Tuesday, March 19, 2019
After a very successful 2018 North American tour, the legendary Bobby Caldwell and his amazing new cast of characters of Captain Beyond are hit the road in 2019. Once again, Captain Beyond will be delivering their signature classic, cosmic rock to the masses.
Captain Beyond guitarist Jamie Holka had this to say about being in this new incarnation of Captain Beyond:
“I used to play Captain Beyond tunes in my band back in the early '90s when grunge was in full swing. I remember researching this drummer Bobby Caldwell who co-wrote the album. I remember thinking drummers usually just play drums. Fast forward 25 years and I'm in the band. Cosmic indeed!"
Captain Beyond 2019 Tour
April 9th - Club 861 - Buffalo NY
April 11th - Shank Hall – Milwaukee, WI
April 12th- Reggies – Chicago, IL
April 13th Token Club Detroit
April 14th - Reggies – Chicago, IL(2nd show)
May 2nd - Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC
May 3rd - Pour House – Raleigh, NC
May 5th - The Earl – Atlanta, GA
More dates to be added soon!
Captain Beyond is:
Bobby Caldwell (drums)
Simon Lind (vocals/guitar)
Jeff "Count" Artabasy (bass)
Don Bonzi (guitar)
Jamie Holka (guitar).
Monday, March 18, 2019
7 bands from 5 countries converge on Club Volta in Cologne, Germany this month to burst eardrums and melt faces
For nearly a decade, Bay Area independent label Ripple Music has been bridging the gap between underground riff-rock outpost and international tastemaker in the worldwide heavy scene.
This month, following previous successful events in San Francisco and Stockholm, RippleFest touches down on the European continent with its latest iteration in Köln, Germany.
The massive afternoon and evening of blistering riffage brings together stellar Ripple Music acts from France, Bulgaria, Hungary, Belgium, and of course Germany, with 7 bands performing over the course of one head-hollowing night of glorious amplification.
Full details and band lineup for Ripplefest Cologne:
When: March 23, 2019
Where: Club Volta, Schanzenstr. 6-20 Gebäude 2.10, 51063 Cologne, Germany
Bands: (not running order):
Fire Down Below (BEL)
Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel (FRA)
The Necromancers (FRA)
Obsidian Sea (BUL)
Ozone Mama (HUN)
The Trikes (GER)
Updates available via the Facebook Event page at this location.
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Ripple News: New Ripple European Webstore for European Customers! Black Lung and Obsidian Sea Limited Edition Vinyl
Reviews for the new Black Lung album, released March 8 on Ripple Music have been nothing short of stunning. Most press was immediately caught up in their hazy blend of acrid-smoke doom. "This isn’t a heavy Blues album, nor is it a melodic psych-Doom fest, it’s a glorious alchemy that will beckon the listener back time and again without you fully understanding why…" Says Ghost Cult Magazine, and he's right. It's an album that will simply inspire repeat after repeat listens. Limited Edition vinyl nearly sold out already, but about 20 copies remain, as do black vinyl and CD's, and SPECIAL NEWS! Black Lung is the first title now available in our brand new EUROPEAN WEBSTORE! For all European customers, you can now order in Europe and get European shipping rates! Right now, only the black vinyl is available, but in the future, special limited variants of all Ripple releases will make their way to the Ripple Euro Webstore. You can find the European version here, https://en.ripple.spkr.media/ and the US versions of limited vinyl, black vinyl and CD at our Bandcamp and Bigcartel sites.
Already getting nods for album of the year, you don't want to miss this one!
Next up on the release schedule, due to hit the streets March 22 (pre-orders open now) is this masterwork of Pentagram/Witchcraft retro-protodoom from Bulgarian occulters, Obsidian Sea. In a pre-release review, the Obelisk raves, "a release of marked artisanship, making use of the tenets of classic doom without sacrificing its own persona at their altar, and creating songs that find a place for themselves amid the expressive history of the genre that is as much personal as it is reaching out for connection."
Only 100 of the limited edition pictured above were pressed, and are available now for preorder at Ripple Bandcamp and Ripple Bigcartel. Also, European customers can get the black vinyl at euro postage rates at the Ripple European Webstore.
As you've gathered from the two prior news bits, the real big story here is . . . WE HAVE A EUROPEAN WEBSTORE! It's been a while in the making, but now European customers can get Ripple releases at European postage rates and no customs. Right now the store is just filling up as product gets there, but going forward ALL new releases will be in the Ripple Euro Webstore and the store will feature a special European Retail Limited Exclusive Colored Variant, only available in Europe. So check it out, earmark the page, and please share with all your European Ripple friends and fan.
Ripple Euro Webstore is here!
Saturday, March 16, 2019
What a gnarly last several weeks of winter it has been. Not only have we got record snowfall in the mountains of the western US, but here at Bandcamp the albums keep on dumping as well. Go on, I dare you to check out these 10 new gems that have avalanched upon us recently.
Western Kinsmen of the Sun - Liminality
Western Kinsmen of the Sun have tracked their way across barren dunes of psychedelia while visions of Floydian prog danced in their heads. Latent garage rock tones melt the sky with thick bass lines, wicked chops and cosmic dirge. This is outta this world and a welcoming addition to the heavy underground. Favorite track: Soft Words.
Chi Lameo–Come Not Single Spies
Dark yet melodic as hell with an eclectic jazzy vibe and an outlaw twang. This is electronic cowboy blues crooning like a cross between Jerry Cantrell and Conny Ochs.
Black Anvil - Miles
STB has stepped it up a notch on this new material by classic NY metallers. Known for the pristine heavy weight covers and immaculate wax variations, the label has crafted a new standard of bad assery. 'Miles' cuts a swath of styles ranging from blackened prog, stoner, hard rock, and hints of NWOBHM. The hard-metallic groove hits you like a ton of bricks and matches the killer and artistic output of the vinyl package like a charm. Favorite track: Miles.
Monocluster – Ocean
Wow! Imagine a mixture of All Them Witches and The Devil & the Almighty Blues all wrapped up in an heavy layer of progressive serenity.
The Electric Cactus – Demolish
This demo ‘Demolish’ is demo-lishess!! 3-songs of psych-ridden garage punk meets spaced out desert groove. I could get used to this. Killer! Favorite track: Davey Jones.
The Vandoliers – Forever
Gotta love that classic alt-country rasp combined with a little bit o brass, touch of twang and a whole lotta raucousness.
Blues Arcadia – Carnival of Fools
Blues Arcadia and their debut full length album Carnival of Fools hit us with a soulful and catchy batch of tunes. Immediate hooks and playful harmonies render two big thumbs up from this guy.
Teverts | El Rojo – Southern Crossroads
Southern Crossroads brings a ferocious groove flowing with molten doom and psychedelic harmony. The scorching atmosphere and vivid vocals bring both grit and grace on this 2-song split.
Ice Dragon – Passage of Mind
Ice Dragon is a wormhole of sweet psychedelic nectar almost guaranteed to intrigue the most jaded of listeners. 'Passage of Mind' blows ours with its expansive content of sound, while also losing it within that insane cover art.
Hemptress – Alchemy
When Steve R. says swagger, it means that is swaggers. This has leveled the field with hard hitting, fist clenching, neck breaking, riff slinging groove so catchy and righteous that the 't' in the title is permanently blown to bits.
Friday, March 15, 2019
Ripple Music riff-mongers WAR CLOUD, who at this writing are in the midst of a month or so of US tour dates, are stoked to announce the addition of Jesse Serrano as the band's new lead guitarist.
"He's a very physical player," they explain. "Jesse will bend the neck and body of his guitar and pull springs with his picking hand to make electrifying sounds. His unconventional style makes him a uniquely talented shredder who'll add new energy to War Cloud's sound both live and in the studio."
The current tour culminates this month in California, followed by a pair of April dates before the band enters Louder Studios in Grass Valley, CA in May to track new album State of Shock.
Says the band of the new material, "It crosses over many genres of hard rock and heavy metal. It's thrashing, chugging, and riffing, but also takes some lighter approaches."
And, regarding State of Shock's overall theme, they say, "It has a stronger tie to war-time mentality, combat, despondency, and triumph. State Of Shock is fast, driving rock and roll, but there are definitely some dark undertones."
The remaining War Cloud live dates are as follows:
3.14 Freetown Boom Boom - Lafayette, LA
3.15 Rudyard’s - Houston, TX
3.16 Faust Tavern - San Antonio, TX
3.17 Rockin’ Cigar Bar - El Paso, TX
3.19 Surly Wench - Tucson, AZ
3.20 The Quarry - Bisbee, AZ
3.21 Vamp’d - Las Vegas, NV
3.22 Tower Bar - San Diego, CA
3.23 Roadhouse - Palm Springs, CA
4.13 Elbo room, Oakland, CA
4.19 Rocky Mountain Riff Fest, Kalispell, Mt
War Cloud's self-titled debut album was released by Ripple Music in 2017 and is available at this location. Look for new album State of Shock in late 2019 with more touring to follow.
Thursday, March 14, 2019
New edition drops March 22nd, band already at work on new album
After creating a planetwide storm with the limited self-release of second album Semuta, Island of Guernsey dwellers Lord Vapour issue a new worldwide edition of the record via Ripple Music this month.
Founded by Joe Le Long, Christiaan Mariess and Henry Fears in late 2014, Lord Vapour crafted a sound that ranged from retro-rock to desert stoner freakouts, blended liberally with hints of doom, heavy-psych and subtle funk textures.
The combination of groovy headbanging riffs and drawn out jams, something previously unheard on their quaint island home, led their 2016 debut album Mill Street Blues to rank #10 on the June 2016 Doom Charts, also coming in at #37 for the year.
2017 saw the band take to the road in the UK and Europe, supporting bands like Jucifer, Elephant Tree, Stubb and Space Witch, fueling their fire to build on what they'd accomplished.
Self-released in late 2018, Semuta saw the band's song construction evolve as they explored new sonic paths while remaining true to their brand of psychedelic riff-rock.
Semuta's six tracks are filled with massive interlacing guitar jams, pounding drums and expansive bass lines, along with more elements of funk, metal and 70s rock, landing the album at number 4 on the December 2018 Doom Charts during its limited initial release.
Now, with international heavy rock purveyors Ripple Music throwing their weight behind the band, the entire world will have the opportunity to hear what Lord Vapour has brought forth.
Ripple Music's digital and CD release of Semuta arrives on March 22, 2019, with a new vinyl edition to follow soon.
"With Semuta, Lord Vapour have fulfilled the promise of both their earlier recordings and live shows to create a high quality slice of powerful, transporting, psychedelic rock – and I have one piece of advice for listeners… ‘play loud’!” - Tom Girard, BBC Introducing
“Mill Street Blues may have made Lord Vapour a band to look out for. However, Semuta proves that they're destined for bigger and better things. Lord Vapour have delivered the goods with this album.” - Outlaws of The Sun
“What a winner from end to end, each note an immaculate charge in the aether sinking into your skin. Through it all, Lord Vapour has conceived greatness conceptually." - Doom Gazed
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Greetings, my friends,
Gary from TGND with a road report for ya.
So, we started the tour on Friday, March 8th. Made it to Tarzana, CA without a hitch. We played a venue called Petie’s Place. Nice little divey spot run by a super cool German gal who goes by the handle, “Petie”. Played with 4 local bands that ran the gamut from a Sabbathy opener called Lords of Illusion to a Possessed-like black metal group called Night Sword. Our main support Surface Tension reminded me of Dickinson era Maiden, vocal-wise, at least.
I’m not gonna go into full transparency mode but I will say this, one of the Ghosties (a newbie to the touring life) overzealously imbibed on the malted hops tip and, let’s just say, propelled us into, as my wife Bekki put it, our “worst performance to date”.
Anyways, we had a band meeting the next day and we have nipped the problem in the bud.
Everyone makes mistakes. I guess the excitement got the better of him. We finished the evening in Inglewood at my brother’s pad. Don’t know what the boys did, but Bekki and I crashed. Just wanted to forget the series of unfortunate events. Little did I know the fun was just beginning.
Last night (Saturday, March 9th) we played The Bancroft in Spring Valley. That’s a city near San Diego for those of you who, like me, have never heard of it. Well, we got about a block away from the place and the brakes on the van went completely out!
We were able to slowly get it back on the road to make it to the spot, but we were stranded for the night, at least.
Lucky for us we made the gig as the support acts were fantastic!
Great sets all by locals Mezzoa, Shield of Snakes and Dei Lucrii from Los Angeles—stoner/desert rock, topped off by some radical post punk. Yes, please! We did our thing, this time successfully. No more BS.
We topped off the evening with a few IPA’s at the bar where there was MTV’s Liquid Television on one TV, and on the other, an Adam & Eve dildo/vibrator infomercial! Imagine the commentary.
After a freezing night stranded in the van and one show cancellation (Bisbee, AZ), we were lucky enough to find Mark, a mobile mechanic. He is presently fixing the break line. What a life saver!
We will soon be on our way to El Paso, Texas for our next gig at the Rockin’ Cigar Bar @ Thunderbird tomorrow night (Monday, March 11th)
More adventures to come!
Gee Double Yoo
Focus – Family Album
Thijs Van Leer – Hammond Organ/Flute/Vocoder/Vocals, Pierre Van Der Linden – Drums/Percussion, Menno Gootjes – Guitar, Udo Pannekeet – Bass, Bobby Jacobs – Bass, Jo De Roeck – Vocals
Disc 1 - Nature is Our Friend soft flutes flowing thru the airwaves just close your eyes and drift along. Song For Eva melodies that just takes you away with some spoken words and flowing rhythms add some jazz style emotional guitar. Riverdance just get up groove and swing to the pounding beats. Victoria emotions flow all around and just envelop you as they take you away on a magical journey. Two Part Intervention excellent guitar work that just grabs at your heart strings. Mosh Blues slow moody emotional blues rock that just has you up and grooving along. Raga Reverence 1 close your eyes and just take a very magical musical trip. The Fifth Man has a very catchy riff that will have you up and fist pumping along as you gyrate to the rhythms take a trip back to the jamming 60s. Song For Yaminah flowing guitars that just drift along and take an emotional journey thru your mind. Clair Obscur notes pierce thru your heart with many different emotions.
Disc 2 – Let us Wander sounds of nature and a soft drifting flute. Birds Come Fly Over (Le Tango) slow moody jazzy blues that just hits a groove with some amazing musicianship. Spiritual Swing rhythms that just envelop you and have you swaying along. Santa Teresa soaring organs slow rhythms and emotional playing and singing. Hazel excellent guitars that grab ahold of your heart. Fine Without You just close your eyes and drift along a river of music emotions. Raga Reverence 5 thumping bass and percussion with some excellent drum interplay that turn into one screaming jam. Five Fourth sitting in a smoky bar listening to the music that floats all around you as it builds to a crescendo. Anaya amazing jazz bass playing just kick back and enjoy. Winnie smooth jazzy music to just spend the hrs. floating along to.
Bebop Deluxe – Sunburst Finish
Bill Nelson – Vocals/Guitar/Keyboards, Charlie Tumahai – Bass/Vocals, Andy Clarke – Keyboards, Simon Fox – Drums
Disc 1 – (Original Stereo Mix Remastered) Fair Exchange has a very catchy riff to bop along with as you sing and dance. Heavenly Homes slow moody guitars that just flow around as you close your eyes and drift. Ships In The Night is a very melodic tune that just takes you away and has you on one magical musical journey. Crying To The Sky sounds surround and flow thru you as they envelop your very senses. Sleep That Burns catchy riffs pounding beats thundering rhythms just hang on and enjoy. Beauty Secrets nice melodies that just have you kicking back and relaxing. Life In The Air Age a very jazzy bluesy feel that will have you up and grooving along. Like An Old Blues get up sing and sway along to the rhythm. Crystal Gazing excellent guitar work emotional playing with a few tempo changes. Blazing Apostles get up dance bop and sing along as you enjoy them music. Ships In The Night (Single Version/A Side Of Single) slightly shorter version.
Disc 2 – (The 2018 Stereo Mix) Fair Exchange singing dancing and drinking the night away. Heavenly Homes just close your eyes and drift along. Ships In The Night has a brighter cleaner feel to the music on this mix. Crying To The Sky just relax and enjoy the musical journey. Sleep That Burns stand up full of energy and just rock out. Beauty Secrets strumming guitars melodic vocals just sing along. Life In The Air Age just flow along to the catchy melodies and searing leads. Like An Old Blues get up and just jam away. Crystal Gazing riding down the road on a horse just enjoying the view. Blazing Apostles, a crisper cleaner mix. (Previous Unreleased Bonus Tracks)(First Version) Ships In The Night has a very prog rock feel. Beauty Secrets just kick back with friends and sing along. The Mystery Demo very melodic and folky (Alternate Vocal Version) Crystal Gazing different lyrics. (First Version) Crying To The Sky original version (Alternate Vocal Version) Ships In The Night different vocals.
Disc 3 – BBC Radio Recordings – (Live) Life In The Air Age a very melodic jazzy feeling live song. Sister Seagull has a very catchy riff that just grabs you and takes you away. Ships In The Night excellent prog rock to just jam away with. Maid in Heaven is slightly heavier with some great keyboards and excellent musicianship. Third Floor Heaven slow emotional and majestic. Blazing Apostles bop dance and swing to the rhythm. (BBC Radio One In Concert January 15th 1976 John Peel Session) Crying to The Sky slow and drifting along melodies. Piece Of Mind a very catchy riff full of great emotions that will just grab you and not let go. (BBC Radio One In Concert February 10th 1976 John Peel Session) Blazing Apostles a very catchy song that will have to dancing to every note.
HOIA – Scavenger
Prateek Rajagopal – Guitar, Colin Edwin – Bass, Wojtek Deregowski – Drums
Write Across grab ahold hang on for a wild musical journey thru time and space imagination. Escape Orb alone in a void just drifting along thru darkness. Electric Wizard melodies that just wrap themselves around you and take you into a weird trip. Part II just close your eyes and drift away into nothingness. Scavenger an excellent prog rock metal excursion.
Jan Klose - In Tandem
Jann Klose – Vocals/Guitar, SakhileNkosi – Bass, Ezra Erasmus – Keyboards, Leagan Breda – Drums, Raymond Green – Guitar, Guest Vocals – Annie Haslam, Tamara Dey, Karen Zoid, The RJ Benjamin Voices
Love High strumming guitars flowing rhythms and emotional vocals. Dear Mel just sitting back watching your friend sing and play guitar just making the day drift away. Don’t Give Up just close your eyes and flow along with the emotions of the tune. What Have You Got To Say acoustic guitars folky vocals just riding down the road strumming along. Never Fall just sitting around a fire singing and playing guitar as the friendship flows. You And I (Cosmic Love) classical music soars on the airwaves then it turns into a bluesy number. Hochzietslied soft tones float thru the air with some very emotional vocals. Pour The Champagne has a very catchy riff and soulful vocals to just take you away. After The Last close your eyes and just take a tip thru many memories. Take Me 2 Forever has a very hip beat that just takes you over and makes you get up and groove. What Is It has a rockabilly bluesy feel just ride along. Win This Fight folky guitar strums with some great vocals. Wedding Song join in and just sing along.
Renaissance – A Symphonic Journey
Annie Haslam – Vocals, Rave Tesar – Piano, Geoffrey Langley – Keyboards, Mark Lambert – Guitar, Frank Pagano – Drums/Percussion, Leo Traversa - Bass, The Renaissance Chamber Orchestra
Disc 1 - Prologue the music builds and flows thru many different emotions just relax and enjoy. Trip To the Fair emotional piano just pierces your heart ten a very jazzy song with many different feelings. Carpet Of The Sun prog jazz classical a very interesting musical journey. At The Harbour flowing piano tones envelop you then the music slowly builds with a very classical feel and soaring vocals. Grandine Il Vento relax and just flow along with the great musicianship. Symphony Of Light hang on for an amazing musical magical journey.
Disc 2 – Kalynda sitting in the woods just enjoying the various feels that the music brings. Island alone on an island just enjoying the peace and harmony. Mother Russia takes you back to a simpler time and place with a few tempo changes. Song For All Seasons is a very upbeat song that just grabs ahold and takes you for an amazing trip. Ashes Are Burning ends the show with some amazing musicianship and soulful vocals.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Las Robertas to Perform at Coachella 2019; Costa Rican Trio to Release New EP, 'Together Outrageously', April 12 via Rogue Wave Records
Ascending Rock Group Set to Make History as First-Ever Costa Rican Band to Perform at Lauded California Music & Arts Festival
Hailing from San José, Costa Rica, Las Robertas (aka The Robertas) is a garage rock / psychedelic pop band whose name draws inspiration from 60's girl groups and The Ramones. Formed in 2009, Las Robertas -- Mercedes Oller (vocals / guitars), Sonya Carmona (guitars) and Fabrizio Durán (drums) -- boasts a enticing sound inspired and influenced by 70's American and British rock, shoegaze, and indie pop from the 80's and 90's, driven by entrancing, ethereal vocals. In advance of its live performances at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Las Robertas will release a 3 song EP titled "Together Outrageously". The new EP, named as one of the "30 discs to have on the radar in 2019" by VICE's music and culture platform Noisey, will see an April 12 release via Rogue Wave Records.
Today, Las Robertas debuts the new EP's title track; stream "Together Outrageously" now at this location.
Las Robertas' appearance at Coachella 2019 will not only mark a career highlight for the young trio, but will also serve to be a landmark moment for its home country as well; the band will become the first-ever Costa Rican group to perform at Coachella, which takes place every year in Indio, California, and draws an attendance of more than 250 thousand people, making it one of the most important and influential music festivals in the world. Las Robertas will play on both Friday, April 12 and Friday, April 19, joining artists such as Tame Impala, Ariana Grande and Childish Gambino at the Inland Empire multimedia event. Las Robertas will leave for California on April 10 and following the festival, return to Costa Rica to record their as-yet-untitled fourth album.
"We are very excited," says Oller. "Playing Coachella is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we're going to put on the best show we can, not only for ourselves and the concert-goers, but as representatives of Costa Rica as well. For us it is an honor to be ambassadors of our country abroad, not only as part of this festival, but in all the years we have been playing outside. We always recommend national projects, and we want people from the rest of the world to realize the enormous talent that exists in this country, not only at the musical level, but in all areas."
Las Robertas will not only kick out the jams at Coachella, they will also bring local clothing and jewelry to promote the art of Costa Rica, working together with talented local entrepreneurs; MussMuss and Atomic 79 (read more here) to spotlight its country's arts and culture movements. As such, Mercedes Oller's Instagram account was named one of the "13 Tico Instagram Accounts That Highlight Costa Rica’s Flourishing, Eco-Friendly Style Scene" (see here) by the Latin music, culture and entertainment platform Remezcla.
Las Robertas - Full Performance (Live on KEXP)
Las Robertas released their debut full-length album “Cry Out Loud” in 2010 and started gaining immediate popularity through well-recognized blogs (Hipster Runoff, Gorilla vs. Bear, AlteredZones, The Dumbing of America). The trio's trippy noise-pop garage-rock took the international music scene by storm, and the band quickly became a darling on the indie festival circuit in Europe as well as the Americas. In its time as a band, Las Robertas has played festivals such as SXSW, Rock al Parque, All My Friends, and Levitation. In 2011, Las Robertas became the first Costa Rican group to play Mexico's Nrmal Festival and Barcelona's Primavera Sound, the latter being considered one of the most prestigious in the world.
The group, which has toured both Europe & America and shared stages with bands like Echo & the Bunnymen, Pearl Jam, Warpaint, Flaming Lips, Primal Scream and more, considers itself influenced by punk music with a hard inspiration of soul and surf. Their principal influences include the C86-era bands The Vaselines, Black Tambourine, The Field Mice, and Beat Happening, as well as Sonic Youth, The Velvet Underground, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Wipers, Fugazi, early My Bloody Valentine, and The Amps, among others. View a Las Robertas EPK at this location.
1.) Thunder Rider
2.) Together Outrageously (stream HERE)
"With each turn of the kaleidoscope, Las Robertas' music shape-shifts to offer new ways to hear its bright, hypnotic sounds. It's a magical mosaic that dazzles...a sunny set of tunes tinged with surf-rock and psychedelia and surrounded by its hallmark sylphic vocals." - NPR
"Las Robertas, straight out of Costa Rica, are making the kind of buzz saw pop songs we should really like regardless of gender, fringe or dubious fashion choices" - Neu!
Las Robertas 'Waves of the New'
A short documentary, filmed on tour, and in the studio, with producer Jon Greene at Rarefied Recording, and in the band's hometown of San Jose, Costa Rica.
Monday, March 11, 2019
WEIRD OMEN: France's Premier Psych-Garage Trio Serve Up Deliciously Dark Third LP, "Surrealistic Feast"
France’s darkest psych-garage trio Weird Omen return for their third album, a ten-track descent into their inner madness.
“You say that everything is fine, you say that everything is fine.” The couplet that’s repeated over and over on Earworm, the buzzsaw raucous early highlight on Weird Omen’s new album, but the paranoia is rising and the band are harnessing a hellish energy to send the listener through a swirling nightmarish journey of gothic psych garage rock.
Right from opener A Place I Want To Know, the baritone saxophone takes hold with a deep pulsing energy that grabs you from within the song and drags you into the dripping guitar and menacing drum beat. It broods in an almost Jesus And Mary Chain way, taking the drive from within rather than pushing it out and into the face of the listener like most other garage bands. In that way Weird Omen are quite a unique prospect in the burgeoning French garage scene. Theirs is an internal succubus put on show for all to see. A fuzz neo-garage psych blast.
Whether they’re spinning in an almost Cramps like groove (Wild Honey, The Goat), pulling at hypnotic chants over a fuzzed out guitar that rises and falls ( Surrealistic Feast), or sailing a Cthulhu threatened sea shanty (Collection of Regrets), the band are always at one with each other to push the songs in unison. There is no sudden jerk, no need for one to fly off in another direction, no solo that rises above the collective, and that serves to add to the density of the demonic drive of the band. But at the blackened heart of it all is the spirit of garage and rock ‘n’ roll. No matter how dark the sound gets, there is still a drive that grabs you inside to shake you up to your feet. It explodes more in songs like Out Of My Brian, which kicks up a raucous rhythm, an energy that threatens to explode throughout the record finally let loose. After all the chaos, they sign off with I Will Write You Poetry, a final swinging lament that meanders along in a fuzzy daze. Like being spat out of their own hell, we’re left to contemplate our return. And return we should.
On their third album, Weird Omen have created a sound that is at the same time impenetrable as it is spellbinding. Surrealistic Feast is a wonderful psych-garage record that, instead of looking to the sun and summer breezes, fixates on the temptation and draw of nefarious nights. Definitely one for the imps and ghouls of the garage world.
Watch the video for A Place I Want To Know below
The Dirty Water Club started in October 1996 in the Tufnell Park neighbourhood of north London, at a venue called The Boston. The club's name is derived from The Standells' 1966 hit 'Dirty Water' which glorifies the US city of Boston, Massachusetts.
Past performers have included The White Stripes (voted by Q Magazine as one of the top 10 gigs of all time, Mojo one of the top 30 and Kerrang one of the top 100!), The Gories, Country Teasers, Black Lips, NOBUNNY, Kid Congo Powers, The Fleshtones, Billy Childish, Radio Birdman, The Dirtbombs, Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, The 22.214.171.124's, The Horrors and The Brian Jonestown Massacre to name just a few. The club has also seen some original '60s performers, such as The Monks, ? and the Mysterians, Kim Fowley, Sky Saxon, GONN, Michael Davis of the MC5 and more grace its stage.
Their in-house record label, Dirty Water Records, is one of the leading garage/beat/(real) R&B labels in the world.
Sunday, March 10, 2019
When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears. What have been your musical epiphany moments?
The first time my dad played Hendrix for me changed my entire world. Hearing guitar played like that was an absolute revelation & it made me want to do likewise. Hearing "Honey Bucket" by the Melvins for the first time on MTV opened my eyes to a whole different world of music. Tom Waits still to this day defines cool to me since the first time I heard him & his piano.
Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?
Almost always starts with a riff. Someone will have a cool riff or a couple riffs that could go together, and then we'll all kind of pick and prod and poke at it over and over until we piece together a song, and then I'll start coming up with lyrics and melodies for vocals. Pretty boring, honestly. Just 3 dudes jamming until something sticks.
Who has influenced you the most?
Me personally? Mike Patton. His off the wall projects and his consistent push towards breaking the sonic barriers of what sound can sound like is a constant source of inspiration. Plus his bands usually kick ass.
Band wise you go ahead and pick the AmRep band you like the most and we'll go with that.
Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?
It's inspirational & motivational to see people you know succeed. To see them overcoming their obstacles and finding true success with their art tells me I can do it, too. I have no idea where ideas come from. We just try to catch them when they get close.
We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?
We're from Orlando, FL. Most people automatically think of theme parks, but the part that they get wrong is thinking of Disney. See, we live in real life Jurassic Park. There's one way into Florida and one way out. There are so many bizarre animals and leftover creatures in this state. All the Florida Man stuff you see all over the internet? That's all very real, and is just normal for us here. It's this weird contrast of the most fucked up, weird shit you'll ever see anywhere in the world & then there's a dancing singing mouse with cartoon friends luring strangers into this place. It's almost impossible to explain the bizarre contradictions of Florida. Is any of this helping you see how it influences the music?
It sounded cool. Could probably bullshit up some story but it just sounded cool.
You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?
I would love it to be something cool like if they ever make a Borderlands movie or something, but it'll probably be like John Wick Chapter 7.
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?
I'm going to go with something like Ars Moriendi by Mr. Bungle because the challenge of breaking down something so layered, detailed, and crazy into only 1,000 words seems like it'd be a fun idea that I would procrastinate on and then do at the last minute while screaming at my computer for a few hours barely meeting the deadline.
Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?
One time at a large show in front of over 2,000 people all my gear shit the bed one piece at a time. My guitar's input jack broke, then my cables, then my pedalboard, and finally my amp set on fire. That was fun. There's a lot of these stories and none of them look good on paper, but they were fun. Ask me at a show I'll tell ya some fun ones.
Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?
I'm going to try and answer this question and try to avoid all the stereotypical bullshit "Man, live is what we live for. We get up on that stage and we put everything we have on there" blah blah blah how many answers do you get like that? It's gotta be disappointing, or boring. Or both, and that isn't what we're about. We like playing live. We like playing live so much that we tracked our EP, Scholars of War, completely live. There's a certain energy to it that you can't get any other way. We just want to crank up really loud & be as big a force of destruction as possible for 25-30 minutes at a time. Some people get that and it's a fun show. Some people don't. Fuck those people.
What makes a great song?
This is a good question, and anyone who gives you a legit answer is lying, wrong, or delusional. None of us know why a song is great, we just know something great when we hear it. And anyone who tries to tell you they know more than that is trying to sell you a songwriting class. Tell them to go fuck themselves.
Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?
I was 13 & it was a real bag of garbage. LIVE IN THE NOW.
What piece of your music are particularly proud of?
Normally, I'm a pretty self-deprecating person. I'm not one to brag on my shit, really. But this new record is really good. I'm very proud of it. I'm hoping that as we keep writing new music we're able to keep this level of quality going.
Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?
There's a lot of people writing great songs. What genre do you wanna discuss the great songs of? We'll stick with our realm, for the moment. Whores are a great band all around, Ken Mode know how to throw down. Low Dose are making great music. Multicult are the shit. Dead Register make great tunes. 68' is pretty solid. There's a million bands out there....start exploring.
I like listening to things at home on vinyl, but digital is how I listen to most of my music. Can't have a record player in the car, ya know?
Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice
You ever heard that phrase Beer is an acquired taste? That means it tastes like shit, but if you drink enough of it you'll stop caring. Whiskey over piss water every day all day. Although honestly we're not much for drinking these days. We prefer to smoke our poisons.
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?
Rock N Roll Heaven on Orange.
What's next for the band?
Gonna put out this EP, then we're going to go on tour, then we're gonna come home & record another EP, then put it out, then go on tour, etc etc etc
Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?
Do people actually call themselves the Waveriders? That sounds like the gang that Dennis Hopper led in Waterworld. Waterworld is a terrible movie. Don't be something that could be associated with that movie. The Ripple Effect needs a cooler nickname for its readers and fans. Run a contest for that or something.