Ufomammut, 8: Infinity Turns Sideways (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ufomammut 8

[Click play above to stream Ufomammut’s new album, 8, in full. Album is out Sept. 22 on Neurot and Supernatural Cat.]

Of the various words and phrases that might come to mind when considering Italian cosmic doom masters Ufomammut, ‘concise’ is probably pretty low on the list. Yet that’s exactly one of the most striking impressions made by 8, their aptly-titled eighth long-player and third for Neurot Recordings behind 2015’s Ecate (review here) and the preceding 2012 two-parter, Oro: Opus Primum (review here) and Oro: Opus Alter (review here). At 47:16, it’s about as long as was Ecate, but it uses its time for eight songs instead of that record’s six, and would seem to be continuing a progression toward efficiency of approach that record set forth, drawing back from the expanses of Oro or 2010’s single-song Eve (review here) in favor of a more immediate sonic impact. Of course, it’s still Ufomammut we’re talking about. Even when they were in their nascent stages across early releases like 2000’s Godlike Snake, 2004’s Snailking (discussed here) or 2005’s Lucifer Songs before 2008’s Idolum really marked the point of their arrival to wider consciousness as stylistic innovators (which they already had been for years at that point, but still), they went big in terms of sound, and 8 offers plenty of expanse, whether it’s in the nine-minute reaches of “Zodiac” or the radical tempo shifts of “Prismaze.”

But it becomes a question of context. 8 is Ufomammut‘s first album in more than a decade on which no song passes the mark of being 10 minutes long — that’s counting Eve as one track — and it’s not just about runtime. While opener “Babel” sets in motion at a steady roll, not necessarily in a rush but not gruelingly slow either, tripping out in its second half as bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Urlo, guitarist/keyboardist Poia and drummer Vita, set up an apex of crush to follow, subsequent cuts “Warsheep” and “Zodiac” build a tension that extends well past the midpoint of the latter and even then only recedes momentarily before reigniting. And as 8 continues to move forward, it becomes increasingly clear that the character of the album is as much about head-down intensity as it is about the sense of galactic expansion that seems to have always been so essential to Ufomammut‘s output.

As it invariably would, 8 brings new context to the turn of approach that really started with Ecate coming off of Oro, the 2015 outing serving as the point at which Ufomammut embarked on the redirection that continues here in songs like the thrusting four-minute “Fatum” or the aforementioned “Prismaze” that follows — both with their space-bound aspects, both with an overarching vibe of getting down to business as quickly as possible. But whether taken as part of the ongoing narrative of the three-piece’s progression or on its own merits, the album unquestionably succeeds in what it seems to set out to do, which is to blend expanse of sound with lung-collapsing tonal and rhythmic crush. There is much about it that will be familiar to longtime followers of the band, from the way its tracks jump right from one to the next — often in time or with noted and purposefully jarring tempo shifts, like different movements of one whole work — to the watery effects on Urlo‘s vocals, but as identifiable as these elements are, Ufomammut continue to develop their craft as well, and while some individual pieces throughout may be shorter, there’s no question of the purpose in how they’re tied together.

ufomammut

It’s audible in the crash that bridges “Prismaze” and “Core” and in the way the penultimate “Wombdemonium” — the shortest cut on 8 at just three minutes long — feeds into the Isis-style drum patterning of closer “Psyrcle.” Those connections definitely become more prevalent across side B, which before hitting the “Psyrcle” (7:44) moves through the already-noted shorter cuts, as opposed to “Babel” (8:23) “Warsheep” (5:06) and “Zodiac” (9:27) on side A, but even as “Zodiac” slams into its swirling finish before the chugging opening riff of “Fatum” takes hold — another direct transition for those listening digitally or on CD, in indeed I’m even right about where the vinyl divides — the band makes it plain that how one song converses with its surroundings is as important to the entire work of 8 as the standout moments of each song itself, be it devastatingly heavy, manic push and shouts of “Core” or the build that seems to take place in condensed fashion across “Warsheep” earlier, that track resolving itself in a Sleep-worthy nod at its midpoint before a tempo kick brings it to its final movement.

And if one thinks about the title, 8, it kind of makes sense — at least in a similar, on-their-own-wavelength manner as to thinking of the tracks as concise. It’s not just about the number eight, or the fact that this is Ufomammut‘s eighth long-player — it’s their ninth if we count Oro‘s two parts individually or consider the 2014 15th anniversary release, XV (review here) — but the shape of it. Imagine taking the number and stretching it out to a single, straight line. Now draw it back and twist it on itself. It loops around. It intertwines. 8, the album, functions much the same way. The material that comprises it can be taken as individual bursts, but each serves the richer notion of the whole (the proverbial “greater sum”) when brought together, and in that regard, stark changes like the way “Zodiac” seems to come to halt before lurching forth again with some of the most universe-swallowing noise here presented, or the way “Psyrcle” hits its brakes after three minutes in from its initial verses peppered with extra vocal layers — are those children singing? — and explodes in a fury of double-kick drum gallop and brain-searing fretwork, become fragments of a larger musical narrative taking shape over the course of the album.

Whether this concept is something Ufomammut embarked on consciously or it’s simply a matter of a fan-nerd reading too much into a progression between tracks, they made the choice to put these songs in this order with the lack of space between them and in so doing give 8 a personality that even as it seems to tighten the reins from Ecate succeeds in moving Ufomammut stylistically forward. It’s not necessarily just about them getting huger and huger-sounding anymore, but about what can they do within and between the spaces they’re creating. Taking this notion in context with the immediacy of what they’re actually crafting, 8 is all the more an achievement for the nuance it brings to the established parameters of Ufomammut‘s sound and the ways in which the three-piece persist in redrawing their own boundaries.

Ufomammut, “Warsheep” official video

Ufommammut website

Ufomammut on Thee Facebooks

Ufomammut on Twitter

Ufomammut on Instagram

Neurot Recordings website

Neurot Recordings on Thee Facebooks

Neurot Recordings on Bandcamp

Neurot Recordings on Twitter

Supernatural Cat website

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Samavayo Announce Dakota Reissue; Premiere Bonus Track “Justify”

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on September 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

samavayo

Germany-based heavy rockers Samavayo are getting ready to move forward from their 2016 album, Dakota (review here). That record, their fifth overall, has served as a high-water mark for the Berlin trio as they’ve continued to refine their approach within driving riffage and Middle Eastern-inflected stylistic flourish. They have a handful of dates left for this year and then they’ll settle in and begin the writing process anew. At the risk of giving you my actual opinion on the matter, I think Samavayo are underrated as songwriters and so the idea of another record and another step forward from them is exciting. They’ve only grown more progressive over time.

Before they get down to the nitty-gritty of constructing new material — which they’ll do with an eye toward a samavayo justifyFall 2018 release according to guitarist/vocalist Behrang Alavi, who’s joined in the band by bassist/vocalist/Moog-ist Andreas Voland and drummer/percussionist/vocalist Stephan VolandSamavayo will oversee a second pressing of Dakota, and it’s to mark this occasion today that you’ll find the premiere of the previously-unreleased cut “Justify” below. Recorded at Big Snuff Studio by Richard Behrens, its central riff a little bit speaks to the upbeat shove one finds from the likes of Red Fang, but even to this Samavayo can’t help but lend their own personality.

Full in tone and righteous in hook, “Justify” is one more example of the edge Samavayo bring to classic-style structures and the kind of rhythmic drive that will hopefully find its way into their new stuff as well. Alavi offered some background on the song which you can read under the track itself below, followed of course by the tour dates.

Please enjoy:

Behrang Alavi on “Justify”:

“Justify” was recorded in the same 11-day session as Dakota at Richard Behrens’ studio in Feb. 2016. We didn’t put the song on the album like our previously-released “To The Ground” because we wanted to have that as a clear, homogeneous heavy psych stoner album. We planned to release them later, but by then we didn’t have a plan how. Now we release the track with the second edition (500 pieces) of the Dakota CD after the first edition has sold out (only few few copies left).

As we did with the second edition of our first album death.march.melodies, we again changed a detail on the second edition to make it something special. In the case of d.m.m., we changed the artwork of the CD print. On Dakota, the artwork is unchanged but we added a bonus track at the end of the CD.

This month we also started writing songs for the next album planned for autumn 2018. We have a few shows left this year in Germany and Switzerland. If progress remains positive, we will record the album in spring 2018 while we play few shows. Next year we will be playing festivals where we are going to put some of the new songs into set list and then have the main tour with the new album in autumn. We are considering looking for a new label after many years releasing on our “home”-label, Setalight.

Samavayo live:
Oct 03 Forum, Bielefeld, Germany supporting Brant Bjork
Oct 12 Hirscheneck Basel, Switzerland
Oct 13 Böröm Pöm Pöm Oberentfelden, Switzerland
Oct 14 Jazzkeller Hofheim Am Taunus, Germany
Nov 18 Lindenpark Potsdam, Germany
Dec 01 Finsterwalde, Germany

“Justify” at Samavayo’s Bandcamp

Samavayo on Thee Facebooks

Samavayo website

Setalight Records website

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Nebula Announce Reunion Lineup; Shows and New Album to Come in 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

After years of rumors, innuendo and — most of all — official silence from founding guitarist/vocalist Eddie Glass, Nebula are coming back. It’s been eight years since the release of their last full-length, 2009’s Heavy Psych (review here), and as they look to begin playing shows in 2018, they’ll be two full decades out from their landmark 1998 debut EP, Let it Burn. Last time we heard from Glass was in 2010, at which point, amid a canceled tour, he assured fans via MySpace that the band would continue. Seems fitting somehow that the announcement of their new lineup should come via Thee Facebooks. Age of wonders and all that.

Joining Eddie Glass in Nebula will be bassist Tom Davies, who played on Heavy Psych, and drummer Michael Amster, also of Blaak Heat and Abrams. News about live dates is reportedly coming this Friday. There’s been nothing specific yet revealed for touring or a new release, but new material is allegedly in the works as well.

Here’s where it stands:


nebula

L.A. power trio Nebula, whose cosmic cocktail of heavy riffs, electric blues and psychedelic space rock has earned the band international (and, dare we say, universal) acclaim have returned.

Nebula will be back after almost 10 years w/ a number of live shows in April and June 2018 and a new Studio Album.

Nebula released their first album on Tee Pee in 1998 titled Let It Burn. Let It Burn is being reissued on vinyl later this year and will be released as a limited edition double LP, the first LP containing the original Let It Burn album plus two bonus tracks and a second LP will contain the original demos from the Let It Burn sessions.

The great swirling, electrical ball of dynamism and potential known as Nebula formed in the mythical abyss of Los Angeles in 1997. Nebula creates pure guitar-driven, conscious expanding rock for the 21st century. They are a culmination of their rock forbearers such as Jimi Hendrix, MC5, The Stooges and Mudhoney turned up a notch, taken to the next level and blasting through space. Nebula spread their gospel through their music and what they are preaching will leave the congregation on the floor.

Lineup on the upcoming shows in 2018 will be:

Eddie Glass vox/guitar
Tom Davies vox/bass
Michael Amster drums

More news coming up THIS Friday !!

https://www.facebook.com/NebulaBand/
http://nebulamusic.com/

Nebula, Heavy Psych (2009)

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Trash Titan Release Welcome to the Banana Party EP on Friday; “Danger of Love” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

trash titan

One has to wonder how the respective duties for the new Trash Titan video wound up such that guitarist/bassist/baguitarist/vocalist Collyn McCoy wound up spanking someone in a chipmunk costume leaning over a park bench while drummer Jeff Broady — while wearing a Hed P.E. shirt, no less — stayed home to prepare and consume what seems to be a giant pancake topped with an inhumane amount of butter. I guess it’s a matter of some debate who actually got the short end of that particular stick, but needless to say, “Danger of Love” is completely over the top. Way over. Its four-plus minutes are a righteous sendup of hypermasculine stoner rock in a way that the fact that the song comes from a new EP called Welcome to the Banana Party makes seem only more purposeful. Take that, testosterone.

Welcome to the Banana Party is out on Friday and will be a name-your-price download from Trash Titan‘s Bandcamp page. It’s the first offering from Trash Titan since their 2011 self-titled EP, and clearly they have something to say with it.

Cover art, PR wire snark and the video follow here:

trash-titan-welcome-to-the-banana-party

TRASH TITAN drops New EP and New Video!

Sound the trumpets! Raise the flags! For Los Angeles by-way-of New Hampshire stoner rock duo Trash Titan returns after a six year hiatus with a brand new EP entitled “Welcome to the Banana Party.”

Therein you’ll find four skunky nuggets of down-home swamp-doom blues. It sounds like a bottle of Everclear became sentient and humped its own sister. And it’ll get your booty shaking like the DTs after a six week Mad Dog bender.

“Welcome to the Banana Party” finds Trash Titan returning to its original two-man-band form, comprised entirely of Jeff “Broadsword” Broady (Floodwatch) on lead drums and Collyn McCoy (Aboleth, Ultra Electric Mega Galactic) on lead vocals, dobro, lap steel, upright bass and baguitar. “Baguitar? What’s that?” you may ask. Fucked if I know, but it sounds like a rhino making love to a Denny’s dumpster. In other words – heavy. Heavier than Oprah after a six-week lockdown in the Hungry Jack R&D lab. And every bit as sexy.

Album was recorded in Bedford, New Hampshire and Los Angeles, California in June of 2017. Mixed and Mastered by Katie Gilchrest (High Priestess) at Mythology Mastering. Album art by Mariana Fiel (also of High Priestess).

“Welcome to the Banana Party” drops digitally September 22nd, 2017 care of Trash Titan’s Bandcamp page, for the Smart Price of “whatever the f**k you feel like paying” — even if what you feel like paying is nothing. For those who prefer the tactile feedback of physical merchandise, the band will also debut a brand new tee-shirt design care of Los Angeles artist Skillit as well as Trash Titan’s exclusive “Beer & Leather” scented beard and mustache wax.

https://www.facebook.com/trashtitan
https://www.instagram.com/trashtitan/
http://trashtitan.bandcamp.com/

Trash Titan, “Danger of Love” official video

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Nupraptor Set Dec. 15 Release for Debut Album The Heresiarch; Two New Songs Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

nupraptor

Newcomer one-man outfit Nupraptor will release its debut full-length, The Heresiarch, Dec. 15 via Shadow Kingdom Records, with vinyl to follow at the start of the New Year. I’ve said on multiple occasions that when it comes to all things tinged with classic metal, there are few whose tastes are as trustworthy as that of the Pittsburgh-based imprint, and in its picking up Nupraptor — founded just last year in Baltimore, Maryland, by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Matt St. Ours, also of White Hornet — my position is only reaffirmed. You can stream two new tracks from The Heresiarch below, including the 11-minute album finale “The Fall of Christ,” which opens with St. Ours reciting the Our Father, because, you know, heavy metal and all that.

Interesting to note that White Hornet also started out as a one-man project before becoming a full band. One can’t help but wonder if Nupraptor might end up on a similar path if the demand is there for live shows. I wouldn’t mind hearing “Through the Smoke” at a gig. Just saying.

From the PR wire:

nupraptor-the-heresiarch

NUPRAPTOR set release date for SHADOW KINGDOM debt, reveal first tracks

Shadow Kingdom Records sets December 15th as the international release date for the surprise debut of Nupraptor, The Heresiarch, on CD and cassette tape formats. The vinyl version shall be released later, on January 12th, 2018.

Curiously named, Nupraptor is the solo-project of White Hornet mastermind Matt St. Ours, who’s been itching to record some pure ‘n’ powerful doom metal for a while now. And that’s exactly what you get with The Heresiarch: the purest DOOM, powerful as it comes, downtrodden and desolate to the bitter end. Hailing the old European gods of traditional doom, Nupraptor crafts seven slumbering beasts of majestic misery within a mystical continuum of 51 minutes, starting with a “Black Mass” and on “Through the Smoke” before “Burning the Believers” “Before the Eyes of God,” and at last “Wasting Away” before “The Fall of Christ.”

Verily, St. Ours crafts music for the grave and the graveyard, his haunting vocals heralding the onset of long nights wrapped in the fog’s embrace, languorous and lonely. Or, more accurately, you simply cannot craft doom metal of such a beautifully barren hue without having LIVED it – and dying for it. Behold The Heresiarch, for it has arrived as Nupraptor!

Await the arrival with the new tracks “Through the Smoke” and “The Fall of Christ” at Shadow Kingdom’s Bandcamp, where all three formats of the album can be preordered.

Tracklisting for Nupraptor’s The Heresiarch
1. Black Mass
2. Through The Smoke
3. Burning The Believers
4. The Heresiarch
5. Before the Eyes of God
6. Wasting Away
7. The Fall Of Christ

Nupraptor is:
Matt “Saint” St.Ours – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Drum Programming

https://www.facebook.com/NupraptorBand
www.shadowkingdomrecords.com
www.facebook.com/shadowkingdomrecords
https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-heresiarch

Nupraptor, The Heresiarch (2017)

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Review & Video Premiere: Weird Owl, Bubblegum Brainwaves

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on September 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

weird-owl-bubblegum-brainwaves

[Click play above to stream the premiere of Weird Owl’s video for ‘War.’ Their album, Bubblegum Brainwaves, is out Oct. 13 and up for preorder here.]

To their credit, Weird Owl do seem to take particular delight in living up to their name. Not so much the owl part, I suppose, but definitely the weird. The Brooklynite four-piece are a decade out from the release of their first EP, Nuclear Psychology, and after three full-lengths in 2008’s Ever the Silver Cord be Loosed, 2011’s Build Your Beast a Fire (discussed here) and 2015’s Interstellar Skeletal, as well as the Healing EP in 2013 that was their introduction through A Recordings, the imprint helmed by Anton Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre, they’ve become the kind of band for whom predictions sonic or otherwise are largely irrelevant. Thinking you know what you’re going to get from a Weird Owl release is an act of self-delusion.

It’s probably going to be psychedelic one way or another, fair enough, but as to the actual shape and tone that will take, that’s a much more open prospect, and it’s one the band plays to with the bright, crisp melodies of their fourth LP, Bubblegum Brainwaves. At times brazenly poppy and elsewhere dug into a sense of exploration that feels born of space rocking impulses, it’s a record of varied sensibilities that, by the time it’s into its second side, turns even its own methods on their head in favor of heading somewhere else. To wit, that’s the eight-minute, spoken-word-topped “Bartholomew Iris,” on which Genesis Breyer P’Orridge of Psychic TV and Throbbing Gristle steps in to recite a sci-fi narrative about a protagonist who chooses the means of his own death. To say the least, it’s a distinct moment of departure.

And not necessarily the first on the album, which opens its easily-manageable nine-track/41-minute run with the proverbial ‘Drink Me’ potion in the form of a keyboard line, drum intro and fuzzy shuffle met with echoing vocals on “Invisibility Cloak.” With “You (Sometimes Not You)” and “Black Never White” immediately following, “Invisibility Cloak” is the first part of a three-song launch salvo from the lineup of guitarist/vocalist Trevor Tyrrell, bassist/keyboardist John Cassidy, keyboardist Dave Nugent and drummer Sean Reynolds that boasts some of Bubblegum Brainwaves‘ most standout hooks, but also three strikingly different takes. Immediately, Weird Owl set a broad sonic context for themselves and flow between the high-energy cosmic soak of the opener, into the key-focused dreamgaze synth-pop of “You (Sometimes Not You)” — the otherworldliness of which comes through all the more thanks to its lyrics — and the urbane post-punk swagger and unabashed fun of “Black Never White.”

Taken as a set, these songs don’t top 13 minutes, and side A will continue to unfurl a diverse personality in the acoustic-led “Such a Myth” before resolving itself in the sweet, semi-Beatlesian melody of “The Lizard and the Owl,” but the cue to the listener to adjust their expectations to be as broad as possible is a hard one to miss, and as skillfully drawn together as the pieces are via their underlying structures and catchiness, it makes the shifting character of Bubblegum Brainwaves more fluid and accessible, allowing for the move into the politically-minded cynicism and comment on appropriation in “Such a Myth” — lyrics like, “Oh it’s my war too/Oh it’s my body too,” seeming to offer a general take on a social media-driven propensity for ego-tizing larger issues — to happen without any hiccup. Keyboards/organ do some of that tie-in work as well, and though he’s never particularly showy as a vocalist, Tyrrell‘s voice provides a steady and human presence across side A that only helps to further guide the listener through what might otherwise be a bumpier course. As it is, tracks are memorable enough in themselves so as not to simply be a hypnotic wash, but still satisfyingly lysergic in their tone and atmosphere. As “The Lizard and the Owl” rounds out the first half of Bubblegum Brainwaves with a subtle apocryphal feel in its storytelling, its linear build underscores the grace with which Weird Owl have been delivering their material all along. It is natural and warm, and so clearly it’s time for the LP to make another turn.

weird-owl-photo-Hal-Horowitz

Side B brings four tracks in “War,” the aforementioned “Bartholomew Iris,” “Many Things I Saw in the Coffin” and closer “Tired Old Sun,” and like the material on the album’s first half, each one has its own take, working further to the band’s accomplishment and that of producer Jeff Berner (also guitar in Psychic TV) at Galuminum Foil Studios in constructing Bubblegum Brainwaves with such overarching ethereality of spirit. The feel, however, is darker. “War” is more active and doesn’t quite mirror the push of “Invisibility Cloak” at the start of the record, but is definitely working off some of the same intent, but the low end feels denser and the vocals are rawer and more forward. These things are relative, of course, but while “War” has a hook still very much working in its favor, the titular subject — whether metaphor or literal — represents a marked shift from the bulk of side A’s brightness. That will continue on “Bartholomew Iris,” which, as the band steps back to allow P’Orridge‘s audiobook-style narrative recitation, is the unquestionable odd-cut-out in the tracklisting.

Purposefully so. The only song over five minutes long, it’s meant to leave standard songwriting behind, and while I don’t know the origin of the plot being told — that is, if it’s by Tyrrell, P’Orridge, or sourced elsewhere — the elements of genre fiction and the narrative itself are compelling. Not to be understated, however, is the effect “Bartholomew Iris” has on the tone of Bubblegum Brainwaves. It is such a moment of arrival that it bleeds into the songs before as well as after, and while “Many Things I Saw in the Coffin,” with its folkish acoustic strum, synth flourish, and simple punctuating drums, has more in common with “Such a Myth” early as it moves toward its molten post-midpoint wash, there remains the lingering presence of “Bartholomew Iris” all the while. And when it comes around, “Tired Old Sun” — in which the sun itself seems to resign itself to fatigue in the way one might reading the news every day — works to reengage the dreaminess of the album’s earlier going, but is nonetheless sadder in sound as well as theme. Even for laid back, drift-prone psychedelic progressive rockers, it would seem, the times can feel weighing.

That’s not to say Bubblegum Brainwaves doesn’t offer plenty of float. It does. And I won’t discount the joy with which “right!” is tossed into “Black Never White” to playfully affirm the lines, “We seek the truth, we speak light/And you know we do it every night/Right?” either, but there’s a melancholy in Weird Owl circa 2017 as well, and that turns out to be as much a part of their rendering here as the momentum launched by “Invisibility Cloak” or the depth of the arrangement mounted in “Many Things I Saw in the Coffin.” Fortunately, this variable mood is complemented by likewise malleability of songcraft, and Weird Owl no more lose themselves in discourse than they do instrumentally. This speaks to the maturity taken hold in their approach over their years together, but more important, it makes Bubblegum Brainwaves a work of depth that can feel light or weighted depending on how its audience wants to interact with it. And that it’s open to that interaction, weird, unpredictable and swerving as it is, means there’s still some hope in there as well.

Weird Owl on Bandcamp

Weird Owl on Thee Facebooks

Weird Owl on Twitter

Weird Owl website

Weird Owl on Soundcloud

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The Golden Grass Announce Midwestern Tour & New Album Recording Plans

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the golden grass

Alright, let’s just go ahead and put The Golden Grass‘ third album on the list of most anticipated for 2018. The groovy Brooklynite three-piece played it proggy on their second record last year, Coming Back Again (review here), but still held to the sunshiny vibes and standout songwriting of their 2014 self-titled debut (review here), so a third installment from them is a no-brainer to look forward to as far as I’m concerned. Pretty killer as well that as they get ready to hit the studio to record it, they’ll do a nine-date Midwestern run playing all new songs, so not only will they have a chance to see what works on stage and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly, but by the time they get back to NYC they should be in top form to actually go and track the material. It’s a badass plan. Hopefully the results show up sooner than later.

Also, I’m not usually going to be the kind of guy who tells you that you need to watch a tour promo video, but the one below by Anthony Franchina for these shows, in addition to boasting a clip of a new song from The Golden Grass, actually gives a pretty succinct impression of what the band is all about. So yeah, you should take the 100 seconds or so to check it out.

Dates and info from the PR wire:

the golden grass midwest tour poster

THE GOLDEN GRASS announces October Midwest USA Tour Dates and enter studio immediately after to record album #3.

That’s right, Brooklyn’s one and only traditional heavy rock boogie band THE GOLDEN GRASS is headed ((OUT ON THE ROAD)) in the USA once again! It’s been a few years since they’ve toured domestically, finding their niche more amongst the European underground and focusing on touring abroad, but they’re beyond excited to bring their soulful sounds across America’s heartland this October 2017 for 9 concerts stretching from PA to IL and back again!

They’ll be exclusively performing ALL NEW MATERIAL this time out, which has been slowly and organically crafted over the past year, and all of which will end up on their 3rd full length LP (their 2nd for Listenable Records). In fact, this tour is a true-to-life road test for their new batch of music, and by taking it out, performing, twisting, living, and breathing it every night, it will be internalized and honed to perfection, and THEN the boys will be entering the studio immediately following the tour to record it all for the new record!

Once again, they’ll be utilizing the powerhouse recording/mixing engineering team of Andrea Zavareei (Urban Spaceman Studio) and Jeff Berner (Studio G), both of whom have had a hand in capturing each THE GOLDEN GRASS release so far. There is a high energy about the group right now, so if you’re along the tour route, do your best to catch it!

The good folks at Heavy And Beyond have created an amazing Tour Promo video for the group, showing off some sneak peaks of their new musical material, and tease the forthcoming album, not to mention some choice groovy footage of the boys!

In For The Kill Records Presents THE GOLDEN GRASS 2017 Midwest USA Tour
10/06 The Bog – Scranton PA w/ THE HILL YOU DIE ON
https://www.facebook.com/events/264624160696366/
10/07 Stonehenge Gardens – Tamaqu PA w/ MYSTERYTRAIN
https://www.facebook.com/events/265140343984727/
10/08 The Happy Dog – Cleveland OH w/ BURNIN LOINS + SALEM’S EYE
https://www.facebook.com/events/121403778585243/
10/09 The Tree Bar – Columbus OH w/ BOURBON TRAIN
https://www.facebook.com/events/117163712345407/
10/10 Reggies – Chicago IL w/ MR BLOTTO
https://www.facebook.com/events/114572125888037/
10/11 The Spot Tavern – Lafayette IN w/ SPACEWORDS
https://www.facebook.com/events/167903790434163/
10/12 Bent River Brewing Company – Rock Island IL w/ SUBATLANTIC
https://www.facebook.com/events/479941462369690/
10/13 Chameleon – Cincinnati OH w/ THE HARLEQUINS
https://www.facebook.com/events/143554142903428/
10/14 Guidos Speakeasy – Frederick MD w/ BLACK RADIO + BORRACHO
https://www.facebook.com/events/746296975549182/

http://www.facebook.com/thegoldengrass
http://www.thegoldengrass.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/listenablerecs
http://www.listenable.net

The Golden Grass, Midwestern Tour Promo

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Himmellegeme Release Myth of Earth Oct. 6; New Track Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

himmellegeme-photo-vegard-ekberg

If you’re anything like me, you might dig into ‘Hjertedød’ by Norwegian atmospheric/progressive heavy rockers Himmellegeme at the bottom of this post and have some real trouble not wanting to go further. The Bergen-based five-piece will release their debut album, Myth of Earth, on Oct. 6 via Karisma Records, so you don’t necessarily have to wait long to find out more about the record, but suffice it to say that the vibe of “Hjertedød” persists pretty fluidly throughout the 37-minute offering as a whole, which blends melancholy emotionalism and proggy poise to an effect that’s neither overly cold nor hyper-dramatic — the band clearly working to find a balance somewhere between ambience and human sensibility and, it would seem, succeeding. Plus they rock out a bit on “Kyss Mine Blodige Hender,” and that’s cool too.

This announcement actually came in a little while ago and kind of slipped under my radar, but the track and the release are right on, so yeah. See if it hits the same kind of chord with you as it did with me:

himmellegeme-myth-of-earth

Himmellegeme – Myth of Earth

Himmellegeme release their new track “Hjertedød” from upcoming debut album Myth Of Earth!

It’s been lifted from the Norwegian outfit’s upcoming debut album Myth Of Earth which is set to arrive on October 6 via Karisma Records.

From the dark psychedelic shadows of Bergen, Norway, Himmellegeme emerge with their unique bittersweet debut album Myth of Earth.

Himmellegeme’s music is influenced by both psych rock and atmospheric prog rock, which together combine to create an otherworldly and timeless sound. With their heavy-hitting riffs, chilling melodies and melancholic lyrics, written both in Norwegian and English, Himmellegeme creates music that depicts past events in their own lives, as well as in the lives of others.

Himmelegeme’s lineup consists of Aleksander Vormestrand on guitars and vocals, Hein Alexander Olson on lead guitar, Lauritz Isaksen on keyboards, Erik Alfredsen on bass and Thord Nordli on drums. Together, they have spent the past year exploring different sounds, and putting the finishing touches on their extraordinary new material. The album was recorded at one of Bergen’s top studios, Broen Studios, and was produced by Anders Bjelland (Electric Eye / Hypertext) who also worked his sonic wizardry on the album.

1. Natteravn
2. Hjertedød
3. Myth of Earth
4. Breath in the air like fire
5. Kyss mine blodige hender
6. Fish
7. Fallvind

http://www.facebook.com/himmellegemeband
http://www.instagram.com/himmellegemeband
http://www.karismarecords.no

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Mirror Queen Announce New LP Verdigris Due Oct. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 19th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

mirror-queen-photo-john-fell

Earlier this year, NYC-based heavy classic progressive rockers Mirror Queen issued a seven-inch single Starliner (premiered here) that came prior to their summer tour with Tee Pee Records labelmates The Atomic Bitchwax. The song was a first glimpse at the follow-up to 2015’s Scaffolds of the Sky (review here), which has now been announced with the title Verdigris and an Oct. 27 release date. If you didn’t hear it at the time, I’ve embedded the track below for convenience’s sake, and whether or not it’s the same recording at that which will appear on the six-long LP next month, it speaks well of Mirror Queen‘s particular and longstanding meld between driving ’70s rock and more nuanced and progressive impulses.

Curious to hear what Swans guitarist Norman Westberg adds to that mix on Verdigris, as well as to hear the album in general. Led as always by guitarist/vocalist Kenny Sehgal — aka Kenny Kreisor in honor of the outfit from which Mirror Queen evolved prior to their debut in 2011 — Mirror Queen remain a secret kept too well by NYC’s heavy underground.

Album art and details from the PR wire, which gets extra credit in my book for using the phrase “street level” to describe part of Mirror Queen‘s sound. Nicely done there:

mirror-queen-verdigris

Mirror Queen to Release New Album, ‘Verdigris’. October 27

NYC volume dealers MIRROR QUEEN will release their new album, Verdigris, on October 27 via Tee Pee Records. A masterclass of riff-driven melodic hard rock, the LP is the follow-up to the band’s 2015’s LP, Scaffolds of the Sky.

Combining edgy, street-level rock ‘n’ roll with more cerebral elements of poetry and literature, MIRROR QUEEN rides hard and loud, kicking out the jams at every opportunity. Here the songs are expansive and lush in their textures, with ethereal songwriting full of crossing guitar lines and an insistent, demanding rhythmic throb. Featuring additional guitars from SWANS six-stringer Norman Westberg, Verdigris is a rock monolith, all dark delight and sinister pleasure, that demands headbanging and fists raised to the sky.

A mainstay in the NYC hard rock scene, MIRROR QUEEN has shared the stage with heavyweight peers such as Earthless and The Shrine and toured Europe with legends such as Uli Jon Roth and UFO. The group’s driving music accelerates at the distinct point where NWOBHM and heavy Prog Rock intersect; a direct and definite delineation of an era when urgent metallic sound was the order of the day.

Track listing:

1.) Poignard
2.) Flying Eyes
3.) Sorrow’s End / Dark Kiss of the Sun
4.) Starliner
5.) Verdigris
6.) Curse the Night

MIRROR QUEEN features Kenny Kreisor (guitar, vocals), Jeremy O’Brien (drums), Morgan McDaniel (guitar) and James Corallo (bass).

https://www.facebook.com/mirrorqueennyc/
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://twitter.com/teepeerecords
https://instagram.com/teepeerecords/
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/
http://teepeerecords.com/

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