Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ragin' Ripple Sale Happening now! Plus Steak, Doublestone and the new Thin Lizzy Tribute with Mothership!

Time for a huge, ragin' Ripple sale!  Let's clear some space in the warehouse for some new, killer releases comin' down the line.  While supplies last: $5 CD's and $7 LP's on selected back catalog titles.  2xLP's as low as $10 and limited edition vinyl going for $15! If you've been dying to fill some holes in your Ripple collection, now's the time.  We haven't run a sale like this in a long time, and don't know when we'll do it again, so take advantage while you can!
Steak "No God to Save" is here and the press is buzzing.  "Steak have once again staked their claim to the very finest of heavy rock with ‘No God To Save‘." -- Riff Relevant.   Limited Edition, Black Edition and CD's are all nearly gone as of this writing, but a scant few remain.  Don't hesitate, this one really is tasty.
The Press is also buzzing about the latest offering from Danish retro-heavy psych rockers, Doublestone.  Firmly in the vein of Graveyard, Uncle Acid and Kadavar, but plowing a road all their own.  Organic and heavy, a true treat.  Two vinyl versions and CD's still available.
Our good friends at Glory or Death Records have announced their first vinyl release, the first in their series of Bow to Your Masters tribute albums. They chose a special band to pay tribute to: Thin Lizzy.  They've got some killer bands, including three from the Ripple family so far (Mothership, Mos Generator and Red Wizard - with more to come!) putting their unique spins on classic Lizzy songs:

    Mos Generator (Seattle)
    Egypt (Fargo)
    Mothership (Dallas)
    High on Fire (Oakland)
    White Dog (Austin)
    Red Wizard (San Diego)
    Slow Season (San Diego)
    KOOK (San Jose)
    Great Electric Quest (Oceanside)
    Sacri Monti (Encinitas)
    Harsh Toke (San Diego)

The Kickstarter featuring limited vinyl and art packages ends on 5/30/17.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Noiseworks - Noiseworks

Back in the late eighties an Australian friend of mine, whom I've sadly lost touch with since, sent me a cassette of a Sydney-based band. It was their self-titled debut and the band in question was Noiseworks. At this point in time, this five-piece were completely unknown to me and based off of the artwork, a photo of the band against a white backdrop with the logo above, I had no clue what to expect. However, once the music started I was sold - hook, line and sinker!

Australian rock and pop of the eighties had a particular sound. Can't honestly describe it in words but to this day that sound is very identifiable in a good way. And Noiseworks are not exempt of this. They deftly embrace their heritage while going full tilt with awesome hooks, great lyrics and a lot of emotion. What baffles me is that the guys were labeled a pub rock band. Maybe that was the case in their infant years but ‘Noiseworks’ is anything but. Then again, we all look at things differently.

Several permeating features throughout ‘Noiseworks’ are, amongst other things, the prominent bass guitar. It keeps the rhythm but at the same time goes off on it’s own excursions, which gives the music more substance. The guitar tone is airy, free and floating both in the riffs and the lead work. And the way it tag teams with the keyboard is refreshing. Almost like a twin-axe attack. Lastly, Jon Stevens’ voice is something else. Beautiful, yet desperate with great range which brings out the meaning in the lyrics perfectly.

This is a great debut album through and through with no low points at all. Still, as always, I find some tracks that stands out more than the others. ‘Burning Feeling’ is a mid-tempo rocker with hooks to kill about yearning for an adrenaline rush no matter what. A heartfelt plea for forgiveness and redemption ‘Take Me Back’ hits home with anyone who’s lost someone and it’s irreversible, forever. ‘No Lies’ picks up the pace as the band ponders the devious ways of an ex-partner who’s pulls out all the stops to reel you back into a bad relationship. ‘River Of Tears’ tells the tale of finding yourself while watching others, maybe a loved one, remain in limbo not wanting to change. ‘Welcome To The World’ is a song telling two sides of the coin. One child is born into a nice safe world being fed from a golden spoon, while another is born to fight. Stand up and make a difference wherever you come from.

Despite not having released any studio albums since ‘Love vs. Money’ in 1991, Noiseworks have been active on and off with various old and new members. The latest I heard the ‘Noiseworks’ lineup was back and recorded an album slated for a 2016 release but as far as I know that wax is still locked up in a vault somewhere.
In between all this bassist Balbi and keyboardist Stanley formed the semi-successful Electric Hippies before working with David Bowie, Tom Jones and Michael Hutchence(Balbi) and Beck, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow and Prince(Stanley). Singer Jon Stevens has, besides a long solo career, worked with INXS and Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as forming the music collective The Dead Daisies, whom he no longer performs with.


Monday, May 22, 2017

The Flying Eyes Sign to Ripple Music for New Album Due Out This Fall

“…The Flying Eyes appeared and cast their hypnotic power over the crowd.”

Ripple Music is thrilled to welcome Baltimore's heavy psych rockers, The Flying Eyes, to it's roster of the best of modern heavy psych, stoner, doom and heavy rock.

The Flying Eyes name comes from a 1962 science fiction novel about giant, disembodied eyes that descend from outer space to control humanity...

Since forming ten years ago, they have released four albums, several 7" singles, and toured the world, supporting bands such as Dead Meadow, The Raveonettes, The Black Angels and Dan Auerbach among others.  The Flying Eyes have achieved a notable following in Europe with extensive club touring and festival appearances. Highlights include: Burg Herzberg Festival (sharing the main stage with Jeff Beck and Hawkwind), Rockpalast Crossroads Festival, Stoned From The Underground (DE), Desert Fest Belgium (BE), Trutnov Open Air (CZ) as well as the Synchronicity Festival in India.

After extensive touring in South America, playing shows and festivals in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, they linked up with producer Gabriel Zander (Mars Red Sky) at Super Fuzz Studio in Rio de Janeiro to record their upcoming Ripple Music debut album Burning of the Season. Season is a return to the band’s roots of fuzzed-out blues and soulful psychedelia with the maturity and craftsmanship of age. Coming out this fall on Ripple Music (US and non-European Territories), it is their heaviest statement to date.

California-based Ripple Music is one of the world's leading record labels for heavy rock, heavy psych, stoner and doom.  Ripple Music is distributed world-wide by MVD Distributors, as well as H'art, Plastichead, Borders, Suburban, Goodfellows and more.  All releases are available on the Ripple Website and Ripple Music Bandcamp.  Check out for more info and news.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Midnight Messiah – Led Into Temptation

“Led Into Temptation” is the sophmore release from British band Midnight Messiah.  Formed by Phil Denton (guitars) and Paul Taylor (vocals) from the ashes of NWOBHM cult favorites Elixir.  Like it's predecessor, “Root of All Evil” - “Led into Temptation” has the sort of NWOBHM vibe but it , in fact the song “The Sinner Must Die” starts off with a moody into very reminiscent of Elixir's “Llagaren” from the “Sovereign Remedy” album.

I can go through every track and say “This sounds like Judas Priest, this sounds like Thin Lizzy...” yes Midnight Messiah wear their influences proudly. Just a sample lyric from “Hellbound” -”They Tell me Hell Ain't a bad place to be” - any band that cites Bon Scott era AC/DC has a special place in my heart.  “Second Coming” has a dual guitar solo very similar to Judas Priest's “Freewheel Burning”.  “Go to the Light” has an anthemic chorus like all the 80's Scorpions songs....see? “While Heaven Bleeds” is Dio-era Sabbath.   There's nothing wrong with paying tribute to the bands that helped shape ones musical direction.  There's cowbell on the intro to the otherwise very heavy “Merry Widow” - how cool is that?? HEAVY METAL COWBELL!!!

To be honest, it's going to be hard to write a non biased review of this CD.  I've loved everything I've heard from the Elixir family from the second they took the stage in NJ 11 years ago and my jaw fell on the floor when I heard the opening notes of “Star of Beshaan”.

The biggest compliment I can give is if I ever get good enough and form my own band they won't sound very much different than Midnight Messiah.  This is recommended for fans of the classics – but again with a modern twist and modern production. 


Midnight Mesiah are:
Paul Taylor – vocals
Phil Denton – guitars, bass, keyboards
Darren Lee – Drums
Dave Strange – Lead Guitar on tracks 3, 4, 5, 10 & 11

Track Listing:
Second Coming
Led into Temptation
The Merry Widow
Go to the Light
Return of the King
The Darklands
While Heaven Bleeds

Bonus Tracks:
Right Place, Wrong Time
King of the Night (2017 remix)

Find Midnight Messiah online:

Photos by Electric Eye Photography.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Bandcamp Bonanza – BBBBBB

The irony in today’s title is the featured album initials are BBB and the article series here is also BBB. Double Triple B’s. Killer B’s. I thought that was cool, what I also think is that you should listen to the recommendations in today’s feature of Bucky’s Bandcamp Bonanza.

Buttered Bacon Biscuits – From The Solitary Woods
What we have here folks is a reissue for the first time on vinyl the defunct band who later formed the monster what is Witchwood deep in the Italian woods. I urge you to grab the vinyl edition of this as Jolly Rogers Records is doing the world a service by putting this out there. Extremely limited, this will likely only get pressed once and you have your chance to be one of the few and one of the proud vinyl junkies. As there is only a couple tracks streaming on bandcamp, you get the full album with digital purchase and it is impeccable. Trust me.
What a well executed and masterfully written album. If you're here you probably have the Witchwood stuff already and this is the prelude to that. If you're new, sit back, relax and let the melodies drift you away to a time when the sun baked oranger and the smoke rung heavier. BBB bring classic rock full circle including haunting keys, arena filling rhythm, mind-melting psych, and deep brooding blues with a vocal package soaring at the crossroads of Dickie Betts meets Use Your Illusion era Axl Rose.

Mind Reverse – Mind Reverse EP
This one just ticks all the right boxes and is an enjoyable listen no matter what your mood.
Nice fusion of punky garage blues and progressive psych rock. One that gets better with each listen. Quite impressive.

This one may go down in many year-end lists. Interesting trivia, Tony Hawk’s kid is the frontman for this impressive band. Southern California skater rawk at its finest!!!
Petyr come launching out of nowhere with a blazing set of cosmic riffage on its self-titled smasher. Heavy psych hasn't felt this good since your first trip on magic mushrooms. The laser blues laced skater punk jam layers of extraterrestrial fuzz into empty pools of Witch meets Earthless. Hot damn!!

The Wicked Ones – The Wicked Ones
Ya, this is a wicked one. I especially like the hard edged groove and the vocal assault. So mean, yet so clean. Price is right too. Can’t afford not to.
This is where the Steve Rodgers in me says "Gods Holy Trousers" Ravishing vocals wailing over dominating bass lines and wickedly constructed metallic fuzz. Add in a distorted cover of Jefferson Airplane and I think we've got somebody to love. Holy fucking crap!

King Zong – King Zong
Sounds like the album looks, and seems to be getting welcomed attention in the heavy side of the heavy underground. Dig it.
King Zog comes out ripping hard on the riff bong taking the low and slow doomy blues to the 5th dimension

Feuerzeug – Dead Wahines and Psunamis
These guys just came on my radar and come to find out as blown away as I was about this old material, our president Racer was all over it back in the day. Review here. They’ve gone into hibernation but rumor has it they are back together and working on new material. Keep your ears out for Feuerzeug, as they’ve got big news to unleash soon.
Absolutely punishing fuzz catapulted by unrelenting groove after groove. The bass rumbles tirelessly beneath the distorted riffs which echo against a clean, powerful vocal.

Well that was fun. What do you think of all this madness? Give us your suggestions. What are you listening to other than the obvious albums mentioned here right this minute? Inquiring minds want to know. Don’t be scared join the party, pitch your tent, follow us on bandcamp, and comment below.

-The Huntsman

Friday, May 19, 2017

Aesop Rock - The Impossible Kid

Greetings waveriders.  Today I have something a little different to present for your listening pleasure.  The Impossible Kid is the latest album from Aesop Rock.  Aesop Rock is an incredibly gifted hip-hop emcee/producer.  If you've been reading The Ripple Effect regularly you might recognize his name.  Back in November of 2016 I reviewed an album entitled Bestiary by Hail Mary Mallon, a group composed of Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic, and DJ Big Wiz.  I love that album and would willingly use it as a straightforward introduction to this new solo work if I could.  The Impossible Kid however is an entirely different animal.

What makes this album different from other hip-hop albums you might hear, let alone Bestiary?  Good question.  First and foremost is the lyrical content and delivery.  If you want to hear the next good time jam or party anthem this is not your stop.  On second thought, I shouldn't say that.  What do I know?  Aesop Rock weaves intricate tales of adulthood, introspection, and melancholy that may in fact be just what your upcoming shindig requires to make it truly legendary!

Anyway, the subject matter covered by these fifteen tracks is often highly sobering.  I particularly appreciate songs like "Blood Sandwich" which examines vivid memories of Aesop's brothers and "Shrunk" which breaks down a combative back and forth between Aesop and a psychologist.  "Rings", "Lotta Years", and "Dorks" each reflect on mortality in their own unique way.  "Defender" is ostensibly about taking part in a neighborhood watch and then there's "Kirby", an epic and awesome ode to Aesop's cat.  "Shrunk" and "Lotta Years" happen to be my favorite tracks on the album.

Waveriders I know that you've come across reviews which proclaim that a particular album is "mature".  My friends, I'm here to tell you that The Impossible Kid is the perfect example of a "mature" work from an accomplished artist.  Aesop Rock has produced a collection of tunes that will provoke serious thought.  Add to that the extremely groovy production and we've got a winner!  Get your copy and start contemplating today!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

HE IS ME - Cleansing (Single)


He Is Me is collaboration between Portland based songwriter and musician/producer Casey Braunger and Calgary, AB based songwriter/vocalist Steve Moore. Casey and Steve first collaborated on a 2001 track called "Silencer". Fast forward to 2016, when Casey reached out to Steve about guest vocals on a new song, Steve liked it so much that they decided to form a new project.

This fourth single that they have released is a down tempo, electronic/industrial song that has angst, anger and enough edge to grab you and pull your ears into the swirling morass that they have concocted. The vocals and subtle at time, but then they turn savage and the song goes into a pounding drill into your soul. The guys have come up with a song that takes a little from here and there and makes it into something that you will want to replay over and over again.

This certainly hits the right buttons and makes me anxious to hear what they will come out with in the future. Stop being a tease and get a whole album out already!

-Rick Ecker

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sacramento hard rock outfit Misamore Release Video For Bloody Mary

Sacramento based hard-rock trio Misamore have dropped their video for "Bloody Mary" online at The track is the new single from Misamore's brand new "Monolith".

"The song 'Bloody Mary' was written a few years before the recording of Misamore's full-length album, "Monolith". The song deals with the destruction of what little innocence we have and how it all fundamentally is the same feeling that sends us in the same direction," commented Misamore's Josh Amolsch. "Originally, the video was planned to be a woman losing her virginity and then giving birth in the snow and bleeding to death, but we thought that might be too graphic and "real" for people. There was also plans for the band to be in the video, playing around burning trash barrels in the snow. But the lyric video seemed more appropriate for a few reasons. Those being that the listeners probably want to understand what the lyrics are saying and the another was to focus on the story of how easy it is to make bad decisions and how quickly they will cause things to crumble."

Sacramento, CA-based power-trio titans Misamore refuse to rest. Misamores' drummer, Cameron Ellis, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 20 years old which was immediately removed. Despite the struggles, music was always a driving force while he searched for solutions. He is now healthy and stable. Bassist Mike Dragony suffers from celiac disease, a long-term autoimmune disorder primarily affecting the small intestine that occurs in people with acute sensitivity to gluten and other foods that can cause severe abdominal pain. During the making of the album "Horizon" in 2010, Dragony was rushed to the hospital and almost died. While battling through health scares that would cause most people to throw in the towel, Misamore has persevered and continued to create infectious hard rock.
With fourteen years in, a five-song EP, a single and now a full length album to tout, Misamore has proven that it will take more than a pesky thing like a brain tumor or a near death experience from Celiac Disease to slow them down.

Misamore's new offering, “Monolith”, is what Loud & Heavy calls “a top to bottom solid body of work” with many peers in the Sacramento music scene praising the release as an “evolutionary piece” and “Flawless”.

GOATWHORE Announces North American Tour With Anciients; Band To Unleash Vengeful Ascension June 23rd Via Metal Blade Records

GOATWHORE, who are currently wrapping up a tour with label mates Amon Amarth, will play the Fort Worth Metal Fest at the The Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas at the end of the month before taking to the streets again for a near-three-week North American journey from June 9th through July 1st. Support will be provided by Vancouver metallers, Anciients. See all confirmed dates below.

GOATWHORE w/ Amon Amarth [remaining dates]:
5/16/2017 The Cotillion - Wichita, KS
5/17/2017 Boulder Theatre - Boulder, CO
5/18/2017 Lookout - Omaha, NE * GOATWHORE only
5/19/2017 The Blue Note - Columbia, MO
5/20/2017 Mercury Ballroom - Louisville, KY
End Tour
5/27-28/2017 Fort Worth Metal Fest @ The Rail Club - Ft. Worth, TX
w/ Anciients:
6/09/2017 The Rock Box - San Antonio, TX
6/10/2017 Backstage Lubbock Depot - Lubbock, TX
6/11/2017 Launchpad - Albuquerque, NM
6/12/2017 The Green Rom - Flagstaff, AZ
6/14/2017 Stork Club - Oakland, CA
6/15/2017 Old Nick's Pub - Eugene, OR
6/16/2017 Northwest Terror Fest @ Neumos - Seattle, WA
6/20/2017 Generator Cabaret - Prince George, BC
6/21/2017 Distortion - Calgary, AB
6/22/2017 Brixx Bar & Grill - Edmonton, AB
6/23/2017 Riddell Center - Regina, SK
6/24/2017 Windsor Hotel - Winnipeg, MB
6/25/2017 Triple Rock Social Club - Minneapolis, MN
6/26/2017 The Metal Grill - Cudahy, WI
6/27/2017 Frankies - Bryan, OH
6/29/2017 George's Majestic Lounge - Springdale, AR
6/30/2017 Vino's Brewpub - Little Rock, AR
7/01/2017 Maggie Meyers Irish Pub - Huntsville, AL

GOATWHORE will release their anticipated Vengeful Ascension full-length worldwide on June 23rd via Metal Blade Records. The band's seventh full-length and second recorded reel-to-reel, Vengeful Ascension was captured at Earth Analog in Tolono, Illinois near Champaign with longtime soundman and comrade Jarrett Pritchard (1349, Gruesome).

The ten-track, forty-one-minute production - mixed by Chris Common (Tribulation, Pelican) and mastered by Maor Applebaum (Faith No More, Halford, Today Is The Day) - marches in, clutches its listeners by the throat and refuses to loosen its grip until the abrupt conclusion of "Those Who Denied God's Will." A sonic manifestation of war, chaos, desolation, and emotional conflict, seamlessly bridging twenty years of the band's signature brand of audio venom, it's a record that finds its members at their most accomplished both individually and as a cohesive unit. Guitarist Sammy Duet's dense, sub nuclear riff work and possessed solo blitzes are at their most devastating spiraling flawlessly and instinctually around drummer Zack Simmons' and bassist James Harvey's hammering rhythms while vocalist Ben Falgoust's distinctly commanding roar, his acidic prose more enunciated than ever before, complimenting the apocalyptic proceedings.

Vengeful Ascension will be available on CD, vinyl (in multiple limited color variations), and digital formats. Various Vengeful Ascension preorder options are currently available at where you can also sample the record's title track.

GOATWHORE Recording Lineup:
Louis B. Falgoust II - vocals
Sammy Duet - guitars, vocals
Zack Simmons - drums
James Harvey - bass

GOATWHORE Touring Lineup:
Louis B. Falgoust II - vocals
Sammy Duet - guitars, vocals
Zack Simmons - drums
Robert "TA" Coleman - bass

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mammùt Share New Track "Breathe Into Me" || Announce New Album 'Kinder Versions' Out 7/14 On Bella Union

Icelandic bands often resemble a force of nature, and Mammút are no exception. Today the band are thrilled to announce their spectacular new album Kinder Versions that is due for release on July 14th through Bella Union. Alongside this announcement Mammút have shared the powerful first track from the album, entitled “Breathe Into Me", which is streaming HERE.

Mammút is Icelandic for ‘mammoth’ – the name that singer Katrína Mogensen “plucked out of the air” when she joined guitarists Alexandra Baldursdóttir and Arnar Pétursson, bassist Ása Dýradóttir and drummer Andri Bjartur Jakobsson for their stage debut, aged just 14. Katrína is the daughter of bassist Birgir Mogensen, a former bandmate of Björk back when they were young post-punk adventurers; a questing spirit that Mammút have also unconsciously adopted, though without ever really discussing what kind of music they play. “We’re so close as a band, we have no limits for each other, no boundaries, we just follow our gut instincts,” says Katrína.

It worked from the off; they quickly won the Músíktilraunir ‘battle of the bands’ and thereafter nominations and awards at the Icelandic Music Awards: their third album Komdu til Mín Svarta Systir won three of its eight nominations in 2014, including Album (Pop & Rock) and Song (Pop & Rock) for their epically slow-burning ‘Salt’. And with vocalist Katrína now singing in English, there’s a chance much more of the planet will discover what their homeland has known for a while.

Kinder Versions intense character is obvious from the get-go, with opening tracks “We Tried Love” and the title track the album’s two longest, at over seven and six minutes respectively, embodying everything that is thrilling about Mammút’s ebbing and flowing dynamic. “With those lyrics and the soundscape, those songs had to be the introduction,” Katrína vouches. “And with the [the sparser, gentler] ‘Bye Bye’ following, it’s the most honest way into the album.”

Mammút’s shows at last November’s Iceland Airwaves festival solicited rave reviews from The Arts Desk - “Hard-edged, rocky, circular songs with folky, spiritual melodies… Unreservedly fantastic” - and Rolling Stone, which referred to Katrína’s “icy, piercing vengeance” and the music’s “arena-worthy, shamanistic hard rock.”

Mammút will be one of three acts appearing on Bella Union's mini-tour later this month in Europe alongside their label-mates Pavo Pavo and Will Stratton, which marks the beginning of the label’s 20th Anniversary celebrations. They will also be appearing at Bella Union’s night at The Great Escape.
Kinder Versions track listing:

1. We Tried Love
2. Kinder Versions
3. Bye Bye
4. The Moon Will Never Turn On Me
5. Breathe Into Me
6. Walls
7. What’s Your Secret
8. Pray For Air
9. Sorrow

Pre-order Kinder Versions on iTunes

DESTROYER OF LIGHT: Austin quartet to unearth Chamber of Horrors this July | Stream and share new song ‘Prisoner of Eternity’

Hailing from Austin, TX, harbingers of doom Destroyer of Light are no idlers. Within a year of forming in 2012 and with little mind to wait around, the heavy-as-hell/louder-than-war quartet released their self-titled EP themselves and in doing so kick started what would became an ongoing DIY endeavor driven by huge riffs, hallowed tales and endless road journeys.

No matter which rock you look under there’s no hiding the fact that the band is heavily indebted to the darker side of stoner metal and everything that goes along with it. Bathed in an aural haze and ominous song craft, Destroyer of Light’s music is unmistakably one of grim theatricality and crushing heavy metal dirges. Influences such as Electric Wizard, Mercyful Fate, EYEHATEGOD and Autopsy serve as striking counterpoints to the literary and filmic references they dig up in Wiccan-stalked forests and horror anthologies. Following up on their debut in 2014 with their second release Bizarre Tales Vol. 2, if anyone just so happened to be in any doubt, death and destruction is very much the order of service and confessional sermons are delivered in a constant sea of feedback and percussive right hooks.

This July however Destroyer of Light are primed to unearth their latest album, a haunting and humid foray into the realms of doom rock, aptly titled Chamber of Horrors. Dragging their music into a cavernous basement to experiment freely with underground sounds, listeners are treated to a ritual ear beating and a memorable trip into psychedelic realms unknown.

Chamber of Horrors by Destroyer of Light will be released on 14th July on Heavy Friends Records. In the meantime, stream and share new song ‘Prisoner of Eternity’ here –

Destroyer of Light:

Steve Colca – Guitar/Vocals
Jeff Klein – Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar
Penny Turner – Drums

Chamber of Horrors by Destroyer of Light is released on 14th July on Heavy Friends Records:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Striker - Striker

Dig it waveriders.  I've got this totally radical collection of tunes to tell you about!  It's this ace album called Striker and it was released earlier this year.  Coincidentally, the band that produced this gem is named Striker as well.  Wicked, right?  I know!  So let me explain why you should be interested in this music.

Do you remember the 1980s?  Striker does!  In case you don't recall the 80s witnessed the rise of glam metal, the emergence of thrash metal, the latter stages of the NWOBHM, etc.  Essentially, there was a lot going on in the realm of heavy metal.  Striker distills elements from all across the metallic landscape of that decade into a fine mash engineered for maximum potency.  One song, maybe two?  You're over the legal limit and flying high!

Songs like album opener "Former Glory", "Born To Lose", and "Shadows In The Light" draw heavily from the book of glam.  These tracks revel in their hearty melody lines and devilishly catchy hooks.  Those listeners more interested in songs which will ceaselessly pummel their eardrums should look no further than "Pass Me By" and "Curse Of The Dead".  Their pitiless thrash elements cannot be denied.  If you want more traditional metal or favor the sounds of the NWOBHM the one-two punch of "Rock The Night" and "Over The Top" will be your premiere listening destination.  Special mention also goes to "Freedom's Call" and closing track "Desire".  These two compositions show the full range of what Striker is capable of delivering, connecting the dots of all their influences to form powerfully compelling songs.

Waveriders you don't have to be a die hard fan of 1980s heavy metal in order to appreciate Striker.  The music they create is downright infectious and overflowing with vitality.  On the other hand, if you are someone who loves the metal of the 80s and haven't been exposed to Striker until now then my friend your ship has come in!  Listen.  Enjoy.  Support.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Sunday Conversation With . . . Fire Down Below

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?

Bert: One of the most profound musical epiphanies in my life was hearing Sleep’s Dopesmoker for the first time. To me, that song/album just proves that there are no rules or boundaries when you’re riffing out. You can make it as long, as loud, as heavy as you want and people will still be able to connect to it. You can just do your own thing and if it’s good, people will get it. Maybe not all the people, but the right people will.

Kevin: For me it was hearing Tool’s Aenima for the first time. It was literally the first album I ever bought. The heaviness, the odd time signatures, the melodies, … it really all came together. None of my friends at that time were listening to that kind of music, and I loved it even more just because of that!

Sam: I know this is going to get some frowning but hearing Metallica’s Saint Anger for the first time was a kind of epiphany for me. Many people hate it, but I love it haha!

Jeroen: The first time I heard Neil Young’s solo in ‘Like a Hurricane’ it sent shivers down my spine. He makes his guitar speak with so much pain and sorrow in its voice. It made me realise the power of music and the way it can be used to translate emotions and feelings.

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?

Jeroen: We all bring riffs and ideas to the table, it’s not like we have a single person writing the songs. Then we discuss and everyone has input on each other’s ideas and we see where it goes from there. We take our time to get everything just right. As long we’re not all convinced every part is 100% spot on we keep thinking, adjusting. That makes for a slower process, but on the other hand we know that if all four of us are sure a song kicks ass, it really does.

Sam: When we wrote our debut album, Viper Vixen Goddess Saint, we had the songs roughly finished and then thought about how we could fit the parts of the puzzle in such a way that the total would be more than the sum of the parts. We really wanted the album to feel as a whole, not just a collection of tracks. Transitions, building and releasing tension throughout the album, that kinda stuff is important to us too. With the new album we’re writing now, we have sort of a background story to work with. It helps to focus our ideas and choose directions, but it’s still loose and vague enough for us to be able to fit in a great idea that seems to want go somewhere else entirely.
Jeroen: Lyrics are usually the last step in completing the song, I often only finalize on them days before recording, or even in the studio.

Who has influenced you the most?

Kevin: I don’t have one particular guitar player or band that I admire the most. What really influences me most are musicians that are able to convey emotions, whatever emotion that may be really… When I’m listening to Rage Against The Machine or Nine Inch Nails for instance, I can really hear the outrage and aggressiveness in the music and lyrics. It’s genuine, it’s awesome. Kyuss just oozes cool. Frusciante’s ability to let his strat really weep ... Layne Staley’s vocal melodies bring chills down my spine, even after listening to their entire catalogue a zillion times. I’m also a sucker for big, epic, larger than life songs. Mastodon’s song The Last Baron comes to mind, or The End by The Doors, and anything Tool has ever made should be mandatory in any music class. If any band has influenced me the most, I would say that has to be Tool.

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

Kevin: When sitting down with my guitar to write new riffs, I kinda always start out by wondering what kind of song I want to make. I very often work with images. For instance, what kind of music would I like to hear when cruising through the desert? Or what kind of music would fit a scene with an astronaut floating through space for all eternity, fully aware of the impending doom he brought upon the world? Or what riffs and solo’s would be appropriate for a raging mammoth coming down the hill? I’m very happy with how we nailed that last example on the album.

Sam: I always try to come with something new, try some grooves that I haven’t played before and that no one would expect.

Bert: A cool riff, a great groove, a good melody … hearing great music motivates me to make music … And seeing how easy it is to discover great new music nowadays, I’m basically always motivated :-). We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

Kevin: We’re all from different places in the Belgian province of West-Flanders, but I guess you could say the band’s hometown is Ghent. Ghent is actually a really nice place. It’s an old city, with a medieval center, but there are a lot of young people that stick around after they graduate from university/college which makes for a fresh, youthful atmosphere. Music-wise there’s a lot going on in all sorts of genres, there are places where you can go see a metal band on one day and then the next day there’s an electronic pop band on the stage. I guess you could make the point that our music also mixes different influences in an effort to keep things new and fresh.

Where'd the band name come from?

Bert: The insatiable fire in the loins of a drummer Jeroen and I used to play with back in the days. Then sometime later, we found out it was actually a Steven Segal movie, but at that point we didn’t want to abandon the name. Then later still, we found out that it’s also the name of a porn flick. Guess that just proves there’s a certain ring to the name.

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

Kevin: Lost Highway by David Lynch. A true masterpiece that defies definition. It’s such a distorted picture that you can literally go anywhere with the soundtrack. Creepy, check. Fuzzed out, check. Doomy, check. Jazzy, check. But the soundtrack already has Bowie, Trent Reznor, Rammstein and Marilyn Manson on it, so it’d be a pretty tough challenge to do better than that ;-)

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

Bert: I would choose the song ‘Simple Things’ by the Belgian band Cowboys & Aliens. They were the first Belgian band to explore music in the style of Kyuss. They’re pretty damn amazing, but they never quite got the major breakthrough they deserved. Do yourself a favor and go listen to their album ‘Love Sex Volume’ (it’s on YouTube), you will not be disappointed!

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

Jeroen: One time, during an afternoon gig in a bar, an old lady walked in with her dog. She approached the stage, gleamed at us for a few seconds, then started yanking out cables at random. She called us hellspawn and minions of Satan and claimed our music was terrifying her dog. After she was removed from the stage by the bar owner she hung around complaining some more, until we started blasting out riffs even louder. The dog seemed to be doing just fine, but granny threw one last fit, then finally left. Twenty minutes later, just as we were finishing our set, the cops dropped in. Turns out she had called the police and told them we had harassed her dog and attacked her. Things were settled quickly though, with the bar owner and a couple dozen of witnesses backing us up.

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

Bert: The best gigs that I’ve seen, and what I’d hope to achieve when playing live, is where band and audience can feed off each other’s energy and trip on the music together. There’s some kind of communal sensation when all those heads are bobbing up and down in sync with the grooves.

What makes a great song?

Bert: A great song is one where, the first time you hear it, your jaw drops and you go blank, just trying to soak it all in. Then when it’s finished, you think “I don’t know what the hell that was but I need to hear it again right now” and hit the repeat button for the rest of the day.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Kevin: I really love all of our songs. Perhaps I connect the most with Universes Crumble due to it’s more psychedelic nature, and because we really take our time to build to a climax that I think is really awesome. On a personal level, I’m also pretty stoked about the solo’s in The Mammoth, as they all are one-take and completely improvised on the spot in the studio. It was the end of an intense day of recording and I just let it rip and it felt really good, so that eventually made it on the record.

Bert: I really love how The Mammoth, the last track on our debut album, turned out. It’s an intense 11 minute trip that has everything: it’s slow and fast, quiet and loud, melodic and dissonant, aggressive and soothing … I’m really proud of that one.

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

Bert: Any project with John Garcia or Brant Bjork involved will get my undivided attention, they’re living legends as far as I’m concerned. I always look forward to any new album Mastodon is releasing. They get a lot of flak with each release for not making another Leviathan or Blood Mountain, but I think they’re just an amazing band any way you look at it. The Italian band Ufomammut will be releasing a new album soon, I’m a big fan of those guys. They have their own thing going on, synth-layered psychedelic doom aiming at pure sonic destruction. I’ve also discovered quite a few great bands going through the Ripple catalogue. Bands like White Light Cemetery and Gozu write kick-ass songs.

Kevin: Trent Reznor can’t do anything wrong in my book. Neither can Josh Homme, even though I really prefer early QOTSA over the stuff he’s doing right now.

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

Jeroen: For me, definitely vinyl. I have been a collector for quite a few years now, and there’s something about that crackling vinyl sound that you just don’t get with CD’s. It’s the whole experience of slipping the record out of the sleeve, placing it on your turntable en seeing the needle go down to the grooves that appeals to me. Also, the artwork simply looks better on 12”! Vinyl will withstand the test of time. Only downfall is that I can’t fit a turntable in my car.

Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice.

Sam: Well, it’s hard not to go for beer since we live in Belgium and we have all these world-class beers available at every corner. But then on the other hand: during our rehearsals it’s always and exclusively whiskey.

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

Jeroen: When you’re in Ghent be sure to stop at Music Mania, they always have a great selection of rock, psych, stoner and doom vinyl available. They’re also really cool guys to chat with.

What's next for the band?

Jeroen: There’s a lot happening for us, but we’re really counting the days until the Ripple release of our debut album Viper Vixen Goddess Saint in June, especially the limited edition vinyl release. That’s just a dream come true!

Kevin: Over summer we’ll be playing festival shows in Belgium and the Netherlands, sharing bills with the likes of Monster Magnet, Acid King and some of our heroes that we can’t announce just yet. Hard not to get excited over that!

Sam: We’re also working hard on a new album, which is scheduled for recording in October. We’re returning to Much Luv Studio, where we recorded our debut, because we had so much fun there and Tim De Gieter is such a cool guy to work with. So we’re really looking forward to that as well. The new album should be available around April 2018.

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

Sam: We were amazed to see how quick people all over the world embraced our music. When we released our album in September we were hoping to score some nice local gigs, maybe get a few reviews … It’s still overwhelming to think how well the album has been received. We are extremely grateful for the support!

Jeroen: It’s still hard to believe that we’re part of the Ripple family now. Great things are happening and we promise the best is yet to come! Peace and love to all of you, and keep it fuzzy!
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