Friday, January 31, 2014

deM atlaS - Charle Brwn EP

Waveriders, I'm not going to lie to you.  2013 was an ugly year for my mental state.  The truth is that I was unhappy.  Why is this relevant?  Because my mental health directly affects what kind of music I listen to everyday.  If you're familiar with my work here on The Ripple Effect you know that hip-hop is normally a big part of my musical diet.  When I'm unhappy however I become solely interested in ugly, dissonant, noisy metal.  Well I made some necessary changes and I am once again a pretty happy guy.  Yeah!  Enter deM atlaS and his Charle Brwn EP.

I discovered deM atlaS after receiving an email telling me he had been signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment.  To properly introduce their new signee they offered a link to download this Charlie Brown inspired EP for free.  Me?  Turn down free tunes from a label I trust?  Not likely!  I clicked on the download link, unzipped the file, loaded up the music and hit play.  Lo and behold, this guy is fantastic!  I was hooked after hearing his first verse.  Here is a good chunk of it (as accurately as I can transcribe it anyway)...

"No one understands me, not even my f!@#ing family / Like stand by me / My problem is the one I can't se.../ Can't be the only person living this in misery / If I am / I'm gonna be the spark in the sea of trees / I can't be / Voice for the generation get it now / Get it how / Like I only hear the sounds of my head / They too loud / No, no they too quiet / Guess my only option is to silence the impending riot / Impending violence covered in the color turbulence / And hope my current state of mind is where do I find 'em at / To say where I be at / Because it really doesn't matter if it's this or that"

Excellent wordplay!  Excellent lyrical flow!  I hear the influence of Black Thought, Kool Keith, Andre 3000, and Fatlip upon Mr. atlaS' style. Over the course of the EP he drops direct and indirect references to artists I enjoy such as The Roots, The Pharcyde, Gorillaz, Common, and Slick Rick.  These are all good things!  Plus, have you ever heard an entire EP based off of Peanuts characters?  I know I had not.  Now I want to hear more!

So, are you a fan of quality hip-hop?  Check out this free, top-notch EP.  Do you love Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts?  You'll really love this free EP!  Maybe you need to listen to something laid back and groovy?  I mentioned that this EP is free right?  No?  Shame on me.  The Charle Brwn EP is free.  Go get it!

-- Penfold

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Been Obscene Announce New Album - Live Unplugged - Extreme Limited Edition Pre-orders Now!

We are psyched to announce the release of…

Been Obscene - Unplugged Live LP

If you're a huge fan of Been Obscene, as we are here at the Ripple, this one should whet your appetite.

Made out of 180g finest colored vinyl, limited to 300 pieces and shipped in a gatefold cover, this double LP was recorded live at the Danspaleis circus tent in Salzburg, December 30th, 2013.

It contains old, recent and unreleased songs, representing Been Obscene's journey in the last couple of years, arranged and played live and unplugged only for this special occasion.

As a bonus every LP contains a download code of about 40 minutes full hd video of the night's performance as well as a code for digital download.

To make it even more special you are also able to get your LP signed personally and/or add a surprise shirt with the size of your choice.

Check out the first video of this special show

The album is planned to be out by the end of April 2014 but you can pre-order it already! Quantity is limited so make sure you order right now...

DLP, 180g, VIDEO, MP3 | € 35.-
DLP, 180g, VIDEO, MP3, SURPRISE SHIRT | € 45.-

All prices plus shipping, tax included, only available through the official Been Obscene store.


Ripple Conversation with Stu Block - Iced Earth

Iced Earth
Plagues Of Babylon

This is the album that should set the bar higher than before. Plagues Of Babylon is a tour de force of powerful metal riffs and insanely gifted lyrics. This is the reason why so many metal fans around the world love this band. Consistent, powerful, and passionate.

Not every day the vocalist from one of metals biggest bands calls you. Stu Block, vocalist, was sincere and laid back and he was very excited to talk about Iced Earths latest offering, Plagues Of Babylon.

Congrats on the upcoming release. Sounds amazing.
Cool man. Glad you liked it. Always excited to bring metal to the masses.

How do you prepare mentally and vocally for the studio and tour?
Just try to keep a clear head. Get a lot of sleep and stay hydrated.  Make sure I'm rehearsed and all that stuff.

Are you the main lyricist or is it a shared job.
John  is the riff machine. So he has the riffs and he builds on them. I help with the lyrics, melody, and the cadences. I present ideas to him and he helps tweak them.

Where did you record the Album?
Recorded in Germany at Principle Studios.

The album seems to be split in half with one section concerned with a zombie apocalypse and the other a series of unconnected songs.
We realized we could tell the story of the zombie apocalypse in 6 songs. So we figured we had to add another 6 stand alone songs.

Track 8 is a reference to the H.P. Lovecraft character, Cthulhu. Are you a fan of Lovecraft?

I love Lovecraft. I wrote the lyrics for that one. Initially it was Johns idea. We were getting drunk on the beach and I said we should write a song about the ocean. And he said we should write about Cthulhu rising from the ocean. So that was the seed right there.

I think the song is awesome. I am a big Lovecraft fan as well.
When you get a hold of the lyrics I would be interested in your opinion especially as a fan of Lovecraft.

The song has that New England Metal feel

Favorite Bands growing up?
Rush, Priest, Iced Earth, Maiden, some local Vancouver bands. Cannibal Corpse

Anything in your musical closet that Iced Earth fans might not expect?
Mumford and sons. I like the Celtic upbeat vibe. Amazing lyrics.

How involved are you with social media?
I have a fan page on facebook. I post occasionally

Is there a vinyl version of the new album?
Yes. Limited edition

John is very vocal about his politics. Where do you stand?
John doesn't tell people they have to think a certain way, that's not how he rolls, man. He's very well read. It opened my eyes.

Craziest story from the road?
So far, shoot man a lot. To date...on the Iced earth website there is a video of us dressed like pirate hookers.(laughs)

100 years from now what will people say about Plagues Of Babylon?
If they say anything about the album at all then we did something right brother(laughs). I think they will say it is a great piece of musical history and in the bands history.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Steepwater Band - Live and Humble

There aren’t very many rock bands as good as The Steepwater Band.  Hell, there ain’t that many bands as good as them in any genre.  Ladies and gentlemen, if you are regular reader of The Ripple Effect and haven’t heard them live or on record, you are making a big mistake.  Shame on you even.

Keeping Chicago as a point of origin to receive mail, The Steepwater Band has been touring ceaselessly for the last couple of years, including a few trips into Europe.  Eventually they are going to run out of days on the calendar to play shows.  Originally a power trio featuring Jeff Massey on guitar, Todd Bowers on bass and Joe Winters on drums, TSB added former Healing Sixes guitar man Eric Saylors to their line up shortly after they released their well received (and excellent, might I add) studio album, Clava.  I have been lucky enough to catch quite a few shows over the last couple of years as a trio and a quartet and Eric fits in the mix beautifully.  It has been a blast seeing these guys develop their chemistry and what they have concocted is about as pure and solid of a straight rock sound filled with bluesy tendencies (they call Chicago home after all) as you can possibly find playing these days.  Retro?  Sure, a little, but the fact of the matter is that these cats kick ass no matter what decade you associate their sounds with this side of 1960.  Thank goodness someone is making good rock music in this day and age. 

Released on December 3rd, 2013, The Steepwater Band now has irrefutable proof of their immaculate boogie in the form of their new live album, ‘Live & Humble’.   ‘Live & Humble’ is in all seriousness one of the best live albums I have ever heard.  I’d put it up with the any of the big boys live albums any ol’ day.  I find that the beauty of it rests with how you forget you are listening to a live album.  After 7,321 shows (roughly) into their High and Humble Tour, these boys are polished smooth.  Of course, it retains and conveys all of the excitement of their live show without being too perfect.  It doesn’t sound like a studio album but the performances are that good.  Ladies and gentlemen, The Steepwater Band is the real deal.  Period.

Constantly brushing shoulders with rock greatness, TSB still hasn’t crossed over into the “Big Time”.  It’s about time these guys get the recognition they deserve (I don’t think that many bands “deserve” it).  They have earned it.  Maybe they never will get the pay off, but if bragging rights have anything to do with it, ‘Live & Humble’ is solid ammo for the claim.

‘Live & Humble’ is available through and you should, as they say, Twatter them on The Facespace so you can catch a show.  Chances are they are playing a venue near you shortly.  Finally, good news vinyl just got released as a double vinyl record. 

--The Grime

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Folks Behind the Music - Bill Goodman - The Soda Shop

The Soda Shop has earned a legendary status in the halls of stoner rock and doom.  With an endless passion for the "heavy" The Soda Shop did it all; reviews, podcasts, free album compilations, Daily Bandcamp recommendations, news . . . you name it.  If it was important to the heavy rock scene, the Soda Shop was there.  

Now on hiatus while main man, Bill Goodman tends to other duties, we tracked down Bill to see how it all started.  And for those who miss their dose of Daily Bandcamp Recommendations, Soda Bill is now contributing them on a regular basis to these pages of the Ripple Effect. 

Also, fresh breaking news . . . we can all expect Bill to come back soon, starting up a new blog that will be certain to follow the grand tradition he set of bringing the heavy rock scene right to all our open doors.  Keep tuned and we'll keep you posted as more news comes out.

Start at the beginning, how did you get started with this crazy idea of broadcasting about music? 

When I discovered Graveyard back in 2008, I was finally convinced that non mainstream music had something to offer. The more I dug, the more I found. Through some messages on a torrent site, someone pointed out The Sludge Swamp to me. I spent more time on that site than I care to admit. I really wasn't sure what I was going to like so I downloaded almost everything I could. After a few months I cracked a joke that I should join the crew. By the end of the day I was part of the staff there. about a month later Jake was looking to revive The Soda Shop. We shared the same passion for the music and he asked me to join.

We're all the product of our musical past. What's your musical history? First album you ever bought? First musical epiphany moment? First album that terrified the hell out of you? 

As far as musical talent, I don't have any. I've tried picking up a guitar and bass multiple times but never was able to grasp it. I started listening to music when I was really young. at the age of about 5 or 6 I was picking up my mom's LPs and playing them. I was huge into cartoons as a kid and she had picked up some soundtracks for me. She had bought me a Mighty Mouse soundtrack, a Disco Duck album (which was a knock off of Donald Duck singing to Village People songs), a Star Wars holiday album and a few more that I can't remember. My Mom listened to disco which eventually lead to some of the early 80's pop music that I was exposed to. She liked Neil Diamond too which I listened to a lot. My biggest joy at that time was when Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album came out, my Mom bought me the picture LP and I wore the grooves out on it within a few months it was played so much.

Once that phased out, my parents divorced around that time, we moved and my music interest kinda stalled. I was getting into GIJoes and Transformers at that time. Toys were my new priority. When I hit middle school, my interest in music picked up. My friend got me into Guns & Roses, Megadeth, Metallica and Motley Crue. The first album I bought with my own money was Guns & Roses 'Appetite for Destruction' on tape. I can't recalled my first musical epiphany but I had a lot around mid 1999 to 2000 when I was discovering, or shall I say re-discovering older music that I had long forgotten about. A lot of it was stuff I would listen to in the car with my Mom or Uncle and I would hate. Stuff like Ozzy Osbourne, CSN (and sometimes Y), Neil Young, any post Beatles solo material (minus Ringo). Terrified? Well nothing I can think of.

What's the last album to grab you by the throat and insist you listen? 

There's been a few recently. 'Fables' by an Italian band called Dead Man's Miracle is one. I listened to it and I wasn't so sure I liked it but I kept listening to it and now I think it's actually a pretty kick ass album. It's a little prog, a little metal, lots of hard rock. Another album is the newest album by Chili Cold Blood. 'And Now The Dawn' is the album. It's a lot darker than their past albums. They are essentially 2 bands, The Moonhangers is the other band. The Moonhangers is more country rock and Chili Cold Blood more Southern blues rock. The latest album they almost completely ditch the blues rock and darker and almost doomier. The new album by The Freeks (Full On) is killer too.

What do you see happening in the music scene today, good and bad? 

Well mainstream music will continue to destroy itself and the society that follows it. I'm not sure how much more SWAG they can come up with but they'll find something. As far as non mainstream music, I think it'll continue to grow and flourish. There's a lot of talented people out there making music and do it not for the almighty dollar, but more for the love and passion of making music and playing in front of crowds big and small. I see that with bands such as Mothership, Midnight Ghost Train, Mount Carmel, The Truckfighters and Lo-Pan just to name a small few.

With so many music sites, how would you describe what you do? What's your unique take on the music and writing?

I tired to do almost everything possible. News, reviews, downloads, Podcasts, I wanted to do it all. For awhile I was pretty successful at it. As The Soda Shop got bigger, the requests were coming in faster and faster and I couldn't keep up. It got to the point where I would have to pick and choose what was posted due to time constraints.

Illegal free downloads on your site. Yes or no, and why? 

That's a double edged sword right there. As far as what was offered on The Soda Shop, it had to be legal. Anything offered for download would have 100% blessing from the bands involved. As far as illegal downloads, not on my site because I didn't want one bad download to take down the whole site.

What's been your all time greatest "Find"? That band you "discovered" before anyone else and started the word spreading? 

It's funny how blogs and online journalism works, they all feed off of each other. There's been a bunch of bands I've written about after discovering them and anywhere from a few hours to a few days later, other blogs and online sites are talking about them. Of course it's worked the other way around as well. I do remember discovering on my own The Dirty Streets, Mothership, Mount Carmel, Goliathon, Zed, Ancient Warlocks, and The Heavy Eyes. After writing about them, I noticed a surge of articles and links on those bands on other online sites.

If you could write a 1,000 word essay on one song, which one would it be, and why? What makes that song so important? 

I never thought about that so I had to. I'm not sure why but it would have to be "Sparks" by The Who form the 'Tommy' album. It's an instrumental that's more of an outro to "Amazing Journey." The song has constantly popped up in my head over the past 15 years and gets stuck there.

 Give us three bands that we need to keep our eyes out for.

Wolverine Blues (stoner rock), Black Pussy (hard/classic rock), and Killer Moon (Heavy psychedelic)

Tell us about your personal music collection. Vinyl? CD? What's your prized possession? 

I had a ton of CDs. They're inexpensive so they can stack up fairly quickly. I got back on the vinyl kick a few years ago when Stone Axe (pre Ripple signing) was releasing all those 7" records with extra stuff. I was buying them but didn't have a record player to play them on. Once I got one I was starting to see the value in LP's over CDs. Now I buy mostly vinyl. I love it when you can buy a record off of a band's Bandcamp page and get the digital download at the same time. As far as prized possession, well I think that would have to be Slo Burn's 'Amuse the Amazing' EP on wax. It's old, hard to find, and looks damn sexy for a slab of wax.

What makes it all worthwhile for you? 

This is going to be a bit cliched but it's true, music is an escape for me. No matter my mood, I can find something to listen to.

How would your life be different if you weren't involved in music? 

 I'd probably be glued to a TV or something else unproductive. It would probably be very boring and terrifying.

Ever been threatened by a band or a ravenous fan? 

No but I do have one terrifying moment. I'm not a big person. The very first Metallica concert I went to when I was 18 I had lawn seats. At one point the band played "Whiplash." A mosh pit broke out, I was near it and some asshat pushed me in. I fell down and people were stomping on me. Some big husky dude pulled me out when he noticed.

 In the end, what would you like to have accomplished, or be remembered for? 

As far as within the music community, perhaps someone with a passion for music and loved to share it with everyone and anyone that was willing to listen to me. Hopefully a few bands get signed to labels in the process.

Many people may not realize the hours you devote to what you do for little or no pay. Is there a day job? If so, how do you find the balance?

There's a day job. I'm a locomotive engineer by day. I drive trains. I'm the guy you flick off because I made you late for your hair appointment or make you miss the first few minutes of Sons of Anarchy. The hours vary, anywhere from 36 to 72 a week. I do have downtime which varies and I use that time to get caught up with listening to albums, writing or sometimes, sleep. There's also a wife and 3 kids that takes up a lot of time. Finding a balance is tough sometimes. I play it day by day.

 What's next? Any new projects? 

A'm always thinking up of the next best thing. Trying to execute them though is always tough due to time constraints.

 Finally, other than the music, what's your other burning passion? 

I have a lot of hobbies and interests that I bounce around to from time to time. Movies, TV shows, video games, photography are a few. I just bought a new house so my inner Bob Vila has decided to come out and play for awhile. I'm actually having a lot of fun with it despite the time and money needed to get the projects done.

Opossum Holler - It Comes In Three (EP)

Alright y'all! Listen up and hear what I have to say. Are you ready for a ride along the Bourbon Trail? You are? Awesome cause I'm ready and I have the perfect tour guide for us. Mixing rock, rockabilly, punkabilly, psychobilly and doom this trio from Bowling Green, KY, are the real deal and no one else could better help us on our travels. However, you better buckle up and hold on cause these cats show no mercy...get ready to be annihilated!

The onslaught is on from the word go as 'The White Witch From Yellow Creek' grabs me by the balls, lifts me up and slams me into a wall. It's clear right away that Opossum Holler takes no lip from anyone especially if you want to tag along the dirt roads and backwaters of their home state. There are brief moments of respite when they let off the gas but they are few and far apart. So swig from that bottle and let yourself be swept away.
'Sawdust' is a different beast albeit with traits from it's predecessor. Starting of almost like a 50's rock'n'roll song it suddenly explodes with razor sharp riffs leading the way. Slowing down for a little bit the fury is unleashed again. Halfway through we hit blues alley as Lloyd fires off a great solo in the vein of the ole' gunslingers before the tempo slows down slightly towards the end.
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end but it couldn't end in a better way than with the EP's title track, 'It Comes In Three'. At first I'm thinking this is Motörhead while the end sends out flashes of D.A.D. from Denmark. In between is an amalgamation of the two previous songs and the simply fantastic. Opossum Holler has the amazing talent of blending influences and create their own sound with such ease. And that's no more apparent than on the title track...hell, what am I saying. It should be on the whole EP, don't know what I was thinking.

Well, the ride along the Bourbon Trail is over for this time and our gracious outlaw guides bids farewell as they disappear into the rolling hills of Kentucky. I, for one, is left wanting for more and thankfully Opossum Holler's first full-length, 'What's Done Is Done' is still available via the band, as is this fantastic EP. So get in touch with them to get your copies and while you're at it, tell them to make another full-length because we the people need more of them.

Over and out!

- Swedebeast

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hopeajarvi – S/T

I've been really feeling as though I'm in a rut with the music I've been listening to.  I've mentioned it before, but between writing for The Ripple Effect and doing a weekly radio show devoted to metal, I listen to a LOT of music, mostly metal.  And a lot of what I listen to is pretty generic, by the numbers kind of metal.  I tend to like a wide variety of music as well.  For whatever reason, I keep trying to listen to something different, but it all sounds the same lately.  Until I stumbled across this little gem, that is.

Hopeajarvi are a band from Finland.  They are most definitely not a metal band.  All of their song titles and lyrics are in Finnish, so I have absolutely no idea what any of what I just listened to is all about.  All I really know is that this music really speaks to me in the language of music, and I really, really dig this.

What do they sound like?  Well, let's start with The Mars Volta, a band that I adore.  Now imagine them doing everything, as I mentioned, in Finnish.  Then drop a little bit of the chaos out of the music, no bizarro time signature changes or instrumentation.  Make it a little more punky in terms of the song structures and lengths, with a dash of good old 80's new wave kind of feel.  I think that is about as good as I can describe it for you.  And it really hits the spot for me.

In terms of album length this really isn't much more than an EP.  It is a debut effort, and a very good one at that.  There are seven songs that all clock in around the 3 minute mark.  Just good, concise song writing, well performed and sung.  Definitely music, though, that is greater than the sum of its parts.  To paraphrase the great Robert Plant, I don't know what it is that I like about this, but I like it a lot.  I was going to say that it really grows on you, but I liked it immediately.  How much I like it has certainly grown with repeated listening.

If you're in the mood for something a little different, check this band out.  They have some good stuff going on and I hope there is more to come in the future.  I will definitely be on the lookout for more.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Loomis Fargo Gang - The Prettiest Shade of Blue

A few weeks back, JJ over at the Obelisk did something different. He wrote a review of this little indie/country/folk band's album. It caught my eye. I listened, it caught my ear. So, I snagged a copy to write my own review of.

The CD is simply packaged, just a thin envelope with a small lyric book inside. The photography on the covers and in the book is really gorgeous. A couple landscapes of misty meadows and blooming bushes, a couple close-ups of flowers and berries. Really natural looking stuff that sets you up for how the record sounds.

The music is super chill. It doesn't sound overworked and perfected, it sounds like if a popular indie/folk band just sat down on the front porch of a cabin and started writing songs, after listening to Beach Boys albums a few times. If you're wanting something to enjoy some lazy sunshine with, this is your band. If you want something to have a car chase to, maybe look somewhere else.

For me, personally, this record has a nostalgia to it. Not that I've known these guys for a long time or anything, not that kind of nostalgia; it reminds me of my childhood, kind of. I grew up (and still live) on a farm. My family has always been pretty much a country family, this music reminds me of my great-grandparents and their fields, their cattle, their old, half-painted pickup trucks.

I like when music can evoke memories and images that way. I was happy to find this band, and this album.

- Headshot

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Keyan Keihani - Eastbound

Let's keep this between ourselves.  If it got out to The Ripple Effect metalheads I might become a laughing stock (or, at least, more of one than I already am) among my heavy music reviewing brethren. 

I really like good Country Folk music. Even the cryin' into your beer, the dog died type of pablum, although I prefer songs that come from the heart based on the songwriter's actual experience where you can feel the joy, angst and despair of the songwriter.  I appreciate true 100% American Country Folk music, with guitars, lap steel, banjos, bass, mandolins and dobros accompanying a twang delivered by an emotional American singer expounding on the human condition.  It better be good and it better feel real and honest.  Memphis, Nashville, Brandon, Tuskegee are not the only cities that have produced music that fits my guilty pleasure.  It also comes from the West Coast, like, well, San Francisco.

Now, I've got to again ask that you don't tell anyone about this.  You see, if it were to get out that I like "shit-kicker" music, I could be flooded with such releases and my Rock and Blues guitar peers might never ask me to play with them again.  So, please, if you check out Eastbound and like it, please don't tell them how you learned of Keyan Keihani or the album.

Eastbound is Keihani's first full-length album. Produced by Michael Hurwitz (Stevie Nicks, Eddie Money) it offers a true, vintage emotional Country twang. Keihani wrote the album so that a common theme flows from each track to tell the story of his journey from San Francisco to London and back as he tried to become a successful singer songwriter.   It includes his failures, triumphs and despair and it all comes from a place where modern country meets traditional country and folk. Hurwitz and Keihani combed through Keihani's collection of songs to choose the best to put on Eastbound. The album was produced on a very limited budget. Despite the lack of cash Hurwitz was able to enlist Phil Bennet (Starship) to play keyboards, Marc Levine (Barry Manilow, Johnny Winters, Uncle Festive) to play bass; Richie Owens (Dolly Parton, Vince Gill) to play dobro, mandolin, banjo, lap and pedal steel, Steve Sage (Melancon Guitars) to assist on guitar; and Ed Ulibarri (Eddie Money) to provide background vocals.

This is an unhurried album - contemplative and introspective - without being forlorn or desperate.  It took seventeen months to complete and a lifetime to write.  There is no "yee-ha!" Rather, the sound is an amalgamation of traditional country with modern acoustic country folk and rock.  The lyrics range from catchy to outright poetic, such as this, the first verse of "Tell Me":

    Spring's got you down
    There's nothing but the sound
    Of winter on the ground

A final reminder, if you check out Keyan Keihani's Eastbound, don't tell anyone where you learned about the album.  It will be our little secret.

- Old School

Friday, January 24, 2014

ALUNAH announce upcoming UK shows!

Birmingham doomsters ALUNAH, who recently signed a worldwide record deal with Napalm Records, have announced a bunch of dates throughout the UK over the next few months. Make sure to catch them live at these shows:

08.02 | The Vampire, Bradford w/ Monolith Cult

15.03 | The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton w/ Grand Magus & The Vintage Caravan

13.04 | The Asylum2, Birmingham w/ Windhand & Inter Arma

10.05 | Doom for the Doomed at The Asylum, Birmingham w/ Purson & Others

28.05 | The Unicorn, London

29.05 | The Green Door Store, Brighton

30.05 | Midsummer Nights Doom, Firebug, Leicester

31.05 | The Star & Garter, Manchester

01.06 | Till Death Doom us Part - venue tbc, Bristol

05.09 | The Trip Out, Scald End Farm, Bedford

More shows to be announced soon!

After Napalm Records / Spinning Goblin reissued the band's 3rd album ‘White Hoarhound" on Vinyl in early 2013, the West Midlands four piece featuring Soph Day (vocals and guitar), Dave Day (guitar), Dan Burchmore (bass) and Jake Mason (drums) are currently working on a new record, scheduled to be released on Napalm Records later this year.

For more information and further news on Alunah visit:

Listen to "White Hoarhound":

INDIAN - From All Purity

Let me start by saying from the first f*cking Note hit to start off  Chicago based  Doom Nihilist Indian's  new Album "From All Purity" my Jaw hit the Floor. The overwhelming heaviness came without warning and nothing could stop this sonic freight train.  this Album is So heavy Buzz-saw bass, Sludgy guitars  and Vocals that remind me of things Ive only heard in my darkest Nightmares.
This was a great arrangement of tracks they seem to melt into one another seamlessly . Track one "Rape" opens with a huge slow pounding Super distorted sound with over laid noise on top of an already viscous sound. , Track two "The impetus Bleeds" Gives you a feedback swell into Riffs with more of a melodic feel to it there is also a ultra creepy ghostly sound that fades in and out kinda hard to describe but very spooky.I was surprised the riffs are a lot more layered then you first catch on which gives you Unexpected melodies. , Track Three "Directional "is a more traditional track slow heavy rinse repeat riff for six and a half minutes or so that never gets boring. Track four "Rhetoric of no" kinda has a a old school Today is the day in the Eyes of god feel with a modern spin in the beginning and is definitively the most up beat song on the album. 1:49 mark  the bottom falls out and it goes Low and slow and there is not much you can do to be heavier than this Track five "Clarify" is more of just a noise track. But it builds up to the Last track  " Disambiguation" It's deliberately less chaotic opening Harshly beautiful riff continues to guide you with the sound of torment and despair. The Gloom through out this track is a very appropriate ending to a great record.

In Conclusion if you are into Doom.. There is nothing about this record that is not to love. It is a non stop Audio assault from start to finish. Like Buzzov'en's at a loss and Eyehategods "Southern Discomfort there is a certain sadness to this music. Indian has harnessed it and delivered it on this record. I really wish I would have heard of these guys sooner then now. I am definitely gonna hit up my favorite local record store and pick up some of their vinyl soon.


RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Grief, Eyehategod, Buzzoven, Sunn0))), High On Fire, Khanate

Daily Bandcamp Album; Behind Black Stripes by The Last Of The Meheecans

"The last of the Meheecans is a French rock band formed in 2012 in Poitiers. Influenced by Red Fang, Clutch and Queens of the stone age, the Meheecans necessary Stoner in a directory. Heavy riffs and syncopated rhythms, it's a sound that hits where it means ... "

The French have some killer bands out there. The Last Of The Meheecans is the latest in a long line of great bands from the region. Mixing one part hard rock and one part heavy metal, and heavily influenced by QOTSA. I like the album better than Josh's last outing.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ripple Field Trip: Foghat Live in New Jersey 1/10/14

I couldn't get one person - NOT ONE - to take a slow ride with me 60 minutes south of Brooklyn to Sayreville, New Jersey to see Foghat on a Friday night. No biggie. I had the road fever and got in my boogie mobile and went space truckin to the Starland Ballroom solo. New York weather was crappy all week. Snow, followed by frigid temperatures and then rain made everything slushy and icy but by Friday night the roads were good to go. Even if New Jersey governor Chris Christie decided to do any hanky panky with the bridges I wasn't gonna let that stop me from a round trip boogie adventure.

The Starland Ballroom is a 2500 capacity room off a service road in the middle of nowhere New Jersey and is pretty easy to get to from Brooklyn. It's always fun taking a trip there because it's a nice change of pace from NYC venues. The mood is much more relaxed and the people of New Jersey love to party without pretense. As soon as I parked the car someone offered me a free ticket. I told him I was on the guest list but he handed me a spare ticket and said "just in case it don't work out, you're in." Pretty cool. Once you're inside there are about half a dozen places to buy beer with fast, friendly service. They even sell pretty decent pizza. Beer and pizza's nice but I came to rock. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Foghat drummer Roger Earl last month and had been playing the hell out of their classic albums ever since. Foghat also just released a concert DVD called Live In St. Pete that convinced me it was finally time to see one of my favorite bands.

During our interview Roger told me how much he loves to play and how much fun the band has on stage. That was completely obvious from the moment the curtain went up and they broke into "Road Fever." It was all smiles on stage and they sounded incredible. Foghat no longer tours for months on end with their own custom built gear. These days it's fly in dates with rental equipment. When you've been playing for 40+ years the gear doesn't matter anymore, it's all in the hands. Roger and bassist Craig MacGregor are one of the tightest rock rhythm sections I've ever seen. Craig's bass playing really makes the music swing and Roger's time is rock solid. Charlie Huhn does a great job on guitar and vocals filling in for Lonesome Dave and slide guitarist Bryan Bassett is flat out incredible.

Together they make a great guitar duo. Foghat played fan favorites like "Home In My Hand," "My Babe," and "Stone Blue" but the crowd really went crazy when they broke out the big guns like "Drivin' Wheel" and "Fool For The City." They did a great slow blues version of Muddy Waters' "I Just Want To Make Love To You" before it morphed into the high powered version we all know and love from 1977's Live album. Of course the grand finale of "Slow Ride" did not disappoint. "Slow Ride" has such a killer groove and is a blast to sing along to. On the way out I had to pick up FOG hat to wear on the trip home while blasting John Lee Hooker, Albert King and Little Walter. Such a great night with a great band.

Foghat plays all the time and if they come anywhere near you and you like to have a good time, don't miss out. They really kick ass.


"Slow Ride"

Daily Bandcamp Album; On Blonde by Black Pussy

"They'll have you blowing smoke from your ears while juggling chainsaws in the back of a busted up convertible fueled by Jack Daniels doing 90 down Burnside with the intensity of Denis Leary on stage talking about 8Balls. And who wouldn't want that?"
-Ron Trembath

Yeah, that explains Black Pussy in a nutshell. They play awe inspiring desert rock influenced stoner rock.They have been touring machines throughout 2013 even touring with Vista Chino. The band recently completed recording of their 2nd album, produced by Brant Bjork. Look for it out in a few months. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One Bad Son - S/T

Where do I even begin?

I got turned on to OBS about a year ago, through some kind of Youtube witchery I stumbled upon the video for their song "Scarecrows." I was hooked instantly. Then, after a few weeks of daily listening to that song, I ventured into some other musical rambling (there were missing persons reports for weeks, and something about a giant drug raid, but that's for another time), basically I put them on the backburner after showing them to my friends and some family.

Sometime in December, I remembered them and thought about how good that song was. So, I got myself a copy of their album so I could tell everyone how good it was. And, by God, it is THAT GOOD. These guys sound like what American (they're not American, of course, they're from Canada) Rock and Roll would be if Nirvana had never happened. They have picked up that torch, and brought the genre into the twenty first century. I say that because the music isn't stuck in the 80's; instead, it has grown from it. When I say "American Rock," I'm not talking about bands like W.A.S.P. or Poison, I'm talking about the real heartland hair rock "Americana" from that period. See, there was this undercurrent in a lot of that hair metal from the mid/late 80's; almost a southern undercurrent. Bands like Great White, Jackyl, Tesla, Brother Cane (especially), Dangerous Toys, Junkyard, etc really brought that vibe home, even Bon Jovi and Ratt used it to great advantage. Not just the look, but the music had a more wholesome (no less misogynistic) feel. Not an urban grind, but instead it was beer in your hand, fishing, dirt road rock. Yeah, dirt road rock, I like that.

There are touches of that stuff in this, Sebastian Bach-esque vocals, straight forward beats nod your head off to; but it isn't that, or not just that. There aren't really any fast n' flashy guitar solos, no wanking, no beat-you-over-the-head dick references. The music has been matured from that, to the point that it can express emotion and thought in a way that many of the 80's bands fell short of. Therefore, I can't say that it sounds like any other band, because really, it doesn't.

There are real emotions on this album, like the song "El Camino," it's powerful stuff. And I feel like the listener is effectively drawn down into that quiet moment. It's not just a sudden drop from full-fledged hammering. The song's "London Kills" and "Rustbucket" are absolute killers.
"Scarecrows" is one of the catchiest things I've heard in a good while. Just going to say that and let you listen to it, it's just that good.

Song for song, this album is a beast. Really a fantastic piece of work. And I would feel confident in saying that OBS is one of the best pure Rock and Roll bands in the world after hearing this album. I just wish I could claim these guys were the return of real American Rock, but perhaps that time has come and gone. Look to Canada, or blame it, if you want.


Daily Bandcamp Album; Burning Temples by Desert Suns

Not so much an album but a single. "Burning Temples" is the first single by a new and upcoming band from San Diego called Desert Suns. When the track starts off, you're greeted by some noisy but yet slow noises that turns into some of the doomiest riffs that would make one Mr. Iommi a very happy and proud person. The song features some fantastic guitaring and solos. The drums are on par with something you'd hear from Bill Ward or John Bonham. Vocally, it's similar to Ozzy but a bit less pitch. While this band wears the Black Sabbath influence proudly, they are far from the next Sabbath wanna be. The style is similar but the sound is different. The song is closer to hard rock than doom metal. The band is currently working on an EP to accommodate "Burning Temples." This one sneaked up on me but now I know it's here, I'll be looking forward to more. It's already on my list of anticipated albums. Check it out for yourself. The song is free so you have no excuse to snag it now.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Black Thai - Seasons Of Might EP

The mega-tower leviathan know as Black Thai have returned to deliver the goods on a kick ass new EP called Seasons Of Might. Black Thai formed in 2009 as a semi-supergroup in Boston and just keep getting better and better with each new release. Guitarist Scott O'Dowd and drummer Jeremy Hemond are in the excellent Cortez (over-achiever Jeremy also bashes skins for the mighty Roadsaw), guitarist/vocalist Jim Healey was in We're All Gonna Die and plays solo shows. I'm not sure if bassist Cory Cocomazzi is in any other bands. Probably not since he's such a low-end powerhouse most people couldn't handle it. 2010's EP Blood From On High was one of my favorite releases from that year and they also put out a great split 10" with Moth Eater the following year.

Black Thai play it really heavy but their classic rock roots always shine through. There are a lot of bands that use Kyuss and Soundgarden as a template but few, if any, bring in any ZZ Top, Cactus or Grand Funk jams. A Black Sabbath influence is mandatory but Black Thai aren't afraid to throw some Dio-Rianbow in there, too.

The 4 songs on the Seasons Of Might EP total about 25 minutes with a killer 12" cover that is truly denim jacket worthy. I gave the record a few spins at home and then decided to put it to the real test - how does it sound cranked in the car? Totally mint! The jams are heavy and not too fast, perfect for the stop-start bullshit driving we have to put up with in Brooklyn. "Blood Dust" starts it off with a riff that reminds me of Cathedral ("Stained Glass Horizon" maybe) and has some great vocals from Jim. "Start A War" is flat out pummeling with a bit of an Iron Maiden gallop. Jeremy starts off "Doors To Nowhere" with a massive intro to remind everyone how much he loves Cozy Powell and Carmine Appice before the band crashes in with screaming fury. Cory's bass starts off the 8 minute epic "Reasons To Burn." This might be their "Kashmir" or "Stargazer." Scott does some nice solos on this one and his wah-work brings to mind both Michael Schenker and Ron Ashton.

This EP is mandatory for all the wigged out stoner rock freaks and some of you normal rock fans, too. The artwork really is great and the band could use your support now more than ever. While on tour last month supporting their new release drummer Jeremy Hemond broke his arm during load out after their St. Louis show. Obviously, for a drummer (who's day job is being a carpenter) this is a huge blow. None of these guys are rich and buying a copy would help them out while improving your life, too.


Buy from or listen online at -

Monday, January 20, 2014

Boston - Life, Love & Hope

     Boston has never failed to deliver and this album, "Life, Love & Hope", is no exception. The incredibly crisp and superior attention that is paid to the details within the songs is astounding. Even the cover has that classic Boston feel to it. Tom Scholz and his band have crafted a finely tuned starship of aor friendly hits and rocketed it into space. Tom is the pilot but the band surrounding him really tears this album up.

"Heaven On Earth", and "Sail Away" are two stand out tracks from this powerful poetic pinnacle of music. The one thing that really grabbed me was the overall production and emotional quality of the songs. You can tell each track is like a child for these artists. Band legacy aside, these songs are each individually strong and perfect. Combined on the disc they take on a life of their own.

     Only a superior band like Boston could survive this business for over 35 years, take a ten year hiatus, and come back with an album this strong. Of course for the loyal fans they never truly leave. Boston is a band that like a comet, flashes through our lives at just the right moment, briefly. Then we wait until they return. The wait is, with Boston, always worth it. That is quality, that is power, that is musicianship on an interstellar level.

     There is that distinct Boston feel to songs like "Didn't Mean To Fall In Love" and "Someone". But "Sail Away" approaches a more modern tone. The interplay of vocalists Brad Delp and Kimberley Dahmer is inspirational. The track itself stands out as powerful but slightly different than the rest.

Another standout track is the instrumental, "Last Day Of School". Simply put it is a master class in composition and control. Boston musicianship at its finest.

Tom scholz and Tommy DeCarlo shine on the song "The Way You Look Tonight". The perfect harmony of men and the machinery of musical creation. The guitar solo here is unbelievable. It swells and then propels this ship into the deeper cosmos.

9 horns up/10

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Eryn Non Dae – Meliora

I remember listening to the first album from this band and being very impressed.  I might have written a review of it, and if I was better organized I would know for sure, but that's kind of the story of my life.  Along comes album #2, and it is very, very good.  These guys definitely swim in the same pool as Neurosis and Isis, with a lot of the dramatic changes in dynamics within songs, and the epic song lengths.  If you are a fan of those bands you will truly dig this, but there is also enough of this band's individuality that shines through to take this far beyond just copying other bands' style.

These guys hail from France.  I have professed my vast love of French black metal many times before, and while this is definitely not black metal, I will add them to the list of French things I love.  There are 7 tracks on this album and each of them is very good in its own way.  The general groove of the band is there so that you know its the same band performing each song, but the songs stand out individually, and that is not always easy to do when you have long tracks like this.

Album opener “Chrysalis” starts out quiet, setting an atmosphere, and then you get that sudden dynamic shift to a band that is blazing away with all barrels.  The second track, “The Great Downfall”, is similar in composition, although the raging parts are a little ragey-er.  It is on the next 3 tracks of the album where Eryn Non Dae's personality starts to shine through.  “Scarlet Rising” starts off at full blast, no easing into this one.  And whatever sub-genre you want to lump these guys into, these 3 middle tracks show some tastes of death and black metal and the unique way this band melds those styles to create their own.  “Scarlet Rising” also has the very memorable lyric, “The more you do/The more I despise you”.  Not going into any details, but I bet a lot of us know someone to whom that couplet would apply.

Song 4, “Ignitus”, is, well, ignited right from the start as well.  This is another track that shows the band's versatility within all the different styles of metal.  Very nicely done, this one.  “Muto”, the 5th track, just blasts off to infinity and beyond from the very first note and completes this middle part of the album quite well.

“Black Obsidian Pyre” is an aptly titled track.  The music and vocalizations  conjure up the title, and the things that might go on at such a pyre.  This one features some nice black and evil sounding touches.  There's a return here to the abrupt dynamic changes, but they do it right and it fits the song perfectly.  I know I keep mentioning that, because a lot of bands try it, and only a few get it right.  Eryn Non Dae are one of those.  Then we wrap things up with “Hidden Lotus”.  This one hits like a pile driver to the sternum and is a nice, heavy way to put an end to the album.

This is a band I would really like to check out live.  I know a lot of these European bands don't make it to the US, but I would love to see this all performed in front of me.  Don't sleep on this one, these guys are really good. 


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hayseed Dixie - Killer Grass

Bluegrass interpretations of rock classics.  I believe founding member, frontman, acoustic guitarist and violinist John "Barley Scotch" Wheeler probably came up with the idea of a band performing the AC/DC songbook as bluegrass music more as a one off gag - a fun novelty  - when in 2000 the band released its first album, A Hillbilly Tribute To AC/DC.  I doubt Wheeler believed he was founding a new genre of music.

Yet, that is what happened.  The first "joke" album was wildly successful, especially on the bluegrass charts. The band decided to stay with it. By 2003 Hayseed Dixie was a bluegrass force with three albums on the bluegrass charts and a considerable country and rock crossover audience. An album of bluegrassed KISS songs followed, so did other albums to capitalize on the popularity of the band's covers.   Additional releases have included bluegrass renditions of popular hit songs by The Cars, Bad Company, Ted Nugent, J. Geils Band, Queen, Aerosmith, The Darkness, Motörhead, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Green Day, Neil Young, Van Halen, Outkast, Franz Ferdinand, The Rev. Horton Heat, Sex Pistols, Cliff Richards, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Scissor Sisters, Status Quo, Judas Priest and Alice Cooper, among others.  Interspersed among the covers are originals by the band, a full album of original bluegrass tunes, and a bizarre, all Finnish, bluegrass album that even contains a cover of Rammstein's "Mein Teil."  Hayseed Dixie has, by one estimate, played over 1,000 live shows in 31 different countries. Between 2001 and 2003 they sold over 250,000 albums.  They single-handedly pioneered the music genre now known as "rockgrass." 
The band is comprised of incredibly talented musicians and that is why the bluegrass rock covers work so well.  A perfect album to sample the country rock bluegrass of the band is their 2011 release Killer Grass.  Here is the track listing and, if some titles sound familiar, it is because they are covers:

"Bohemian Rhapsody"
"Alien Abduction Probe"
"In the Backyard"
"Eine Kleine Trinkemusik"
"Norfolk Girl"
"She's Just My Type"
"Underneath the Bed"
"Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"
"Won't Get Fooled Again"
"Ramblin' Man" / "Don't Cry For Me"

The album Killer Grass is also novel.  It is a CD DVD package with 7 original compositions and 6 covers. The DVD contains the complete and unedited CD quality multi-track audio files for the entire album.  Thus, if you have Garage Band, Pro Tools, or another mixing program, you can mix the songs to your own liking.  In fact, a bonus song, "Love Cabin," you must mix in order for it to be heard.

This is just plain, light, airy fun.  Hayseed Dixie fills a comedic musical niche that it has turned into a musical genre. Check them out.  You will marvel at their musicianship and chuckle at the concept ("Bohemian Rhapsody" as bluegrass!?! Really?)  Just don't take it too seriously, although I'm sure the band does - all the way to the bank.

- Old School 



Friday, January 17, 2014

Xiu Xiu - Angel Guts Red Classroom

I went into this not knowing anything about the record, or the band. I still don't know much about the band. That will serve as my prologue.

I popped this baby on and came away no worse for the wear. I grew up listening to Suicide. There's nothing that music can do to me that Frankie Teardrop hasn't done already. That said, this is a really, really dark album. It's just chock full of hardcore porn and overdoses.

AREN'T YOU EXCITED? I thought you would be.

This isn't your drive home after work record, this is a challenge. Stylistically, the music sounds like (the aforementioned) Suicide, with a hefty dose of 80s/90s goth, Nintendo games, and some Bruce Haack. The strange thing is that it can actually be very delicate at times. New Life Immigration, for example, is almost a sweet sounding ballad. It's almost not menacing. Until the next track starts, oh, it's an elevator into hell.
The subject matter isn't really subtle. Dirty, dirty sex; murder; etc.

FUN FACT: The album's title comes from a Japanese porno made in the 70s, basically it's a film about a porn starlet who was an unwilling participant in a rape sequence, and who descended into prostitution. 
Honestly, I don't know if I can say I liked this album, I don't know if I'm supposed to "like" it. It seems like the band wants you to endure it. Which, this is art territory, and that's completely acceptable to me. Hell, two of my favorite recent records (Swans "The Seer" & Devin Townsend "Deconstruction") are partially an endurance test. Like those, this is worth that. Unlike those, there's no hope at the end really. Just interludes of not so hellish.

Oh god...the pigs....skip the track titled "adult friends"...nightmares.

All in all, this album will not destroy your soul entirely. Give it a listen on a dark night, alone, with noise cancelling headphones.

Shit, there's a hole in my living room floor with fire coming out of it. Here, listen to this while I go get my salts.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Moon Tooth - Freaks EP

BLAM!  After a twenty one second wind up Moon Tooth lashes out at the listener with a resonant blitzkrieg of metal that is nothing short of phenomenal!  The band's ear pleasing assault doesn't let up until the fourth and final track of their Freaks EP comes to an end,  and what an aural onslaught it is waveriders!  Their music is an invigorating combination of progressive, technical, melodic, stoner, thrash, and doom metal.  All things considered, I really should have seen this coming.

Moon Tooth is the newest musical venture from four young men out of Long Island, New York.  Two of these young men, the guitarist and drummer, were previously in a band called Exemption.  Exemption released one of my favorite albums of the past few years entitled Public Cemetery Party.  I love that record!  Moon Tooth is a different animal than Exemption, but the instrumental elements I loved all made the transition.  The playing on this EP is exceptional!  It's aggressive, inventive, memorable, and adapts fluidly to the needs of each song.

If you happened to read my 2013 year end list you would have noticed Moon Tooth earned themselves an honorable mention.  At this point however I'm thinking they deserve more.  I listen to the Freaks EP on an almost daily basis, and I love every second I spend with this music!  The energy pouring out of my speakers or headphones is enough to power an entire city!  Do yourself a favor waveriders and swing by Moon Tooth's bandcamp page.  Listen to the Freaks EP, get blown away, and plunk down the money it takes to make these tunes your own.  Then we can wait for the new full length album their recording together!

-- Penfold



Bandcamp Page -

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Midnite Hellion - Hour Of The Wolf

    Old school thrash meets melodic metal here. Only two songs to wet your appetite. O.k. I like this release. Heavy enough to satisfy the metal thrasher inside me yet melodic enough to capture the magical classic metal tones of the 80's. "Hour Of The wolf" is a classic metal song with full blown vocals.

"The Morrigan" is king diamond-esque meets Anthrax backstage at an Armored Saint concert circa 1984. Vocals here are powerful yet familiar. This song has it all. The key elements to good metal. Power ,Precision, and passion.

Overall a great start. My only request would be more guitar solos. But that is just me.

These two songs are some great killer tunes. If these are any indication of the rest of the album then it will surely be a highlight of 2014.

8/10 horns up


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Random Music Thoughts Going Under the Gas . . .

Strapped down to the operating table, oxygen mask over my mouth, waiting for the anesthesia to kick in through the IV, my mind started to wander.  Probably more to distract myself from the sheer terror I was feeling, I started thinking, “What are some great songs about doctors/hospitals/surgery”?  I doubt many people's minds would go this way when they are about to be sliced open.  But then again, I'm not most people.

In no particular order here is my list of top 10 songs with medical titles.  In fact, a majority of these don't have anything to do with ACTUAL medicine but such is the way in rock n' roll.

10. Doctor Please – Blue Cheer
Dickie Peterson's soulful plea for painkillers (hmmm...) makes  you really believe he's in dire need of medication. 

9.   Just What the Doctor Ordered – Ted Nugent
The Motor City Madman wasn't exactly given a prescription to rock out – but it is good for what ails ya.

8.   The Wound – Marillion
Not about a physical wound, but a mental one from an old relationship.  The theory being, if you leave the wound alone and don't pick at it, eventually it will heal.  OR WILL IT???? (cue dramatic sound effect)

7.  I'm Your Witchdoctor – Motörhead (cover of John Mayall song) 
All right, so some people don't consider “Witchdoctorery” a serious medical practice, but try to keep an open mind.  And  this cover by Motörhead features a rare lead vocal performance by guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke.

 6. I don't need No Doctor – Humble Pie (cover of Ray Charles song)
 How many of you WaveRiders new this was a Ray Charles song? Yeah, me neither.  Steve Marriott nails the yearning vocals.  “My prescription tells me that / I don't need no doctor” - who wrote the prescription then? The dry-cleaner?

  5. Under the Blade – Twisted Sister

 Giving props to my fellow New Yorkers.  The U.S. senator's bored wives who made up the Parents Music Resource Center decided this song was about Sado-masochism, bondage and rape. “A glint of steel/ A flash of light /You know you're not going home tonight “ Do those who partake in S & M use bright lights? Or do surgeons performing delicate operations?? Front-Man Dee Snider told the senate committee the song was about guitarist Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda's throat surgery – and  the fear surgery instills in people. Take it from me, being strapped down to an OR table with a breathing tube down your throat is not an experience you want to repeat if you can avoid it. And don't even get me started about the catheter.....

  4. Anesthesia (Pulling teeth) – Metallica 
 Some people may feel they need anesthesia  to tolerate a bass solo.  One can only imagine what Cliff Burton would have achieved if it wasn't for the tragic bus accident.  Metallica would never have done the Black album or the pantLoads that followed, and the world would be a better place.

 3. Calling Doctor Love – Kiss
How many times do you think Gene Simmons used the line “Trust me baby, I'm a doctor?”

 2. Doctor Doctor – UFO  
When I pitched this article to Racer, he suggested this track, which of course was already on my list.  There's no actual reference to anything about a doctor in this song, but Phil Mogg needs someone's help because apparently some chick is messing with his head big time.

 1. Crash Course in Brain surgery – Budgie
Funny how I have a brain disorder and am a good candidate for a relatively new type of brain surgery, but no that's not what I was in for.  The lyrics aren't about actual surgery – or anything really, in typical Budgie style. Great song though.

That's my list. Yours may be different.  This article bought to you by Oxycodon. 


Monday, January 13, 2014

The Folks Behind the Music- Spotlight on Anthony Moore; Desert Highways and Heavy Magazine

Hey man, here's the questions for the interview. I think it'll be fun to feature lots of people who are behind the pen, making the scene happen. Take your time, there's no rush.

Start at the beginning, how did you get started with this crazy idea of writing about music?

I have always loved music, from as early as I can remember. Playing KISS cassettes and vinyl from as young as 5 or 6. KISS and Michael Jackson were my two favourites growing up. I always believed I was destined to be a ‘rock star’ from back then. I just don’t ‘get’ people that don’t listen to music or don’t even have a favourite song or band. I really just can’t comprehend that. I have also always liked to write, whether it’s poetry or short stories or whatever. I got side tracked working in retail for about 20 years but in the middle of that when I moved to Melbourne around 2000 I went out to lunch with someone who had a massive impact on my life. I had been doing community radio for a few years in a small country town (103.9 2-Way FM. Wauchope, NSW, Australia) and one day I turned up for my shift and there were a couple of band members and another guy with them who were keen to do an interview. It was 2 members of Elephant Gun (Melbourne) and Bob Stevenson who was then the Director of Promotions at Roadrunner Records Australia. I was stoked they were there and interviewed them straight away. I was also stoked that I got an e-mail from Bob saying there were pleased to hear the interview going to air with their music straight away as they drove out of town. You have to understand that, as the saying goes, the station played both kinds of music, country and western. There were only a few ‘alternative’ shows. From then on Bob would send me new music to play and I heard some great albums I would possibly never had heard otherwise and I used to plug the hell out of them. Dreadnaught’s Dead In The Dirt song is still an all-time fav, The Workhorse Movement’s Keep The Sabbath Dream Alive is another. Anyway, when I moved to Melbourne, Bob said we should catch up for lunch. When we did he asked me what I wanted to do in Melbourne, I said I wouldn’t mind getting into music writing at some stage. He threw me in the deep end and I got my own column on their then site Metalshop and I called it Desert Highways. It was predominantly stoner and related news, reviews, interviews etc although as I had a background in skating I had the odd interview with pro’s like Mike Vallely, that was awesome.

We're all the product of our musical past. What's your musical history? First album you ever bought?

First album I ever bought was either KISS or Michael Jackson. Can’t remember any more. Think it was KISS. Other early one’s were Pseudo Echo, still one of my favourite bands to this day, Devo, Sex Pistols. A weird mix of pop, metal and punk right there!

First musical epiphany moment?

As mentioned Michael Jackson was so amazing, his style, groove, the way he moved. KISS though blew the ears off my head. When you listen to them it’s amazing, when you see photos of them too though as a kid it’s instant envy, love, obsession, everything with them. The Sex Pistols were dirty and crazy and like nothing else I had heard. I used to get a lot of my music introductions from my older brother, like Sex Pistols, Motley Crue, AC/DC, The Radiators, Lime Spiders and I also loved Devo as soon as I heard them for the first time when I was a kid too; mind-blowingly crazy. Music was always meant to be this tailored structure of intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus etc and we were taught in school you know, guitar, bass, drums, vocals, maybe percussion and keyboards were what’s in a band. But there was make-up, pyro, all kinds of crazy, all this other stuff that wasn’t ‘music’ but was such a major aspect of making it unique and crazy cool.

First album that terrified the hell out of you?

I don’t think I have ever really been terrified of any music. There’s plenty of stuff that I’ve heard that’s brought up a bit of vomit in the back of my throat J but not terrified. I guess maybe there was one band that made me wonder about what demonic stuff they got up to outside of music. Can’t remember their name. I was used to seeing pentagrams and all that sort of thing from metal and the band wasn’t metal but it was just really really dark, kind of slow and really evil sounding. I have never really taken lyrics to heart and thought oh yeah Slayer is going to make me kill or Maiden’s Number Of The Beast must have been written while they sacrified small children at the alter of Satan, but this CD really was pure darkness… I’ll have to see if I can find it.

What's the last album to grab you by the throat and insist you listen?

I have had BRUCE’s self-titled debut on high rotation since it came out. I’ve also reviewed High  Tension’s debut for HEAVY Magazine (Insert plug here – Australia’s premier heavy music mag). That instantly blew me away. So many attitudes, really strong song writing, there’s a mix of styles in there but they’re truly doing their own thing. It was instantly a fav album of the year along with BRUCE, Whores and Captives all extremely close seconds. Whores (US) and Captives (Australia) I both really instantly liked for their sheer emotion, guts and drive. Amazing musicians and song writers in both bands and their current releases are played around here pretty much every day. Look up Captives and keep an eye on them.

I hear a lot of music, from gigs to reviewing and I like to just go on Bandcamp’s front page late at night and try and find a band a day I have never heard of and like. I end up coming across so many new things, loads and loads I forget about but a lot I cling onto. There are so many amazing bands in Melbourne and Australia and the thing I notice more and more is that my favourite albums or live bands are locals. Quite a few are friends too which is cool. That’s also how I started working with a lot of bands, seeing them first, are blown away by them and we become friends and then end up working together.

What do you see happening in the music scene today, good and bad?

I am merely a piece of dust on a grain of sand in the ‘scene’, maybe this should be asked of those higher up in the world. I am usually a pessimist I have to say in life and like to walk amongst the shadows, but I think there are a lot of positive things happening from where I see them. Sure venues are closing and that sucks, but here I have also seen new one’s open. There are more bands out there trying to play and it can be harder to get gigs. I miss singles as quite often the more experimental or looser played B sides were often the better tracks. Vinyl is at a crazy all time high for sales for the last 10 years although most musicians can’t afford to release anything these days. Craig Westwood (The Ruiner, Dern Rutlidge, Christbait) said to me a few years ago that CD’s are just expensive business cards and he is so right. People go to gigs and want stuff for free (yeah me too) and it’s a pity. It’s due to several things, one is that people can download music for free and the other is that most people just don’t have the disposable income to throw around on things. That’s why limited edition vinyl works so well because people want something that is unique and extremely cool if they are going to spend their dollars. But please labels stop releasing 5 colours of each album and then another 17 when you reissue them as completest collectors like me are often left in the corner in a foetal position as we can’t collect them all! The great thing though with downloads is that you can discover music you never would have previously and one argument is that people find new music this way and then if they love it will buy their physical album anyway. Whether the dollars that those people are spending outweigh how many free or illegal downloads there are for any particular band is something I can’t answer. I love Bandcamp and I love that there are so many sites around to discover music. I miss magazines and especially those like Hot Metal but am proud to be associated with HEAVY Magazine, the people behind it are old school in their beliefs and are there for the music. Things have changed a lot over of the years within music and I guess you just have to go with it and embrace whatever part of it will work for you.

With so many music sites, how would you describe what you do?

I have a blog although I have no time to add to it and haven’t done so for ages. I also don’t write as much for HEAVY and others as I used to due to things I am setting up right now but hope to get back into it more down the track as I really enjoy it. I would say I am a word manipulator and quite often feel like I am just pulling words out of a hat. I often feel like I am running out of words to use. I don’t think I am exceptionally good at what I do but thoroughly enjoy writing, the research and fine tuning aspects of it, the listening to music whether it be live or recorded and for a ‘music journalist’ I am pretty bad at describing what a band sounds like or being able to put them in a genre or style of music. I tend to write more about how it makes me or the room feel, what’s happening around everyone, what reactions there are to the gig or album. It’s probably better to ask my wife this, she puts up with me asking her to read something, and then read the entire thing again to see if the flow changes after switching two words.

What's your unique take on the music and writing?

Everyone’s a journalist like everyone is a photographer. Sometimes I guess it cheapens the art but it also means there are so many styles out there and most aren’t ‘trained’ which can lead to some very unique work. I don’t mind that. Maybe if I was a ‘professional’ I would take offense to some of the people around and what they say but I still have trouble saying I am a freelance journalist, although I am. I take it seriously when I write something but don’t see myself as a writer, I am just someone who writes. Maybe that is my problem why I haven’t finished any books yet J

Illegal free downloads on your site. Yes or no, and why?

Not on my site, never, no. I like Bandcamp and sites like that where you can listen and then buy.

What's been your all-time greatest "Find"?

My wife; she’s the limited edition double pop-up gatefold etched and coloured splattered picture disc vinyl original test pressing.

That band you "discovered" before anyone else and started the word spreading?

Without giving a cop out answer I think we all have a lot of these. I am someone who likes to just spread the word about any band I love. Partly to help the band out and partly as I just love hearing others say oh yeah, that’s awesome! Spread the love. There is so much amazing music out there and it ALL needs to be heard. There are so many muso’s playing any night of the week and playing for nothing or even losing money after travelling and getting their gear serviced and drinking 3 times their rider limit. Spread the love I say!

If you could write a 1,000 word essay on one song, which one would it be, and why?

That is such a full on question. I have about 400 albums squashed into my top 20. First song that comes to mind though is Jane’s Addiction’s Three Days. It is an epic epic song. A true journey song in every sense, so much raw emotion, highs, lows, Perry’s vocals are inspiring, Perkins drumming is brilliant, Avery’s bass is perfect and Navarro’s guitars, woah. I am not a religious person, spiritual in some respects I guess but hearing that song live for the first time was the closest I have ever been to ‘God’. It transcends all space and time and for that reason will always be timeless. Jane’s have so many elements all mixed up together and when you hone in on one instrument you realise just how different and varied they all are, yet together they are so perfect. I am getting goosebumps writing this now just thinking about that song. Seeing Jane’s live is also such a massive sexual experience. This is exactly why I don’t get people that just don’t listen to music or don’t get obsessed by a song or band. Have I reached 1000 words yet, oops sorry J

What makes that song so important?

As above.

Give us three bands that we need to keep our eyes out for.

Mentioned BRUCE, High Tension, Whores and Captives above so here’s a different three then, all from Melbourne…

The Hidden Venture who I manage so I guess this may sound biased but I am so proud of these guys and what they’ve achieved with their debut album, Old Sins Cast Long Shadows. They’re a blend of straight up rock, stoner, there’s some soul in some of the vocals right through to a bit of attitude and growl and on top of that their song writing is just exceptional, they are all amazingly talented musicians. I am very honoured to be working with them. Expect big things and stay tuned!

Seedy Jeezus are great to hear and insane to see live. Imagine Hendrix, Cream and Alan Forbes all together in a band rockin out. Alan Forbes? Yes, guitarist / vocalist Lex Waterreus is also an amazing artist and along with his brother Rad are Mr Frumpy. Solid muso’s that are freaky talented.

DEAD deserve to write their name in all capitals; a two piece band with more weight than any five piece. Drummer Jem is a freight train and Jace is on bass and vocals and packs such a force he knocks you off your feet. The music they play and everything they do artistically is awesome.

Tell us about your personal music collection. Vinyl? CD? What's your prized possession?

So many! I am stoked I have John Frusciante’s Estrus 7”. He’s my all-time favourite guitarist. Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of my all-time favourite bands although after BSSM I lost a lot of interest. Californication is pretty good; we don’t even mention One Hot Minute in this house. I am pretty strictly Mother’s Milk and BSSM when it comes to Frusciante and Uplift is my favourite Hillel album. He is a massively underrated guitarist. I would love to have heard what he’d be doing now. Frusciante’s solo work is great, he keep pushing himself trying different styles and techniques. Very inspirational.

Pretty stoked on having all the Desert Session’s releases on vinyl. My wife was on holidays and walked into one of our then favourite music stores in Sydney, Waterfront Records (their label back in the day was also one of the best ever). You know the stores that have stickers on their sleeves saying who is on a release. It said members of Kyuss so she knew I would dig it and that’s how I originally found out about Desert Sessions.

I have some pretty rare, original and unreleased Kyuss and Sons Of Kyuss cassettes. I am pretty stoked to have those.

I guess I have some things that may be worth some dollars but my prized possessions in music are more things that take me straight back to a time and make me feel exactly what I and the band were going through. EG Magic Dirt’s Signs Of Satanic Youth, Meanies – Gangrenous, I wasn’t there when it came out but my Syd Barrett vinyl is much loved. Also a lot of prized possessions in my collection are things friends have released and bands that I work with in some way. Just proud of the people you know realising a dream and getting it out there. Great moments in life!

I should also mention my collections of RHCP in general, KYUSS / QOTSA and all related, Magic Dirt and Meanies near complete collections. Ok I better stop now

What makes it all worthwhile for you?

I would like to say seeing the food I put on the table for my family from the money I make, but that would be a lie as I don’t make much. For me music is about going to a gig, falling right into the sound and forgetting where you are; being pushed over accidently by some random because he’s completely letting go and  you haven’t seen him because there is no peripheral vision when the band is completely switched on, everything’s aligned and all are just rockin out. So I guess, just being able to do that, at its most basic level, is awesome. Doesn’t really answer the question I guess.

How would your life be different if you weren't writing about music?

I would probably still be stuck in retail. I actually wanted to be a sound engineer and did that for work experience in high school. My parents bought a surf and skate shop when I was like 14, 15 and I had been skating for about 6 months or more I guess. We had not long moved to a coastal town and they didn’t know anything about surf. We all just jumped right on in and I was in charge of skate and street wear from then on. It was trial by fire and as they say never work with family. We would frustrate each other at times but I owe them the world for what they taught me and letting me be able to do that. After I moved from there I managed stores in the same industry and then became a state manager. For those that have done retail they will understand it when I say it takes a part of your soul away that will never come back. It’s a love / hate relationship for sure. So yeah, I would still be stuck there I guess.

Ever been threatened by a band or a ravenous fan?

Friends of mine would probably say I have been the ravenous fan one too many times J There’s been some drama’s in moshes I guess but that just happens. But no not really, seen a few things go down over the years, fights and heads hitting stages when crowd surfing, few tongues down rockers throats that were otherwise spoken for.

In the end, what would you like to have accomplished, or be remembered for?

I would just like my kids to know that even though we don’t live in a mansion that following your passion is the most important thing in the world. I am blessed to have a wife that understands me and how important this is for me to do. Her patience is amazing and her love unconditional. I have also started up a label and I’m pretty stoked that I am now getting the chance to put out some music that people may not otherwise have been able to hear. Massive dream come true under way!

Many people may not realize the hours you devote to what you do for little or no pay. Is there a day job? If so, how do you find the balance?

Since leaving my last ‘job’ a few years ago due to them being dickheads, I was kind of forced into a reality check about who I am and what I want to do. This is my ‘day job’.

What's next? Any new projects?

As mentioned I have started up a label, Desert Highways and the site is also a home for everything I do, freelance journalism, band management, booking and promo and also an online store. It’s only been live for about 6 weeks ad is still in its infancy with loads more to be added. It will continually grow. And yes for those paying attention earlier on, Desert Highways is my old column name. It’s a name that has always stuck with me since I came up with it.

The debut release on the Desert Highways label is a 7” split featuring Perth blood rockers Chainsaw Hookers and US legends Electric Frankenstein. Limited to 250 on white with red splatter vinyl, this is an epic release! We had the launch on Nov 29th here in Melbourne with Chainsaw Hookers and two other great Melbourne bands The Kremlings and Muscle Car…

I’d also like to mention who did all the logo’s and branding for Desert Highways and that is legendary Australia artist Ben Brown, most well-known for his artwork for the Hellmenn and Massappeal in the 80’s and 90’s.

I have been changing some things around so once the site is up and running more I will have more time for working with the bands I do already work with and we can finally get stuck into some of those idea’s we’ve been wanting to do. Loads of exciting releases are in the pipeline for the label too. Very exciting times ahead and thinking back after writing all of this it puts a smile on my face thinking about the little kid that used to look up at his wall in awe at his KISS posters and think now he’s going to put out some music on his own label. Going back to a previous question on how the scene has changed, it’s so great now that we’re all realising that anyone can actually release anything these days, not just the big companies. Sure without them we wouldn’t have gotten here but over the last few years a lot of people are finally doing it, I really like that way of thinking and being. Labels trading with each other to stock their own online stores and with so many different people being the “ceo’s” of their own labels, there is so much difference between them all, so many DIY and unique releases that a ‘major’ could just never do. Check out DEAD, who I mentioned earlier. Jem is behind WeEmptyRooms, an example of a label that is doing it right. Solid releases and all hand screened with artwork by Jem’s band mate Jace. Truly kick arse.

I also wrote a piece on poster design for a book coming out shortly called Rockin Australia. I am extremely proud to be a part of this book as it’s such a massive undertaking and it’s also historically really important to catalogue music and art. It’s being put out by James Anfuso from Starman Books.

From the press release:

“ROCKIN AUSTRALIA is the culmination of 5 years of research and planning and celebrates 50 years of music, artwork design and the appreciation of all things rock’n’roll!

This 3 volume, 1260 page large format hardcover bookset showcases over 1400 Bands and includes a staggering 2272 posters from both national and international bands touring Australia. ROCKIN AUSTRALIA has also broken away from the traditional chronological poster layout and instead opted for an alphabetical format making it far easier to search for your favourite band. Each poster comes from the authors personal collection accumulated over the last 20 years.”

Finally, other than the music, what's your other burning passion?

My family, they’re beyond awesome. My wife keeps me grounded by telling me to stop being an idiot and putting up with me and my two kids (6 and 8) are bigger rock stars than I’ll ever be and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s it, my family and music. I used to skate and still have loads of memorabilia but haven’t been able to do it for years and years due to injury (and now old age). I was happy to give that away, the other two I couldn’t.

A few things links:

Desert Highways contact: 

Anthony Moore


Desert Highways
P.O. Box 42
VIC 3072

The Desert Highways roster:


The Hidden Venture 

TTTDC (featuring members of Peeping Tom, SotIS and Wicked City) 

Don Fernando 


Seedy Jeezus 


Black Rainbows 


I’d also like to give a shout out to these people who I respect greatly for who they are and what they do:

Tym’s Guitars (Brisbane, Australia) – some of the best guitar pedals you will ever find amongst others things.

Vinyl Grove (The Hague, Netherlands) – this store may be a world away from where I live but thankfully someone invented the internet.

Right Eye Media (Melbourne, Australia) – Adam is a legend and makes great clips, live and otherwise and is my preferred photographer of choice for taking gig photo’s.

HEAVY Music Magazine – Thanx Liv and all at team HEAVY – YOU ROCK!

Monster Rock Booking – based in Portugal, the worldwide team are a solid group of people and I am stoked to also be a part of this. Pedro Lima (CEO / Management / Promotion) is a great friend and it’s inspiring to see others follow their dreams and become successful.

Hammer Ink Merchandise – Located in Perth, Australia and run by Jon Russo, guitarist from Chainsaw Hookers. I get all the Desert Highways merch screen printed here.

And of course Todd and all those at Ripple Music / The Ripple Effect, great site and label!

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