Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Ripple Conversation With Underground Hero Steven Kerchner, Part 1

I first met Steven Kerchner, Kerch, at The Sidebar in Baltimore, when I visited my future wife in the summer of 2007. His band The Seventh Gate played that night and turned my world upside down. Up to this point I had very little knowledge of extreme and brutal metal, but this band changed that forever. When I moved to the States 6 months later, our paths would cross numerous times through the years. I was soon intrigued by his diligence and perseverance with the music he plays, as well as by the many shapes he has taken on in different bands. Therefore, a conversation with the man was in order to focus on what keeps him going and what motivates him to write and record music. So over the course of a couple of months we talked about music and about….more music. Sit back and enjoy, dear waveriders.

What made you become a musician? What was the defining moment?

I used to sneak out with some friends of mine. When we got busted, my friend who had been asked to be the vocalist in a band with some other friends of mine was shipped off to boarding school. When he departed I was asked to join. My desire had always been to play the drums, but I found my introduction to sharing the creative experience of being in a band, would be as the mouthpiece of the music.

Did you have a masterplan when you became a musician? If so, did it turn out the way you planned?

I can't say that I have any masterplan other than that I intend to continue to create music until I live no more.  As long as I bare my own self and soul unabashedly and honestly, the integrity of the music will resonate truthfully. Art has a way of communicating with people timelessly and I'd like to continue to exercise the vehicle of expression and connection that sharing artistic creations affords.

What's your aim with music these days? Has this changed through the years?

My aim has been to achieve catharsis through creation and to leave something with the listener that is provocative, inspiring thoughtfully and or spiritually and or creatively, and to write something I enjoy playing and hearing back. My direction and focus, project to project, release to release is in ever constant flux and development mirroring the shifting dynamics of my own path and experience in life.

The Seventh Gate is the band that introduced me to you, and subsequently means a lot to me. The band eventually morphed into Palkoski, what brought on this change?

In 2005/2006, I began the initial manuscript for a character named Frank Palkoski. In reaction to personal experience and witness to the world, I created him as a vehicle to express my vehement vitriol for myself and for others. The turbulence of my inner thoughts paralleling the character Frank in his many personalities, developing upwards into a statement on victims of abuse, dictated the points of view and ideas expressed in the songs. In hindsight, I introduced the character poorly, and subsequently he was pigeon holed and diminished into (just) a serial killer character, just another part of the overall statement of who this character was (is) and how he mirrored the atrocities of modern culture. 

Beginning with (The Seventh Gate's) ‘AOTTMLHDYETP?’ release written entirely from the perspective of Frank Palkoski, all subsequent releases were written around the idea of this character. Songs took form to bolster the pieces of the story of Frank's life and experience as they were told (in song.) As the albums came out from his perspective the directness of his involvement grew and grew and simultaneously I had been thinking The Seventh Gate was a rather juvenile name for the band, didn't truly reflect the direction the band had gone and also due in part to the significance of the line-up changes. When ‘Random Antagonist Complex’ came out, it was October 14, 2010 and we celebrated the name change of The Seventh Gate to Palkoski with an album release show opening for Devourment and Cattle Decapitation.

Palkoski was a beast amongst beast, a rare deity within extreme music, if you ask me. It is such a sad situation with the passing of drummer Nick Chrisostomo which hit everyone who knew him hard.. Palkoski subsequently ended but how did Nick's passing affect you? Did you ever consider quitting music all together?

Thank you so much, the direction Palkoski had gone, has steadfastly been the pinnacle of my years making artwork. Nick's passing was an absolute devastation. A true musical soul mate and brother in life, it was apparent that to honor him Palkoski would rest as well. At the time he passed, I had also acquired a shoulder and knee injury that would require surgeries that continue to impact my performance to this day. (Better in time, but still not the same.) ‘Never Again’ Palkoski's final release depicted a confrontation of all of Frank Palkoski's personalities with one another (in the epic), begetting the inquiry of a physical death to the character.  It was intentionally not disclosed to an audience perspective and the ‘Reflections’ EP – the uncompleted EP that opens the ‘Never Again’ album – was yet again another jump in the timeline. To clarify some, ‘The Oblivious Ape (Who Covets Its Own)’, was a look into the personal cognizance of the fragmentation of Frank Palkoski's mind and being that specifically focused on the development during ages 17-24. ‘Random Antagonist Complex’ was a focus from the perspective of one of the nine characters Frank would embody and the follow up ‘The Oblivious Ape…’ release prequels this effort in timeline of story, but not in writing or in release. ‘Never Again’ in the concept of the story and character development marked the furthest expression of the timeline the band had covered yet. 

Closing the chapters on Palkoski was intensely arduous. We had been working on recording the epic for years already, having scrapped all the drums from an initial recording of it – a huge undertaking of discarding one hour's worth of recorded material and starting from scratch. The drums were recorded with all predominately dynamic mics not tailored for good drum sounds and financial hurdles prevented the replacement of drum heads leaving us with a drum sound to mix that we struggled to find happiness in. 

I never considered that I would stop making music altogether however depression and surgical recovery derailed some productivity. Palkoski was a huge part of my life and had been since (as I consider it) the inception of The Seventh Gate in 2000. Todd and I agonized over the mix trying to get it to sound better, but we eventually had to accept we could only make it sound so good with the recorded material we had. I feel the recorded album really lacks the beauty that the live performance of the epic encapsulated, but with the resources we had at the time, it was the best we had.

The song, ‘The Great Communicator’ on LORD's ‘Awake’ album is a direct dedication to Nick. There is a related dominant influence on the lyrical content of the rest of the songs on that album as well and there continues to be an element of our brotherhood with me every moment of every day to the current day. Making music with Nick was an absolutely incredible part of my life and having been blessed by the opportunity to do so is something I will be indefinitely grateful for. He was a true friend in a world of enemies and we shared a supreme musical chemistry unlike any other I've experienced. 

You sing in most of your bands but you also play drums/percussion and electronics in a few. What do you prefer? Or is this current set-up the perfect balance for you?

In some projects I incorporate different elements of each. In Human Services, there had been a trade-off between noise, auxiliary percussion and vocals. On album, I even had the opportunity to write and record bass lines as well as violin and various other home-made instruments. In points in time with LORD, I utilized a sampler and noise as well, and currently am not adding noise elements but am handling lead vocals and auxiliary percussion. I find the balance in each project swoon to the call of the music and what is necessary to compliment it. I would like to incorporate more noise back into LORD's creative process in our next effort. In Palkoski, I found a height of pushing myself into the extremity of playing auxiliary percussion, noise, samples and lead vocals simultaneously. In my opinion it is unparalleled and one of the pinnacles of my creative and performing history in it's intensity and demand, both physically and artistically.

How did you come to join Lord?

I had known Will Rivera from years of bumping into each other at shows and we knew each other even more so after VOG and LORD did a mini tour together in 2006. We played a lot of local gigs together as well and eventually Will and I both found ourselves performing together in a band called Ol’ Scratch. There was a point where LORD was booked to perform at Krug’s in Frederick MD and Andy (LORD's former & founding vocalist) had not yet appeared as show time approached and to avoid embarrassment of cancellation I was asked to fill in. Andy ended up arriving just in time to perform, but that was one of the last straws that led the band to reconsider their vocalist, and I was asked to join as a permanent replacement. My first gig with LORD was in April of 2011 with Karma to Burn and Honky.

Lord had stuff going on when a series of unfortunate events almost meant the end for them. How did you and founder Willy Rivera turn things around? After all, Lord puts out master piece after master piece!

Well during my duration in LORD, there was a long period of time where all the members of the band were not on speaking terms, and after an extended hiatus of conversation we came together over a shared interest in keeping it going. I had actually written some songs (lyrically; 3/4 of ‘Alive in Golgotha’) and was ready to forge onward full steam ahead when we came back together. We met for lunch and discussed our ambitions and the associated realities of doing LORD again. After some more distress, we ended up completing that EP (Golgotha) as a three piece and at this time it was clear that Stephen, founding member and legacy drummer, was interested in focusing elsewhere musically. Will and I discussed continuing to work together and thought it would be disadvantageous to create a new band that sounded like LORD but was called something else.  Granted without Stephen's signature drumming style a shift of sound was inevitable, though the vocals and guitars would still share a similar finesse. Prior to Stephen's departure, we already had Chris Dugay lined up as a bass replacement and called him back once a new drummer was secured.

You mentioned Ol' Scratch. They were actually one of the first bands I ever watched here in the States. Saw the band with you so many times and you guys crushed it. It seems though that you and Andy Murray kept replacing each other in both Ol’ Scratch and Lord, or am I wrong?

Thank you so much, I have some really enjoyable memories with them. Though we don't keep in touch these days, I have fond recollections of the experiences we shared and the shows Ol Scratch played. I knew Ol’ Scratch pretty well already when I was asked to join them in February (?) of 2008. The Seventh Gate frequently played shows with them and those guys were really supportive of local shows at that time, always seen in attendance. 
The (Ol Scratch) 2008 fall tour, “Yer Ol is our Business,” is in my top two tours of all time, based on friendship, fun, quantity and quality of crushing faces, successfulness and adventure.

At one point, I had left Ol’ Scratch and been replaced by Andy. I then re-replaced him in Ol Scratch for another stint from early 2010 to the last Ol’ Scratch show in - I believe - August 2010. It was kind of comical how I was replaced by him in Ol’ Scratch and then I replaced him in LORD.


Read Part Two On 2/27/18!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

HORSENECK: Post-Hardcore/Sludge Unit Featuring Current/Former Members Of Will Haven And Chelsea Wolfe Releases Limited Edition Vinyl Edition Of Heavy Trip Full-Length; New Album Underway

California post-hardcore/sludge misfits HORSENECK - featuring within its ranks current and past members of Will Haven and Chelsea Wolfe - are pleased to unveil the vinyl edition of their critically-lauded Heavy Trip full-length, self-released via the band's own Worried Bird Records early last year. Heavy Trip was captured by Lance Jackman (Will Haven) at The Dock, mixed by Scott Evans (Kowloon Walled City) at Antisleep Studios, and mastered by Carl Saff (Big Business, Helms Alee, Russian Circles) at Saff Mastering.

Limited to 250 copies, the vinyl edition includes alternate artwork and is currently available via the HORSENECK Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION where the album can also be streamed.

Issues the band "Heavy Trip deserved to be released on vinyl and live on in fans' record collections. We are so pumped to give this album a whole new way for people to listen to it. Turn it up loud and let the tone of the vinyl warm your eardrums."

If you missed it, check out HORSENECK's hilarious video for "Michael Caine" HERE.

HORSENECK will return to The Dock with Lance Jackman to begin recording their new album. The as-yet-untitled full-length will be released later this year with tours to follow. Further details to be announced soon.

From the depths of the unknown canyon comes a rock force that has undeniable power and style. Steeped in ancient tradition and ritualistic sacrifices this force continually bludgeons the masses who are compelled to witness them. Their heavy riffs continually snap the necks of anyone sent to challenge them. The wild thunder broom undertones growl from on high, and will never be denied. Powerful rhythms shake the very ground they walk on, and those who are lucky enough to witness this spine crushing quartet will undoubtedly never be the same. Anthony the riff Lord, Lennon the bass wizard, Lance the heaviest of shred, and Jess the power thwack and thud will always leave your neck barely able to hold your head up. HORSENECK, shredders and defenders of the rock!

 "Album opener 'Bird Worried' features an organ, bluesy guitar parts and a combination of clean and harsh vocals. It highlights HORSENECK's biggest strength on Heavy Trip - their music isn't what might be expected and it can be silly, but they bring it together well. There are more aggressive cuts on the album too, like 'Lester Vitalis' and 'No Gods,' that rely on thicker, fuzzier riffs but HORSENECK never fail to deliver something memorable." - Decibel

"...a solid blend of metal, hardcore, garage, and southern rock... a fun listen that packed with some cool riffs and plenty of reasons to wreck your neck." - Super Corrupter

 "...a catchy and heavy release that is extremely fun to listen to...hard rock with [a] heavy, bruising sludge." - Svbtterranean

 "...a fantastic record throughout... The songs are unique, and never feel like the band is stuck in a formula. The compositions are tight and although varied, never disjointed. The production on this album is exactly what's needed. It is heavy, not overly processed, and the mix allows all of the instruments and sounds to intermingle naturally - even with such dense arrangements." - Riffs Or GTFO

 "Heavy Trip isn't just a solid album but it feels like a statement of intent that rock 'n' roll is still very much alive.... The album is heavy, catchy and above all else, it's fun and a genuine pleasure to listen to..." - Altwire

 "Heavy Trip is an album that more than lives up to its name as it's a heavy, psychedelic trip and one that will appeal to fans of The Melvins, Queens Of The Stone Age, Indian Handcrafts, and Red Fang the most... Heavy Trip is perhaps one of the strangest and most addictive records you'll hear this year." - Outlaws Of The Sun


L-R:  Danny Wagner, Josh Wagner, Sam Kiszka, Jake KiszkaPhoto Credit:  Michael Lavine

LOS ANGELES, CA - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 -- Exploding onto the music scene just last year with all U.S. headline dates sold out in advance, its debut single, "Highway Tune" a #1 rock radio track in both the U.S. and Canada, and its upcoming inaugural European tour completely sold out, Frankenmuth, Michigan's Greta Van Fleet continues its red-hot streak with the announcement of additional headline dates on its 2018 North American tour, which will include the band's Canadian concert debut.  Tickets go on sale this Friday, 2/23 at 10AM local time; log onto for all ticket purchasing information.

All previously announced 2018 U.S. dates have sold out, including the band's two L.A. shows at the John Anson Ford Theatre that went clean in under an hour.  The band's confirmed itinerary is below.

20  Doomroosje, Nijmegen, The Netherlands  SOLD OUT
21  Melkweg (Qudo Zaal), Amsterdam, Netherlands  SOLD OUT
22  Artheatre, Cologne, Germany  SOLD OUT
24  Molotow, Hamburg, Germany  SOLD OUT
25  PrivatClub, Berlin, Germany  SOLD OUT
27  AB Club, Brussels, Belgium  SOLD OUT
28  Les Etolles, Paris, France  SOLD OUT
30  Deaf Institute, Manchester, England  SOLD OUT
31  02 Institute3, Birmingham, England  SOLD OUT

 1   St. Lukes, Glasgow, Scotland  SOLD OUT
 4   02 Academy Islington, London, England  SOLD OUT
 5   02 Academy Islington, London, England  SOLD OUT
13  Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Indio, CA
16  John Anson Ford Theatre, Hollywood, CA*  SOLD OUT
17  John Anson Ford Theatre, Hollywood, CA*  SOLD OUT
20  Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Indio, CA
29  Welcome to Rockville Festival, Jacksonville, FL

 1   House of Blues Houston, Houston, TX*  SOLD OUT
 2   House of Blues Dallas, Dallas, TX*  SOLD OUT
 3   Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheatre, Austin, TX*  SOLD OUT
 5   Shaky Knees Music Festival, Atlanta, GA
 6   Carolina Rebellion, Concord, NC
 9   Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD*  SOLD OUT
11  Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ*  SOLD OUT
12  Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA*  SOLD OUT
14  Marathon Music Works, Nashville, TN*  SOLD OUT
16  Marathon Music Works, Nashville, TN*  SOLD OUT
18  Rock On The Range Festival, Columbus OH
20  Hangout Music Festival, Gulf Shores, AL
22  The Fillmore Detroit, Detroit, MI*  SOLD OUT
23  The Fillmore Detroit, Detroit, MI*  SOLD OUT
25  The Fillmore Detroit, Detroit, MI*  SOLD OUT

 8   REBEL, Toronto, ON Canada*  NEW DATE
10  Bluesfest, Ottawa, ON  Canada
18  Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA*  NEW DATE
20  9:30 Club, Washington, D.C.*  NEW DATE
23  House of Blues Boston, Boston, MA*  NEW DATE
27  Floydfest, Floyd, VA
29  Panorama Music and Arts Festival, Randall's Island Park, New York, NY
31  Agora Theatre, Cleveland, OH*  NEW DATE

 1  The Pageant, St. Louis, MO *  NEW DATE

* headline show

Friday, February 23, 2018

Ripple Music New Releases, Pre-orders, and the Baddest SXSW Party You've Ever Seen!


Hot on the heels of their sold out previous Ripple release, the mighty doom metal monsters of Blackwulf return with their newest, and arguably best album ever.  Bringing in the guest lead guitar of Doom legend Geof O'Keefe (founding member of Pentagram and Bedomon) Blackwulf rage through 8 tracks of what can only be described as old school, retro-70's unadulterated heavy rock and metal.   Limited Edition vinyl, worldwide black vinyl, CD's and test presses are up for pre-order now with the official release date Feb 23.  You dont' want to miss this one.
Everyone's been asking about this!  The brand new Freedom Hawk album is almost here, and it rages with all the fierce riffing and fuzzed mania you'd come to know and love from these Virginian rockers.  "Beast Remains" is pure Freedom Hawk in every sense of the word.  Pre-order are live now!  So pick one up with your Blackwulf!
I think this one caught many people off guard, except for the legions of ATG fans already out there.  Limited vinyl and tests sold out in less than 24 hours, but black and CD's are still in stock (actually CD's sold out too, but have been reordered!)  If you haven't heard these guys, you're missing out on some powerful, rampaging Motorhead inspired heavy blues.  You can listen here and enjoy!
And here it is!  The first ever Official Ripple Music SXSW Showcase!  Featuring Mothership, Wo Fat, The Watchers, Blackwulf (with Geof O'keefe), Steak (all the way from the UK) and Salem's Bend.  You don't need a SXSW badge to get in, you can get tickets at the door.  All you have to do is be in Austin and be ready for some damn good music.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard/Slomatics – Totems

I love splits and this one is certainly worthy of my affections. It’s brought to us by Black Bow Records, which is run by one of the fine gentlemen from the band Conan, so if you like your music loud, heavy, slow, and crushing, this release has you covered all the way around. This split is a little unique, in that it is more of a collaboration between the bands. They worked on the overall themes of the album together and there is a little more cohesiveness between what the bands have on offer here than there usually is with splits. In my mind, that’s even more reason why you should check it out.

I love Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard (hereafter known as MWWB), and it puzzles me a bit why they are not bigger in the heavy music scene. Perhaps some people are put off a bit by the name, which is taking the piss a little when it comes to other bands in this genre. They describe themselves as “3 ape descendents and an astral seraphim combining their powers to generate colossal interstellar arias of plutonium weight.” It seems a pretty apt description and if it sounds good to you, don’t read any farther, just go find their music. Oh, and they are from Wales if that matters to anyone.

MWWB contribute two songs to this split. The first, “The Master and His Emissary”, starts out with a couple of minutes of synth work that could have come from a John Carpenter soundtrack. Then the heavy drops and I promise you that mushroom clouds will come out of your speakers when it happens. At least it did with mine. Just crushing riffs that repeat paired up with ethereal vocals, and then they change it up a bit and hammer the listener some more. The second track is “Eagduru” and delivers more of the same. Of course, it's not the same track or there wouldn’t be any need to give it a different name, but you get the idea. Slow, heavy, repetitive, wonderful.

Slomatics hail from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and it is easy to see how they were paired with MWWB on this split. To my ears, these guys deal in more fuzz, and there’s about as much here as on a teenaged sasquatch’s face. I was not familiar with this band prior to this split, but I am certainly happy to make their acquaintance. The things they do musically are right up my alley and I will definitely seek out more of their releases.

These guys mix it up a little bit on their side of the split. Their songs are shorter, so they get 3 tracks. The first is “Ancient Architects”, and it fits very well into the theme of slow and heavy music playing. Their second track, though, is the eye opener for me. “Silver Ships Into The Future” is a quieter, piano driven piece that shows that riffs can be played on an acoustic instrument as well. While it doesn’t have enough of a melody to say that it’s a pretty bit of music, it is a very nice change up. Which makes their final track, “Master’s Descent”, hit that much harder when it blows through your speakers like a rhinoceros in heat.

If you dig the slow, heavy type of music, this release is definitely for you. There is nothing new or groundbreaking here, but it doesn’t have be a game changer to be a good album. This one will definitely hit your happy spot.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Xroadie Files

Exalter – Persecution Automated
Tanjim Rahman Tanim – Vocals/Bass/Guitar, Afif Sarker – Drums/Vocals

Intro sounds of war that lead into the next song.  Holocaust Ahead has an excellent thrash riff that will have you head banging and fist pumping.  Reign Of The Mafia State get the pit ready to just mosh away fast and heavy.  World Under Curfew more in your face old school style thrash metal just enjoy.  The Dreaded End mix slayer with Anthrax and Testament and this song melds those perfectly.  Slaughter Cleanse Repeat fist in the air hair flying foot stomping thrash metal.  Incarceration another excellent thrash song for the pit to just mosh away.  Grip Of Fear extremely tight riffs fast and heavy get ready to thrash your entire body about.  Pathology Of Domination the circle starts and boys fly around and around slamming into each other.  Clandestine Drone Warfare awesome fast guitar riffs bass and drums that just thrash away in a perfect melding of sounds. 

Driven By Impact -  ST
Roman Rowinski – Drums, Eugen Rutz – Vocals, Kim Van Geel – Guitar, Jens Schafer – Guitar, Constantin Christ – Bass

Prologue is a classical piece that melds into the next song Building Fear which has buzz saw guitars driving rhythms and deep growly vocals.  Burning Bridges fist pumping thrash metal with dark demonic vocals and some excellent rhythm work.  Interludium melodic melancholy guitar that melds into Experience In Red which is just thrash death metal at its finest.  Place Of Gore drums that just pound into your very being and buzz saw guitar riffs get ready to be pounded.  Arise From Ashes has some excellent lead guitar work and heavy pounding drums that just take you to the pit.  Monstrosity Of Life more excellent guitar work with a very extremely tight rhythm section.

Fuzz Evil And Switchblade Jesus -  The Second Coming Of Heavy Chapter VII
Fuzz Evil – Wayne Rudell – Vocals/Guitar, Joseph Rudell – Vocals/Bass, Orgo Martinez – Drums

Better off Alone fast heavy beats and grinding guitars with some great vocals.  Graves And Cupids Sabbath style bass then an excellent riff to just jam away to.  If You Know kick back and jam with some excellent riffs.  Flighty Woman continues the riff fest get ready to groove.  

Switchblade Jesus -  Eric Calvert – Guitar/Vocals, Chris Black – Bass, Jon Elizondo - Drums 

Snakes And Lions rumbling psychedelic guitar that screams jam away and drift back to days of old.  Wet Lungs spoken words then a slow driving beat just kick back close your eyes and jam away.  Heavy Is The Mountain takes you back to the great times of old style Sabbath stoner rock.

Greytomb – Monumental Microcosm
Forge – Drums, J. Angus – Guitar, N. Magur – Vocals, D. Coffey – Bass

Null grinding heavt ripping betas with demonic vocals.  Antimeta grabs you by the throat and just pounds you into the ground.  Force Majeure evil demonic sounds and vocals that just drag you into the pit of hell.

Marginal – Total Destruction
Johan – Vocals, Timmy – Guitar, Martin Guitar/Vocals, Steven- Drums, Rui – Bass

Barbarians heavy grinding pounding music with deep demonic vocals to annihilate your very being.  Delirium Tremens get ready to run for your life as demonic forces chase after you.  Ruination the pit forms and bodies thrash about in pain and glory.  Impaled grabs you and throws you to the ground then proceeds to pound u into dust.  Useless Scum the crowd thrashes about in pure violence and anger.  I Used To Be Intelligent get ready to be devoured by anger violence and pain.  Rat Kebab is a voyage into hell and damnation with music.  The Violent Way is pain and suffering with anger and violence in a musical style.  Leech Invader garb ahold and hang on for a trip thru aggression.  Fucked Up Society buzz saw guitars demonic vocals and riffs that just sear thru you.  Atom Sapiens spoken words and demonic vocals with an angry aggressive rhythm and just drags you to the abyss.  Total Destruction more spoken words then evil riffs and demonic vocals that just try annihilate the entire world.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TSOL Set To Release Live Limited-Edition Vinyl via Hardline Entertainment on June 22

Southern California Punk Legends TSOL are set to release their new record “Live at The Observatory” on Limited Edition Vinyl via Hardline Entertainment on June 22.

Recorded live at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA Jan, 5th 2018 by Cameron Webb (Motorhead, Pennywise, Social Distortion), “Live at The Observatory” features all tracks from the bands 1981 S/T EP and “Dance With Me” releases.

The recordings will be available and limited to 100 units each of Oxblood Red and Turquoise Blue both signed and numbered and will include a digital download card.

The record is now available for pre-sale via the Hardline Entertainment web store at

An album teaser video can be viewed here:

Tour Dates:

MAR 20 Bakersfield, CA Jerry's

MAR 21 Fresno, CA Strummer's

MAR 22 San Jose, CA Ritz

MAR 23 Berkeley, CA Gilman

MAR 24 Sacramento, CA Blue Lamp

MAR 25 Reno, NV Shea's

MAR 27 Eugene, OR Luckey's

MAR 28 Bremerton, WA Charleston

MAR 29 Bellingham, WA Shakedown

MAR 30 Seattle, WA El Corazon


APR 01 Bend, OR Capitol

APR 03 Pacifica, CA Winter's Tavern

APR 04 Grover Beach, CA Skip Gibson's

JUN 06 Flagstaff, AZ Flagstaff's Green Room

JUN 08 Las Vegas Brooklyn Bowl

JUN 09 Pomona, CA The Glass House

JUN 10 Pomona, CA The Glass House

New Rockers Hi Fi re-issues

We are pleased to announce the release of the second and third Rockers Hi Fi studio albums, Mish Mash and Overproof for the first time on bandcamp.

Mish Mash was originally released on WEA in 1996 and contains classic collaborations with UK rapper Phoebe One as well as Farda P's timeless ode to excess, "Going Under" and the Rockers' take on the Clash's "Ghetto Defendant".  Bonus tracks include the Kruder & Dorfmeister rework of "Going Under" and a rare Rockers dub.

Overproof (1998) saw the outfit returning to their dub/house roots as well as exploring deep house sounds and using more live instrumentation.  Farda P again makes an appearance on "Transmission Central" and the Thievery Corp remix appears as a bonus item along with another extremely rare d&b track, "Mic Check".

Both albums are available at a special discounted price for one month only - use the codes
mish_offer and proof_offer at the checkout on the biggabush bandcamp page.

Monday, February 19, 2018

MAXX THE MUFFIN MAN - Every Summer Since


Maxx the Muffin Man is an 18 year old rapper and song writer working out of his college dorm room in Portland Oregon. This is his new mix tape that he said, “I really hope that whoever listens to this enjoys it, and if it helps anyone through a hard time, then I'd be extremely happy!”

This kind of reminds me of Canada’s rap band Organized Rhyme who put out the great track, “Check The O.R.” and was the group that had “comedian” Tom Green in it back in 1992. Lots of personal lyrics, some positive stuff and a bit of goofy stuff all makes for an interesting listen that will get your head bobbing and has a cool mix of beats. This is something to throw on and get into the flow and cruise along to. Pretty fresh sounding and actually holds up fairly well compared to a lot of the crap that’s out there.

Take a chance if you like hip hop and want something a bit different to listen to, something that has a positive message mixed in. Maxx said, “I almost gave up on life, and music is what allowed me to survive. I hope this mix tape can touch you in a way that music did for me.” If that isn’t a good enough reason to support someone, I don’t know what is.

-Rick Ecker

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Monolord announce tour dates supporting Black Label Society in EU/UK in March

"Universally beloved... Swedish doom royalty." -- Noisey

"A truly modern sound: recognizably doom, but with glistening production values and adventurous songcraft." -- Consequence of Sound

"The Platonic Form of doom...perfection... faultless." -- Echoes & Dust

"Hugely accessible without having sacrificed their crushing heaviness." -- Metal Hammer

"Monolord's records have only gotten heavier, and now the band has taken a turn for the catchy (yet still crushing)." -- Metal Injection

"Rust is perfect; it's as fuzzed out as any of the genre's great records, but the mix is clean and even, allowing the drums and vocals to cut through. Most importantly, there are songs aplenty: you'll be humming the riffs and vocal hooks immediately." -- Metal Sucks

Gothenburg, Sweden trio Monolord announce European & UK tour dates supporting famed Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society band in March and April. Please see all dates below.

Monolord's recently released third album, Rust received universal praise in reviews, and landed atop multiple Album of The Year lists for 2017 -- including the #1 Album of 2017 on the Doom Charts collective of journalists, bloggers, radio and podcasters. Rust is available to hear & share on YouTube and Bandcamp.

Monolord is a rare breed: A band both encompassing and transcending genre; a vortex of heavy rock density that consumes all others. Their thunderous, tuneful heft has built a rabid international fanbase in short order since their 2014 debut. But Rust, the band's third full length, truly exemplifies why some refer to them as the Nirvana of doom.

Monolord's enveloping, syrupy sludge is a vibe, it's a state of mind. Not riffs for riffs sake, but a collective buzzing, rattling and rumbling that's more total environment than collection of songs. Together, guitarist/vocalist Thomas Jäger, drummer Esben Willems and bassist Mika Häkki create a massive, dynamic sound with ultra-low frequencies serving as its fourth member.

"We've always been inspired by great band musicians - as opposed to technical solo peacocks," Willems says. "Because that force of a band really playing together as one single unit is incomparable. At its best, it's just unstoppable." And, Monolord is truly unstoppable, on record and on stage. "A heavy groove that contains both bombastic overkill and a lot of dynamics is what we always aim for in Monolord; in playing, in song writing and arranging, in recording," Willems says.

Album opener "Where Death Meets the Sea" perfectly exemplifies their mastery of dynamics and hooks with a driving, infectious buzzsaw riff that lesser bands would ride off into the sunset, but Monolord uses subtly to spur the song's skull rattling rhythmic core ever onward. Jäger's watery vocals glide over ominously building verses that erupt with the song's insistent refrain. Being such a tight rhythmic unit, it sounds almost like an early ZZ Top record played at half speed. "Dear Lucifer" squeals and hums with slow deliberation as Willems summons Dale Crover pummel with chasm like low-tuned toms and syncopated cymbal crashes. The album's title track is also its centerpiece, opening with a dramatic, shimmering Hammond organ intro as Jäger sings, "you are the reason that I lied/ You are the reason that I cried/ Please don't wait until tomorrow/ There's only pain, hate, grief and sorrow." Suddenly, the band kicks in with a bellowing line downtuned to B that nosedives down the guitar neck as the drums hammer down for the kill. Elsewhere, tastefully understated guitar harmonies elevate the behemoth churn of "Wormland" and apocalyptic album closer "At Niceae" simmers in a slow build of rumbling guitars and rolling drum triplets.

Monolord formed in 2013, quickly recording their 2xLP debut Empress Rising, which RidingEasy Records released in April 1st, 2014. The second album, Vænir, followed April 28th, 2015. The 2-song Lord of Suffering / Die in Haze EP was issued in late 2016 amid the band's relentless touring schedule in order to tide fans over until the next full length. Vænir landed on countless Album of the Year lists in 2015, and Rust is poised to open an entirely new range of possibilities for Monolord.

Rust is available on LP, CD and download, released September 29th, 2017 via RidingEasy Records.

03/08 Paris, FR @ Bataclan
03/09 Toulouse, FR @ Le Bikini
03/10 Vitoria, ES @ Jimmy Jazz
03/11 Santiago De Compostela, ES @ Capitol
03/13 Madrid, ES @ Riviera
03/14 Barcelona, ES @ Razzmatazz
03/16 Milan, IT @ Alcatraz
03/17 Telfs, AT @ Rathaussaal
03/18 Prague, CZ @ Mala Sportovni Hala
03/20 Krakow, PL @ Studio
03/21 Warsaw, PL @ Stodola
03/23 Munich, DE @ Backstage Werk
03/24 Frankfurt, DE @ Batschkapp
03/25 Pratteln, CH @ Konzertfabrik 27
03/27 Cologne, DE @ Live Music Hall
03/28 Berlin, DE @ Huxley's Neue Welt
03/29 Hamburg, DE @ Markthalle
03/30 Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg
03/31 Antwerp, BE @ Trix
04/03 Luxembourg City, LU @ Den Atelier
04/05 London, UK @ Royal Albert Hall

Artist: Monolord
Album: Rust
Label: RidingEasy Records
Release Date: September 29th, 2017

01. Where Death Meets The Sea
02. Dear Lucifer
03. Rust
04. Wormland
05.Forgotten Lands
06. At Niceae

On The Web:

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Nonsun • 'Black Snow Desert' [2xLP] out now!

Nonsun • 'Black Snow Desert' [2xLP] out now!

The Lviv, Ukraine duo Nonsun clearly excels at living up to their disquieting moniker, carefully representing the sound of a world without light. Their seamless blend of sludge, drone, doom, stoner and post-metal crafts the soundtrack to despairing resignation. They inhabit a world vacated by both God and the Devil, where the souls who remain worship at the altar of a living, thriving sorrow; yet against the odds there is a spellbinding beauty that follows this willful abandonment of hope.

From the yawning chasm of album opener "No Pity For The Beast, No Shelter For The Innocent" to the swirling cacophonies of "Rest of Tragedy," Black Snow Desert is a challenging and richly layered sermon on the many faces of sadness and regret. It bares sharp teeth, but within an inviting grin that convinces the listener to subject themselves to whatever suffering it may be that enthralls and beckons them continuously closer to the abyss therein. As with the most difficult trials, the rewards are hard-won and multitudinous. Slow and measured as its painstaking unfolding may be, there remains a breathless sense of purpose, an aching to reveal to the listener sights and sounds they never knew they yearned to witness.

Samantha Muljat's album art brilliantly captures the Nonsun aesthetic – dark and unforgiving, Black Snow Desert also holds promise of an intoxicating mysticism, pulling the listener further along its foreboding, sinuous pathways, eroding apprehension moment by moment as one draws closer toward the ever-dawning realization of the journey's enchanting power. With this release, Nonsun has deftly surveyed the extraordinary endeavor of conquering fear, sadness, and the overwhelming darkness by immersing oneself within the eye of its storm.

Black Snow Desert by Nonsun comes on double colored 180g vinyl in gatefold cover (reverse cardboard). Black inner sleeves. Direct download included!
Release date: Jan. 25th, 2018.

Against PR announces release details for "III" compilation
Against PR will release a new compilation on February 22nd. Entitled "III", this new release will present 22 tracks featuring several sub-genres from the metal spectrum and will offer an opportunity to all metalheads to discover new bands.

"III" will be available on double CD (digisleeve) and digitally.

Tracklist below:

CD 1
1. Crossbones - Messing With The Masses
2. The Outsider- The Invocation (feat. Thomas Vikström & Nalle Påhlsson)
3. Blackest- Mortal Curse
4. Rites to Sedition - The Moon Titan Phylon
5. Blaspherion - Causa Mortis
6. Demon Head - Older Now
7. Godhead Machinery - Tithe
8. Dead Season - Guidestones
9. HIVE - Street Meat
10. Hexenklad - In This Life or the Next
11. RacheEngel - Ascheregen

CD 2
1. VersOver - Enemy
2. Sâmbăta Morților - Pendulum of Madness
3. Atonement Theory - Ominous Sensation
4. NACARBIDE - Lots of Eyes
5. Humanity Check - War Is Coming
6. Death on Arrival - Endless Agony
7. el Camino - Crooked Wand
8. Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf - Lilith Crimson Deep
9. Boneset - Needles
10. Guillotine - Not Worth Saving
11. Von Justice - I Saw Hogan with Jimmy Hart

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fistful of Questions

What do the bands Void Vator, Ironaut and No Legacy Records have in common?  Erik Kluiber.  That’s what.  He’s the head honcho at No Legacy Records, bassist/singer/songwriter in Ironaut and guitarist in Void Vator.  He also happens to be the recipient of this edition of Fistful of Questions. 

Void Vator just wrapped up a string of west coast dates and released a video for the single No Return.  In the midst of all that madness Erik generously agreed to carve out a few minutes to answer my queries.  

What is your full name?
     Erik Michael Kluiber, social security # 666-go-fuck-yourself

Do you have an aliases?
     Ron Kirkland Houser V

If you had an alias what might it be?
     see above

What was the first instrument that you played?

What was the name of the first band you were in?
     The End

What bands are you actively involved with?
     Void Vator and Ironaut

Tell me about No Legacy Records.
     I put out a 9 band vinyl compilation featuring professional up and coming bands that I met through the underground metal scene in 2017.  All the bands are from Southern and Northern California.  I printed 500 limited edition copies.  No Legacy is pressed on 180 gram vinyl and has a printed record sleeve on the inside.  If you're reading this interview, then you are into underground metal and you will dig this compilation.  Order a copy for $15 at like the facebook page at

You play guitar (Void Vator) and bass (Ironaut).  Which is your favorite and do you play any other instruments?
     I'm primarily a guitar player and I find more hellistic pleasure playing it. I'm concentrating on improving my home recording skills for band demos and making music for video games.

Tell me about one of your first musical memories?
     Hearing She's a Little Run Away by Bon Jovi on the Radio in the early 80s.  Maybe 82 or so...  That song rocks.

Do you have any non-metal musical inspirations?
     They used to write really good music for tv and movies in previous decades that still get stuck in my head from time to time.  I suppose there are a few good tv songs now like Family Guy, Bojack the Horseman...  I guess South Park...  Hmm...  Brickleberry has a nice short intro song..  But songs like Hill Street Blues, Mash, Batman, Bonanza, etc..  Those were life changing. 

What is your favorite thing about touring?
     Forgetting about the distractions and frustrations of mundane day to day life.  Touring is being on a mission with the successful completion of the rock show being the primary goal every night.  The constant change in scenery, people, and culture makes me feel alive again.

What is your least favorite thing about touring? 
     Vehicle problems

Is there a city that you love to hit while on tour?
     Reno Nevada is like Mad Max meets the Wild Wild West.  It's total freedom and total danger mixed in one.  I LOVE it. 

Do you have a favorite venue to play at?
     The Token Lounge in Detroit has a special place in my heart because it was home base for my Detroit band Overloaded and John Anton has put so much heart, soul and money into the club to make it world class.  The best venues I've ever performed at are Webster Hall in NYC and The El Rey Theater in Los Angeles back when I was in Gypsyhawk and we toured with The Sword...  Oh, and Club Soda in Montreal.  That place is amazing.  Canucks know how to party.  I played Club Soda when I was in White Wizzard on tour with Korpiklaani and again when Gypsyhawk toured with Alestorm.

What band have you played with that has really impressed you with their live show?
     Alestorm's live show, energy, and crowd reaction was probably the best.  That's a band who is better live than in the studio IMO. 

Do you have a pre-show ritual?
     I typically drink one 24 oz PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon)

What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had on the road?
     Having sex with a girl in a tent and then being shocked when she introduced me to her then current boyfriend a few hours later.  Bad Karma.

What is an absolute band killer?
     EGO.  I don't know why someone would have an ego just because they are a good musician. That is just one skill point.  Take a comedian for example.  These guys and girls do stand up, act, write, get paid, get laid, most of them can play an instrument, just about all of them can sing, and they work their set 6-7 days a week.  Get over yourself. Talent is expected, it's part of the job.   

What advice would you give young musicians that are just starting out in the music business? 
     Being in beginning bands is like dating.  Don't think that your first band is going to be "the one".  Once it becomes obvious that the band you're in is not working out, get out and move on to the next.  You're not young for long.  Youth is a MAJOR asset.  Don't waste it.

The year is 1989.  Where are you at and what are you listening to?
     I just moved back to the suburbs of Detroit from Orange County, CA. I was wearing an Iron Maiden T Shirt listening to Megadeth and learning to play a black Ibanez Roadstar II.

If you could insert yourself into any one band what band would it be and why? 
     Void Vator

Have you ever heard a song and immediately wished you had written it?  If so… What was the song and artist?
     Fuck You Bitch by Wheeler Walker Jr.

What’s the longest time you’ve gone without bathing?
     I think proper hygiene is incredibly important and not that difficult.

Iron Maiden or Motorhead (if you had to pick one)?
     Iron Maiden

Favorite book?
     Dragon Lance - Legends series

Favorite movie?
     Conan the Barbarian

Favorite album?
     Megadeth; So Far So Good So What

Favorite meal?
     Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Pancakes or Waffles?
     Waffle House

Describe Patrick McHugh (guitarist for Ironaut) in fifteen words or less.
     I hope he doesn't die this year.

I hope everyone enjoyed this interview as much as I did.  I’m betting Erik is a hell of a guy to hang out with.  Be sure to catch him on the road with Void Vator or Ironaut and while you’re at it you should pick up a copy of No Legacy Vol. 1. 

-El Pedo Caliente  (a.k.a. Uncle Jameson from the Fistful of DOOM show)

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