Friday, June 22, 2018

Past, Present, Future Revolutions: Haiti’s Vodou Music Innovators RAM’s New Album Resonates with the Sounds of August 1791

One hot summer day centuries ago, in the heart of an island, the moment came. The uprising began that would transform the French colony of Saint Domingue into the world’s first free republic of African heritage people in the Western Hemisphere. The history of colonization, slavery, and liberty changed forever,

This turning point marks the beginning of Haiti, a pivot that ensured its diverse musical life. “We would not exist, if it weren’t for that month,” reflects Richard Morse, the driving force behind RAM. On August 1791, the group’s seventh album, the band harnesses all the elements that came together and led to the country’s unprecedented founding: the African and the Creole, the rural and the urban, the Christian and the vodou, the traditional and the exploratory.

The album’s tracks dig deep into Haiti’s musical roots, setting Dahoumey (West African) ceremonial pieces (“Danmbala Elouwe”) and folk songs chronicling the wisdom of revolutionary leader Toussaint L’Overture (“Badji Feray”) to new rhythms and for new instruments. But it’s not about preservation or historical reconstruction. It’s about the totality of Haitian spiritual and sonic worlds, the sum of all that came before and what may come tomorrow.

“This album represents the past, present and future all at once, a mystical concept of sorts,” explains Morse. “Everything comes together in the rhythms that we play. There’s no time. It’s all one.”

“When Haiti won its revolution back in 1804, the majority of its citizens had been born in Africa. That's one reason so much diverse African culture has survived there. RAM draws on those traditions but also takes liberties with Haitian music, treating it as the living, morphing thing it's always been.” --NPR

“...jubliant music to defy grim conditions.” --The New York Times

RAM’s musical evolution proved as multifaceted and unexpected as the traditions it draws on. Morse’s tastes were forged in the downtown New York scene of the late 70s and early 80s, the post-punk no-wave days, but he grew up steeped Haitian music thanks to his mother, a notable singer who performed songs like “Negrès Katye Moren” for Haitian dignitaries as a young artist.

Morse decided he needed to return to his family’s roots as a young man, landing in Port-au-Prince and eventually establishing RAM, which operated more like a laboratory for traditional music experimentation than a folk ensemble or rock band. New approaches that straddled popular and deeply rooted styles sprang from the crucible created by Morse and his fellow RAM players (some of whom are now second generation).

They use the sounds that were there at Haiti’s birth--the single-note rara horns, the drums and singing of vodou rituals--and absorb traditional lyrics and ideas that have been too often left by the wayside by Haitian pop, such as the old practice of herbalism at the heart of the rocking “Otseya.” They point out key lessons in Haitian history, as in the high-energy “Dawomen Dakò,” about the historic pact between African and Creole communities to fight together for what would become Haiti. “They had to come together to succeed, and this song remembers that,” Morse remarks.

Even as they sift through the past, they experiment, adding electric guitars to drive the energy or striking instruments like clavinet (“Kongo ede’m priye”) to increase the emotional impact. Often, arranging and composing become acts of bricolage, taking a folkloric rhythm and running it under a ceremonial song (“St. Jak O”) or building a longer piece from two shorter songs, a practice common for bands creating carnival numbers, extended musical compositions that can last for half an hour or more.

“We keep moving forward. We never try to repeat something successful,” says Morse. “We keep moving forward.” This forward motion has built into an international career that has taken the band to major North American festivals and as far afield as Abu Dhabi. One of their tracks “Ibo Lele (Dreams Come True)” was featured prominently in the 1993 film Philadelphia and on its soundtrack.

Though their sound rocks, their foundation goes back to that moment in August 1791 that turned the tide. “The rhythms and songs we perform were performed back then at that time. If the French had won, none of this would have been remembered. Because it succeeded these traditions were preserved,” says Morse. “The fact that we add guitars and other contemporary elements can make it so you don’t hear that right away. If you strip away the modern instruments, you have this music.”

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Biggest Ripple Music Newsletter Ever! Mount Atlas, Rare Breed, Skull Mountain, Planet of Doom and More!

This one is a long time in coming!  We've had fun doing a bunch of joint projects with H42 Records, who are always kind enough to include us in Limited Edition Ripple North American exclusives of some of their key releases. 

Starting Monday, we will have a very few 100 copies of the North American exclusive Ripple Green vinyl exclusive variant of the Debut album by Mount Atlas.

These will go on Pre-order Monday morning.  Only 100 -- no repressing.

For fans of Deep Purple, Uriah Heap, Spiritual Beggars.  Check em below

In the spirit of R-rated animated films like Heavy Metal and the works of Ralph Bakshi,Riff Lodge Animation (the studio behind the mind-blowing music video for CONAN's ‘Throne of Fire’) are creating an epic feature-length fantasy/science-fiction film called The Planet of Doom, created entirely by artists and bands within the doom/stoner/psych/metal genres.

With the film still in post-production, we are thrilled to be releasing The Planet of Doom; First Contact EP on 22nd June, featuring original score music from Mos Generator, Vokonis, Messa and Slomatics. The Red edition of this sold out in just over an hour, only a few Blue (pictured) remain, and black.  No repressings.


1. MOS GENERATOR – ‘Sword of the Sea’
2. MESSA – ‘Serpent Libido’
3. VOKONIS – ‘Runa’
4. SLOMATICS – ‘Jagaer’
Looking for Today is the debut full-length by Los Angeles trio The Rare Breed, and as thick as the band lays it on in touting their love of Sabbathian ways — and why not; “Mountain of Dreams” takes them to near-Sheavy levels of Sab worship and they named their album after a Black Sabbath song — it’s hard to listen to songs like “The Stranger” and “Rusted Diamond” and not think of more modern, Uncle Acid-style garage doom swing. “Visions” has more of a later-Ozzy-era vibe, and “Echoes” positively gallops in the drums, but in its shuffle, closer “Witches Lore” has some of that now-tinged rhythm as well (and some gallop of its own to boot), so there’s more going on than just “we heard ‘Sweet Leaf’ and decided to start a band,” however much guitarist Oscar de la Torre‘s vocals might be derived from the work of a certain Mr. Osbourne.

Wherever it was coming from, The Rare Breed released Looking for Today back in the BeforeTime, in the long-long-ago — 2016 — and this month the record will get its post-apocalyptic reissue via Ripple Music

Only 100 of the blood splattered variants were pressed, along with black vinyl and CD's.

This album in now nearly a lost classic.  Don't miss out on your chance to pick one up.

No doubt by now you've heard of the groundbreaking 4-label split album, Skull Mountain.  Ripple Music, Twin Earth Records, DHU Records, and Kozmik Artifactz.  4 labels, 2 continents, 16 bands, all unreleased tracks.

Well, Skull Mountain sees it's official release this June 22nd, and each label is down to the bare bones of supply.

This was a once in a lifetime event.  Don't miss this. 

Meanwhile, new in the Heavy Ripples distro. The European only split 12” with Craneium and Black Willows. Only 8 copies remain for North American Distribution

Finnish rockers, and Ripple Music mainstays, Craneium  released 2 track on this split. great refreshing fuzz with a Black Sabbath vibe. The swiss Black Willows put in 1 almost 20 minutes long crushing doom track.

Released on Bloodrock Records as a European Only release, on white vinyl, the band sent us a few for US fans of their fuzz.  Better hurry

Meanwhile, while we're talking about Heavy Ripples.  Distro has been massively updated with tons of new product, vinyl and CD's.  Heavy Ripples in not-for-profit, so you'll find prices significantly less than "that other Heavy" site.  Support the underground.  All proceeds go directly to the bands or underground labels.  Pop over and see what's happening, stop by frequently, and please share with other fans of heavy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Xroadie Files

Facing Fire – ST
Scott Artis – Vocals, Tony Phillips – Guitar, Josh Quillen – Bass, Samuel Gibson – Drums

Dying Inside guitar feedback funky bass heavy riffs and yelling/clean style vocals.  Filthy Life has a very interesting catchy riff that sticks with you for hours.  Overcome heavy grinding but with some melody and will have you singing along.  Fake fast heavy riffs solid rhythms and yelling clean vocals.

Godwatt – Necropolis
Moris Fosco – Vocals/Guitar, Mauro Passeri – Bass, Andrea Vozza – Drums

Necropolis slow steady Sabbath style riffs and rhythms searing guitars that just pierce you.  Morendo is slightly faster with some amazing drum wok then the riff  s kick in and just take you to a head banging time and place.  Siamo Noi Il Male steady heavy sinister sounds build and continue thru the entire song.  E La Tua Ora   evil surrounds you with waves of sound then a Sabbath meets gothic sound these guys are really tight.  Tra Le Tue Carni is a faster riff that would be good to listen to while riding down the highway in your car or on your motorcycle.  La Morte E Solo Tua slow steady dark music that just drags you to the black abyss.  Tenebre sounds surround you with a feeling that you need to fight for your life but you will prevail.  RIP slow and melancholy a very emotional song.  Necrosadico ends the album with a heavy steady riff that just has you fist pumping and foot stomping.   

Dana Buoy – Ice Glitter Gold
Dana Janssen – Vocals/Instruments, Justin Miller

Twisted Sky swirling keyboards slowly build then the rest of the instruments in a Celtic feel and new wave sounding vocals.  Ice Glitter Gold al almost disco/new wave beat and rhythm to dance to.  Whatever prog meets new wave meets disco.  Colours Out is a Genesis influenced song.  Let Go Awhile slowly builds to a very prog rock song excellent to drift along to.  Bloom is prog meets surf rock in sound and will take you on a strange trip.  Too Early nice slow melodic a great dance song.  Only One slow melodic swirling emotions abound.

Grimner – Vanadrottning
Ted- Vocals/Guitar, Martin – Vocals/Guitar, David – Bass, Kristoffer – Keyboards, Johan – Flute/ Mandola/Bagpipes, Henry – Drums

Vanadrottning Celtic tribal beats and riffs that just kick in to almost death metal and take you away to battle.  Avundas Hennes Ungdom acoustic celtic guitar ad rhythms that just make you wanna dance then death metal vocals that seems to come from out of the black abyss.  En Fallen Jatte dance in the woods and frolicking around by the fire.  Kvallningssang prepare for battle get ready to fight with all your might.  En Vilja Av Jarn great celtic influenced riffs that reach back to the time of your ancestors.  Fafnersbane riding your steed in the wind fast and furious tring to reach your destination.  Vart Blod Vara Liv great sing along vocals tribal celtic rhythms take over you very being and make you dance in the woods.  Dodens Dans fast heavy running as hard as you can to join a battle of huge endeavors.  Agers Salar gathering the tribes for a huge battle against your enemies.  Sangen Om Grimner slow melodic guitar and flute that builds with the pounding of drums and takes you away to the time of battles and conquest.  Freja Vakar heavy fast in your face pound you down Celtic influenced almost death metal.

Gutlocker – Cry Havoc!
Craig McBrearty – Vocals, Dean Walker – Drums, Peter Tucker – Guitar, Ben Rollinson - Bass

Bitter Memory heavy fast aggressive with dark growling vocals.  No Burden pound you into the pavement aggression that is dark and heavy.  Stuck more mid-tempo with blast beat drums and chainsaw guitars and deep demonic vocals.  Welcome To Fucktown grinding heavy pounding mosh pit style riffs and screaming dark voclas.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Wetton Downes' iCon Trilogy of Studio Albums Re-Released with Bonus Tracks – OUT NOW !

The John Wetton Estate and Geoffrey Downes are pleased to announce the re-release of the iCon Trilogy of albums, now remastered with bonus tracks in six panel digipacks.

The re-releases have been personally overseen by Geoff Downes and are intended to be a return to the marketplace of individual albums for fans who may wish to purchase a definitive edition.

Of his song-writing relationship and the formation of iCon, Geoff Downes says, “Throughout my entire career, there is no doubt in my mind, that some of my proudest achievements have been the songs that I wrote with the late John Wetton. Not only were we great friends, but also blood brothers in the song-writing department. His magic rubbed off on me immensely, and outside of the hugely successful Asia template, we decided to step out together with our Icon project. It was a 'bromance' made in heaven, because here we had the chance to expand our innermost thoughts and variety of influences, without interference. It was effectively 'us'. We also had the luxury of working with some of the finest musicians in the world who were willing participants in the project.”

For fans of the whole iCon legacy, a box set is being planned out featuring these albums and all the other recordings of the iCon duo, including previously unreleased material.

Geoff Downes continues,“The Wetton Downes Icon catalogue spans across some 4 studio albums, this trilogy plus a prequel album called Zero and various live releases, and incorporates some of our greatest collaborations I firmly believe, and I am happy to impart the news that this entire body of work is being re-released with all of the bonus tracks and some previously unheard renditions of our classic songs. It is in fact Icon in its entirety. If you appreciate the music of John & I, then I sincerely hope you will appreciate these re-issues. Please sit back and enjoy. I know John would be equally proud to see these projects back on the market. All of these recordings mark special periods in our personal and creative lives. 

“'Icon 1' was the foundation of the Asia reunion. 'Rubicon' is thronged with the mysticism, symbolism and multi layers that illuminate John's lyrical prowess, virtually unrivalled in any era of creativity. John married events occurring in both our personal lives with Classical events in Roman History, crossing the Rubicon, the die is cast and some intensely personal reflections. His vocal performance is astounding. I look forward to discussing this amazing period in our lives at greater length in the box set planned for Christmas 2019.

“'Icon 3' was a further milestone for us, with Dave Kilminster reuniting with John, a Japanese tour and possibly the most fulfilling DVD I have ever been involved in, Urban Psalm, filmed in St Mary Le Bow Church. I could reflect for hours and hours, take up the entire booklet, but for now...May our music live on forever.”

The albums are OUT NOW on the duo's own Epicon Records via Cherry Red.

To purchase:
iCon II Rubicon:

A previous re-release of the Wetton/Downes recordings of the 1980s, re-vitalised and re-packaged as iCon Zero continues to be available on Amazon ( ) and iTunes ( )

Official Websites: and

Monday, June 18, 2018

Mississippi Bones – Radio Free Conspiracy Theory

Every once in a great while all those hours spent wasting time on social media pays off.  As I was swiping my way around the Faceyspace one day recently I happened to be skimming through posts on a Clutch fan page and happened across a post from another member who had posted about his musical endeavors and I happened to stop and read what he had to say.  As a musician, far less accomplished though I may be, I am always interested in the experiences of fellow musicians, and any musician who is a fan of Clutch definitely has good taste.  He wasn’t shilling his band but was simply sharing the excitement at the accomplishment of the release of his band’s latest recording and hopes that music fans would find it interesting.  He explained that the new record was the culmination of a collaboration with fiction author Jonathan Raab and that the album would serve as a prelude to the next installment in his series of novels, a concept album.  My interest piqued, I replied to his post, inquiring as to the name of his band and relayed my interest in checking the album out.  “Mississippi Bones” he replied, thanking me for my interest.  Off to the Bandcamp I went and looked them up.  What I found was something totally unexpected.

Radio Free Conspiracy Theory touches the fringes of the ongoing saga of one Cecil Kotto, a small town sheriff and host of a public access radio show focused on exposing various conspiracies dealing with monsters, genetic experimentation, government black ops schemes, alien mastery cults and all manner of X-Files worthy fodder, told in the form of Sheriff Kotto’s public access radio talk show with songs interspersed between segments of the radio show.  The dialogue sections are entertaining and well done and the character of Sheriff Kotto is often hilarious in a whiskey swilling boisterous cop crazy uncle rambling about conspiracies kind of way, but the key is the music.  Full of Southern stoner rock swagger with a large dash of Clutch influenced vocals in front of heavy
grooving bluesy riffs, Ohio’s Mississippi Bones bring toe-tapping head-bobbing goodness together with creative songwriting and well-crafted vocal harmonies to create a fantastically fun album to listen to that plays like a pulp novel.  The result is an album that actually makes this listener want to delve deeper into the band’s catalog while also seeking out Mr. Raab’s novels to get caught up on Sheriff Kotto’s story so far, I have to admit I’m a sucker for a good sci-fi/fantasy/horror novel series…
For fans of: Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity, Monster Truck, The X-Files.


1.  Open Air
2.  A Paranoiac's Farewell
3.  Occult Deprogrammers
4.  Blue Beam Dreams
5.  Preacher Jim
6.  Devilry & the Blues in Little Dixie
7.  Cattle and Chattle
8.  Genetic Flashback
9.  Pirated Signal
10.  WXXT
11.  Corporate Wendingos
12.  101 Ways To Cook a Human
13.  Believe It or Not
14.  The Order of the Night Moose
15.  Geoff Joins a Cult
16.  Ancient Astronauts and Alien Allegories
17.  How Would You Even Know?
18.  The Reptiles Are Among Us
19.  Space Vampire Bastards Must Die
20.  Radio Free Conspiracy Theory

Mississippi Bones is:
Jared Collins - Vocals, Organ
Dusty Donley - Guitar
Derik Dunson - Guitar, Vocals
Jason Rector - Bass
Jason Miller - Drums
Heather Collins – Vocals

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Ripple Music to release Planet of Doom: First Contact EP for Groundbreaking Animated Film l New music by Mos Generator, Vokonis, Messa + Slomatics

Planet of Doom: First Contact EP is released worldwide on 22nd June through Ripple Music

Pre-order now at
"The Planet of Doom channels spirit of Heavy Metal movie."

"Now THIS is an animated movie I’ll take my kids to! F*ck Frozen, it’s all about The Planet of Doom."

"I could gush and go on and on about the admirable undertaking that is bringing so many artists and bands together for one special project..."

"The Planet of Doom looks so damn epic and manly that it just shot right to the top of the list of my most hotly anticipated animated films."

Planet of Doom on Web | Facebook | Instagram | Kickstarter

In the spirit of R-rated animated films like Heavy Metal and the works of Ralph Bakshi, following a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2016, Riff Lodge Animation (the studio behind the mind-blowing music video for Conan's ‘Throne of Fire’) are creating an epic feature-length fantasy/science-fiction film called The Planet of Doom, created entirely by artists and bands within the doom/stoner/psych/metal genres.

The story, written by art director/producer David Paul Seymour and adapted into a screenplay by animator/director Tim Granda, is one continuous tale that is broken up into fifteen chapters that are interpreted by a different artist and band team-up. The film contains no spoken dialogue, opting instead to tell the tale through the lyrics of the original music. As a special bonus, the film will include an option for ‘lyric subtitles’ so you'll never miss a word no matter how insane things get!

"The film is your classic revenge tale, in which our hero, Halvar, sets out to defeat the deadly beast Mördvél for the slaying of his bride," explains Tim Granda. "While the roots of this type of story go back to ancient myths and fables, we feel it’s the film’s presentation that will make it unique."

"The Planet of Doom is a tribute to heavy music and the art that accompanies that type of music." said David Paul Seymour. "With this film, we're seeking to encapsulate the music and art community that Tim and I are a proud part of with one epic body of work. We are also naturally bringing in all sorts of fringe countercultures who've attached to this same community: bikers, skateboarders, comic book, and sci-fi fantasy fans. It's a really vibrant and diversified community, and we've certainly brought in the right ambassadors to represent it properly.”

Granda adds, "Blowing minds and kicking ass is always a challenge, and we're savouring every twisted, tripped-out minute of it! David and I have been dreaming of making a movie like this ever since we were kids, and with the talent, passion, and commitment from everyone on board – including all of you who have our backs – WE WILL NOT FAIL!"

With the film still in post-production, the California-based label Ripple Music – widely regarded by many as the world's leading imprint for Heavy Rock, Stoner, Doom and Heavy Psych – are releasing The Planet of Doom; First Contact EP on 22nd June, featuring original score music from Mos Generator, Vokonis, Messa and Slomatics. (Pre-order here


1. Mos Generator – ‘Sword of the Sea’
2. Messa – ‘Serpent Libido’
3. Vokonis – ‘Runa’
4. Slomatics – ‘Jagaer’

Bands set to feature in The Planet of Doom:

Cirith Ungol, Ufomammut, Orchid, Wo Fat, Mos Generator, Slomatics, Elephant Tree, Vokonis, Messa, Space Witch, Destroyer of Light, Slow Season, Phillip Cope, Summoner, Mother Crone, Tim Granda, Order of the Owl, and Ironweed.

Artists work featured in The Planet of Doom:

Skinner, Pascal Blanché, David Paul Seymour, Ian Bederman, Adam Burke, Dave Olteanu, Alexis Ziritt, Burney, Maarten Donders, Bossdog, Matt Stikker, Jason Cruz, Simon Berndt, Gorgeous George, Brian Profilio, Tim Granda, and Forrest Cavacco.

California-based Ripple Music is widely regarded as one of the world's leading record labels for Heavy Rock, Stoner, Doom and Heavy Psych. You can learn all about the Ripple madness at
Ripple Music on Web | Facebook | Bandcamp | Youtube | Twitter

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Bandcamp Bonanza – 074

Today I’m dialing back the heavy rock just a tad and featuring albums a little more in line with our sentimental side. As you probably know, I am a big fan of country, blues, Americana, and anything with an ounce of soul. Bandcamp is loaded with this stuff as any other genre. Check out these beauties.

Leon III – Leon III
Already being a big-time fan of Wrinkle Neck Mules, I had to give this a listen when it popped up on my feed. The production is superb, the atmosphere is heroic, and the overall grit remains deep within the realm of modern music I admire very much. A bit alternative, hints of country, and rooted in rock with a progressive flair of emotion.

Robert Jon & The Wreck – Discography
Although I did just purchase the entire discography on vinyl from the bands webstore, I will feature the latest album here. The band plays a soothing blend of southern rock, soul and country that reminds me of my childhood listening to Don Henley and The Eagles. The 5-piece incorporates a healthy dose of the blues into their deep groove ridden jams. 2 guitars, Bass, Drums and Keys the band is complete and fires on all cylinders. Do yourself a favor and go check them out. All players are on point and the occilating vocal duties add to the complexity and variety of the music. This is damn fine stuff.

RhythmHawks – RhythmHawks
The RhythmHawks came to my attention as many albums do on bandcamp being I don’t fucking remember, but I loved what I heard. New Zealand is one of those regions where the music is not densely packed but the quality is high. These guys bring us a psychedelic garage-blues style of laid back punk rock. I myself need to spend some more time with this as each time I go back it sounds even more special. The raspy vocals and surf rock sensibility just put you in that summertime afternoon trance mindset staring out over the waves with not a care on your mind.

The Joe Strummer Foundation – Strummerville A Go-Go Compilation Series
I randomly grabbed this set of compilation albums after listening to a promotional single from a band called The Barstool Preachers who I happened to have a couple songs synced up to on my phone. A bandcamp search for them yielded a song contained on this particular compilation series, which turns out is a perfect summertime combo. There’s some rockabilly, punk, rock, ska, and variety of jams that scream summertime at the lake.

The Left Outsides – All That Remains
“The Left Outsides are: Mark Nicholas and Alison Cotton, a husband and wife duo based in London, England whose atmospheric, hypnotic songs echo Nico's icy European folk, pastoral psychedelia and chilly English fields at dawn.”
I ended up snagging the vinyl of this album after an up close listen on the red eye flight from New York City back to Reno, NV. Released on the cult label specializing in all things Psych and Vinyl, Cardinal Fuzz Records, the husband/wife duo with the help of friends have concocted an intricate listen both expansive and hypnotic. Its heavy, heartfelt and enigmatic in scope. A record that will appeal to those who prefer the finer things in life. This isn’t going to win any grammy awards, but in a perfect world it would take home grand prize. Let this one sink in and you’ll understand how magnificent of a listen it is.

Suicide Swans – La Jungla
These guys are from Toowoomba, Australia. That’s right, Toowoomba, who knew. Anyhow, like many bands from Austrailia they kick major ass. Here’s what they have to say about themselves, which I couldn’t summarize any better.
“Open the gates & stand clear Suicide Swans are an Australian band through constant live shows display the ragged glory andswagger of rock, laid back country & dashes of pop, that has seen the band grow into a live force they term cosmic country. Their live sound includes waves of keys, textures & a new found penchant for experimentation, tossing in a mix of country, rock and a hint of pop.”

Chuck Westmoreland – Long Winter Rodeo
Thanks to another sponsored ad on Facebook I was tipped off about this guy from Portland Oregon. The first review I read mentioned something about a similarity in songwriting and delivery to two of my all time favorites, Tom Petty and Jason Isbell. That alone makes this a mandatory listen. And although I haven’t sprung for the purchase yet, its lingering in my wishlist first in line for my next drop of the paypal button. I did listen first thing this morning and loved what I heard. This will definitely be getting a deeper dive soon. Until then if you’re into country tinged Americana rock, look no further as Chuck Westmoreland may be your new favorite find and vinyl is sold on bandcamp with unlimited streaming and digital download included as always.

American Aquarium – Things Change
Another item eagerly awaiting on deck in my bandcamp wishlist is this cult alt/country allstar

American Aquarium. I believe Things Change is their 3rd full length album 1st release on one of my favorite labels in this genre, New West Records. I think I featured BJ Barham’s solo outing on the feature some years back, whom is the lead singer and guitarist for the full band. Many of these Americana acts I am really into have full backing bands including keys, slide guitar, Fiddle, Accordion, and percussion which gives them the added flair and potential to sound big. This album is no let down. Another I would love to add on vinyl if I get the nerve to deplete my account further. This will surely be a highlight in the genre this year.

-The Huntsman

Friday, June 15, 2018

Folks Behind The Music: Master Of Design Mark Aceves!

Mark Aceves is one of those dudes at the heart of the Ripple community. Not only does he deliver a FAT bass tone in the band Zed, he has been doing the layouts for many of our releases for years now. He has had a huge part in creating the family vibe that makes Ripple so special. It was a rare pleasure to get to sit down with him and talk about what differentiates Ripple and what makes this whole crazy rock and roll thing worth it to him.

How did you get involved with Ripple in the first place?

I had known about Ripple for a few years before I got involved with them. Shortly after our first album came out I was told I should talk to Ripple. So I said “Okay” and forgot about it for a few years. Then we released our second album, Desperation Blues and I knew Ripple had their own distro and I touched base with them to get the material on their store. Todd responded and I sent him a bunch of product and a few weeks later Todd said “Hey man, this is really good!” and we started talking from there. He came to some shows and one night over some barbecue we signed a contract with him.

How did you end up being more involved then?

I have a background in graphic design and web design and I emailed Todd offering to help and he took me up on the offer and for a while I was doing a lot of layouts and was managing the websites. It turned into a lot of cool stuff!

You have a family and a lot of cool stuff going on – why take the time?

What I saw early on with Todd and Pope is that number one they are fans of the music. They don’t have a label because they are trying to make a living off of it. They have a label because they love music. It’s very apparent when you talk to them how excited and animated they are. They have their day jobs and that’s their living but this is their passion. When you can involve yourself with people who have such passion with what they are doing that gets me excited. I’ve been on labels where it was a business and they treated it like a business and it didn’t have that family feeling that Ripple has. That was a mindblowing experience when I met them and saw the contract. It’s artist friendly and geared towards mutual success. Not them screwing the bands over. They love the bands. I want to be part of that.

Is the family vibe what differentiates Ripple from other labels for you?

At least labels I’ve had experience with. I know there’s labels in this genre and other genres that have this feeling but for us with Ripple that’s a huge part of it.

Obviously a lot of Ripples growth is out of that – but where do you think Ripple will go?

That’s a good question. Four or five years ago most people would have thought Ripple would just be a small label. While they are still a small label they have kind of risen to be one of the top labels for this kind of music. I know so many bands that would love to be on Ripple and not all of them are small bands. There’s a lot of great mid level bands that would love to be on Ripple. I see that upward trajectory just continuing. Who knows? I feel like this whole scene is on the verge of becoming something bigger altogether. Ripple is really going to be on the forefront of that, riding that wave.

It feels like Ripple was the right people at the right time. Why do you think this music is blowing up right now?

Rock and roll, it comes in cycles. It’s done that for the past 30 something years. It had a one two punch with grunge and the punk stuff, then it went underground for a while, I feel like people whether its kids or older folks are wanting to hear something fresh and organic, we don’t get that from computerized beats. I’ve really noticed an increase of younger people at the shows I’ve been going to in the past few years. If you go to an Iron Maiden show it’s crazy how many young people are there for music that started 40 years ago!

What’s your favorite Ripple memory?

The first Ripplefest. That was where the tradition of bringing cake to the shows started. Now at a lot of Ripple shows there is always a cake involved.

At what point did you see, “Oh shit, this is happening?” When did you see it would become a bigger thing?

I think with every subsequent signing. They are really smart about who they sign whether it be a band that has been on the scene for a while and has a following or a new band that has a lot of buzz or reissuing stuff that is old and super rare or hard to find. I think that each time they sign someone it’s like “Oh wow!” It’s a level up for the label!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

MOS GENERATOR Confirmed To Play Hellfest + Two Shows With Big Business And More; Shadowlands Full-Length Out Now Via Listenable

Heavy rock power trio MOS GENERATOR has been added to this year's edition of Hellfest in Clisson, France. The band will occupy the mainstage on June 22nd alongside the likes of Judas Priest, Hollywood Vampires, Europe, Joan Jett, and so many others. Additionally, MOS GENERATOR will play a pair of shows this weekend with Big Business in their home state of Washington The band is also in the midst of booking a North America fall tour. See all confirmed performances below. The latest batch of performances follow the band's recently completed, month-long, US tour which included sixteen dates supporting Fu Manchu.

MOS GENERATOR released their Shadowlands full-length in North America last month. Heavy Blog Is Heavy hails an, "appetizing, fun slab of heavy rock songs that should please any fan of the genre," while Metal Nexus champions an album of, "...power, melody and heart... classic rock, infused with stoner tendencies and superb musicianship." Shadowlands was recorded in three sessions - June 2017, November 2017 and January 2018 - at the HeavyHead Recording Company in Port Orchard, Washington and comes swathed in the cover art of Adam Burke (Pilgrim, Satan's Satyrs, Hooded Menace, Artificial Brain et al).

Stream Shadowlands in full at THIS LOCATION.

Find physical ordering info at THIS LOCATION or HERE. For digital orders go HERE.

6/15/2018 Dogger's Bar & Grill - Yelm, WA
6/16/2018 Hi-Fi Lounge - Bremerton, WA
6/22/2018 Hellfest - Clisson, FR
8/09/2018 Lola's - Fort Worth, TX
8/10/2018 Blue Note - Oklahoma City, OK
8/11/2018 Stoned Meadow Of Doom - Omaha, NE
9/22/2018 Bremerton Raceway - Bremerton, WA
9/27/2018 Coalition - Toronto, ON
9/28/2018 House Of Targ - Ottawa, ON
9/29/2018 Descendants Of Crom Fest - Pittsburgh, PA
10/05/2018 Doomed & Stoned Fest - Indianapolis, IN
10/06/2018 Reggie's - Chicago, IL
10/09/2018 Streets Of London - Denver, CO
10/12/2018 The Alibi - Arcata, CA

MOS GENERATOR formed during the Winter of 2000 in Port Orchard, Washington from the ashes of a decade-long on-again-off-again collaboration between its three members, all of which are long time veterans of the road and studio. The need to strip down to the basics of hard rock was apparent from the start and continues to be the foundation for the band's recent material.

MOS GENERATOR has released seven studio albums, a retrospective album, a live album, and a plethora of split releases. 2015 brought in a new rhythm section and touring possibilities far beyond the limitations of the original lineup. This new lineup has changed the band into a relentless touring machine, delivering critically-acclaimed performances both states and abroad. "They are so good," gushed Maximum Volume Music, "you end up wanting to round up a couple of mates, buy a Transit, form a three-piece rock 'n' roll band and go on tour."

"...if 'Shadowlands' at the beginning of the album is depression, then surely 'Gamma Hydra' is the accompanying mania....From the hard-driving opening salvo of 'Shadowlands,' 'The Destroyer,' and 'Drowning In Your Loving Cup,' down through the frenetic payoff of 'The Wild & Gentle Dogs,' MOS GENERATOR prove once again to be a group unto themselves in the quality of their work and the clear-headedness with which they execute their creative will." -- The Obelisk

"The title track is a bluesy, fun rocker, demonstrating exactly why MOS GENERATOR have become a fixture in the underground." -- Decibel

"Shadowlands opts for a heavier direction without losing sight of MOS GENERATOR's '70s rock roots." - Sputnik Music

"...a fun, energetic album..." -- Mxdwn

"There's something to be said about an album that not only lasts multiple play-throughs, but instills the urge to immediately run it through again..." -- Metal Assault

"Never cumbersome as the album falls into a tidy under forty-minute vinyl timeframe, Shadowlands gives listeners another US band unafraid to take Ozzy-era Sabbath and add in that southern/stoner/bluesy charm to make quite a final product that entertains and translates easily live." -- Dead Rhetoric

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Xroadie Files

Black Wizard – Livin’ Oblivion
Adam Grant – Vocals/Guitar, Eugene Parkomenko – Drums, Danny Stokes – Guitar, Evan Joel Bass

Two Of These Nights classic heavy metal with great riffs to head bang to and sing along with.  Feast Or Famine fast heavy in your face fist pumping metal with some awesome guitar work and solid rhythms.  James Wolfe fist in the air head banging mid-tempo metal with lots of great musicianship.  Livin Oblivion thundering bass excellent drums start off the song then chainsaw guitars and powerful vocals kick in.  Cascadia a nice melodic that gets slightly heavier and just drift along to the searing leads.  Portraits get the pit movin in this thrash meets classic metal song.  Poisoned Again has kind of a punk meets metal guitar sound with solid beats that just envelope you.  Heavy Love slowly builds and just stick in your head for days.  Eternal Illusion sixties style psychedelic rock meets classic metal very Sabbath Influenced.

Coldawn -  In The Dawn
Ausk, B., Tim Yaras, B.M.

Spectral Horizon acoustic continues thru the entire instrumental track.  My Escape dark evil heavy and demonic sounds and vocals pierce you and take you on a very strange trip.  The Essence melancholy piano and keyboards drift along then a full on death metal sound appears.  Only Moments mid-tempo gothic styling and death metal mixtures.  La Primavera No Llegara Esta Vez more classical guitar spoken female words and gothic emotions.  In The Dawn sit back relax and drift to the mellow piano then the band comes in and deliver an excellent gothic feel and death vocals.  This Over more slightly upbeat death metal.  My Destiny gothic classical death metal sounds and emotions.

Lumnos – Ancient Shadows Of Saturn
Putrefactus – All Instruments/Vocals, B.M. Vocals, Unknown-Synths/Vocals

I Am Born From A Star dark heavy gothic death metal mixed with psychedelic prog sounds.  Primordial Darkness mellow sounds that surround you and make you drift away into nothingness back and for from evil to serene.  Ancient Shadows of Saturn keyboards swirl around sounds like if Tangerine was mixed with death metal.  No Soul Is Near soaring keys envelope you and make you drift away taking you thru time and space on a very special journey.  Existentialism darker and heavier taking you into the pit and swallowing you whole.

Church of The Cosmic Skull – Science Fiction
Bill Fisher – Guitar/Vocals, Michael Wetherburn – Hammond B3/Vocals. Amy Nicholson – Electric Cello/Vocals, Loz Stone – Drums, Jo Joyce – Vocals, Caroline Cawley – Vocals

Science Fiction take a trip back to the psychedelic late 60s early 70s and just ride the waves of music magic.  Go By The River has a doors feel to the rhythm mixed with some excellent prog rock sounds.  Revolution Comes With An Act Of Love slow guitars Hammond and vocals with a very bluesy feel and lots of emotion.  Cold Sweat is more upbeat a great song to play while driving down the road.  The Others slow melodic guitar has a prog meets Crosby Stills and Nash folk feeling.  Timehole (Gonna Build A Rocket Tonight) more psychedelic rock meets prog get ready to just jam away and play air guitar to some great lead guitar.  The Cards that You’re Playing is sort of an Allen parsons Project meets folk rock interesting and very good.  Paper Aeroplane And Silver Moon slow bluesy and full of emotion with some excellent organ playing that slowly builds with lots of great tempos.  The Devil Again take a trip back to the seventies when music has lots of emotion and great musicianship close your eyes and drift.

Demonical – Chaos Manifesto
Alexander Hogbom – Vocals, Martin Schulman – Bass, Johan Haglund – Guitar, Eki Kumpulainen – Guitar, Kennet Englund – Drums

A Void Most Obscure grinding heavy fast in your face death metal that just grinds you into the ground.  Towards Greater Gods pounded and crushed into small pieces till dead.  Sung To Possess slow and steady evil stalking you and devouring your essence.  Va Ikommen Undergang atmys of darkness and death exploding upon the world of the living.  Torture Parade growling vocals that just rip you apart and death music that pounds you into submission.  From Nothing sounds of storms building and guitars ripping people to shreds.  Unfold The Darkness get the pit of evil moving with violent aggression.  Death Unfaithful shredding ripping tearing with evil intent.

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