Bongzilla Stream “Sundae Driver”; Weedsconsin Preorders Available

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

Well, the cover art certainly gets the point across, and I don’t think Bongzilla were likely to be accused of subtlety anyhow. April 20 — of course — is the release date for Weedsconsin, and preorders are up not through Heavy Psych Sounds. The opening track, “Sundae Driver,” was previously available as a live-room jam, and can now be streamed in its studio version, which somehow feels even crustier. Stoned stays stoned.

You’re not going to listen to “Sundae Driver” and think it’s some other band, let’s put it that way. I’m kind of curious to hear “The Weedeater,” since there’s a decent chance it’s about the band Weedeater, but even if not, whatever. I’ll take it either way. New Bongzilla. Riffs and such.

From the PR wire:

bongzilla weedsconsin

BONGZILLA release new single “Sundae Driver”; ‘Weedsconsin’ out 4/20 and available to preorder on Heavy Psych Sounds!

Midwest’s sludge behemoths and all-time weed metal pioneers BONGZILLA unleash their brand new single “Sundae Driver” exclusively on Decibel Magazine today! The song is taken from their forthcoming fifth album ‘Weedsconsin’, due out April 20th and available to preorder now through Heavy Psych Sounds.

Featuring a three-piece lineup of all original members—bassist/vocalist Muleboy, guitarist Spanky and drummer Magma— “Sundae Driver” delivers the kind of hazy, heavy-as-hell doom that BONGZILLA earned their reputation peddling. The riffs on “Sundae Driver” are low and slow, sounding like they originate in a smoke-filled room; paired with a flattening rhythm section, the instruments create the ideal backdrop for Muleboy’s throat-shredding, smoke-destroyed vocals.

On the fringe of chaos, in the Year of the Pandemic, the Cannabeast has awoken. World pioneers of Weed Metal BONGZILLA return with their new full-length album, sixteen years after their last record ‘Amerijuanican’. Over the span of ‘Weedsconsin’ six tracks, Bongzilla delivers heavy doses of crushing stoner doom and psychedelic space rock that sets it apart from earlier material.

This record travels down a path of heavy riffs, mind-expanding jams, sonic tones, and stomping beats in the band’s first release as a thunderous three piece, with Muleboy moving from guitar to bass. Approaching these songs as a three-piece has created more space musically and allowed the band to showcase their musicianship in a different way, resulting in a sound that is very heavy, along the lines of ‘Gateway’ tone-wise, but sonically clearer.

‘Weedsconsin’ was written by Muleboy (bass, vocals), Spanky (guitar), and Magma (drums) and recorded and mixed by the late John Hopkins at Future Apple Tree Studios in Rock Island, Illinois in October 2020. It was mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering in Chicago, Illinois, with an artwork design by Eli Quinn. It will be released on April 20th, 2021 on various limited edition vinyls, black vinyl, CD and digital.

BONGZILLA New album ‘Weedsconsin’
Out April 20th on Heavy Psych Sounds
PREORDER: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS160

TRACKLIST:
1. Sundae Driver
2. Free the Weed
3. Space Rock
4. The Weedeater
5. Earth Bong, Smoked, Mags Bags
6. Gummies

Bongzilla are:
Mule Boy – Bass / Vocals
Spanky – Guitar
Magma – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/Bongzilla/
https://www.instagram.com/bongzillaband
https://bongzilla.bandcamp.com/
https://bongzilla666.com/
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

Bongzilla, “Sundae Driver”

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Bongzilla Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds

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

Wisconsin weedian institution Bongzilla have signed to Heavy Psych Sounds to release their awaited Weedsconsin LP. If that feels somewhat momentous, I think that’s justified. Though Bongzilla have been reunited for over a half-decade at this point, they haven’t had a new studio album since Relapse put out Amerijuanican in 2005. Some 16 years between records is not insignificant. To those wondering what Bongzilla might sound like circa 2021 — my guess is they fucking sound like Bongzilla. Weed, sludge, supreme.

Weedsconsin was recorded by John Hopkins, also known for his front-of-house work for SleepUncle AcidHigh on Fire and scores of others, who passed away just weeks after finishing the sessions. The band has overseen numerous reissues and other works through their own Crash Assailant Records and the ever-righteous Totem Cat Records, but in signing to Heavy Psych Sounds, they not only herald the new album, but link up with European booking as well, which — should touring ever become a thing again — will surely see them once again hitting the international market. The more the merrier.

The PR wire makes it official:

Bongzilla-signing

Bongzilla – Weedsconsin

We’re incredibly stoked and honored to announce that Cannabeasts BONGZILLA are now members of the HPS family !!

The Wisconsin Doom-Sludge legends singed to HPS Records for the new album called “WEEDSCONSIN” – 16 years since their last record !!!

BONGZILLA is also now part of the Heavy Psych Sounds Booking roster for Europe !!

We are ready to bring the band all over the best spots on our territory !!

NEW ALBUM PRESALE + FIRST TRACK PREMIERE and more surprises STARTS:
FEBRUARY 2nd at 16.00 CET

Mule Boy Quote: “I’m high! I’m Heavy Psyched on the Sounds! I’m Heavy Psyched on signing to HPS! Weedsconsin coming very soon! The Cannabeast has awoken! Stay Safe! Stay High!”

Bongzilla are:
Mule Boy – Bass / Vocals
Spanky – Guitar
Magma – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/Bongzilla/
https://www.instagram.com/bongzillaband
https://bongzilla.bandcamp.com/
https://bongzilla666.com/
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

Bongzilla, “Sundae Driver” live rehearsal

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20 Watt Tombstone Premiere “Midnight Train to Memphis” Year of the Jackalope

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

20 Watt Tombstone Year of the Jackalope

I don’t know what day it is so don’t ask me, but on Jan. 22, Wisconsin burl-rocking duo 20 Watt Tombstone — not to be confused with 40 Watt Sun, Sixty Watt Shaman and/or whoever might dare to shine so brightly as 80 or 100 watts — will release their new two-songer covers EP, Year of the Jackalope. Is a jackalope a totally ridiculous made-up hybrid rabbit/antelope creature the mere mention of which might cause one to roll eyes or think of Bob Saget on old episodes of America’s Funniest Home Videos in the early ’90s? Yes. But one might easily say the same of the beast that was 2020, when these tracks were recorded, so fair’s fair. “Such is life,” as someone once told me.

Now then. The two-piece’s two-songer finds guitarist/vocalist Tom Jordan and drummer Mitch Ostrowski aligning themselves swiftly with that which is whiskey-soaked and riff-driven, a Southern heavy touch typifying the seven-minute stretch of the outing’s two covers, one of ZZ Top‘s “Just Got Paid” and one of country artist Chris Stapleton‘s “Midnight Train to Memphis.” Not quite new ground for the pair, who offered heavy blues stylings on their 2016 split with Left Lane Cruiser and debuted in 2014 20 watt tombstone year of the jackalopewith Wisco Disco, which boasted no shortage of slide-fueled weighted twang in “Pa Shot Ma” and the toying-with-country-convention “Shitty Girlfriend.” But while they’re in familiar-enough-for-them stylistic territory, they nonetheless accomplish the task before them with a satisfying heft and a rawer vibe that makes “Just Got Paid” and “Midnight Train to Memphis” sound all the more like songs 20 Watt Tombstone enjoy jamming on together and decided to put to tape and roll out to let people already following them know they still exist in a world without shows and maybe win a few new ears in the process. Pretense need not apply.

Such intention brooks little argument and neither does Ostrowski and Jordan‘s delivery of the songs, which despite their Upper Midwest origins in Wausau, sells the roll well in the song by Stapleton, who apparently one time dared to say that Black lives matter — a seemingly bold move for a country artist. Admittedly, I don’t know how ZZ Top feel on the subject. I’d almost be afraid to ask. So it goes.

Whatever 20 Watt Tombstone‘s plans were for last year and whatever they might be going into this year, let’s assume they’ve been fairly well jackaloped, but the EP is seven minutes of listening to a band play songs they dig and whatever the circumstances that made it happen, that’s never something to complain about. You can hear “Midnight Train to Mmphis” from Year of the Jackalope below, followed by copious PR wire info on the band.

Please enjoy:

On the A-side of this record comes a feel-good rocker – the working man’s rock of ZZ Top with their underrated “Just Got Paid”. The effortless slide guitar licks carry the perfect level of twang – while everything has undoubtedly been recorded live as 20 Watt Tombstone’s previous releases, they’ve cleaned up their act and it all sounds much crisper. Mitch Ostrowski’s drumming is no slack either, as he bangs down hard on his kit in perfect synchronicity.

The flipside of the record, however, takes a darker turn; here has a thundering version of “Midnight Train to Memphis” by Chris Stapleton. The name may not mean much outside of Southern rock and Americana circles, but his influence as a songwriter reaches widely into pop, country, and rock n’ roll. As such it’s only fitting to pay tribute to a man who has done so much for music. And tribute is paid – there is a wonderful gritty tone from the voice of the tower that is Tom Jordan, as he stretches out the chorus lines detailing a prisoner’s life.

And that’s all, folks. A small teaser of 20 Watt Tombstone’s heaviness, more focused on the blues side than the death side this time. If it is indeed the Year of the Jackalope and its scary face, then it is with a mixture of trepidation and excitement that we await for further material to emerge. Long live Wisco Disco!

20 Watt Tombstone on Thee Facebooks

20 Watt Tombstone on Instagram

20 Watt Tombstone on Bandcamp

20 Watt Tombstone website

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Bongzilla Post Lyrics for New Album Currently Being Recorded

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

It does not matter your perspective on politics or social issues. Even if you’re someone who stays out of that particular fray, keeps your head down to the best of your ability and just tries to get through one day and into the next, there’s no question that doing so this year and in this moment is harder and more stressful than it was, say, in 2019 at this time. That’s as blanket a statement as I can make, and whether or not you believe in math, the numbers bear that out. “Everybody had a hard year,” said John Lennon.

Fine. You see where this is going. Wisconsin weed-sludge institution Bongzilla are currently in the studio recording their next LP — reportedly a double-album, maybe and hopefully called Weedsconsin — and their first in some terrifying amount of years and they’ve posted the lyrics for it. And much as one might seek and/or find some measure of momentary escape in smoke or edibles or whatever it is the kids do these days with their super-weed, I find too I’m able to put a modicum of distance between myself and the day’s anxious air just by reading the lyrics to “Sundae Driver” or “Earth Bong” or, indeed, “Weedsconsin.” The band posted the full markerboard on social media and have a couple quick studio updates to coincide. I’ve gathered and posted them below, in case they might also help you roll out your own brief escapism. Or whatever.

Incidentally, legal weed is on the ballot in my beloved home state of NJ today, and as someone who was arrested at the age of 18 for possession, I happily voted in favor. I doubt I’d be able to afford any at this point in my life, but it’s nice to think some other kids might not get screwed over by cops in that specific fashion, however else they still might.

Free the weed, and so on:

bongzilla lyrics

BONGZILLA STUDIO UPDATES:

Oct. 27 – Back in the studio! Home for the next week is Future Apple Tree Studios in Rock Island IL. Thank you to Jason Parris for loaning us the furnaces and 74 Slingerland kit for this session. Gt120mv and a od120. Full length coming soon brothers and sisters.

Oct. 30 – Vocals are done!! On to Spanky’s Geetar over dabs!!

Bongzilla are:
Mike “Muleboy” Makela – Guitar/Vocals
Jeff “Spanky” Schultz – Guitar
Cooter Brown – Bass
Mike “Magma” Henry – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/Bongzilla/
https://www.instagram.com/bongzillaband
https://bongzilla.bandcamp.com/
https://bongzilla666.com/
https://crawlspacebooking.com/

Bongzilla, “Sundae Driver” live rehearsal

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Days of Rona: Sam Wallman of Ahab’s Ghost & Shogun

Posted in Features on May 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

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

sam wallman ahab's ghost shogun

Days of Rona: Sam Wallman of Ahab’s Ghost (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

How have you been you dealing with this crisis as a band? As an individual? What effect has it had on your plans or creative processes?

Things are weird for sure. I was in the middle of a job change when COVID hit, so that made for an interesting month where I didn’t do a whole lot, but I was worried whether I would have a job at the end or not. Fortunately enough, I’ve started my new job and it seems to be steady for the time being. For both Shogun and Ahab’s Ghost things have definitely slowed down quite a bit. Both bands took about a month off when Wisconsin was under Safer at Home with more strict restrictions. For Shogun, this year’s focus was trying play as much as possible in support of the record we released this last Friday. With COVID we were forced to pivot and change our strategy — the focus needed to change to writing and recording new material, learning covers, and playing live sets on social media. It can be difficult because it’s hard to always be creative or be in the mood to be creative, but we have enough small projects to work on that even if we aren’t feeling inspired we can move on and still be productive. For Ahab’s Ghost we are just now starting up again, Joe (the bassist/singer) and I laid down a couple new ideas for a new song last week. An independent radio station reached out to us to be a part of a live set series they are doing. As of now it sounds like we will prerecord a set and then they will have a live broadcast later on. I engineered two of the Shogun and Ahab’s Ghost’s records and run a project studio with some DSLR’s, so thankfully it’s been easy to change emphasis because we have access to the tools. The process remains for the most part the same, but the overarching landscape has definitely changed and its ambiguous as to what the future looks like.

How do you feel about the public response to the outbreak where you are? From the government response to the people around you, what have you seen and heard from others?

I think the state of Wisconsin has done for the most part a pretty good job on social distancing , but I am little worried that we are opening up too quickly. I think the economic implications are pretty profound and it seems like we are in uncharted territory, so I understand that concern. However, humanity seems to have a pattern of wanting short term validation even though delayed gratification can lead to better results, so we’ll see! I think there’s a lot of (warranted) fear because of uncertainty in the world today. Everyone seems frustrated but I think that’s sort of unavoidable. I think the best we can do is stay involved and try to lend a helping hand when we can.

What do you think of how the music community specifically has responded? How do you feel during this time? Are you inspired? Discouraged? Bored? Any and all of it?

I think they have responded to the best of their ability. I’m most worried about people who earn a living on live music, whether it’s musicians, venue owners, or bartenders. One of the best venues in Milwaukee (shout out to the Cactus Club!) was bought just before all this hit. Everyone seemed to be very excited because the new owner kicks ass, and the venue was thinking about switching to an all ages venue (a unique phenomena in the beer capitol of the world). I really hope they are able to make it, but I imagine their story is similar to many other local venues. I personally feel invigorated and motivated to make and create — but I want to recognize that I am very fortunate not to have to worry about healthcare, lost job/wages, and all of the other concerns going around. I’ve been writing some new Shogun songs, and then working on a full length album for a side-project named Call Me Sparkles that I’m slowly forming right now. I am lucky because I play multiple instruments and run a project studio so I can come up with a rough copy of a song and have the guitar, drums, bass, keys, vocals, etc all fleshed out pretty quickly.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything? What is your new normal? What have you learned from this experience, about yourself, your band, or anything?

We are all doing fine. Please buy music, donate, or merch from larger bands who are consistently touring acts if you are able to. Their lives have been more or less on hold since this started, whereas bands like us still have a day job to make ends meet. Our new normal is just taking it week by week until we can play live shows and sort of return to some normalcy. I really want to emphasize the need for rational thought, love, compassion, and grace in such trying times, and that we cannot let fear, anxiety, anger, and the torch mob influence our actions.

http://www.facebook.com/ahabsghost
https://ahabsghostband.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/shogunwiband/
https://shogunwi.bandcamp.com/

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Twin Wizard Premiere “Ghost Train Haze” Video; Debut LP Glacial Gods Out Today

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

twin wizard video

Say hello to Twin Wizard. The Illinois/Wisconsin duo brings together guitarist/vocalist Brad Van of long-undervalued rockers Droids Attack with drummer Anthony Dreyer, whose prior outfit, Telekinetic Yeti, flamed out hard — and, frankly, ugly — after a quick ascent following their debut album, but will nonetheless continue in some form or other, obviously without Dreyer involved. Twin Wizard, meanwhile, release their debut album, Glacial Gods, today (!), and will follow up with vinyl and CD availability on April 13. Preorders are up now direct from the band, and as the 35-minute seven-tracker culls together riff after pummeling, massively-fuzzed riff, locking in classic and humongous stoner metal grooves, a preorder seems well justified, particularly given the LP’s limited numbers (150 total).

I’m not just talking about riffs. I’m talking about riffs for the soul. “Ghost Train Haze,” which opens the album, is literally and figuratively only the beginning. “Sky Burial,” “Smoke Wizard,” the seven-and-a-half-minute centerpiece “Cult of Yeti” — these songs evoke the dare-you-to-climb-it tower of amplification in the video for the lead cut, and as the admirably bearded Dreyer pounds away at his kit and Van runs his guitar through bass and six-string tones alike, he also burls up his vocal approach, touching on the melodies that one suspects will emerge more over time and the band’s subsequent work while in the interim laying claim to a gruff, early-Cisneros feel that’s perfectly suited to the fuzz, keeps just an edge of punk, and fits well alongside the punctuation of the drums.

Twin Wizard Glacial GodsWith guitar effects/drone transitions between the tracks, a sense of atmosphere is created and manipulated, setting a world in which the songs take place, the riffs seeming to emerge from this ether one after the other. Still, as “Cult of Yeti” devolves gloriously into a noisy morass, undoing the structural clarity presented in “Ghost Train Haze” and the hookier “Smoke Wizard,” it is all the more hypnotic for its longer dronal excursion. It makes no attempt to return once it’s gone — a choice that’s hard to argue with once “Ghostwriter” crashes in, its balance of chug and gallop seeming to straighten out what “Sky Burial” so purposefully made cyclical in the rhythm, while keeping the song itself short at under four minutes long in order to provide an intro of manipulated and particularly doomy bells for “Apothecary.”

Only appropriate, though given the Sabbath and Sleep familiarity of some of the riffs, perhaps they should’ve titled “Apothecary” something related to ghostwriting as well. The righteous dig-in is obviously willful — it ain’t like Twin Wizard are trying to tell you they invented the riff to “Black Sabbath” or to “Dragonaut” — and even the ending nod to “War Pigs” is a dogwhistle to the doomed converted, which only brings to emphasis how much fun Glacial Gods is on the whole. Large credit for that has to go to Dreyer, who would seem to have imported some of the band’s mission from his prior tonally-minded two-piece, but even as “Cult of Yeti” rounds out the album as the second in a seven-song tracklisting to include the word “yeti” in the title — one hopes they keep the theme; like the many faces of the blues different artists have crafted over the last century-plus — it is also given an intro, this time of a stretch of looped guitar that slams into a brief but severe single-riff instrumental finish that, well, certainly gets its point across. The point is that it’s awesome. Message received and understood.

Two hopes for Twin Wizard. One, they do more. Two, they tour. That’s all there is to it. Given the quality of the work they do here and the pedigree Dreyer and Van bring, it’s hard to imagine some label won’t pick them up should they want to go that route, but whether they do or not, Glacial Gods is loaded with forward potential that only shows the project as being worth pursuing in a real, dedicated way. The video for “Ghost Train Haze,” which captures the band playing to and then as — wait for it — a sasquatch, is a blast and though I wouldn’t want to be standing in front of the stage as Van tosses his half-full beer onto the floor, it is a show I’d want to see. And one that, given what they do on the record, I’ll hope to see sooner than later.

Enjoy “Ghost Train Haze” below:

Twin Wizard, “Ghost Train Haze” official video premiere

Twin Wizard is proud to make their debut with their first single from their record entitled “Glacial Gods”. Here is the debut music video for the song “Ghost Train Haze”.

Twin Wizard is a two piece band consisting of Anthony Dreyer previously of Telekinetic Yeti and Brad Van of Droids Attack. Glacial Gods was recorded and mixed at Flat Black Studios by Luke Tweedy. Mastering by Carl Saff. Video produced by Natalie Hinckley of Hinckley Productions.

Track listing for Glacial Gods
1. Ghost Train Haze
2. Sky Burial
3. Smoke Wizard
4. Cult of Yeti
5. Ghostwriter
6. Apothecary
7. Electric Yeti

Digital release Friday 3/13. Vinyl & CD 4/13.

Pre-order the record on vinyl/cd at https://twinwizard.bigcartel.com/

Twin Wizard are:
Anthony Dreyer – Drums
Brad Van – Guitar/Vocals

Twin Wizard on Thee Facebooks

Twin Wizard on Bandcamp

Twin Wizard webstore

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Bongzilla Reissuing Apogee on Vinyl Through New Label

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Wisconsin-based masters of the stoner crust riff Bongzilla announce they’re reissuing 2001’s Apogee on vinyl through their newly-formed label. The album has been remastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering and features revamped artwork based on the original cover’s theme by gERM?. Info is pretty sparse on the label end at this point, but Crash Assailant Records and Flail Records are handling distribution and orders are being taken now.

Among Bongzilla‘s discography, it’s fair to consider Apogee a classic for “H.P. Keefmaker” alone, never mind “Grim Reefer” or the live tracks. The nastiness of Bongzilla‘s scorched-lung approach is on full display, to be sure, and as they celebrate the release with a slew of tour dates in March — there may be more in addition to what you see below; that’s around SXSW time, so keep an eye out — and herald an upcoming appearance at Muddy Roots this summer in Tennessee, a new visit to Apogee‘s weedian fields could hardly be more suitable. I don’t care how stoned you think you are. You ain’t more stoned than Bongzilla.

Art, info, links, and exclamation points came down the PR wire:

bongzilla apogee

Bongzilla – Apogee – Repress

For the first time in about 20 Years Apogee will be released on Vinyl!!! Remastered!!! New Album Art!!! Available now for pre-order in Clear, Opaque Green, Purple Kush, and Black Vinyl!!!

https://crashassailantrecords.com/product/bongzilla-apogee/

The members of Bongzilla are putting this one out independently as they start their own label. More to come about that soon! New Artwork by gERM?! Cascade Record Pressing is handling the pressing!!! Adam at Telegraph Mastering did the Mastering!!! And Crash Assailant Records and Flail Records are helping with the distribution!!!

BONGZILLA Live:
– Minneapolis!!! March 11th!!! Bongzilla w/ Lord Dying at First Avenue & 7th St Entry!!!
– Milwaukee!!! March 13th at Walker’s Point Music Hall!!! Bongzilla w/ Gravedirt and Cold Black River!!!
– Bongzilla in Omaha, NE!!! March 16th at Lookout Lounge!!!
– Bongzilla in St Louis on St Paddy’s!!! March 17th at Red Flag!!!
– March 18th!!! Bongzilla at the The Riot Room in Kansas City!!!
– March 20th!!! Houston, TX!!! Bongzilla at Secret Group!!!
– Bongzilla will be blazing up at Muddy Roots Music Festival 2020

Bongzilla are:
Mike “Muleboy” Makela – Guitar/Vocals
Jeff “Spanky” Schultz – Guitar
Cooter Brown – Bass
Mike “Magma” Henry – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/Bongzilla/
https://www.instagram.com/bongzillaband
https://bongzilla.bandcamp.com/
https://crawlspacebooking.com/

Bongzilla, Apogee (2001)

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Astral Hand Release Debut Single “Universe Machine”

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

astral hand

Perhaps you feel the galaxy could stand a good smiting. Fair. Meet Astral Hand from Milwaukee. The band arrive as the result of a maybe-permanent teardown of their former outfit Calliope, whose third and seemingly final album, Chapel Perilous (discussed here), came out last year. Same dudes, new vibe, new name. Their first offering under the Astral Hand banner is “Universe Machine,” which indeed resolves its space-rocky groove with the noted threat of smiting, and which for something that sets such dire stakes is still a pretty good time. It’s a shift in sound, but they pretty obviously know what they’re doing with it. Not exactly like they’re strangers to each other.

You can hear the track here, and it’s a free download as well, because it’s the future and the future is in space.

Info follows. Have at it:

astral hand universe machine

Astral Hand – Universe Machine

Over the course of the past year the 4 members of ASTRAL HAND have been carefully programming their very first radio transmission. Al Kraemer, Vic Buell, Anthony Smith and Dan Dahl step away from their previous sonic incarnation, CALLIOPE, to allow for the expansion into something brand new. After spending 7 years on three full length albums through a changing member lineup, it was time to move on from the psychedelic circus. This may not be the end of Calliope, but it is ‘farewell for now’ as the band turns away from the past and into the future.

Channeling a much more cosmic spirit, ASTRAL HAND uses pop-sensitive, synth-driven melodies accompanied by tastefully heavy guitars and thundering drums for a deeper sound that will completely stand alone from their other projects. Expect the unexpected when their first album drops later this year. In the meantime, experience ‘UNIVERSE MACHINE’ and learn to fear the wrath of the flippant cosmic deities known collectively as ASTRAL HAND.

I’ll smite your galaxy
With my Universe Machine

Released April 1, 2019
Recorded at Silver City Studios
Mixed by Victor Buell IV
Mastered by Justin Perkins @ The Mystery Room

Astral Hand:
Al Kraemer: Vocals / Organ
Victor Buell IV: Guitar
Anthony Smith: Bass
Dan Dahl: Drums

https://www.facebook.com/astralhandband/
https://astralhand.bandcamp.com/

Astral Hand, “Universe Machine”

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