Friday, August 31, 2018

Great Electric Quest - Chapter II: Of Earth

I review bands I dig, plain and simple.  So if you see the name T.C. Mayhem, you can be sure that I am bringing you what I feel is ass kicking, stoner loving, riff-tastic tunes with the destructive power of a bull in a China shop.  Today is no exception, as I bring you a break down of the newest album from Great Electric Quest.  These four musicians call San Diego home, and it is there that they put together songs that will make your head bob, your feet move, and will provide the background for many nights of listening pleasure.  Inspired by the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pentagram, and much more, this band has crafted an album that is both an homage to their influences, and a statement of their originality.  After a few listens of Chapter II: Of Earth, I knew I had found a band that I could put up there with Doomstress in power, songwriting, and killer vocal stylings.

The record opens up with Seeker of the Flame, which is a Sabbathian riff fest.  This one has vocals that, for me, bring to mind Dio and Pentagram.  I love the riffs in this one, and am pleased to see a more metal approach than what most bands in this genre employ.

The second and third songs are actually a Part 1 and Part 2, Of Earth (Creation), and Of Earth (Destruction).  In Creation, the drums steal the show.  The solo outings are tinged with John Bonham and Keith Moon style drumming, which is a very cool throwback type of sound.  Destruction comes in with a Tony Iommi riff that quickly turns into a New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound, and then settles back into Sabbath/Pentagram territory.  The guitars have a great tone throughout this song, and, really, the whole album through.  I love the mellower section that closed out the track, it added a level of diversity to the song that sat really well with me.

One thing that I truly enjoyed about this album was the vocal work; they simply shine on each and every damn track!  However, Anubis us where I feel they are the strongest.  This song has a serious Judas Priest vibe in the verses, and the breakdown as well.  The chorus has that Pentagram influence, but the rest is pure metal glory!!

This group has really used every weapon in its arsenal in order to set itself apart from the pack.  They mix influences in their music stew, and have created on of the best albums I've heard in a very long time.  Make this album hits your speakers, your headphones, or whatever you use to jam out to, because this is an album that you won't want to miss out on!!!!

-T.C. Mayhem

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Skull (ex-Trouble) Debuts New Song "As The Sun Draws Near"

The Skull (L to R: Brian Dixon, Ron Holzner, Eric Wagner, Rob Wrong, Lothar Keller)
photo: Ken Cope
The Skull, featuring vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner, formerly of metal legends Trouble, will release its highly anticipated sophomore album, The Endless Road Turns Dark, on September 7 via Tee Pee Records. The LP was recorded in Chicago with engineer Sanford Parker (Yob, Tombs) and builds on the foundation laid by The Skull's debut album, 2014's For Those Which Are Asleep. In advance of the new album's release, The Skull debuts the new song, "As The Sun Draws Near", which Wagner says is, "about finally seeing daylight." Hear "As The Sun Draws Near" at this location (via Metal Injection).

The Skull, which also features longtime Cathedral drummer Brian Dixon, guitarist Lothar Keller (Sacred Dawn), and guitarist Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain), creates classic Sabbathian doom with a psych-tinged metal vision. The respected group's impending album, The Endless Road Turns Dark, benefits greatly from the pedigree and experience of the band’s members and pushes authentic, old-school metal to heavier and more foreboding places, fueled by burly riffing, metallic groove and a crushing punch.

The Skull recently premiered new song, "Ravenswood", via a cosmos-themed lyric video. In its premiere, Revolver hails the track as a "Sabbathian psych-metal stomper of the highest order." See and hear "Ravenswood" at this location.

The Skull has also released a lyric video for the new album's title track. The song made its world premiere via Decibel, who exclaim, "Doom devotees will not be disappointed." Stream "The Endless Road Turns Dark" at this location.

A wicked exercise in heavy metal majesty, The Endless Road Turns Dark plays like a natural extension of the musicians exemplary work during their 20-plus years with Trouble and cements The Skull as modern day doom metal royalty.
 Track listing:

   1.) The Endless Road Turns Dark (watch lyric video)
   2.) Ravenswood (watch lyric video)
   3.) Breathing Underwater
   4.) The Longing
   5.) From Myself Depart
   6.) As the Sun Draws Near (stream here)
   7.) All That Remains (Is True)
   8.) Thy Will Be Done

Pre-order The Endless Road Turns Dark at this location.

Find The Skull online at and follow the band on Facebook.

"These are dudes who live and breathe rock and roll and the more you invest into their sound the more you get out of it. The Skull is taking doom metal by storm and are about to conquer the globe" - METAL INJECTION

"You know right away these doom metal veterans still mean business...a wicked exercise in heavy metal majesty." - CHICAGOIST

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Xroadie Files

Pyre -  Human Hecatomb
Dym Nox – Bass / Vocals, Fred Obsinner – Guitar, Roman Rotten – Guitar, Mal Noer – Drums

Merciless Death slow dark and heavy with tones of evil and dementia before exploding in your face with aggression.  Far Beyond The Unknown evil and dark forces slow and steady ripping your soul out.  Last Nail In Your Coffin get in the pit and explode with aggression and fury.  Possessed dark forces arise and take over your body soul and very essence.  Flesh to Poles another great in the pit song to get the bodies sweating and slamming around.  Under The Death Reign rising from the ashes and taking over the world in a dark time.  We Came To Spill Thy Blood death destruction and aggression full of hate and searing screaming lead guitar.  Cursed Bloodlines pounding thrashing ripping slamming aggression.  Disturbia the forces of darkness arise and try to take over the earth.   Far Beyond The Unknown (Demo), Flesh To Poles (Demo), Cursed Bloodline (Demo), We Came To Spill Thy Blood (Demo), Nocturnal Hell (Slaughter Cover)  heavy fast dark thrashing metal with loads of blast beats and thundering rhythms.

Void Rot – Consumed By Oblivion
Band Members ????

Ancient Seed slow demonic disharmonic tones drifting thru the air swallowing all light.  Consumed by Oblivion black darkness rises from the abyss and takes ahold of the world driving it mad.  Celestial Plague evil and demonic presence swallows the earth devouring every soul.

Trappist – Ancient Brewing Tactics
Chris Dodge – Bass/Vocals, Phil Vera – Guitar/Vocals, Ryan Harkins – Drums/Vocals

No Soldier Left Behind low rumbling bass fast beats and yelling vocals punk metal.  This Means Wort get in the pit and slam away.  Tesguino thundering bass chainsaw guitars fast beat drums and punk vocals.  The Patron Saints crunchy riff sounds like the stooges went more punk.  Hymn To Ninkasi feddback blast beats and screeching guitars with punk vocals.  Waiting In Line First Stanza fast quick punk.  Giving The Boot To Reinheitsgebot has more of a metal riff with punk undertones.  Swignorant fast heavy punch you in the face punk metal.  Nihamachnihamanchii builds slowly then just slams you against the wall. Frank The Tank thrash speed punk metal.  No Corporate Beer thundering bass that just rumbles your being then get in the pit and sweat.  Victims Of A Bomber Raid fast heavy in your face ram it down your throat punk.  99 Problems But A Beer Aint One hit the pit and slam away sweat flying.  Proost-Op pulled into the mosing and pounded to the ground. Waiting In Line Second Stanza more fast heavy short punk. To The Pint punk metal speed thrash. You’re the Reason takes you back to the punk metal crossover of the 90s.  Garbage Human feedback fast rumbling rhythms and yelling vocals.  Waiting In Line Third Stanza super-fast and short.  Wolves in The Taproom hard fast punch you in the gut punk.  Trappist 1 Final Gravity slow at first and spoken words the grinding crunching you into dust music.

Tornado – Commitment To Excellence
Superstar Joey Severance – Vocals, Tommy Shred – Guitar, Henry Steel – Bass, Jimmy The Grey – Drums

A Minute Of Nothing heavy beats crunchy riffs thundering bass and industrial style vocals.  White Horse of the Apocalypse fist pumping fast and heavy metal riffs with interesting tempo changes.  Global Pandemic speed thrash that will have the crowd going wild.  Spirit And Opportunity starts with a riff that just grabs you and slowly moves thru you with scorching leads and chainsaw rhythms.  The Flight Of Yuri Gagarin spoken words memorable chords and then a blast in the face of thrash old school style.  Endless Forms Of Torment fist pumping bodies slamming head banging thrash metal.  Through Difficulties To Victory grab the fist in the air and just jam away with power and excellent musicianship.  Supremacy Motorhead style speed thrash.  Chaos Among The Ruins fast and a speeding bullet with tons of force and aggression.  United Forces (S.O.D. Cover) pounding thrashing punch you over and over excellent cover.  At The Chapel Of Rest sped thrash metal with power and crunchy riffs that just stick in your head.

Cast The Stone – Empyrean Atrophy
Andrew Husky – Vocals, Mark Kloeppel – Guitar, Derek Engermann – Bass, Jesse Schobel – Drums

As The Dead Lie heavy grinding pounding thrashing death metal slow and demonic.  The Burning Horizon melodic melancholic riffs thundering drums bass and deep growling vocals.  Standing in The Shadows melodic acoustic guitar.  A Plague Of Light fast heavy drag you into the bowels of hell death metal.  Empyrean Atrophy grabbed by the masses and thrown into the pit of aggression.  Jesusatan fast heavy rip your throat out death metal with searing leads.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

MOS GENERATOR: Heavy Rock Power Trio Confirms US/Canadian Headlining Tour In Support Of Shadowlands Full-Length

Washington-based power trio MOS GENERATOR will bring their heavy riffing to stages this fall on a US/Canadian headlining tour. Set to commence September 21st in Port Angeles, Washington and run through nearly two-dozen venues upon its conclusion October 13th in Portland, Oregon, the journey includes stops at Descendants Of Crom Fest in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as well as Doomed & Stoned Fest in Indianapolis, Indiana. The latest tour follows the band's month-long US trek earlier this year which included sixteen dates supporting Fu Manchu as well as an appearance at the 2018 edition of Hellfest in Clisson, France. See all confirmed dates below.

Comments MOS GENERATOR founding guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed, "This will be our first time out on the road with the new album Shadowlands at the merch table. We were hoping to have them on the Road Rats tour with Fu Manchu in May but that didn't happen, so we'll make it up to you here and make sure to bring plenty. We will be playing a large majority of the new material as well and that's a treat for us. This is also our first tour across Canada. There are some hard drives, but we are excited to get to those territories.

MOS GENERATOR released their Shadowlands full-length in North America earlier this year via Listenable Records. Heavy Blog Is Heavy hailed an, "appetizing, fun slab of heavy rock songs that should please any fan of the genre," while Metal Nexus championed an album of, "...power, melody and heart... classic rock, infused with stoner tendencies and superb musicianship." Shadowlands was recorded in three sessions - June 2017, November 2017 and January 2018 - at the HeavyHead Recording Company in Port Orchard, Washington and comes swathed in the cover art of Adam Burke (Pilgrim, Satan's Satyrs, Hooded Menace, Artificial Brain et al).

Stream Shadowlands in full at THIS LOCATION.

Find physical ordering info at THIS LOCATION or HERE. For digital orders go HERE.

MOS GENERATOR - Tour Of The Shadowlands 2018:
9/21/2018 Little Devil's Lunchbox - Port Angeles, WA
9/22/2018 Bremerton Raceway - Bremerton, WA
9/23/2018 The Shakedown - Bellingham, WA
9/24/2018 The Palomino - Calgary, AB
9/25/2018 Bulldog Pizza - Winnipeg, MB
9/27/2018 Coalition - Toronto, ON
9/28/2018 House Of Targ - Ottawa, ON
9/29/2018 Descendants Of Crom Fest - Pittsburgh, PA
10/01/2018 Bugjar - Rochester, NY
10/02/2018 Pauly's Hotel - Albany, NY
10/03/2018 Soliday's - Niagara Falls, NY
10/04/2018 The Sanctuary - Detroit, MI
10/05/2018 Doomed & Stoned Fest - Indianapolis, IN
10/06/2018 Reggie's - Chicago, IL
10/07/2018 Riot Room - Kansas City, MO
10/09/2018 Streets Of London - Denver, CO
10/11/2018 Press Club - Sacramento, CA
10/12/2018 The Alibi - Arcata, CA
10/13/2018 High Water Mark - Portland, OR

MOS GENERATOR formed during the Winter of 2000 in Port Orchard, Washington from the ashes of a decade-long on-again-off-again collaboration between its three members, all of which are long time veterans of the road and studio. The need to strip down to the basics of hard rock was apparent from the start and continues to be the foundation for the band's recent material.

MOS GENERATOR has released seven studio albums, a retrospective album, a live album, and a plethora of split releases. 2015 brought in a new rhythm section and touring possibilities far beyond the limitations of the original lineup. This new lineup has changed the band into a relentless touring machine, delivering critically-acclaimed performances both states and abroad.

"The title track is a bluesy, fun rocker, demonstrating exactly why MOS GENERATOR have become a fixture in the underground." - Decibel

"...if 'Shadowlands' at the beginning of the album is depression, then surely 'Gamma Hydra' is the accompanying mania....From the hard-driving opening salvo of 'Shadowlands,' 'The Destroyer,' and 'Drowning In Your Loving Cup,' down through the frenetic payoff of 'The Wild & Gentle Dogs,' MOS GENERATOR prove once again to be a group unto themselves in the quality of their work and the clear-headedness with which they execute their creative will." - The Obelisk

"Shadowlands opts for a heavier direction without losing sight of MOS GENERATOR's '70s rock roots." - Sputnik Music

"...a fun, energetic album..." - Mxdwn

" terms of mindset, Shadowlands may be one of their darkest records thus far." - Riff Relevant

"There's something to be said about an album that not only lasts multiple play-throughs, but instills the urge to immediately run it through again..." - Metal Assault

"The almost effortless brilliance that is displayed by MOS GENERATOR on Shadowlands is nothing short of awe inspiring.... If you dig Fu Manchu, Black Rainbows, Orange Goblin or the like and you aren't familiar with this band, you need to be..." - Outlaws Of The Sun

 "Never cumbersome as the album falls into a tidy under forty-minute vinyl timeframe, Shadowlands gives listeners another US band unafraid to take Ozzy-era Sabbath and add in that southern/stoner/bluesy charm to make quite a final product that entertains and translates easily live." - Dead Rhetoric

"...genuine and consistent MOS GENERATOR, delivering classic and melodic heavy rock with Tony Reed's fine voice and guitar leading the way. Get your groove on and get the album. Recommended." - Danger Dog

Monday, August 27, 2018

MAXWELL JAMES - Self-titled E.P.


Max is a professional singer originally from Cardiff, South Wales. He now lives and creates in Nashville, TN. His music is a unique blend of alternative, indie rock, blues, and American roots.

With emotive vocals that will grab your ears as well as your heartstrings, especially on the amazing track “When It’s Real,” you will be drawn into the web that he has spun on this five song E.P. What a web it is too, full of great playing, those incredible vocals and the lyrics that are not your typical driving around and noticing America, they actually stand up on their own and will get your attention. The highlight of this five song collection isn’t a track, it’s the whole thing, and the songs are great from the first until the last note on the end of the final song. I usually don’t get into this kind of stuff, sometimes a little too country and I hate country, but this really struck me and I was fascinated all the way through.

If you want something a little different, something that would sound great in a café, a BBQ, or just in the car driving around, this is one to grab. I hope that he puts out music of this quality for a long time, I can’t get enough.

-Rick Ecker

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Ripple Conversation With Jason Hartless

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?

I have minor epiphany’s occasionally, but I think the biggest ones were when I discovered The Who and Toto. The raw, powerful energy that each member of The Who gave in each performance is something that I do not think will ever be matched. On top of each member being amazing musicians, they had the luxury of having one of the greatest composers in history as the guitar player in Pete Townsend. I had been familiar with The Who like most average rock listeners throughout most of my childhood, but one of the biggest epiphanies that I ever experienced was when I saw them live for the first time at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit in 2012. That tour they were playing all of Quadrophenia. I wasn’t very familiar with the record, I only knew the singles like “Love Reign o'er Me” and “The Real Me”. So, the first time I listened to the whole album was when I saw them perform it live and it blew my mind. It has been my favorite album of all time since. As for Toto, when I discovered them, it changed my outlook as a musician. In my opinion, there hasn’t been a band comprised of that level of musicians in the history of contemporary music. The fact that every member of that band collectively has played on something like 3,000 separate records as session players blows my mind. I aspire to model my outlook as a drummer after Jeff Porcaro, being the guy that can play in any situation no matter the style and genre. He was simply the best and I try to help continue his legacy by introducing his amazing work to other young up and coming musicians.

You're currently drumming for a legend, Ted Nugent.  How did that come about?  What's it like?   Did you pee yourself when you first got the call from him?

I was touring with a band called Pistol Day Parade from 2012-2015 and had some good commercial success in the Active Rock market. In 2014, when we were about to drop our lead single from our record, we booked a tour opening for Ted Nugent for 2 and a half months. So, I built a really good relationship with some of the crew members and connected with Ted's manager. Unfortunately, not long after the tour, the band imploded due to a few members deciding to quit touring just as we were on the verge of having a #1 hit single. In early 2016, I sent a few emails out looking for a tour to do that summer, one being sent to Ted’s manager. I got a call from Ted a few days later, auditioned and got the gig. Now, I am wrapping up my 3rd year touring with Ted and can’t be happier to play and work with a great group of guys.

At such a young age, you've amassed quite a resume of working with major established artists, like former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner.  How did that gig come about, and how have you managed to get your name out their so widely?

I actually got recommend to do the Joe Lynn Turner gig by my bass player with Ted Nugent, Greg Smith. Greg had been in Rainbow in the 90s and used to work with Joe’s solo group in 90s and 00s as well. To save travel costs, Joe has a group of musicians all around the world that he calls to do certain dates. Over the past 2 years, I have done all of his Midwest US tour dates and have had a blast playing all of those Rainbow and Deep Purple classics.

Who has influenced you the most?

I have so many different musicians that I have been influenced by such as: Corky Laing, Jeff Porcaro, Buddy Rich, Todd Sucherman, Keith Moon, Zak Starkey, Bernie Dresel, Anton Fig, Eric Singer, Stewart Copeland, Mick Tucker, Steve Smith, and Vinnie Colaiuta. I have always had the outlook that you should be influenced by a ton of people, because you end up building a melting pot of styles to pull from in different situations. I have been lucky to have been able to been personally mentored by Corky Laing, Eric Singer, Tommy Clufetos, Anton Fig and Todd Sucherman.

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

By always listening and discovering new music as well as new drummers. It allows me to pick up on different grooves and styles to be implemented into my playing.

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?

That’s a tough one, but I think it might be either “Baba o’Reily” by The Who or “Rosanna” by Toto. Both are masterpieces through and through.

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

Over the years, there have been so many hilarious stories from the road. One of the funniest was in 2009 when I was touring with Motley Crue with a support act. While we were driving from Portland, OR to San Bernardino, CA, the bus stopped off in a small road side stop in the middle of nowhere in Northern California. The only thing that was at that stop was an Outhouse and a hole in the ground to empty and fill tanks on the bus. It was an extremely hot day, so when our bus driver went to go dump the tanks, the guitar tech went with him to help. During this process, the guitar tech saw a water pump with a long hose sticking out of it, so being a hot day, he turned on the hose and started drinking the water. After the guy had taken a few swigs of the water, our band assistant yelled out the window and pointed to a sign that was above the water pump that contained skull and crossbones. Needless to say, the guitar tech freaked out and then proceeded to call his doctor and drinking straight rubbing alcohol. All was fine, but the running joke for the rest of the tour was that the guitar tech drank “crap” water.

Tell us about playing live and the live experience?

I have been performing live since such a young age that it has become second nature to me and because of that I never get nervous. I feel the same if I’m playing in front of 5 people or 35,000 people. Touring all over the world and playing shows is the greatest job in the world. Being able to travel parts of the world that I wouldn’t have never traveled to is one of the biggest perks to the job.

What makes a great song?

Simplicity, all of the best songs have 3-4 chords.

You recorded your first album as a mere child, how did that come about?

When I was 5, I started doing cover gigs around Detroit, playing tunes such as, “Nantucket Sleighride” by Mountain, “Hocus Pocus” by Focus, a few Alice Cooper tunes and a whole host of others. My dad ended up sending a video of me playing “Nantucket Sleighride” to my godfather Richie Scarlet, who was playing bass for Mountain at the time. Richie then showed the video to Mountain drummer Corky Laing. Corky called my dad up and expressed interest in working together on a record. From the time I was 7 to about 10 years old, Corky would drive to Detroit from Toronto and we would sit behind two drum kits, woodshed for hours and work on writing songs. That record was really an excuse to give me my first experience of working in the studio as a musician.

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

I am really stuck in the past and mainly listen to music from 40s-80s, but I really like the music that is currently coming out of Nashville in the Country Pop market. They are pumping out so many super simple but catchy tunes.

Tell us about the song that in your mind has the single greatest drumming?

That’s a really tough one that I don’t think I can answer. There are some unbelievable performances on so many records.

How have you avoided the temptations that normally come with a rock n roll lifestyle?

Growing up in this industry, I have seen so many extremely talented musicians throw their careers and lives away with drugs, alcohol and even egos. It’s just something that I have always had an awareness of, and have learned to deal with until it starts to affect my job that I have to do.

When not touring you're a student at Berklee College of Music and run your own label.  How do you keep it all balanced?   How do you stay focused?

I actually go to college full time, even when I am on the road. When I began my degree, I had 2 choices: quit my career for 4 years and move to Boston or study on Berklee’s online degree program. I choose the online route, so I am able to study while I am touring. Being a managing partner for Prudential Music Group has been such a great opportunity for my career as an industry executive because I have been given a lot of creative and business responsibility for the company. Being able to run a company, while I am studying the field, works out great for me to be able to use my current business situations in my class work.

How and why did the label start?   What's next on your label front?

The label has been around for a number of years under different brand names. When the company moved to Sony distribution in 2015, the brand was changed to Prudential Records. Since joining the company, we have built it into Prudential Music Group to be the umbrella parent company for Prudential Records and founded a vinyl focused label called, Rouge Records and also created Prudential Publishing to house the Prudential and Rouge publishing catalog. Rouge Records has really taken off quickly. Since founding the brand in fall of 2017, we have already released 7 releases and have 4 pending projects. The Rouge brand mainly focus’ on vinyl re-issues of music from 60s, 70s and 80s, and have recently started to sign a few local Detroit acts to give them a jump start with a vinyl product. Prudential Records has released a record by Paul Moran, who is the music director for Van Morrison, and signed up and coming Pop Country artist, Max Ater.

All The Best,
Jason Hartless
Touring/Session Drummer

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Becoming Bristol releases new single “Brighter Days”

Seattle band Becoming Bristol has released a new single titled “Brighter Days”.

“Brighter Days” is a song about realizing that life has value, and that while everything may not be okay, there is always a reason to push on. The song draws from an experience with suicide lead singer Britt Espinosa had with a friend.

In support of suicide prevention and awareness month, Becoming Bristol will be donating 100% of all single sales and streaming revenue to a charity called “Anthem of Hope”. Anthem of Hope combats suicide through special training programs, 24/7 crisis lines, and community groups.

The single was produced and mixed by Brooks Paschal at Mockingbird Studios.

“Brighter Days” will be available wherever music is sold or streamed. Becoming Bristol will be releasing new music every month for the remainder of 2018.

Pre-follow/pre-order the song:


Friday, August 24, 2018

Joe D. Carpenter - Under The Blood

'Under The Blood' is the first in a proposed three-part EP series scheduled to be released during 2018 by former Nihilist(US), Mezzanine and Volume IV main man, Joe D. Carpenter. This Louisiana exile, now living in Georgia, does it all on his own and he does it damned well. What strikes me right away – apart from the great songs – are the programmed drums. My sentiment is if you don’t play electronic music programmed drums are a big no-no, but Joe is onto something here. The drums actually sound very real which is extremely rare but very positive.

Handling all the instruments yourself is a tricky disposition at best, because the musician behind it all is usually way more fluent in one maybe two instruments. That leads to those instruments being pushed too far to the front, leaving the rest hidden deep in the mix. This is not the case with Mr. Carpenter whatsoever. Everything is perfectly and evenly placed making ‘Under The Blood’ full, rich and alive.

Opener, and the title track, ‘Under The Blood’ comes across as pretty brutal in a bone-crushing kind of way, at first. But it only takes a minute until a nice melodic pattern appears. Moving side by side this combination works so well, building on emotions perfectly. Soaring and out there with a feel of dejection, ‘The Wanting’ tells of one person’s yearning to turn another person into someone who they are not. Beautiful solos amidst the inner turmoil…sounds like a bit of King’s X! ‘Never Alive’ is a mid-tempo led-heavy, yet melodic kick in the nuts with an amazing solo. Might be wrong but there’s a sense of lamentation, as if you were on the outside looking in on someone close who opted to wither away instead of living. Skull crushing rifforama at the end!

Oh yeah, this is kickass rock’n’roll, alright! Pounding drums and a thumping bass guitar leads ‘Rebel Chief’¨ into a riff-fest, and then some. No holds barred, Joe spares no punches as he goes for the kill. Awesome stuff! The odd one out, ‘The Kill’ is short, acoustic, haunting and sinister with a sense of reflectiveness. Brilliant guitar work helps so well in creating the dark moods of the song. Crushing and in your face, ‘See What You Are’ is like ol’ school thrash. Pedal to the metal, this is total annihilation and I love it.

A great initial start to this trilogy of EPs, where Joe has mixed heaviness and melody to great aplomb. There’s a nice flow through the songs and that’s due to great songwriting skills and musicianship. Definitely sets the bar high for the next EP which I can’t wait to hear. In the meantime ‘Under The Blood’ has my blood going as it is always great to hear a debut being this damned good!


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Sludge/Post-Metal DEAD HAND's upcoming album 'REBORN OF DEAD LIGHT' set for release Sept. 7th via Divine Mother Recordings; Pre-orders available now!

Dead Hand is a full widescreen sludge experience. With keyboard-expanded instrumentation and the panorama of post-metal, they’re a truly doomed, sonic horizon whose bleak beauty deliberately unfurls a slow-rolling tsunami to sweep oceanic ruin over fallen kingdoms.

'Their second full-length, 'Reborn Of Dead Light' is set for release on September 7, 2018, via Divine Mother Recordings. The album was recorded and mixed between February and September 2017, with mastering completed in January 2018, all by Matt Washburn at Ledbelly Sound Studios in Dawnsonville, GA. The striking album cover artwork and design is by Jean Saiz.

Reborn Of Dead Light - Track List:

1. Alabaster and Bone
2. Reborn of Dead Light
3. Parapraxis
4. Amaranthine
5. Them Bones (**bonus track, CD only)

- Vinyl press is limited to 250 copies on Green and Black Merge, with full color jackets and insert. Includes digital download code.

- Compact Disc (CD) is limited to 50 copies on full color disc, with two-panel insert on Black Arigato Pak jackets. Includes digital download code. **The CD version includes the bonus track "Them Bones", a Dead Hand cover originally recorded by Alice in Chains, and featuring Eric Crowe of Crawl on guest vocals.

Pre-Order 'Reborn Of Dead Light" on Vinyl LP, CD, Digital:

An idea brewed in 2012, quickly finding its fruition as a full lineup by 2013, Dead Hand hit the ground running with a split release on Divine Mother Recordings with Philadelphia shredders Repellers in January 2014. Mastered by Dan Randall of Mammoth Sound (Ash Borer, Noothgrush, Unearthly Trance), the split received stellar reviews and the first pressing sold out almost immediately.

An EP release in July and regional touring filled the remainder of 2014. Dead Hand released their first full-length, 'Storm of Demiurge' In June 2015, on Divine Mother Recordings (USA) and Third I Rex (Europe).

The Burning Beard included 'Storm of Demiurge' on their "Top 20 of 2015" saying: "It's a smooth and well-constructed ramp into the subterranean sludge which forms most of the album, and with it, Dead Hand quickly establish their fondness for unearthing new facets of each song with a natural-feeling flow to the changes."

The band entered Ledbelly Sound Studios with Matt Washburn (Mastodon, Norma Jean, Leechmilk) for a 2016 released split with Miami sludge trio, Shroud Eater, on Southern Druid Records.

Dead Hand is a well oiled touring machine spanning the Eastern U.S. over the past several years. More dates being confirmed now in support of their upcoming release of their second full-length 'Reborn Of Dead Light', via Divine Mother Recordings. 'Reborn Of Dead Light' will be available on CD, Vinyl LP, and Digital Download or Streaming on September 7, 2018.

C. Carr - Guitar, Vocals
S. Williams - Bass
S. Harris - Synth, Vocals, Trumpet
C. Harper - Drums

Upcoming Live Dates:

Sep. 07 - Macon, GA @ Grants Lounge (w/ Hexxus, Crawl, Soul Abuse) - Album Release Show
Sep. 08 - Birmingham, AL @ Nick Rocks (w/ Mother's Keeper, Hexxus, Inclination Of Direction)
Sep. 14 - Asheville, NC
Sep. 15 - Jacksonville, FL
Sep. 16 - Gainesville, FL
Sep. 17 - Valdosta, GA

More Info:

Dead Hand:

Divine Mother Recordings:

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Xroadie Files

Finnr’s Cane – Elegy
The Slave – Cello/Keyboards, The Peasant – Drums, The Bard – Vocals/Guitar

Willow walking thru the woods in old England hearing strange things and eerie sounds surrounding you with a very gothic feel.  Elegy slow strange disharmonic chords that just worm their way thru your very essence.  Strange Sun heavy fast demonic feelings and sounds surround and envelope you dragging you down.  Empty City very melodic folky guitar and flute sounds that just drift thru the air then turn dark and demented.  Earthsong pounding beats fill your head and make your very heart thump with evil intent.  Lacuna mellow piano sounds envelope you then a strange solid slow rhythm kicks in to make you wonder where you are.  A Sky Of Velvet strange eerie sounds surround and worm their way thru you as it pulls you into a black abyss.

Forming The Void – Rift
Luke Baker – Bass, Shadi Omar Al Khansa – Guitar, James Marshall – Guitar/Vocals, Thomas Colley – Drums

Extinction Event hard heavy pounding thrashing ripping and tearing with an evil feel.  On We Sail has a steady pounding rhythm that just works its way into your very body with some psychedelic tones.  Archaic Mystic slowly envelopes you with a strange eerie sound that grows in heaviness and searing lead guitar.  Transient melancholic tones invade the senses and take you on a weird trip musically.  Arrival drums pounding guitars feeding back crunchy riffs thumping bass and strong vocals.  Ark Debris takes you on a trip thru the mid-east with some very interesting sounds that brig sights to mind.  Shrine slow melancholic sounds that just seem to drag you into a dark hole.

Cambrian – Mobular
Boggio Nattero – Guitar/Vocals, Stefano Parodi – Bass/Piano, Fabio Cuomo – Drums

Melt feedback and distortion with a slow plodding evil rhythm that just seems to worm its way toward you.  Seaweed Shaman thru the blackness comes a tone that just worms its way thru you and around you growing dark and heavy.  Hooded Mantanaut lost in space and time drifting around in nothingness.  Mobular melodic tones and notes fill the air and with some searing lead guitar work Pink Floyd style.  The Lethargic Hours close your eyes and just drift along the musical highway of tones and textures.  Emperor Seamount the slow steady flow of evil and dementia envelopes you till you disappear.

From Inside – When I'm Breathing Without You
Simon Mora, Thomas Booth, Bam Roberts, George Collings

Helpless gothic piano with singing and yelling vocals and heavy riffs with a few tempo changes.  Before I Leave slow melodic tones slowly build then a steady riff melodic vocals sooth you then yelling vocals bring out the anger.  When I’m Breathing Without You is emo style music with a few tempo changes.  You I vocals with lots of feeling   then the anger kicks in and destroys all.  I Need To Feel Alive soft piano and strings then a heavy riff and pounding beat with melody.  Tearing At The Seams close your eyes and drift.

Building Chaos – Bourbon Times
Alex Lobo _ Vocals/Guitar, Alex Obel – Guitar, Peter – Bass, Nick – Drums

Blink Of An Eye chainsaw riff thundering rhythms fist pumping and thrash style vocals.  Blood Boil has a Texas blues feel with some emotional acoustic guitar leads that turns into a punk thrash song.  California Love mid-tempo riffs that just chug along with some searing guitar and solid as hell rhythms.  Down chainsaw guitars thrash metal riffs pounding and slamming around in the pit.  Heavy Chains more awesome blues based acoustic guitar that just steals your soul and goes back and forth from thrash to blues.  Let The River Bear Your Bones close your eyes and tap your knees lets getting to grooving then an excellent catchy heavy riff that will be with you for days going back and forth. Ritual sitting in the swamps with some friends just drinking and jamming out to some excellent music.  Snakefang kicking back around the fire jamming and having a blast then kicking it in overdrive and just Headbanging till you drop.  Texas Jack Reed low rumbling bass that just stirs something inside you then a crunchy riff and pounding drums with scorching guitar and rough vocals. The Hunt charging down the road music at full blast jamming and speeding along.  The King Is High bluesy heavy and full of strong emotions rock out and just jam away.  Until The End fist pumping head banging thrashing and slamming around in the pit.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Ripple Conversation With Justin Toland Of Dirty Streets

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' "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?

When I was younger, I grew up as a missionary’s kid in Paraguay, Chile and then Bangkok, Thailand, so access to music was very limited. Even the stuff you could get was sort of “off limits” to most my friends because of the religious parents.  My dad had sort of come out of being a grass-smoking, jazz-playing hippy into the Jesus freak thing, so he was more hip to the whole deal. He had a leftover cassette collection, but had omitted a lot of the hard stuff. When I was 12, they did a 30 year anniversary release of all the Hendrix albums as a tribute. My dad gave me three dollars when we were at the record store in Bangkok and told me I could get a cassette. I saw the album cover for Axis Bold As Love and bought it on a whim.  That was my first musical epiphany. I would sit in the closet under the stairs and flip the tape over and over in the dark just soaking it in. First time I felt high in my life.

That led me down the road to blues and blues-based rock. I saw some Vanilla Fudge, The Stones and Cream TV performances on a Thai TV throwback show around the same time. I was immediately like “This is it.” That was the main stuff because I was 12 and heavily impressionable, so my mind was just straight blown. My dad played guitar, so after that I would just steal his guitar and go try to play with the albums.

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?

It’s different every time. I started out as a guitar player and moved more into writing melodies, so most of the time the guitar riff is the muse. Now that I’ve been melody writing for a long time, they start that way every once in awhile. The lyrics will just pop in my head. A lot of times they just hit all at once and leave me scrambling for a guitar and recording device to get it down.

Who has influenced you the most?

At an early age, definitely Hendrix as far as musicianship. Just an all-around musician. A lot of people miss out on how good of a songwriter he was and just see the flashy guitar stuff. The Rolling Stones have always been there as far as arrangements and how to work a song. 

When I was in high school in the early 2000s there was a lot of plastic, overblown rock music. It was almost like a parody of what Rock used to be. I heard the White Stripes’ De Stijl album and it was like fresh air. Just super simple and raw blues rock. It was like the opposite of the over-produced, big label, cock-rock of the time.

Later on in life I was super into James Brown and MC5. Lots of high energy performance based stuff.  I always loved studio records that sound like people are performing in the studio. When there is an undeniable force on the record.

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

In some ways I still am exploring old music. I try to dig deep when it comes to records now. I listen to a lot of simplistic blues stuff like Jimmy Reid and Slim Harpo. I also love the complex song construction and production on a lot of ‘60s psych stuff like Pretty Things’ S.F. Sorrow.  

A lot of my inspiration lately comes from just walking around in the woods or reading books, strangely enough. 

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

I think the strongest influence the area has had on our music is just in the influence of the groove. A lot of music that comes from this area has a strong swing to it rhythmically.  Memphis is famous for STAX, and you hear a lot of comparing and contrasting against Motown in Detroit. To me the biggest difference is that Memphis grooves were always hard, almost heavy, in a way.  That sort of thing still sticks around here more than other places.

The other influence is just rawness. There are very limited resources here, but what you don’t have physically, you have to compensate with spiritually.  People here appreciate authenticity. I feel like we have made a lot of decisions based on that.

Where'd the band name come from?

It’s hard to remember, because it was so long ago. We had already jammed a lot before coming up with the name. So we were shooting names out non-stop trying to see if something stuck. Dirty Streets just seemed to fit the sound the most at the time. I can’t help but think that it also had to do with the industrial areas we all had to drive through to get to practice three times a week.

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

I would probably want to write an all instrumental soundtrack for a re-boot of Carlito’s Way and recruit a bunch of friends that are musicians. Sounds fun. 

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?     

Off the top of my head, probably “Freelance Fiend” by Leafhound.  The straight and direct power of that song lyrically and musically is something that I could probably explore for 1,000 words.  It’s almost an anthem to me for generations of people who dedicated their life to the arts. There is something about the fact that the band broke up shortly after recording it that brings a weird sort of purity to it. So incredible that in the song he says “Build all my castles on top of my dreams” with sort of a carelessness for outcome that comes across as completely authentic. 

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

On our last European tour we played a state-sponsored venue in the Netherlands. Since it was state sponsored we got paid well and it was fully staffed, but nobody promoted the show. We got there and it was this gigantic venue with two light guys and front of house/back of house sound guys.  We set up and sound checked and it sounded incredible. The opening band had to work early, so they left when we played. We ended up playing this huge show with tons of production to 0 people. The light guy still went all out. It was super comical.

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

We really started out as a live band. The early focus of the band was to put on the best live show possible. That is probably why our first independently released album has nine minute long songs on it. We just were doing it like we did live. I love the idea of shared experience live. Every crowd is different, and that used to frustrate me. Then I started to appreciate that every time you share a show with a crowd, you learn something new or explore a different nuance of the songs you have played thousands of times and that’s incredible. It’s like the song you’ve played for years can be a different song in San Francisco on a Tuesday then it is in Fargo on a Friday. That’s one of the only times in my life when I’ve experienced living truly in the moment.

What makes a great song?

That’s a hard question for me because my taste runs the gamut of super accessible pop to weirdo shit nobody likes. For me though, it’s the same as the live experience. If a song can bring you into the moment where you live in the song and don’t think about anything else then its good. I like songs that are experiences within themselves. A lot of music is made to be background that runs while you live your life. I like the music that you want to turn up and focus on.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

I wrote a lot of instrumental stuff as a kid when I started playing guitar. The first song I wrote lyrics for was when I was when I was in 8th grade and it was called “When You Dumped Me”. Terrible, self-loathing nightmare of a song. I thought of the song as a joke at the time though, and it opened me up to the concept of being able to finish a song so I could get on to more serious stuff.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

If I had to pick one, it would probably be “On the Way” from our new record that’s coming out. It’s a softer track with just acoustic. It was something I’ve never done on an album. I’ve never done acoustic guitar with no accompaniment. Lyrically the song is sort of a biography of my life simplified. Not sure if it’s accessible for most people, but it felt good.

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

In recent years there have been a few that really hit me. I recently saw Queens of the Stone Age, and it was undeniably like seeing something or someone Iconic. Josh Homme just has a very different way of writing.  I’m also a huge Jack White fan, sometimes his stuff doesn’t resonate, but overall I’m into it. One of the greatest up and coming bands to me is All Them Witches. Those guys are incredibly dynamic song writers and ridiculous live performers. One last one would be Charles Bradley who recently passed away. That’s one of those where it’s just about pure feeling. No bullshit.

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

Vinyl for me all the way. Nothing feels better than purchasing something that weighs a lot with a gigantic piece of art on the cover. It also demands your attention because you have to flip the record half way through.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Whiskey. It’s like you are cutting the bullshit and getting straight to the point.

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?

Shangrila Records. The place is incredible. I have to stagger my visits because the records that come through are so good and so well priced that I’ll spend my whole paycheck.

Whats next for the band?

Touring, more touring and continuous writing.  I’m already writing the next one. Pretty excited about it.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?
Thanks to everyone that read this, and to everyone that buys our records and comes to our shows. Support The Ripple Effect!
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