Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Ripple Conversation With Arcadian Child




When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

If I had to pinpoint down a moment of epiphany that would be the first time I listened to Jim Morrison’s voice and Ray Manzarek’s delivery in Riders on the Storm. A truly haunting moment that I reckon defined a generation of musicians and aspiring artists.  

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

First come the lyrics. There is always a pre-determined concept, a vision if I may say, behind each album. So I always write the lyrics first. Then I grab the guitar and attempt to musically translate what I have in front of me into music, whether that is a riff or a chord progression. As soon as it ticks, we get into the studio and hammer it, until it forges into something that ticks for all of us.

Who has influenced you the most?

Arcadian Child are influenced by everything. The sea, the sun, other musicians, everyone really. But if I had to choose one, I’d say Aphrodite’s Child would be our major influence. Not it terms of music style, but in terms of the whole philosophy and driving aura behind songwriting.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Like I said, everywhere really. From daily urban tales, to Hermetic philosophy and the sun.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

We live in Cyprus (I’m pretty sure a lot of you don’t know where that is), which is a small island in the Mediterranean Sea, where the sun shines bright and hot approximately 8 months a year. Inevitably, this reflects on our music. Although we enjoy the healing powers of darkness and we channel it through our music, it seems that there is always a crack from where the light gets in as Leonard Cohen said.  This is why Arcadian Child will always lean towards the sun.

Where'd the band name come from?

Arcadia was thought to be Utopia in the ancient years. Thus, the Arcadian Child is in fact the utopian child, impersonating hope, that better days are coming for all of us. It is also, an ode to our beloved Aphrodite’s Child.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

For FIGHT CLUB!!!!

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

On “Four Horsemen” by Aphrodite’s Child, because every time I listen to it, I lose track of time.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

We always enjoy our live performances as it is the time to really connect with other like-minded individuals. Many memories stand out, like that one time we left an open-air gig with no shirts as couple of guys took them from us during the live(!).

One particular moment of glory was during a sound check before a Limassol gig, one middle-aged guy – looking out of place - came and asked if we were Arcadian Child. We naturally replied positively, and he said I’d like to buy 5 vinyls. So he did and then just told us he would like to buy us a beer. Which he did. A hell of a guy! 

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

Playing live is what all the fuss is about. We thoroughly enjoy our time in the studio during rehearsals and recordings, but man, the live, the live is why we play music. This has escalated especially after we released Superfonica. The songs give us the chance to expand our sound during the lives and this seems to resonate deeply with people. We like to view our lives as a mystic ritual where our friends join us in order to celebrate life.

What makes a great song?

The ability to move you, to shock you, in any way.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

That was many moons ago. It was an acoustic blues song talking about social injustice.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

I’d say “The March”. It’s an ode to our Greek heritage while also managing to infuse our own personal style in it. We even listen to it sometimes.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Arctic Monkeys write truly great songs. I mean, you can’t help but admire the fluent songwriting style of Alex Turner. The way he manipulates words and rhymes it’s simply beyond this world. 

All Them Witches kick ass because they genuinely seem to thoroughly enjoy what they do. Their laid-back, jammy style is truly a joy to watch. T

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Vinyl and digital. We like to release our music on vinyl as we genuinely believe that our sound is captured best on vinyl, but we have to acknowledge the times we live in. You don’t exist if your music is not on the web.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

GIN!!! Because if you have a lot of it, you may self-inflict partial memory loss.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

Our hometown is Limassol, but I would suggest to go “Vinyl in Cyprus” and “Magos Record Store” in Nicosia. Both George and Constantinos are wicked music aficionados and you find rare pressings there.

What's next for the band?

2019 is looking to be great. We will gig as much as possible, tour in Central Europe and possibly UK and play in some festivals in Cyprus and Greece. We will travel with Superfonica as far as we can!

We are already experimenting on new tracks and we are planning to release a new album in 2020.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Break on through to the other side!
#ψχδ

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Bob Balch (Fu Manchu) and Gary Arce (Yawning Man) to debut heavy riff-psych project BIG SCENIC NOWHERE as part of the anticipated POSTWAX subscription series.


Duo gears up for two Big Scenic Nowhere releases, starting with an exclusive PostWax release in June, then a full album later in 2019.
Bob Balch and Gary Arce

Blues Funeral Recordings has confirmed that BIG SCENIC NOWHERE is the last band to land a spot on the inaugural year of PostWax, its ambitious series of exclusive stoner/doom/heavy psych records that launched with a massively successful Kickstarter last November.

The brainchild of Fu Manchu guitarist Bob Balch and Yawning Man guitarist Gary Arce, BIG SCENIC NOWHERE is a project built around massive riff-power and singular guitar atmospherics, like a soundtrack to vast canyons and endless highways that explodes with stratospheric fuzz and ambient delay.

Together, the two guitar gods are creating a heavy transmutation that's certain to deliver for fans of both of their primary bands, and certainly to those who signed up for PostWax early on without knowing what was to come until now.

Talking about how Big Scenic Nowhere came together, Balch says:

"Gary posted a pic of Del Taco on his Facebook page, saying “it’s good to be back home” after a two month Yawning Man tour.  I commented with my usual order, regular red with sour cream. I think that triggered something, because be called me minutes later saying he wanted to start a heavy rock band and wanted me involved.  We jammed a few days later and it was gnarly.  So many ideas.  We started taking about other musicians and the list grew.  I don’t want to jinx it, but this record will blow people’s minds.  The riffs are super creative and the musicians involved are at the top of the genre."

Adding to that enthusiasm, Arce says:

"Bob and I just had a mutual respect for each other's playing.  We spoke a few times about jamming together and it finally happened, two completely different approaches to the guitar but a common ground was found... a musical sweet spot of heaviness and ambient, experimental power riffs!"

The pair promise several more incredible additions to the project that it's too early to mention, but whatever they turn out to be, PostWax subscribers will be the first to hear it when Big Scenic Nowhere is unveiled as part of the series this summer.

PostWax year one will include exclusive new releases from psych-metal boundary-breakers ELDER, Brooklyn metalgaze trio SPOTLIGHTS, apocalyptic doomsters DOMKRAFT with a guest appearance from MARK LANEGAN, and desert rock progenitors LOWRIDER, among others, with 7 records total set to land during 2019.

More info on PostWax can be found via the label at bluesfuneral.com, with additional details on the project and Big Scenic Nowhere coming soon.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Stalker - Vertebre EP


Italy’s Stalker are back after an extended “pause” and have offered up the “Vertebre” E.P. as a sacrifice to appease the sonic gods.  “Vertebre” is the follow-up to their self-titled, full-length album released in 2008 and is available on the band’s bandcamp page as a free digital download or through Taxi Driver Records on vinyl.

While their self-titled release is more than worthy of praise the seismic shift that has occurred between the two releases is profound.  The gods shall be pleased as “Vertebre” represents a quantum leap in the band’s composition and execution.  Opening track “Tornado” lays down the foundation for what the listener can expect throughout this four tracker.  Spitfire vocals that spew venom and scorn are soundly complimented by a murderous twin guitar attack that leaves scorch marks across the aural plane.  Rounding out the big end of this dynamic audio stew is a rhythm section that is both thunderous and savage.  Put simply, what we have here is a small slice of sonic delight.            
 
Whether or not the aforementioned shift happened intentionally or organically I do not know.  Only the band does.  However, what I do know is Stalker is back and they are ready to insert themselves into your ear holes with all the subtlety of a rail spike. 

Please enjoy responsibly.

~El Pedo Caliente (aka Uncle Jameson from the Fistful of DOOM show)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Your Ripple Music Newsletter: The Ghost Next Door, Witchers Creed, Black Lung and More!




We had a feeling that lots of folks were just waiting for something a little different.  Based on the explosive reaction to our latest release of A Feast for the Sixty Sense by The Ghost Next Door, it would appear we were right.  The Angry Metal Guy raves, "Fans of progressively-tinged stoner doom will find much to love, as will those of us craving sweet guitar tones and outstanding solos." and Indy Metal Vault declares that A Feast for the Sixth Sense is "Strongly recommended to those who crave doom, looking for something that stands out with a little extra spice."   And now it's here for you to check out.  Limited Edition vinyl, black vinyl and a few test presses remain at the Ripple Webstore, as do CD's and of course digital on our bandcamp and all digital platforms.  Check out something eerie, progressive, and a touch different next time you need a fix of doom.
While we're talking about doom, this album is really bubbling in the underground. Witchers Creed are a young band from Sweden who bring a fresh eye to their doom, bringing in raw production and more than a taste of the NWOBHM to their pulverizing riffs.  Mastered by Tony Reed (Mos Generator/Stone Axe) and due for release Feb 22, the album brims with confidence and malice. " Witchers Creed are a band who truly understand doom metal in a world with a ton of pretenders. It's rare for a young band to have this level of clarity of vision and deliver with such professionalism. Yet here we are with a record that is Tony Reed mastered and recorded at the legendary Sunlight Studio, the cradle of Swedish Death Metal. Unbelievably heavy and a testament to all that doom has been and what it can be, it's hard not to get goosebumps when you dig through the mountain of sound that is Awakened From The Tomb..." Two Guys Metal Reviews  Pre-orders up now in the Ripple Webstore
Next up is this magna opus of raw doom from ex-members of The Flying Eyes.  Black Lung bristles with the aspects that made The Flying Eyes so amazing, killer melodies, playing and hooks, but added in is an extra darkness of heavy doom with thunderous riffs that have a feral urgency to them and Impassioned vocals and soaring solos.  Stoner HiVe is already preparing for the album to figure into their best of the year end lists.  Pre-orders are open now for all versions of vinyl, cd, and pre-order the digital at the Ripple Music bandcamp  "Black Lung had become my drug of choice and their album Ancients a contender for my end of year list." Stoner HiVe  
And finally, just a reminder.  You never have to worry about missing out on a Ripple releases.  Over at the bandcamp, the Ripple Music subscription is only $5 a month and has averaged more than two releases each month for the past several years.  On top of that you get a 15% discount on all vinyl and CD's you purchase via bandcamp and of course instant downloads.  Hundreds of waveriders are subscribers right now, each month having their collection stuffed with some of the best heavy psych, stoner, doom and heavy rock out there.   Maybe you should too?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Xroadie Files


Keith Reid Project – In My Head
Keith Reid – Song Writer  (Vocalist) – Maya Saxel, Anthony Krizan, Steve Booker, Jeff Young, Chris Merola, John Waite 

This Space Is Vacant strange jazz stuyle piano flowing in the air and interesting vocals. In My Head is a slow folky song with lots of emotions. Thieves Road strummig guitars and melodic voclas with a country feel. Ten More Shows just kick back relax and drist along with the soft melodies and vocals. The Bank Of Worry slow bluesy jazzy with tons of emotions. The Trial Of The Century melodic piano soft but slightly gruff vocals that just grab your soul. Back From The Brink floating tones and vocals. All I Need To Know just sitting in a smoky bar with your drink watching the musician on stage sing and play. Dance With Me just soft melodies and flowing vocals. House Of Cards just close your eyes and drift along from note to note.


Pavlov’s Dog – Prodigal Dreamer
David Surkamp – Vocals/Guitar, Sara Surkamp – Vocals/Guitar, Abbie Steiling – Violin, Rick Steiling – Bass, Mark Maher – Piano,/Hammond B3/Synthesizer, David Malachowski – Guitar, Manfred Ploetz – Drums

Paris just kick back and get ready to take one magical musical journey thru your mind.   Hard Times excellent prog rock melodies that just grab ahold of you and pull you thru time and space. Winterblues sitting in a cabin playing a stringed instrument and singing just to while way the time with friends and family as they join in on their instruments. Thrill Of It All is a slow jazz blues groove that just slides along as it makes you move with it. Easter Day a country flavored song with folk overtones.  Hurting Kind flowing piano emotional guitars that just pierce thru you and  have you get you emotional. Aria just close your eyes and imagine many things. Waterlow is slightly up tempo and will have you up and dancing with your partner. Suzanne strumming guitars and melodic vocals just sing along and enjoy. Crying Forever will have you up grooving and dancing as you bop and sing along. Being In Love sitting around singing and playing with friends. Shaking Me Down has an old school church organ sound that just envelopes you with some solid bass and pounding drums with melodic vocals. The Winds Wild Early searing leads slow rhythms that just flow thru you as they fill you with emotions.


Angel Morgue – ST
Colin – Bass, Drew – Drums, Ian – Guitar, Jostiff – Vocals, Leonard – Guitar

Forcible Expulsion Of Entrails grinding thrashing pounding tearing mental madness. Psychosomatic Mastication low slow evil eerie sounds that just envelope you before the aggression takes over and just rips you to shreds. Holocaust Perversions grabs you and grins you into small pieces as it slices and dices.



Bamboo Star – No Hard Feelings
Australian Wolf Red – Vocals, Terence NG – Guitar, Jasmine Wong - Bass, Lawrence Wong – Drums

It’s Just Business a stand up and fist pump guitar riff that grabs ahold with some great bass drum work and powerful vocals. Movie Star just get up and rock out as you enjoy this catchy song. Wait For You has a blues based rhythm that will just has you swaying along close your eyes and drift. Take Another Swing get up move and groove to the riff that just takes you over with some amazing rhythm work soulful vocals and searing leads. Ivory Tower fist pumping head banging foot stomping metal magic. Ivory Tower (Cantonese) same song sung in different language.


Ritualizer – Blood Oaths
P.J. – Vocals, Judson – Guitar, Devin – Bass, Weege – Drums

Blood Oaths fast heavy thrashing metal music with screaming leads powerful vocals and pounding drums with added thundering bass just get ready to bang your head. Haunted fist in the air head banging hair fling foot stomping pit thrashing metal. Night Terrors a song that will have the entire crowd up and fist pumping as they sing along.


-Xroadie

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Plainride and The Trikes Announce German Spring Tour Supporting Latest Ripple release, Life on Ares




German heavy rockers, and Ripple Music labelmates, Plainride and The Trikes, join forces to hit the European Road this March for the High on Tires Spring Tour!  The tour comes directly on the heels of Ripple Music release of Plainride's annihilating second LP, Life on Ares.


Kicking off in the Plainride's hometown on March 22th , the High on Tires tour then rampages through Germany. Plainrides's Ripple Music cohorts Fire Down Below will provide additional hellfire to the tour for the first three dates.


The Trikes meanwhile, hit the road following their breakout performance on Chapter 8 of Ripple's long-running split LP series, the Second Coming of Heavy.  Back in the studio, the band has new songs to unleash upon the congregated audiences.




Dates:


22.03. Gießen, AK44

23.03. RippleFest Cologne, Club Volta

24.03. Hertogenbosch, Willem Twee

26.03. Hamburg, Pooca Bar

27.03. Berlin, Toast Hawaii

28.03. TBA

29.03. TBA

30.03. Dresden, Veränderbar



Stream Plainride's "Life on Ares" here, and The Trikes side of Second Coming of Heavy Chapter 8 here.
 
Following up on the success of last year’s “Extremely compelling debut,” (Metal Hammer)  the German quartet, Plainride, are back to help contain the menace of many a sleepless night for scientists across the globe. With jetpacks on backs and the discovery of alien worlds in their sights, Plainride continue to explore worlds hitherto unknown, break new ground and assert themselves as the rising stars of Germany’s growing Stoner Rock scene.

“Every now and then, Cologne’s dusty streets bear something amazing. Plainride for example. These four guys shred out some heavy groovin’, fuzzy Stoner Rock that doesn’t fall the least bit short to their American colleagues.”
ROCKHARD

"Ripple Music continue their superb Second Coming of Heavy series with yet another two excellent hard rock/stoner blues bands worthy of your attention. Butt-kicking and gnarly-assed are two phrases that come to mind here " -- Desert Psych List

Monday, February 11, 2019

Chout - Dogwater




I was an enormous fan of a tortured artist from the 90’s. This man's voice was the catalyst for tears, joy, and a lifelong fascination with his persona. That man is Layne Staley, and he's been dead for too long; a shining example of why heroin destroys lives, and takes legendary performers from us much too early.

Fast forward from that tragic death all the way to February 2019. I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, and happened upon a Metal Injection article; touting the emergence of a band whose singer could be the reincarnation of Layne. That bands name is Chout, and their stellar release from last August, called Dogwater, is the subject of this review.

The first track we hear on Dogwater is a grunge inspired riff fest, and it is called “Seasons”. The most striking aspect of this song is how much vocalist Brendan Maier puts into his performance. It is very apparent to me, and most who hear him, that he has studied Layne Staley. As a matter of fact he was in an excellent AIC tribute band at one point, so his chops are well honed in this style. Musically,  this is straight 90s inspired riffing, and it brings me back to 1995; back when I was almost 20 years old, and jamming in my own bands.

“Restless Heart” gets my vote for best song on the record. It gives me chills as I listen to it. The music is slower, the riffs seem to crush everything in their path, and the vocals are god damned amazing. While continuing to conjure the spirit of Layne, they also show a side that is all Brendan.

Another fantastic number, “All Has Been Done”, will bring to mind the Jar of Flies ep. The very cool thing is that, while influenced by that great ep, Chout also injects their own personality into the tune. It's fresh, yet familiar, and my second favorite track on this album.

One of the heaviest tunes in the record is called “Thin Ice”, and the guitar tones are raw and aggressive. This is the track where this Chicago based groups own sound is most felt. This is another solid effort on an album full of killer music!!

Chout may get some hate for sounding like Alice in Chains,  but it's unwarranted hate. Just listen to this incredible album with an open mind, and realize that the voice of a generation has sprung from death's icy grasp; bringing back an iconic sound while remaining fresh and original. Dogwater is a fantastic fucking record, so head on over to their Bandcamp at, Chout, and give it the attention it deserves!!

-T.C. Mayhem


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