Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bandcamp Bonanza – Wishlist Blues

One of the beauties of bandcamp is the wishlist feature. If you have the mobile app it’s a simple click of the button to add an album to your wishlist and save for a later listen. You can listen to the album in full usually for a certain number of plays before it starts telling you the time has come to open your heart/wallet and add to your collection. My wishlist is somewhat of a collection of albums to listen to recommended by others found on the feed, or a legitimate list of albums I wish were in my collection, but financial ties prevent me from adding at the moment. Below are some albums that are truly wishes to own outright and that I just have not got around to purchasing yet. I do take download codes in case you were wondering.  

Lacertilia – We’re Already Inside Your Mind

Lacertilia only took two songs to get inside my mind and since the full album went live on bandcamp just days ago, the entire album gets inside your head and flushes it with a heady concoction of blistering blues based stoner rock. The space factor weaves itself seamlessly against the heavy doom atmosphere and the vocals throb with a muscular tone. Psyche flourishes in the form of fuzzed out solos, while the eerie rhythm pounds with enchantment. Blown away by this. If it were on wax I would have bought. Check this out man! Unbelievable!

The Archaic Revival – Rock n Roll Holocaust

Archaic Revival’s full length debut album comes to us by way of Sydney Australia. If the Aussies know one thing, they know how to rock n roll. The Archaic Revival demonstrates that loud and clear on Rock n Roll Holocaust. Total smasher!! Here is what the band has to say:
“Our ever faithful denizens of the night, purveyors of filth, rock n roll scumbags and motherfuckers of spaceship Earth; here it is - our debut LP "Rock n Roll Holocaust."
We have put everything we have into the the recording of this album. People have died. Cars have been crashed. Tears have been spilt and mixed with our whiskey. Virgins have been sonically impregnated in their sleep by the solos of Davo X, and bastard children have sacrificed themselves to Satan in our honour.
So grab a drink, pack your bong and turn this fucker all the way up. Low volume will not suffice.
Take drugs and worship Satan, rock n rollers!!!”

Mindkult – Witch’s Oath

Mindkult came out of nowhere, as most these bands do nowadays and hammers us with a brooding stoner/doom EP called Witch’s Oath. Also still hanging out in my wishlist, Mindkult are bound to adhere to fans of classic doom and melodic stoner metal with its building riffs, clean vocals, and overall sonic landscape of head banging distortion. They have tapes for sale. Get em while they’re hot. Aptly priced at $6.66. Oh and did I say, this is the work of just one dude? Holy fuck, well done sire, well fucking done!!

Bailjack – Show Me Your Heart

Ironically enough, this one has hit the “Time Has Come to open your heart/wallet” in the bandcamp wishlist via the mobile app. That means I have listened to this album multiple times in full via my wishlist. Albums that hit that mark are worthy of sharing by definition. This bad boy is an intriguing as hell blues base stoner rock album. Dripping with soul and soaring with dusty reverb and weighted with grungy blues, Bailjack have released one of the more unique sounding albums I’ve heard in a while. Combining little bits of everything I like including psychedelics, blues, fuzz, grunge and even soul, Show Me Your Heart shows us their’s and asks that we open ours (wallet) and support. Okay, I just did, literally. My wish in Bailjacks case has become a reality and become album #1387 in my collection.

That wraps up this wishlist edition of Bandcamp Bonanza. It pains me to keep these bad boys in the wishlist for so long, but I have to draw the line at some point or I will starve my growing children of food. They can’t survive solely on heavy ass rock n roll, but they get healthy supplements of it anyway. Ride the waves folks and keep yourself cool and stay hydrated. My safety moment for you all.

-The Huntsman

Saturday, July 30, 2016

SWAMP WITCH: Punishing Doom Practitioners To Release The Slithering Bog Via Tribunal Of The Axe

SWAMP WITCH is the culmination of psychedelic substances, occult practices, and a collective interest in dark, strange, and ultimately hallucinogenic music originally devised with the sole intent to commit and record ritualistic extremities through heavy music only for the night of 9/9/09. In the aftermath, members found themselves pressed to continue the slow-burning drudgery sparked on that September ninth into the months that followed, leading to shows, recordings, band members towing themselves out of the smog from Central Valley, California and into Oakland (and Arcata, respectively) and finally, the vinyl release that recollects the original material of that evening: Gnosis.

The punishing, murky layers protruding from 2011's Gnosis recordings drip with the trance-laden, drug-induced efforts of '70s psychedelia compressed into the claustrophobic toil and painful repetition of '90s sludge. This concept of Gnosis actually seems more akin to H. P. Lovecraft's ideas of psychosis and derealization as the only thing the feeble human mind can experience when confronting truth (cosmicism), as opposed to gnosis in the classic, transcendental sense of the term. In other words, it's fucked up.

While Gnosis was being released on cassette, and finally, vinyl, SWAMP WITCH had already begun preparing material for what was to become the six claustrophobic tracks that make up The Slithering Bog. To help achieve this, former drummer Dirk V took up second guitar duties and helped further emphasize the psychedelic undertones heard in Gnosis, while collaborator Adam T. took on drums. The end result of almost two years of writing proved worthy, as warped landscapes and fungal textures resting somewhere between dream-like and sleep paralysis culminated into The Slithering Bog recording of late 2014.

The decaying sounds of The Slithering Bog were captured during July 2014 at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, California by Greg Wilkinson (Brainoil, Annihilation Time, Noothgrush, et al) and mastered at Trakworx in San Francisco by Justin Weiss (Ludicra, Slough Feg, Cormorant, et al). Initially released on cassette last year via Transylvanian Tapes, the collection of nightmare rituals that made this release so necessary and bizarre has finally oozed its way onto vinyl on three color variants (black, purple haze and swamp green) thanks to Tribunal Of The Axe Records who will unleash the offering later this month.

For preorders visit THIS LOCATION.

The Slithering Bog Track Listing:
Side A: 
1. Strange Cults 
2. Marsh Of Delusion
Side B: 
1. Slither Into The Circle
2. Bayou Tomb
3. Dead Root
4. Lost Symbols

"Fans of bands like Conan, Electric Wizard, Windhand, Cough, Yob, Moss, and the such should keep a close eye on this band, as their evolution and sonic trajectory seems to be aimed at exploring the most daunting and uncharted realms of modern doom in a way that could uncover unthinkable abysses in the genre. All praise the Witch, for she is mighty, evil and powerful like none other!" - Cvlt Nation

Friday, July 29, 2016

Introducing Brother Rock!! The Newest Rock Related Comic Strip, debuting now on the Ripple Effect!

Hey Waveriders,

we're thrilled to debut for you  the newest music related comic strip, Brother Rock.  The strip is being drawn by Guy Gilchrist, he's the man behind the, nationally syndicated, Nancy comic strip. He also does artwork for the Muppets and Disney projects.  This is no jive-town crap comic, it's the real deal.

We'll be publishing the strip as they come to us, probably once a month.

Quote from Guy Gilchrist:

"I love working on Brother Rock! Being a Cartoonist and a songwriter, it's right up my alley! The peace and love and rock 'n' roll message of this comic strip makes me want to draw it in an old time 1960s underground style! Rock on!"

Guy Gilchrist
Cartoonist of Nancy, The Muppets and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

"Been thinking about the comic strip, almost from the founding of the band. With Brother Rock being a rock-n-roll avatar. What would it be like to have the music be a person who interacts with the world......sometimes good, sometimes......Uh What?  It was just a pipe-dream until Mr. Gilchrist brought it to life. And here it is......and we hope you catch the groove."

Randy Gabbard
Founder and Front guy of the band Brother Rock

So, grab a cuppa Joe, put your feet up and dig into the cool vibes of Brother Rock!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Slow Season stream entire Westing album ahead of release at Consequence of Sound

Central California quartet Slow Season are streaming their entire forthcoming album, Westing ahead of release starting today via Consequence of Sound. The album that many are considering the band's breakout work is available to hear and share HERE. (Direct Soundcloud HERE.)

Slow Season recently wrapped up an extensive North American tour in June and are back on the road this week on the west coast. Additional tour dates for late summer will be announced soon. Please see current dates below. 

Metal Injection recently launched the banging single "Damascus" HERE. The Obelisk revealed album track "Miranda" HERE. Prior to that, Consequence of Sound premiered the first single "Y'Wanna" HERE

Contrary to the band's name, downtime is a rarity for Slow Season. Sandwiched between summer 2015's extensive tour with their RidingEasy labelmates Mondo Drag and Electric Citizen, plus several short west coast jaunts, the hard-working quartet also found time to hammer out its most powerful and ambitious album yet. Written, engineered, produced and mixed themselves on their own equipment, entirely on analog tape, Westing is a hard-hitting and powerful reminder of how at one time a rock 'n' roll band could be a transcendent experience.

While Slow Season's sound continues to effortlessly nod to the great bands of the 60s-70s, Westing is truly the sound of a band coming into their own. The songwriting is tight, howling and hypnotic. The sound is classic, yet refreshingly new. 

"It's a different album," says drummer and primary recording engineer Cody Tarbell. "But we never have wanted to find a particular sound or any one thing and be attached to it permanently. A big part of our records is experimenting." The Visalia, CA band -- Daniel Rice (vocals, guitar), David Kent (guitar), Hayden Doyel (bass), and Cody Tarbell (drums) --  has recorded all of their albums on reel-to-reel at Tarbell's home studio in a cornfield. This affords them the time to experiment getting sounds, while maintaining focus on the most important notion that performance is key. As with previous albums, recording was pretty immediate, tracked between January 15th and the beginning of February 2016 to 16-track tape and mixed to 2-track tape. 

Equally as ambitious as the band's self-sufficient production is the sprawling lyrical theme to the album.  Thematically picking up where the Slow Season's previous full length Mountains left off, Westing tackles some heady issues.

"Westing follows a loose narrative about our nation's loss of innocence as it explores its frontiers," vocalist Daniel Rice explains. "Re-contextualized in a story about an unnamed protagonist faced with choosing between different ideological allegiances and his own social identity." From song to song, the album follows what Rice explains as, "the unholy trinity of greed+power+violence, the injustice wrought from this, persisting in willful ignorance, and reaping what is sown." A deep conceptual arc, for sure, and one that adds further weight to the Slow Season's intensity. 

Album opener "Y'Wanna" erupts from the speakers as if the band couldn't even wait for the tape to start recording. it's a full-throttle rocker reminiscent of Zep's "Immigrant Song" with sly reference to "Four Sticks", all groove and pummel. "Flag" keeps things rolling along with its bouncing, stop-n-go guitar riff. The 6/8-time blues sway of "The Jackal" echoes early Sabbath malefic boogie, while "Saurekonig" is a cavernous and volcanic mass driven by huge drums, ringing slide guitar and ominous drone. "Damascus" is a rollicking anthem driven by Tarbell's syncopated hi-hat/snare interplay and Rice's explosive wail proving just how much of a dynamic powerhouse Slow Season has become. Throughout, Westing is a smart and snarling rocker that sounds like rock 'n' roll records should: massive, infectious and inviting repeat listens.

Westing will be available on LP, CD and download via RidingEasy Records on July 15th, 2016. Pre-orders include a free immediate download of the first two singles and are available HERE
Artist: Slow Season
Album: Westing
Label: RidingEasy Records
Release Date: July 8th, 2016

01. Y'Wanna (STREAM)
02. Flag
03. Big City Livin' 
04. The Jackal
05. Saurekonig
06. Damascus (STREAM)
07. Miranda
08. Manifest
09. Rainmaker

On The Web:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

TRUCKFIGHTERS sign deal with Century Media Records!

The mighty TRUCKFIGHTERS' own label, Fuzzorama Records, and Century Media Records team up to floor the gas and fuzz pedal. The Örebro, Sweden based band was formed in 2001 by Oskar "Ozo" Cedermalm (vocals & bass) and Niklas "Dango" Källgren (guitar). Since that time, they have released four studio albums and several more releases through their own label Fuzzorama Records - including the 2011 DVD documentary (Fuzzomentary) featuring guests such as Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age) and more friends from bands Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Witchcraft, Graveyard and more.
"Signing to Century Media Records is like kicking in the fuzz pedal with all knobs turned to 11 - maximum energy, maximum output and totally out of control!", comments the band.
The new album "V" will be released worldwide through Fuzzorama in cooperation with Century Media Records on September 30th, 2016. To celebrate the band's 15th anniversary and nearly 700 shows around the world, we've created a new website which allows fans to mark a TRUCKFIGHTERS show they have attended in the past. All gig dates and the names of the fans who sign in and mark their show will be printed in the special edition of the album. To join in and find more info please head over to
Shortly after the album release, the TRUCKFIGHTERS will hit the road again to play an extensive European tour.  Exact tour dates and further plans to play the rest of the world will be announced soon. Expect something big. Super fuzz big!

Oskar "Ozo" Cedermalm (vocals & bass)
Niklas "Dango" Källgren (guitar)
Daniel "El Danno" Israelsson (drums)

Hypnos release new video

HYPNOS - »Descending Sun (Unrootables White)«

Hypnos release yet another music video, "Descending Sun (Unrootables White), from their newly released 2nd album "Cold Winds". The video is worldwide premiered over at Rock Hard (DE) today!
Go to video -->> CLICK HERE

Comments by the band: 
"We are all depending on the presence of our sun. All our lives are affected by it. We all need it to be able to live our lives the way we do today and if the sun was to move further from or closer to the earth we would all die instantly.

The video itself is a reflection of our own personal interests, a tribute to all our friends and the heaviest MC club in the world: Unrootables."

Please, use links below to get the album on CD, LP, download, streaming or visit us and Hypnos on social media, etc. Thank you for your support!
Have a pleasant week.

Yours sincerely!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ripple Music to release LOS DISIDENTES DEL SUCIO MOTEL's new album "Human Collapse", stream a new song now!

After their 2013 horror-movie inspired "Arcane" gave the creeps to the masses, French heavy rock five-piece LOS DISIDENTES DEL SUCIO MOTEL are back with their third album "Human Collapse", a humanist post-apocalyptic manifesto coming out this September on Ripple Music. 

Listen to LDDSM's epic new song "Departure" via The Obelisk
LDDSM enlighten us on the story behind this new album: "Human Collapse" is a concept album based on the anticipation of a social phenomenon: the end of the world caused by the only human action. Throughout these ten tracks, we follow an ordinary man, an immigrant dreaming of a better life like millions of others. As one of the first victims of this economic downfall, he decides to return to his homeland. His sister is the only family he has left, living there with her husband and kids, so he decides to leave everything behind in order to find them and start a new life. During this journey, he will be confronted with the complex and sometimes mad aspects of human nature, but he may also glimpse a ray of hope... "Human Collapse" will make you travel in your mind and give a new perspective on how experiencing chaos can make you give up on your beliefs, principles and education. Become another to survive. "Departure" elates the first step of this man's journey, his state of mind and what made him take the plunge and decide to never come back.
"Human Collapse" is LOS DISIDENTES DEL SUCIO MOTEL's third full-length. It was recorded at Cube Studio in Besançon, mixed by Kurt Ballou at Godcity Studio and mastered by Alan Douches. The album artwork is a combination of portraits of the five band members taken and edited by Bartosch Salmanski.
Out September 9th on Ripple Music // Pre-sale available HERE
1. 7PM Choice
2. Decision 
3. Departure
4. Trip
5. Border
6. Community
7. Downfall
8. Rebirth
9. Determination
10. 5PM Arrival
A unique name for a unique band. Following up on their two previous albums and confirming their undeniable talent for writing thrilling cinema-inspired music - action movies with "Soundtrack From The Motion Picture" (Deadlight Ent. 2011) and Z movies with "Arcane" (Deadlight Entertainment/Hell Prod 2013) - French heavy five-piece LOS DISIDENTES DEL SUCIO MOTEL sign their third full-length "Human Collapse" on Ripple Music, depicting a dystopian future inspired by the social and environmental crises our society has been going through these past decades.
Recorded at Cube Studio in Besançon, mixed by Kurt Ballou (Converge) at Godcity Studio and mastered by Alan Douches (West West Side Music), this new chapter in the LOS DISIDENTES DEL SUCIO MOTEL story is once again deeply rooted in heavy rock, a 10-track manifesto driven by the band's powerful vocal duo and mature orchestration. LDDSM are now set to present "Human Collapse" on stage, an overall experience that will be enhanced by the visual work of 128db Collective, depicting the main character's wandering in a post-apocalyptic world after a full societal collapse.
Nico - Guitar & Vocals
Julien - Bass & Vocals
Romain - Guitar
Greg - Drums
Dany - Keyboard & Vocals

Monday, July 25, 2016

Interview With Leo And Max From Plainride

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 epiphanies 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?

Leo: I guess there were a few and they still come every once in a while. It was some kind of an epiphany to watch and listen to Led Zeppelin’s live DVD at Madison Square Garden, especially when you watch it with friends and you just know they’re feeling the same staggering experience as you do. Then again, most Pink Floyd albums are totally immersive. If I listen to them when still dozing, they stimulate the sleepy part of my brain subconsciously while at the same time address what’s already awake somehow. I always have a kind of double-feeling when experiencing good art, though it does not need to be of this sleepy/awake opposition type. Not the last epiphany I had but the one I remember best was while listening to CCR. It’s not that I listened to them for the first time, actually I already listened to them for quite a while, but I just realized in how much joy I am when listening to them. Just heart-warming to me.

Max: When I was fifteen, I saw the Eagles Of Death Metal play live in Hamburg. It was the first concert I consciously remember having made the decision to go to on my own. My dad came along but he purposely stayed behind and let me do the rocking right in the front row. The place was absolutely on fire. During the last song, the crowd stormed the stage. I remember playing air guitar back to back with Jesse Hughes. That night I lost my soul to Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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?

Leo: We don’t have a formula. Sometimes it is a riff, otherwhiles it is an unexpected part in a jam. Sometimes we just want to do something like this or that, adapt it and make it even better. Everybody contributes to the composition and we’re done if it just feels right for everyone.

Max: Sometimes I’ll just wake up with a random line in my head, melody included. I’ll sing it in the shower and I pretty much have an idea on what the song is about and what it’s going to be like. That’s the easy scenario. Most of the time though, someone will just bring along a riff to band practice and if the jam kicks ass, we draft an instrumental blueprint. Lyrics on top and *poof* -  done. On second thought: both cases are the easy scenario. We’re smooth like that.

Who has influenced you the most?

Max: Personally? It’s almost become a band joke by now, but I’m gonna have to go with Neil Fallon from Clutch.

Leo: Everything of QotSA which I’d like to label ‘Strange Rock’

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

Max: I once was told by someone from the creative industries that the greatest ideas come from mixing 90% trash and 10% of but the highest culture. That person was a dick to be honest, but the formula works like a charm and I hold that statement dear to this day. I also recently started making a habit of digging into literature that’s not classically popular in Western culture. I’ve always been a huge fan of Greek mythology for example – but then again that’s quite the go-to place for a lot of lyricists. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel though. I just think it’s important to consider as many different perspectives as possible. Some of my latest reads include Journey To The West by Wu Cheng En (demons, Fuck Yeah!), The Gilgamesh Epic (Sumerians, Fuck Yeah!), and currently Down There by Huysmans (more demons, Fuck Yeah!). Honestly though: Try to check out something different every once in a while - and apart from that just do whatever gets your juices flowing.

Leo: I’m always on the hunt for new music and even concerning the 60s and 70s there’s still so much good stuff yet undiscovered to me. That’s also the cool thing about the current stoner rock scene. There is just so much good music. Everywhere. I guess it is a motivation to contribute to this fact while maintaining your own distinctive style.

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

Leo: I think we as humans are in some way a product of our environment, but I would deny that this holds for me as a music lover and let alone as a musician. Music transcends places and your local environment. I’d say there is not much about our hometown in our music. It might be the other way round, just as a friend of us once said, we bring the desert to the city, wherever we are, create our own musical home, so we kind of have the vibes in us.

Max: I pretty much agree. Cologne’s a lovely city, but none of us are hugely patriotic about our hometown as a band. While I always loved living in a big city, I think the whole Stoner / Desert thing draws its archaic energy from vast open plains and skies rather than the urban landscape and that’s what we’re trying to capture. (Good job, Captain Obvious).

Where'd the band name come from?

Leo: Just as some fight trucks, we ride plains. It also makes for good chants.

Max: What he said.

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

Leo: The R-rated version of Firefly.

Max: Probably whatever abomination a Coen brothers / Tarantino / Jack Black foursome would give birth to.

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?

Max: Clutch – Burning Beard. Still trying to figure that fucker out.

Leo: Generation X – Dancing with myself. Cause it’s all you do anyhow.

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

Leo: Fabe once fell asleep on a smoke machine. No one noticed.

Max: That one time we had to make our way to the Black Sunset Festival after playing a show earlier that night. It must’ve been around 11pm or something. First, we took off in the wrong direction because there were like three different towns with the same name in that area. When we noticed about 50km in and tried to turn around, the thickest fog I’ve ever seen just rolled down the hills and reduced our sight radius to what, 20 feet or something? Meanwhile, our driver (I’m not gonna name names here, Fabe, no worries) slowly started to notice the 4-5 beers from earlier as I was mountaineering on the gear stacks in the back of our (borrowed!) van, desperately trying to keep the windows clear. That was pretty Spinal-Tappy I guess. Also there was this Fabe thing on the ride to Munich… Not sure whether I can tell that one just yet though. Anyhow. Come to think of it: All things bullshit necessarily involve at least one Fabe.

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

Max: Well, we’re certainly having a blast hanging out together pretty much all the time – especially when we get to play live shows. I hope we can convey that to our fans as well. Sweat and beer are necessities. If we’re not soaked in both after the show, we didn’t do the job right.

What makes a great song?

Max: The Groove.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

Leo: We are still working on our first song. But it’s classified.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Max: Probably whatever I wrote last. Except if it’s shit. Then it’s probably the one before that. Repeat until particularly proud.

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

Max: I’m not saying it’s Clutch... But it’s Clutch.
Live performance, studio albums, songwriting, grooves, riffs, attitude, LYRICS, these assholes have it all! Needless to say there’s tons of other awesome artists out there: The Company Band, The Bakerton Group… Just kidding (see what I did there?). Reignwolf, Crobot, Planet Of Zeus, 1000mods, Stone Rider, Nightstalker, Rival Sons, Truckfighters, Deep Aeon, Phiasco... Damn, Monster Magnet still put out great shit too. Way too many to list them all.

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

Max: Digital on the go, CDs for touring, and Vinyl at home. Full disclosure though:
I don’t have a record player in my apartment at the moment. Mea culpa. Workin’ on it!

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Leo: First night beer, second whiskey so you can still get drunk.

Max: One bourbon, One scotch, One beer.

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?

Max: The Underdog Record Store has lots of good shit.

What's next for the band? 

Leo: Writing our second album.

Max: Really? Pretty sure it was world domination. You sure it’s not world domination? Welp. Guess we’re writing an album then.

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

Leo: You misspelled Plainriders!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Rejoice! I’m Dead! Gong's new studio album Released on 16th September

Some say it couldn’t, or shouldn’t, be done. How could Gong exist without Daevid Allen? A few minutes into listening to the title track of their brand new album aspersions will be cast aside. This is undeniably Gong.

Gong have had many, many line-ups. Formed when Australian beatnik/freak Daevid Allen quit The Soft Machine and moved to France at the tail end of the ’60s, before debuting in 1970 with Magick Brother, the band have remained fluid, even playing without their founder from the mid-to-late ’70s, fracturing and reassembling and constantly taking on new shapes and forms: an undeniably amorphous unit.

David Bowie told Vanity Fayre in 2003 that Daevid Allen’s Banana Moon is one of his favourite albums, and today everyone from indie artists Temples and Ty Segall to hip hop artist Madlib and techno DJ Surgeon are inspired, and borrow, from Gong’s music and ideologyThe funky grooves, avant-garde flourishes and counter-cultural stance is timeless. So timeless that Gong fully exists even without their creator and guiding light. For those who are unaware, Daevid Allen died in March 2015.
“I have been co-presenting The Interesting Alternative Show with Steve Davis for the last six years or so,” begins the story of how Gong’s new singer/guitarist Kavus Torabi met Daevid. “In 2011, Steve rang up excitedly saying ‘You'll never guess who we've got as a guest next week... Daevid Allen.’ I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I'd met Daevid briefly a couple of times with Tim Smith [Cardiacs] but never properly. As a lifelong Gong lover, this filled me with delight. Straight away the two of us seemed to really click, within minutes the conversation had taken a turn for the absurd and I was more than a little flattered when he told me, after about an hour, ‘You're a poet man, I can tell.’

How Kavus met Daevid.
The Interesting Alternative Radio show interview

Click the above image to play
“Over the forthcoming months we would text each other on a fairly regular basis, whenever Daevid was in town playing a gig he'd get in touch to see if I wanted to come along. ‘I've been thinking about this a lot,’ he told me, ‘Do you want to play guitar in Gong?’ This came somewhat out of the blue. ‘But you've never actually heard me play, Daevid’ I told him. ‘I don't need to,’ he replied. ‘I felt the same way about Mike Howlett when I met him too and I'm never wrong about this stuff.’ Of course I said ‘Yes’ instantly. ‘You know, I can't play like Steve Hillage,’ I told him. His response was priceless, ‘I don't care about what you can't do, I care about what you can do.’
“Since being a teenager, I have often come up with riffs that, while I loved them, had to be shelved because I always felt they sounded a little TOO much like Gong. One of which I started playing. Daevid got up and started improvising lyrics and melodies over the top, his beautiful eyes twinkling. This would become ‘When God Shakes Hands With The Devil (from I See You).’ ‘Wow Kav!’ Daevid said afterwards, ‘Got any more like that?’ Realising that 20 years or so of shelved riffs had not gone to waste, I blurted out ‘Yeah! Fucking loads!’
Kavus joined Gong in 2014 in time for the last album the “new” band made with Daevid, I See You, unaware of the direction his new gig as a guitar player would take. “It was shortly after our Brazilian tour in March 2014 that, following a broken arm, Daevid told us that he had been diagnosed with cancer and would be unable to fulfill the 47 date world tour that had been booked to promote [the album]. To my, and I guess all of our, minds there was no question that he would beat this thing. The most enlightened and switched on guy I ever knew, with light shooting out of every pore, he seemed indomitable. Nonetheless, he started making noises about how he wished the band to continue without him. I think everyone in the band felt ambivalent about this, particularly as we watched the majority of the gigs get cancelled upon news that he was too unwell to fulfill them. I certainly had no desire to front it. I have my own band Knifeworld in which I play this role. We did, however, have a new album to promote, so we reluctantly agreed to play the remaining shows and bow out gracefully after that. Each night we sent Daevid recordings or links to YouTube footage and, from his sick bed in Australia, he wrote gushing praise about what had happened to the band and how this was exactly what he had hoped. By the end of the tour and with the full blessing of Daevid we decided to carry on.
Rejoice! I'm Dead! came together over several weeks in an East London rehearsal studio. In terms of the writing, the songs became very elastic, what may have been brought to the band as a fixed idea, through experimenting, discarding, expanding and mutating evolved into the songs as you hear them now. Every member was key in the development of each song,” closes Kavus. Thus, Kavus (vocals/guitar), Fabio Golfetti (guitar/vocals), Dave Sturt (bass/vocals), Ian East (sax/flute) and Cheb Nettles (drums/vocals) took on the mantle of steering the Teapot further into outer space and the inner ear.

On the album you’ll also notice the voice of Daevid in an early song idea rehearsal, along with Gong alumni Steve Hillage, Didier Malherbe and Graham Clark. Fans of the  “Virgin trilogy” won’t be let down!    
In the words of bassist Dave Sturt: “You bet it's a fucking Gong record!”
It depends on your knowledge of Gong history and what constitutes as a Gong record, but if Rejoice! I'm Dead! is classified as their 28th album the Gong legacy is the strongest it has been since 1974. Consider the differences between Angel’s Egg, Gazeuse!, Floating Anarchy and I See You, the various splinter projects and collectives… what is it that make Gong who they are? Their spontaneity and numerous Phoenix-like rebirths – this is just the latest installment. Nothing more, nothing less. New members and old coalesce, the sound unmistakably Gong.

Even without Daevid Allen Gong will continue.
And long may it do so.

Rejoice! I’m Dead! will be released on CD, a double LP and as a limited edition deluxe 3 disc hardback book edition featuring 44-page book, CD, DVD-AV & Bonus CD and is available to preorder here
Digital pre-orders to follow

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