip of zips and zooms, are freshly heard and confusing.

O.R.B. are young and fleet fingered, and certainly know their way around a riff, but they bring everything into an almost alien clarity both blunted and futuristic. O.R.B., you see, have ripened quite radically, one can only think at an accelerated pace upon their travels with King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, and Naturality finds them sprouting new appendages and clawing at their enclosures. This is potent stuff, be careful – it’s out on Castle Face October 6th.

Artist: ORB
Title: Naturality
Label: Castle Face
Format: LP/CD

Release date: 6th October 2017

1. Hazlewart
2. A Man In The Sand
3. You Are Right
4. O.R.B.
5. Immortal Tortoise
6. Motherbrain
7. Flying Sorcerer
8. Rainbows End

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Whitehorse, Progression: Death by Sludge

Posted in Reviews on September 27th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Noise-infected Aussie five-piece Whitehorse specialize in the kind of death/doom that’s so lurching and massive in its brown metal tonality that it sounds slow even on the few occasions the band decides to speed things up. The Melbourne, Victoria, group have released enough live albums and EPs since 2005 to be called prolific, but the sludge-grooving Progression (Sweat Lung Records) is only their second full-length in that time, following a 2007 self-titled released by 20 Buck Spin. At a vinyl-ready 38 minutes, Progression is preceded in 2011 by the Document: 250407 EP, and a split with Rhode Island avant doomers The Body has already followed, but the album was clearly made to stand on its own, and it does, inflicting its dreary, darkened atmospherics well beyond the point of oppression. Whitehorse – guitarist Adrian Naudi (ex-The Berzerker), bassist Pete McLean, drummer Dan McKay, noise-maker David Coen and vocalist Peter Hyde – delve into the depths of viciousness, the ultra-slow riffing providing some groove that, again, is more prominent in the faster stretches, but still holds firm to some doom-based ideals and sets a firm ground for Hyde to launch his all-out brutal vocal assault in the forms of death growls and blackened metal screams that play well off each other on songs like the later “Time Worm Regression.”

Nothing polarizes quite like harsh vocals. Some people just can’t take it. I’m not one of them. If you can scream or growl effectively, fit with the rhythm and the atmosphere set by the music, then I’m all for it, and as far as that goes, Hyde has a handle on both technique and presentation. His growls echo over McKay’s crashes and the thudding riffs of Naudi and McLean, sounding disenfranchised and inhuman at the same time. Given Australia’s history of death/doom (dISEMBOWELMENT walks by and waves), Whitehorse aren’t exactly innovative, but they do what they do well, and Coen’s added noises and electronics do much to distinguish the band from others of their ilk. At their heart, they are unrelentingly heavy, and as the five tracks of Progression – “Mechanical Disintegration,” “Progression,” “Control, Annihilate,” “Time Worn Regression” and “Remains Unknown” – play out, Whitehorse’s blend of sludge and death/doom becomes even more effective, until finally the same plodding drums that introduced “Mechanical Disintegration” lead the way out of the 10:45 “Remains Unknown.” Hyde is a big part of that heaviness, since he never wavers in the filthiness of his approach, but each member of the band plays a part, including Coen, whose presence is immediately felt on the opener, playing off McKay’s drums with echoing rhythmically-timed noises of his own. There is a sense of foreboding about the opening of Progression, and Coen is a big factor in it.

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