Tombstones Call it Quits

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

tombstones

Sorry to see these guys go, but one could hardly argue Norwegian doomers Tombstones aren’t disbanding at the top of their game. In 2015, the Oslo natives released their third album, Vargariis (review here), through Soulseller Records and this Spring found them on tour with doom legends Saint Vitus, which felt like a culmination meeting after guitarist/vocalist Bjørn-Viggo Godtland, bassist/vocalist Ole Christian Helstad and drummer Markus Støle made runs the last few years alongside Egypt, gigs with Conan and slews of others, appearances at Freak Valley and Roadburn, a US incursion with an appearance at Psycho Las Vegas and a founding involvement in the Høstsabbat fest in their hometown.

Stepping back and looking at it, one can’t help but wonder if that tour with Vitus didn’t have some impact on their decision to keep going, or if there was a conversation afterwards about direction or some assessment of where they were at and headed as a band. Earlier this Spring, Støle released a debut offering from his new band Hymn (review here), which pushed in a different direction than Tombstones, so it’s certainly possible that exploration will continue. As for what Godtland and Helstad will do going forward, it remains to be seen, but when I hear or see something, I’ll do my best to keep up with it. On levels of style and substance, Tombstones felt like a band who had come into their own and still had much to offer. So it goes.

They announced their breakup as follows:

tombstones logo

Everyone!!

The day has come. Tombstones will no longer exist as a band. We are eternally grateful for what the band has granted us over the last decade. Fans, promoters, bands, bookers, labels, festivals and friends have given us more memories filled with joy than we could ever hope for. After such a long time, you go through ups- and downs, and the decision to put the band on hold feels right, but still sad.

The decision is mutual, and is based upon the fact that we as a group are no longer able to continue in the same direction. Sometimes motivation can be lost, the juice runs out and you long for inspiration elsewhere. This is the crossroads we found ourselvses in at the moment.

We would like to thank Jorn from Soulseller , Klaus from Vibra and Jerome from Eclipse in particular. You have been nothing but awesome over the years.

This doesn’t mean we will stop making music. Keep your eyes peeled for future projects.

Thank you all, we love you!!

https://www.facebook.com/norwegiandoom/
https://tombstonesoslo.bandcamp.com/
http://www.soulsellerrecords.com/

Tombstones, Vargariis (2015)

Tags: , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Astra, The Weirding

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Astra, The Weirding (2009)

In hindsight, Astra were at least as much ahead of their time as they were behind it. I won’t speak for everyone, but I know that when in 2009 the San Diego heavy progressive-psychedelic rockers released their debut album, The Weirding (review here), on Rise Above Records, I didn’t really have the context for understanding where they were coming from. I saw the five-piece live that year at the one-time-only Planet Caravan festival in Asheville, North Carolina, and even then I feel like I didn’t properly appreciate the fluidity and the richness of what they were doing or the effect it would have on the then-nascent scene around them. But though few around them would come close to touching on the same kind of Mellotron-soaked artistry of extended pieces like “Beyond to Slight the Maze” and the earlier key-worship and Moog textures of “Silent Sleep,” Astra and The Weirding in particular would have a significant impact on the overall mindset of what we now think of as the West Coast psych boom, still very much in progress. If nothing else, the title of the album seems to have given the entire process of dudes picking up guitars and shredding with SoCal gnarl and abandon a name: What else would you call it if not a weirding of the wicked world?

When I hear The Weirding on my mental jukebox, as I still do from time to time these eight years after the fact, that line from the early-appearing 15-minute title-track remains a standout, in part because it’s catchy — and it is, despite the extended runtime — but also because of the willful sense of defiance in it. These are the freaks talking to the norms, and if you look at the Arik Roper cover art and listen to the eight tracks/78 minutes of The Weirding as a whole, it’s happening all across the record. What I called “pastoral” at the time I might call otherworldly today, but the work of Richard Vaughan (guitar, vocals, Mellotron, synth), Conor Riley (guitar, vocals, Mellotron, synth, piano and other keys), Brian Ellis (guitar and Moog), Stuart Sclater (bass) and David Hurley (drums, percussion and flute) hits like a dream either way, and as a debut, The Weirding is all the more of a stunner. The patience and sure hands that guide the currents of “The River Under,” or the sweet folkishness of “Broken Glass” — which is like a piece of buried treasure after the hypnotic 17-minute “Ouroboros” before it — land with such a resonant feeling of their own direction and confidence behind them, that it’s nearly impossible not to be swept up in it. Lush in its melodies and unremittingly graceful in the flow between its tracks, The Weirding remains a joyous update of classic progressive rock, reveling in joy at what King Crimson seemed to take almost too seriously in their formative work and thereby establishing Astra‘s own sonic persona as one bright and brimming with life despite being so thoughtful in its presentation.

That blend of concept and poise in execution has proven a precious rarity in the years since The Weirding arrived, and accordingly, it’s only become easier to appreciate what Astra brought to their first offering — which is to say nothing of the ultra-trustworthy getting-it on the part of Rise Above, who over the years have proven able time and again to meet bands’ visions on their own levels, whether it’s a group like this or Orange GoblinUncle Acid, earliest Witchcraft, and so on. The same imprint would stand behind the second Astra full-length, The Black Chord (review here), in 2012, and having played to support the debut in 2010, the group returned to the Netherlands for an appearance at the Roadburn festival in 2013 (review here), where they brought both records to the stage with due energy and molten kosmiche. Sadly, The Black Chord remains the final Astra album to-date. Ellis has continued to make contributions to the West Coast aesthetic through producing and the crafting of solo/side-projects on El Paraiso Records, and Vaughan has a graphic design company, but half a decade after their sophomore long-player, there’s been little sign of a third installment from the band either in the writing or recording stages. Never say never in rock and roll — that is, it could still very much happen — but to the best of my knowledge, there’s nothing currently in progress.

Still, one doesn’t need the promise of a new record to grasp the importance or immersiveness of The Weirding, which is fortunate, and whether you’re listening to it for the hundredth time or the first time, it’s very much the kind of album in which one can always find something new. I hope you do, anyhow, and I hope, as always, that you enjoy.

Thanks for reading and listening.

You’ll forgive me if I don’t really think of this week as being “over” in the true sense of the word, since for me it isn’t. Yeah, I’m gonna check out of Obelisk stuff for a day or so as much as I ever do — I don’t — but after being on the road since leaving Pawtucket, Rhode Island, last Friday following my last day at work, I’ve yet to return home to Massachusetts.

To recap: The Patient Mrs. and I headed on Friday from my work to York, Pennsylvania, for a wedding on Saturday. Sunday night and Monday we stayed with family in Sparks, Maryland. Tuesday we made the eight-hour trip to Statesville, North Carolina, to see my father. We stayed there through Wednesday, saw my aunt and uncle and cousins whom I hadn’t seen in at least 20 years, and then left Thursday morning — yesterday morning — to arrive back in MD as kind of a waypoint/crash-spot. Shortly, we’ll get back in the car and make a break north for New Jersey, where my mother and sister and her family are celebrating my grandmother’s 102nd birthday. Dinner with them tonight, then we stay with my other cousin nearby — still in North Jersey — before seeing friends tomorrow morning quickly, grabbing my mother (who will be staying with us for the next week) and heading back north at least as far as Connecticut, where I think we’ll probably stay until Sunday, if only because it’s less driving than heading directly back home to MA. What’s one more day away at this point?

It’s been a long trip already, I don’t mind saying. And it hasn’t all been pleasant, I also don’t mind saying. But The Patient Mrs. and I went to bed at around 9PM last night and I slept an extra hour this morning, getting up at 5:45AM instead of 4:45, and I had a mug of coffee for breakfast with cinnamon-flavored protein powder in it, and it’s been quiet as I had time to write about the Astra record above, so I can’t really argue with the moment’s setting. One has to steal minutes where one can sometimes. I feel like I’ve managed to do that somewhat effectively this morning. It’s just before 9AM now. We want to be on the road by 1PM.

The elephant in the room here is Maryland Doom Fest, which I’m missing this weekend. I wouldn’t be were it not for the legitimacy of the family occasion — Earthride are fucking great, but how many times does one of your relatives turn 102? — and perhaps even in my younger days I would’ve blown off the celebration in favor of the riffs. I don’t know if it’s a product of being an adult or what, but the can’t-miss factor seems to have shifted my priorities. That lineup is incredible, and if you’re going, I hope you have a great time, but yeah, from where I sit, my presence seems more crucial at the birthday. Getting old is strange.

Whether you’re in Frederick for that fest or not — you should be — I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Here’s what’s in the notes for next week, subject to change as usual:

Mon.: Sasquatch review; Robustfellow giveaway.
Tue.: Tuna de Tierra review/track premiere; Bones of Minerva video premiere.
Wed.: Shroud Eater review/track premiere; The Great Beyond video.
Thu.: Fat Dukes of Fuck video premiere; Six Dumb Questions with Stoned Jesus.
Fri.: Bible of the Devil/Leeches of Lore split review/stream; Atala video.

So that’s what I’ve got as of this moment. Week after (yes, the week of July 4) will be the Quarterly Review. Busy times as always. Once again, have a great couple days, whatever you’re up to. Thanks for reading, listening, watching, sharing, commenting, and so on, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , ,

Castle Announce US Tour; “Black Widow” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

They go. They go, and go, and go. It’s what Castle do, and they do it all the time. Even as they continue to write for their impending fifth full-length and unveil a new video for the track “Black Widow” from 2016’s righteous Welcome to the Graveyard (review here), the recently-moved-to-the-desert band can’t seem to stop themselves from announcing another coast-to-coast US tour. After shows in July and on the Obelisk-presented Tour of the Doomed with Sheavy (info here), Castle will head out on a September run that takes them once again from one end of the country to the other. And I don’t know if you know this, but it’s not like this is a small country. It’s a significant frickin’ trip. But Castle go. They go, and go, and go. It’s what they do.

I bet they squeeze in another tour after this one before the end of 2017. I don’t have the inside track on that or anything, I’m just saying. I bet they do. Will keep an eye out for it.

From the PR wire:

castle-tour-poster

CASTLE: Occult Rock Alchemists Announce “Endless Graveyard” Fall Tour; “Black Widow” Video Unveiled + New Full-Length Underway

Newly relocated to the Mojave Desert where writing for a fifth full-length is currently underway, occult rock alchemists CASTLE will be taking a break from conjuring the as-of-yet untitled album, to take on another round of live takeovers.

The perpetually road-bound unit will take to the streets later this month on the previously announced “Stormbringer” trek which will run from June 30th in West Hollywood, California through July 9th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The band will play three more shows the following month before kicking off the “Endless Graveyard” tour set to commence on September 7th in Riverside, California and come to a close on September 30th in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

CASTLE will make some festivals stops throughout their upcoming journeys including performances at the Fire In The Mountains in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Tour Of The Doomed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,

Shadow Woods Metal Fest in White Hall, Maryland, and the Stoned Meadow Of Doom Fest in Omaha, Nebraska. Since the release of their most recent offering, Welcome To The Graveyard, issued last summer via Ván Records, CASTLE’s massive 170-date world takeover has included tours of the US, Europe, Canada, and the band’s first ever tour of Japan last December. See all confirmed dates below.

In anticipation of the upcoming shows, CASTLE is pleased to unveil the visual accompaniment to the track “Black Widow,” compiled from footage from their Canadian tour last year and viewable at THIS LOCATION.

CASTLE:
6/30/2017 Viper Room – West Hollywood, CA
7/01/2017 Starlite Lounge – Sacramento, CA
7/02/2017 High Water Mark Portland, OR
7/03/2017 3rd St. Pub – Bend, OR
7/04/2017 Shredder – Boise, ID
7/05/2017 The Pin – Spokane, WA
7/06/2017 Back Alley Pub – Great Falls, MT
7/07/2017 Railyard – Billings, MT – Railyard
7/08/2017 Fire In The Mountains – Jackson Hole, WY
7/09/2017 Beauty Bar – Las Vegas, NV
8/11/2017 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
8/12/2017 Tour Of The Doomed @ The Metal Grill – Milwaukee, WI
8/13/2017 The Frequency – Madison, WI –
9/07/2017 Aurea Vista – Riverside, CA
9/08/2017 Tower Bar – San Diego, CA
9/09/2017 Green Room – Flagstaff, AZ
9/10/2017 Blue Note – Oklahoma City, OK
9/11/2017 Hi-Tone – Memphis, TN
9/12/2017 The End – Nashville, TN
9/13/2017 Odditorium – Asheville, NC
9/14/2017 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA
9/15/2017 Shadow Woods Metal Fest – White Hall, MD
9/16/2017 O’Brien’s – Boston, MA
9/17/2017 Cherry Street Station – Wallingford, CT
9/18/2017 Saint Vitus Bar – New York, NY
9/19/2017 Bug Jar – Rochester, NY
9/20/2017 Mohawk Place – Buffalo, NY
9/21/2017 Maple Grove – Cleveland, OH
9/22/2017 Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA
9/23/2017 Smalls – Detroit, MI
9/24/2017 Taps Live – Indianapolis, IN
9/25/2017 Northside Yacht Club – Cincinnati, OH
9/27/2017 Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
9/29/2017 Stoned Meadow Of Doom Fest – Omaha, NE
9/30/2017 Triple Nickel – Colorado Springs, CO

CASTLE’s Welcome To The Graveyard offering was captured by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, Eyehategod, Ommadon et al) at Type Foundry Studios in Portland, Oregon and is currently available at THIS LOCATION.

heavycastle.com
facebook.com/CastleSF
https://heavycastle.bandcamp.com/
https://www.van-records.de/
https://www.facebook.com/vanrecs/
https://vanrecords.bandcamp.com/

Castle, “Black Widow” official video

Tags: , , ,

Neurosis Announce First-Ever South American Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Neurosis have already been to Australia and New Zealand this year, and next month they head to Europe for select shows around a performance at Roskilde Festival in Denmark ahead of a North American stretch alongside Converge and Amenra, but they’re still not done. 31 years into one of underground music’s most influential tenures, the band will head to South America for the very first time this December, playing Brazil, Argentina and Chile on shows presented by Abraxas in support of their 2016 album, Fires Within Fires (review here). Adding another continental notch to their collective belt is significant, but it seems all the more perfect in terms of timing as the band look back over the stretch of their career at the same time while adding new accomplishments in creativity and reach. I have no doubt these shows will be utter madness, and rightfully so.

Guitarist/vocalist Steve von Till offers some comment below, and you’ll find all Neurosis‘ dates down there in blue as well, courtesy of the PR wire:

neurosis south america tour

NEUROSIS To Play Their First-Ever South American Shows In December; European And North American Summer Dates Loom

Thirty years of anticipation will come to an end this December: South American fans can finally experience the live intensity of heavy music pioneers, NEUROSIS. For the first time, the band will bring its cathartic live experience to South America, performing three shows in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.

“We are honored and humbled by the opportunity to experience a new sonic adventure on a new continent,” says Steve Von Till. “Finally, after all this time, we are able to come to South America and experience first-hand the legendary and passionate heavy music scene there.”

Over three decades, NEUROSIS has produced eleven studio albums, performed on stages around the planet – each record, each song, each show and each studio experience pushing the band one step further along on a lifelong path of spirit and sonic experimentation. For the first time in South America, local audiences will feel the trance like power of NEUROSIS’ massive riffs. These South American shows are produced by Brazilian booking agency Abraxas in partnership with Xaninho Discos, beginning in São Paulo, Brazil, on December 8th at Clash Club, followed by shows in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 9th at Teatro Vorterix and Santiago, Chile, December 10th at Club Blondie. Ticket information for these three shows will be announced in the coming weeks.

NEUROSIS’ Summer tour is rapidly approaching, beginning with a European venture the first week of July, leading with a set at Roskilde Festival and followed by shows with Wolfbrigade, Author & Punisher, labelmates Dark Budda Rising, and more. In late July and early August, NEUROSIS will storm the Eastern US and lower Canada with a week-and-a-half of tour dates alongside Converge and labelmates Amenra. This tour will be followed by NEUROSIS’ participation in Psycho Vegas in Las Vegas, August 18th through 20th, performing with the likes of King Diamond, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Swans, Sleep, The Melvins, Wolves In The Throne Room, and countless others. NEUROSIS will also headline the Days Of Darkness festival in Baltimore, Maryland on October 28th and 29th, the two-day gala also including sets by Manilla Road, Om, Cirith Ungol, Warning, Captain Beyond, Boris, Elder, and many more.

Released in September, NEUROSIS’ acclaimed Fires Within Fires is available now on CD, LP, cassette, and all digital platforms through the band’s own Neurot Recordings; see all bundles and options RIGHT HERE.

NEUROSIS Tour Dates:
7/01/2017 Roskilde Festival – Roskilde, DK
7/02/2017 Kraken – Stockholm, SE w/ Wolfbrigade & Author & Punisher
7/03/2017 Pustervik – Gothenburg, SE w/ Author & Punisher
7/04/2017 Tavastia – Helsinki, FI w/ Dark Buddha Rising
7/05/2017 Eistnaflug – Neskaupstadur, IS
7/27/2017 Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL w/ Amenra
7/28/2017 Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL w/ Converge, Amenra
7/29/2017 St Andrews – Detroit, MI w/ Converge, Amenra
7/30/2017 Rex Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA w/ Converge, Amenra
8/01/2017 Metropolis – Montreal, QC w/ Converge, Amenra
8/02/2017 Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON w/ Converge, Amenra
8/03/2017 College St. Music Hall – New Haven, CT w/ Converge, Amenra
8/04/2017 Warsaw – Brooklyn, NY w/ Converge, Amenra [SOLD OUT]
8/05/2017 Warsaw – Brooklyn, NY w/ Converge, Amenra
8/06/2017 Royale – Boston, MA w/ Converge, Amenra
8/07/2017 Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA w/ Converge, Amenra
8/18-20/2017 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas
10/28-29/2017 Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore Maryland @ Days Of Darkness
12/08/2017 Clash Club – São Paulo, BR
12/09/2017 Teatro Vorterix – Buenos Aires, AR
12/10/2017 Club Blondie – Santiago, CL

http://www.neurosis.com
http://www.facebook.com/officialneurosis
https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com
http://www.twitter.com/neurosisoakland
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (2016)

Tags: , , ,

Review & Full Album Stream: Greenbeard, Lödarödböl

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

greenbeard lodarodbol

[Click play above to stream Greenbeard’s Lödarödböl in its entirety. Album is out July 1 via Sailor Records.]

One might have to stare a couple extra seconds at the title Lödarödböl before putting the proper long ‘o’ sounds where they should be, but once that’s deciphered, a good portion of Greenbeard‘s intent is revealed. The Austin, Texas-based three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Chance Parker, bassist Dan Alvarez and drummer Buddy Hachar follow-up their 2015 debut, Stoned at the Throne (discussed here), with six tracks of correspondingly weedian craftsmanship that balances straightforward hooks with jammier impulses in clear but fluid divide. That is, in listening, one looks at a song like the eight-minute “Lanesplitter” and can probably guess that Greenbeard are about to stretch out a bit, but the trio do well to tie their pieces together, whether it’s that song leading out of aptly-named opener “Swing” or into the driving “Young Concussion.”

All told, Lödarödböl comprises six tracks pulled off over a pretense-free 35 vinyl-ready minutes, and there isn’t a weak one in the batch. With subtle shifts in tone brought to bear through a production/mix job by Matt Bayles (Isis, Mastodon, so many others) — who also adds synth to “Swing,” “Lanesplitter” and 10-minute closer “Wyrm” — a few guest vocal appearances and variety of structure, Greenbeard keep a consistent groove from song to song while playing a kind of back and forth between shorter and longer-winded stretches. Momentum is built and well maintained, and ultimately, Lödarödböl succeeds in casting an amiable interpretation of modern stoner heavy: informed but not solely indebted to the likes of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age, and jammed out in all the right places.

With their road bowl loaded, Greenbeard set themselves in immediate motion with the introductory riff of “Swing,” calling to mind a fuzzier take on earlier Red Fang in their chug and straightforward, uptempo push. Even the verse is catchy, and the chorus itself is the first of several deceptively ear-worming melodies that Lödarödböl offers, but it’s also telling and somewhat foreshadowing that “Swing” moves into its second half with the aforementioned keys from Bayles and a more laid back, languid, semi-psychedelic spaciousness added on top of that initial core chug. That tension is essential to what makes Lödarödböl function, and to have it play out directly prior to the fadeout of the album opener shows consciousness on the part of the band in terms of informing their audience of their intent throughout. Was that what they had in mind when they wrote the song? Probably not, but it’s a crucial function “Swing” plays anyway, and likewise the transition into the nodding “Lanesplitter” is smooth enough that there’s no jarring moment where one track ends and the next one starts.

greenbeard

Parker‘s vocals about a minute in remind of Chris Goss in Masters of Reality in how they top the bounce, but “Lanesplitter” is headed outward, and after a little more than three minutes, the track crashes out to a just-guitar progression as the founding element of the likely-plotted jam that will carry through the rest of its eight-minute runtime, some righteous half-time drumming from Hachar and Bayles‘ organ work setting up a guitar solo while Alvarez holds the proceedings together on bass so that as they move into the more-improv-sounding next stage of the jam and build toward the crashing apex, the sense of motion remains prevalent. That turns out to be pivotal as Greenbeard shift method again into the shorter and more structured “Young Concussion,” rounding out the album’s first half with a strong hook that speaks to the Songs for the Deaf influence, stops to make room for a bit of rock-gasm, and ably returns to its chorus to finish.

Lest they be accused of not being stoned enough, ParkerAlvarez and Hachar start side B with “Battleweed.” Like “Swing” at the outset, there’s a certain amount of blending impulses in the five-minute-plus second-half leadoff, but “Battleweed” functions doubly in reinforcing not only the two different sides of Lödarödböl, but how readily Greenbeard are able to unite them into a functioning singular presentation. There may be a certain tongue-in-cheek aspect to the lyrics, but with its turn into and subsequently out of midsection boogie and casual rhythm, it’s a highlight all the same, and it comes backed by the “Love has Passed by Me,” the penultimate cut and shortest at 3:33. A sans-frills swing-and-hook masher, it thick-shuffles through its verse en route to the maybe-Kyuss referential chorus (though that was “…Passed Me By,” not “…Passed by Me” as it is here) and holds its pace for the duration, playing effectively into the bass-thickened start of “Wyrm.”

The final portion of Lödarödböl earns its extended stretch-out with a patient opening and loosely hypnotic flow, a particularly impressive vocal from Parker when the vocals arrive and a break at the halfway mark into an abbreviated crescendo. This makes for an especially welcome ending, because rather than build and jam their way out, Greenbeard actually turn back to the chorus and the central progression of “Wyrm” and ride that to the album’s end, working in defiance of expectation and easing the listener back to reality with a return from Bayles on keys and a last churning hum. In some ways, Lödarödböl is a quintessential second full-length. It clearly has learned from its predecessor, and it demonstrates mindful growth on the part of Greenbeard without giving the sense that they’ve finished the process of becoming who they’ll be as a band. That’s a convenient narrative, but they play well to it, and their preaching should have no trouble finding welcome among the ears of the already converted or those looking to be.

Greenbeard on Thee Facebooks

Greenbeard on Bandcamp

Greenbeard on Instagram

Greenbeard website

Sailor Records on Bandcamp

Sailor Records on Thee Facebooks

Sailor Records webstore

Tags: , , , , ,

Deamon’s Child Release Live im Lux as Limited CD

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I take it as a sign mostly of my own middle-agedness that I’m so continually impressed by things like super-quick turnarounds on DIY releases. CDRs aren’t exactly new technology, but to me it seems worth admiring the work that Hannover, Germany’s Deamon’s Child have done in putting together Live im Lux as a limited-run of compact discs after only playing the show from which it’s made earlier this month in their hometown. That kind of thing is really cool. When I was a kid you’d have to wait forever for something like that. Now it’s online faster than even the CDs can be burned. Like I said, I’m old, so I find that impressive.

Deamon’s Child released their second album, Scherben Müssen Sein (review here), last year via Zygmatron Records, which was also kind enough to send over the following release info and live dates:

deamon's child live im lux

On June 3rd, 2017 the three piece DEAMON’S CHILD played a concert in its hometown, Hannover, Germany.

They opened for the Canadian band BLOOD CEREMONY at the LUX Club.

As the band arrived at the club they were happily surprised to meet an old friend behind the mixing console. It was Willi Dammeier of the Institut für Wohlklangforschung Studio. Willi is known for his productions with bands like COLOUR HAZE, KALAMATA, ROTOR, MOTHER SUPERIOR or CHERRY OVERDRIVE f.e..

After a hearty welcome the band and Willi decided spontaneously to record the concert without any extra expenditure and just for fun.

There was no time for an extra soundcheck or a special live microphone set up and above all it was not plant to record something for a release.

But well, there is a very nice livefeeling in it. It is raw, it is authentic and develops the fun the band and the audience have had very good. So we decided to release it.
The setlist has songs from the first two albums.

The live album „Live im Lux“ is available as download and as limited to 50 CD-R Version.

Dates (germany):
27.06. Hannover, Café Glocksee
04./05.08. E-Lite Culture Festival
25.08 Walsrode, ObernAir
07.10. Berlin, Supamolly
11.10. Hildesheim, Löseke
12.10. tba
13.10. Hamburg, Astra Stube
14.10. tba
20.10. Hannover, Monster Records
21.10. Potsdam, Punk Party
02.12. Erfurt, Café Tikolor
weitere Daten in Vorbereitung

Ana Muhi – Bass & Gesang
Sven Missullis – Gitarre
Tim Mohr – Schlagzeug

https://www.facebook.com/deamonshome/
https://deamonschild.bandcamp.com/
http://www.deamonshome.de/

Deamon’s Child, Live im Lux (2017)

Tags: , , , ,

Radio Moscow Announce New Beginnings Due Sept. 9; Euro Tour Sept./Oct.

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I’ll say this as clearly as I possibly can: If you’re not looking forward to the new Radio Moscow, you’re fucking up. The San Diego bringers-of-heavy-rock-tornadoes will release their fifth album, New Beginnings, on Sept. 9 as their debut for Century Media, just as they wrap a small string of West Coast dates and shortly before they begin a European headlining trek set to feature Kaleidobolt as direct support. The three-piece of Parker GriggsAnthony Meier and Paul Marrone were recently confirmed for Keep it Low 2017 (info here), Desertfest Athens 2017 (info here), Up in Smoke 2017 (info here) and Desertfest Belgium 2017 (info here), so we knew they’d be in Europe for the Fall, but there’s something to be said for seeing how it all ties together as well. And when it comes to these dudes, the more shows the merrier.

Radio Moscow had a live album out last year that I could’ve cried when I didn’t get sent a download to review — really, my feelings were hurt — and their last studio outing was 2014’s ultra-driving Magical Dirt (review here). Get it if you don’t have it. Get the new one too. Shit, just buy everything Radio Moscow have ever done. You’ll thank yourself for doing so later.

From the PR wire:

radio moscow

RADIO MOSCOW Announce New Album, “New Beginnings”, Scheduled For Release September 9, 2017 via Century Media Records

Reveal Headlining European Tour in September/October 2017 Featuring Special Guests Kaleidobolt

Southern Californian rock trio RADIO MOSCOW are currently putting finishing touches on their much-anticipated fifth studio album, “New Beginnings”, which is set for release via Century Media Records on September 29, 2017.

Right on time with the release of their new opus, the band has confirmed the “The Drifting Tour”, which will drown Europe from September 26 to October 31 in waves of fuzzy, hard rocking riffs and sweaty, cranked up blues!

Formed in 2003, the power trio led by Stratocaster genius Parker Griggs carved their own sonic niche fusing crunching, heavy Sabbath-style chords with fiery ‘Hendrixian’ solos and a raw intensity that is addictive and captivating. From the self-titled debut back in 2007, which was produced by Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, over to last year’s “Live! In California”, RADIO MOSCOW proved to be not just a cheap time machine but a direct descendant from the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll!

Known as a tremendous live act, Parker Griggs (vocals, guitar), Anthony Meier (bass) and Paul Marrone (drums) have hit the road hard in the U.S. and in Europe in past years, touring with the likes of Graveyard, Witchcraft, Joe Bonamassa and Pentagram as well as playing festivals such as Desert Daze (US), the Void Fest (Ger), Electric Funeral (US), Burg Herzberg Fest (Ger), and the Orbital Festival in Santiago, Chile, to name but a few.

Now, RADIO MOSCOW are gearing up for an exciting new chapter in their career with the release of “New Beginnings” and have kicked off another massive touring cycle with a US mini-tour, selected European festivals in August, and a full European tour in September/October. Even more chances to see the band live are currently in the works!

RADIO MOSCOW live
US mini tour
6/30 Phoenix, AZ – The Rebel Lounge
7/1 Santa Fe, NM – The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing
7/2 Oklahoma City, OK – 89th Street Collective
7/3 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room
7/6 Chicago, IL – Reggie’s Music Joint
7/7 Des Moines, IA – Western Gateway Park
7/8 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
7/9 Telluride, CO – Fly Me To The Moon Saloon

European festivals
12.08.17 Dortmund (DE) Junkyard Open Air
13.08.17 Cernoy (FR) – Celebration Days
19.08.17 Saint-Nolff (FR) Motorculto Festival

“The Drifting Tour” 2017
with special guests Kaleidobolt
26.09.17 Paris (FR) Backstage
27.09.17 Nantes (FR) Le Ferrailleur
28.09.17 Bilbao (ES) Kafe Antzokia
29.09.17 Gijon (ES) Casino Acapulco
30.09.17 Porto (PT) Hard Club
01.10.17 Lisbon (PT) RCA
02.10.17 Madrid (ES) Caracol
03.10.17 Barcelona (ES) Rocksound
04.10.17 Montpellier (FR) Secret Place
06.10.17 Pratteln (CH) Up In Smoke
07.10.17 Athens (GR) Desertfest
09.10.17 Roma (IT) Traffic
10.10.17 Altroquando (IT) Zero Branco
11.10.17 Torino (IT) Blah Blah
13.10.17 Antwerpen (BE) Desertfest
14.10.17 Groningen (NL) Vera
15.10.17 Cologne (DE) Underground
16.10.17 Wiesbaden (DE) Schlachthof
17.10.17 Wien (AT) Arena
18.10.17 Innsbruck (AT) PMK
19.10.17 Etagnieres (CH) Croc the Rock Festival
20.10.17 Munich (DE) Keep it Low
21.10.17 Dresden (DE) Beatpol
23.10.17 Hamburg (DE) Hafenklang
24.10.17 Copenhagen (DK) tbc
25.10.17 Stockholm (SE) Undergangen
26.10.17 Göteborg (SE) Sticky Fingers
28.10.17 Bergen (NO) Garage
30.10.17 Hannover (DE) Chez Heinz (* no Kaleidobolt)
31.10.17 Berlin (DE) Festsaal (* no Kaleidobolt)

Discography
Radio Moscow (2007)
Brain Cycles (2009)
The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz (2011)
3 & 3 Quarters (2012), early demos recorded in 2003 by Parker Griggs
Rancho Tehama EP (2013)
Magical Dirt (2014)
Live! In California (2016)

Radio Moscow line-up
Parker Griggs (vocals, guitar)
Anthony Meier (bass)
Paul Marrone (drums)

http://radiomoscow.net/
www.facebook.com/radiomoscowband
www.instagram.com/radiomoscowband

Radio Moscow, Live in Costa Mesa, CA, March 18, 2017

Tags: , , , , ,

Review & Full Stream: Harsh Toke, Joy & Sacri Monti, Burnout Split LP

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

harsh-toke-joy-sacri-monti-burnout

[Click play above to stream the Burnout three-way split between Harsh Toke, Joy and Sacri Monti. It’s out June 23 via Tee Pee Records.]

Not to quibble on titles, but it’s way less Burnout than it is ignition. The West Coast heavy psych boom, centered in San Diego but with offshoots up and down throughout California in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, etc., is years underway at this point, and New York’s Tee Pee Records has proven to be among its most crucial documentarians. In bringing together Harsh TokeJoy and Sacri Monti — three San Diego bands who’ve all had albums out on Tee Pee — the long-running imprint has essentially reinforced the arrival of and camaraderie between members of one of the US’ most vibrant underground scenes. If they wanted, each of these groups could have headlined their own three-band split — there’s enough clout between them and enough other acts around to make that happen, easily — but in uniting them together, Tee Pee is going for broke in representing the particular energy and classic-minded shred that typifies San Diego’s explosive sound.

It is likewise no coincidence that Burnout — a six-song 12″ topping out at 26 minutes — should feature covers from each band as well as original material from Joy and Sacri Monti, since so much of what’s happening and what’s already happened in the heavy ’10s has owed its core approach to the heavy ’70s before it, so that to have Harsh Toke take on Roky Erickson for two tracks — something they also did for a full set at Roadburn festival this past Spring in the Netherlands — as Joy tears into “Spaceship Earth” by Road and Sacri Monti into “Sleeping for Years” by Atomic Rooster not only makes sense sonically, but effectively ties together the still-very-much-exploding current movement of bands with the crucial wave that preceded it nearly half a century ago.

I admit, that’s a pretty heady view of the mission here, and to listen to Burnout, the tracks don’t come across nearly so lofty in their aims, whether that’s Harsh Toke‘s drunk-at-the-piano dive into Erickson‘s “Burn the Flames” at the outset or the scorching, organ-soaked boogie drive of Sacri Monti tackling “Sleeping for Years” at the finish. And rightfully so. If it was pretentious or overly self-aware, the whole affair would fall flat, where in the front-to-back execution, it proves to be anything but, with both Joy and Sacri Monti right in their respective elements in both their own material and their cover selections while Harsh Toke prove to be somewhat the outliers as they leadoff the release. Not so much sound-wise — Roky Erickson‘s weirdo formative and massively influential psych isn’t out of context in their swaying reinterpretation — as in the simple concept of Harsh Toke playing songs.

harsh toke joy sacri monti burnout vinyl

Harsh Toke‘s 2016 split (review here) with San Diego scene lords Earthless — who along with Radio Moscow are very much the elephant in the room when it comes to not only the three outfits appearing on Burnout but the wider San Diego sphere as a whole — and their 2014 debut, Light up and Live, were essentially jam-based releases, and their live sets find them working in likewise methods. To hear them push through the fuzzy proto-punk of “Bermuda,” I’m not sure why they so generally avoid vocals, but the fact that it’s something that doesn’t happen all the time would seem to make it all the more of an event, and they are right at home in that track and “Burn the Flames” preceding, giving a sense of Erickson‘s character in the material while presenting it with their own energetic tack. Naturally, on a three-band split there’ are bound to be some stark leaps in sound, between groups — like on any multi-group compilation — but the speedier “Bermuda” also helps make way for Joy‘s “Your Time Ain’t Long,” the longest inclusion here overall at 5:27.

Meting out similar winding riffage to what high-speed-nodded throughout their 2016 third full-length, Ride Along! (review here), “Your Time Ain’t Long” serves as the first original of Burnout and cuts short after three-and-a-half shuffling minutes to a more languid drift, keeping some progressive tension beneath as it moves with deceptive efficiency back toward its hook. The trio count into “Spaceship Earth” for a live-in-studio feel that the raw fuzz of their tonality and echoing vocals backs up that impression. In their own composition as well as the 1972 Road track, it’s the guitar leading the charge, and even as “Spaceship Earth” moves into outside-the-atmosphere noise following an extended stretch of leads, tone provides the fuel for that ascent. Sacri Monti‘s “Over the Hill” follows immediately.

Their original, like that of Joy before them, showcases a fervent-enough ’70s influence to make its transition seamless, but is distinguished through the use of organ and the interplay there between keys and shred-prone guitar as was their 2015 self-titled debut (review here), and as a next step forward from that release, “Over the Hill” bodes well for the development of their chemistry on the whole. Their selection of an Atomic Rooster track is likewise admirable — and one has to acknowledge it must’ve been tempting, when looking at 1970’s Death Walks Behind You, to take on the title-piece — and they give the UK-based post-blues stompers their due while, like Harsh Toke and Joy before them, bringing their own personality to the presentation in a live-feeling onslaught of groove that dares you to keep up with its nigh-on-frenetic turns. It’s over quickly — so is Burnout as a whole — but Sacri Monti‘s cold finish to “Sleeping for Years” makes a fitting end to the split, since as the scene that birthed these bands also seems to do, it leaves one with the feeling of standing in front of the stage yelling for one more song.

And if they had done another, or if any of these groups came back out and did an encore, you wouldn’t find me complaining. Cities like San Diego, Encinitas, Visalia, Oceanside, and so on, have become more and more crowded over the last couple years, and I expect they’ll continue to for at least the next several years as we move toward and beyond 2020, but with the quality of output from Harsh TokeJoy and Sacri Monti both here and on their own offerings, it’s hard to argue with others wanting to pick up and try to capture some of the same vibe that’s presented as being so utterly molten across this split. In playing to their strengths, each of these bands represents some of the best of West Coast heavy psych as a whole.

Harsh Toke on Thee Facebooks

Joy on Thee Facebooks

Sacri Monti on Thee Facebooks

Burnout at Tee Pee Records

Tee Pee Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , , , ,