Thursday, February 28, 2013

Five Horse Johnson - The Taking of Blackheart

Ok, cards on the table time, I love Five Horse Johnson…big time!!! I would like to meet Small Stone head honcho Scott Hamilton, shake his hand and buy him a beer, not least for the fact that his label is an almost constant yardstick for awesome rock and roll, but because he has given us seven, count ‘em, seven slabs of pure unadulterated blues rock joy in the form of this band’s back catalogue. So, with that in mind, I apologise in advance that this review will NOT be biased and impartial and you know what, it doesn’t need to be. IT DOESN’T FUCKING NEED TO BE OK!!!!

It may be nearly seven years since the last 5HJ album, “The Mystery Spot” in 2006 and, to all intents and purposes it may have seemed as though the band were dead in the water, possibly even to the band themselves, but on “The Taking Of Blackheart” these guys show that not only is there life in the old horse yet, they still have what it takes to suck the life out of most other bands and throw it right back out there as a big old fat hunk of fucking superb.

As soon as opening track “The Job” weaves in on its snaking blues riff and skittering grooves it’s clear that the last seven years have just melted away. 5HJ haven’t spent the time trying to reinvent themselves, they don’t aim to claim unchartered territory here, no, instead they throw out eleven tracks of exactly what they do best…hard edged, filthy blues rock with a swagger. Eric Oblander and Brad Coffin share lead vocals, albeit with Oblander claiming the lion’s share, but both guys are possessed of voices that echo with years of sweat, booze and smoke. Coffin’s voice, though still rough edged is the smoother of the two, time worn with fine bourbon and Cuban cigars whereas Oblander’s speaks of years of hard livin’ and bad lovin’…more cheap moonshine and rough Arabic tobacco!!!! Coffin’s guitar, backed up by former Big Chief man Phil Durr rings thick with Mississippi mud, his slide work flown in straight from the Delta. It sure is good to hear someone playing it old school and not indulging in the increasingly tiresome habit of trying to get deeper and heavier. The playing and the tones here are rich and organic, exactly the way great rock and roll should be. Of course no 5HJ album would be complete with a healthy dose of Oblander’s harmonica and here he singularly fails to disappoint as his harp skills are placed front and centre with Coffin’s lead playing. Of course this review couldn’t progress without some mention of the man holding the reins of the horse for this release. Clutch’s J.P Gaster instils the material with his traditional, eminently danceable fluid groove that pushes the riffs into an almost funky direction, particularly on album curve ball “You’re My Girl” which features a surprise appearance from Cheap Trick front man Robin Zander. Single material here? I think so!!!

So never mind the performances, what of the actual material? No worries there old chap. Each song is a pearl. Ok, so 5HJ may have their style, they may not deviate from that style too often…hey, the blues isn’t the most diverse of genres anyway, but each track is a nugget of pure gold formed from a perfectly executed riff, vocal hooks aplenty and topped off with that groove, that swagger…Hell, it’s almost sexy (unless you’re looking at a photo of the band!!!). The last seven years certainly haven’t gone to waste when it comes to amassing prime material.

I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that this album will be sitting pretty near the top of my list as one of the best albums of 2013…and it’s only February as I write this. That’s how damn special this album is and how confident I am that there won’t be much else to be released this year that will topple it (Clutch and Grifter notwithstanding obviously!!!). Now, hopefully we’ll see them out on the road…and hopefully it won’t be another seven years until the next album!!!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gone by Daylight - Big Riff

This is one of my toughest reviews to date.  When I first listened to this band, Gone by Daylight, I was immediately in love with the vocals and classic rock sound mixed with some common pop accessibility.  I’m not usually into “track by track” reviews, but this album seems to warrant it.

The whole album was a good listen. It was an intoxicating mix of catchy hooks and fun lyrics.  This EP begins with an absolutely great song.  The title track “Big Riff”.  It’s an excellent choice and has tons of energy and a big (yet not complicated) riff that I could see people really jamming too.  It has an excellent chorus and bridge that just sticks in my mind. 

The EP gets noticeably less fun after that.  “By Your Side” is a good song.  It doesn’t have that “big” appeal.  It’s pretty straight forward. 

It picks back up with a great tune in “Here’s Goodbye”.  This track shows off some awesome singing and very melodic guitar playing.  The vocal chords in the chorus give way to a stutter guitar solo that mimics the vocal line.  It’s a great, funky tune that keeps me singing along. 

“Like a Rock” is another catchy song with some beautiful vocals.  However, it is a very standard pop-rock track. 

The EP ends on a really good tune.  “The Way It Feels” has shades of 90’s rock, 80’s classic and current music charm.  It’s a great tune. 

Honestly, this isn’t the type of music I’d review.  However, I continued to find myself coming back to listen to it more.  I listened to them over and over and found myself drawn to them.   I wish they’d embrace a bit more edge to their music and come out with a full length release with sharper teeth.  However, that being said, this is another album that will stay on my mind for a long time, and I’m glad I got the chance to listen to them. 

The Professor is happy to place them on the A-B Honor Roll.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


There are few artists you can single-handedly point to as being a trailblazers of a specific musical style. But when it comes to American heavy metal, Dust is one such band. Comprised of singer/guitarist/songwriter Richie Wise, bassist Kenny Aaronson, and drummer Marc Bell (with Kenny Kerner supplying lyrics and sharing songwriting and production duties), the band issued a pair of cult classic albums - 1971's self-titled debut and 1972's 'Hard Attack' - before splitting up. Both albums have been long out-of-print, but headbangers will now get a chance to discover the legend, as Sony/Legacy will be reissuing both albums on a remastered (from the original analog master tapes) single CD on April 16th, with a Record Store Day exclusive vinyl version released on April 20th.

"We were loud and fast, and it was just unreal," recalls Wise. "Even when we played low, we were 20 times louder than everybody else. When we got our record deal, I got three Marshall stacks, Kenny Aaronson bought four Acoustic 360 watt amps, Marc bought this huge set of Ludwigs with a big 28-inch bass drum. On stage, it was just an amazing amount of exhale - not a whole lot of inhale."

And while they may not have acquired fame with Dust, all four aforementioned contributors found success elsewhere - Bell as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame/Grammy Award-winning drummer for the Ramones (after changing his name to Marky Ramone), Aaronson as a bassist-for-hire with rock's elite (Bob Dylan, Sammy Hagar, Joan Jett), and Kerner & Wise as a successful production duo (who produced Kiss' first two classic albums).

As evidenced by such metallic rockers as "From A Dry Camel," "Suicide," and "Stone Woman," the band had no problem matching the power and the fury of such peers as Black Sabbath. "Musically, locally, we stuck out," explains Bell. "We were teenagers, but we were pretty developed as musicians - concerning that genre. Nobody else in Brooklyn that I knew of could do what we could do as a threesome. And we had a style. Yeah, we could all play blues and rock, but we took it further. We took it to different time changes within the songs, and people weren't doing that at that time."

With modern day technology at their disposal, the newly remastered Dust release rocks harder than ever before - as the band worked directly with the original master tapes. "We tweaked it a bit," points out Aaronson. "But didn't want to stray too far from the original, because that's what people who do know it are used to. If it was up to me, I was thinking, 'I wish I could remix the whole record,' but the remastering was nice."

But it's the quality of Dust's music that has persevered all these years, and the proof is within the upcoming 'Dust/Hard Attack' reissue. "I think the music is relevant today," says Kerner. "I think young kids who never heard it before will find new metal heroes, and people who grew up with Dust will rekindle their love for this music and this band!"

Ripple Music to Release DEVIL TO PAY's Fate is Your Muse April 9th

Ripple Music will release Fate is Your Muse from Indianapolis heavy rockers DEVIL TO PAY on April 9th . The album will be available on CD, vinyl, and digital formats. Fate is your Muse is an introspective lyrical journey that careens from the metaphysical, to the absurd, to the pragmatic (and back again), all set to bone crushing heaviness wrapped in elaborate vocal melodies and elegant guitar phrases. Exploring topics such as reincarnation, the end of days, and the thin veil between reality and fantasy, the Indianapolis foursome create a rare musical experience; one that will have heavy rock fans returning for the primal emotional riffs, as well as the complex and heady lyrical content.

Prepare to Die
Wearin' You Down
Ten Lizardmen & One Pocketknife
Yes Master
Already Dead
This Train Won't Stop*
Black Black Heart
The Naked Truth
Mass Psychosis
Tie One On*
Beyond The Ether

*CD version only

DEVIL TO PAY released a video for the single "This Train Won't Stop," which was premiered by The Obelisk in conjunction with the end of the Mayan Baktun on December 21st. The lyrics are about the continual false prophesizing of the world's end. Check out the video at this location.

The band is hosting a listening party for Fate Is Your Muse at the Fountain Square Brewery in Indianapolis on the 16th of March, which will feature the establishment's home brews, all of which will be named after DEVIL TO PAY songs for the night. DEVIL TO PAY's album release party will be held at Radio Radio in Indianapolis on the 12th of April.

Pre-order Fate is your Muse HERE.

For complete bio info on DEVIL TO PAY visit this location.

Enshadowed – Magic Chaos Psychedelia

Lotsa lotsa good things in the history of mankind have come from Greece.  This one little place has given us philosophy, math, architecture, roots of language, some awesome mythology and so much more.  And in this particular case, we have Enshadowed and their killer death metal.

I have to admit, this is another band that I did not know anything about before this release.  Enshadowed have not put out a release since 2004, so I guess I can be excused for not having them on my radar screen.  And what a global thing metal has become.  This is put out by a label called Pulverised Records based in Singapore.  I don't know about all that “the world is flat” bullshit that so many people bought into, but the metal world is getting more global all the time. 

I have to say that I am pretty fond of Greek metal, at least the 2 bands I knew prior to this one.  Rotting Christ have had a very solid career except for that turd “Aealo” they dropped on us last time.  Septicflesh is another good one, and Fotis Bernando of that band did the recording, mixing and mastering on this release.  To borrow the “recommended if you like” concept some record labels use, you're gonna dig this album if you like Belphegor, Watain, and Neuraxis.

Enshadowed give us some pretty brutal death metal with some nice tinges of black metal and some technical death.  The playing on this album is very solid and the song writing has some nice, intriguing twists to it.  Just when you think you know where a song is going, there is a little something something that grabs your attention, like the mini breakdown in “Surrealistic Shade of Black”, or the swings and tempo shifts in “The Dual Hypostasis of Nihil”.  The title track has some cool percussion and instrumentation as well as some vocals that add a little Middle Eastern flavor to the proceedings.  All of these are well done little touches that are things that are not usually found in this type of metal.

In keeping with our global theme, it is always interesting to see how something as relatively simple as death metal gets various coloration based on the country the band is from.  In broad strokes, you can usually tell whether a band is from Europe or North America.  There is something about Greece that brings out a distinct color of metal.  Perhaps it is the centuries of battle, or maybe the current struggles of the current economy that breed a brand of metal that is very uncompromising and brutal.  Whatever it is, the end result is mighty enjoyable.  Do yourself the pleasure of adding these Greeks to your playlist.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Blue Snaggletooth - Dimension Thule

It's time.

It's time that we all hailed the mighty Blue Snaggletooth.

Coming from another dimension, henceforth named Thule, the Snaggletooth is a ferocious beast, a chimera of ancient rock mythology.  Whereas the famous Chimera of ancient Greek mythology was a monstrous, fire-breathing creature, composed of equal parts lion, serpent and goat.  This Blue Snaggletooth is a raging monstrosity all it's own, composed of equal parts, post-Sabbath heaviness, acrid hazed stoner psychedelia, and a raging inferno of NWOBHM intensity.

And whereas in ancient mythology, the Chimera was finally defeated by Bellerophon, with the help of Pegasus, I suspect that this Blue Snaggletooth chimera shall never be defeated.  It rages too hard.  It rocks with too much passion.  It's just too damn big.

So, it's time that we prostrated in awe and hailed.

It appears that port of entry for the Snaggletooth to enter our dimension was near the center of the land mass we call America.  Michigan to be precise.  Bearing the beating heart of four (near) human components, Snaggletooth took the form of Chrish "box" Taylor on Guitar and Vocals, Ian Harris on bass, Ian "Pit Viper" Sugierski pounding the drums, and Jess Willyard slashing the guitar.  Together, these four humanoids, clearly under the mental influence of the Snaggletooth, propel that mythical beast forward amid a cacophony of guitar thunder, bass-fueled earthquaking, and pummeling drum footsteps.  And amid that cacophony, Blue Snaggletooth unleashes it's tales of swords and sorcery and quests and other worlds and Lovecraftian/Conan/Cthulhu myths.  As Zeus descended upon the humans in eons past, the Blue Snaggletooth has entered our dimension to educate us humans on the power of beast.  And to rock the fuck out.

Dispersing discs of blue-shaded vinyl, Snaggletooth has found a perfect medium to spread its legend.  As the disc spins upon my player, I'm immediately sucked into the world of the Snaggletooth.  "Swords of Atlantis" explodes out of the wired speakers in fiery NWOBHM riffery of the finest order.  Harmony guitars shred and shriek and wail as the Snaggletooth imparts to us the legend of the Sons of Arasmis clutching the Sword of Atlantis and setting humanity free.  The power of the riff is all encompassing.  Instantly, I bow in a head-banging ritualistic worship.

I'm not going to reveal all the secrets that the might Blue Snaggletooth has to unveil, for they must be witnessed first hand to fully become ensconced in their glory.   And unveiled they must be, to each of the humans on this planet, converting the naysayers to the faithful.  Each lesson taught within the sacred blue vinyl is just as powerful as the prior.  Whether it's the spaced out teachings of "Zqeihander" the vague boogey-sermon of "Star Flight" or the post-western apocalyptic scripture of "Insomnia."  Altars and temples must be erected to the wonderous power of the Snaggletooth riff.  The perfect chemistry of guitar and bass and drum.  And within that temple, the Snaggletooth doctrine must be blasted from every available speaker, preferably at at volume that will make the doubters injest their own hesitation.

Blue Snaggletooth has arrived from Dimension Thule.  And all how understand the power of the riff have found their saviour.

Hail the Mighty Blue Snaggletooth.


Sunday, February 24, 2013


The world's most prestigious metal festival, Wacken Open Air, known for its elite lineup of the globe's best metal bands is bringing the largest metal contest on the planet to Canada. Wacken Metal Battle Canada will be recruiting one independent Canadian band to perform at this year's highly celebrated gathering of metal heads in Wacken, Germany. Searching for the strongest contenders, Metal Battle Canada will showcase Canada's premiere talents for one true champion to represent the nation with highest honor at the Wacken Open Air Festival.

Being held in Toronto, ON and Montreal, QC during the months of May and June, Canadian metal bands from across the country will challenge one another to join a list of Canadian heavyweights such as Voivod, Exciter, Razor, Annihilator, Anvil,  Kataklysm, Cryptopsy, 3 Inches of Bloods, Despised Icon and Danko Jones who have performed at the festival in years past.

The W:O:A Metal Battle was founded in 2004 to encourage future generations of heavy metal and rock, as Wacken Open Air believes in supporting the future of metal music and its musicians. 
Submissions for Metal Battle Canada can be completed via the online application at the following link below and will be open from Feb 18th to deadline on March 10th. (Please remember to select the city in which you would like to potentially compete.)

Metal Battle Canada application link - 
Promo Video - Wacken Metal Battle Canada

wacken metal battle canada - trailer

Battling rounds for Metal Battle Canada will be held on the following dates:

April 28 - Rivoli - Toronto, ON
May 2 - Hard Luck - Toronto, ON
May 5 - Rivoli - Toronto, ON
May 9 - Hard Luck - Toronto, ON
May 12 - Rivoli - Toronto, ON
May 16 - Hard Luck - Toronto, ON

May 24 - Hard Luck - Toronto, ON
May 31 - Hard Luck - Toronto, ON
June 7 - Rivoli - Toronto, ON

May 9 - Katacombes – Montreal, QC
May 15 - Katacombes – Montreal, QC
May 22 - Katacombes – Montreal, QC
May 31 - Katacombes – Montreal, QC

June 7 - Katacombes – Montreal, QC*
* 2 MONTREAL BANDS MOVE TO FINALS - June 22 at Opera House, Toronto, ON

June 22 - Opera House, Toronto, ON


All bands that wish to participate in the Metal Battle must read the following rules and guidelines. Bands who send in an application automatically agree to the rules and terms.
  • Your band doesn't have a record deal and isn't about to sign to a record label in the near future.
  • Your band must be able to play a 30 minute set consisting of your own original material.
  • PA, lighting, and sound engineer will be provided for all bands by Metal Battle Canada.
  • Backline arrangements TBA.
  • The bands must bring their own instruments such as guitars, bass, drum breakables, keyboards and effect pedals and may also bring and use their own guitar amps.
  • To keep the changeover times as short as possible, bands with left handed drummers will play as first or last band. All bands have to follow the directions given by the promoters or stage manager.
  • Semi playback is not allowed. All bands must play live.
  • Jury of respected music industry folk will decide the winners each night.
If a band overruns its allotted performance time, then the band-members should be aware of the fact that in this case their sound will be faded out. The running order for the concert will be released a few days before the event takes place.

About Wacken: 

Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) is a summer open air heavy metal music festival. It takes place annually in the small town of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. With 80,000 festival visitors, and including personnel a total of roughly 86,000 attendees in 2011,[2] it attracts all kinds of metal music fans, such as fans of black metaldeath metalpower metalthrash metalgothic metalfolk metal, and even metalcorenu metal and hard rock from around the world.

The festival was first held in 1990 as a small event for local German bands. By 1998 the event had become the major festival on the European metal calendar and has included over 70 bands from all over Europe, North America and Australia. W:O:A is usually held at the beginning of August and lasts three days, during which the festival-goers camp on several large camping grounds surrounding the actual festival area. The 70 or more bands perform across four separate stages over the course of the event.
Since 2002, the Wacken Firefighters, the local volunteer fire department band, opens the festival.
The 2009 edition set a sales record when it sold out its 70,000  tickets by December 30, 2008, just 200 days prior to the festival. However, the 2012 edition broke this record; when it sold out on November 29th, 2011, 8 months before the opening of the festival with 75,000 tickets sold. The W:O:A 2012 took place with 137 bands, performing on seven stages.

For more info on Metal Battle Canada, please visit these links:

Official Website: 
Twitter: @MetalBattleCAN

Heavy Planet - Bong Hits From The Astral Basement

Goddamned! The good people at Heavy Planet, founder Reg and his extremely talented crew of doom, has compiled a massive collection of everything Stoner Rock, Doom, Psychedelic and Sludge. A grand total of 61 songs are featured and no I will not go through each and everyone of them. Instead I will present to you the ones I really like and leave the rest of the work for you waveriders. You probably like stuff I don't and this album is a huge treasure chest for anyone into the aforementioned styles. Download Bong Hits From The Astral Basement, great title by the way, and explore the enormous amount of talent out there and read the fantastic e-book companion containing a feature on each band. Great work indeed Heavy Planet!

What rattles my bones on Bong Hits From The Astral Basement are, in no particular order:

1000mods, Astralnaut, Baron Greenback, Buzzer/The Great Khan, C.F.A., Destroyer Of Light, Diesel King, Electric Taurus, Firelord, Hu, Ichabod, Interstelar, It's Not Night It's Space, Killimanjaro, Monobrow, Pet The Preacher, Powdered Wig Machine, Radio Garage, Red Desert, Slow Mover, Stonebride, Stonerfront Nijmegen, The Blue Screen Of Death, Wasted Theory and Widows.

This is only 25 of the 61 featured acts on this release so there's plenty more for you to check out. Take your time though because the tracks range between 2:19 to 15:24 in actual playtime. So arrange for some alone-time, load up your bong, head down to the basement, turn on your lava lamps and light up incense of your choice and just absorb this fantastic collection.

Enjoy waveriders...and fly on courtsey of Air Heavy Planet!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Prog Rockers FEN Release New Music Video 'A Long Line' + Performing Telus Ski & Snowboard Festival Kickoff

Top Left to Right = Bass: Jeff Caron | Drums: Nando Polesel   
Bottom Left to Right = Lead Guitars/Backing Vocals: Sam Levin | Guitars/Vocals: Doug Harrison

   Vancouver progressive rockers FEN have released their latest music video 'A Long Line' from their fifth and latest album 'Of Losing Interest' released last summer via indie label Ripple Music to follow up their fourth release 'Trails Out Of Gloom'. The band will also be performing at this year's Telus Ski & Snowboard Festival Kick Off on March 21st at the Electric Owl (926 Main St.) in Vancouver, BC. (show details below)

Their heaviest and most technical album to date, 'Of Losing Interest' is an album that revisits the band’s harder edged metallic past while retaining the melodic sensibilities that made 'Trails Out of Gloom' so alluring. Co-Produced by Mike Southworth, his fourth with the band, 'Of Losing Interest' is a contrast of technical virtuosity layered against warm low end organics.

To view the video, please visit the following link below.

a long line final - fen (ripple music)

Track Listing: Of Losing Interest
1. Riddled 03:55
2. Of Losing Interest 04:59
3. Nice For Three Days 04:04
4. A Long Line 04:43
5. The Glove 03:23
6. Drunken Relief 04:26
7. Light Up The End 03:34
8. Pilot Plant 06:03
9. Snake Path 03:17
Show Details
Show Details:
March 21, 2013 - The Electric Owl  - Vancouver, BC w/ Marching Mind, Porn for the Blind (kick off show for the Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival, coming to Whistler April 12-21) put on by Powder Rocket and Streetkore

In January of 1998, in the mountain shadows of Nelson, British Columbia, a creatorship emerged called Fen. The road has been long for this dark-leaning band, which after more than a decade of obscurity, was finally ushered into the prog and metal fan’s psyche. This occurred in 2010, when Fen signed to California label Ripple music and released their fourth album Trails Out Of Gloom. The album garnered impressive reviews from bloggers and print magazines worldwide, including mention in the UK’s Classic Rock magazine and a perfect 16/16 score from the US authority on prog: Progressions Magazine. To follow up this attention, in May of 2011, the management of UK/Israeli prog veterans Blackfield invited Fen to open for them on the Vancouver stop of their North American tour.

To date, Fen’s music has sold in more than fifteen countries, and with the help of dedicated bloggers, two AAA-radio campaigns, and a music video for the single “Miracle,” the band’s following continues to expand. In surprising contrast to the dark nature of Fen’s music, their songs have been placed on HGTV (Home and Garden Television) and Animal Planet’s, From Underdog to Wonderdog, among others. The song “Through the Night” will soon be available on the video game RockBand.

Fen has performed at clubs and festivals throughout BC, and in the summer of 2011, took part in the Forest Symphony at UBC’s Pacific Spirit Park. Fen’s fifth album, Of Losing Interest, will be available in August 2012, and is a return to the heavier aspects of the band's sound. It is their second release under the Ripple Music label, and it brings together a band line up first assembled in 1999.

The Amends - What We Could Be

Can a band successfully mix indie rock with old time rock 'n roll
And sound new and exciting?
The Amends have done it and they've done it rather well,
I find their sophomore album inviting.

Four guys with Colorado address,
Guitarists and vocalists Drew Weikart and Tyler Taylor,
Drummer Shay Byington and bassist Chris Childress,
Have a classic rock 'n roll vibe and an apparent love for their labor.

The album is called What We Can Be,
It sounds vintage and modern and has it all going on,
The album, found here, can be streamed for free, 
I get a vibe of Dick Dale and Dylan meet The White Stripes and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

You can download the album and make it your own
For only Five greenbacks,
Or you can buy a physical CD ( for twice the bones
Which I think is a great deal for these 12 tracks.

- Old School

Friday, February 22, 2013



    Chances like this just don't come around every day, but here it is, folks, your opportunity to see one of the greatest prog metal bands in the world performing live! Thanks to S&S Promotions, Black Moon Entertainment and The Rockpile, the one and only Queensrÿche will be playing The Phoenix on Thursday, March 7, so get those horns ready for a night of unbeatable metal.

First bursting onto the music scene in 1982, Queensrÿche quickly skyrocketed through the charts, transforming itself from a small American band into world-renowned, Grammy-nominated metal royalty, touring the world to sold out audiences and putting out hit album after hit album.

Supporting the metal heavyweights will be War Machine, Three Quarter Stone, J’Nai and Third Dynasty, making this one adrenaline-filled, kick-in-the-mouth, fists-in-the-air show.

Show Details
Date: Thursday, March 7, 2013 
Time: Doors open at 7pm
Venue: Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne Street
Cost: $42.50 Adv. / $50 Door
Advance tickets @ ( Link below)

Also On Sale @ Rotate This (801 Queen st west)The Rockpile ( 5555a Dundas st west )

UK's GRIFTER Putting Finishing Touches On Material For New Album

UK-based dirty rock n' roll trio GRIFTER are putting the finishing touches on the follow up to their self-titled debut full-length, which was released in 2011 by Ripple Music. 

Promising to deliver an album full of material that has been described as "heavy as fuck," guitarist/vocalist Ollie Stygall made the following statement about the band's forthcoming record:

"We're tantalisingly close to finishing writing for the album. One new track 'It's Not Me, It's You' just needs a few tweaks to round off some of the rougher edges but it's sounding has kind of a swing blues vibe to it, albeit much heavier. We're also looking at dusting off "Woman Of Mine" and making the definitive version of it. We've always loved the song but it could do with a spruce up...I have some nice ideas. Once that's done we just need to think about getting in and recording it!!!"

More news on this release as it comes. In the meantime, GRIFTER's self-titled debut, which Planet Fuzz called "the perfect soundtrack to a night of debauchery," is currently available via Ripple Music. Head over to to order. 

GRIFTER has recently been confirmed for this year's Hard Rock Hell, which runs from November 28th through December 1st in Pwllheli, Wales. Also confirmed so far are Black Star Riders (Thin Lizzy), Nazareth, Gentlemans Pistols, The Answer, Paul Dianno, Blaze Bayley, Lawnmower Deth, Chrome Molly and Crucified Barbara with many more to be announced. For updates, tickets and information visit 

Mothership - S/T

Is this band trying to put the rest of the bands on Ripple Music out of business? Are the bosses of Ripple Music trying to cut their roster down to one band? Knowing the tastes of the label bosses pretty well I can understand why they're both so into Mothership. They have a very deep classic rock groove that is Racer's specialty and also border on the heavier side of metal that the Pope's into. It's as if they decided that dealing with a bunch of bands is too much of a pain in the ass so they'd just create a single band to look after. It's not a bad idea. If that was the goal then I'd say they were successful.

According to the bio, Mothership consists of Juett brothers Kyle (bass, vocals) and Kelley (guitar) with drummer Judge Smith. The first thing I always think of when I hear the word Mothership is George Clinton and his incredible concept behind the Mothership Connection. I will admit that I was a little afraid this was going to be some kind of 90's style funk metal band. Thankfully, these guys are tuned into George but decided to leave the funk alone. Instead they have come to reclaim some of the glory of Eddie Hazel's beautifully demented guitar work on the early Funkadelic albums. Opening track "Hallucination" is equal parts "March To The Witches Castle" (from 73's killer Cosmic Slop album) and early Iron Maiden pummel. It's pretty rare these days to find bands willing to dig deep and come up with something different. Turns out the Juett's dad has a huge collection of 70's rock albums. There's no escaping the boogie when it's bred in you.

UFO and Blackfoot must have played a bunch of shows together at some point in the 70's but so far no tapes of their jam sessions have turned up, so "Cosmic Rain" will have to hold us over until they surface. "City Nights" sounds like first album era Aerosmith covering Motorhead's "Over The Top" with lyrical assistance from the Scorpions. "Angel Of Death" has nothing to do with the Slayer song but definitely brings to mind the Thin Lizzy song of the same name. "Win Or Lose" starts off almost mellow before settling into a Black Sabbath-ish slow ride. The Sabbath influence pops up in the song "Elenin," too with a nice Space Ritual inter(qua)lude. "Eagle Soars" has a nice UFO "Doctor Doctor" bounce to it that Iron Maiden built their career upon. Album closer, the 8 minute "Lunar Master," is a great ride. Starting off very Iron Maidenish, at about the halfway point it breaks down into a quiet, trippy part like the coda to MC5's "Future/Now" before evolving into a full blown "Maggot Brain" freak out.

Now that their album has been fully footnoted, you should be able to decide if this band is for you. If you're a fan of the best of today's regressive rock like Mos Generator, Stone Axe, Grifter, Firebird, Gentleman's Pistol, etc than Mothership is right up your alley. Youngsters from Texas into Eddie Hazel. Maybe their is hope for the world after all.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Dirty Nil / Northern Primitive Split 7”

Attention all waveriders who appreciate the alternative rock music of the 1990s.  I’d like you to meet The Dirty Nil.  This trio out of Dundas, Ontario is about to knock your block off!  Seriously, I took one listen to their song off this split 7” with Northern Primitive and I’m sold.  Wow!  Just wow!  The song is called ‘Zombie Eyed’, and I’m convinced it has the power to bring any person zombified before the age of forty back to life.

What does it sound like?  Imagine a scuzzy, slightly sped up version of Smashing Pumpkins ‘Today’ played by Weezer.  Then add massive amounts of additional guitar distortion and a deranged lead singer who sounds as if he is trying to melodically purge all of the anguish stored inside his body in one four minute song.  In case you were wondering, it sounds absolutely fantastic!  Thanks to bandcamp I’ve listened to the rest of this band’s recorded output and guess what?  It all sounds great!  Keep an eye out for The Dirty Nil.  You can bet I will.

As for the other band featured here, Northern Primitive, I feel somewhat conflicted.  Their song contribution, ‘Positive Bondar’, was initially a big letdown for me personally.  Not because the song is of poor quality, but because it is a fairly subdued piece of music situated after The Dirty Nils track (which just finished releasing immense amounts of energy).  Taken by itself however, this song has quite a bit of charm if you like the shoegaze genre.  It reminds me of early Radiohead.  Unlike Radiohead however, this song has some palpable anger lurking under the surface that makes its presence felt more and more as the song progresses.  Well worth a look.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Jaw Horse - Cancer Creek

What do you do at 3 A.M. when you can't sleep? LISTEN TO FUCKING JAW HORSE AND DRINK MORE BEER.

That's right, boys and girls, Jaw Horse wants you to get really, really drunk and punch people, or donkey punch people, if that's what you're in to.

The album is a hangover free kick in the nuts. There's nothing fancy, no revolutionary musicianship, no deep meaningful lyrics, just hairy-balls-out-man-music. All that, with a bitchin' album cover.

You need this in your life. Go get their album "Cancer Creek" and check out their Facebook.

I have to go rinse off now, I smell like beer after listening to this album. Peace.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sonic Reign – Monument In Black

I was trying to think of some really clever way to kick off this review, but I got nothing.  And for those of you who know me, that will not come as any surprise whatsoever.  So let's just get down to business.

On offer today are German death metal merchants Sonic Reign and their latest release, “Monument In Black”.  Or at least I think these guys play death metal.  Their press release says black metal, but I don't hear a ton of that.  What I do hear, and I'm sorry if I've used this phrase before, is metal that just pummels the holy living shit out of me.  In the very best way.  This is a very well recorded, mixed and mastered album and you will definitely hear the auditory ass kicking in its full glory.  If you're a fan of metal that sounds like it was recorded in a dank basement with a boombox from the 80's, this might be a little too clean for you.  But dammit, it's nice to hear all the instruments and for that matter, understand the growling vocals. 

This band is really good at what they do, whatever genre you want to dump it into. The song arrangements are nice and tight, and the songs all sound like they are going somewhere, like they have a beginning, middle and end.  Don't laugh, a lot of metal sounds like bands come up with 100 cool riffs and then cut and paste them into “songs”.  I don't know a lot about this band but I would guess they've been doing this a while.

Oh sorry, you wanna know what they actually sound like?  My bad.  First off, to the drummer, you're doing it right.  LOVE the double bass work, fits every song just right.  Again, you can over do this stuff, but not here.  That lends itself to the whole pummeling thing I mentioned above.  I am not trying to be blasphemous, but these guys put me in mind of At The Gates, and you're not gonna get any higher praise in my book.  These are not a batch of songs that just go on relentlessly but monotonously so that by the end of the album you're not sure which song was which.  There is fast stuff, like “Daily Nightmare Injected” and “Abhorrence Vs Scum”, there is good mid tempo head banging to be had with “The Whisperer In The Dark” and “Soul Flagellation”, and when they slow it waaay down on title track “Monument In Black”, they do it well.  It is very enjoyable to listen to a band that understands tempo and dynamics and puts them to good use.  “Pedal to the metal” doesn't always have to be the case.  And good variety makes me want to come back and listen to an album multiple times.  So any of you youngsters out there just getting started with your metal careers, remember that.

This is good, journeyman level metal right here.  As I've said before, every release doesn't have to be a classic.  In fact if it was, then that whole notion of “classic” would be pointless.  You gotta have a pile of stuff like this in the ol' music library so you can just grab something and go, and just know it's going to be good.  Trust me on this one. 


Monday, February 18, 2013

APE MACHINE Announces March Tour

Hard-hitting heavy rock animals APE MACHINE, who recently signed with RIPPLE MUSIC, have announced their March 2013 SxSW Tour. 

The tour comes in advance of the band's third album, Mangled by the Machine, which is set for worldwide release on RIPPLE MUSIC later this year. Dates are as follows:

3/8 - Portland, OR - The Know (w/ Sons of Huns and Bison Bison)
3/9 - Redding, CA - Bombay's (w/ Armed for Apocalypse)
3/10 - San Francisco, CA - The Knockout (w/ Hollow Mirrors and Buffalo Tooth)
3/11 - Sacramento, CA - Blue Lamp (w/ Armed for Apocalypse and Horseneck)
3/12 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar (w/ Dirty Sirens, Wha?, and Roxy Jones)
3/13 - Tempe, AZ - Yucca Tap Room (w/ From Dogs to Wolves, Keeping Shay and Red Complex)
3/15 - Austin, TX - Rusty's (Hype Music, Swing House, D'Addario Day Party)
3/16 - Ft. Worth, TX - The Grotto (Fuzzed Out! Fest with WoFat, Lord Fowl, Freedom Hawk, Mothership, Southern Train Gypsy, Been Obscene)
3/17 - El Paso, TX - Lowbrow Palace (with Black Empress, Been Obscene)
3/18 - Tucson, AZ - TLMS (with Been Obscene and TBA)
3/19 - Los Angeles, CA (tbd)
3/20 - Fresno, CA - Fulton 55 (with Style Like Revelators, Been Obscene and Rare Monk)
3/21 - Chico, CA - Cafe Coda (with Been Obscene and TBA)
3/22 - Eugene, OR - Sam Bonds (with Psyrup, Testface and Been Obscene)
3/23 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon (with Bitches Crystal, and Been Obscene)

Mangled by the Machine, is set for worldwide release on RIPPLE MUSIC in the coming months as the band takes off to plow over the masses on a full-scales of the U.S. and Europe, including appearances in all the major European heavy rock festivals.  

Cover Art for Mangled by the Machine

"Blending equal parts rock 'n' roll, blues, stoner rock and psychedelia, Ape Machine is a band whose heart is steeped in the rich musical history of the late '60s and '70s. That doesn't mean they're some kind of hippie dippy throwback band. Ape Machine delivers their material with heavy metal muscle..." - 

APE MACHINE have established a worldwide reputation with their effortless blending of Rock n' Roll, Blues, Stoner-Rock, and Psychedelia. APE MACHINE is out to pound the apathy out of otherwise jaded listeners with a wall of heavy Rock n' Roll. The name APE MACHINE is a nod to the days of reel-to-reel magnetic tape audio recording; a fitting moniker for the heavy-hitting quartet as the band plays through vintage tube amplifiers and lays down its songs using exclusively throwback quality studio equipment.  With a heady mix of animal aggression and technical precision, APE MACHINE's music carries an organic depth and warmth rarely heard since the time of rock's glorious early years (or your Dad's bad ass record collection) infused with an exceptional modern sensibility.  When the mystical lyrics of vocalist Caleb Heinze lock in with the band's stone-cold groove, APE MACHINE demonstrates an earth-shaking ability to rock.  A true four-piece, the group has been called "a rock and roll band with a finger on the pulse of the 70's and their asses firmly in the present" and "real heavy-psych for the iPhone generation" that delivers "true guts and glory rock and roll."
Keeping in line with their proud "retro" heritage, the new album, Mangled by the Machine, was recorded on analog tape and is being pressed from analog lacquers and plates, which will ensure the highest quality analog sound and fidelity. 
With a catalog of underground releases, APE MACHINE has gained accolades, awards and a hard earned cult-like status. They have established themselves as the go-to band for those searching out more than just a few killer riffs; a foundation of heavy that will flourish under the Ripple Music banner.

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