Saturday, March 25, 2017
The month of March has been a bruiser as customary with the weather. The” in like a lion out like a lamb” saying smacked the music world here on bandcamp rather inversely. Bandcamp pounced us like a lion the entire month with no signs of slowing down. Here are some stragglers I managed to dig up recently. I have been on vacation all week, so not a lot of new discovery, but with the internet and smart phones I am always just a click away from greatness. Check these bad boys out.
Familiars – This Water That is Warm (I Will Soon Join)
I was not familiar with the Familiars until a couple weeks ago. They popped up on the feed and it took me a while to push play. Probably due to the fact that their catalog was mainly 2-song singles and those are always a bit hit and miss. However, when I finally sat down and pushed play I was enamored with delight.
For those unfamiliar with The Familiars, I'll tell you this much; this single is one of the gnarliest 2 song sequences I've heard all year. By gnarly I mean thick burly riffs, hazy psychedelic vocals and mind altering rhythm that demands repeat attention. Blown away.
Smokey Mirror – Smokey Mirror EP
One hell of an EP right here waveriders. Straight out of the heart of Texas, Smokey Mirror hammer us with one of the best EPs of the year so far.
Book a show with them, grab the EP, and spread the word. This is hot shit.
These guys caught my ear with not only the intriguing artwork on display, obviously a David Paul Seymour piece, but the energy was present. The massive doom throbs like Sabbath at a blues fest. If an album could come close to resembling the tone on the first Sword album, ‘Out of the Shallow’ nails it. Probably what caught my ear initially and held my attention throughout. The vocals are both burly and intoxicating without being overbearing, and the riffs are both weighty and bluesy bringing the sound full circle for fans of uber doom, and those that prefer a heavy psychedelic blues affair. There are various physical merch packages including the cassette tape which is actually the same price as the digital only. You are really missing out by not holding something by Earth Witch in your hand. It gets better with each listen as well.
Mosgila – Mosgila
This one came out of nowhere. A facebook recommendation by a trusted source and a push of the play button and I was sold. Based in Seattle, Washington, one can’t help but immediately look for a grunge influence. Although the grunge sound is not at the forefront of the scene these days, the Seattle climate always seems to invoke somewhat of a grungey tone. As the album plays through there is definitely a 90’s hard rock vibe going on. But rather than a clone of Stone Temple Pilots or Soundgarden, Mosgila creates more of a modern hard arena rock meets stoner metal. The vocals are the dividing factor that gives this one a nostalgic essence. The guitars are smooth, riffy, and melodic, and the tone screams 20th century Pacific Northwest stoner metal. I hear bits and pieces that remind me of post 2000 hard rock of the like of Tim Narducci of ‘The Watchers’ old band ‘Systematic’, which I’ve always loved. Check this out and give these guys some love. I think they’ve got something special going on here.
Sleeping Tigers – Ancient Request
Here we are with another 2-song set that had me completely sold. Straight out of Salt Lake City, UT, Sleeping Tigers roar at us with a fine demo output.
Consider my interest in full pique mode. Groove for days, riffs for miles, and the hooks catch you like Yogi Berra on a curve ball.
Ethiva – Sublime Island
Here is a band that is worth listening to. With a heavily progressive direction, Ethiva have released an album that will spin you into the abyss with layers of psychedelic infused kraut mixed with melodic strums of metallic force. I was blown away and still am with how much this band is able to impress. Take a listen for yourself. This one is available on vinyl and although I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, it is high on the list of priorities as it’s an absolutely gorgeous album. Also, their debut is stunning and available on bandcamp as well.
Regulus – Quadralith
Last but not least we have the brand new full length album by Regulus, whom I’ve featured on the series before. The new album was high on my priority list, and although I can’t afford the vinyl at the moment the music will certainly justify a purchase if you haven’t already.
Fuzzy layers of heavy blues build within strapping vocal chops and stoner-fueled groove. Regulus have arrived by way of Quadralith with a 10-song set of powerhouse, riff-driven heavy rock n roll.
March is always a strong month straddling the winter and spring divide taking us from a blustery cold front to fresh and airy pastures. The campgrounds will soon be green as the rivers of music begin to rise with runoff creating waves of sounds for you all to ride. See you next time.
Friday, March 24, 2017
Second Coming of Heavy Chapter Five Lands This Saturday, and Mothership, Freedom Hawk, and Gozu Back in Stock!!!
It's here! The next edition of The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Five - featuring Ripple favorites Desert Suns and Chiefs. All brand new, never before released songs that rip with stoner/desert power. Will be available in all the versions you've come to know and love, The Tricolor swirled with white splatter Resurrection Edition, The individually numbered oxblood in clear color in color with black splatter Risen OBI, and the milky clear/oxblood splattered Ascension Edition. Only 100 pressed of each edition with no repress. Jump onboard the series that many are calling the best "Split series in the heavy underground." On sale Saturday 25th, 7 am PST. www.ripple-music.com
Mothership "High Strangeness" released last week and has catapulted the band to the upper echelons of the heavy underground. The limited editions of the LP sold out in under 24 hours, but fret not! We always keep some in reserve for lost/damage replacement and we'll be releasing these, reserve 7" Crown of Lies, and test pressings in just one week. So stay tuned. Meanwhile, black vinyl and CD are available right now in the shop.
Back in stock!! We sold out of all limited color, test pressings and black vinyl (even sold out of CD's!) in less than a month, so here's great news. The debut album by legendary heavy rockers, Freedom Hawk is back in stock. Sunlight finds the band making their debut Ripple release and brims with the killer riffage that Freedom Hawk are world-known for. In the shop now in LP and CD. www.ripple-music.com
Another one that sold out quickly, and again we're thrilled to let you know that this baby is back in stock. "Revival" by Gozu, their Ripple Music debut, broke the band to their biggest audience yet. On most sites end-of-year-best-of lists, nobody does it like Gozu. Intense riffing, killer melodies and those perfect soulful vocals. Back in stock in vinyl and CD. www.ripple-music.com
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Rockers around the world - prepare yourselves for the latest album by Switzerland's legendary hard rock band KROKUS, entitled BIG ROCKS!
Release date: April 7th 2017
On BIG ROCKS, KROKUS pay tribute to their roots by covering classic tracks of The Rolling Stones, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, The Who, Bob Dylan and many more.
With a total of 12 flawlessly executed cover versions in the typical KROKUS vein plus a newly recorded version of the KROKUS classic "Backseat Rock N' Roll" as well as comments on selected songs by various band members, BIG ROCKS offers everything fans of straight-forward and honest rock music can ask for.
BIG ROCKS is available as CD Jewelcase as well as download and stream (Available now). The album is already available outside North America, but fans within North America will now be able to pick up this piece of hard rock history.
Click here to pre-order the CD at selected stores or purchase a download/streaming copy: http://smarturl.it/KrokusBIGROCKS
A lyric video of the classic track "House Of The Rising Sun" isa available on YouTube and Vevo via the link below.
Let the Krokus Pokus begin!
BIG ROCKS - Tracklist
(originally by Black Sabbath)
2. Tie Your Mother Down
(originally by Queen)
3. My Generation
(originally by The Who)
4. Wild Thing
(originally by The Troggs)
5. The House Of The Rising Sun
(originally by The Animals)
6. Rockin' In The Free World
(originally by Neil Young)
7. Gimme Some Lovin'
(originally by Spencer Davis Group)
8. Whole Lotta Love
(originally by Led Zeppelin)
9. Summertime Blues
(originally by Eddie Cochran)
10. Born To Be Wild
(originally by Steppenwolf)
11. Quinn The Eskimo
(originally by Bob Dylan)
12. Jumpin' Jack Flash
(originally by The Rolling Stones)
13. Backseat Rock N' Roll
(KROKUS original recording)
Marc Storace: Lead Vocals
Chris von Rohr: Bass, Vocals
Fernando von Arb: Guitars,Vocals
Mark Kohler: Guitars
Mandy Meyer: Guitars
Flavio Mezzodi: Drums
Century Media Records Online:
Swedish Hard Rockers HORISONT are thrilled to announce that they will be returning to North America next month as part of their 'About Time' world tour. The upcoming dates come in support of the band's new album, About Time, which was released on February 3rd and features the singles "Electrical" (Music Video), "The Hive" (Album Track) and "About Time" (Music Video). Speaking about their return stateside, the members of Horisont comment,
"Well, well! Look what we have here! We had such a good time on our last U.S. tour, we thought it’s time to go back! So it’s with great pleasure that we can announce our next upcoming North American tour which is scheduled for April and May. We’ll be bringing the awesome blues rockers The Dirty Streets with us throughout the whole tour. More dates will be added shortly so stay tuned! See you soon!"
HORISONT - 'About Time' North American Tour
4/07 CHICAGO, IL @ REGGIE'S
4/10 DENVER, CO @ HI DIVE
4/12 SALT LAKE CITY, UT @ METRO MUSIC HALL
4/13 BOISE, ID @ NEUROLUX
4/14 PORTLAND, OR @ BOSSANOVA BALLROOM
4/15 SEATTLE, WA @ HIGHLINE
4/16 VANCOUVER, BC @ PUB 340
4/18 SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ THEE PARKSIDE
4/20 SAN DIEGO, CA @ BRICK BY BRICK
4/23 SAN ANTONIO, TX @ LIMELIGHT
4/24 AUSTIN, TX @ GRIZZLY HALL
4/25 NEW ORLEANS, LA @ SIBERIA
4/26 SAVANNAH, GA @ THE JINX
4/27 ATLANTA, GA @ THE BASEMENT
4/29 RICHMOND, VA @ STRANGE MATTER*
4/30 PHILADELPHIA, PA @ KUNG FU NECKTIE
5/01 NEW YORK, NY @ WEBSTER HALL
5/02 BOSTON, MA @ ONCE
5/04 TORONTO, ON @ VELVET LOUNGE
5/05 PITTSBURGH, PA @ GOOSKI'S
5/09 CLEVELAND, OH @ THE GROG SHOP
* - w/Mothership
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
This is the second solo album by artist Verena von Horsten from Zurich, Switzerland. It was written, produced and recorded by herself in New York and Zurich. This album is a moving and sentimental tribute to her late brother who committed suicide four years ago. The songs on the album, explore the haunting journey of despair she embarked on as she struggled to understand why her brother felt like the only option he had left was to end his own life, and the way the world treats suicide.
The album has been called "synth-pop," but there is no "pop" here, it's more along the lines of "synth rock" because of the edginess of it and the topic of the album. She has also been compared to Bjork and PJ Harvey, but she isn't like them at all, except that they are all females that sing, instead let's not lump her into a group of singers, let's take her at face value; a singer that has an amazing voice and raw talent that stands out as soon as you start to listen to the album. Song after song is chock full of emotion that grabs your ears as well as your heart knowing the tragic way this album came to be. The songs are catchy, tightly played and infectious, something that can be played over and over again and never get boring. She has a voice that goes from being almost operatic and hitting high notes to sounding melancholy and heart-wrenching, but still beautiful. The over eight minute long "Sakrament der Büffelherde" is an amazing song that has a fantastic beat, astounding vocals and seems so much shorter than is listed. This is a song that will get stuck in my head and be played repeatedly. The production is clear, but keeps the rawness of her emotions in full view, and everything just falls into place.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
THE OBSESSED Premieres "Punk Crusher" Via Brooklyn Vegan/Invisible Oranges; Record Release Show Announced
[Photo by Susie Costantino]
Maryland doom legends THE OBSESSED today premiere the second single off their impending new Sacred full-length, their first studio offering in over two decades.
April 7th, 2017 will see the worldwide release of Sacred via Relapse Records on CD, LP, deluxe 2xLP, and digital formats. Physical preorders and bundles are available via Relapse.com HERE and digital downloads can be preordered by Bandcamp at THIS LOCATION. The deluxe 2xLP bundle includes an enamel logo pin, signed art print, and two bonus tracks.
With renewed energy and purpose, THE OBSESSED sounds heavier and more relevant than ever before. On Sacred, the band doubles down on enormous, heaving riffs and pummeling low-end across twelve tracks of eternal doom. Rounded out by guitarist/vocalist Scott "Wino" Weinrich's lyrical honesty and iconic throaty vocals, Sacred is an album that further pushes THE OBSESSED into the annals of heavy metal history, well worth the two-plus decade wait. The band will perform once again as a three-piece featuring Wino, Reid Raley, and Brian Costantino.
THE OBSESSED has announced a special Sacred record release show April 8th at Kung Fu Necktie which will include an album listening session and a special Wino acoustic performance. The band will also perform at this year's Berserker Fest IV in Detroit, Michigan the weekend of April 14th-15th. Stay tuned for further tour live announcements in the future.
4/08/2017 King Fu Necktie - Philadelphia, PA [info] * Record Release Show
4/14-15/2017 Berserker Fest IV - Detroit, MI w/ GWAR, Eyehategod, OFF!, Weedeater, Brain Tentacles, more
THE OBSESSED was formed in the late 1970s in Potomac, Maryland by legendary guitarist Scott "Wino" Weinrich (Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan). The band spawned in the realm of musicians/artists such as Black Sabbath, Frank Zappa, The Dictators, and The Stooges. The earliest lineup consisted of Wino, bassist Mark Laue, guitarist John Reese, and drummer Dave Flood. In 1983, Wino took over vocal duties and the band became a three-piece to record the Sodden Jackal EP.
The band broke up in the late '80s after Wino moved to California to join Saint Vitus. At that time, a German label, Hellhound Records, and the booking agency that had signed Saint Vitus, released The Obsessed, originally recorded in 1985, prompting Wino to reform THE OBSESSED. After multiple lineup changes, the band signed to Columbia Records in 1994 to release their third and final album, The Church Within. Despite highly acclaimed reviews, THE OBSESSED would breakup following the release, seeing Wino forming Spirit Caravan (Then Shine) and other projects.
In September 2011, THE OBSESSED returned to the stage at Roadburn Festival with The Church Within's legendary lineup (featuring Wino, Greg Rogers, and Guy Pinhas). The band played a few more reunion shows over the next couple years at Hellfest Open Air 2012 and Maryland Deathfest XI in May 2013 with bassist Reid Raley.
Wino announced the full-time return of THE OBSESSED in March 2016 and the band's official signing to Relapse Records to record the follow up to The Church Within. The new lineup originally consisted of Spirit Caravan bassist Dave Sherman and Wino's longtime friend and former road crew member. drummer Brian Costantino. On October 31st, 2016, Wino announced the lineup for THE OBSESSED, included bassist Bruce Falkinburg and guitarist Seraphim, making that the first time the band had been a four piece in over thirty-five years. Now in 2017, THE OBSESSED will unleash Sacred, the band's first studio album in over two decades.
"Delicate leads shimmer and spark; ornate guitars unfurl majestically, like a medieval tapestry." - Pitchfork
“…Pallbearer's stepped up its composition game, with dexterous contrapuntal interplay between the guitars and bass. Heartless is going to be something special, y'all.” - NPR
"...more aggressive and immediate than Pallbearer's previous work. The band moves out of the shadows of mythology and toward an earth riddled with new problems, broken defenses and evaporating futures. The music follows, with hooks that seem sharper and choruses that demand more attention." - Rolling Stone
Pallbearer’s colossal third album Heartless will be released on March 24th and last night, the band unveiled the album’s opener “I Saw The End” on BBC’s Radio 1 Rock Show with Daniel P. Carter. Today, you can check out a music video for the track, which was directed by Zev Deans / Panorama Programming (Lamb of God, Chelsea Wolfe, Ghost), here on YouTube.
The band commented, "Both song and video present a telescopic view on an eternity of corruption. The path of greed leads to misery. When higher awareness allowed us to claw our way out of the mud, we found new ways to exploit one another, abusing the gift that could bring us to new heights. In the end, we pay for our selfishness. Join us for this elegy for what might have been."
“I Saw The End” is an indicator of an album grander in scope than anything Pallbearer has released prior, showcasing a natural progression that melds higher technicality and more ambitious structures with their most immediate hooks to date. On Heartless, Pallbearer offer a complex sonic architecture that weaves together the spacious exploratory elements of classic prog, the raw anthemics of 90’s alt-rock, and stretches of black-lit proto-metal. Lyrics about mortality, life, and love are set to sharp melodies and pristine three-part harmonies. Vocalist and guitarist Brett Campbell has always been a strong, assured singer, and on Heartless, his work is especially stunning. By fusing their widest musical palette to date, Pallbearer make the kind of heavy rock that will appeal to diehards, but could also find the group crossing over into newer territories and fanbases. After having helped revitalize doom metal, it almost feels like they’ve gone and set their sights on rock and roll itself. Which doesn’t seem at all impossible on the back of a record like Heartless.
See Pallbearer on tour later this month with support from Marissa Nadler and Kayo Dot (dates listed below, with an additional show announced in June with Baroness) and look for Heartless to be released March 24th from Profound Lore in North America (in Europe from Nuclear Blast Entertainment). Heartless is available for pre-order here.
PALLBEARER, ON TOUR:
March 22 Little Rock, AR @ Revolution Music Room
March 23 Nashville, TN @ The End *
March 25 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
March 28 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop *
March 29 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme *
March 31 Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall *
June 2 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
* w/ Marissa Nadler, Kayo Dot
* w/ Baroness, Nothing
Brett Campbell - guitar, vocals
Devin Holt - guitar, vocals
Mark Lierly - drums
Joseph D. Rowland - bass, vocals
Heartless, track listing:
1. I Saw the End
3. Lie of Survival
4. Dancing in Madness
5. Cruel Road
7. A Plea for Understanding
Top photo by: Diana Lee Zadlo.