Review & Video Premiere: Snail, Fractal Altar

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on April 26th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

snail fractal altar

[Click play above to stream the premiere of Snail’s video for ‘Mission From God.’ New album, Fractal Altar, releases April 30 on Argonauta Records. Video edited by Matt Lynch with footage by Kevin Spencer, Jennifer Hendrix-Johnson, Weston Radcliffe, and Laura Chavez and art by Ella Lynch.]

It is fitting and perhaps not coincidental that  Company get more Support. Trusted By 3000+ Corporate Clients. Start in 30min. 12 hours delivery. From 29 $/hr. Snail‘s fifth album,  You can simplify your essay-writing task by involving a reliable essay writer essay writers working on their college see here now. Fractal Altar, should arrive on the cusp of the band celebrating their 30th anniversary next year, since it is arguably most the work they’ve done since to harken back to their beginnings as a band. Their 1993 self-titled debut (review here) and 1994’s  Professional Essays On Alzheimerss correct your papers spelling, grammatical errors, punctuation, continuity, flow, and support of thoughts. Also, we ensure your writing presents clearly in academic English and is easy for readers to understand. Client Reviews One of the things I appreciate most about the service provided is the feeling that the project was important to the All Channels Are Open EP document those early days and even as its  This should be etched at the back of your mind especially if you want to go to site. The reason behind this is that the higher the academic level you are dealing with, the more it gets crucial to deal with competent and professional writers to have the best results. It will also be prudent for you to check for a buy dissertation online service that offers additional services Seldon Hunt/ my blog Ella Lynch front and back covers embrace a yet-unseen complexity of design, the eight songs of the release itself work to in part to pare down some of the layering aspects and push the buzz tone of  The Phd Thesis On Smart Antennas in The UK. At the undergraduate level, dissertations are almost universally assigned for degrees in the social sciences and humanities, although other degree programs may require one, depending on the institution. A dissertation is always required at the Masters level and either a dissertation or a thesis will be required at the PhD level. Only at the PhD Mark Johnson‘s guitar to the fore with  Just Company Industry Pharmaceutical Phd Thesis to get yourself stress-free from all your dissertation troubles. We know how hard it gets when your dissertation is met with editing complications. From writing a dissertation proposal to the whole structure, it gets the best of you which led the decision to buy dissertation services in UK quite smart. Matt Lynch‘s bass and  dissociative identity disorder term paper Unique College Essays Now personal statement opening paragraph good custom essay site Marty Dodson‘s drums accompanying with punkish speed on opening duo “Mission From God” and the righteously  The service offers customers competent writing assistance. It's a place, where a student can choose one of clicks. Each order is Fu Manchu-y “Nothing Left for You” — the latter also previously released as a single — before “Not Two” urges with proto-grunge-meets-desert-rock backing, “Bring your appetite/And we’ll devour each other.”

Of course,  Improve your skills, be clear and concise and maintain professionalism. Follow our tips and improve the quality of your business writing. Fractal Altar, which is released through Learn how you can benefit from using our reliable professional Topic For Research Papers online services to help improve the quality of your thesis paper. Argonauta Records some six years after  If youre looking for a Professional Mba Essay Writing, you will like the quality offered by Check the 10 reasons to choose this Feral (review here) came out on  The Best Service in The UK. We created a dynamic and flexible system that allows students from all over the UK and beyond to find an expert to do their tiresome writing assignments. The writers in our team are certified professionals, each holding a degree in one or more of the subjects listed in the order form. We cooperate with former students of the UK universities to better Small Stone, has its dynamic and still finds the band trying new things. With recording by  Are you browsing for the best write custom research paper? We only hire American writers and can take care of the whole document or a single chapter. Lynch at  Steps In Writing An Argumentative Essay - Moneysaving shopping for medications at our drugstore. Online pharmacy with affordable deals. Save money when ordering from our All Welcome Records in Inglewood, California, and mixing/mastering at his own Mysterious Mammal studio, as well as some home recording by Jennifer Hendrix-Johnson in Seattle, and Lynch‘s daughter handling the back cover, Fractal Altar is nothing if not a family affair, but that perhaps emphasizes how much the band itself has become a kind of family, if one spread between Los Angeles (Lynch), San Diego (Dodson) and Seattle (Johnson), and it makes the elements of growth they showcase in their songwriting, be it in more nuanced arrangements of backing vocals from Lynch in “Hold On” or the subsequent “The False Lack,” or the rhythmic patience that allows for a sense of space in the latter there without resorting to an effects barrage, feel suitably homegrown.

No doubt part of the idea that Snail have stripped down somewhat on Fractal Altar comes from the fact that, at eight tracks and 37 minutes, the record is a full 10 minutes shorter than was Feral, but it’s also the band’s second long-player since returning to a three-piece configuration, their lineup having included guitarist Eric Clausen for their 2009 return-from-ether second album, Blood (review here) and its 2012 follow-up, Terminus (review here). To listen to the relative sprint with which they execute “Mission From God” at the outset or the later mellow-Nirvana-into-rolling-nod of the penultimate “Draining White,” Snail don’t sound like anything so much as themselves, and they sound free in terms of their craft. On their fourth release since coming back from a 16-year break, the most immediate attitude one can glean from listening is that they’re doing what they want to do.

snail fractal altar back

It’s not necessarily a turn toward the humble, but as the video for “Mission From God” finds Johnson playing the lead role of someone having taken enough acid to meet with the divine, the band come across as both willing to have fun — see also the Queens of the Stone Age-style handclaps and strum as “Not Two” approaches its midpoint and the all-out low-end-showcase lumber of the eight-plus-minute closing title-track, on which no less than Ed Mundell turns in a guest appearance on backward guitar — and aware of what they want to do and who they want to be as songwriters. “When the Tree Spoke,” which follows “The False Lack” and opens side B, is elemental Snail through and through. Johnson‘s vocals are melodic and laid back, topping a fervent but not necessarily aggressive groove, and the tones are subtly rich without being overdone. There’s flourish of keys and backward sampling and a call and response hook, but nothing that couldn’t be reproduced faithfully on stage, and they bring it all back around to the chorus in a way that’s atmospheric without veering into such overly cerebral fare as to be inconsistent with earlier pieces.

Further evidence that Snail know exactly what they’re doing here? The progression of the album. Even Feral, which was their most accomplished record to this point, didn’t draw the listener in with as much clarity of purpose as does Fractal Altar, and speaking as a fan of the band, these songs are a trip that’s a pleasure to take, from the hestitate-to-call-them-“simple”-bit-will-anyway-for-the-turn-of-phrase simple pleasures of the choruses in “Mission From God” and “Nothing Left for You,” down through the slowdown in “Not Two” and the bit of Pacific Northwest that shows up in “Hold On” (that main riff calling to mind earlier Red Fang all the more with the backing vocal treatment) ahead of “The False Lack” and “When the Tree Spoke” setting up the longer-unfolding “Draining White” and “Fractal Altar” itself, which, true to classic LP structure, prove to be as stratosphere-bound as Snail push on the album.

Lynch, who you’ll recall also mixed, seems to have been saving his bass punch for the start of the title cut, and fair enough. If the band are in direct conversation with Feral anywhere on Fractal Altar, it’s in the song that shares the release’s name, but they’re more willing to freak out in the apex here than they were on, say, “Thou Art That” or the similarly-extended thudder “Psilocybe” from the prior record. Ed Mundell shredding guitar in another dimension is never going to hurt either as regards setting that mood, and it’s as fitting as anything could hope to be that they end the lysergic march with a sudden stop as though, having finally tipped off the end of the world, there’s nothing left to greet them but vacuum. One wonders how long that section actually went, but cutting it cold serves its purpose, and perhaps the last message they’re sending to their audience is that Snail realize that too. Fractal Altar is the offering through which they are most themselves in songwriting and performance. They may dip here and there in terms of influences or pick out aspects and vibes as they go from others — hello, Blues Brothers — but there is no master being served here more than the songs, and that is as emblematic of their work on the whole as anything could be. Far out.

Snail, Fractal Altar (2021)

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Dust Mice Release Earth III Today

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 16th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

dust mice

Hit up the usual-suspect streaming outlets and you’ll be able to hear Earth III, the debut album from Seattle’s Dust Mice, out today. In addition to reimagining Black Sabbath‘s “Solitude” as a speedy Hawkwindian space jaunt, laced with sax and keys, the record runs a gamut of psychedelia, marked out by the stomp of opener “Choom Wagon” and the shake in “Hepatitis X” — dire of lyric and vital of groove — onward into the trippy ever-forward motion of “Desert Bus” and the drift-at-last “MTN Wizzards,” which caps. You’re gonna get knocked around a bit by some electromagnetic interference, but who the hell ever said visiting the cosmos would be a smooth ride the whole way through? The bumps and bruises garnered along the way five the eight-song offering all the more character to work from.

Space. Rock. Vibe. Rock.

Out today, you say? Don’t mind if I do.

Think of the PR wire preliminary data as a pre-flight checklist. Half-impulse. Take us out:

dust mice earth iii

Space rockers Dust Mice release eclectic new album Earth III

Earth III is the new album from Dust Mice, a 5-piece Space-Garage band from the Pacific Northwest. Analog synths, distorted saxophone and raw guitar combine with a driving rhythm section to deliver spaced out garage rock with influences from New Wave Sci-Fi, post-punk, and classic metal. Previous work includes 2 EPs and a digital single, which are all available (including bonus live tracks) on the Super Moon Fetus compilation.

Earth III is the band’s first full-length album and follows up on the themes introduced in their EP, Moon Fetus. The album was written while the band was actively gigging and the final form of many of the songs was worked out on-stage before tracking the album live. To get the layered, out of control sound Dust Mice hunkered down for a session of overdubs and extended jams. Those tracks were cut up and mixed throughout the album as sonic connective tissue, mimicking the chaotic sonic assault of a live Dust Mice show.

Lyrical themes explore tales of wizard cults (MTN Wizzards), suicidal androids (Eye Make You Eye), the existential burden of living on a generation starship (Hepatitis X), and the self-mythologizing failures of American Imperialism (Choom Wagon, Sky King). This all comes together in a cover of Black Sabbath’s Solitude, interpreted as a charging space-garage celebration of humanity’s ultimate failure. The only note of hope comes from Desert Bus, an ode to psychedelic introspection and opening yourself to the majesty of the universe.

EARTH III is available now on Bandcamp and all other digital platforms including Spotify Deezer and Apple Music.

Track Listing:
1. Choom Wagon
2. Eye Make You Eye
3. Hepatitis X
4. Solitude
5. Sky King
6. Crisis on Infinite Earths
7. Desert Bus
8. MTN Wizzards

Dust Mice:
Patrick Seick: Lead Vocals, Synth, Percussion
Robbie Houston: Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Backup Vocals
Nate Henry: Saxophone, Backup Vocals
Lewis Hunt: Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Backup Vocals
Zane Graham: Drums, Backup Vocals

Dust Mice, “Hepatitis X”

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Satanik Royalty Records: New Label Announced; Sandrider, Old Iron and More Signed

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

My social media feed the last couple days has been swamped with Satanik Royalty Records. Not complaining, just stating the fact, which emphasizes that the newcomer Seattle-based imprint is hitting the ground running. Further argument toward that is the fact that honcho Michael Freiburger has signed five acts out of the gate. Most notable to me is Sandrider, but Heiress and Old Iron and even Freiburger‘s own outfit DeathCAVE aren’t unknown names, and with Dark Meditation and Izthmi adding darker nuance, there’s more than just standard-heavy-label scope. I don’t know how many times a day I think, ‘well this’ll be interesting to see where it goes,’ but here’s another one.

And seriously, anyone cool enough to associate with Sandrider is alright by me.

PR wire has this, in case your social media hasn’t been similarly impacted:

satanik royalty records logo

SATANIK ROYALTY RECORDS: DeathCAVE Bassist/Vocalist Launches New Seattle-Based Label And Clothing Line; Releases From Heiress, Dark Meditation, Old Iron, And More Coming Soon!

Following years of thought, deliberation, preparation, and finally, wild anticipation, DeathCAVE bassist/vocalist Freiburger is pleased to announce the official launch of SATANIK ROYALTY RECORDS, a boutique record label and clothing line based in Seattle, Washington.

Established to help supply a louder voice to heavy music and artists within the Seattle underground as well as transgender and indigenous communities, Freiburger’s vision has been a longtime in the making. “I’ve always had a voice in the back of my head screaming, ‘I wish I had the money to make a real label,” begins Freiburger on his decision to start the imprint. “My passion started in the late ‘90s when I would throw shows at the Dog Mushers Hall and Eagles Lodge in Fairbanks, Alaska, where I grew up. Since moving to the ‘big city,’ I’ve been immersed in and fascinated by the Seattle music scene and have been booking and playing DIY shows, punk houses, and eventually booking major venues ever since.

“There are so many truly awesome bands everywhere that struggle to find labels to sign them,” he continues. “Major local record labels are either too big or too indie to take on new, less commercial artists. The handful of respected underground labels here in Seattle have unfortunately faded. That leaves a lot of great bands left without local representation.”

The COVID-19 pandemic quite literally changed the face of music. Without a functioning live scene, bands of all genres have been forced to get creative just to sustain. For Freiburger, there seemed no better time than now to introduce SATANIK ROYALTY RECORDS. “It hurts my heart to know such amazing bands are struggling to find someone to put faith in them.”

With that in mind, Freiburger curated an eclectic roster of Seattle’s best kept secrets including Heiress (hardcore sludge), Dark Meditation (gritty black ‘n’ roll), Old Iron (psychedelic sludge), Sandrider (grunge), Izthmi (atmospheric/progressive black metal), and of course, Freiburger’s own DeathCAVE (doom/sludge), all scheduled to release material in the coming months via the label.

SATANIK ROYALTY RECORDS will offer physical product as well as streaming and online distribution, limited runs and collector’s items as well as a clothing line and art in collaboration with prominent and respected artists throughout the scene. For Freiburger, extending SATANIK ROYALTY’s proverbial tentacles to the art community seemed like a logical pairing.

“I have always loved three things: music and then designing band merch and tattoos. Since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed with those things and now that I’m an old kid, I wanted to be able to do it on a much more impactful scale. This label is about the art and amplifying the voice of it. Not only music but the visual artists behind all that bad ass imagery.”

Sandrider, Armada (2018)

Satanik Royalty Records promo

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Sorcia Sign to Desert Records; Death by Design EP Coming Soon

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

Following the release in 2020 of their self-titled debut (review here), Seattle, Washington, three-piece Sorcia have signed on to release their next EP, Death by Design, through Desert Records. Near as I can tell, the forthcoming — no exact date, but figure summer-ish — outing will comprise two tracks. First is a 16-minute title-cut to be recorded by none other than Tad Doyle, and the second is a CD-only bonus live tune, which, as a fan generally of the all-but-forgotten compact disc format, I can appreciate. I mean seriously, CDs use lasers! Lasers! That’s some Back to the Future shit right there.

If you caught the album last year, you already know Sorcia can handle longer-form work, as they demonstrated in the nine-minute “Stars Collide,” so to find them pushing that impulse either as a general direction or a one-off — you’re never really sure when it comes to EPs — feels natural either way. And note too in the comment from Desert Records the apparent intention of owner Brad Frye (also Red Mesa) to build a network of tour stops through geographic spread of the label’s roster. Of course, touring is a hypothetical at the moment, but by sourcing a local knowledge base through its own the catalog of offerings, there’s really no limit to how far the imprint’s routing might end up going. Except, you know, the planet.

Word from Frye and from the band follow here:


SORCIA – Death by Design – Desert Records

“The ink is dry, Sorcia has signed to Desert Records for the release of an EP called ‘Death By Design’ releasing this summer, exact release date TBD. Once I heard their S/T debut album, I knew this was the perfect band for Desert Records, with their mix of styles that range from sludge to doom to blues to grunge to stoner metal. This will be a special release showcasing a 16-minute-long song, plus an acoustic version of ‘Dusty’. Part of the Desert Records touring routes, Sorica helps to complete the Seattle stop. Once venues open back up, you will see Sorica and all Desert Records bands and artists on the road supporting each other across cities and big towns in the US.” -Brad Frye, Desert Records

“We are very pleased to announce that we have joined forces with Desert Records for the release of our forthcoming EP ‘Death By Design’,” says Sorcia. “The creation of this EP was a huge step out of our comfort zone, and it explores some of the farthest depths of our collective creativity. The title track ‘Death By Design’ is an epic journey that delves into the most primitive concepts of human existence and death.”

“The mighty Tad Doyle will be at the helm once again for the recording of this opus as well as the talented Mike Hawkins on board again for the artwork. The CD will include an exclusive bonus track, a smokey, stripped-down acoustic version of the self-reflective song ‘Dusty’. For the recording of this song, we had the pleasure of working with Jessica’s own brother Matt Bos. These songs each had their unique challenges, but they inspired us to push our limits and move beyond the walls of our boundaries.”

Album artwork, preorder info, and release date coming soon.

In the meantime, check out their first album on Bandcamp:

Neal De Atley – Guitar, Vocals
Jessica Brasch – Bass, Vocals
Bryson Marcey – Drums

Sorcia, Sorcia (2020)

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Sun Crow Sign to Ripple Music; Quest for Oblivion out July 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 26th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

sun crow

Yeah, this is the kind of thing that should be happening. Sun Crow last year offered up an admirably original take on the tenets of heavy rock with their debut, Quest for Oblivion (review here), and they’ve been accordingly picked up by Ripple Music to release that album and presumably whatever they do next. The record is still fresh, having come out in November, and you can hear it below if you didn’t, but they’re featuring the song “Collapse” ahead of the physical pressing with the Ripple logo on board — this news was enough to get me to pick up the “pandemic edition” of the self-released CD; as of this post there are now six left — and of course they’ll do vinyl and whatnot as well. That’s a significant 2LP.

I swear, just this last news post, then I’m checking out for the week.

Congrats to the band and cheers as ever to the label. Ripple‘s on a tear if you haven’t noticed.

From the PR wire:

sun crow quest for oblivion

Seattle doom blues merchants SUN CROW sign to Ripple Music for worldwide debut album release; stream first single “Collapse” now!

Seattle-based up and coming stoner rock foursome SUN CROW just signed to Ripple Music for the worldwide release of their debut full-length ‘Quest for Oblivion’ on July 2nd, 2021. Plunge your ears in their tar-thick new single “Collapse” now.

SUN CROW is a heavy rock band out of Seattle. Their debut release ‘Quest for Oblivion’ clocks in at a monolithic 70 minutes in a Northwest haze of thick Sabbathian riff and groove. Through their loud and bleak existential doom rock, the quartet channel sounds recalling early proto metal and warps them into a contemporary and heavy metallic, dark psyche experience.

Says the band about this new collaboration: “We are stoked to be working with Ripple Music to bring heavy tales to the furthest shores. It’s a pleasure to be a part of the Ripple Family, and an honor to count ourselves among these talented sound makers we’ve admired for a long time. From the first call it seemed like an uncanny connection, and that we’d found a home of like-minds on a corner of this rock we ride on hurtling through space. Collapse is the opening call to Quest for Oblivion, a heavy reflection of memories surfacing from our journeys out of the past headlong into an unknown. The louder we turn it up, the deeper into the night it echoes. »

Working from a time-slip in the tight and gritty live spaces of the Pacific Northwest, guitarist Ben Nechanicky and drummer Keith Hastreiter exploit years of making music together along with the thundering bass of Brian Steel and expressive vocal style of Todd Lucas to create heavy rock obliterations untethered to conventional delivery. Rain-soaked doom blues, moss-covered stoner rock, grey sky heavy psych, whatever they call it, SUN CROW calls the old spirits of high volume heavy rock into close quarters and paints the ceiling and walls with magnets, wood, and glass. Their debut album ‘Quest For Oblivion’ will be issued on July 2nd, 2021 on CD, limited edition vinyl and digital through Ripple Music.

SUN CROW Debut album ‘Quest for Oblivion’
Out July 2nd, 2021 on Ripple Music

1. Collapse
2. Black It Out
3. End Over End
4. Fell Across The Sky
5. Fear
6. Nothing Behind
7. Hypersonic
7. Titans

First self-released in November 2020 through Bandcamp, SUN CROW’s debut ‘Quest for Oblivion’ was well received and highly regarded by the heavy underground. The album topped the Doom Charts in November and December 2020, landing itself on many best of and year-end lists, and it continues to make waves. The band joined the Ripple Music family in early 2021 to create a heavy partnership that will see wide distribution of their molten debut, and future smoldering releases.

Guitar — Ben Nechanicky
Drums — Keith Hastreiter
Bass — Brian Steel
Vocals — Todd Lucas

Sun Crow, Quest for Oblivion (2020)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Amy Tung Barrysmith

Posted in Questionnaire on March 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

year of the cobra

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: Amy Tung Barrysmith of Year of the Cobra

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

I live life through feelings. My memories aren’t necessarily pictures in my head of what happened, or words that I remember people saying, but of what I felt at that moment. This is one of the reasons I am so bad at remembering faces and names. I just remember the feeling the club had, what the air felt like, what the room smelled like, what the faces made me feel like, what the drinks tasted like. I guess music makes sense to me because it’s all about feeling things and I define what I do as sharing what I’m feeling inside with others, if that makes sense. Communicating in the best way I can. I’ve never been much of a talker. My older sister was really good at that, so I let her do all of the talking when I was a kid (and even as an adult). I tend to gravitate toward people who talk a lot, so I don’t have to, but I find expression and communication with music to be easy. I feel like I understand what it’s saying and am able to convey it so others can understand too

Describe your first musical memory.

My first musical memory is of me practicing on this really old piano in my parent’s bedroom in Memphis, TN. I started playing when I was four (I asked, so it wasn’t forced on me) and I remember practicing at night. It was always dark outside, and I would sit at this piano and play and play. I remember writing a song for an elementary school music competition. I was in the 1st grade. I wrote a song, had to write it on manuscript paper (my mom helped with that, although she’s not musical at all, so I’m sure it was a big struggle), and we recorded it on a cassette tape which we then submitted. My older sister won first place, and I got honorable mention. The other memory I have of that room and that piano is practicing this Sonatina by Clementi. For some reason, the song was really scary to me. I think it’s because I was by myself and the room was dark and I have always been a bit of a chicken when it comes to the dark, but I have taught that song to some of my students and I still have that feeling of being scared when I hear it. It takes me right back to that room and the dark.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

This is a hard question to answer, narrowing it down to one memory. There are so many, and I seem to remember the more terrifying ones best, lol. I think one of the best memories was our first tour to Europe. We were just a fledgling band and we were surprised we got any attention at all. We were invited to play Hell over Hammaburg in 2017. We hadn’t toured Europe yet and weren’t sure what the response would be, so we only booked one week. We figured, if we failed, we wouldn’t be out too much money. Our goal was only to break even. The tour ended up being a success and when we played Hell over Hammaburg Fest at the Markthalle (we played the little room), it was packed!! There were people spilling out of the room for the whole set and they had their fists in the air chanting to our songs. It was the most amazing experience. It was the first time I had ever played to an audience like that. I remember I kept looking at Jon to make sure he was seeing what I was seeing.

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

I would probably have to say the past four years which includes the Trump presidential era (which hopefully we won’t revisit in 2024), Covid and its antimaskers, BLM movement (the fact that we have to keep reminding people that Black Lives Matter to me is disappointing, it should be known), all of the protests everywhere (Hong Kong, Burma, Russia, US, to name a few), the Uigher situation in China, antivaxxers, climate change disbelievers, Poland’s anti-abortion laws, the unapologetic rise in antisemitism and white supremacy, the list goes on and on. I’m disappointed in humanity at the moment. I’m really disappointed with the American people, with our government, with our inability to have empathy toward other people, with our inability to see through the propaganda. I thought we were better than this, I firmly believed we were better than this, but we are not. I am in despair because I don’t know what I can do about it, what I can do to help make things better.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Artistic progression can lead anywhere! That’s the beauty of art. There are no boundaries. When I was in the 5th grade, we had a substitute teacher who put up a puzzle on the board. It had nine dots that formed a square (3×3) and our job was to connect all of the dots using only four lines, without lifting up your pencil. No one figured it out, but when he showed us the answer, it really blew my mind. You have to move out of the 3×3 box to do it. I often think about that question when I am working on new ideas, whether it’s within music or not. I think the best artists out there, the ones that really move us, think outside of these boxes. They are the ones that progress art to places we haven’t been before, opening doors for other artists to follow and explore and expand some more.

How do you define success?

I define success as finding happiness and stability. For me, they go hand in hand. If my life is stable, personally and financially, then I am happy. My marriage to Jon is amazing. We work well together in all aspects of life. We have arguments, but they’re pretty far and few between. We have similar interests and enjoying doing them together. We are very lucky. We also have stable jobs that we enjoy. We don’t make much money, but we are careful in what we spend and how we spend it. Our kids seem to be happy and healthy, despite our touring schedule. We have been able to make our passion something more than just a side hobby. If we can keep this up, be it with music, or opening a business, or whatever other endeavor we decide to do in the future, I think we will be successful.

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

The Exorcist. Really, that movie scared the crap out of me, and I watched it when I was really young. That movie, and the Omen (which I also watched at a young age) probably has a lot of do with why I was/am scared of the dark.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I’ve always wanted to write a symphony. It was a goal of mine since I was young. I tried starting one in middle school, but never finished. I wanted to go to Julliard and be a composer and conductor, but life got in the way and I took another path. I don’t think it’s too late, though. I still dream about going back to school to study classical music. Once my kids are off to college and out of the house, then I will consider it!

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

I think the most essential function of art is to offer a form of expression for yourself and for others. I’m often telling my students when they’re performing these classical pieces on the piano, their goal is to make the audience laugh with them, or cry with them, or feel sadness, or happiness, depending on what the song dictates. You have to make them feel something by expressing it through your fingers and your body. We go to museums, concerts, shows, art exhibits, movies, because we want to feel something other than what we normally feel through our daily lives; to get away from the stress of life, anxiety of work, etc. Art gives everyone a way to express themselves, whether they’re the artist or not.

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

Spending time with my family. I am looking forward to more snowboarding trips with my family, more long walks to the beach, more time camping, more time chilling on the sofa and watching movies, more time cooking and eating yummy food, more time hanging with friends.

Year of the Cobra, Ash and Dust (2019)

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Mos Generator Stream The Lantern in Full; Out Friday

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

mos generator circa 2007

Mos Generator are set to oversee a physical release of The Lantern this Friday through Argonauta Records. It’s kind of an oddball release, but these are oddball times, and melody soothes chaos, so bear with it. The Lantern, by my pitiful understanding of such things, is a remix/master of songs the Port Orchard, Washington, power trio released in 2007 on a 10″. At the time, it wasn’t The Lantern; it was Tales From the Vault. Seems pretty straightforward.

Now, where this gets confusing is that Mos Generator last year embarked on what founding guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed called ‘The Plundering of the Vaults,’ continuing a long-running pattern of adding to their massive discography by digging through old tapes, hard drives, whathaveyou. So, “tales” vs. “plundering,” but let’s assume it’s the same vaults in question. Reed also put out the religiously-themed “In the Upper Room” as a digital single last summer in varyingly mixed fashion, from the layered final version to completely instrumental. The Lantern, brings that track together with the harmonized leadoff “Dyin’ Blues,” as well as the centerpiece title-track — a mos generator the lanternforward boogie into a Floydian midsection en route to a showoff solo and rousing finish — the more classic-metal-tinged “Nightwolf” (sounds like Dio to me, right up to the fadeout) and the back and forth finale, “O’Cataa,” which shifts between softer harmony vocals and heavier rollout, patient and fluid all the while.

Mos Generator at the time was Reed, bassist Scooter Haslip and drummer Shawn Johnson, and if the Zdzislaw Beksinski cover art to The Lantern isn’t its own excuse for being — and it absolutely is — the release at just 22 minutes offers what might be a surprisingly relevant preview of the progressive mindset that the band has followed in more recent years. They’re due a new full-length sometime soon, but the quality and presentation of The Lantern makes it less just a fan-piece than it might otherwise be. With the basic tracks recorded mostly live over just a couple days, there’s an energy throughout that only adds to the flow between one song and the next. It won’t take up much of your day in the actual listening, but you should be prepared to have a song or two from it stuck in your head considerably longer.

Either way, as someone who didn’t hear Tales From the Vault when it came out, I’m more than happy to dig into these remixed tracks. Since the EP is premiering in full below, followed by some comment from Reed, I can only hope you feel the same.

Please enjoy:

Mos Generator, The Lantern official premiere

Tony Reed on The Lantern:

The Lantern was originally released in May of 2007 as a 10” picture disc called “Tales from the Vault”. That first pressing sold out quick and has remained unavailable on vinyl for the past 10 years at least. I’ve been wanting a re-issue of it for a few years now so it’s great to finally be getting to it. This re-issue has a new title, new mix, and new artwork. why? Because the original release was rushed out in every way. This is a chance to give it the attention it deserves on a vinyl format that that has much better sound quality than a picture disc. The new artwork, by the late Polish artist Zdzislaw Beksinski, represents the religious nature of many of the lyrics, as does the new title. The new mix retains the energy of how it was originally recorded and mixed but with a new focus and punch. Our approach to recording and songwriting for these sessions was a successful experiment and I’m stoked that the results are being let loose into the world again.

“The Lantern” will be coming out as a limited Vinyl edition only, on February 26th 2021 via Argonauta Records, the pre-sale has started at THIS LOCATION!

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Snail Sign to Argonauta Records; Fractal Altar Due This Spring

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

West Coast fuzz heavies Snail will release their new album, Fractal Altar, through Argonauta Records. The announcement and pickup comes after the Spring 2020 unveiling of the single “Nothing Left for You” (posted here), which will also feature as the second cut on the eight-song long-player. The Los Angeles and Washington-based trio’s last full-length was 2015’s Feral (review here), so they’re well enough due an album, particularly as they’re approaching the 30th anniversary of their originally getting together in 1992 — their self-titled debut (review here) came out in ’93, the All Channels are Open EP (review here) followed in ’94 and then they disbanded until 2009’s Blood (review here; discussed here) — and as a fan of their work across the board, news of a fifth full-length is only welcome as far as I’m concerned.

Spring release, so maybe April? May? Whenever it arrives, it will be greeted as a fuzzy liberator.

From the PR wire:


SNAIL Signs Worldwide Deal With Argonauta Records! New album “Fractal Altar” due out in Spring 2021!

Six years since their last album, heavy psych prophets SNAIL have announced the worldwide signing with Argonauta Records for the release of a new and hotly-anticipated full-length studio album!

Entitled “Fractal Altar” and slated for a release in the Spring of 2021, SNAIL’s forthcoming, fifth record picks up where their last LP “Feral” left off — heavy, fuzzy melodic tunes with floating harmonies and lyrics that explore both inner and outer space. But this time, the band comes recharged and rejuvenated, enthusiastically triumphing over their dark side and reveling in their power trio roots.

Six years in gestation, recording for “Fractal Altar” led all three original SNAIL members Marty Dodson, Mark Johnson and Matt Lynch to convene the brotherhood to record their new album at All Welcome Records in Inglewood, CA. Since the members are spread out all over the West Coast ranging from Seattle to Los Angeles and San Diego, the proceedings took on the air of an astrological event. SNAIL in the studio is a celebration of both sonics and friendship, and after 30 years of playing together, it didn’t take long to lock in and feel the synergy ignite.

During the last year, the masters of heavy slowness have already shared a sneak peak of the fruits of their labors, but showcasing faster driving rhythms and Stooges-style leads with the track “Nothing Left for You”.

“We are very excited to be working with Argonauta and feel honored to be a part of their amazing roster of talent.” SNAIL comments. “Their enthusiasm and dedication to realizing our vision for this release means so much to us and we can’t wait to deliver this new record to our fans all over the world.”

Dropping the needle on the LP’s opening track “Mission from God”, the listener gets a nod to the Blues Brothers, while the song turns the line on its head with a hard rocking tune about going “far out” to bring back the psych knowledge for the less experienced masses. After ranging from poppy jangle to fuzzy singalongs and Camaro rocking proto-metal, the record closes with the album’s title song, “Fractal Altar”, a nine minute sludge behemoth that will leave listeners renewed and satisfied that they sat down to commune with the elders.

Welcome back the kings of fuzz, and stay tuned for many more details and new tracks to follow in the weeks ahead!

Snail is:
Matt Lynch (Bass/Vocals)
Marty Dodson (Drums)
Mark Johnson (Lead Vocals/Guitar)

Snail, Nothing Left for You / Fearless (2020)

Snail, “Nothing Left for You” official video

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