Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ripple Record Store Round-Up - The Sound Machine, Reading UK

I'm sure everyone has that one special place that can call it 'heaven', including myself. I've been to a lot of record shops within 60 mile distance (can't afford travelling too far... yet).  Bought quite some interesting albums outside Reading, where I live and I still enjoy going to London, Guildford or Henley and find obscure bargains, but the shop I can call heaven is actually in Reading. It's called The Sound Machine.

Located very close to the train station, only less than 5 minutes walk (24 Harris Arcade, Reading RG1 1DN), The Sound Machine offer a wide range of second-hand LPs, CDs and DVDs. Tour booklets, cassettes and music-related books can also be found. Although they mostly specialise in rock and pop, other genres can also be found such as jazz, soul, reggae and more, so everyone can find something for themselves. The stock also changed regularly, so a regular visit is necessary if you don't want to miss out something that might be on your wantlist.

I've started buying records since April 2011 and ever since my collection, as well as musical knowledge, has grown impressively big and I'm only 23. It is thanks to their cheap section, where I have found a lot of stuff I needed and never heard of before (and loved in the end). Being a huge heavy metal fan, a small cheap metal section makes this place a huge bonus and always dig through it and even when I go there not willing to buy anything I end up getting something anyway (addiction much?). The cheap sections are priced £3 each and 4 for £10. The condition may vary, but they always try to put out the best conditions possible. Personally, I don't mind a damaged sleeve, as long as the record is playable, it will find a place on the shelf. Also the CD section is quite big and the shop also get customers willing to buy CDs at price £3.99.

Of course it doesn't end with just bargains, there are other sections with priced up albums. A vast majority is £5 and £8, but there tend to be £10, £15, £20 and more depending on the album, pressing and condition (the third always is important). Despite this, the prices are not high at all. Compared to prices in London they tend to lower the prices and you definitely will not overpay. It is hard to say what is the best find from there, I've had so many of those I just can't remember. What I do remember is getting a German press of 'Counterparts' by Rush from 1993 from the cheap section together with a pile of other prog albums for £2.25 a piece. Later I found out they can go for hundreds of dollars! Another memory I can recall is finding a copy of American press of Nazareth's 'Hair of the Dog' for just £3, which is one of my life soundtracks. Also a holy grail copy of 'Dehumanizer' by Black Sabbath and signed copy of 'Power Supply' by Budgie will always remind me where it came from.

Of course digging through crates is not the only reason I go there. The staff is wonderful and always willing to help. Even if you don't manage to find anything, you can still be there for small chattering not necessarily about music, laughs guaranteed. Their music knowledge helped me to discover new bands (and persuaded me well to buy records), but also they learn new things from me, so there's a very good information being shared for the future. They will also help you find albums you're after and put on the side for you, very helpful to avoid spending too much on eBay/Discogs purchases.

It is a truly wonderful place, don't think there's one like this anywhere in the UK. Pop in and I'm sure you will find something for your taste.


Enslaved and Wardruna To Perform Skuggsjá, The Sound of Norway's Norse History at Roadburn Festival 2015

Roadburn Festival 2015 Ticket Pre-Sales Start Thursday, Oct 16th 2014 at 21:00 CET; Pre-Sales Party at The 013 Venue (NL)

Bongripper, Floor, Sólstafir, Virus, White Hills, Messenger, Junius, Skeletonwitch, Svartidaudi, Mortals, The Osiris Club and Zoltan also confirmed for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival.

We're elated to announce that Enslaved and Wardruna will perform Skuggsjá, the sound of Norway's Norse History at Houses of the Holistic, Ivar Bjørnson's and Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik's curated Roadburn event on Friday, April 10 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Written by Bjørnson and Selvik for the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution and premiered this past weekend at the Eidsivablot festival, this will be Skuggsjá's first performance outside of Norway, and will certainly be one of the highlights of the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival.
Skuggsjá translates into ‘mirror’ or ‘reflection’ in the Norse language, and the commissioned piece not only contextualizes harder music’s role in the democracy in Norway in 2014, but also joins threads from the country’s ancient musical history and solidifies harder music’s position as Norway`s most important cultural export.
By highlighting ideas, traditions and instruments of their Norse past, Skuggsjá will tell the history of Norway and reflect relevant aspects from the past into the present day. In light of this they will reflect on themselves as a people and nation. In a magnificent tapestry of metal instrumentation, a wide variety of Norway and Scandinavia’s oldest instruments, and poetry in Proto-Scandinavian, Norse and Norwegian, Skuggsjá will be a fusion between past and present, both lyrically and musically.
We simply can't wait to experience it ourselves, to hear how how Norwegian metal has developed from its rebellious roots into the highly acclaimed artistic expression of a complex music genre, under Norway's constitutional right to freedom of speech.

In related news, Virus, Junius, Skeletonwitch, Svartidaudi and Icelandic heathens Sólstafir, who are currently making huge waves with their latest release, Ótta, are also confirmed for Houses of the Holistic, Ivar Bjørnson's and Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik's curated Roadburn event on Friday, April 10 at the 013 venue.

Tickets for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival, set for April 9 - 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, will go on sale on Thursday, October 16, 2014. Set your alarm and get ready to score your tickets at 21:00 CET!

The majority of Roadburners live outside The Netherlands, which is why ticket pre-sales will start at 21:00 CET. This should be convenient for most time zones. Apologies to our friends in Oceania who will have to wake up early (or just stay up late)!

We are pleased to report that there will be NO price increase this year.Three-day tickets will be available for 165 Euros (excl. servicefees); four-day tickets will cost 185 Euros (excl. service fees). Afterburner-only tickets will cost 32.50 Euros (excl. service fees). Please note that one-day tickets are not available for the Thursday, Friday or Saturday Roadburn dates. Online buyers can order a maximum of four tickets.

For everyone in the Netherlands and Belgium: we are aware that your local ticket outlets will not be open when pre-sales start, which is why we are throwing another pre-sales party at the 013 venue in Tilburg (NL). From 19:00 CET - 20:30 CET you will be able to purchase a maximum of four paper tickets for Roadburn Festival 2015. Guaranteed!

In addition to making it easy to get tickets, the pre-sales party is going to be a blast! This year, we have invited The Machine and Radar Men From The Moon to provide the soundtrack.

The live music part of the evening starts at 20:30 CET. Roadburn’s artistic director/promoter Walter Hoeijmakers will be on hand to share the latest festival updates, too.

Chicago instrumental band Bongripper will make a welcome return to the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival with two sets that feature their unique brand of devastating doom. The first will see them play their latest album, Miserable, in its entirety at the main stage on Thursday, April 9. The second will be later that weekend (more info about the date to be determined).

If you are a fan of stellar riffs and molasses-thick distorted guitar tone, Floor has everything you want in music. These Floridian sludge/pop pioneers get a lot of comparisons to lead singer/guitarist Steve Brooks other band, Torche — and rightfully so — with his instantly recognizable singing style and guitar tone. Floor, however, is the essence of pure heaviness, with just a nod to the pop melodies that have spurred Torche on to crossover success. Come feel the downtuned thunder of Floor’s bassless power trio attack when Floor plays the main stage of the 013 venue at the 2015 Roadburn Festival on Thursday, April 9.

Combining many of the essential themes of Roadburn music in their volatile sonic elixir -- psych, space rock, stoner rock, kraut rock and noise -- have made White Hills one of Roadburn's favorite bands. Their bespangled and energetic live shows have a life and chaotic energy of their own that reshapes their music and creates powerful sonic programming driven by pure energy, exactly the kind of thing that Roadburn celebrates, and fans seek. White Hills will make a very welcome return to Roadburn for a main stage performance on Sunday, April 12.

After winning the limelight category for the brightest young rising stars in the progressive sky today at this year's Progressive Music Awards this past weekend, Messenger will bring their acid folk/prog and psychedelica to the 20th edition of Roadburn on Saturday, April 11.

Mortals, The Osiris Club and Zoltan have also been confirmed for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival.

Curated by Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) and Wardruna‘s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik, Roadburn Festival 2015 (including Skuggsjá, Enslaved, Wardruna, Fields of the Nephilim, Claudio Simonetti's Goblin performing Dawn of The Dead and Susperia in its entirety, Zombi, Sólstafir, White Hills, Bongipper, Floor and The Heads as Artist In Residence among others) will run for four days from Thursday, April 9 to Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

I listen to a lot of metal.  I write these reviews, I do a weekly radio show, and to be honest, a lot of what I listen to is just a blur.  Much of what comes my way is just very generic metal.  I figured out last year that I listened to portions of over 400 albums between my writing and radio show.  If a band stands out then they have got something a little unique, they've figured out how to put their own touch on this metal genre.  If they stand out enough that I give their release multiple listens, then it has to be something special.

I think we can call this Tom G. Warrior fellow pretty special.  For over 30 years now he has kept it interesting with Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, and now Triptykon.  Let me just join the chorus now and state that this is his master work.  This album is so staggeringly good, with nothing on display that you could even begin to call a misstep, that it boggles the mind a little.

The songwriting is outstanding.  All of the songs sound like they are of a whole.  There is nothing here that seems as though its just a bunch of riffs pasted together.  The songs sound like fully formed ideas, and they are given enough room to breathe and develop.  Each one seems to be exactly the right length.  The performances are top notch.  All of the playing on this album feels like there is a symbiotic relationship between the player and the music, that there is no difference between say the drummer and his rhythms.  They are one and the same.  As an album, all the songs work together.  I've heard concept albums that don't flow and work like this one does.  This band has simply put all the right parts together in all the right ways to bring us something spectacular, something that does not often come along.

You can't lump this in a nice tidy box, genre wise.  It is most definitely, without a doubt, metal, but you aren't going to be able to call it black or death or anything so simple.  This is other metal, a distillation of the experiences of a metal veteran, taking the best bits of everything he has done before to put forth something so much greater than the sum of its parts.  “Breathing” certainly blasts along like some tasty death metal, but yet has enough other things going on that you can't simply call it death.  Other tracks, such as “Boleskine House” and “Aurorae” are just a few BPM above what you might call doom, but again, more than an easy definition awaits the listener.  “Demon Pact” is tribal and primal, sounding like what you might imagine a gathering of Hell's minions would be like.  “Black Snow” is just twelve and a half minutes of gorgeous darkness.

This album is brilliant.  Everything you could want in a metal release.  Something I will listen to repeatedly.  Definitely on my top 10 list for this year, regardless of what comes out the rest of the year.  Mr. Warrior, you have done yourself proud.  Valhalla awaits.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Ripple Conversation with George Trevino of Las Cruces

Just about the heaviest doom we've ever heard!  And damn proud to bring them into the Ripple Family!  Here's a quick chat with George Trevino of San Antonio Doom-masters, Las Cruces

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

AC/DC on the late night tv live in 1978.

What makes a great song?

What makes a great song are the guitar riffs.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

Song called Sans Sentiment in '82

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

The song In My Sadness

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

Windhand, Mothership etc.just great riffage from these bands

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

digital now but vinyl is awesome

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Beer cause it's cheaper lol

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

San Antonio TX Hogwild records

What's next for the band? 

European tour we hope

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

Continue to wave that metal flag proudly. cheers and doom on

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Vajra - Pleroma

Finally, a disease I can live with.  It’s a neurological condition called synesthesia.  Annamaria Pinna, the driving force behind New York City alternative/progressive art rock group Vajra, has the malady. The affliction attaches color and shapes to sound.  It makes her songwriting unique, visual and a synthesis of styles.  You can hear the result in Vajra’s debut album, Pleroma (which means in Greek “the totality of divine powers”), and it is guaranteed to drive your own visual hallucinations

The album, true to its hype, “is an exploration in paradox (east vs west, soft vs pummelling, female vs male) and includes Blake Fleming (ex-The Mars Volta) on drums. Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of A Down, Prince, Johnny Cash) co-produced the vocals and mixed. Tom Baker (NIN, Foo Fighters, Ministry, Prince) mastered”.  The music comes off as “Dark, Alternative, Progressive Art Rock with Eastern Indian Themes”.  In fact, the band’s name, Vajra, is a Sanskrit word and its dual meaning, ”thunderbolt” and “diamond,” accurately describes the band’s work.

A long time friend of mine who is an accomplished musician recently expressed her hope that progressive rock would make a comeback.  From what I have heard Vajra is performing before sell-out crowds.  With more bands like Vajra she may just get her wish.

- Old School

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lo-Pan - Colossus

It's been a while since I've been really excited about a new Small Stone Recordings release. As evidenced by our last rundown of a couple early gems on the roster, I'm obviously full of shit. In fact, there's rarely a day that goes by that I don't at least think about listening to a band living in the Small Stone headquarters, which if you haven't donated yet, the headquarters was hit by a tragic flood some weeks back and could use some financial help to ensure our stoner rawk appetites are continuously fulfilled.

Speaking of appetite, Lo Pan's latest album Colossus stuffs your palette with enough substance to quench your musical munchies and sustain a dreamy, stoned state of mind long after sobriety. The razor sharp fuzz sears the speakers like a bald eagle talon grasps an Olympic torch soaring over the Grand Canyon. Towering riffage floats amongst polished vocals throughout an onslaught of musical luster. 

From the first hammer down on the distortion laced fretboard of the lead single Regulus, to the relentless slappage of bass throughout The Duke, Colossus proves worthy of its name. Tracks like Black Top Revelation initiate a commanding groove, catchy like a blonde bikini clad biker babe throttling her hog down the open desert highway.

The entire album exceeds any sort of high expectation you should have had for the band. Colossus demonstrates a defining sound of the new wave of heavy stoner rock. Fuzz based progressive riff rock with a punk pace and the precision harmony of heavy metal.

Much like the album cover portrayal, the music is sharp and symmetrical, confident and boisterous, and worthy of a double take, or triple play in my case to absorb the full experience lurking within its own shadow. Lo-Pan has spawned an accessibly heavy as hell rawk n’ roll masterpiece with tantalizing vocal moans registering laterally to label mates Sasquatch and Deville.

My only beef with this album is a slab of oozing sirloin steak to accompany it's smoldering feast of stoned out riffs. Cooked to perfection with an aroma fit for dive bar brethren alike. Colossus has conquered the ranks into becoming a quintessential stoner rock powerhouse not to go unheard. They are touring the US NOW with Black Cobra and I for one am thrilled to get a chance to see them live in my home town of Reno/Sparks at 'The Alley' on 9/30/14. As far as venues go, The Alley is hard to beat with its grungy, dive atmosphere and a sound system and acoustics capable of blowing the joint's doors into the Land of Oz. I can only imagine Lo-Pan live in this setting and I shall soon find out as I missed their last pit stop a couple years back. Pre-orders for digital, CD, and vinyl are up over at bandcamp linked below. Colossus will be released in early October. Don’t be shy, order up.

-The Huntsman

Thursday, September 25, 2014

ORANGE GOBLIN Premieres New Video Via Noisey; Back From The Abyss To Drop Next Month

With the release of Back From The Abyss, the forthcoming new full-length from stoner metal icons ORANGE GOBLIN, now less than one month away, Noisey thrusts forth opening rager, "Sabbath Hex."
Bedecked in high-speed psychedelic visuals and an occultish-vibe, the Michael Dickinson-produced clip is currently slaying eye holes via Noisey at THIS LOCATION.

And if you missed it, check out the Motörheadian dirt rock swagger of "The Devil's Whip" still streaming at Loudwire HERE.

Recorded earlier this year in London, ORANGE GOBLIN's Back From The Abyss was produced by Jamie Dodd, mastered at Turan Audio and follows the band's most successful release, 2012's A Eulogy For The Damned, and the recent reissue of their 2007 album Healing Through Fire. Rocking hard as fans have come expect, Back From The Abyss shows not only the band's signature blues 'n' doom persuasion but the high caliber of their musicianship. In an advance 9/10 review of the record, This Is Not A Scene crowns Back From The Abyss, "another triumph for ORANGE GOBLIN," furthering that it maintains the band's, "consistent level of songwriting and performance all the way through its twelve tracks that make this their most accomplished album to date. Proof that hard work does indeed pay off."

Together since 1995, ORANGE GOBLIN has released seven full-length studio albums. A Eulogy For The Damned was the band's first for Candlelight Records and closed a five year recording hiatus. The album was supported with the most live dates by the band in their history; touring that saw the band on North American soil first alongside Clutch then on a full-scale headlining tour that found them on thirty-eight stages across the US and Canada. Two videos were filmed and released for the album, including "Red Tide Rising" and the special Scion A/V video for "Acid Trials."

Back From The Abyss will be released October 7th, 2014 via Candlelight Records. Preorder your copy at THIS LOCATION.

"...a big burly bag of rock goodness..." - Blabbermouth

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Guestroom Records

This is a guest post from Seth who sings in Grel. He went to guestroom records (also a label, Rainbows are Free are on it) in Oklahoma City, he was impressed. Here you go:

Naysayers be damned, you don’t have to brave the white widow haze of Norman to find choice cuts of sound in central Oklahoma. Somewhere between hairdressers and just plain hair is Guestroom Records, tucked inside the Paseo Arts District, lined with paintings of famous album covers from the obvious (AC/DC, Zeppelin) to the surprising (Grateful Dead’s Wake of the Flood). Sorry, no Goodwill overabundance of kitschy tropicalia or the uncanny embalmed grin of Aunt Harriet’s favorite white jazz organist; this place has records you want. The old favorites abound, from (lots of) Miles Davis to Barrett-era Floyd, but the shock of the new awaits as well, from Modest Mouse to Thee Oh Sees. While I might be unsure if Coldplay deserves to be in the Indie/Alt section, Kaleidoscope's Tangerine Dream in a brand new pressing (in the 60s Psych/Garage section of course) calmed my waters. I even spied near mint (and shockingly affordable) copies of Introducing the Beatles and Jolly What!, those infamous unauthorized Vee Jay releases that were America’s first taste of the Fab Four. Can’t make this schniz up. As with most record stores, the CD section contains a few surprises between the inferior 80s “we didn’t know how to remaster analog just yet” discs, as well as a local color section for all your Sooner State demands that don’t have a damn thing to do with Red Dirt. This wasn’t a place I left easily. I’ve had family members treat me as less of a guest.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Escapetor - Fear

The email submissions continue to hold surprises.  Here is a band that has been slogging around Norway since 1999 with various lineups but are probably unknown outside of their native land.  I know I have never heard of them before.  Out of nowhere comes a pretty decent album.  I can't tell exactly what it is I like about the album but it is very listenable and really grows on you.

The name of the band is a curious thing.  They pronounce it “Escape-tor”.  I have no idea what that means or is, but if you follow bands that live in countries where English is not the first language you will see all kinds of interesting band names.  And I'm sure if I had to come up with a Norwegian band name it would not go well.  So we'll give them a pass on that.

They describe themselves as a thrash metal band, but honestly, outside of a few flourishes here and there I don't think that is accurate.  The album opening track, “The Queen”, is probably the closest they come to thrash, as the song is mostly a thrash style and tempo, but otherwise they are what I would call a classic metal band.  The band that they most resemble to me, at least on this recording, is Black Album era Metallica, who certainly were a thrash band at the beginning but weren't by the point of that album.  There is a lot of mid-tempo music, similar to the Black Album, and the guitars are recorded with the same crunch.  They actually move within genres, sometimes even in the same song.  Their self-titled track, “Escapetor”, is a pretty heavy piece of metal that breaks down in a folk/pirate metal style a couple of times during the song.  They almost get up to a NWOBHM sound at times as well.  They are just a good, heavy metal band, flashing back to a time when it was just heavy metal, not so subdivided as metal is now.

“Mr. Hyde” is another one that you could almost call a thrash song, and one of my favorites on the album.  Just kind of gallops and plows along crushing everything in its path.  And there is a tune called “Creatures Of The Night”.   Although it's not a KISS cover it's a really good song.  One critique I would make of the album is that it is just a bit too long.  These guys really hit their stride on the songs that clock in around four or four and a half minutes in length, yet half the album is made up of songs longer than that.  A little help from a producer who would tell them that last riff idea really doesn't need to be tacked on to the end of the song would help things be a little more accessible.

Albums don't have to break new ground or be the best of the year in order to be good and enjoyable.  This one is proof of that.  Good songs, good playing, and good times will be had when you push play on this one.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Ripple Field Trip - Vultures Of Volume Fest

The inaugural edition of the Vultures Of Volume fest was a very interesting proposition from the get-go, to say the least. Once the organizers, Kathy Reeves and Matt Dayton, announced the event as well as the line-up, preparations were made to head northeast. Though being originally slated to take place in Maryland, difficulties there meant a change of venue was enforced. The excellent JB McGinnes Pub & Grille in New Castle, DE, stepped in and agreed to host the fest and it couldn't have been a better choice. It's the perfect place for an occasion like this whichever way you look at it.

Philadelphia's Wizard Eye had the honor, yet the unthankful task, of opening up the procedures. At 3pm not many people had showed up, however, that didn't deter these beasts. They played like it was a full house and were simply crushing it with their bottom-heavy riff-based, sonic and psychedelic doom. I've had the opportunity to see them live several times and they were phenomenal as always.

Locals BlackHand followed and they had recently gotten back together after a hiatus. A nice acquaintance indeed. Mixing Black Sabbath with sludgy doom is their forte and they were pretty damned good.

Black Manta is a Maryland-based stoner/doom band that has been active on and off for quite some time. Heavily riff-infused and sleazy they weren't bad but didn't make it or break it with me.

Never a band to disappoint, Gorgantherron from Evansville, IN, were as good as ever. They simply laid JB McGinnes to waste as well as crushing the ever growing crowd. Amazing is all I can say!

Beelzefuzz are always a force to be reckoned with, being one of the best and most innovative bands out there. They upped the ante quite a bit recently by adding Greg Diener of Pale Divine on guitar. Holy shit folks! An already fantastic band is even more amazing now, expanding their musical palette to unrivaled levels. It's trippy, groovy, heavy, psychedelic and totally out of this world. I've said this elsewhere but Beelzefuzz are the past, the present and the future of music!

Another band in the same mold as Beelzefuzz, but leaning more towards Goblin were Blizaro from Rochester, NY. Fabulous guitarwork, jammy and experimental it was pure joy to watch them. Problems with the Moog didn't stop them, instead that glitch only spurred them on. Excellent!

I know I'm very biased when it comes to Pale Divine. They are, after all, one of my favorite bands ever. Regardless, this was one of the best performances I've ever seen them do. Even though their albums are far apart, Pale Divine always evolve. Each show brings something new and holy hell, tonight they were incredible. Few, very few bands mix heaviness, soothing tones, technique and melody and create music the way these gentlemen do it. Truly amazing!

Kingsnake are a good decent band from PA that I have managed to catch a few times. Good musicianship and a solid performance is what they gave us but still they didn't rattle my bones. The reason is they sound way too much like Clutch to have an identity of their own. Clutch are not a bad source for inspiration. Quite the contrary. Despite this, they put on a good show and had the crowd rocking but they need become themselves.

Up next a very welcome return for guitarist/singer Dale Flood and his band Unorthodox, having laid dormant quite a while now. Albeit a one-off thing - maybe? - it was a privilege to witness this rare happening. Backed by drummer Ron Kallimon and former The Obsessed bassist Mark Laue, Dale and the band created magic. There's no other way to put it. Maybe there was a nervous second or two at first, but greeted by a hero's welcome Unorthodox went from strength to strength, Fantastic, simply fantastic!

Anticipation was running as The Skull took to the stage. Featuring three prominent ex-members of Trouble, Eric Wagner, Jeff'Oly'Olson and Ron Holzner, they launched into the legendary album 'Psalm 9' and that was all she wrote! They couldn't do a thing wrong and the crowd was eating up everything they threw their way. It's been a long time coming for me and I am very pleased I finally got to see The Skull crushing some skulls.

It's unavoidable but all good things must come to an end. Regardless, when a day full of great music as the Vultures Of Volume fest was is over, you go home with a big smile on your face. True, on the one hand you never want it to stop, but on the other you're already remembering the great music you listened to and all the great people you met, hoping and wishing there will be a second edition next year. My wife and I had a fantastic time in Delaware, catching up with long-time friends as well as spraining our necks headbanging too much. But it was well worth it. A huge shout out to Kathy Reeves and Matt Dayton for a great job putting the fest together. It couldn't have been better!

- Swedebeast

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Ripple Conversation with Tyrel Choat from The Cosmic Trigger

Their debut album blew us away.  Their live show dominates.  Their latest 7" single brought tears to our eyes.  We expect big things from Cosmic Trigger, so let's talk with their main may Tyrel Choat.

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

First time I heard Metallica was in 1987, my brother brought home the garage days Re-revisited E.P. And I fell in love with the sound of the distortion guitar and vocal style. That was when I was 5. After that Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Pink Floyd, Led-Zeppelin and Iron Maiden had a huge influence on me as well. But, Metallica was the first “Heavy Metal” band I ever heard. Before that I listened to golden oldies with my parents.

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

Lyrics always come last, but the whole start to finish process usually goes something like this: I come up with an idea or a riff, I take it to the guys and they write to that. Usually the riff gets changed and morphed into something new. There is no room for egos when it comes to writing. It has to be whats best for the song, not whats best for your spotlight. In the end these are “our” songs. Not “mine” or “his”.

Who has influenced you the most?

guitar: James Hetfield, Tony Iommi, David Gilmour, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen and Adam Jones are the most evident in my playing.
Vocals: James Hetfield, Mike Patton, David Gilmour and Roger Waters

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Everywhere, anything from world events, feelings, past relationships, world events, comic books, sci-fi films and novels and philosophy (views and teachings)

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

Fort Worth has very little impact on our music, Perhaps it has made us polite and hospitable. We all have a slight drawl in our voice. We have redneck sayings that we all use, haha.

Where'd the band name come from? 

It comes from a book by Robert Anton Wilson entitled “Cosmic Trigger: The final secret of the Illuminati”. The idea is “If there is a big bang shouldn’t we ask who pulled THE COSMIC TRIGGER?”

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

 If they ever made a movie based on the Miracleman comics by Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman, I feel like that would be the coolest. But, anything involving space and hallucinogenics would be cool.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

One of our songs: would be our unreleased 13 minute epic “Misanthropist: Megaton”. It has to do with the greatest threat to our planet and survival; ourselves and the hatred for humanity by those who may someday have access to thermonuclear weapons...god forbid.

Some one else's song: Pigs (three different ones) by Pink Floyd. It is so huge. It is the middle song of their animals album which is a concept album that tells the story of Orwell's Animal Farm but in the view of a late 1970's british resident. It separates people into Sheep, Dogs and Pigs. It points out Mary Whitehouse's involvement with the NVALA. Great song!!!!

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

Well, I guess before I could say that, imagine that The Cosmic Trigger is a giant cyborg or robot, now it would have the appearance and moving parts of a metal band with the brain of a 70's prog rock band and the heart of a spacey atmospheric group. Damn, that sounds somewhat pretentious, but oh well. Any way with that in mind, We want to educate a new generation on how to appreciate the world we live in through song. To heed warnings but ultimately enjoy the life your given. Also to fascinate people with a large diverse pallet of music ideas, sounds and approaches.

Who today writes great songs? 

Tool-Total musical freedom while living in and out of their own unique sound.
Mastadon, Baroness, Redfang: same as above

Vinyl, cd,or digital?

A resounding VINYL, separation of instruments, clarity, low end response, dynamics “lack of squashy compression”, artwork, just vinyl all the way!!!

Whiskey or beer and defend your choice.

Although I love both, I choose beer, its cheaper and I van keep a buzz longer.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

Doc's Records

What's next for the band? 

Finish writing the rest of our new album and get with Kent Stump to record it. Also, we want to be pirates, we want to tour and push our music all over the globe but especially the states and Europe.

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

Write and play from your collective heart as a band. Listen to us all day everyday and tell people about us constantly!!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

So I Wrote The President A Letter

A developer wants to tear down RCA Studios in Nashville.  The list of musicians who recorded there is beyond legendary.  From Johnny Cash to Elvis and Willie Nelson, RCA Studio's walls have seen it all.  It's worth spreading the word on saving this historic site.  I decided to write the President.  It goes like this...

Dear Mr. President,

There are a lot things in this country that we need to fix.  Shocker.  I feel like you do the best you can.  I don't have any suggestions for those problems.  They are a right mess way above my education level.

However, our country is full of valuable things.  One of those things is our musical heritage.  We, American musicians, have changed the world with our talents.  Even though we constantly innovate musical genres and create new music for the world to hear, we need to make sure that we protect it's heritage and history.

Maybe you know, or maybe you don't, but there are plans to tear down the legendary RCA studios in Nashville.  I don't see how this is right.  I understand that it is property and it can be bought and sold, but what was created inside of this building's walls is a priceless part of American history.  The list of people who recorded there, at least in my world, is just as heavy as the list of people who signed the Declaration.  I feel like it needs to stand as a landmark of American imagination and creativity.  I don't know what could be done, but we mourn the loss of great buildings all of the time.  Maybe it isn't the Library of Alexandria, but we would regret it.  They didn't tear down Edison's workshop, and this building shouldn't come down either.

The City of Nashville needs to keep this building from being torn down under developer's bulldozer.  You can build commercial and residential buildings just about anywhere, why don't we keep something that can't really be replaced?  RCA Studios are hallowed ground and should be treated in such a manner.

Here’s a link to some information about the situation:


Ian Gerber

Friday, September 19, 2014

THE PHUSS announce release of new video and album ON THE PROWL

“The trio of musicians affects a posture exactly commensurate with their ability to knife through the room. Their stage strut is a claim made veracious by their impressively tight sound. It is rock and roll in its most crystalline, adrenal seductiveness.”
D Magazine

There’s no hyperbole to be had here. Fort Worth, TX three piece The Phuss play it fast, they play it loud and they play it ‘cos they mean it.

Formed in 2008 by front man/guitarist Josh Fleming and drummer Trey Alfaro – and later joined in 2010 by bass player Forrest Barton – The Phuss’ second full-length album On The Prowl is as intense as it is impressive. A ferocious collision of youth and dirty rock 'n' roll fun you just can’t shake… although why would you even want to? Fierce guitars, rolling bass lines, abrasive vocals and pounding drums; produced by Jeff Saenz and mixed by Jordan Richardson, On The Prowl packs riff upon glorious riff of distorted loudness over razor sharp pop that brings to mind the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Blue Cheer and Nirvana.

On The Prowl will get an official release via Magnetic Eye Records on 14th October 2014. In the meantime, watch and share the new video for ‘I Don’t Feel Good’ via New Noise Magazine http://newnoisemagazine.com/video-premiere-the-phuss-i-dont-feel-good/ or click on the image below.

YouTube Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT44t6IjKhk

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bask - American Hollow

I read a lot of descriptions while scanning the web for music. Some from other like-minded fan’s recommendations, but mostly I go straight to the tags and descriptions to weed out stuff I don’t have time for. It’s about efficiency in today’s Internet music marketing. Well if I was in charge that’s what I’d focus on. Get a good slogan, have badass cover art to portray a visual of what the music might sound like and your odds are better off that folks will listen. If it sucks it sucks, and they’ll turn it off and not come back, but that first impression is a key element for me. My first impression upon getting the recommendation to check out Bask was textbook perfection in setting the hook deep into my soul. They snagged another fan instantaneously.

Describing themselves:

“With roots in americana, stoner metal and post-rock, Bask is turning out their own brand of doom. Psychedelic, heavy, and scenic songs weave through sections of driving riffs, thundering percussion, loose grooves and glimmering guitar. All topped with vocals that conjure spirits of old country crooners”

That had me intrigued on top of that wicked artwork on the cover of American Hollow. Love the shades and blends of yellows and reds, with a spooky scene containing deer antlers, owls, and some sort of witchy woman as the main focal point. I would classify this as top shelf album art and something I would want to see how it sounds by the art alone.

Now to the music. As much as I loved their description of themselves, I hate to say I only slightly agree. Or maybe I disagree with several other descriptions on the net I read. They all went for the western Americana, folk aspect that the band latently portrays. I’ll admit, that I too was mostly interested into how they would weave in an Americana vibe into post-metal/doom rock upon reading that and not having pushed play yet. To me it’s more in the lyrics than anything, and not much of an Americana vibe musically at all. The theme of the record fills the Americana description with the storyline involved, which suggests the band is into the old western landscape and spiritual folklore. I can dig that myself and is what I find so attractive about this album.

The album veers from acoustic passages on ‘A Man’s Worth’, to an ethereally atmospheric blend of post metal, stoner rock and an added psychedelic indie-rock flair in areas of vocal tones throughout. The guitars soar elegantly between harmonic chugs to progressively intricate passages. Vocals open up with a mystical vibe not unlike My Morning Jacket, but wearing a denim jacket sporting a beard and paired up with a metallic atmosphere veering from post-hardcore screams to laid back western tales of sorrow and alternative country musings.

I haven’t heard anything quite like this all year long, and I’ve listened to damn near a 1000 different albums at this point, mostly good, some great, and a few, like Bask, get the nod as being magnificent. I can’t quite pick a favorite song on the album as they are all equally special and have their own identity. At first I really fell in love with the closing track “Endless Summer” with its long drawn out build up into an absolutely gorgeous climax. Its like you’re listening to the angels of heaven riffing their blessings unto the true believers in rock and roll. I’ll go as far to say it reminded me of my AOTY from 2011, ‘Hands - Give Me Rest’ to an extent, which I recommend you check out if you haven’t listened. ‘Endless Summer’ is a stunning closing to an even more intriguing album. A must listen to band for open minded fans of rock, metal, indie, country, hardcore, etc…. Perhaps not for the average straight up metal head, or stereotypical stoner rock fan looking for the formulaic approach to their favorite sounds. Bask intelligently incorporate several styles together to produce a heavy as hell album that is soft and emotional around the edges, perhaps symbolized by those flower petals surrounding the cover art scene?

This could very well end up at the top of my favorite albums of the year at this point. You can stream/purchase the album on bandcamp, and also buy a vinyl copy of the record out on CrimsonEye Records here. I am anxiously awaiting my gold copy, which took no hesitation to purchase on my end.

-The Huntsman

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Ripple Conversation with Brendan Burns of Wasted Theory

Heavy.  Seriously heavy.  Wasted Theory blew us away with their latest release of seriously heavy stoner/doom/sludge.  So we scrambled to get into line to talk to Brendan Burns about what makes the band tick.

Q: When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.
What have been your musical epiphany moments?

A: I’d have to say the very first time I heard Pyromania by Def Leppard was a life altering moment for me. I grew up at a time where the cassette was king, and the cool thing about cassettes was you pretty much HAD to listen to the entire album, you couldn't skip around like you could with CD’s or MP3’s (I mean you could, but you’d run the risk of fucking up your tape). So it made me love the album as a whole piece of work. I’d have to say other monumental epiphany’s for me were the first time I heard bands like Fugazi, Faith No More, and more recently with Beelzefuzz.

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

A: Truthfully, I think our approach is very common to a lot of other bands, we just get together and start up the riff-machine. We’ll just bring a couple cool riffs in and we’ll literally just jam on those 2 or 3 riffs for a few hours until we think they’d fit something cool. I write the lyrics last. It’s a very boring process honestly. I’d love to say that we gather in a dark room with cloaks and red candles burning and summon the gods of rock and roll past all while sacrificing goats and playing records backwards, but really we just drink beer and try to not fuck up a whole lot.

Q: Who has influenced you the most? Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

A: When we first got together I wanted a band that sounded like Nazareth meets Pepper-era Corrosion of Conformity. We are all huge 70’s rock fans, but when we go out on the road we like to jam everything from Social Distortion to Blackfoot to Faith No More. We just really dig straight up rock n’ roll, the dirtier and grittier the better. We've been working on some new stuff that sounds like Viking Skull meets Artimus Pyledriver, so we've been really excited to hear where it’s taking us. It’s been pretty fun actually.

Q: We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music? Where'd the band name come from?

A: Delaware is a very strange place musically. There’s a handful of decent and talented bands doing their thing, but there’s no collective “scene” for any one particular genre here in my opinion. We are not really a band of our environment, because there are no “brother” or “sister” bands around here to feed off of creatively. I always told the guys, “Well, if the audience won’t come to us, then we’ll go to them”. So, 2 years ago we took the show on the road. As far as the band name, there’s really no interesting or clever story with the name. I joined the band when they already had the name so we just left it. Boring, I know.

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

A: I’d have to say either “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” or “Porky’s”. Two great classic’s in my mind, haha.

Q: You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

A: Damn, that’s a hard one, I’d have to say “Changin’ Times” by Nazareth or “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas. The first time I heard the “Hair of the Dog” record and looking at the cover art as a 10 year old kid it really left a lasting impression on me. It mixed the dark and eerie cover art concept with such a raw and groovin’ ass rock song, it has always been one of my all-time favorite songs. No matter what mood I’m in, good or bad, as soon as that vocal intro kicks in on “Wayward Son” I just rock out super hard. It’s just an awesome song.

Q: What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

A: Man, we just want people to leave our shows saying “fuck dude, those were some seriously righteous ass riffs”. We just wanna play straight up rock and roll that people can groove to. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re not interested in sparking a new genre of underground rock music. We just want our audience to come out, have a few beers with us and just enjoy heavy rock and roll music with no expectations. What has been some of the best shows we’ve ever played are the ones where we get to play with bands that we listen to everyday. We just like to play music that we’d listen to, plain and simple.

Q: Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

A: Well other than stuffing bananas in our leather pants and cranking our amps up to 11, there’s really not much to tell. We are pretty boring dudes. Although we are playing the idea of naming our next full length “Shark Sandwich”.

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

A: The biggest obstacle that we are constantly trying to overcome live is finding the ideal set length when we play. I am of the opinion that in the world we live in today, people’s attention spans are super short and the amount of time you have on that stage to really blow their minds or get your best material across is very limited. So, for us the live experience is just a quick 25-30min short blast of blood, sweat and tears poured into our best songs and when we get off that stage we hope that the audience has been blown away and still wants more. When we just recently went out and did a run of dates on our way to the “Days of the Doomed IV” festival, we played the same 25 minute set every night, and we got such great responses each night, so it leads me to believe that sometimes you just gotta hit ‘em with all your bangers, and hope they wait for you at your merch table when you’re done.

Q: What makes a great song?

A: The simplicity of a good catchy riff. Drums that sound as if they were coming through the speakers, and just something with soul that just happens to get stuck in your head. I like songs where even if I don’t completely relate to or comprehend the lyrical context, if I’m singing along to the chorus and rocking out to the riff I’m digging the song. I know for some people it’s the complexity and the layers of instrumentation and all that, but I’m old school man… Give me Back in Black, or Rock & Roll Fantasy anyday.

Q: Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

A: The first song we ever wrote together was called “Cracking Up”. It was basically just a straight up no-frills rock song that we recorded ourselves in a dirty dingy garage. It was an older piece that they had been jamming on before I joined up. We recorded it for shits and giggles and it’s on our first EP “Cinco Dechado De Cancion”.

Q: What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

A: I’d honestly have to say that “Absinthe Queen” is one our proudest moments. When we wrote that song we had just picked up our new guitarist Dave and several weeks prior had just fired our founding guitarist. We had a replacement lined up but due to scheduling conflicts couldn’t really make it work. So the future of the band was very much in question at the time. So, we brought in this new guy to try out and to see if we could still make shit happen and he busted out that riff… fuck I was so relieved. I thought to myself, I think we’re gonna be okay. That song is a proud moment for me because it symbolized a new direction for us and a more enjoyable direction actually. We keep it in the set when we play live and it’s definitely a shot in the ass when we play it.

Q: Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

A: Man, I’d really have to say our buds in Borracho absolutely kill it with each new record. A few newer bands that I’ve been really sweet on lately are King Bison from PA, King Buffalo from Rochester, NY and The Glorious Rebellion from Florida. They’re on constant rotation on my ipod. I love hearing bands that possess so much of what I grew up listening to, but taking it into another direction or evolving it into something fresh and interesting. I think all those bands I mentioned are doing just that.

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

A: I know I’ll probably get lynched for saying it, but since I am a man that is always on the go, I’d have to go with digital. I hit the ground running every day so I don’t have time to be flipping through CD booklets, I just throw my iPod on shuffle and hit it. When I’m at home I will jam on some cassettes here and there, but mainly I’m a digital junkie. Although I did just acquire a new component system with a turntable, so I’ll be jamming more vinyl at home. I’m also impatient as fuck, so instant downloading and mp3’s keep my earholes filled with fresh stuff.

Q: Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

A: We are some serious beer drinking sonsabitches, but for some reason when we play out people love buying us shots of whiskey, so it’s a hard choice, but I’d have to go with beer. Since most of the venues we play give us free cans of whatever, we have become quite the beer connoisseurs. I can’t wait for Pumpkin Beer season though, I fucking love that shit!

Q: We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

A: I’m from Bear, Delaware. Which is right outside of Newark, Delaware, where the University of Delaware is. There’s a record store there called Rainbow Records. It’s small, but hey so is Delaware. There’s also a couple cool newer spots called Jupiter Records and Grooves and Tubes, both in the dangerous city of Wilmington, haha.

Q: What's next for the band?

A: We’re gonna be hooking up with some friends and doing a handful more dates this year. We’re doing a weekender with Kingsnake and Borracho in September, then hooking up with Weed is Weed in October and then we’ll probably we closing out the year up in Long Island with our buds in John Wilkes Booth. I personally hate gigging in the winter, but we also want to start writing again, so we’re gonna call it a day in late October/early November. We’re already discussing tour plans for 2015 with a possible split 7” and also discussing the next full length.

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

A: The response to the new record has been absolutely killer, thank you to anyone who’s had the chance to check it out or pick it up. We invested literally every penny we had into that record so it’s awesome to hear so many people dig it. We’re looking forward to seeing you all again soon!!!

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