Monday, November 12, 2018

WEATHER McNABB - Cubicle Zombie


Self-released

Weather was born in Minneapolis but has spent most of her adult life north of Boston. She has been working on her music since 2012 and has finally been able to get her debut album out.

Having been a cubicle zombie myself at a few jobs that I have had in the past, I can appreciate the sentiment behind this album. The vocals and the sound of “Good Morning” reminded me of Lily Allen a bit, but in a good way. It had that same kind of poppy, peppy sound, but with lyrics that made you know that this person is more aware than the average person. The biting lyrics are a definite plus on this all too short album. You can tell that a lot of thought was put into everything on this album, from the lyrics, the music to the great production. It also reminded me a bit of Carole Pope from Canada’s Rough Trade in the expressiveness of the vocals. The whole album is just a great listen and every track is a definite keeper, the quality behind this release is amazing.

For a first album, this is just incredible with how well everything is presented. Most female vocalists are too wispy and boring, this has power and emotion to it, something rare these days and for one, I’m so glad that I got the chance to hear this…now you need to get this for yourself…go ahead, it’s worth it.

-Rick Ecker

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Desert-psych debut MOJO RISING from PSYCHLONA has been unleashed!


Video single streaming now via DECIBEL
Today marks the official worldwide release of MOJO RISING, the debut album from desert-rockers-by-way-of-Yorkshire, England, Psychlona.  And streaming now via Decibel Magazine is the band's DIY video for anthemic single, "Down In the Valley."

Psychlona started off via the most rock 'n roll of origins:  guitarists Phil and Dave, who had shared stages frequently in their respective bands over the years, ran into each other at a gig and bonded over beers and talk of Kyuss, Sabbath, Nebula, and Hawkwind.  They decided to form a new band that night.

Setting to work, they coalesced quickly with bassist Martyn and began to conjure the laid-back soundscapes, fuzz-driven grooves, and weighty yet flowing riff power they mutually loved.

Following their Spinal Tap-esque search for a reliable drummer (finding a fit at number SIX), the ambitious and motivated foursome wasted no time writing and self-releasing their debut album while simultaneously organizing and hosting their own music festival, Idle Fest, all with the goal of taking their sound global.

Psychlona floats between Boogie Van-era Fu Manchu and early Orange Goblin, with occasional fistfuls of Spirit Caravan that all coasts effortlessly past the Sky Valley billboard.

Psychlona's debut album, Mojo Rising, sees a proper label release on digital formats today via Ripple Music and vinyl through Cursed Tongue Records.
Psychlona:
Phil Hey – Guitar & Vocals
Dave Wainfor – Guitar
Martyn Birchall – Bass
Scott Frankling – Drums

Web and Socials:



Saturday, November 10, 2018

A Fistful of Questions With Buddy Donner



Axeman.  Lover of beer and slow jams.  Label head.  Newest member of The Weird Al Band..?  This edition of Fistful of Questions goes out to Great Electric Quest guitarist Buddy Donner.  He just completed a trek across the country on the “Red, White ‘N Brew Tour” and has generously agreed to answer my queries.  


What is your full name?

Michael Page Donner

Do you have any aliases?

Everyone has called me “Buddy” since Preschool, A lot of people don’t know my real name is Michael.

What bands are you actively involved with?

Great Electric Quest is my Main Focus, But Mucho and I did Team up with Miles Ricketson (Lead Guitar for Red Wizard) to start a Power Trio Sabbath Worship Project “Sabbath Buddy Sabbath”. Ironically Miles plays Bass and Sings, although he Rips Lead guitar with “Red Wizard”.

What’s the name of the first band that you were in?

My First Band was called “The Convicts”... I was 15 and No One in the band was convicted of anything… But Hey, it got me playing guitar so whatever.

What inspired the name Great Electric Quest?

Our original bassist Mike Hurrin was inspired by the Muppets Band “Dr Teeth & The Electric Mayhem”. Mike plays in a Band called “Ritual Potion” nowadays.  They are a rad local supergroup.

What instruments do you play?

Guitar is my main deal, but I have played bass to do fill in gigs for our friends “Monolith” & “RattBlack”. I also gave Drum lessons to kids down at the local music shop as a side gig for a while, but it was real basic stuff.

What musician has most influenced your approach to playing guitar?

Lately, my bandmates. We all have different influences which is very useful for keeping our new tunes original and not just beating the same ideas to death.  I’ve always been obsessed with David Gilmour, George Lynch & Dimebag being in a single guitarist band.  But of course, I love all the classics. Lately, I’ve been jamming a lot of Steely Dan stuff.  Both the leads and rhythm are next level. They make it seem so easy.

What was the first instrument that you played?

I would guess the recorder. I played a bunch of instruments growing up at school. I was all about anything musical.

Tell me about one of your first musical memories.

I really was obsessed with music… I remember in elementary school I got caught sneaking into the music class during lunch to play around with other instruments not assigned to me. I didn’t get in trouble though my teacher was very supportive of me. She worked at my elementary school as well as the middle school.  Later on she ended up getting me set up to leave the elementary school once a week to go play with the middle school class because I had already soaked up everything in my own class.

Tell me about Glory or Death Records.

Our vocalist Tyler & I teamed up with Jeff Wilson of the band “Kook” (Also Killer Booking Company “Heavy SJC”) to start this Record Label. Our main intent with this was to help our friends and killer bands we find while touring around. We were constantly running into these insane musicians that either didn’t know how or didn’t want to take the time to record and get there music both out to an audience and “Put Down Forever”. It is quite a task managing this whole process and a lot of people just don’t even attempt to get started in it. We hate to see these bands on the road killing it and having nothing to leave with the fans. Plus we want the tunes for ourselves too. One of the biggest payoffs of the label is hearing what everyone’s working on. We’re the biggest music fans ourselves.  Our tour bus is constantly blasting the music our label put out or is planning on releasing. Do yourself a favor and check out these bands we are working with they are killer; Bedlams Edge, ROAST, Fellow Travelers of the Illusion Machine, Red Wizard, Worshipper, Mothership, Wo Fat, White Dog, Duel, High on Fire, Slow Season, Egypt, Mos Generator, Kook, GOYA, Spirit Adrift, Isaiah Mitchess, Earthless, Gygax, Love Gang, Smokey Mirror, Malahierba, Dizz Brew, Zeke & Poison Idea. Plenty more to Come!

What is your favorite thing about touring?

Absolutely seeing friends on the road. Also discovering new rad bands.

What is your least favorite thing about touring?

Last tour.. Mosquitos. Most Tours; hot weather (Our bus doesn't have A/C).

Tell me about the touring vessel? 

Other than the A/C needing repair we LOVE it. It’s like a mobile living room. It has bunk beds inside and we can watch movies and play video games, so drive times are a breeze for the most part. Usually, we’re just jammin tunes and checking out the sites though.  Touring is great.

Does it have a name?

“White Lightning”

Do you have a favorite city, state or venue as far as touring is concerned?

We’ve always loved Texas.  That was the 1st place we toured to and we weren’t the slightest bit let down. Texas hospitality is unreal. We have since found that there is a bit of that all over. There actually are good humans out there believe it or not. There are many cities that are special to us at this point.  We’ve made very special friends all over the place… We’re about as lucky as it gets to be honest.

What band or bands have you played with that have really impressed you with their live show?

Amplified Heat! Those dudes kill it. There’s something real special about brother bands…

Do you have a pre-show ritual?

Always gotta check my guitar out when we’re on the road. They bounce around and go through so much weather change the strings are about as trustworthy as eating Taco Bell. No offense to Jeff Owens.

What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had on the road?

We totally Tommy Boy’d it one time.  Luckily somewhere in the Desert on the I-10.  Mucho was driving and we’re all in the back catching some Z’s when out of nowhere Mucho Screams “Fuuuuuuuck, Not good dudes… NOT GOOD!!”. We all pop up instantly to see what the hell is going on and out the front window all we can see is the white hood. Mucho’s got his head out the side window Ace Ventura style and thank Iommi there wasn’t anyone on the highway.  He managed to pull us over safely somehow and we used every bit of tape we had to get us to the nearest mechanic.  Which happened to be “Young & Gay Automotive.”  Nice Fellas!  They fixed her up and we’ve never had a problem since.

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

Can it be our band but in 5 years? I don’t know if I fit in any other bands.  I don’t want to jack up anyone else’s mojo.  Haha.  Mothership looks like a damn good time, but you can’t beat the power trio tour lifestyle. I wouldn’t be adding a 4th Member any time soon. How bout Weird Al?

Have you ever heard a song and immediately wished you had written it?  If so… what was the song and artist?

So many times man… Literally a few days ago towards the end of the tour.  I said to Jerry can you imagine how they felt after writing that song??

The Band “The Weight” (Last Waltz Version)

Do you have any non-metal musical inspirations?

Tons. The Band, Steely Dan, Little Feat, David Gilmour Anything, The Eagles. I’m actually a sucker for ballads. Our crew probably gets the best sleep when I’m driving.  I play all the slow ones.

The year is  2001….   Where are you at and what are you listening to?

Climbing on all the school roofs around town. Skateboarding and listening to Guns N Roses.

What kind of skateboards have you owned over the years?

There was a Local Company called Playground Skateboards, Actually owned by our Original Bass Player’s Dad, John Castro. He hooked me up with Playground Decks most of My life. Thanks John!

What is your favorite Guns N Roses album?

In 2001.. Appetite, But By Now its changed a few times and ended on Use Your Illusion II.

Non-metal song that you’d like to do a cover of?

We used to do “Young Lust”, but I guess for Floyd that is about as Metal as they get… Other than “The Nile Song”. “Take Five” (Dave Brubek) is fun to jam, but Jerry hates it because he works at a music store and some kid was trying learn it on Sax for about a decade, so it reminds him of work.

What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without bathing?

Definitely on tour… Probably 7-8 days. We do a lot of bird baths though, so I guess we’re cheaters.

What is an absolute band killer?

Heroin

What do you most look forward to coming off of the road?

My dog.  My tiny house and my huge couch. Also Oceanside weather.

What’s it like having your wife on the road with you?

Incredible. I am insanely lucky to be able to have her there. She works SOOO hard on the road. Definitely a big part of our team.  Anyone who has seen us knows the work she puts in on our merch set up. She also drives a bunch.  Constantly takes photos/videos of everything.  Helps promote and she even helps create part of the show... For example, the Anubis Mask she randomly made one weekend.  Sometimes she’s even working the fog machine remotely from behind the merch booth.

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats or Electric Wizard if you had to choose?

What happened to The Beatles or Elvis?

Favorite book?

“The Hatchet”

Favorite movie?

“Rounders”

Favorite band?

“Red Wizard”




Friday, November 9, 2018

Lord - Desperation Finds Hunger In All Men


Full-length number 5 by one of my favourite Virginia band is a juggernaut and then some. Having procured a very impressive discography through the years, Lord are one of those rare gems who has evolved with each release. Be it small steps or be it big steps, they never stand still, all while retaining their Lord sound. Very few bands can claim that. And ‘Desperation Finds Hunger In All Men’ Is no exception, in fact I want to say it is their most ferocious recording thus far. At the same time, it is also their most diverse. Instead of going full tilt throughout, the band shift between different moods and tempos and by doing so it brings forth this diversity the best.

As heavy and skull-crushing as they are, Lord are taking some wide turns on 'Desperation Finds Hunger In All Men'. Having always played on feelings and emotions while wearing their hearts on their sleeves, they slow down a lot more which elegantly enhances all these modes of being they portray. Don’t get me wrong, they haven’t not turned soft nor sappy whatsoever. But check out ‘Nature Knows No Kings’, ‘La Fleur du Cobalt’, ‘Whispering Snakes’, ‘Mutilation Rights’ and ‘This Lonesome Linger’ and you’ll be floored by their versatility and greatness at singing about difficult matters so candidly.

Add the brutality of ‘No Sunrise On The Third’, ‘At First I Didn’t Believe it’ and ‘Have A Look At Yourself’ and Lord is Lord. What I mean is all the “ingredients” mentioned are what makes Lord so damned great. There are enough twists and turns to make you dizzy but the guys keep it so coherent and fluid that by the time you realize you are sucked into a nightmare vortex, all you can do is to accept it and let your mind and being be cleansed.

‘Desperation Finds Hunger In All Men’ is a disturbing album in the best possible way because Lord leaves no stone unturned and we need this in our lives. Regardless of what music you listen to, having someone to open up eyes to things that are difficult to deal with. Therefore it was bittersweet writing this review because soon after putting the words above on paper, news filtered through that the band had called it a day. True, they have broken up before only to get back together, but this time the split seems permanent. Regardless, they go out with a bang having recorded their best album ever, and what better time is there than to leave while at the top. Still, I’m going to miss these knuckleheads immensely while basking in the beauty and glory of ‘Desperation Finds Hunger In All Men’. Thank you for everything Lord, it’s been a great pleasure!

-Swedebeast

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Sasquatch and Mars Red Sky deliver riff-heavy Pink Floyd renditions via MXDWN and Indy Metal Vault leading up to Nov. 9 release.


Magnetic Eye Records premieres two more songs from THE WALL [REDUX] by bands who bring out the low end power Floyd always needed.
Sasquatch


Less than two weeks from the release of Magnetic Eye's exhaustive re-imagining of Pink Floyd's ambitious concept album The Wall by artists from across the heavy music landscape, and two more songs have seen high profile premieres, focusing on bands who took a decidedly heavier approach to two recognizable Floyd classics.

Indy Metal Vault has debuted Mars Red Sky's cosmic and thunderous take on the iconic Comfortably Numb, presented with a thoughtful consideration of Floyd and the significance of the album.

Discussing their space-faring reinvention of the tune, MRS's Julien Pras says:

"We particularly enjoy exploring various avenues, soundscapes and emotions, slow, muddy and dark atmospheres as well as more upbeat stuff sometimes, and we thought we came up with a nice rendering of this song.”
Mars Red Sky


And today via the discriminating team at MXDWN, the world witnesses the dismantling and re-assembly of a classic rock radio staple into a powerhouse of riff-muscularity and vocal force, as Sasquatch dispensed with the disco beat and singing kids to present Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 as the ballsy rocker no one ever thought it could be.

Sasquatch bassist Jason Casanova explains:

"We thought about keeping it true to form or deconstructing it to the point where it would be completely unrecognizable. We eventually ended up slowing it down and beefing it up but kept the melodies intact. The guys were definitely adamant about pulling out the Bee Gees beat from the original. In the end, we decided pulling the drums completely out of the verses gave the choruses a much larger impact. Then Riggs tried out his best (worst?) Academy Award-winning English accent on the wrap-up. Made me crave some pudding."

Magnetic Eye Records will release THE WALL [REDUX] and the companion album, Best of Pink Floyd [REDUX], on November 9th, with a massive cross-section of established scene luminaries and ambitious newcomers including Scott Reeder, Church of the Cosmic Skull, Greenleaf, Year of the Cobra and Worshipper taking on tracks across both volumes.  Pre-orders for both are available now at this location.

The full tracklist for The Wall [Redux] is as follows:

Side A
1. In the Flesh? - The Melvins
2. The Thin Ice -  Low Flying Hawks
3. Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1 - Ghastly Sound
4. The Happiest Days of Our Lives - Sergeant Thunderhoof
5. Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2 - Sasquatch
6. Mother - ASG

Side B
1. Goodbye Blue Sky - Mos Generator
2. Empty Spaces - Domkraft
3. Young Lust - The Slim Kings
4. One of My Turns - Worshipper
5. Don't Leave Me Now - Spaceslug
6. When the Tigers Broke Free - Year of the Cobra
7. Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 3 / Goodbye Cruel World - Greenleaf

Side C
1. Hey You - Summoner
2. Is There Anybody Out There? - Scott Reeder
3. Nobody Home - Mark Lanegan
4. Vera - Ruby the Hatchet
5. Bring the Boys Back Home - Sunflo'er
6. Comfortably Numb - Mars Red Sky

Side D
1. The Show Must Go On - Open Hand
2. In the Flesh - Solace
3. Run Like Hell - Pallbearer
4. Waiting for the Worms - WhiteNails
5. Stop - Blue Heron
6. The Trial - Church of The Cosmic Skull
7. Outside the Wall - Yawning Man

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Xroadie Files


Lifelost – Dialogues From Beyond
Phlegeton – All Instruments/Vocals

Malign Emanatio like getting blasted in the face with a sandstorm ripping off your skin. Sepulchral Vault pounding and thrashing of your very soul. Released From Life building slowly as it grabs you and drags you into the pit of hell. Metanoia being pulled apart by hordes of demons. Incorporeal Gate the pit of hell opens up and hate and fear wait all.


The Clay People – Demon Hero And Other Extraordinary Phantasmagoric Anomalies & Fables
Daniel Neet – Vocals, Brian McGarvy – Guitar, Dan Dinsmore – Guitar, Vegas Nacy – Sounds/Rhythms/Vocals, Eric Braymer – Bass

Utopian Lie industrial beats with strange sounds and riffing guitars and pounding rhythms with rough vocals. Bloodletter havey down and dirty riffs that just make you get up and fist pump or bounce along. Now is a charging riff that will make you just ram it down the highway. Own Worst Enemy just get up and move to the music and sweat. GenRX grinding guitar industrial sounds a pounding beat and catchy rhythm. Illuminatus is slow and moody as it drifts then it picks up so hit the pit. along. Hex Machine a heavy cutting rhythm with loads of eerie darkness. Strange Day guitars strumming along with a catchy beat and some melodies with an interesting vocal. Palegod slow and heavy as it grinds its way thru you then it turns into a mid-tempo heavy song. Colossus fast and heavy ripping and shredding. Firestarter eerie techno industrial sounds with a cutting guitar riff and pounding rhythm.


Shallow Graves – Threshold Between Worlds
Brent Bidlake – Bass, James Bakker – Drums, Tim Leth – Guitar/Vocals, Michael Rothwell – Guitar/Vocals

The Horrendo Abyss slow droning pounding dark heavy metallic music. Garden Of Blood just runs you over with a ferocious force. Master of Cruel demented sounds envelope and swallow you entirely. Threshold Between Worlds the earth opens up and slowly a black darkness crawls out.


Temtris – Rapture
Genevieve Rodda – Vocals, Anthony Fox – Guitar, Nik Wilks – Bass, Youhan A.D. – Drums, Anthony Hoffman – Guitar

Rapture grabs you with a classic metal sound of chorus vocals pounding drums and screaming guitars. Flames of Defiance then a fist in the air bang you head riff with some excellent drums and bass rhythms with spoken words then a very powerful female vocal comes in just grabbing your very soul. Wings Of Death sounds slowly grow louder, then a crunchy guitar riff takes of foot stomping fist pounding heavy metal. Run is a fast heavy just rock out and bang you head till it hurts song. Serpent melodic melancholy guitars flow all around then it gets heavier and just has you fist in the air as you sing along and jam away with some tempo changes back and forth. Parasite jump in your car or on your bike and just speed on down the road jamming to the tunes. Breathe low bass rumbles thru you the searing guitars and a fast heavy rhythm that just rocks your soul. Carry You emotion rhythms and guitars flow all around you surrounding you just close your eyes and drift along to the excellent musicianship. Fight is a speed metal fist pumping riffage that just takes you with it. Rise Of Dawn get up and just head bang and sing along to one very catchy song with a great riff.


The Necromancers – Of Blood And Wine
Tom – Vocals/Guitar, Rob – Guitar, Simon – Bass, Ben – Drums

Join The Dead Ones slow eerie guitars flow in the air then a catchy but strange psychedelic style moves in. Erzebeth slow and steady p thumping bass pounding drums and a riff that just grabs you. Of Blood And Wine moody melancholic guitars drift along close your eyes and just drift with it. Secular Lord is a foot stomping fist in the air metal riff that just rocks out. Lust is psychedelia music that just is a strange mind trip. The Gathering eerie guitars crawl over the airwaves then a plodding sound of dementia.


-Xroadie

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A Ripple Conversation With Domkraft


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 epiphanies 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?

Oh, there have been a few. Discovering Kiss and AC/DC as a child was probably the first, and from there things escalated quickly. Kill 'em All completely knocked me out a few years later and I still remember the eerie, freezing sensation when I heard Black Sabbaths "Black Sabbath" the first time - which strangely enough was the Dio version on "Live Evil". It was like someone opened the gates to a new world. A slightly intimidating one, but at the same time extremely appealing and exciting. And a bit later in life I became equally overwhelmed when I first heard bands like My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3 and Suicide. That music really had nothing to do with anything I had previously experienced and felt really introvert and almost spiritual compared to the super extrovert exercises of metal in general - but it grabbed me all the same. I still experience these musical "rebirths" at rare occasions - discovering MC5 and The Stooges comes close - , but I believe those are the ones that have shaped me the most.

Talk to us about the songwriting process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Nine times out of ten - a riff or a chord sequence. Then it's all trying it out, molding and, hopefully, put it in some kind of context - or even let it dictate the context.  Lyrics come way later, and are almost always a consequence of the mood of the song.

Who has influenced you the most?

I can't narrow it down that much. The whole idea with this band was to play heavy music that combined juicy, thick riffs with the minimalist approach of the space rock/psych scene. Music that is heavy, but not necessarily metal. It's all good if it turns out to be metal after all in the end, but it doesn't have to be restricted to that. In that sense, a band like God Machine - the since long defunct San Diego trio - has probably inspired us quite a lot. When they were at their best, they sort of defied characterization - it was unarguably heavy, but there was so much more going on as well. That really appeals to me. Swans is another one of those bands. I mean, I love good metal as much as the next guy, but there is something special with bands that get the same massive, almost overwhelming, feeling from going a different route. 
 
Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

We just live, man. Listening to old stuff, listening to new stuff. Watching films, reading books. Going to shows. We pick up good ideas and steal things constantly. And then make them more or less unrecognizable. So then it's hardly stealing, right?

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

Stockholm is, by Scandinavian measures, a big city. It's pretty hectic, over-crowded and has a sense of constant restlessness. And at the same time it's also a really beautiful city - like most cities with a lot of water. You really need to find your own thing, some kind of fuse to let the steam out, otherwise you'd be a nervous wreck. But we all come from smaller places originally. I grew up in a small village on the countryside, so my childhood was in an environment that was the polar opposite of where I live today, and have for over 20 years now. I am pretty sure I speak for the entire band when I say that the main inspiration for picking up an instrument to begin with was boredom and under-stimulation. Music brought some kind of context to our lives, but it was not really until we all moved away to bigger cities that we could get that urge somewhat fulfilled, meet  more like-minded people, see other bands etc. So I guess there are quite a few factors that shaped us. But escapism and curiosity are two main factors.  

Where'd the band name come from?

Martin, the guitarist, came up with the name before we even started playing together. It actually translates to "jack", as used when changing tires, so in Sweden, I guess the name is regarded as pretty silly. But it's also a combination of two Swedish words that mean "judgement/verdict" and "power/force". Plus, pronounced with an English it sounds pretty much like a doom spacecraft, which of course sounds way better. The name really works better abroad.

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

Oh, where do I start? I could go on forever - scoring any movie is pure bucket list stuff for me. But just one....let's say the next Christopher Nolan one set in space.

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?

Hard one. Does it have to be a heavy song? Otherwise, I'd choose Harry Nilsson's "Without You" and use those 1,000 words just to state how superior that version of the track is to everyone else's.  A lot of times when I mention my love for that song, I get the ironic "oh, yeah, such a  classic guilty pleasure track", but HELL NO! My relationship with that song is 100% sincere. It is the ballad of ballads. Heartbreak has never been so pure - and his vocals....don't get me started (at least not until I have the official assignment):

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

Sorry, dude. We've played far too little to experience anything worth mentioning. A 3 AM show at a squat in Berlin with a local drunk repeatedly entering the stage to grab the mic to sing Nirvana's "Sliver" is probably the most memorable moment yet. Otherwise it's more about gear issues and the stupidity of trying out new songs too early. Isn't everything that has to do with playing in a band Spinal Tap, really?

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

Bloody love it. To be completely honest, to me, recording albums is more or less just a means to be able to do more shows. When everything falls to place in a live setting - that connection is unrivaled.

What makes a great song?

It has to have something that moves you, be it physically or mentally. And a feeling of timelessness.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

It must have been a super primitive thrash metal tune. Probably about evil Nazis. My first band was a thrash band. I could barely play a single chord, so I was left with vocal duties. We never played live, I don't think we even knew that would be a possibility, and only occasionally had a bassist. I particularly remember this one guy who played with us for a few weeks and suddenly went out for a smoke during practice and never came back. Months later, we met him and he was like "yeah, you know, shit happens". Our drummer went on to join At The Gates, so I guess something good came out of it though.
 
What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

When we did Meltdown of the Orb, I think we tapped into something new and interesting. That one actually came from us jamming Spacemen 3's "Revolution" and then adding just one note to the riff. I think that was the first time I really felt that the combination we strive for really worked and became something somewhat unique. And it's still a blast to do live. 

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

I am horrible at answering things l like this, since I listen to music all the time but always tend to forget what I hear and like. But Nick Cave still continues to amaze me, and his last two records have been his strongest in a long while. And I love Yob. They also seem to derive from a vast and broad set of influences, plus Mike's vocals only get better with time. And as far as newer bands go, I really like Youngblood Supercult and how the Neil Young heritage is so present in all of their best songs. The latest Spiritualized is also a great comeback to form. Anna von Hausswolff is pretty much a genius even though she is borderline goth, which usually is Kryptonite to me, but the sheer force of her music somehow transcends that. A lot of the stuff Colin Stetson is doing is super interesting also. Tribulation are excellent, they are really en route to have something really unique while still firmly rooted in classic heavy metal. Slomatics!  The songs on the latest split EP are as good as Estron - which is one of my fave heavy albums ever. Kungens Män put out excellent space-psych albums in a stunning pace, Toke has some catchy as fuck riffs, Besvärjelsen  are also breaking new grounds and has one of the best and most charismatic vocalists around. Should I stop here? Ok. Ask me tomorrow and I'll add an equal amount of bands again.

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

Vinyl. But I have kids. So, it's almost only digital consumption through headphones.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Oh, has to be beer. Can't mess with them imperial stouts and hard ales. Actually, I like almost all kinds of beer. It all depends on the situation. That said, I am no stranger to whiskey either, but if cornered I have to go with beer.

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?

Start with Sound Pollution for all your metal needs, then it's all about S:t Eriksgatan - Trash Palace/Nostalgipalatset and then Record Hunter. Great used sections with loads of rarities, but not necessarily at bargain prices.

What's next for the band?

Hopefully more shows and festivals to come. We also have two contributions on the Pink Floyd Redux albums; The Wall Redux and The Best of Pink Floyd Redux that should be out any day now. And, yeah, we've got a really cool EP coming out next year also. It features an epic, 13-minute track with three insanely great guest vocalists - Marty from Slomatics, Lea from Besvärjelsen and - Mark Lanegan. It will be out on the PostWax vinyl subscription service and and I can't wait to reveal that one. A super special track that we've had with us for years, just waiting to give it the right treatment.  

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

Keep your minds and hearts open and all will be well. Plus, buy our records. And merch.

Monday, November 5, 2018

WE ARE THE CATALYST - Predators



This Swedish metal band has released a new song that is darker and heavier than what they have done in the past, this is a taste of the new album that they are looking to release soon. They were formed in November of 2012 and the name "We Are The Catalyst" is meant as encouragement to overcome and challenge the darker parts of ourselves and others, to invite the listeners to keep fighting in a rough and dark world, and try to encourage them to be their best self, even when it might seem hopeless.

The song is tight, played with power and energy and the emotive vocals are amazing. The song is a definite treat for fans and for those looking forward to the new album; this is something that makes me want to hear it. This is not some boring or contrived crap, this is a hard-hitting example of modern metal with female vocals that aren’t your typical operatic or wispy junk, the vocals are strong and the band just kills it.

Coming as a preview of their new album, this will blow you away and make you want to go get that new album. The band just seems to be getting better with every release and will soon be blowing up big all over the place.

-Rick Ecker

Sunday, November 4, 2018

BLOOD OF THE SUN: Blood's Thicker Than Love LP From Texas Heavy Rock Collective Out NOW And Streaming Via Listenable Records




"This band's sound is one that could just as easily fill a stadium as a cramped club full of guys with long hair and beards. The sound is akin to great '70s rock bands like Deep Purple and Humble Pie. With the shortest song being 5:48, the structure of the album is also reminiscent of '70s rock. This album is only six songs, but it never stops rocking and it begs to be played at irresponsible volumes." -- Glide Magazine

Stream / Share BLOOD OF THE SUN's Blood's Thick Than Love At THIS LOCATION

Blood's Thicker Than Love, the anticipated new full-length from Texas-based '70s-inspired hard rockers BLOOD OF THE SUN featuring drummer Henry Vasquez of Saint Vitus, is out TODAY in the US via Listenable Records!

Drawing influences from the likes of Deep Purple, Mountain, Humble Pie, and Led Zeppelin, BLOOD OF THE SUN has been delivering ultra-catchy hard rock over the course of four albums, churning out upbeat '70s radio hits with ease and conviction.

In a 10/10 review, Maximum Volume Music lauds, "a six-song study in just about everything that's ever been cool, ever." In a 4/5 rating, Sea Of Tranquility champions a, "wild pot of Texas stew fueled by '70s heavy rock and blues elements," that's simply, "highly enjoyable." Adds Glide Magazine in an 8/10 score, "This band's sound is one that could just as easily fill a stadium as a cramped club full of guys with long hair and beards. The sound is akin to great '70s rock bands like Deep Purple and Humble Pie. With the shortest song being 5:48, the structure of the album is also reminiscent of '70s rock. This album is only six songs, but it never stops rocking and it begs to be played at irresponsible volumes."

Stream BLOOD OF THE SUN's Blood's Thicker Than Love at THIS LOCATION.

And if you missed it, sample some pro-shot live footage of the band from their recent European tour HERE and HERE.

Blood's Thicker Than Love is available on CD, LP, and digital formats. For US orders go to THIS LOCATION. For EU orders go to THIS LOCATION.

Founded by Vasquez and keyboard player Dave Gryder, BLOOD OF THE SUN has been joined by a number of talented players over the years, including Derek St. Holmes from Ted Nugent's band. BLOOD OF THE SUN 2018 boast their strongest incarnation yet, featuring vocalist Sean Vargas, who was recruited shortly after the release of their previous album Burning On The Wings Of Desire. A natural fit thanks to his high register wail and just enough grit, Vargas is united by newest additions, guitarists Wyatt Burton and Alex Johnson. These three players have rounded out the lineup of the band's core, being Vasquez, Gryder, and bassist Roger "Kip" Yma on bass.

"We got in the jam room and everything just clicked," notes Vasquez of the Blood's Thicker Than Love writing process, "it was pretty smooth sailing after that, minus the Texas heat. We began tracking the album early July," he continues. "We recorded at The Lair in Arlington, Texas with our guitar player Alex Johnson handling the engineering. We took a straightforward approach. We just got in and laid down our tracks and tried to make a killer hard rock record our way. Alex did an excellent job, not to mention the usual superb mixing and mastering by Tony Reed (Mos Generator, Stone Axe)."

Friday, November 2, 2018

Joe D. Carpenter - Icke Troende


Hot on the heels of his first EP, Joe unleashes the follow-up, 'Icke Troende' on us. Whereas the debut was more melodic yet heavy as hell, part two is leaning more towards the 80's thrash scene. Not completely, but about 95% of it, I’d say. Normally when an artist "goes solo" the music on offer is usually all over the board with no cohesion whatsoever. The way Joe does it is perfect. Take your different ideas and influences and spread them out on two to three releases focusing on one style on each. This way there is no confusion with too many directions leading you astray. It worked wonders on 'Under The Blood' and it's working ever so great on 'Icke Troende'.

Again, Joe does it all himself with great aplomb. Hitting the ground running with the instrumental prologue, 'Axes & Knives' before launching head first into ‘Kasta’. In your face and full throttle I’m thrown into a ferocious moshpit and I couldn’t be happier as Joe is not letting off the speed. ‘Krafla’ is one hell of a neck-breaker as super sharp riff after super sharper rips me to shreds. Meanwhile, the rhythm section is relentless pulverizing everything in its approach. Add some really deft soloing on top of it and…man, pure annihilation.

‘god=LIES’ is the odd one out by not only being slower than rest but also because of the middle Eastern feel. Kind of like Nile but more elaborate, less death metal and more ethereal. And I love it! Gives you time to catch your breath before the second onslaught even though that won’t help you much. The instrumental beast ‘Wendol’ kicks off ferociously with killer twin leads before pretty darned good solo follows pretty darned good solo. Man, this is good, really good despite the short playtime. Didn’t realize how much I miss guitar solos, which is something I grew up on. Guess I didn’t tell the truth earlier saying ‘god=LIES’ is slower than the rest. The title track, ‘Icke Troende’ which closes out this EP is slow but more punishing and brutal, like a sinister force lurking close by ready to pounce on you.

Joe Carpenter is really on to something doing this three-part EP series as #2 is the perfect extension of #1 which beautifully showcases his versatility in so many different genres. All while keeping everything coherent and on point instead of wandering off in a thousand directions. The debut really piqued my interest and this sophomore offering only consolidates that feeling. ‘Icke Troende’ is a beast of an EP and I can’t wait for the third, and final, installment to melt my brain.

-Swedebeast

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Shallow Grave - Threshold Between Worlds


Shallow Grave. It's a name I've read about frequently lately, as it seems everyone loves the doom that this band has created for their new album, Threshold Between Worlds; available through Sludgelord Records. Upon listening to my promo for this album I was able to understand why it's getting the praise that it is. It's dark, moody, bludgeoning music that hits your ears like a great melodic hammer,  insisting that you listen,  insisting on your full attention; it definitely had mine.

I love how incredibly huge this album sounds, so I must get a vinyl copy, because I'll bet it sounds even larger on that format. The guitar tones range from fuzzed out oblivion to cleans that sound like ice, and the bass/drums add the perfect base for these amazing songs. Vocally, this is some grating, perfectly heavy vocal work; a mix of black metal and power that comes across really well.

The four songs on this album are all heavy numbers, with a dark tone that only dials up the brutality of this release. These tracks are arranged for full effect, and the effects are well received in my opinion. The way they have mixed dark and light elements is really awesome, and the drone/doom pieces are bad ass; I really love some of the slower sections, because they have so much power being conveyed through that slow tempo...I find it really amazing to listen to.

Master of Cruelty opens with a cool drone thing, with the guitars really coming in at around 2 minutes or so. They only add to the drone feel, by accentuating it with what they choose to play; this is an excellent intro piece. Just before the 5 minute mark,  we get our first taste of the vocals, and it was worth the wait for so many reasons. These vocals are executed in a way that sounds pained, angry, and perfect for the song. This one is just over 13 minutes in length, but every second of it is simply incredible doom playing; so the time is never really a factor in terms of holding interest. Of the four songs on this album, this one is my favourite.

There's a single or 2 out already, and it can be preordered on Bandcamp. I urge fans of doom to get into this one,  it's really very good stuff,  and worthy of the hype it has been getting. Enjoy!!!

-T.C. Mayhem

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