Saturday, February 28, 2015

Marillion From a Swedebeast's Point of View - Clutching At Straws

At the time of the release of 'Clutching At Straws', little did I know it spelled the end of an era, the end of Marillion as I knew it. I was clueless to all the problems and animosity within the band which lead to the spiteful split between Fish on one side and Steve, Mark, Pete and Ian on the other. Decent record sales and successful tours couldn't prevent the end, instead it probably increased the gap between the band members even quicker and more ferociously.

When I listened to the album for the first time I was thrilled by the rockier edge to the song 'Incommunicado', as well as the heartbreaking frustration and rejection of 'Sugar Mice'. You can call it a slight return to the Marillion of old, if you will. Fish is wearing his heart and emotions on his sleeves, having written some of his most candid lyrics to date. Musically the band are pushing themselves to a fantastic performance that elegantly enhances the pain, the brief hope and broken dreams the lyrics portray.

Bleak and paranoid, 'Hotel Hobbies' starts off slow and in a reflective mood. Torch, the main character of the album - Fish perhaps? - is pondering over his destructive ways but is getting none the wiser. A brief burst halfway through could be a moment of hope but after Rothery's brilliant solo, ineptitude rears it's ugly head again, leaving our leading man in the hardship of another oncoming failed day.  'Warm Wet Circles' is reminiscent, going way back in time, thinking about life before moving away from your home town. What life is for those who stayed behind while you tried to make well as the awkwardness you feel going back to your old haunts realizing things are still the same. A gut-wrenching solo from Steve! Again, the partnership of Mosley and Trewavas elegantly works as the band's heart beat. The thumping of Pete's bass guitar while Ian softly rides the hi-hat allows Torch to rack his brain, coming to the realization that he probably is just like the guys who remained but worse off. Despite his making it, he has really gotten nowhere which pushes him to the breaking point. The amazing Tessa Niles was brought in to add vocals and lifts the song to uncharted territory. 

Omitted from the original vinyl version, 'Going Under' is a short haunting mainly acoustic song, where our main man's mental state is at the throes of breaking apart completely. He is fully aware of this and is seriously contemplating leaving this world. An upbeat keyboard piece by Mark Kelly kick starts 'Just For The Record', bringing some hope for Torch. Still, it's about the typical self-deception of an addict who, in the midst of the ultimate high, believes he can kick anything, get back on track and come out of this on top. A strong, cold wind blows in while the band builds up the atmosphere in this sinister composition. Lyrically, it's the odd one out since it deals with neo-nazism and very little about Torch. Remember, this was recorded in 1987 but is more poignant than ever since that movement is on an alarming rise in Europe right now. Torch's contribution is his observation of this and his decision to do nothing at all...but get more drugs to shy away any piece of responsibility.

Lifting the mood considerably, 'Incommunicado' is as stomping a rocker as Marillion ever will be. Torch is on a high, in all senses of the word, seeing himself on top of the world. All his problems are gone and he is back on the winning team again. It all comes crashing down for him in 'Torch Song'. Laughter and the opening of a bottle initiates the song as he brutally realizes nothing has changed. He is still knee deep in his addiction which is gradually killing him. But he doesn't care since life as he knows it is nothing but misery, so why bother any more? 'Burn a little brighter now...'. Just listen to the beginning of 'Slainte Mhath'! Ian and Pete are again portraying the heartbeat and nerves that are standing on edge; Steve's amazing picking on the guitar soars on top as Mark creates dreamy, emotive atmospheres. Set in a full blown war where soldiers are needlessly killed, Fish used this as an allegory for how Thatcher's politics demoralized and ruined the shipping industry in Scotland. As part of the story of Torch it represents his hopelessness with his ailing health and mind. One of my all time favourite Marillion songs ever, 'Sugar Mice' might be a bit on the commercial side, but it is one of the most heartbreaking lyrics Fish has ever written. Forced to look for work abroad due to the expansive lay-offs Thatcher's rule over the UK caused, an exiled man sees his relationship crumble and fall while trying to make ends meet. Steve Rothery plays one of his greatest solos here...nuff said! 'The Last Straw' is the last song on 'Clutching At Straws' and it carries a very fitting title, indeed. While hard at work, Torch's eyes are opened up to whom he really is and what he has become. And more importantly it finally dawns on him that he has lost. His addiction has won and there is only one way to go. Tessa Niles is back for this one and her duels with Fish are bar to none and adds so much power to the song. Fading out is 'Happy Ending' which is someone yelling "No" followed by some crazed laughter. It is listed as a song but really isn't.

Hindsight is always twenty-twenty no matter how you look at things. So in regards to this magnificent album with all the craziness surrounding the creation of it, and even more the climax after it's release, all the signs of the inner turmoil within the Marillion camp that I was oblivious to are present in virtually every sentence sung. Perhaps that realization has made 'Clutching At Straws' an even better album in my eyes, as the years have rolled by. I don't know, however I do know that despite all the anger and hostility the guys went through, they created a near-perfect goodbye for Fish. After all, this classic line-up of the band ended on the highest note possible.

- Swedebeast

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cleaning Out the Corners - The Blackbury Accident, Flying Lizards, Fortune Maltese, and Buddy Holly

Another installment of the column where we weed through the piles of vinyl in my office together to decide what stays and what goes.  Is it a keeper or a tosser?

Chosen randomly from my "To Spin" stacks . . .

The Blackbury Accident - Overdose of Love/Under my Roof

No idea where this one came from, but here it is, in my collection, wondering when it was ever going to get a spin.  Well, that spin came today and it most likely will be it's last.  Here's all I could find on the band :"Hard to find album from this unknown Netherland band formed in 1979. The band had a lot of success in the Dutch club scene with their powerful bluesy hard rock. In 1981 they even hit the local charts with the song “Overdose of Love”. In 1985 the band had their first album, called “Too late to hide”,  recorded at Ivory Towers Studio and produced by Fred Rootveld, but without being successful anymore the band split up in 1986."

So, if Overdose of Love was their big "hit" we got a problem.  It's a rather flat, uninteresting, formulaic barroom shuffle.  To call this bluesy hard rock is a slap in the face of bluesy hard rock bands everywhere.  Not that it's awful, but oh man, is it ordinary.  Could be any bunch of bearded drunk guys climbing up on stage at an open mic night any where. Flipside "Under my Roof" is much more interesting with a quasi-NWOBHM vibe -- just not very good.  Part of the problem is the vocalist sounds like he's gargling Listerine while singing.  The other part of the problem is that the songs simply aren't very good.

Yes, it's rare, and yes, it may be worth some money.  But it will be even rarer in my collection.  I'd never play it again which is my criteria for taking up my valuable shelf space.  Maybe someone will want it on discogs.

Verdict - Tosser

Flying Lizards - TV b/w Tube

Money was a kitschy hit and lived up to it's hype.  With Deborah Evans' deadpan delivery and weirdness, it's still a cool-as-shit, deliberately eccentric cover of Barrett Strong's "Money,"  So it's not a surprise that this 7" ended up in my collection.  But I wish I could say the same about it as I did for "Money"   TV is a disjointed vomit of weird noises and random sound bites that I'm sure seemed oh-so-avante-garde at the time, but now simply sounds outdated and weird.  Evan's is as flat and tuneless as ever, but that's really the only charm here for me.  Money was aided by a strong melody, undeniable hook, and catchy lyric, TV isn't.  It's arty for the sake of arty and entirely forgettable.  Tube seems to be a dub-version of TV which is actually more interesting because I like dub.  But as I write this, I've already forgotten all about it.

Verdict - Tosser

Fortune Maltese - Girl's Gotta Learn

Now this is more like it.  After those first two random pullings I almost lost faith in my 7" stack.  Fortunately, Fortune Maltese has come raving back to restore my wavering strength.  Full-on, massively fuzzed garage punk from Get Hip Recordings, "Girl's Gotta Learn" is a 4 song EP of sea-water drenched surfer garage madness.  Big organ, maximally fuzzed guitars, short bursts of energetic vocals, hooks and spit.  Just the way I like it. Four all-out-rockin’ dance your pants off songs by the Detroit kings of garage rock, and heavily inspired by the Cynics and Chesterfield Kings! Features Amy Gore on drums on track 1.

Like most 7" in my stack, I have no idea where this one came from, how much I paid for it, or how long I've had it.  All I know is I plan to keep it a little longer.

Verdict - Keeper

Buddy Holly - It Doesn't Matter Anymore b/w Raining in my Heart

So here's the facts: ""It Doesn't Matter Anymore" is a pop ballad written by Paul Anka and recorded by Buddy Holly in 1958. The song reached No. 13 as a posthumous hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in early 1959 shortly after Holly was killed in a plane crash on February 3, 1959. The single was a two-sided hit, backed with "Raining in My Heart". "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" was Holly's last US Top 20 hit and featured the orchestral backing of Dick Jacobs. It was also successful in the United Kingdom."

So, it's Buddy Holly.  It's original 1958 issue, and in fact, somehow I got a Promotional only copy.  Needless to say, I'm hanging on to this one.  In truth, the songs are a bit more polished, produced and orchestrated than I'd prefer (I'd rather have the rawness of Peggy Sue) but still, it's Buddy and even lost with the strings and orchestra, he still sounds great.  Kinda proud to have this one.

Verdict - Keeper

-- Racer

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ripple Music Announces "The Second Coming Of Heavy" Vinyl Anthology

Ripple Music Announces "The Second Coming Of Heavy" Vinyl Anthology

Ripple Music is pleased to announce "The Second Coming Of Heavy" - a new series of 12" split LPs designed to bring music and vinyl lovers everywhere the best in heavy rock. The label comments:

"Featuring the best and most exciting emerging bands from the underground, already onboard with the project are Borracho, Volume IV, Supervoid, Red Wizard, Desert Suns, Bonehawk, Blue Snaggletooth, Red Desert, Switchblade Jesus, Geezer, Chiefs, Red Mesa and more.

"Each chapter of the series will be strictly limited to 300, with no re-pressings and will have three editions, Black Virgin (for those who love black vinyl), OBI Edition, and the Resurrection Edition.

"These will be the most badass vinyl we’ve ever put out, with the art all tied together by Joseph Rudell and Carrie Olaje. Expect Chapter One to come out end April or early May. Here’s a sneak peek at the rough art for the first cover."

FUZZ EVIL Confirms April Headlining Southwestern US Tour; Debut Album To See 2015 Release Via Battleground Records


Southern Arizona stoner rock outfit, FUZZ EVIL, will record their debut full-length album in the coming weeks for release via their cohorts at Battleground Records, and have already begun booking their tour schedule for the year with a headlining run of dates through their Southwestern stomping grounds in April.

The action begins April 21st, in FUZZ EVIL's gritty Tombstone-neighboring hometown of Sierra Vista, followed by Texas shows in El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas through April 25th. The band will be provided by support in El Paso by Oryx and Skulldron, with special opening support from Mothership and Switchblade Jesus on the other three Texas gigs, the final show also including Wofat in the lineup.

FUZZ EVIL Tour Dates:
4/21/2015 JR's Bar - Sierra Vista, AZ
4/22/2015 Low Brow Palace - El Paso, TX w/ Oryx, Skulldron
4/23/2015 The Mix - San Antonio, TX w/ Mothership, Switchblade Jesus
4/24/2015 Lost Well - Austin, TX w/ Mothership, Switchblade Jesus
4/25/2015 Club Dada - Dallas, TX w/ Wofat, Mothership, Switchblade Jesus

Prior to the tour, FUZZ EVIL will begin to record their debut full-length album, the follow-up their debut split 7" with Chiefs which was released through Battleground Records in late 2014. The album will see release on multiple formats sometime mid-year, with additional details to be released as they're confirmed.

Comprised of brothers Wayne and Joey Rudell on vocals/guitar and vocals/bass, respectively, and drummer Marlin Tuttle, FUZZ EVIL delivers solid, groove-laden, heavy psych rock, with big-ass rock jams fans of Grand Funk Railroad, Jimi Hendrix and Steppenwolf will dig, as well as the prime riff/stoner rock contingent devout to the works of Goatsnake, Queens of The Stone Age, Clutch, and the Rudell brothers' other outfit, Powered Wig Machine.

Limited to three hundred copies, the heavy, white-splattered grey vinyl of FUZZ EVIL's split 7" with Chiefs is cut at 45 RPM and includes a digital download. Stream the record and order it while the final copies are available RIGHT HERE.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Oral Groove - June

Jealousy.  Yes waveriders, I admit to experiencing this awful feeling.  I'm human, so sue me.  Wait...that was a joke.  Please don't sue me!  I really don't want to rely on that trusty insanity plea for my defense.  Sure it worked once, but there's no guarantee another judge would buy into what I would be selling.  Anyway what was I talking about?  Oh yes!  Jealousy.

Do any of you waveriders have a friend or family member who regales you with glorious tales of clearance/bargain bin treasure hunts that always seem to end with some priceless/quality artifact being acquired for an insanely low price?  Me too!  Hearing story after story of friends and associates bringing home hidden musical gems and classic albums for next to nothing allowed my jealousy to rear it's ugly head.  Life was being unfair!  Why couldn't I find these inexpensive musical treasures?  Then it dawned on me. 

In order to find the discounted booty I was looking for I needed to change my purchasing behavior.  I needed to shop for music at stores that actually had bargain bins/clearance racks.  Now I know what you're thinking.  How in the world could he have reached that conclusion on his own?  Believe me I understand.  Amazing revelations such as that sometimes occur to me out of the blue like a gift from the universe.  To make a long story short I began frequenting a chain of stores called Half Price Books and I immediately hit pay dirt.

Leafing through a shelf of $1 used CDs I spotted a band name that caught my attention on the spine of a jewel case.  Oral Groove.  Well that's a cool name I thought!  The name of the album was June, and when I picked up the CD I discovered that it sported an album cover that I would describe as spastic modern art.  Intriguing, and I had absolutely no idea what kind of music this band played.  Opening the case I found a small photo of three young guys on the back of the info booklet.  One was playing electric guitar, one was behind a drum kit, and the last was playing bass.  Alright, so some kind of rock n' roll.  What the heck, it was only a dollar right?  I bought the CD and popped it into my stereo when I got home.  Good decision!

June is a fantastically enjoyable album!  If you have a hankering for melodic garage rock with a clean modern production then Oral Groove is the band for you.  Actually, upon review I wouldn't necessarily classify OG as a garage rock band.  That vintage sound is definitely evident, but many of the songs on June are too punk to ignore.  Punk with heavy folk elements, but punk nonetheless.  Regardless of genre tag this music is overflowing with vocal and instrumental hooks, infectious energy, and good time cheer. 

Waveriders, I have played June many times and I assure you that this album is going to stay in my active rotation for some time.  If you can track down a copy I would strongly recommend that you pick it up!  Not only will you have some groovy new tunes to listen to, but you'll also inevitably have a 'treasure hunt' story to make your friends jealous.  It's a win-win!

- Penfold

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Three Seasons joins Blues Pills, Truckfighters and Jex Thoth for the Rock Revelations Tour!

Big news! Three Seasons are proud to announce that we will join the line-up of the Rock Revelations Tour! We are really looking forward to returning to Europe, to share the stage with the great acts Blues Pills, Truckfighters and Jex Thoth! The tour is arranged in co-op with Rock The Nation.
This is the official statement from Rock Revelation:

In only 5 weeks the Rock Revelation Tour with BLUES PILLS, TRUCKFIGHTERS and JEX THOTH will kick off. It took a while to find the perfect opening band to round up this exceptional bandpackage, but now we´re proud to present THREE SEASONS as fourth band of the billing. This three-piece from Sweden is known for their exciting 60/70´s sounds that reminds you of legendary bands such as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix or even Deep Purple. Come and check them out on the Rock Revelation Tour 2015. The Swedish acid rockers have been celebrated by fans and media for their hardhitting, groovy 60/70’s-sound with lots of jammy and psychedelic touches. The three LPs are of highest class in the genre, the latest release “GROW” head straight for the top 20 on the official Swedish charts.


20.03.2015 DE – Erfurt, Stadtgarten
21.03.2015 DE – Berlin, Astra
22.03.2015 DE – Dresden, Tante Ju
23.03.2015 DE – München, Backstage
25.03.2015 CH – Geneve, Usine
26.03.2015 DE – Lindau, Club Vaudeville
27.03.2015 DE – Cologne, Kantine
28.03.2015 DE – Olsberg, Konzerthalle
30.03.2015 DE – Saarbrücken, Garage
31.03.2015 DE – Karlsruhe, Substage
01.04.2015 DE – Wiesbaden, Schlachthof
03.04.2015 NL – Schijndel, Paaspop
04.04.2015 DE – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle
05.04.2015 CH – Zürich, Komplex





Feb. 12, 2014, Santa Ana, Calif. – Psycho California, the west coast’s first annual metal festival and a must see for fans of doom, heavy psych and sludge, have announced the release of individual day passes as well as the daily line-up for the three-day outing.

Virginia doom outfit Cough have joined the line-up as have Sourvein, who recently announced a new album, Aquatic Occult, will be out later this year via Metal Blade.  Josh Graham, who has created on-stage light shows and visuals for a number of artists including Neurosis, Mastodon and Sleep, will be creating a unique light display for the festival.  Lastly, illustrator David D’Andrea, whose art is displayed both at galleries and as packaging for a variety of bands and brands (OM, Converse, Earth), will have a pop-up gallery.

Individual day passes will be on sale Friday, Feb. 13 at Midnight PST and available via  A very limited number of 3-day passes remain available with VIP passes having already sold out.  Single day tickets are $64.50 while 3-day passes are $149.50.

May 15 performers: Cult of Luna, Russian Circles, Eyehategod, Old Man Gloom, Bedemon, Cave In, Conan, Bell Witch, Wrench, Cough, Atriarch, Samsara Blues Experiment, Radio Moscow, Death By Stereo, Destroyer of Light, Bloodmoon, Crypt Trip, Ancient Altar, Blackout, Loom

May 16 performers: Sleep, Kylesa, Earth, Pallbearer, Dead Meadow, Subrosa, Sourvein, Eagle Twin, True Widow, Rozamov, Mammatus, Lord Dying, Anciients, Electric Citizen, Acid Witch, Sinister Haze, Highlands, Banquet, Lords of Beacon House

May 17 performers: Pentagram, Om, Earthless, Indian, Tombs, Coffinworm, Elder, Truckfighters, Bang, Stoned Jesus, Deathkings, Wo-Fat, Mothership, Tumbleweed Dealer, The Well, Slow Season, Red Wizard

Festival interludes will be provided by Housecore Records’ artist Author & Punisher and vinyl DJ set from Bob Lugowe (Relapse Records) and Sean Pellet (Last Daze Here).


Monday, February 23, 2015

On the Ripple Desk - featuring, Hidden Cabins & Eyeswan split 10", and 5 AM

It's been such a long time since I sat down to write some reviews.  Just got way caught up with running the Ripple Music record label.  Public acknowledgement to my brother, Penfold, who's taken it upon himself to help keep Ripple Effect rolling seamlessly while my energies were diverted elsewhere.

But I'm back (whether you wanted me back or not).  And to start with I'm going to catch up with the mountains and summits of submissions on my desk to shed some light on some killer releases, new or . . . not quite so recent.

Hidden Cabins/Eyeswan - Weathered 10" split.

Forget the gorgeous marbled vinyl, and forget the fact that I dig the 10" vinyl format, what we got here are just some killer cuts of post-indy rock.  While Hidden Cabins are new to me, the vinyl came to me via Craig Cirinelli [also of (Damn) This Desert Air & The World Concave] who's here on vocals/percussion.  I've been a big fan of both of the aforementioned projects, so had no hesitation jumping in and giving this vinyl a spin.  For Hidden Cabins, Craig is joined by  Brian Hofgesang [also of Books…] on guitars/effects/vocals.

This is damn fine, moody, evocative post-punk, post-indy, post-whatever rock, with two cuts that only leave me wanting more.  Powerful and emotional is the name of the game here.  Even though they dig the acoustic guitar, don't call them a folk act as they know how to turn up the volume, injecting a healthy dose of gut and grit into their melodic, expandable songs.  Definitely worth checking out.

Flipside, Eyeswan also hail from New Jersey, and teamed up with Hidden Cabins to unleash this 10" on UK's Engineer records.  Eyeswan plow a similar road of post-emo-ish punk with chiming guitars and catchy melodies.  The vocals here are a bit higher pitched and more in line with what I usually think of as emo, but not whiny or annoying.  Both bands are masters at bringing a somber ambiance to their post-emo pop, with Hidden Cabins specializing a bit more in the mood and Eyeswan a bit more on the energy.

It's no wonder these bands are good friends.  Their sound is similar enough that the split flows flawlessly from song to song (and the bands alternate songs on each side, rather than split sides).  Engineer Records did well to pick this up, and I believe copies are still available. So, if post emo-punk is your flavor, you gotta check this split out.  I'm digging it.

5 AM - Broken///Beautiful

It was quite a few years ago that I wrote about a moment of perfect serendipity, when I was driving up the 101 freeway early in the morning, with the sun rising, the pelicans soaring over the coastline, and Five AM blaring from my car stereo.  Since then, that album has always held a spot of pop perfection in my mind, filed next to such radio starts as Matchbox 20.  Since then, the band has been silent, but recently Five AM, traveled to LA to start on their new album with producer John Fields. The multi-platinum producer has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business from rock bands like Switchfoot, Jimmy Eat World, Lifehouse and Goo Goo Dolls, to chart-dominating pop acts like the Jonas Brothers, Pink and Miley Cyrus.

And the long wait was well worth it.  Musically, 5 AM pull from such influences as U2, Matchbox 20, Snow Patrol, and Foo Fighters to craft what is simply some of the most exquisite, radio-friendly pop-rock out there.  Toss in some 80's keyboards and angular structures reminiscent of the Cars on "Let's Go" and we got about as satisfying a listen of radio pop as I've heard in ages.  Most importantly, besides the solid hooks, sweet melodies, soaring choruses, and dynamic playing, 5 AM have a real singer who's voice, while smooth, isn't afraid to dig deep to find a little soul.  I'm so tired of pop music men singing all whiny and wimply a la One Republic.  Pop music didn't used to be a fey venture, and with Five AM in the game I'm happy to say that a little muscle has returned.

Now, if there is any justice in this world, 5 AM will find their place on the airwaves, YouTube channels and streaming services taking the place of wimpier bands.  I can't think of any good reason this band isn't as huge as One Republic.  Each song is simply crafted and built for widespread radio play.   But don't take my word for it, jump on in and give it a listen for yourself.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Musical line up complete for Roadburn 2015; ticket sales moving quickly.

With our line up of musical acts now complete for all four days of Roadburn 2015, we’re delighted to say that there are now only 29 Afterburner and 35 4-day tickets remaining.  If you're a fan of Anathema, and don't want to miss out on their career spanning 'Resonance' set, then don’t delay - whether it’s for just one day of Roadburn magic, or for the full four day weekend. To check out ticketing options, click here.

Line Up Complete for Curated Day
Roadburn 2015's curators Wardruna's Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik and Enslaved's Ivar Bjørnson have completed the line up for their event on Friday April 10.

A mystical and shadowy shroud will fall over the main stage at Roadburn as the industrial darkness of Fields Of The Nephilim sits alongside the powerful, beating heart of the Nordic countries' brothers in music: SkuggsjáEnslaved, Wardruna, Virus, and Sólstafir. Coming together under the banner of 'Houses of the Holistic’, our curated day at Roadburn 2015 will provoke and captivate in equal measure.

Both the Green Room and Stage01 will elaborate on the eclectic tastes of Bjornson and Selvik, taking you on a spiraling journey into Progrock, (Black) Metal, Ancient-folk and Psychedelic territory. Prog legends Focus will be leading the charge, along with Svartidaudi, Tombstones, Augusa, Robert Hampson, Skeletonwitch, Lucifer, and Pekko Käpppi & K:H:H:L among others. 

BardSpec - the Ambient project/band from Enslaved composer/guitarist Ivar - will also perform at 'Houses of the Holistic'. Einar will present a workshop which will delve into his approach to music and the extensive creative concept behind Wardruna´s ongoing 'Runaljod’ trilogy.

"I've got to admit to feeling a streak of melancholy as our 'Houses of the Holistic' is completed with so many wonderful bands. It is humbling to have been given the honor of curating the Roadburn Friday, and also it has been a process that has given me a massive boost of belief in, and love for, this music scene that we're all rambling around in: every invited band has been massively supportive and enthusiastic in accepting our invites. It is also important for me to extend a massive thank you to my two main co-conspirators in this evil planning: Einar Kvitrafn of Wardruna, my co-curator and musical sparring partner par excellence. And then of course Dr. Evil himself: Walter from the Roadburn organization itself - for guiding us through the process and for having faith in our abilities. After all, we are musicians and shouldn't be trusted with too much grown-up stuff haha! See you all in Tilburg!"   Ivar Bjørnson

"The line-up for our curated Roadburn day is now complete and I personally think it is insanely good! 'Houses of the Holistic' will display a broad variety of acts that despite the spectrum of expressions and genres still manage to compliment each other as well as firmly grip to a solid red line. It will also reflect the curators and their past, present and future.
A huge thanks goes out to Roadburn, and of course my partner in crime Ivar Bjørnson. It has been a pleasure and honor to work on this so far and the festival haven’t even started!” — Einar Selvik 

To read more about the curated event, click here.

Artists In Residence
Following the announcement of The Heads (Wayne Maskell, Hugo Morgan, Simon Price, and Paul Allen) as Roadburn's 'Artist in Residence', the band have confirmed that they will perform two sonically searing sets at the 20th edition of the festival, set for April 9 – 12 at the 013 venue and Het Patronaat in Tilburg, The Netherlands.  As part of their residency, there will also be performances by Kandodo and Anthroprophh - acts that are umbilically linked to The Heads.

For these very rare appearances, The Heads will steer their immense Stoogian riffmongery and West-Country-fried kraut workouts into a psych-set that will focus on their more tripped-out jams on Friday, April 10 at Het Patronaat. The band’s residency will culminate in a melting point of amped-up space rock on the main stage, blasting you into the stratosphere on Saturday, April 11.

Kandodo will take the stage at Het Patronaat on Thursday, April 9 as part of The Heads' residency, having Loop’s Robert Hampson to join them as a special guest.

Paul Allen’s Anthroprophh will be playing a specially selected spacey set, including never performed before tracks from new LP UFO on Thursday, April 9, in the Green Room.

To read more about The Heads, click here

Electric Citizen Cancel, Replaced by Urfaust
We have the disappointing news that Electric Citizen will no longer be playing Roadburn 2015.

Electric Citizen sent the following statement:

"Friends of Europe, we're sorry to say we won't be at Roadburn Festival this year. We had a tour booked making this possible, the tour fell through, we tried our hardest to come up with an alternative, but it didn't pan out. There's a very good chance we'll be at Roadburn 2016, and we'll get to Europe as soon as we can. We've got a lot of things cooking we can't wait to share.”  – Electric Citizen.

We have been working hard behind the scenes to find a replacement for Elecric Citizen, and we’re happy to report that you’ll be able to feast your ears upon Urfaust’s innovative occult black metal instead. The duo will invoke their expansive, harrowing spells upon Roadburn at the Green Room on Saturday, April 11.   

Staying true to the bleakness of black metal’s original message, whilst constantly innovating and moving forward, Urfaust are not only unmistakable, they’re also bewitchingly unforgettable. Urfaust devotees have ensured that their latest sonic offering, an EP entitled ‘Apparitions’, sold out on vinyl in record time. Layer upon layer of atmospheric black metal, operatic vocals, and an underlying current of doom mark out Urfaust as an unmissable addition to Roadburn 2015.  Don’t miss out. 

To read more about Urfaust, click here.

Radio Moscow on Tour!










Upcoming tour dates

  • February 17 - 21
    @ Keeping Blues Alive at Sea Cruise — Miami/Bahamas
  • February 24
    @ Eightball — Thessaloniki, Greece
  • February 25
    @ An Club — Athens, Greece
  • February 27
    @ Universum — Stuttgart, DE
  • February 28
    @ Live Music Hall — Cologne, DE
  • March 1
    @ The Garage — London, UK
  • March 2
    @ Divan Du Monde — Paris, France
  • March 3
    @ MOD — Hasselt, Belgium
  • March 4
    @ Markthalle — Hamburg, DE
  • March 5
    @ SO 36 — Berlin, DE
  • March 6
    @ Arena — Vienna, Austria
  • March 7
    @ Rockhouse — Salzburg, Austria
  • March 8
    @ Taeubchenthal — Leipzig, DE
  • March 9
    @ Feierwerk — Munich, DE
  • March 10
    @ Lo Fi — Milano, IT
  • March 11
    @ Das Bett — Frankfurt, DE
  • March 12
    @ 013 — Tilburg, Holland
  • March 13
    @ Posthalle — Würzburg, DE
  • March 14
    @ Faust — Hannover, DE
  • March 18
    @ Spazio 211 — Torino, IT
  • March 19
    @ Init — Roma, IT
  • March 20
    @ Sidro — Savignone sul Rubicone, IT
  • March 21
    @ FAQ — Grosseto, IT
  • March 22
    @ Hangar 22 — Cantania, IT
  • March 25
    @ RockPalast live TV taping
    — Harmonie; Bonn-Endenich, DE
  • March 27
    @ Stadtgarten — Erfurt, DE
  • March 28
    @ Alterna Sounds Festival — Münster, DE
  • March 30
    @ Kafe Antzokia — Bilbao, ES
  • March 31
    @ El Sol — Madrid, ES
  • April 1
    @ Acapulco — Gijon, ES
  • April 2
    @ Salason — Cangas, ES
  • April 4
    @ Sound Bay Festival — Lisbon, PT

Saturday, February 21, 2015

DEATH ALLEY Sign to Tee Pee Records

Amsterdam Heavyweights to Unleash Debut LP Black Magick Boogieland May 19
"Death Alley is a band that makes proto punk with a dab of psychedelics...Come, because there is beer and rock. ROCK!" - VICE
Amsterdam's heavy, punked-out, proto-metal outlaws DEATH ALLEY have signed to NYC's Tee Pee Records. The ferocious four piece will let loose the full length LP, Black Magick Boogieland, on May 19. The album is the highly anticipated debut from the underground band featuring former The Devil’s Blood guitarist Oeds Beydals and ex-members of Gewapend Beton and Mühr.
The sound of DEATH ALLEY has been described as "an unorthodox cross contamination of MC5, Captain Beyond, Blue Öyster Cult, Motörhead and Black Sabbath" and "Rock ‘N' Roll played with metal finesse and a pitch black psychedelic soul". In 2013, DEATH ALLEY released the limited 12" split vinyl single, "Peter Pan Speedrock vs. Death Alley", which announced the group's formation with a vengeance. The band's debut 7" -- Over Under b/w Dead Man’s Bones -- dropped last year via Van Records and was hailed as "a serious musical Rock ’N' Roll statement." DEATH ALLEY followed the release of the 7" with an appearance at the 2014 Roadburn Festival and month-long European tour with new label mates, The Shrine.
"It’s thrilling to release our first full-length on Tee Pee, to become part of a family of bands whose music inspires us and with people we know well," says DEATH ALLEY front man Douwe. "It's about time Tee Pee opens the gates to Black Magick Boogieland."

More information on DEATH ALLEY's Black Magick Boogieland, including new music, will be issued soon. Stay tuned to for breaking news and updates.
   Check out a VICE tour diary on DEATH ALLEY now at this location.

DEATH ALLEY on social media:

     DEATH ALLEY is available to speak with interested media now. To chat with the band / request an advance copy of Black Magick Boogieland, simply contact Carl Schultz @ ACTION! PR.

   "the place where neo-heavy fuzz and traditional punk rock meet...that moment where gritty metal began to move away from heavy rock and punk and into something new"- THE OBELISK

Monolord return with new album via RidingEasy Records | UK & European Tour Dates with Salem’s Pot

Listen and share new song ‘Cursing The One’ –

“We’re not going to hold back from you discovering your new favorite band. Behold! Monolord.”
Decibel Magazine

“Remember that time you drove your battered old VW out into the woods, took an unfeasible amount of peyote and listened to nothing but Sleep, Ufomammut and YOB for four days straight? No? Well, this is going to trigger one hell of a flashback.”

“No shit guitar solos, no questionable vocals, just relentlessly heavy riffs generated by this newly formed monolithic Swedish trio. Love their name, sound and heavyweight approach.”
The Bug

Initially formed as a side project in 2013 out of the ashes of Swedish bands Marulk and Rotten Sound – comprising of guitar player and vocalist Thomas Jäger, drummer Esben Willems and bassist Mika Häkki – Monolord emerged as one of 2014’s heaviest, loudest and best-loved breakout bands.

So for those left dumbfounded by the heady mix of mania and tinnitus that came free with the Gothenburg trio’s impressive debut album, the suggestion that this year could see an improvement of any kind might seem impossible to believe. Empress Rising was not just lauded over; many believed it raised the bar for the genre with its doom-metal powered by psychedelic grooves, immense heaviness and cosmic cohesion marking it out instantly for cult classic status. Voted number one doom release of 2014 by CVLT Nation it also featured in countless end of year lists (Metal Sucks, New Noise Magazine, Heavy Planet and Vinyl Factory to name a few); “This is a record no doom devotee can afford to miss, laying out a veritable smorgasbord of great riffs and electrifying moments. Remember the name.” (Rock-A-Rolla)

This April however Monolord return to unleash Vænir. Named after the biggest lake in Sweden, the overall effect of this eagerly awaited album can only be described as vast. Colossal in fact, with the only true metric of certainty being at forty-eight minutes long, across six epic tracks (including the recently released single ‘Cursing The One’) Vænir has the power to level everything it its path.

Vænir by Monolord will be released on 28th April 2015 via RidingEasy Records. For fans looking to experience the sheer power of the band live, Monolord take to the road this February across Europe with fellow Swedes and RidingEasy label mates Salem’s Pot. (See dates below.)

Tour Dates:

Feb 18th – KB18 (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Feb 19th – Kufa Löseke (Hildesheim, Germany)
Feb 20th – Merleyn (Nijmegen, Netherlands)
Feb 21st – Vera (Groningen, Netherlands)
Feb 22nd – Het Bos (Antwerpen, Belgium)
Feb 24th – The Library (Leeds, UK)
Feb 25th – The Black Heart (London, UK)
Feb 26th – Glazart (Paris, France)
Feb 27th – Heretic Club (Bordeaux, France)
Feb 28th – Sala Sonora (Erandio, Spain)
Mar 1st – Wurlitzer Ballroom (Madrid, Spain)
Mar 2nd – RockSound (Barcelona, Spain)
Mar 3rd – The Black Sheep (Montpellier, France)
Mar 5th – Arena (Vienna, Austria)
Mar 6th – P.M.K. (Innsbruck, Austria)
Mar 7th – TBA (Munich, Germany)
Mar 8th – Alma (Leipzig, Germany)
Mar 21st – Kulturhuset Bastionen (Uddevalla, Sweden)
Apr 9th – Roadburn Festival (Tilburg, Netherlands)
Apr 10th – Crystal (Berlin, Germany)
Jul 10th – Lo-Fi (Milan, Italy)
Jul 11th – Stick And Stone Fest (Nikolsdorf, Austria)
Aug 14th – Leper Hardcore Fest (Leper, Belgium)


Friday, February 20, 2015

Le Betre / King Buffalo Split STB Records Limited 12" Vinyl

STB records is about to unleash its next release with all indications pointing to a quick sell out the same day, likely within minutes. If you're new to the label you must understand that first and foremost if you want to get your grubby hands on one of their dazzling vinyl outputs you must plan weeks in advance to be sitting at your computer ready for clicking buttons at the tick of the release clock. The last several releases have sold out completely in their limited versions within the same day, some within 5 minutes time. Not only does he craft excellent packages custom suited for Die Hards and not-so-standard Joes alike, but for the most part the music is the shining star.

I will say with confidence the music is the focal point with the next split release by like-minded bands from worlds apart geographically. Sweden's - Le Betre, and Rochester New York's - King Buffalo join forces to show the world what happens when you mix wind and fire. I will vouch for STB Steve himself and profess that he was the driving force behind the Le Betre wildfire which spread across the stoner/blues undergrowth like fire in an arid mountain windstorm late in 2013 with their debut album Melas. I remember seeing his recommendation for the band first and went straight to their Bandcamp and if memory serves right, I was the first digital purchase on their bandcamp via an actual fan account. Love at first listen and the price was around $12 US dollars at the time. That means it was fantastic in my opinion to pay that much for a digital. They have since put the disc out on vinyl and signed with STB records for good reason.

On the split Le Betre bring a solid line of progression following their previous debut, Melas. Raspy vocals drench the smokey distorted groove throughout their 5-song set. Right out of the bottle the psychedelic fuzz is in full effect on Gowns and Crowns. Intense blues based melody clouds the air as the tried and true vocalist scorches the microphone with a crackling bluster of infectious fury. As meaty as it is exquisite, the riffs ooze across the speakers like bacon grease spatters a master chefs apron while the aroma enlightens the hungry patrons senses. There is nothing on Le Betre's side of the, sure to be impeccable vinyl, record that will have you in any doubt that the band is onto something spectacular. Sounding somewhat as if Bruce Springsteen grew a bigger set of balls and smoked some weed with Willie Nelson, Le Betre capture the essence of shear rock and roll, while maintaining the stoney haze of retro blues.

In a similar way to Le Betre, King Buffalo have been on the underground radar for quite some time now after the release of their mind bending 3-song demo late in 2013 as well. I was at a loss for words upon first discovering the band as evidenced by my bandcamp blurb about the demo. It's no surprise that upon hearing of the news that King Buffalo would be paired with Le Betre, both bands I was already in love with, I felt like a fat kid on the bank of Willy Wonka's chocolate river awaiting the go ahead to dive in.

King Buffalo bring a psychedelic tone eerily similar to a favorite Canadian band of mine called Biblical. Undercut with juicy stoner riffs and reverberated vocal moans, King Buffalo combat the retro rock sensibilities of Le Betre with a more hallucinogenic approach. The intoxicating melodies are underlain by enchanting bass-lines and brooding solo runs that float effortlessly in a current of mild distortion and a spirit of mass confusion painting the picture perfect perma-smile. Running just a hair shorter on their 3-song set than Le Betre on their 5-song outing, King Buffalo's side of the 12 diameter disc is loaded with style and class. Providence closes out side B with a 10+ minute opus of psych infused jams and is clearly the highlight for King Buffalo. However, for me the split side leaves me still yearning for a full length from these guys. I feel as if this is another demo/tease being only 3 songs, which understandably is perfect for the split and concept presented. All in all the split is totally successful at hitting its marks. I just had such high, perhaps unrealistic, expectations for King Buffalo, and they were a bit eclipsed by the prowess of Le Betre this go around.

No matter who the "winner" is on this split, what better way to follow up the goliath of a split that was Goya / Wounded Giant, review here, than with another stellar pairing on the opposite end of the war path. Balancing the uber heavy doom riffs from one release to the elegantly evocative vibe on this split, STB is hitting a new stride of perfection. Whereas I gave the Goya / Wounded Giant a 50/50 split, I score this one a 70/30 in favor of Le Betre. I highly recommend you spend the money and take a stab at owning one of these this Saturday February 21st, 2015. Congrats to Steve STB on this masterful pairing. Indicative of a good set of ears and the vinyl release is no doubt first class and compulsively crafted as it is consumed. Until next time!

- The Huntsman

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Final day splits for DESERTFEST LONDON are up; day tickets on sale now.

As we're getting closer to the festival, it is finally time for us to announce individual day lineups for the 2015 edition of UK's finest heavy and alternative event DESERTFEST LONDON. In the meantime, day tickets are now officially on sale via the festival's networks.


For the fourth year running, Camden will be hosting one of the most exciting stoner/doom/sludge/psych gatherings in Europe, for a full weekend of fuzzed-out tunes, heaviness and partying in very friendly atmosphere. This April, not only it will see the addition of a brand new Prog Stage, but the festival will also expand from three to six venues across Camden: Koko's, The Electric Ballroom, The Underworld, Black Heart, Jazz Café and Purple Turtle.

Stoner rock pioneers SLEEP will treat the crowd to the finest smoked-out odysseys, with an exclusive headlining set at Koko's on Sunday, while on Friday, Portland’s favorites RED FANG will prove to be the best partystarter anyone has ever dreamt of for the festival. On the apex of this weekend, the one and only sludge godfathers EYEHATEGOD fronted by the mighty Mike IX Williams will show us who the bosses are, while BRANT BJORK AND THE LOW DESERT PUNK BAND will make groove gauges explode in support of his new record "Black Power Flower". Not to mention UK's heavyweights ORANGE GOBLIN, who are set to make Camden's ground tremble with their fiery heavy metal anthems, for a one-off 20th anniversary performance.

With more than 60 bands on the bill, this fourth DESERTFEST LONDON promises to be yet another memorable weekend for all heavy music fans out there.

24-26th April in Camden Town
More infos at
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