Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Whenever I fire up an album with death or black metal stylings, I’m reminded of my relatively recent conversion to metal worship. In the incipient stages of my metal conversion I was unable to enjoy the fruits of death or black metal. I would like to say that it was just the vocals, but I simply could not come to grips with the overall savagery of the experience. Fortunately, with a little time and persistence I was able to embrace my inner dark side and expand my musical pallet. That fateful embrace provided the impetus for my introduction to the splendor that is Fetid Zombie.
Fetid Zombie is the musical brainchild of Mark Riddick. Mr. Riddick plays guitar, bass, synth and does the drum programming as well as the vocals. In addition to that, he brings in a host of co-collaborators to help him flesh out his sordid vision.
Fetid Zombie’s most recent release, Epicedia, is available from Transcending Obscurity Records and is nothing short of a progressive death metal opus. Epicedia growls, blasts and soars in equal measure. The guitar solos on ‘Lowered Beneath’ and ‘Devour the Virtuous’ are intoxicating and provide a delicate balance to the tortured vocals and rapid fire drum blasts. On ‘Devour the Innocent’ and ‘If the Dead Could Speak’ the drum assault continues and provides the perfect back drop to some Buckethead-approved shredding. To the surprise of your humble scribe an acoustic guitar and synth are employed to great effect and deliver a couple of brief, tender interludes. The result is something that is both technically excellent and accessible to those that might otherwise turn their noses up to this style of music.
Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned metalhead or a recent metal recruit, the expansive nature of the songs combined with the ease with which Mr. Riddick melds with his co-collaborators makes for a quintessential death metal release. Despite a gaggle of releases and a myriad of splits Epicedia easily represents Fetid Zombie’s finest work to date.
-El Pedo Caliente
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Me: "Wow, a 2016 hard rock record that's not embarrassing...? Nice."
Racer: "Only the best for you."
It's decadence here at the Ripple Mansion; it truly is. I love this life.
So, hi: I'm Horn. You may remember me from such reviews as “Smoke Yourself Thin,” and “Get Some Confidence, Stupid!” Or such Fox Network Specials as “Alien Nose Job” and “The Five Fabulous Weeks of the Chevy Chase Show.” I started writing for Ripple in 2010, took the last few years off because of work (I know it's not a real excuse for the metalhead, shut your Goddamned face), and finally recognized the Disgusting Lack of Heavy in my life: hence this article, and those to follow.
Anyway, let's get to it: Fragile Things are a hard rock band from England, specifically Milton Keynes; they write the 2016 equivalent of late-80s hard rock acts like LA Guns, Sweet FA, and most tellingly, a somewhat now-unknown band from Nashville called Every Mother's Nightmare.
I say this because both EMN and Fragile Things use detuned guitars (i.e., not in standard tuning, but here in D standard) and write surprisingly awesome riffs (especially for a hair/glam metal band, which is clearly what Fragile Things aspire to emulate).
Broken Sun is a self-financed, four-track EP. Opener "The Enemy is I" sounds like Metallica covering Faster Pussycat: sweet blues-ish riffs over a memorable hook. This would've been Alice in Chains-y-heavy in 1989, and is still pretty awesome in 2016, where is more obviously hard rock and not, say, "metal."
Track two, "Open Cage," is like Love/Hate if they abused meth instead of pot and booze (complete with memorable gang chorus); track three, "Broken Sun," is the BulletBoys at their most adventurous, and closer "So Cold" is a lost Lynch Mob track: singer Richie Hevanz even sounds like Oni Logan, come to think of it.
Anyway, by this point you know goddamn well if you're into this. If you are, getchu some.
Monday, November 28, 2016
With Support: Metalfier, Anaka
Lightning to the Nations
Set My Soul on Fire
In the Heat of the Night
To Heaven From Hell
Starcrossed (Lovers of the Night)
Shout at the Devil
Sucking My Love
Shoot Out the Lights
Shoot Out the Lights
Am I Evil?
Streets of Gold
Sundays are a rough night for bands to play out. Everyone is broke and hung over. It didn't help that the entire city felt like it was trapped in a wind tunnel for the past 48 hours and the weather was generally miserable.
Webster Hall is divided into several “rooms” depending on the type of event and anticipated crowd. Originally billed to be at the 500 capacity “Marlin Room” - my friend/ photographer Rachel and I were a little off put when we were directed to the slightly smaller (400 capacity) space “The Studio”. I filed that in the back of my mind and hoped there would be a crowd. I've spent enough gigs watching legendary NWOBHM bands play a blistering set to me, four people and a dog- I was hoping that wouldn't be the case tonight.
The Studio is tiny but not cramped, and there are neat little nooks and crannies were you could comfortably hang out between bands. Rachel and I perched ourselves on a bench near the restrooms where she rationalized if anyone we knew was at this gig – we would definitely run into them.
By the time Anaka came on there were less than 100 people milling around. The band's friends and fans made up a good part of the crowd and were enthusiastically headbanging. Anaka are a local Brooklyn band who've I've always said I would check out but just never got around to it. I really liked them – their singer had a nice clean voice and great, comfortable stage presence. They reminded me of a mix of Priest and Black Label Society. I am definitely going to check them out again!
The room was staring to fill up a bit and we went back to our spot. Some of the guys who were with Anaka started talking to me about my Motörhead tattoo and about Lemmy's lifestyle. We decided that switching from Jack and Coke to the “healthier” Vodka and OJ may have been what killed him.
Metalifier were up next. Another band whose name I'd seen but never managed to check out. Right off the singer/ guitarist reminded me of Tony “Demotion Man” Dolan from M:Pire of Evil and Venom Inc. He was great at getting the now growing crowd going and was the quintessential true metal front man. They live in the NYC area and include members from Poland and Columbia and definitely have an “international metal” feel. Think Accept meets Venom and Iron Maiden with a little bit of WASP thrown in. In the middle of their set Rachel turned to me, verified which band this was – and disappeared. She was so impressed with their set she bought a shirt!
Another break and I thought there would be another band before Diamond Head so when the classical music came over the PA by the stage we didn't bother leaving our spot by the rest room – then I heard the opening of “Borrowed Time” and we ran out to watch Diamond Head.
The first thing I noticed was rhythm guitarist Andy “Abbz” Abberley wasn't with them. Singer Rasmus Bom Andersen told me after the show that Andy had to leave mid-tour to go back to his day job. It was disconcerting at first not to see him but the songs didn't suffer from his absence – although it would have been nice to see him play again. Then again the band was always a four piece (excluding Canterbury) until the 2005 album “All Will be Revealed” .
Gone too since I last saw the band in 2011 was bassist Eddie Moohan who I was told was no longer interested in playing heavier music. So I wasn't going to witness his wacky audience interaction and goofy faces tonight. Dean Ashton was a more than capable replacement, and I watched him from my usual spot at a gig – in front of the bassist.
Also missing were Brian's signature White Flying V – which we were later told doesn't travel because airport security have a tendency to not be too gentle with musical equipment. He was playing a Les Paul.
The set was a good mix of material from the band's newest release, simply titled “Diamond Head” with all the classics you would expect to hear from the band's 30+ year old catalog. One thing I observed when the new tracks were played, the crowd didn't thin out because of unfamiliar material. The enthusiasm level was still way up, and I noticed I wasn't the only one singing along. After Ras proudly introduced one of the newer tracks, and mentioned they were indeed selling the new album at the merch stand – along with signed VINYL copies. A few of the guys standing next to me RAN to buy it – that's how impressive the new material is.
When they did “Lightning to the Nations” I had a moment of zen. There was Brian Tatler, who is a legend in metal, a man who gave Metallica the blue-print to be in the upper echelon of the genre – and he was standing less than 20 feet away from me. Later on the singer from Metalifier said that in his native Poland – there is no way he'd be able to get that close to a band of Diamond Head's caliber. Here was a band that was headlining festivals in Europe – but playing to a 80% capacity room in New York City on a Sunday night. What is wrong with this picture???
So much has already been written about the almost Shakespearean scale tragedy that is the history of Diamond Head so I won't get into it here. But as I felt during the middle of Saxon's set last year – where's the justice???? And Iron Maiden, who in my opinion haven't made a decent album since 1988 are constantly headlining Arenas – meanwhile Diamond Head's newest release blows “The Book of Souls" out of the water and...
Oops sorry started ranting again...but this was all running though my head at the time – and then, as would happen many times that evening – I got hypnotized by Brian's playing.
“Helpless” was one of first Diamond Head songs I ever heard and was really looking forward to enjoying it when out of nowhere –these three older women pushed their way to the front, spilling their beer all over the stage and screaming “BRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIAAAAANNNNNNN” louder than Ras was singing. The guys near me who at first happily let these hags in front of them – shook their heads and I could tell by their faces they were fed up too. Thankfully they disappeared after that song.
From where I was off to the side I could definitely hear Karl Wilcox pounding his “AM I EVIL” drumkit but could barely see him. Every once in awhile I would pop my head around the side and see a flurry of drumsticks flying around spiky blonde hair. He's as solid and powerful a drummer as they come.
The band dedicated the rarely played “Starcrossed (Lovers of the Night)” to a fan who had seen them over 100 times. Too cool!!
At some point in the night Ras expressed his love for New York city – how he was so so excited when Karl pointed out the Manhattan skyline on their way into the city. You could tell Ras genuinely meant it and his whole face lit up when he talked about how comfortable he felt in New York.
Up next were four classic tracks in a row. Ras was a blur, at one point I thought he was going to stage dive off the monitors and into the crowd – that's how caught up he was. By the way, loved the purple skinny jeans – and apparently so did the guy who yelled “Nice ass” from the back of the room. Hehe.
“Sucking My Love” was dedicated to us females in the audience. Thank you – that's so romantic.
My favorite Diamond Head song - “The Prince” has everything I want in a metal song. A great riff, intelligent lyrics – and above standard guitar solo. Even back in my metal infancy days when I didn't know who or what the NWOBHM was I always liked this song since I taped it off a college radio station when I was still in high school . Holy shit cassettes. Definitely one of the highlights of the gig for me.
The penultimate song of the evening was of course “Am I Evil” which is Diamond Head's “Ace of Spades” so to speak. Even if it irks me that people still think its DH covering Metallica, I'm sure Brian and original DH singer Sean Harris have the last laugh every time they check their bank balance.
The band briefly left the stage only to return a few minutes later as Brian strummed out the opening of “Shoot out the Lights” When the song was over, Karl came out to thank the crowd for being so dedicated to them over the years, you could tell he wasn't just hamming it up – he was actually pretty emotional and really does appreciate all of us who have stuck with the band through the years.
After the house lights came on and people started heading towards the exists, Rachel spotted Brian standing by the side of the stage , ready to talk to the fans. I had a nice little catch up with him and actually there is a photo of me physically glowing when he told me he remembered doing the Skype interview for The Ripple Effect and how he quite enjoyed talking to me! Swoooon....
I thanked Ras for all his help, we'd been in contact on the band's Facebook page. He really is such a good fit for the band, very professional and a great “kick in the arse' as Brian had said.
Rachel went back for one more photo with Brian “You just want to cuddle again don't you?” he joked. Yes, yes we do Brian.
Diamond Head official website: http://www.diamond-head.net/
Diamond Head on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DiamondHeadOfficial
My interview with Brian: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2016/04/interview-with-brian-tatler-from.html
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Fresh off a month-long European takeover, occult rock alchemists/perpetual road warriors CASTLE will take to the streets again with Mos Generator. The ten-date West Coast excursion will commence on November 25th in Seattle, Washington and close December 4th in Los Angeles, California. From there the band will perform five more shows in Japan to close out a year of non-stop touring. See confirmed dates below.
CASTLE w/ Mos Generator:
11/25/2016 Funhouse - Seattle, WA
11/26/2016 The Shakedown - Bellingham, WA
11/27/2016 Obsidian - Olympia, WA
11/28/2016 The Raven - Portland, OR
11/29/2016 Old Nick's - Eugene, OR
11/30/2016 G Street - Grant's Pass, OR
12/01/2016 Thee Parkside - San Francisco, CA
12/02/2016 Blue Lagoon - Santa Cruz, CA
12/03/2016 The Garage - Ventura, CA
12/04/2016The Complex - Los Angeles, CA
12/08/2016 El Puente - Yokohama, JP
12/09/2016 Earthdom - Tokyo, JP
12/10/2016 Hokage - Osaka, JP
12/11/2016 Huck Finn - Nagoya, JP
12/12/2016 Ruby Room - Tokyo, JP
CASTLE continues to tour in support of their Welcome To The Graveyard full-length issued earlier this year via Ván Records. Welcome To The Graveyard was captured by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, Eyehategod, Ommadon et al) at Type Foundry Studios in Portland, Oregon and is currently available at THIS LOCATION. You can also check out videos for "Down In The Cauldron Bog," "Flash Of The Pentagram," and "Hammer And The Cross" HERE.
Welcome To The Graveyard continues to reap praise from fans and critics alike. Metal Hammer hails the band's "irrepressible combination of '70s doom, NWOBHM, musty-yet-in-your-face production courtesy of famed Neurosis/Melvins producer Billy Anderson, and the smoky, whiskey-stained vocals of Liz Blackwell," while Slug Magazine notes, "Welcome To The Graveyard is evocative of the heavy music I grew up on. 'Black Widow' is almost as if Lemmy's wraith returned to Motörhead for one last reunion track, epitomized through a youthful throat. Often, a doom metal group attempts to reach back into the Book Of The Dead and revive a slice of the style only to sound like a hopeless knock-off. CASTLE exemplify our generation's appreciation for the metal genre's foundation while providing a multitude of unique and eclectic intricacies that make their sound distinctive." Metal Bandcamp concurs, "Skulking like wraiths in a blackened landscape, the band charges through eight fairly short songs (only one squeaks past the five-minute mark) that grab you, rough you up, and leave you battered and bruised." In a 4.5/5 rating, Metal Riot names Welcome To The Graveyard, "a must own heavy metal purchase for 2016," furthering, "Through constant touring and refining of their bluesy witchy minimalist but raw powered thrash these champs of heavy metal bang for your buck have only gotten better with each release." The Sludgelord notes, "This is fantastic heavy metal of the most traditional kind, forged, I can only assume, in the fires of hell." Adds Angry Metal Guy, "If you haven't caught onto CASTLE yet, you're not taking a thing about your career as a metal fan seriously... Hear this, feel the power and glory and put on the vest!"
Well oiled rhythm in the blood
Formed in 2014, Thuringian leatherheads SNAKEWINE released its Rock’n’Roll infused debut album "Serpent Kings" in late 2015.
Lively Boogie strokes and touching bluesy facets in the middle of a stormy guitar work enrich the whole thing with an pretty original interpretation.
Cross-references to established Rock acts such as The Carburetors, Peter Pan Speedrock, Chrome Division and Danko Jones, fitted with a thick pinch of old Motörhead, let the massive kicking street-sound of the East German gang go as lubricated.
Their gasoline drenched mixture of booming heavy Rock, classic Hard Rock tunes and dirty Metal just breaks through with its overdose of honesty.
Muscle-packed action, liters of hot sweat, crispy cheerleader girls and wonderfully hard Rock sound - all this can be seen in the new music video "Mean Machine" by SNAKEWINE.
The impressing casual HEAVY ROCK bunch around shouter Ronny had just as much fun as all the others involved in working with the Saalfeld, Germany based American Football Club, ‚Titans‘.
MEDIA FEEDBACK for SNAKEWINE "Serpent Kings":
9 / 10
"'Serpent Kings' is … amazing … I like it so much that I’m going to listen to it eating beer and ice cream … Raven and other influences make this THE thing to listen to when the relatives are over and you need to tune out … power chords and thunder-bass make this a must for any Power Metal collection … this has a flare of Southern Rock and overall power tone; it is simply put; great to listen to."
(Dutch Metal Maniac)
8 / 10
"… this album has really impressed me a lot … this band , albeit echoing sounds already known to us, is able to make inroads into the hearts of listeners with the passion that burns within them, transmitting it to all of us … and that's good, very good indeed, because it is above all that music should be able to do … Good luck guys!"
8 / 10
"Motörhead, AC/DC, a hint of Street Metal, the impact of Danko Jones and the Snake wine has to come into your throats … you can not do without it … recommended without reservation."
"… features eight hard living cuts that would have made Lemmy proud! Speaking of which, Motörhead is at one end of the spectrum (as far as influences go!) with the likes of Guns N' Roses, Dangerous Toys, Skid Row, Danko Jones, and even Danzig sitting comfortably on the other end … sure, you could argue that there is a lot more to this bands sound, but either way it all adds up to one hell of a rock n' roll ride that probably slays the beast live … with summer fast approaching you couldn't ask for a better soundtrack to the good times than "Serpent Kings"."
(Heavy Metal Time Machine)
"Hellyeah Baby … this band got me hit … SNAKEWINE have that inviting music vitality that appeases anyone or anything to resist no more to the band`s offering … that`s crazy but I like put it this way … there also is some Motörhead, Volbeat, J.D Overdrive (PL), hairy Hard Rock going on relatively to European influences and I just end up thinking about this album like fucking amazing Rock`n`Roll with astonishing lyrics …"
Saturday, November 26, 2016
'Rotgut' took me by surprise a little bit, to be honest. I am very familiar with Dee's work as frontman with the legendary Iron Man and, of course, After Therapy before that. So I know what a fantastic singer he is. Despite hearing through the grapevine that his solo debut was going to be acoustic, it still was not what I anticipated. Metal, doom and cajun music mixed together with Romantic Movement poetry might not sound like the perfect match but when Dee is orchestrating the proceedings everything comes together perfectly and the end result is beyond words. 'Rotgut' is a barnburner of the highest pedigree and others contemplating a solo album, follow Dee's formula...do exactly what you want to. That, if anything, brings out the best results by far.
As outstanding as ‘Rotgut’ is, there are a six songs that stand out and represent Dee in full. ‘Unapologetic’, which is co-written with Al Morris from Iron Man, is true to it’s name, as it doesn’t apologize for anything. Blunt and naked, Dee makes no bones about who he is and what he has done. Those metal riffs played on an acoustic guitar are amazing, by the way. What a song the title track is! Sleazy, filthy down and out, and then some. A swamp song from the deepest recesses of Louisiana’s bayous, if there ever was one. The pain and suffering is so palpable you can cut it with a knife, especially with Dee belting out the lyrics with so much venom and spite.
Different in approach and performance, ‘Little ‘Houn, Daddy ‘Houn’ is a duet between Dee and his son Rob. Musically it’s more upbeat than the rest, and albeit a love from a father to a son, there is still a sense of fear. As much as you want to see your kid grow up and lead his own life, it also scares you to see him becoming an adult. Eerie, angry and to the point, in ‘Backstabbed In Backwater’ Mr. Calhoun purges his disgust about being fucked over by your hometown and your love. This is the song for anyone who is, or have been, in a similar situation, as it will lift you above and away from the crap you’re going through.
Aided only by the escalating sound of a snowstorm, Dee sing/speaks the words to Robert Burns’ 1781 poem, ‘Winter: A Dirge’. And what a performance it is! Apart from being a fantastic singer, Mr. Calhoun is a great narrator which he so emphatically shows here. ‘A Long Day’s End’ is a fitting end to a great album. And it also works perfectly as a continuation to ‘Winter: A Dirge’, both musically and lyrically. It follows the way Burns wrote and with the added instrumentation, it is a one of a kind wonder piece.
To return to the beginning, Dee’s magic, apart from his amazing voice and songwriting skills, is the way he takes different styles and tie them together, making everything cohesive and move with an even flow. So many times in the past when a musician steps out from his/her band to make a solo album, it is all over the place making their efforts bland and uninteresting. Mr. Calhoun is on the other end of this spectra. With ‘Rotgut’ he has created a great work of art, while cementing his name as a top class artist even further. As mentioned before: established and fledgling musicians alike, study Dee’s creation and learn from him how to best make a lasting impression.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Sleeping Through The War is coming in 2017
LISTeN UP!!! It’s been the most insane year of our lives. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for the support. We are stoked to announce our new album Sleeping Through The War is coming February 24, 2017. Our first single "Bruce Lee" is premiering right now on Conan O'Brien / Team Coco.
We've also announced brand new US tour dates. More to come.
2017 TOUR DATES
MAR 3 & 4
Cat's Cradle Back Room
New York, NY
Bar Le Ritz
The Empty Bottle
St. Paul, MN
High Noon Saloon
Founders Brewing Co.
Grand Rapids, MI
Gin Blossoms' "New Miserable Experience" 2xLP Vinyl Reissue Out January 31, 2017; Now Available For Pre-Order
New Miserable Experience, the smash major label debut from 90's pop/alt-rock icons Gin Blossoms, will be reissued on colored vinyl on January 31 by srcvinyl.
Originally released on August 4, 1992. The album went on to reach multi-platinum status after the lead single, "Hey Jealousy" entered the top 40, with "Found Out About You" following a few months later.
Pre-orders are available now at: https://www.srcvinyl.com/gin-blossoms-new-miserable-experience-2xlp.html.
New Miserable Experience 2XLP
Release date: Jan 31, 2017 srcvinyl
180 Gram Rusty Brown (LTD 500 copies, SRCVinyl Exclusive)
- Pressed on 180 gram vinyl at 45-RPM
- Gatefold jacket with 11 x 22 insert
A1 Lost Horizon
A3 Mrs. Rita
B1 Until I Fall Away
B2 Hold Me Down
B3 Cajun Song
C1 Hands Are Tied
C2 Found Out About You
C3 Allison Road
D2 Pieces Of The Night
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Birmingham, Alabama based Doom / Heavy Rock outfit EMBER are set to release their debut EP, “261”, via Doomsayer Records on December 1st 2016.
261 was forged by Crystal Bigelow (Vocals), Eric Bigelow (Drums), Jeremy Allan (Bass), Justin Treece (Rhythm Guitar) and Jon Reid (Lead Guitars) – have combined their efforts into this explosive, hard hitting album. Recorded by Eric Watters (Beitthemeans & Stoned Cobra) and mastered by Matt Washburn at Ledbelly Sound (Mastodon, Norma Jean & GZA of Wu Tang). EMBER perfectly blends heavily dynamic riffs with duel guitar textures, solid, no holds barred drumming and vocals that are beautifully haunting and unparalleled. Ember will be supporting this EP throughout the Southern USA in 2017.
The full track list of “261”
1. 7 TH CIRCLE
3. LIVING BONES / DYING FLESH
Artwork by: Eric Bigelow
PRE-ORDER YOUR ALBUM HERE:
MORE INFORMATION AT:
BAND: http://www.emberrockband.com &
Hardcover: 424 Pages
Founded by guitarist Mick Jones and fronted by the legendary Joe Strummer, The Clash had the charisma of Elvis, the integrity of The Beatles, and the swagger of The Rolling Stones. Through a series of influential singles and stirring concerts, The Clash not only outlasted their rivals The Sex Pistols but also prospered and broke through in the US of A, a feat matched by no other UK punk-rock band.
With the classic London Calling and revolutionary triple album Sandinista!, The Clash helped popularise both reggae and hip-hop, thereby indoctrinating the record buying public to world music. By 1982, members of The Clash found themselves not only with a hit album (Combat Rock) but also playing opening sets during The Who's first retirement tour. It appeared The Clash would fill this gap. It was not to be. A series of self-inflicted wounds led to a legendary downfall mere months after appearing in front on their largest audience ever at the U.S. Festival in 1983. Strummer and bassist Paul Simonon soldiered on with the underrated Clash, Round Two, but eventually disintegrated under the weight of their manager's mind games.
In The Clash FAQ, author Gary J. Jucha covers the band's inception and emergence in the early British punk scene, all of the studio albums as well as bootlegs, the band's success in the U.S., the lineup shifts, tours, and more. Fresh in its approach and broad in scope, this an essential volume for every fan.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Waveriders. Real quick. Have you listened to the song "Whales" off of Hail Mary Mallon's latest album Bestiary? Or better yet, have you seen the official music video for "Whales"? No? Well then it's time to rectify that unfortunate oversight! The aforementioned video is embedded at the bottom of this article so scroll down, watch the greatness unfurl before your very eyes, and then resume reading in two minutes and fifteen seconds once the video is over. Go ahead. Enjoy yourselves.
Fantastic, right!? I know! Everything about this song works for me. The lyrics are absurd and absurdly entertaining. The beat is incredibly simple, allowing the vocalists to dominate the listener's attention. Speaking of attention, thanks to it's two minute run time the song doesn't have the chance to wear out it's welcome. In my mind it's nearly perfect! Also, the video is ridiculous. So what about the rest of the album? I'm glad you asked.
A little background information first. Hail Mary Mallon is a hip-hop power trio made up of Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic, and DJ Big Wiz. Besides delivering the vocals Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic also handle all production duties. DJ Big Wiz is responsible for the turntablism. Bestiary is their second album.
From the first moments of Bestiary the listener knows they're in for something very different than anything they might have come across on the radio/tv. The lyrical delivery does not follow standardized patterns on several occasions. Different rhythms to complement all sorts of different rhymes. Also the production is borderline ominous. The way the bass lines and beats percolate through the speakers keeps the listener on edge from start to finish.
Bestiary is an incredibly cohesive album. The songs, while distinct, readily flow into one another. "Whales" is definitely my favorite track but I am also incredibly partial to "Dollywood", "King Cone", and album opener "Jonathan". Bottom line waveriders? Click on the second embedded video, listen to the entire album of musical goodness while watching someone who is far better at playing Donkey Kong than anyone has any right to be, and then buy your own copy of Bestiary. Hail Hail Mary Mallon! We (or at least I) thank you for making music more interesting.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Ripple Music is proud to announce the worldwide signing of UK stoner/doom rockers Poseidon to their ever growing roster of top-notch heavy bands. Having gestated for almost a year in the guts of East London, Poseidon rise to the fore. With their seeds rooted firmly in the dense sounds of 70's rock and Doom metal, and having spawned from bands including the now defunct Light Bearer, the band bring together a sound that celebrates the vastness of the sonic landscape. From a rage of aggressive riffs, barked vocals and elemental drums to swimming rhythms and earthy melodies, Poseidon invoke the catastrophic nature which occupy both ends of their musical spectrum and dive head first into the abyss of the melancholic.
Raza Khan on signing to Ripple:
“A chance to sign to a label of this realm and reputation, doesn't come everyday. Poseidon are honoured and humbled to become part of the Ripple family, alongside such luminaries as Wo Fat, Mos Generator and Mothership. We couldn’t imagine better people to work with than Todd and Pope, and we cant wait to unleash the first Poseidon release next year!”
Poseidon bring a whole new dynamic to their heavy rock, with pulverizing heavy riffs, moments of stark, barren beauty, and mixture of Neurosis-ish drone and nuclear test site volume. Or, as Kerrang! Magazine has said, "Poseidon are so heavy they'd probably trigger a tidal wave if they played too close to the docks!" Poseidon are currently writing their debut studio album, set for a 2017 release.
Having already stormed major festivals such as DesertFest London, Bloodstock Open Air, and Hard Rock Hell, and having shared the stage with the likes of Mastodon, Orange Goblin and Electric Citizen, Poseidon aims to take their critical success to new heights on their upcoming debut for Ripple Music. 2017 will surely see Poseidon back on the road again, and at the forefront of the heavy rock and metal world.
Stay tuned for more news coming soon!
Raza khan - Drums
Matt Norris - Guitar
Matthew Bunkell - bass/vocals
Jamie Starke - guitar
Monday, November 21, 2016
June 2014 changed my life within the music sphere drastically. A duo from Moncton, New Brunswick in Canada blew my mind wide open and altered the way I look on music forever. Yes, I am of course talking about the mighty Zaum and their amazing other-worldly debut, 'Oracles'. They are now back with their sophomore release and I couldn't be happier. Although that worry bomb feeling sneaked in: "can they build on the debut and move on even further", there was no need at all for me to doubt Messieurs McDonald and Lewis. The world of mysticism and grandeur they created on the debut is still here but so much more expanded. All your senses are treated to an experience it’s hard to put words to but I’ll do my very best. As great as ‘Oracles’ is, ‘Eidolon’ is even better and that is no mean feat. It takes certain musicians to pull off something like that and Kyle and Chris are those musicians!
Never ones to do anything half measured, Zaum put “only” two songs on ‘Eidolon’. Both are truly epic compositions clocking in at just over 41 minutes. From the moment ‘Influence Of The Magi’ opens the gates to the magical lost world inhabits, and all the way until ‘The Enlightenment’ closes the book for now, I am lost in a meditative, trance-inducing state of mind having been transported to a world of true wonder. Cleansing and cathartic as well as healing, no one can as for more in music.
Immediately ‘Influence Of The Magi’ me under it’s spell and after barely two minutes, I find myself hypnotized by a chant-like voice, the shifting sound of the wind and the presence of something otherworldy. By the time the distorted bass guitar and drums kick in, I am under Zaum’s command. And when Kyle starts to sing, a vastness of glory and evil; of enormous power, wealth and knowledge, as well as insubordinance, fear and greed opens up before me. And it feels like I explode into a million pieces when the surge of this lost ancient world washes through me.
All of a sudden I find myself thrown into the center of the protagonist and antagonist of Zaum’s wonderful storytelling. Smells, visions, sounds and colours are amazingly vivid and as real as they possibly could be. Even though I see the real world around me while listening, the band holds their grip tight on me and as despite some frightful situations depicted within the story, I don’t want to let go. Please, let me stay in ‘Eidolon’!
Looking back in time, there are so many great albums, from all kinds of genres, that have hit home deeply with me for different reasons. Those are the ones I still go back to for guidance, to get inspiration, to feel better. You name it. ‘Eidolon’ has joined this fantastic group but in a way I’ve never experienced before. As mentioned above, I am transported to a world that is as magnificent as it is fearsome and still I don’t want to leave! The total experience of this album is beyond words even though I’ve tried to do it justice. And I am so thankful for the opportunity to take part in what Zaum is doing. Because…this duo is something else!
Sunday, November 20, 2016
“HORNSS have got an overdriven sound that sounds like a sexy volcano god jizzing red-hot globs of lava straight into your ears.”
“This is a chiseled, successful and infectious-as-f*ck slice of zeitgeist wed to the evergreen freshness of rock ‘n’ roll.”
“These tunes are f*cking rock n’ roll…”
Following up on the release of their 2013 debut No Blood, No Sympathy on RidingEasy Records, San Franciscan trio HORNSS return this November with their highly anticipated new album Telepath, on Ripple Music/STB Records.
Initially formed in 2010 with a line-up later completed by drummer Bil Bowman – formerly of Zodiac Killers, blackQueen and Scrog – HORNSS have gained a worldwide reputation on the stoner rock and doom scene, taking to stages with fellow heavy hitters such as Ufomammut, YOB, Windhand, Bang, Black Cobra, Fatso Jetson, Lord Dying, Naam and Elder, as well as co-headlining a successful 2014 European tour with Vancouver’s Black Wizard.
Amped up on that heavy, fuzzed-out punk and doom groove, unlike some that are simply content to adopt that “desert sound”, HORNSS were practically born into it. Moulded by it from the very beginning in the case of members Mike Moracha and Nick Nava who both got their start on the Palm Desert scene with the band Solarfeast, alongside ex-Kyuss/Evolution’s End member Chris Cockrell.
Recorded directly to analog tape at Green's Louder Studios in Grass Valley, California by Tim Green (Saviours, Melvins, KARP, Comets On Fire, Hot Lunch) Telepath is the follow-up to the trio’s acclaimed debut and showcases a band that is every inch the force you’d hope they would be given their heritage, influence and the arid air that shaped their sound. Drawing on influences such as Hawkwind, Saint Vitus and The Ramones, they deliver devastating doom, death punk fury (both Mike and Nick were also founding members of San Fran punk band The Jack Saints), stoned out meanderings and crushing desert progressions that will strike a chord no matter where your allegiances lie.
Telepath is released on CD/Digital through Ripple Music on 18th November and is available on vinyl now through STB Records.
Mike Moracha – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Nava – Bass, Vocals
Bil Bowman – Drums
1. St Genevieve
4. In Fields Of Lyme
5. Sargasso Heart
6. Prince Of A Thousand Enemies
7. The Black Albatross
8. Leaving Thermal
9. The Airtight Garage
10. Old Ghosts
11. Galactic Derelict
Release Date: 18th November 2016
Label: Ripple Music/STB Records