Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bandcamp Bonanza – Bottoms Up

Lately I've found myself in the habit of raving about mostly new discoveries and sequencing the bonanza articles somewhat chronologically by staying current at the top of my collection feed. Today I figured I'd take you back to where it all started for me by inverting my online Bandcamp collection to showcase some of the earliest additions to my collection. These albums all made ripples years ago in my hard rock hatchery and the hope is that they will splash ashore into your dry camp. Cheers (bottoms up) and chug down some of this sweet groovy nectar.

Legal Fingers – No Time for Tenderness
Legal Fingers bring a sleazy attitude with afros flapping, titties bouncing, and no frills punk rock blues riffing away the night (or is it afros bouncing and titties flapping?).  I remember raving about this one back when nobody was using bandcamp. I have no clue if these guys are still pumping out tunes or not, but this cool ass album is available for name your price now in case you haven’t checked it out yet.  There is no better time for tenderness than now. Hit that buy button!

The Mud Sons – The Hundredth Monkey
This album played religiously back upon first discovery. A killer blend of raspy blues with a rocking stoner groove hovering endlessly within its alternative rock base. Infectious stuff here folks. They have some newer material up for the taking as well. Have a listen to “Dead and Gone” and tell me that isn’t catchy!

Cube – Cube
This album was adored the entire year of 2012. 2012? Shit I’ve been surfing bandcamp for damn near 4 years if not longer I guess. This is a funky concoction of rock tunes incorporating a bit of grunge, alternative stoner rock, and a funk based rhythm that is hard not to get into. I clearly grabbed this before I was into vinyl and notice they have it available on wax. I may have to invest in the vinyl copy. It’s kind of in the Red Hot Chili Peppers realm of grooves but with clearly a different sound.

Great Western – Warrior of Light
Just listen to this. Honestly it’s been a while since I listened to any of these but re-listening now I realize what I loved about this album. It combines a somewhat chaotic blend of heavy rock with a completely accessible groove. The hybrid stoner/sludge/punk slings gritty outlaw riffs with a grizzled punk attitude. Kind of reminds me of a favorite of mine that is Coliseum

DSW – Dust Storm Warning
This one is just straight up hard driving stoner rock full of heavy, muscular desert grooves. This will appeal to anybody who is into stoner rock period. It’s got the Kyuss crunch with melodically graveled vocals and a psychedelic tendency that blends itself nicely in the storm of fuzz.

Savora – Company of Dogs
This one was closer to the bottom of my stack than to the top and I felt strongly enough about to mention it here. One of those albums you really wish was out on vinyl to be able to hold in your hands.  It’s an absolutely unique and one of a kind sound that I still play regularly today.
“Moments of sheer alchemy combined with trance like elements of fuzzy groove create a plethora of serenity. Seriously dreamy hard rock with a cool factor off the charts.”

Well that was fun. These were just some random albums digging around towards the bottom of my collection. With the enormous amount of new music hitting the social feeds of the internet every day it is nice to step back and listen to some old stuff every now and then. Until next time, tilt those whiskey jugs up, crank the volume higher, and hope you remember what you listened to in the morning whether you go the route of the whiskey bottle or just the intoxicating grooves of the music.

-The Huntsman

Friday, June 24, 2016

Full album stream from Druids (doom/sludge) - 'Cycles of Mobeum' (Sump Pump Records)

Druids’ third album, Cycles of Mobeum, tells the tale of Warpia and her home planet Mobeum (so named as a nod to the French comic book artist Moebius, whose work is a major influence on the sound of the record). The doom/sludge metal trio from Des Moines that Band Bombshell calls “thrilling” are preparing to release the 8-song full length on June 3rd from Sump Pump Records, with cover artwork by Mark Facey.

Druids, who have opened for Baroness, Toxic Holocaust, Kylesa and Skeletonwitch, began as a couple of friends in Pella, Iowa absorbing the output of metal behemoths like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Mastodon, eventually forming Druids in 2008 as the duo of Luke Rauch (guitar, vocals) and Keith Rich (drums, vocals). The pair added Rauch’s younger brother Drew (bass, vocals) following the release of their first album, Pray For Water, in 2009.

Druids’ debut was released first as a limited edition CD on Ruleogy Records and later that year on cassette by Ea, Lord of the Tapes, before the album was re-released on CD by Austrian label PsychDOOMelic Records with a reissue on LP by Don’t Shoot Records. Druids put out their follow-up album, The Sound of Meditation, in their present form of a trio in 2013.

“There was a strong reaction to The Sound of Meditation that we didn't expect,” recalls Drew Rauch. “So that response really drove us. Right after we released it, we started writing the new album.” The beginnings of the writing process involved the Rauch brothers getting together every weekend and hashing out ideas while bingeing on sci-fi movies. Once the album began taking shape, they headed to Wabi Sound in Des Moines. “We went into the studio knowing that we were going to take our time with it and that we didn't have a strict deadline. We tried a lot of new things for this album.”
Cycles of Mobeum, recorded and mixed by Phil Young at Wabi Sound and mastered by Carl Saff (Earthless, Coliseum, Urge Overkill), will be out on June 3rd on CD and vinyl formats on Sump Pump Records. Druids’ first appearance on a Sump Pump Records release came in 2014 when they were included on a compilation, detailed at Druids will be hitting the road for a July tour, including sets at 80/35 festival and QC Metal Fest.

Cycles of Mobeum Track Listing:
01 The Grand Sleeve of Time
02 Firemares
03 Dreams of a Surface
04 Trial by Stone
05 Moon Systems
06 Halo
07 Oscillator
08 Warpia

Listen and share: Druids - Cycles of Mobeum

Dark Suns Debut New Song "Spiders"

German progressive metal band DARK SUNS will release their fifth studio effort, the double album, Everchild, on June 3 via Prophecy Productions. Recorded in Berlin's Funkhaus Studios (Europe's largest studio complex) with producer Yensin Jahn (Alice Cooper, Yo La Tengo), the album is the respected band's fifth full-length effort and follows 2011's Orange, which was hailed as "an album which embraces the sounds of early and vintage progressive, psychedelic, and jazz rock". In celebration of the record's release, the band premieres the new song "Spiders" via Burning Ambulance magazine. Listen to DARK SUNS' "Spiders" now, at this location.

   “As well as being the second track on the album, ‘Spiders’ was also the second track we wrote during the songwriting process. It resulted mainly from the idea to combine a teenage pioneering spirit with urban melancholy," says vocalist Niko Knappe. "It tells about a young person’s departure. A group of teenagers in a state of eagerness and wanderlust, waiting for a friend to set out and break away from the parental home. ‘Push the spiders downhill’ is how the lyrics end, and stands for conquering fears and overcoming obstacles. We like the playful ease of the verses and how the song merges into the stomping brass parts and chorus lines, followed by a boisterously outro part.”

Check out an interactive EPK for the record's title track, "Everchild", now at this location.

   A forward-thinking band that wears its influences -- such as King Crimson, The Soft Machine and Still Life -- proudly on its sleeve, DARK SUNS formed in 1997 and, in the time since, has released four celebrated recordings, including Swanlike (2002), Existence (2005), Grave Human Genuine (2008) and 2011's aforementioned Orange, morphing from 'progressive dark metal' through to dreamlike fantastical rock, over the course of its evolution. With Everchild, DARK SUNS mine the human experiences of sleep, escapism and nostalgia for subject matter, delving into the depths of these intense emotional states and pairing them with musical movements rife with exploration.

In addition to ten new retro-prog originals, the album's second disc contains a creative cover of Tori Amos' "Yes, Anastasia".

Track listing:

   1.) The Only Young Ones Left
   2.) Spiders (Burning Ambulance premiere)
   3.) Escape With the Sun
   4.) Monster
   5.) Codes
   6.) The Fountain Garden
   7.) Unfinished People
   8.) Everchild
   9.) Torn Wings
 10.) Morning Rain
 11.) Yes, Anastasia (Tori Amos cover)

   Pre-order Everchild at this location.

DARK SUNS features Niko Knappe (vocals), Maik Knappe (guitar), Torsten Wenzel (guitar), Ekkehard Meister (piano, organ), Dominique Ehlert (drums), Jacob Müller (bass), Evgeny Ring (saxophone) and Govinda Abbott (trumpet).

   Follow DARK SUNS on Facebook. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

From The Depths – From The Depths

There are a lot of reissues of releases from metal bands from twenty and thirty years ago. Many of those reissues are head scratchers, like, you listen to them and you immediately understand why the original album didn't sell well and went out of print. Fortunately, there are labels such as Hells Headbangers, who are a bit more discerning in what they release from the past. This here little beauty is a prime example of that. I'd never heard of this band, which hailed from Cleveland, Ohio and was around in the mid-nineties. That was a tough time for metal bands because grunge ruled the “heavy” universe at that time, or at least that was the popular opinion. Thankfully this survived and we have this lovely re-packaging to enjoy.

From The Depths is a hard band to pin down if you are one of those people who has to put bands into some neat little pigeonhole. Look at that album cover. Even though I've stared at it for hours, I still lose the face of that monster/beast/demon. There's so many circles and eyes and horns and decrepit areas. The music is kind of like that too. It dances very ably between death and black metal, sharing both genres in the same songs, or with death metal vocals in a black metal song, and so on. One thing it certainly is though, is very good. You owe it to yourself to check this out if you consider yourself to be any kind of death or black metal fan.

The other cool “secret” about this album is that it features the vocal talents of one “Malcolm Judas Anthony”, otherwise known as Jim Konya, the longtime drummer for Nunslaughter who tragically passed away in September of 2015. He manages some crazy stuff, from straight up speaking the lyrics right on through several different metal styles. I particularly love the one that sounds like Gollum. Go back and watch those Lord of the Rings movies and tell me that Gollum wouldn't be an awesome death metal singer.

The album is fantastic right from the jump. The intro is a keyboard driven number that sounds like something John Carpenter composed for the opening credits of a horror film. This is followed by eleven crushing tracks. There is a wonderful, creepy atmosphere to some of them thanks to the very judicious use of keyboards. This will never be mistaken for some of those bands that have keys all over the place, but they way they are used sparingly, and only on some tracks, contributes greatly to the overall sound and vibe. “Autumn Colored Day” is a great track and is very evocative of the title of the song. I love when bands do that. And it also could describe the great colors on the swirl variation of the vinyl. “The War of the Captive Spirits” drops the hammer from the opening moments and is pretty much everything I want in a death metal track. I like the idea behind “Apparitions of Myself”, and it is a cool song. I mean, who wouldn't want to see their own ghost? This is one of the tracks where the synths are just right, and the rest of the music and lyrics are spot on.

This is a great album for the nostalgic value, as well as just a great representation of what underground metal was doing here in the US while not many were paying attention. The packaging is cool, as is the vinyl color, so if you're a collector you may want to snag this one. This release works on a lot of levels, so give it a listen.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

RADIO MOSCOW 'Live In California' (Alive Naturalsounds Records)

Release Date: July 8th 2016

Radio Moscow's new double LP Live! In California was recorded absolutely live (no overdubs) over two nights at The Satellite club in Los Angeles in December 2015. The album features 76 minutes of the trio's unique brand of high-energy psychedelic rock'n'roll. The material is pulled from all their studio albums and the songs feature new arrangements.

Live! In California also includes the previously unreleased song 'Chance Of Fate', a cover of the '70s band Sainte Anthony's Fyre.

Radio Moscow is Parker Griggs on guitar and vocals, Anthony Meier on bass and Paul Marrone on drums. Now based in San Diego, CA, the band has five albums out, all on Alive Records, including their self-titled debut produced by Dan Auerbach (2007); Brain Cycles (2009); The Great Escape Of Leslie Magnafuzz (2011); 3&3 Quarters – early demos (2012) and Magical Dirt (2014). The trio have toured the U.S. and Europe with acts like Graveyard, Witchcraft, Joe Bonamassa, Pentagram, Sheepdogs and Nebula, and have shared the main stage at the Psycho California festival with Kylesa and Earth, along with performing in Europe, South America and Australia. Following their upcoming U.S. tour dates (which includes a headlining slot at Denver's Electric Funeral Fest in June, and playing at the Ride Festival with Pearl Jam in July), they'll also be touring extensively in Europe this summer.

Psychedelic Cumbia Punk band THEE COMMONS to release new album on Burger Records!

Since banding together in 2012, psychedelic cumbia-punk quartet, Thee Commons have made waves in and around their hometown of East LA. Featuring los hermanos Pacheco and one of several lively session bassists and recently added saxophonist, these romp ‘n’ rollers have managed not only to marry two unlikely genres—world’s apart—in perfect pastiche harmony but also to spread their new vivacious, infectious sound as far south as Tijuana, México and as far east as Phoenix, Arizona. Altogether, Thee Commons have played well over a hundred shows, gaining in the process hundreds more in fans—those eager for something new to call their own.
They have opened up for such acts as Chicano Batman, Bomba Estereo, Porter and even unofficially—by way of an impromptu guerilla-style street show—for The Pixies. 
Discographically, Thee Commons’ “DIT” (do it together) hard work ethic has yielded them a debut 7-inch vinyl EP paradoxically titled Sunburn at Midnight—self-released spring 2013—and a fragmented compilation entitled Rock is Dead: Long Live Paper and Scissors, which is to say an 8-volume limited edition EP series, the volumes of which they released successively throughout 2014—and which have since sold out. (Fun fact: the first volume cover was illustrated by drummer René Pacheco, and the remaining seven were designed by frontman David Pacheco.) As of 2015, however, Rock is Dead is available, via their bandcamp, as a full-feature 20-song CD, as a specialty, limited edition cassette originally released by the independent O.C. label Burger Records, and as a limited edition 10-inch vinyl. Apart from these endeavors, they have also created musical scores to two film productions, one to underground 1920’s silent film _ and the other to a children’s animated video book entitled Forest Friends, a Producciones con Sal collaborative effort which can be found on YouTube.
This April, Burger Records released their new 7-inch vinyl that included their refreshing cover of Los Saico’s “Demolicion,” as well as a new full-length album "Loteria Tribal" featuring a repertoire of songs which promise to further bridge the gap between a Latino and non-Latino demographic. Needless to say, the future looks auspicious for these young and determined “chunsters” who doggedly strive to perfect their hypnotic yet invigorating act -- which includes an intertextual take on Nirvana's “Love Buzz” and a grungy cover of Selena’s “Baila Esta Cumbia”-- and disseminate the perfect pastiche that is psychedelic cumbia punk.

"Lotería Tribal" out now! Stream it on ITunes, Spotify, Amazon, and Google Play.

Tour Dates

June 30 Wayfarer  in Costa Mesa CA

July 1 Mexicali, Baja, Mexico
July 2 Valley Bar - Phoenix AZ

July 3 Monarch Bar – El Paso, TX

July 5  Norman Oklahoma at Opolis

July 7 Austin TX at Barracuda

July 8 Satellite Bar in Houston

July 10 Birmingham Alabama at Syndicate Lounge

July 11 Memphis at  Hi Tone

July 13 Snug Harbor in Charlotte NC

July 16 NYC Brooklyn at Palisades

July 19 FT Wayne IN at Tiger Bar
July 20 Chicago IL at Beat Kitchen 

July 21 Outland in Springfield MO

July 22 Replay Lounge in Lawrence KS

July 23 Denver CO at Hi Dive

July 25 Boise ID at Neurolux

July 26 Seattle WA at Sunset Tavern

July 27 Dantes in Portland OR

July 30 Visalia CA at Cellar Door

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

FATES WARNING - Launch "Theories Of Flight" album teaser video!

In light of the upcoming release of their much anticipated 12th studio album, "Theories Of Flight" via InsideOutMusic on July 1st, 2016, U.S. Progressive Metal pioneers FATES WARNING are now launching an album sampler video, containing excerpts from all songs on the album.
Check the clip, which features footage entitled 'Feeding The Gulls' by Dennis Hlynsky, at the following location: 

The album is available for pre-order here;
FATES WARNING vocalist Ray Alder checked in to comment about "Theories Of Flight" as follows:
"We began writing the music for "Theories" while we were still touring for "Darkness"...
I believe that the anticipation to write another record was due to the fact that we were once again touring and playing new material after nine years of playing the same songs.
It was exciting to be on stage again and we looked forward to getting back in the studio.
I also believe that our fans were happy to finally having something new to listen to..
I/we are very happy with the way that "Theories" turned out. Jim and I collaborated practically every day on the new album for over a year until we actually went into the studio.. There were many different versions of the songs until they were finally complete, and I believe it shows in the final product. I think that Jim did an excellent job producing the new album. The material is, I believe heavier than what people are used to from us, as well as my vocal style. We wanted something different than "Darkness" but something that still carried a lot of melody."
Theories Of Flight" comes packaged with artwork created by Michigan artist Graceann Warn /
 and the album's tracklisting reads as follows:

 FATES WARNING - Theories Of Flight
1. From The Rooftops
2. Seven Stars
3. SOS
4. The Light And Shade Of Things
5. White Flag
6. Like Stars Our Eyes Have Seen
7. The Ghosts Of Home
8. Theories Of Flight
A limited 2CD version of the album (and also its 2LP) will include an acoustic bonus-disc with the following tracks:
Acoustic Bonus tracks:
1. Firefly
2. Seven Stars
3. Another Perfect Day
4. Pray Your Gods (Toad The Wet Sprocket cover)
5. Adela (Joaquin Rodrigo)
6. Rain (Uriah Heep cover)
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