Friday, April 28, 2017

Workhorse III - Closer To Relevance



Oh hello waveriders!  I didn't see you there.  You know, there are times when a music review needs to be long winded and full of colorful language in order to properly convey the complexity and artistic impact an album creates inside a listener's head.  This is not one of those times.  Buckle those seatbelts and brace yourselves because Closer To Relevance from Workhorse III is here!  This album rocks!  You need it!  Go buy it!  End of review.

Wait, you're still here?  You'd like some more details to further persuade you that this album is worth your time?  Alright, fine.

Closer To Relevance is a straight up, unapologetic rock record.  Prog...this ain't.  Opening track "War Torn City" explodes out of the speakers following a quick cymbal count-in and proceeds to unrelentingly stampede over your eardrums at an excessive rate of speed.  It's wonderful!   Songs such as "War..." along with the title track and "Soul Crusher" draw immediate comparisons in my mind with Motorhead.  Far from being a one trick pony however, the further one delves into this album the more sonic variety emerges.

"When I'm Gone" explores the ear-pleasing blueprint laid out by Dinosaur Jr.  "Life Of Crime" and "Find My Mind" exhibit powerful alternative rock tendencies straight out of the 1990s.  "What's The Point" revels in its punk assault.  "Want You" and closing track "I Can't Forget" both utilize Led Zeppelin-esque elements.   There's even a touch of glam metal in the guitar lines to the song "Wasted".  The bottom line is that Workhorse III keeps things fresh and interesting throughout this entire album.

Okay, let's try this one more time.  Do you like rock 'n' roll music?  Do you like rock 'n' roll music that makes your head and at the very least your upper torso gyrate back and forth?  Excellent!  Closer To Relevance by Workhorse III was produced just for you!  Buy your copy today!

-Penfold

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Moonbow – War Bear



I am always searching for good ol' straight ahead rock music. Sometimes I want to hear some meat and potatoes stuff, and one of my complaints about so-called “modern” rock is that it just gets a little too fancy, it gets in its own way. Then I hear an album like this one from Moonbow and it puts a big smile on my face to know that there are bands out there that still do it like this.

Please don't get me wrong, I don't mean meat and potatoes rock as any kind of put down or insult. And I don't mean in any way that these guys are not talented. I just want an album that will grab me by the throat and beat me over the head for a while, and this one works for me.

This one comes with a little southern seasoning as well, which for me is always enjoyable as it means I get to have a little swing and swagger with my rock. This is an album with two hands full of tasty tunes that are well written and well played. Some of them are hard charging and full of rhythm and boogie, others are a little more laid back and introspective. All in all it makes for one of the better releases that I've heard so far this year.

The title track kicks off the album and its a favorite of mine. The band comes charging out of the gate on this track and like several others on the album, its a thick, greasy slab of goodness. Bands and producers seem to have forgotten the art of album sequencing but I always enjoy an album that can grab the listener from the first beat. There is a nice acoustic breakdown at the end of the song as well, with traditional folk instruments. I'm a sucker for a fiddle and there's one in the mix so this track has all the ingredients for me.

“Bloodwash” is one of those more laid back tracks I mentioned and it is a good one. After a few pedal to the metal tracks I enjoyed hearing the band pull back a little and show another side to what they do. I love the way this track builds and how the vocal lines and guitar leads and fills play around the beat, which is a nice touch and keeps the listener's interest. This track is very well crafted and to me shows a band that has a great idea of what they want to do, as well as the skill and talent to execute the idea.

To my ear, you can't go wrong with this album. It's a great way to spend 45 minutes and it's an album that you want to really listen to, not just have on in the background while you're doing something else. It's important to unwind sometimes and enjoy the better things in life. When was the last time you put on some music and just listened? If it's been a while, might I suggest that you change that and give this one a well deserved listen?

-ODIN



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wounded Giant - Vae Victis



Wounded Giant from Seattle, WA, floored me with their 2013 debut, 'Lightning Medicine'. In between then and now, as their sophomore full-length is upon us, they have released a cassette single, a split and a live cassette, and this diverse output has pushed them forward immensely. Going from fantastic to fucking brilliant is an understatement because 'Vae Vicits' is phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal.

All throughout ‘Vae Victis’ there’s a strong air of Voivod-meets-Killing Joke playing heavy, pulverizing psychedelic doom while exploring the deepest recesses of the mind. Trust me, this wax is a headfuck of the greatest order and you can’t really ask for more. A permeating theme is the sense of impending doom and I guess the title itself brings that out. Vae Vicits is, after all, Latin for “woe to the vanquished/conquered”, meaning the losing side in a battle are completely at the mercy of the winner and should never expect leniency. And that’s exactly what Wounded Giant does. They pull the listener in, pummels and rips you apart and once you beg for mercy, they do it all over again. Oh, the brilliance!

In all the non-mercy, be-all end-all onslaught of their music, Wounded Giant are mesmerizing, hypnotic and captivating. Reeling you in and presenting a false sense of being, they lull you into a psychedelic state while burrowing deep into the psyche. Vast, expansive landscapes are created through thought-provoking lyrics and put side by side with their punishing music, you, the listener, are vae victis.

On top of this a bottom heavy bassline guides this onslaught amongst beauty, all while enormous hooks in the riff department shreds you to pieces. But ‘Vae Victis’ is not all about heaviness either because the band switches elegantly between tempos. Sometimes, as in Emmanentize the Eschaton’, Wounded Giant eschew their Killing Joke-meets-Voivod playing psychedelic doom approach completely. Sampled voices are backed by a prominent keyboard while the bass guitar and drums plays in the background...until everything erupts halfway through. Only to fade out in the end. Trippy and mind blowing, alright, as well as putting the album in a completely different light. Greatness is not a big enough word!

To tie everything together with the beginning, Wounded Giant have taken giant steps forward with ‘Vae Victis’. It feels kind of strange saying this since they been great from the get-go, but that doesn’t hide the fact that the guys has transformed into a raging beast few, if any, can tame. Thank you for unearthing this amazing album to us mere mortals!

-Swedebeast

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Revolutionary New Cover Art App For Musicians




TAD, the award-winning, break-through design app for musicians to create their own cover art has just got a new update and it is pretty good news for musicians.

The app has integrated video technology into its features.

What does this mean for a musician?

Well first up, it means you can really add some punch to your social media output.

It’s no secret that video is the future of content. In fact Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.

Now with TAD you can create gig announcements, teaser trailers, studio updates etc. all with video AND your own fully customisable branding (logo, text, design elements).

BUT it doesn’t end there!

TAD has been approved for direct sharing straight to your Facebook profile.

So?

You may have seen the new Facebook profile videos, but did you know that Facebook are in the process of rolling out Artist Profile videos?

Some artists are already taking advantage of this feature, just check out The Gorillaz Facebook page – they made changing to a video profile a key part of their relaunch strategy last month.

Pretty soon you too will be able to have an Artist Profile video, so wouldn’t it be cool to have an amazing design?

BUT it doesn’t end there!

The real reason TAD's Creative Director Lee Jones came up with the idea?

"Moving album covers. Yep, you heard it here first! To me it seems only natural that in the very near future, artists will be able to have 'video album covers', and I want TAD to be at the forefront of that revolution. Facebook already have this technology rolling out for artists, so how long until we see Soundcloud, Bandcamp, ReverbNation etc. jumping on it? I'm just waiting for their call!"

So, with moving album covers on the horizon, the benefits of using TAD are already clear to see. With over 100k musicians using the app for cover art alone, this extra feature is a real luxury addition that is going to help bands and artists push their content to even greater heights.

The app is Free to download, with In-app-purchases including extra Font and Art Element packs.

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Sunday Conversation With Reece Of Steak




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?

As a bit I was very into early stiff like Hendrix, The Who, Floyd etc but a real turning point for me was hearing Kyuss. I came late to the party on that one and found them via Queens of the stone age but that really changed my life and musical direction. To have John Garcia sing on our album Slab City was something else.

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?

With us normally we work on the riffs 1st, we take down loads of guitar ideas even recorded on my phone and gradually develop the idea with the band in the rehearsal room. Kip will jump in with vocals when suits and sometimes it flows super easy or he will take the track away and really refine the vocal over time. We have a cool space to work on stuff and get pretty decent demos and it helps a lot.

Who has influenced you the most?

Between the band there have been a lot of influences and from my point of view it changes depending on what I’ve been listening to at the time. I was a huge Pink Floyd fan so I’m open to some more atmospheric stuff but we like to have a song driven hard by the riff also. I guess a great song for us is the perfect balance between to two things.

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

I try not to consciously look for inspiration from other bands because I think that happens naturally in your subconscious. We have been likened to various bands from the past but we have never tried to do that on purpose and I think we have a kind of unique sound. Motivation for us comes from playing Live I would say, sometimes you can get in a lull when your not recording or playing shows so it’s always a nice way to get back in your flow by smashing a great gig.

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

Being a London band we are in the heart of the action so the social side of playing live music has been very important to us. Having fun is very high on our list because we ain't doing this for the money! London has such a strong underground music scene and there is a lot of support from promoters, venues and the fans. We like to make an occasion of a London show so we will party to the last man every time.

Where'd the band name come from?

It’s all about meaty riffs, T bone steaks and dirty jokes

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

Mad Max for sure, desert wasteland and survival of the fittest. I think that collaboration would be rad.

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

Never! The moment there is one we need a new career choice.

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

We give a lot in our live performances, we try to give the people watching as much energy as we can in the hope that they respond the same way. Like a lot of bands we feed from the crowd and it’s a beautiful thing when the crowd feed off us the circle is complete, everyone has lost their inhibitions and and we are all at the point of enjoying the experience.

What makes a great song?

If only it was as easy to formulate, a great song to one person isn’t always a great song to another so it’s a tricky question. For me there needs to be a riff that sticks in the mind, something that people can’t get out of their head, for Steak we try to make sure the riff through and not to many layered guitars playing different things. This then gives room for a killer vocal and if that magic ingredient turns up on the day and the creative stars align then you may be lucky enough to come up with a banger.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

I believe it was called last exit. It actually was pretty good for an 1st attempt and we played it live in our 1st band a few times. We actually found it recently and listened to it again its funny as hell to listen to. Maybe a bit cringe but we all start somewhere.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

I love the track Overthrow on the new album ‘No God To Save’. I think it shows what progression we have made as a band in creating something that has all the drive and riffs of a Steak song but has a great balance and flow.

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

For me the band of the moment are Elder, talented musicians, cool guys and song writing to a new level. They are on their way to being absolutely huge.

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

It’s all about vinyl and digital now. I haven’t purchased cd’s in quite a few years and I had a big collection. I think all vinyl sales should have a free download code with them so you get both. At the met I’m buying 2 copies, one digital for the phone and the vinyl for home.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice.

I’m a beer man, nothing like an ice cold one on a hot day and some banging tunes. Plus Whisky gets me too drunk!

What's next for the band?

We are looking forward to touring this album, we have some great options for euro touring and hopefully get to the US for early 2018. We also have a couple of really cool videos to shoot for the new album so we are pretty excited about that as the director is a very talented guy and things always get a bit crazy...

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

Big love to all from the Steaks, hope to see some of you on the road and enjoy the new tunes. We will be at the bar after the gig so come party.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

BLACK WIZARD: US Tour With Brant Bjork And Royal Thunder Underway




Canadian heavy metal/stoner rock faction BLACK WIZARD is currently waging their riff war across the US supporting Brant Bjork and Royal Thunder. The tour, which BLACK WIZARD officially kicked off April 9th in Sacramento, California, will run through May 1st in Los Angeles, California and includes performances with Pentagram. See all confirmed dates below.

BLACK WIZARD continues to tour in support of their New Waste full-length, released via Listenable Records last year and currently streaming at THIS LOCATION. Boasting nine tracks of red-eyed, road-raging, retro-riff worship, the record continues to earn approval from media outlets globally. Writes Sonic Abuse of the record, "Taking the best bits from thirty years of heavy-ass metal, there are hints of Priest, Maiden, Sabbath, Purple and more, all wrapped up in BLACK WIZARD's own, patchouli-scented haze. The prog aspects of the album help to make the sound more unique and interesting and the delivery is spot on - gritty and brutal and yet with a deft touch that keeps things interesting throughout." In a 4/5 rating, New Noise Magazine concurs, "BLACK WIZARD may be one of the best retro acts going, and the band are certainly more interested in having fun and doing what comes naturally than recycling old riffs. It doesn't hurt that you don't have to be stoned to enjoy it, too." BeatRoute Magazine charmingly champions BLACK WIZARD for being, "the only band in town that will add inches to your dick." Stereokiller gushes simply, "I hope this band makes albums every year for the next twenty years," while The Sludgelord hails a, "fine retro record, filled with good riffs and 100% commitment." Adds Heavy Blog Is Heavy in a 4/5 score, "From the very beginning, New Waste wraps you in a thick blanket of distorted grooviness, galloping bass lines and guitars that seems to switch from shred to riff and back on the drop of hat."

New Waste is out on Listenable Records. Secure your copy today at THIS LOCATION.

BLACK WIZARD w/ Brant Bjork, Royal Thunder:
4/23/2017 The Middle East - Boston, MA w/ Pentagram
4/25/2017 Masquerade - Atlanta, GA
4/26/2017 Siberia - New Orleans, LA
4/27/2017 Barracuda - Austin, TX
4/28/2017 Gas Monkey - Dallas, TX
4/29/2017 Launchpad - Albuquerque, NM
4/30/2017 Club Red - Mesa, AZ
5/01/2017 Echoplex - Los Angeles, CA

BLACK WIZARD was forged in 2009 by four high school friends. Founding members Adam Grant and Eugene Parkomenko were both working underwhelming construction jobs at the time, passing the days to the sounds of Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Witch, and Electric Wizard. Heavily motivated by the thick, weighty sounds of bands like Bison and 3 Inches Of Blood monopolizing the scene at the time, "The Wiz" was born. Having followed a true DIY aesthetic, the band has released two full length LPs along with a 7" single independently and sold over five thousand copies worldwide.




The Kut - Record Store Day Release (Criminal / Cargo)




The Kut EP features 4 tracks from the band's two previous, sold out EPs 'Rock Paper Scissors' and 'Make Up', produced by James LeRock Loughrey.  This releases as a limited edition press of 500 picture disc vinyl, with vinyl art designed by Zoltan Kiss.  This is also the image featured on the front of Maha's amplifier; custom made under endorsement by Marshall Amplification. The record releases as an exclusive Record Store Day Release via Criminal Records and Cargo Records on Saturday 22nd April.  The picture disc will be available across the UK and beyond, in participating Record Stores.  The record will be followed by a digital release on Friday 5th May.

Track Listing
1. I Want You Maniac
2. I Don't Need Therapy
3. Bad Man (EDIT)
4. Mario

The full list of Record Store Day releases is now up on the Record Store Day website at www.recordstoreday.co.uk

THE KUT BIOGRAPHY

The Kut are a grunge-rock trio, inspired by bands including Nirvana, L7, Hole, Deftones, Placebo and Incubus.  Assembled by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Princess Maha, their 'Rock Paper Scissors' EP was a quick follow up to 2014's 'Make Up' EP, also produced by James LeRock Loughrey (Skindred, White Zombie, Def Leppard).  These two records have since sold out.  The Kut were voted into the winning spots of the MTV Brand New Unsigned Poll for 2014, and have gained a growing list of industry support including BBC Introducing, Scuzz TV, Kerrang!, Kerrang! Radio, Metal Hammer, MTV-U USA, AXS USA, Big Cheese, Amazing Radio and Planet Rock Radio, as well as a large number of credible independent taste-makers.  The band's 'Bad Man' was taken from their since sold out EP.  With gnarly grunge guitars, punk beats and gritty screams, 'Bad Man' was premiered via Kerrang! Magazine, as well as added to the top track's feature for Q Magazine and Classic Rock Magazine.  This year promises to be an exciting one for the band. It started with them appearing in the Kerrang! Breakout Stars of 2017 List, featuring a handful of UK bands who will rock 2017.

The live show is just as energetic, with The Kut voted in as one of the two best acts to play the 'Dog's Bed Stage' after an impromptu set on the 'Dog's Bed Stage' at Download Festival 2015.  2015 also saw the band open the main stages of Glastonbudget and Strummercamp and perform a steady stream of tour dates and festivals. This 2015 tour included 17 UK dates, ending at The Underworld w/ Teenage Bottlerocket.  The band also toured through 2016, including sets at Camden Rocks Festival, Glastonbudget, Rebellion Festival and a summer UK tour.  The 'Hollywood Rock n Roll Tour', hit the UK mainland in 37 dates, including a 30 date stretch across August.  2016 ended with the band's first international tour in Germany and a feature on the BBC Introducing Lancashire NYE show.  2017 already has seen the band announced for Camden Rocks Festival, Nice n Sleazy Festival, Glastonbudget and Rebellion Festival.  At the start of April, the band travelled back to Germany, as well as to Italy, Czech Republic, Belgium and Netherlands for their second international tour.  The six countries tour was well received overseas, and is presently continuing throughout the UK.

Camden Rocks Event @ The Crowndale - 18.3.17

THE KUT - EUROPEAN TOUR DATES - SPRING 2017

* 29.04.2017 - (GB) LONDON Camden Rocks @ Crowndale
* 27.05.2017 - (GB) LEICESTERSHIRE @ Glastonbudget
* 28.05.2017 - (GB) MORCAMBE @ Nice n Sleazy Festival
* 03.06.2017 - (GB) LONDON @ Camden Rocks Festival

ADDITIONAL FORTHCOMING SHOWS

05.08.17 - Rebellion Festival, Blackpool (Main Stage)
07.10.17 - Think Pink Festival w/ Vice Squad
10.11.17 - Hard Rock Hell, North Wales




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