Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blaxsploitation classic "Foxy Brown" gets new trailer ahead of Blu-ray release!

Ahead of its worldwide Blu-ray premiere this Monday, Arrow Video have today unveiled a brand new trailer for Jack Hill’s Blaxploiation classic, FOXY BROWN.

Starring the wonderful Pam Grier as “the meanest chick in town”, FOXY BROWN is finally coming to Blu-ray for the very first time, thanks to a Jack Hill-endorsed HD restoration. Arrow’s release comes loaded with special features and bonus material, it is also available as a limited edition steelbook, as well as in standard blu-ray packaging.

View the trailer here –


SINISTER REALM Returns With World of Evil


After two amazing classically-styled heavy metal albums that were each greeted with widespread critical acclaim, Allentown, PA trad-metallers are back with World of Evil. The band's third full-length album shows no sign of weakness where songwriting and energy are concerned. This is fist pumping heavy metal with big catchy choruses, doomy at times, and all around quality and memorable heavy metal album. Fans of Dio, Heaven and Hell, Candlemass, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden will absolutely love this album.

A video for the title track is now playing at this location.   

World of Evil will be available worldwide August 6th through Shadow Kingdom Records. 

Pre-orders are available at www.store.shadowkingdomrecords.com.



1. Dark Angel of Fate
2. Bell Strikes Fear
3. World of Evil
4. The Ghosts of Nevermore
5. Prophets of War
6. The Forest of Souls
7. Cyber Villain
8. Four Black Witches

Channeling the spirit of early 80's metal icons like Dio and Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, with an added epic doom metal influence from Candlemass, Allentown, Pennsylvania-based Sinister Realm was formed in 2008 by John Gaffney (former Pale Divine) and Darin McCloskey (Pale Divine, Falcon). They quickly found vocalist Alex Kristof and recorded a four song demo that drew the attention of various independent labels. After signing with Shadow Kingdom Records a live band was assembled and a full-length album was released in August of 2009. Press from around the world hailed the debut album a success and Sinister Realm began actively playing live to support the album. Not long after the album's release Chris Metzger and John Risko joined the band and work began on the sophomore album titled The Crystal Eye. In the summer of 2013, Sinister Realm will release World of Evil through Shadow Kingdom Records. All hail Sinsiter Realm! The true defenders of American Steel.

Behold! The Monolith Members Comment on Kevin McDade's Death

Chase Manhattan and Matt Price of Los Angeles-based stoner/doom outfit BEHOLD! THE MONOLITH have issued the following statement on the tragic loss of singer/bassist Kevin McDade:

"We are deeply saddened to report the loss of our band member, friend and brother Kevin McDade in a car accident early Friday evening. Needless to say we are absolutely devastated by this. Our hearts and thoughts go out to his parents, family and girlfriend. Thanks for the time we had and the music we made together. We will, and already do, miss you terribly.  -Chase and Matt"

Kevin McDade died as a result of an auto accident on Friday, June 21st. He was 29 years old. 

R.I.P. Kevin. 


www.beholdthemonolith.com
www.facebook.com/beholdthemonolith

COFFINS Colossal Hole 10-Inch Record (Limited Deluxe Edition) To Be Released On HORROR PAIN GORE DEATH PRODUCTIONSs



Horror Pain Gore Death Productions is set to release the Deluxe Edition of the COFFINSColossal Hole EP on 10-Inch Vinyl format on August 20th. This Deluxe Edition is limited to 500 hand-numbered copies on Black Night vinyl and comes with a set of two barf bags and a pair of numbered event style tickets. 


COFFINS make their triumphant return to Horror Pain Gore Death Productions for a special, one time only pressing of Colossal Hole on limited, deluxe edition 10" vinyl! This sickening release features raw pre-production demo tracks from their Relapse Records debut The Fleshland, and was previously only available as a limited cassette direct from the band. Colossal Hole is COFFINS in their finest form... even heavier and more punishing than ever heard before!

This exclusive edition features cover artwork by Uchino himself and is hand numbered to 500 copies pressed on 45 RPM Black Night vinyl, packaged with a set of two horror movie style barf bags complimented by a pair of numbered collectable event style tickets. Pure bone-crushing, terrifying Doom-infested Death Metal for fans of Abscess, Asphyx, Autopsy, Carnage, Celtic Frost, Cianide, Divine Eve, Grave, Hellhammer, Hooded Menace, Venom and Winter.

WARNING: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions and Coffins assume no responsibility for health problems that may arise while entering the Colossal Hole... No savior can rescue you from the Hellbringer!!!!!!!!

Deluxe Package Photo
 
You can pre-order your copy for only $15 with free shipping at:
http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/store/hpgd070.html.

For wholesale information please email wholesale@horrorpaingoredeath.tk.

For a digital promo for review or airplay please email info@horrorpaingoredeath.tk


HPGD Official Website: www.horrorpaingoredeath.com
HPGD on Twitter: twitter.com/#!/hpgd666

Forgetters - S/T


I never understood Blake Schwarzenbach’s appeal until I hit one of the first of many rock bottoms that I would live through. After walking for two miles to get some free boots that were donated to the homeless in Austin, in shoes that were literally falling off my feet, I ended up getting there late enough to be in line when they ran out. Luckily I saw an acquaintance and they took me to there house and gave me a beer and I was really out on the edge when I heard Bivouac on the stereo in the next room. Very few things in the world have invoked the power to sooth my soul than his raspy voice and driving, modern, guitar rock.

It’s been a couple decades since that rainy winter day and in that time Jawbreaker became Jets To Brazil, The Thorns Of Life and his newest outing Forgetters. The common thread through all these bands has been his deeply poetic voice that shifts from the personal to the deeply personal to the most confounding the third personal. It’s hard not to picture the songwriter in the songs he sings. Even when it’s stated clearly and repeatedly that the songs are stories about people he knows the subject matter is still a clear indicator of the songwriters character. A choice has been made, the topics stick to the narrator most when they match the story he has been cultivating over the years.

I feel like I’ve gotten to know the bitter cranks that live in those songs. There is also the other guy. The one that is tired of being strong, the guy who needs a hug, told it is going to be all right. Sometimes it’s the guy who is about to shoot his t.v. set. I know all these characters. I know the selfish, conspiracy driven madman that makes his appearance on Ribbonhead (which strangely has a riff that is very reminscent of Radiohead). I love them because I’ve gotten to know what makes them tic. Tic like timebombs. Which gets us to Forgetters. An album that doesn’t eschew the post hardcore or folky piano rock of the past it just layers it with more samples and strips the sound bare for a post punk feel with songs about cutting and the specter of Thanatos on O Deadly Death. One track even reminds me of Wire a little.

Ex-Against Me drummer Kevin Mahon provides a solid backbeat that allows Blake’s songwriting skills to come to the fore. Songs about the collective malaise we’ve felt about the tragedies that collect in our subconscious. Songs about people who worship celebrity, dying to leave and living to die. Songs about Americans. This is a remarkable album filled with pathos. I don’t think it could serve to turn my pain outward in the same way Bivouac did but we’re older and wiser and maybe we shouldn’t be let off the hook anyway.


--Plagaue Rat




Saturday, June 29, 2013

Northwest Stonercore Maniacs, C.F.A. Unleash New Video for "Kick Rocks!"

The raucous good time Tacoma punkers of C.F.A. have just announced that the first of four upcoming videos is ready for public consumption, and the heavy rockin’ trio is partnering up with The Ripple Effect for the world premiere on July 1st.

 The video for “Kick Rocks” was filmed over the course of several live events from the past year and edited by Killiam Lord, and gives the fans who have yet to experience the live shenanigans of C.F.A. a brief glimpse of the raw power these guys bring to the stage.

 "It’s obvious Kill is a fan of CFA's music." Cody Foster explains. "The shots and movement of the camera really flows with the rhythm of the music."

The video will also include some extra footage of some typical CFA banter. To those of you who have had a chance to catch their live set, you understand what this entails. If you have not?  Think, the Banana Splits. Just less appropriate and more sweaty.

“Kick Rocks” can be found on C.F.A.’s debut Ripple Music release, “Managed By The Devil, Brought To You By The Grace Of God”, which can be found through Nail Distribution throughout North America, Code 7 in the UK, and Clearspot International in Europe, as well as the Ripple Music online store.


Chic Gamine - Closer



It has been a long time since a girl band attracted my attention for their music and not just for their sexy looks.  Recently, however, I listened to Chic Gamine's U.S. debut album.  Four Canadian ladies, singers Ariane Jean, Andrina Turenne, Annick Bremault, Alexa Dirks, with drummer Sacha Daoud, called in a plethora of session players, both male and female, to support the performance of their original songs. Chic Gamine, loosely translated from the French, means "stylish, mischievous young thing."  After a row through the new album, titled Closer, I can attest that the name aptly describes the band.

The ladies create an unusual soft jazzy bluesy pop rock vibe that is streaked with 1960's girl band nostalgia. By combining Motown and French pop sounds Chic Gamine has created its own "stylish, mischievous young thing."  Four part songs with four part harmonies.  Who does that anymore?  It works because these girls have great voices and write incredibly catchy tunes.  The orchestration is exacting, but sparse, yet, perfect for Chic Gamine's style.  Echoes of Amy Winehouse, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles and The Staples Singers can be heard in many of their compositions.

Pop music isn't usually associated with taking musical gambles. Yet, that is what Chic Gamine is able to do with the genre. For example, ordinarily a band will not write a song with the same name and catchphrase as an American Jazz Standard for fear of immediate confusion and unfair comparison.  Chic Gamine gets away with it on "Paper Moon" because their voices are so enticing and the lyrics and arrangement so memorable. 

The band pushes the album with the song "Days and Days," a piece that has sonic palette similarity to K.T. Tunstall's "Black Horse And The Cherry Tree."  However, for me, it is the least satisfying work on the album because it sounds so derivative.  Still, it is a beautiful song beautifully delivered.

Chic Gamine's music reminds me of a cute, sassy, flirtatious woman playing hard to get.  There is an attractive sensuous excitement to it - like mutual attraction at first sight.  It may not immediately be love, but, you just can't take your eyes, or in this case, ears, off of her.  It is that little bit of naughtiness that keeps you coming back.

The group sang at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, toured with Marc Broussard and received a Juno Award.  With Closer they seek to garner a U.S. audience.  While the music may remind you of a hard to get girl, the album is easy to find.  Just go to their website at www.chicgamine.com.  It will cost you less than a Starbuck's date and, once paid for, will be yours forever.

- Old School





Friday, June 28, 2013

POWERED WIG MACHINE RELEASE NEW MUSIC VIDEO “At The Helm Hades” Filmed As Movie Short



Arizona borderland fuzz-slingers Powered Wig Machine have released a new music video for the song “At The Helm of Hades” off their upcoming album release “Supa-Collider.” The video, filmed in the legendary old western town of Tombstone, Az, is a high flying hat nod to 70’s car chases and sci-fi westerns. The storyboard in the video is based off the outline of the unfinished graphic novel written by frontman Wayne Rudell. “I really wanted to do something different for this video. I wanted to make short film more than a video.” The video was edited and directed by the aspiring ASU film student Greg Scott Daniel Rubner. The video’s production and casting were done by PWM’s bass player Joey Rudell. “To get some of the great shots we needed for the video we needed some serious help.” Nathan Nazeck with Prodigy Video was the man for the job, So we flew long-time friend of the band in from Ohio to handle all the videography. “It was awesome to watch Nathan and Greg work. The outcome of the video was more than I could have ever expected.”

So if you got a spare 5 mins and you are partial to fuzz, muscle cars, worm-holes, or westerns then “At The Helm of Hades” is sure to be right up your alley. Oh and remember the best things about videos...if you like them share the shit out of them!



For More information on the band check the following sites:

http://poweredwigmachine.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/poweredwigmachine

Brand New Pixies Music - New Song, "Bagboy" Sneak preview and download!!


It's time.  The Pixies have something they'd like you to hear..."Bagboy"!!!

Click HERE to hear the song.

Click HERE for more info on "Bagboy."



Teenage China - Forth


Teenage China, a post-hardcore band out of the Scottish central belt, debuts its first EP called Forth.  It opens strongly, with guitar riffs that shred like any metal band.  However, it  is also joined by some of the most gorgeous clean vocals I’ve ever heard.   Ged Cartwright’s vocals send these songs into soaring anthems that are infectious and beautiful. 

The guitar work is a brilliant tapestry.  They have combined elements of noise, shred, lead, and punk to weave an incredible and unpredictable musical easel for Cartwright to paint his beautiful vocals on.  The rhythm section is tight.  They mostly stay in the background and provide a nice, clean rhythmical back drop.
These songs are structured and controlled.  They’re intelligently thought out.  I get a hint of Protest the Hero with these guys.  They’re younger, and not as complex, but it’s there.  With continued work, they could reach that level.  My biggest complaint is that it’s only three songs.  But that’s hardly a complaint… that’s just me wanting more. 

As the album ends, they break out a choir.  It’s beautiful and stunning.  You can tell they’ve worked hard on this.  I can’t wait to hear more from this amazing band. 


--The Professor




Thursday, June 27, 2013

Shinin' Shade - Sat-Urn



There's an enormous upswing in 70's inspired occult rock at the moment. Some bands fall of the trail because they can't up momentum while others are still going at it pioneering a trippy and damned good genre. Italy's Shinin' Shade is a new aquaintence to me but they have been active since 2005 when Allen Kramer, guitars and mellotron, and Roger Davis, bass guitar got the band together. They honed their craft and their line-up until everything fell into place when Jane Esther-Collins joined as lead vocalist in 2011. Mek Jeffrey, guitars and vocals, and Mike De Chirico, drums, had already been in Shinin' Shade for a while. At the time of writing this review I have yet to check out their early stuff so I can't obviously see the progression they have made. However, that really doesn't matter in a way  since I'm here to talk about their latest release the magical Sat-Urn.

Opener Our Space And Time is a mind expanding mix of classic Black Sabbath riffs, Candlemass-esque doom and psychedelia. And it's very heavy amid Jane's beautifully haunted and desperate voice. To some it might sound as if this eclectic amalgamation won't work but it truly does and then some. This is only the beginning of their journey into dark and desolate places. Gearing down to almost funeral doom tempo on Keyhole/Inner Saturn, it is a space trip as well with the band jamming out pretty good. Over-Sea Nightmares lives up to it's name real well. Using their music Shinin' Shade conjures nautical feelings kind of like being stuck on a dead sea with ungodly terrors catching up on you. Guitarists Kramer and Jeffrey are the chief orchestrators as their twin axe interplay creates dark images and emotions.

Albeit slightly doomy in parts Through The Wires Of Your Mind is modern-day 60's psychedelia at it's extremely very best. The band has cast all shackles and are going full force into space on this one with Jane's exquisite voice drawing out the turmoil from a demented person's mind. This continues on Nowhere Dimension where they portrait the world where a truly demented person really is at. That's my interpretation of the song although it could be about complacent people who will not step out of their bubble and expand as individuals. You know, they prefer to stay in the same spot doing the same things, thinking the same thoughts day in, day out.

Opting for a heavy and trippy head fuck of an ending. Denied Lovers brings back the Candlemass and funeral doom influences with a pinch of early-days Black Sabbath added for extra flavouring. It has a slow creepy feeling of impending doom before hitting outer space. It segues into closer Epic Talking where the band goes all Pink Floyd on us at their very best. Apart from the feeling of being in the middle of a shroom trip in all it's transcendency the song is a punishing build up towards the end where riffs and solos jointly simply blows me to pieces.

I love it when albums like this ends up in my  mailbox. They are by bands I have never heard so I really have no preconceived ideas of them of but right from the start they have me hooked and there's no turning back. It can't barely get better than that folks. Any genre that gets a slight increase in popularity seem to be stuck in an avalanche all of a sudden with countless numbers of bands popping up playing the same stuff but that's natural I guess. The music Shinin' Shade plays is in the shopping window right now so, to me, it takes something really special to stand out in a good way. And these Italians are something else. I love how they can take their influences and find the perfect balance with their own ideas with such ease, that's very pleasing to hear as a listener. As a reviewer I will always look for reference points however when you're handed an album like Sat-Urn of course other bands will be mentioned. But to hear them create their own style is so refreshing and uplifting, especially when the band's collective musical talent is so good. Check them out...now!!!

Molte bene signora e signori! Mille grazie per questo ottimo album.

--Swedebeast





Wednesday, June 26, 2013

HUNTRESS - Starbound Beast



Another powerful female vocalist slams her vocal prowess into my eardrums. This is sinful, sexy brutality in pure ethereal musical form, and oh yeah there are those amazing vocals as well. I think bands like this are riding a wave that began with Doro Pesch and Simone Simons. Beautifully powerful, emotional female vocals surrounded by shred happy precision toned instruments. This is the future of symphonic metal.

     Enter the Exosphere: Great introduction to the muscianship contained within the band. This is the song that willplayed as you enter your space capsule. Strap in and await the rocket ride into the stars.
Following this is the epic "Blood Sisters". I love the way the instruments flow around her vocals. The sound is crisp and raw. In your face vocals both hard and melodic intertwined with some ear piercing growls. Powerful. The album has a continuity that only a top notch producer could bring out. Guitar solo is key on this song. Tearing it up and not over saturating the melody of the song. This is high atmosphere song crafting. Sick intense returning vocals screaming from a growling scream into a melody sing a long. Hits you like an asteroid screaming though space.

 "I want to Fuck you to death", "Destroy your life" are highlights on this disc. My listening spree to this album was flooded by the spacial journey mindset that Janus says she embarked upon writing. Her voice is like a steel razor. So much energy in these songs that it does indeed seem like a gift from the universe. Some card has been pulled from the old deck, a card of stars

"Starbound Beast" becomes a catchy power metal song and slams you into interstellar overdrive with the guitar solo. Cerebral riffing going on here. Not too much flash, just enough to push this song out of the atmosphere and into deeper space.

"Oracle", And "Receiver" rounding out a killer album that is a message from beyond the infite reaches of the cosmos. Huntress is a band that stands apart from the masses. I have seen video footage of their shows and they are honest and intense. Endorsed by Lemmy by Motorhead....well, that should be more than enough street credit.  When you buy this album, place it high on your cds to be played only on the highway. Hit the gas...set the controls for the heart of the sun and ....burn your way into the universe.

--MetalRising




Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Humorecore Kings PSYCHOSTICK Announce Tour Dates w/ American Head Charge



(L- R) - Alex “Shmalex” Dontre – Drums | Josh “The J” Key – Guitar | Rob “Rawrb” Kersey – Vocals | Matty J “Moose” – Bass 

   Comedy rockers Psychostick are proud to announce in addition to their current summer dates for 'Blow Your Fingers Off Tour', which includes performances at this year's Rockapalooza, A2 Fest, Breast Fest Biker Bash and Dirtfest. The kings of humorcore will also be supporting American Head Charge for the following August and September dates on the 'Shoot Tour'.

 
Psychostick w/ American Head Charge
August 8 – Cleveland, OH @ Peabody’s ^
August 9 - Kokomo, IN @ Centerstage *
August 10 - Birch Run, MI @ Dirtfest - Show Details - Buy Tickets
August 11 – St. Joseph, MI @ Czar’s 505 *
August 13 – Nashville, TN @ 12th And Porter *
August 16 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Chameleon Room *
August 17 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar *
August 18 – Dallas, TX @ Trees *
August 20 – Austin, TX @ Dirty Dog *
August 21 – San Antonio, TX @ Tequila Rock Room *
August 23 – Sauget, IL @ Pops %
August 27 – Trenton, NJ @ Championships %
August 28 – Amityville, NY @ Revolution %
August 29 – Newark, DE @ Mojo Main %
August 30 – White Marsh, MD @ House Of Rock %
August 31 – Albany, NY @ Bogies % - Show Details - Buy Tickets
September 1 – Syracuse, NY @ Mac’s Bad Art Bar % -
September 3 – Toledo, OH @ Frankie’s % - Show Details - Buy Tickets
September 4 – Joliet, IL @ Mojoes % - Show Details - Buy Tickets
September 5 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave %

Additional dates still being confirmed
* = w/ Psychostick, Willpowerless
^ = w/ Psychostick, Blue Felix, Dead Horse Trauma
% = w/ Psychostick, Gabriel And The Apocalypse
Blow Your Fingers Off Tour *please note don't actually blow your fingers off

 
June 21 - Steger, IL @ Another Hole In The Wall - Show Details - Buy Tickets
June 22 - Jackson, MI @ Rockapalooza - Jackson County Fair Grounds - Show Details - Buy Tickets
July 5 - Providence, RI @ McNeil's Tavern
July 6 - Brookfield, CT @ The Room - Show Details - Buy Tickets
July 12 - Newport, KY @ Thompson House - Show Details - Buy Tickets
July 13 - Ann Arbor, MI @ A2 Fest - WFC Fairgrounds and Event Center - Show Details - Buy Tickets
July 14 - St. Joseph, MI @ Czar's 505 - Show Details
July 16 - La Crosse, WI @ The Warehouse - Show Details
July 18 - St. Cloud, MN @ Bubba's
July 19 - Spring Lake Park (Minneapolis area), MN @ POV's 65 - Show DetailsBuy Tickets
July 20 - Pecatonica, IL @ Breast Fest - Winnebago County Fairgrounds - Show Details - Buy Tickets
August 9 - Kokomo, IN @ Centerstage
August 10 - Birch Run, MI @ Dirtfest - Show Details - Buy Tickets
 
*ROCKAPALOOZA: Festival with CANDLEBOX, SALIVA, TAPROOT, MUSHROOMHEAD, HEDPE, OBIE TRICE, HURT, 12 STONES, SMILE EMPTY SOUL, BOY HITS CAR, ADAM GONTIER (FORMER SINGER OF THREE DAYS GRACE), PSYCHOSTICK, SURRENDER THE FALL, ROTATION, ANOTHER LOST YEAR, DIECAST, TRACK FIGHTER, IT LIES WITHIN, THROUGH THE ASHES, HYDROVIBE

*A2 Fest: HedPE, Taproot, Psychostick, Green Jelly, Chris Webby, The Agonist, It Lies Within, Slaves On Dope, Blue Felix, Motown Rage, Losing September, Almost Kings, SIKLID, XFactor1, Wayland, Prospect Hill, Dead Horse Trauma
 
*5th Annual Breast Fest Biker Bash: benefitting the Save The TaTa's Foundation: Drowning Pool, Nonpoint, Pop Evil, Soil, Primer 55, Psychostick, Straight Line Stitch
 
*DIRTFEST: Adam Gontier (of 3 Days Grace), Asking Alexandria, Trapt, Pop Evil, Parabelle, Devour The Day, 10 Years, Psychostick, Escape The Fate, Wilson, It Lies Within, Blue Felix, Saint Ridley
Psychostick released their latest music video 'Dogs Like Socks' earlier this year and can be viewed at the following link.


dogs like socks by psychostick

Psychostick's fifth and latest release 'Space Vampires VS Zombie Dinosaurs in 3-D' is now available at the following location here(http://psychostick.com/music)

For more info, music and tour dates, please visit the following links:

http://www.psychostick.com
http://www.facbeook.com/psychostick
http://www.twitter.com/psychostick

Music Videos
Political Bum - http://youtu.be/DNZj2RrrkfI
Boobs - http://youtu.be/dcYlytyuKsc
Do You Want A Taco? - http://youtu.be/k3tcQI5EEiA
Beer - http://youtu.be/O-jOEAufDQ4 - over 4 million views
Girl Directions - http://youtu.be/U5_HhqcbF_0

Brutal Panda Records Announces 7" Subscription Series!!

Brutal Panda Records
7" Subscription Series Announced
 

Brutal Panda Records is proud to announce their first ever vinyl subscription series.  The label will be releasing four split 7"s throughout the remainder of 2013, with a new 7" being released every couple of months.  The series is kicking off with a repress of the long out of print Black Tusk / Fight Amp split featuring artwork from Baroness frontman John Baizley.  The remaining 7"s will feature brand new and exclusive tracks from:
 

Kowloon Walled City
Helms Alee
Whores
Ladder Devils
Rabbits

Batillus


There will be a limit of 100 subscriptions available.  All subscribers will receive an exclusive vinyl color for each release in along with the  chance at winning a test press of one of the titles.    The subscription is currently available for purchase at this location while the Black Tusk / Fight Amp split is available for order here with the Fight Amp side streaming here.  
 

Mos Generator – Nomads


It’s a little strange to be writing about this album. I say that because I was instrumental in its release . . . I walked along the majority of the roads of its conceptualization, both musically and visually. I labored along with Tony Reed as he crafted this record and, at many times, became a sounding board for his artistic vision. I heard the demos of the album as he was still figuring out if it was even worth being released. I leant an ear to Tony’s frustrations on not getting a particular vocal performance nailed properly. I watched the visual graphics come together to ultimately become, what I feel, an iconic image of a crow perched on a Celtic cross.

But what happened next on this magical musical journey was that the music didn’t just hit me on a physical level. The emotional level that Nomads touched was something awe inspiring, leaving me drenched in sweat as I clung for dear life to the words, the vocal intonations, the musical ebbs and flows, and the overall audio dynamics of this record. I heard to words and immediately knew what Tony was talking about . . . the universal struggle of finding oneself in the miasma of a constantly changing world.

And then, something really unusual hit me with the record. It touched me on a full on spiritual level. Not that I sit around and light candles and spin the shit backwards (though I’m sure that would be an enlightening listen as well), but on a serious interstellar, mind altering, molecular level. The album suddenly made me question things that have happened in my life, because I could so easily relate to the lyrical themes. Those words that I had been hearing for almost a year suddenly were deafeningly loud in the center of my skull. They no longer were just words floating around my office as I tooled around with promotions and correspondence, they became the most important words I had ever heard . . . as if they were written and performed specifically for me.

Y’see, for the past few months, I’ve pretty much considered myself to be a Nomad. Traveling across the West Coast, soul searching and mind tripping, doing that deeper introspective thing to see if I’m where I truly need to be. Short answer: I’m getting there. And I owe a lot of my progress to Mos Generator’s Nomads. Basically, I can relate to what’s going on throughout the entire album. From the moment that Tony Reed howls, “I’ve got a long . . . long way to go. I’m a traveler in time lost in my soul”, from the album opener “Cosmic Ark”, I immediately think, ‘Yeah. Dude’s talking about me.’ Although the song is based more along the lines of the movie Altered States and not Pope’s Soul Quest 2013, the words have a parallel meaning and stay open to the listener’s individual interpretation. Add in the classy and retro leaning soulful guitar work at the solo and the emotion just spills from the speakers.

“So much confusion, I’ve got to take it down. I’m on the edge of losing everything I’ve ever found. I walk through this life time, my head deep down in the sand; I can tell you people that I never do the best I can.” The opening lines from “Lonely One Kenobi” hit me like a ton of bricks as I was driving the I-5 north of Vancouver, Washington on my way to Tacoma. It was the moment that I swear the dude had gone into the future, seen what my life was all about, quickly came back to real time and wrote the song about me. The shit just hits too close to home. The entire song carries along in the same poignant manner, twisting my head into the finest braided pretzel. On top of the heavily introspective lyrics, the music is heavy with a ton of groove. Scooter Haslip and Shawn Johnson hold the back end down superbly; in fact, Shawn’s drum work on this entire album is fiery and as emotional as Reeds lyrics. The song also features one of Tony’s most memorable guitar solos . . . its musical, one of those guitar solos that after you’ve heard it a handful of times, it becomes instantly recognizable and one that you can actually sing along with.

“I stumbled a road with you by my side, and if I can’t make it, you won’t pass me by . . .”, more lyrics (from the track “Torches”) that instantly teleport me back into my own head, and as the song progresses, I realize that I have an entire family of friends who are by my side leading me through the darkness. Powerful in its poignancy, the lyrics rest on a bed of 70’s inspired rock, the guitar reminding me of early Judas Priest or Foghat or someone along those lines. There’s a familiarity to the tone, but still completely unique to Mos Generator. “Torches ahead, leave the darkness behind, to numb the pain of the world passing by.” Brilliant.
“Step Up” throbs and pulses, and explodes with a fury that builds and builds. The tension of this song is classic rock n’ roll. The guitar tones, the drums, the bass, all work in tandem to create a foundation for Reeds plaintive vocal performance. “You better find your way up into the light . . . step out of the darkness” . . . he’s practically demanding that I pick myself out up by my bootstraps, man up and get on with life. “I know you feel lost, but you better find a way.” I’m finding it, brother! I see the light and pushing motherfuckers out of my way to get there! Where “Torches” allowed the listener to be dependent on others for salvation, “Step Up” says enough’s enough, and demands that the listener needs to do things for themselves coz people will eventually get tired of giving charity to those who won’t do for themselves.
“Can’t Get Where I Belong” is one of the more somber tunes on the album, but it’s not depressive or low energy. “Take all my heartache, and turn into love, all that I need right now, is salvation from above. I can’t get where I belong.” Fuck . . . in the context of this song, those lyrics hit like a ten ton weight. The mid tempo riffage plays perfectly with the frustrated soul of the lyrical content. Every time this song comes on, it always seems to fly by. Even at almost five minutes long, the song seems oddly short . . . maybe, it’s because it’s so well crafted? There’s nothing frivolous about it, there’s no wild jam section and it’s actually rather formulaic, but it always seems like it’s over as soon as it begins. It’s a gem.

While the album closer “This Is The Gift Of Nature” doesn’t really have the soulful introspection that that rest of the album does, it’s still a perfect fit and touches on the global consciousness. More akin to the bands earlier doomier material, this track is the longest and possibly the most musically ambitious tune on Nomads. In particular, Johnson’s drumming is straight up clinical on this song . . . the emotion that he throws into his performance reminds me of the times I’ve caught these cats live; thunderous and explosive, truly capturing the passion of the music, and actually propelling it further and faster. Special nod goes to Reeds performance/production as the band comes out of the breakdown . . . the guitars through the break have a clean tone, and just as the band is cresting back into the main groove, as the world comes crashing down, the guitars come out of the solo and kick in with that oh-so perfect tone of distortion.

I wouldn’t normally write about an album that was released through Ripple Music because I feel like there’s a little nepotism there. But it dawned on me at some point that The Ripple Effect was originally created to share, not just the hidden gems in mine and The Big Bald Bastards record collections, but to share how that music made us feel. And considering that Nomads has practically been my soundtrack for almost three months, I see no reason why I shouldn’t sing its praises. Nomads has gotten me through some dark days, rough roads, and hard times, and to all the boys in Mos Generator, I thank you for creating this masterpiece of introspection. I couldn’t find where I belonged, but the torches left the darkness behind . . . and now I’m stepping up into the light.

--Pope




Monday, June 24, 2013

More Short Attention Span Theater - Featuring Mage, Wheel of Smoke, The Brimstone Days, and A Clever Con

Mage - Black Sands

Crawling from some desolate, druidic Anglo fiord, Mage stomp across the wasteland, trampling all bloody corpses in their way.  "Cosmic Cruiser X" is an epic of doom, grunge, sludge and stoner all brewed together into a battlefield assault of crushing riffs and maniacally heavy bottom end.  With bands like Grifter, Stubb, XII Boar, Tricorn, and now Mage plowing through the UK subteranean tunnels and catacombs, it's safe to say that the heavy rock underground in the UK is breeding a special brood of mutated ugliness.  It'd be a fine place to get lost.  Check these cats out.  Black Sands is a true beast. 











Wheel of Smoke - In Sense

Way freaked out, heavy, heavy psych complete with vocal samples from Allan Watts in some of his more esoteric, heady explorations.  And when I say heavy psych I mean way heavy into psychelia, not protometal.  Recorded in Antwerp, this four piece mix the slow and acoustic with the heavy in a seamless fashion that flows and ebbs like that line of acrid smoke you see rising from their bong and heading straight to their patch of acid tabs.  You want music to lose reality to, I got your answer.  But don't go thinking it's all disorganized jams and space rock noodling.  These songs really hang together within their own structure, and while they take their time to develop whichever idea floats upon their THC haze, they don't lose the plot.  In the end, it's all just a damn good reprise from the pounding.







The Brimstone Days - On A Monday to Early to Tell

For some reason I haven't been hearing a lot about these guys and for the life of me, I can't explain why.  With their rip-it-all-apart attack on classic '60's and '70's rock, you'd think every retro-head, and Hendrix freak would be tuned into this slab of freaky, funky, decidedly groovy heavy psych.  Think Hendrix and Free and Humble Pie and a tip of the hat to Leaf Hound and you'll get the feeling.  These guys aren't retro, they're really from the 70's and they're really living and playing it with abandon.  Kicking off with "I Need Soul" this is a must explore for all fans of energetic rock.    On the fantastic Transubstans Label, home of some of the best retro-rock on the planet, you know you're in safe hands.




A Clever Con - Mannequin Love Part I.

Another epinephrine burst of spasmodic, alt-rock from A Clever Con.  Really, these guys are the masters of writing some of the most complex riffs I've ever heard in my life and wrapping them up so tightly in a song laden with melody that it never becomes overwhelming.  Frankly, I don't even know how these cats can even play some of these riffs.  I have images of them spontaneously growing fingers at random times to hit some of the notes, but I suspect that's not true.  Just freakishly talented musicians.  Prog tendencies rear their heads in songs like "Mexico" while others like "Twentysomething Blues" explode in an adrenaline rush.  Never chaotic.  Always fresh and surprising.  It's only a matter of time before A Clever Con make a huge name for themselves in the modern rock set. 



--Racer

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Black Mountain Thunder - S/T


 Classic rock to the bones From Paul and Trent Hill of Against It All and Curse Of Disobedience. Their punk and hardcore beginnings are mostly stripped away on their debut album though. With overtones of The Eagles and hints of Place Of Skulls, this Charleston Mississippi band kicks out classic southern fried doom tracks that mixes it up  with Workingman’s Dead style bridges that succeed on taking the edge off of a real burner of a debut.

I Regret starts at a cool, slow pace that reminds me of early doom. It takes a few twists and turns and is a great jam. The next thing you know we’re in mellow town again on Before The Innocence Was Gone but this time by the water. Chimes and simulated bird calls on the guitar. It’s a quiet storm punctuated by hot licks that might make Steve Vai proud. This is the kind of false sense of security BMT use to amplify the heavy tracks like Punishment Overdue.

I’ve been hearing a lot of Slayer and Pantera’s style in doom lately and while it’s not necessarily my preference, I get it. I guess I’m a purist. This track could sway me though. At times it’s hardcore in that Little Rock way, doom seeped in metalcore. 

The links are good examples of the heavy and the chilled out songs these guys offer.  Download this and throw it on your mp3 player, party all night long with your pals and get your classic doom of today on but, do yourself a favor and don’t listen to it on headphones because the popping p’s on the recording are pretty distracting. Petty preferences on my part. This rocks in all the right ways and I’m pretty hooked on it.


--Plague




Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tangerine Stoned - S/T



The globules in the orange lava lamp stretched.  The street lights of Rimini reflected through the lace window covering of the third story apartment on Via Emilia and created a strobe effect as the breeze blew open the drapes. Traffic echoed off the Tiberius Bridge.  It sounded as if some had dropped. It smelled like others had toked on the nearby beach.  A vast 60's-70's psychedelic scene immediately filled the room.  All I did was turn on and tune in Tangerine Stoned's self-titled debut album.

Assembled in Italy in 2011 with the desire to recreate the tones of Hendrix, the Doors, Cream, Pink Floyd, - essentially the psychedelic rock sound of the late 1960's and early 1970's -  the band's founders, Alex Key (guitarist) and Chris Jei (vocals), recruited a bass player, keyboard player and drummer and just released this six track throwback on May 30, 2013. You will be hard pressed to find a better American acid rock sound that isn't 45 years old.  While the final track is titled in Italian, such allusion to the band's heritage on this stoned out head trip only adds to the nostalgic counter-culture brilliance of the release.

I will make this short and sweet.  Break out this mind altering musical substance and get Tangerine Stoned.


--Old School

Friday, June 21, 2013

Brutus - Behind The Mountains


There’s this groove, a void if you will, that we all know exists.  It’s the crack that Pentagram fell in.  It’s the chasm that riffed out, ‘blooze’ rock disappeared into after Sabbath and all other brands that brought the rock switched from weed to coke.  This isn’t anything new to those of you who follow the retro/doom/occult rock that has boomed in the underground, especially in the Scandinavian and Norwegian regions of Europe.  Witchcraft, Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats, Graveyard, and Kadavar are topping concert bills all over Europe.  Here in the States we have groups like Mos Generator, Orchid, and Scorpion Child are grinding out the same sort of no bullshit rock and roll. And why not?  A powerhouse vocalist and a wall of Marshall, Laney, or Oranges set up for an impressive rock sound.  Why fuck with the formula?  It’s a wide groove and one that works every time you need a drunken crowd to nod their heads in syncopation and reverence for the pentatonic amplifier theatrics.  Side note, for those of you who haven’t come up from your bong in a few years...the blues are based on 5 notes, hence PENTAtonic scales...you know...like a pentagram.  Ok, more on that in a minute.

Enter Brutus and their new record, Behind The Mountains, released June 14 on Svart Records.  Hailing from the same Scandinavian and Norwegian regions as the bands mentioned before, Brutus is set up for the same sort of crowds that have been following the others.  The fit the blueprint down to the cut-off denim jackets, long hair, and extra wooly chops on their faces.  It’s easy to imagine these rockers rolling out of a hotboxed boogie van just in time to plug in and rock the house.  Par for the course, it’s typical of the style.  Like I said before, why mess with the formula? 

Here’s the quick run down.  Every song rocks.  No problems here.  Brutus has a heavy groove based on 70’s riff rock in the vein of Sabbath (naturally), Grand Funk Railroad, and legendary rock casualties Pentagram.  That’s what the press release said and that’s what I heard.  The stand out stomper of the record, personally, is Big Square Head.  Featuring a heavy down beat accented riff with a Hendrix style turnaround lthat leaves room for tasty wah-wah leads, it stands out.  There’s plenty of proto-metal from the start to finish.  What more is there to say but Brutus has this shit down cold.  There is some decent songwriting, which many riff based bands seem to lack, and it keeps the album moving along.  Note to other bands in the genre:  It helps to be able to tell which song is which.  It’s really nice when that happens.  If I was to rate this album on a genre specific scale...9/10.  You have to be into this sort of stuff to appreciate it (or it will just sound like classic rock radio that you never heard), but it turns out that this sound is hotter than just about everything else going on in the ‘stoner’ world.  I suggest giving this one a spin when you’ve worn out the new Orchid record.


--The Grime


Thursday, June 20, 2013

AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE Announce New EP ‘Shoot’ And U.S. Tour




Minneapolis, MN hard rock/industrial metal outfit AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE proudly announce their new EP, Shoot, slated for release on July 23rd, and the first leg of the Shoot Tour kicking off on August 2nd in Madison, WI @ The Regent State Theater.
The Shoot EP was recorded by Don Debiase at Studio D Productions in Cleveland, OH, and mixed by Dave Fortman at Balance Productions in New Orleans, LA. Artwork for the Shoot EP was created by Sam “Mister-Sam” Shearon

The EP will be self released by the band. “We're extremely proud of this little gem. For an EP, it was a long, arduous process that spanned 5 states and 6 studios, but we persevered and succeeded." notes bassist and co-founder Chad Hanks.  "This is our first major step back into the game, and the next step in serving up a full-length AHC record. The “heavy music scene” is even worse off than we left it 6 years ago. We're looking to rectify that." 

Shoot can be pre-ordered from the American Head Charge website (headcharge.com) and fans can bundle the CD with an exclusive poster and t-shirt. All pre-orders will receive a code to digitally download the EP a week prior to its release.

Joining AHC on the “Shoot Tour”, on select dates, are fellow Minneapolis heavy rockers Blue Felix and "humorcore" kings Psychostick. “We're all very excited to go out and tour the U.S. in support of our new EP." continues Hanks. "It's been a year since we've been on the road, and we're more than ready to deliver the goods. Prepare yourselves, America." American Head Charge formally celebrates the release of the EP on September 6th, the final date of the tour, with a blowout event at the famed Minneapolis concert venue, First Avenue.

Shoot  Tracklist
1. Writhe
2. Set Yourself On Fire
3. Sugars Of Someday
4. Sand
5. Rock N Roll Nigger (Patti Smith cover)

AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE – “Shoot Tour”
(featuring Psychostick and Blue Felix on select dates)
8/2 – Madison, WI @ The Regent Street Retreat #
8/3 – Wausau, WI @ The Fillmore #
8/4 – Des Moines, IA @ Woolys #
8/7 – Louisville, KY @ Diamond Pub & Billiards # 

8/8 – Cleveland, OH @ Peabody’s ^
8/9 – Kokomo, IN @ Centerstage Bar & Grill *
8/10 – Birch Run, MI @ Dirt Fest ^
8/11 – St. Joseph, MI @ Czar’s 505 *
8/13 – Nashville, TN @ 12th And Porter *
8/16 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Chameleon Room *
8/17 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar *
8/18 – Dallas, TX @ Trees *
8/20 – Austin, TX @ Dirty Dog *
8/21 – San Antonio, TX @ Tequila Rock Room *
8/23 – Sauget, IL @ Pops %
8/24 – Sandusky, OH @ The Underground ~
8/27 – Trenton, NJ @ Championships %
8/28 – Amityville, NY @ Revolution %
8/29 – Newark, DE @ Mojo Main %
8/30 – White Marsh, MD @ House Of Rock %
8/31 – Albany, NY @ Bogies %
9/1 – Syracuse, NY @ Mac’s Bad Art Bar %
9/3 – Toledo, OH @ Frankie’s %
9/4 – Joliet, IL @ Mojoes %
9/5 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave %
9/6 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue Mainroom
Additional dates still being confirmed

# = w/ Blue Felix, Dead Horse Trauma
* = w/ Psychostick, Willpowerless
^ = w/ Psychostick, Blue Felix, Dead Horse Trauma
% = w/ Psychostick, Gabriel And The Apocalypse
~ = American Head Charge only

AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE Online
www.headcharge.com
www.facebook.com/AmericanHeadCharge
www.twitter.com/AHC_Official
www.youtube.com/OfficialHeadCharge

Conny Ochs - Black Happy



What a nice surprise this is! When Black Happy dropped down in my mailbox all I had heard of Conny Ochs was the collaboration he made with doom legend Scott"Wino"Weinrich. Somewhere in the back of my mind I kind of figured it would be singer/songwriter stuff...but not this good. As much as I am into heavy music only an acoustic guitar and a singer can be just as good and when Conny goes out on the edge with this album I am drawn in and mesmerized.

Walking through the darker side of life Black Happy couldn't have been a more appropriate title as it's a journey through death, heartbreak, loneliness, illness and rejection. But how can this be mesmermizing you might ask. For me it's a catharsis, making my own negative thoughts disappear and that works in a two-fold way. One is the simplicity of the music which is actually kind of soothing despite the bleak subject matter on display. The sweet tones Conny conjurs brings my pulse down two or three notches so when the lyrics kicks in the music evens out what Conny is singing about. And that's the second reason why Black Happy is a catharsis for me. What he writes about speaks to me because I've been in bad places just like he sings about but no more. However, it rears it's ugly head sometimes and that's when I need an album like this.

There are two tracks that stands out, not necessarily because they are better than the other but stand out they do. Faces In The Crowd is not only the shortest track but it is also vocal-only akin to a medieval ode. Definitely different but great nonetheless. The other track is Blues For My Baby which to me comes across like a James Reyne song. Reyne was the front man for Aussie rockers Australian Crawl before launching a hugely succesful solo career.

In a world where you have all these devices and tools to create unheard-of rhythms and sounds, Conny goes the opposite way. Stripping away any kind of excess his music is minimalistic, yet powerful, beautiful and full of emotions. Apart from the acoustic guitar, the only other instruments utilized are the occasional tambourine, harmonica, bass guitar(I think) and guitar. Yet he has created something out of the ordinary with Black Happy. Of course this is my opinion but listen to this as a relaxing experience, you know to chill out and cleanse your mind a little bit because it is the perfect help for that. You dear waverider will probably find other avenues with it and that's the beauty with any great album.

This is an album for everyone regardless your musical leanings. That's the beauty of an acoustic release that doesn't streamline and opt for a certain group of listeners only. Don't know if that is what Conny aimed for but it's certainly what the outcome of Black Happy is. I'm sure there are many of you out there who gets a look of apprehension on their faces when they hear acoustic music thinking "oh no, another cover album of yesterday's hits" or "ah, another country album where I lost my job, my wife left me and the dog ran away". There's no need to fret because if ANY album was as well-written and well-performed as this one, the world of music would be even better. Do yourself and Conny a huge favour and get this fantastic release.

--Swedebeast




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