Thursday, February 28, 2019

Flummox - Intellectual Hooliganism

What is there to say about Flummox that hasn't been said before? To begin with it's quite an understatement to say they are exceptional musicians but it has to be said, nonetheless. And to say they still walk to their own beat is an understatement if there ever was one. Any who, let's get back on track. Having gone from being basically a duo on their debut, 'Phlummoxygen', to a trio on sophomore release, 'Selcouth', to a quintet on this spanking brand new wax, they still retain their foundation, sound, made from a concoction of Primus, Black Sabbath, vaudeville and good old quirkiness.

However, what is new this time around though? Well, by adding a second guitar player, Chase McCutcheon, as well as Parker Lampley on keyboards, vocals, flute and kazoo, allows the old stalwart knuckleheads Alyson Dellinger and Drew Jones, along with "new" drummer Alan Pfeifer (he's been in the band for a while, but this is his first album with them) a lot of room to move and experiment....and walk even further to their own beat. Because the crazy world they move within has been allowed much more genius presence.

5 tracks stand out for me. ‘Summer Cold’ is a fabulous mix of Primus and King Crimson which pretty much sums up who Flummox are, if you ask me. Trippy and completely out there. ‘Tom Walker Blues’ shows the band being warped, fast, furious and fucked up. Primus rears its beautiful face again playing jazzy old-school death metal. Didn’t expect that saxophone in ‘A Bundle Of Styx’ but it works wonders. A cacophony of styles are interwoven – Primus (yes, again), vaudeville, big band swing and metal – creating a melting pot which is so brilliant in all its chaotic outlook. ‘Dysania’ is black/ death metal mixed with a Devin Townsend approach while playing ‘Nothing Else Matters’. Spazzed out, brutal and quite brilliant. ‘Black Philip’ starts out like a speed-freak version of The Sweet’s ‘The Ballroom Blitz’ before turning into a neck-breaking metal crusher!

‘Intellectual Hooliganism’ is not easy-listening, nor should it be. Flummox stick resolutely to whom they are and do exactly what they want to. Meaning, you will be exposed to chaos, albeit organized chaos along with a wonderful devil-may-care-attitude. And the rewards for the audience when you work your way around their quirkiness and nonconformist approach are plentiful, to say the least. For me as a listener and a fan, when a band you like push the boundaries, and you, with their creations so much is won. First of all, a band should write for themselves and themselves only, but if they do build up a fan-base along the way, challenge them and yourselves. That way your sphere never goes stale or stagnant, you constantly evolve and subsequently won’t get caught in the “what are our fans going to think”-web. And this is Flummox down to the tee. They simply roll the dice, put down whatever craziness goes through their heads on tape – yeah, I’m that old! – and what happens, happens and it’s mighty damned great, you hear?!


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Xroadie Files

A Novelist – Folie
Ben Nugent – Vocals/Guitar/Bass/Keyboards, Effects, Alex Babineaux – Drums, MarcLinam– Saxophone/Clarinet/Oboe/Flute

Folie Noire flowing melodic guitars soft vocals carry you away to a strange place. Exteriors searing lead guitars shred away with a pounding beat and growling vocals. Tombeau ripping tearing shredding growling. Apparitions eerie sounds envelope your very senses. His Kingdom Is Vast strange emotions flow all around you. Strangers in The House Of Auto Da Fe heavy pounding shredding death metal. Acacia Crown evil rises from underneath and just swallows you whole. Caveat Lector strange tripping melodies take you down a dark path. Stockholm Blues heavy fast pounding rhythms rip and tear away. Crestfallen chugging guitars pounding beats strange vocals. Learning Paralysis ripping tearing shredding emotions. Interiors strange sounds and rhythms just flow around and thru you.

Sofy Major – Total Dump
Mathieu - Drums, Tom – Guitar, Mathieu – Bass/Vocals

Total Dump spoken words heavy rhythms crunchy guitars and interesting vocals.  Giant Car Crash fast heavy punk influenced metal. Cream It rumbling bass interesting melodies that just make for one strange trip. Strike hard heavy hit the pit and thrash about. The Jerk thundering bass pounding drums and sing along vocals with chugging guitars. Skinny Happy Asshole has a strange rhythm that just takes you over. Franck Butthole slow and eerie sounds envelope you. Tumor O Rama pounding drums interesting riffs that just catch your foot tapping along. Kerosine Mike low bass pounding beats slow and steady with some interesting melodies. Panamarama strange trippy sounds make your emotions flow. The Longest Yard bass that just rumbles thru you and chugging guitars with interesting rhythms.

Mark Deutrom – The Blue Bird
Mark Deutrom – Guitar/Vocals, RL Hulman – Drums, Aaron Lack – Drums, Brian Ramirez – Bass

No Space slow moody guitars fill the air. Futurist Manifesto searing lead guitar and pounding rhythms. Radiant Gravity slow jazzy bluesy melodic music. O Ye Of Little Faith heavy dark moody music that just garbs your very soul with some interesting vocals. Our Revels Now Are Ended piercing guitar that just flows thru your senses. Hell Is A City is a very jazzy emotional bluesy tune. Somnambulist close your eyes and just drift along with your imagination. Maximum Hemingway has a strange riff that just worms its way thru you. Through The Ringing Cedars strange beats and rhythms assault your senses. They Have Won nice melodic that makes your imagination flow. On Father’s Day guitars and melodies full of emotions. The Happiness Machine has a very nice groove that will have you swaying along. Nothing Out There just relax and enjoy the ride.

Verdande – ST
SigurdKehlet – Guitar, Martin Jorgensen – Guitar, Martin Kjaer Killie – Bass, Mathias Blumensaat – Drums, Soren Sedit – Vocals

Seeking Waiting Or Hiding sounds of wind howling then melodic guitars fold in then searing leads pierce thru the sky before a heavy beat kicks in with some yelling style vocals. Giving In swirling keyboards a catchy riff tempo changes and yelling vocals with screaming guitars. When Forever Ends slow heavy dark emotional music. We Wait In The Fire sounds of a fire burning and melodic guitars then a heavy riff that just grabs you.

Split Cross – Rise of Discontent
Paul Folk – Guitar, Kasey Harrison – Bass/Vocals, Matt Bear – Drums

Blind Spot disharmonic guitars bass rumbles spoken words then punk style vocals with fast heavy rhythms. Filth March overdriven guitars fast heavy dark beats and yelling gruff vocals. Dis-seption just grab ahold and bee drug down the road of dementia. Splinter feedback rumbling bass slow and eerie then a kick in the teeth of aggression. Rat Cult guitar feedback pierces thru you then a chugging riff takes over slow and evil. Fallen Victim just be grounded into the dust by heavy fast demonic metal. Rotten Cycle feedback runs you thru then pounding drums thundering bass and gruff vocals just annihilate you. Soaked Ground extreme sounds piercing guitars and slow eerie rhythms. With some blast beats.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

WINDHAND: Unveil New Video "First To Die"

Begin EU / UK Tour Next Week (March 07 - March 24)
Photo By Joey Wharton
Watch & Share "First To Die" Here

Today, WINDHAND unveil their new hypnotic video, "First To Die" directed by Philippe Grenade. "The inspiration for the video started with the lyrics, First you die, to be born," Grenade explains. "I immediately saw the image of a woman suffocated by the crushing anxiety of a metropolis; drowning in the delirium and being forced through some sort of psychedelic death trip and coming out the other side with a new point of view. A psychic death and rebirth. The video expresses anxiety and transformation while honoring the beauty of Windhand's music."

Additionally, WINDHAND returns to Europe next week in support of their new album Eternal Return. The headline tour begins March 7 in Vienna, AT and ends March 24 in Leipzig, DE. All confirmed dates are available below.
WINDHAND - "First To Die" (Official Music Video)

WINDHAND’s 4th studio album Eternal Return is out now on CD/2xLP/CS/Digital on Relapse Records. Physical packages are available for order HERE and Digital Downloads/Streaming AT THIS LOCATION.

Eternal Return, produced by Jack Endino (Soundgarden, Nirvana), represents a new era for the group, a chrysalis moment that takes them to new and unforeseen heights. Boosted by Garrett Morris' consistently cool riffs-forged at the crossroads of Iommi's otherworldly import and Kurt Cobain's spontaneous precocity-powered by Ryan Wolfeand Parker Chandler's groove-laden rhythms, and propelled by Dorthia Cottrell's smoky yet wistful vocals, WINDHAND's new album is a two-step jump for Richmond's finest purveyors of the psycho-actively heavy.
Artwork By Arik Roper


Mar 07: Vienna, AT - Arena #
Mar 08: Munich, DE - Feierwerk (Hansa 39) #
Mar 09: Lausanne, CH - Le Romandie #
Mar 10: Paris, FR - Boule Noire #
Mar 12: Bristol, UK - Exchange #
Mar 13: Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute #
Mar 14: Glasgow, UK - Audio #
Mar 15: Nottingham, UK - Bodega #
Mar 16: London, UK - Underworld #
Mar 17: Brussels, BE - AB #
Mar 19: Haarlem, NL - Patronaat #
Mar 20: Eindhoven, NL - Effenaar #
Mar 21: Cologne, DE - MTC #
Mar 22: Hamburg, DE - Molotow #
Mar 23: Berlin, DE - Musik & Freiden #
Mar 24: Leipzig, DE - Werk 2 #
Apr 27: Brooklyn, NY- Desertfest NYC
May 03-04: Mexico City, MX - Domination Festival
Aug 01-03: Wacken, DE - Wacken Open Air 2019
Aug 08-10: Moledo, PT - Sonic Blast 2019
Aug 09-10: Jaromer, CZ - Brutal Assault 2019
Aug 14: Dinkelsbühl, GE - Summer Breeze
# w/ Grime

"Dorthia Cottrell, one of the most persuasive metal singers to emerge this decade...End to end, it is riveting." 

"Windhand is among the genre's reigning bands in part because frontwoman Dorthia Cottrell's voice embodies all the rich, velvety and earthy qualities of a perfectly overdriven amp" 

"Windhand pair a bass-heavy groove with frontwoman Dorthia Cottrell's ethereal vocals"

"Windhand's fourth and best album yet...their most melodic release, and their most psychedelic release, and they do it without losing the fuzzed-out doom riffage that made them so satisfying in the first place" BROOKLYN VEGAN

"it's punchy and accessible, joining the bludgeoning fuzz guitar of Windhand's nominal genre with melodies that recall the best of '90s rock radio" SPIN

"Windhand's Most Gripping Record to Date" BANDCAMP
"sound more strongly beholden to late '80s and early '90s grunge in addition to the band's signature touches of weighty psych rock" STEREOGUM

"New Doom Classic" CVLT

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Fistful Of Questions With Jay Reeve Of MuteAnt Sounds

Nap enthusiast.  Jersey transplant.  Processed meat aficionado?  This edition of Fistful of Questions comes to you from MuteAnt Sounds headman Jay “Daddy” Reeve and he may or may not be toting a boombox.   

What is your full name?

Jay Christopher Reeve

Do you have any aliases?

My kids call me Daddy but I’m also known as J.C. Reeve, J. Reeve, J Weed (in some small old school circles).

Tell me about one of your first musical memories.

My first musical memories, AM radio in my Mom’s 1969 Plymouth Satellite or the family phonograph in the 1970s listening to my fathers records from when he was in his 20s in the early sixties. I was into Kiss for like 2 weeks in 1977, I borrowed “Love Gun” from the library, I was done with that quick. I think I saw Kiss at the Amusement Park movie on tv or something. I was intrigued and I thought I would like it, it didn’t stick.

What was the first instrument that you played?

Guitar, I was obsessed with playing guitar when I was like 14. I wanted to be Pete Townsend and Prince. I didn't have a guitar until fall of 9th grade, I remember i bought my neighbors Fender Squier Bullet and 20 watt Peavey amp. I didn't know any chords, I didn't know how to tune it, I just like turning it up and making a racket. Finally I convinced my parents to get me lessons, I stuck with them for a while. It was fun, I would have this old metal head guy named Gary showing me Sex Pistol songs, scales (he never explained anything to me as to why I needed them or what a key was) and like playing songs out of the Mel Bay Book.

Do you still play guitar?  If not do you play any other instrument?

I DO NOT HAVE A GUITAR ANYMORE, SOME THIEF LIBERATED IT FROM MY POSSESSION WHEN MY HOUSE WAS TENTED FOR TERMITES. I switched to playing drums back in 1998, I also was a synth nerd for a while too.
What was the name of the first band that you were in?

Mirror Image, 1989, rehearsed for what felt like years but was only 1 ½ years in my parents basement. We played a 4H Battle of the Bands, came in 6th out of 8th. Broke up shortly there after.

When did you start MuteAnt Sounds?

I started trading tapes of my band Two Foot Tall Jerk back in 1994 and after our demise in 1997 I needed another name to trade tapes under. So I started it as a tape label, then cdrs and a web site it the early 2000s. By 2012 the social media craze was full blown, I actually wanted someone else to release a bunch of recordings that myself and co-conspirator Vinnie Paternostro recorded from 2003-2008. Then it was like well we can do it ourselves, same as always. Bandcamp looked like a great concept pair it with facebook then twitter next thing you know it’s 2019 and we have released over 200 releases.

How did you come up with the name MuteAnt?

I was working a very dull job at that time, it was in a necktie factory down the street from my parents house. It was very boring, as you can imagine and it kind of spawned from there playing off the words Mutant. Here I was working like an ant, not talking to anyone and I liked weird music, it kind of named itself really.

What does one do at a necktie factory and how long were you employed there?

Well, I am glad you asked. I laid out and cut panels of material to have the neckties template cut down. I also received materials and did the shipping. I didn't make the ties myself, you needed to be on a sewing machine.

What can we expect from MuteAnt Sounds in 2019?

Pretty much more of the same….. weird music, a few of the usual suspects and some new, fresh sounds. Electronic, experimental noise, free jazz, noise. 

Are you into heavy metal at all?

Not so much into it these days except for a feeling of nostalgia. I enjoy the classics from time to time. Always Sabbath. Never a fan of death metal or black metal, it always kind of seemed silly to me. I was more into punk so grindcore appeals to me more or Eyehategod if I want to hear doomier shit. I have a hard time getting passed how vocals sound. I like more shouting and yelling as opposed to cookie cutter vocals I hear in Death, Stoner metal or metal core that I have heard lately, it’s pretty disappointing. I hear about some bands being great and I get to where the vocals kick in and I shut it off.

How would you explain free jazz to someone new to that style of music?

Wow that’s hard to describe. It could be anything that doesn’t fall into a category or genre now a days it’s almost noise music except there is usually a beat/drummer and at least one kind of traditional “jazz” instrument. It’s really a few people playing loosely structured music, improving and just going for it.

Are you a Sun Ra fan?

Yes Sun Ra was a brilliant man and artist. I am highly influenced by his dedication to the craft, his mystique, his playing,That cat was from other places that we can never know.  I recommend to anyone wanting to check him out watch “Space is the Place” and “A Joyful Noise.” Record wise I would say just do a search on Youtube for his albums, listen to a few from throughout the years, he did a lot of experimenting. Some are straight up swing and others very experimental. My favorite era was when he had June Tyson singing for him in the 70’s.

Tell me two things that people should absolutely know about growing up in New Jersey.

Its Pork Roll not Taylor Ham.
The Jersey Devil is real. I want to believe.
(I had to Google pork roll and I am fucking rolling over here…  For those that are also in the dark pork roll is “unofficially the state meat of New Jersey….”  Processed meat.  I’m sure it’s as delicious as Spam.)

Tell me three noise albums and three free jazz albums that I need to hear.

Noise/experimental albums:
Negativland -- Escape from the Noise,
Anything by the Residents from their 1st album into the 80s.
Love 666 American Revolution
the First Suicide album.
Thats 4 but I am terrible at narrowing stuff like that down.

Free Jazz  albums
Milford Graves, Arthur Doyle and Hugh Glover --- “Babi”1977
Arthur Doyle --- “Alabama Feeling” 1978
The Giuseppi Logan Quartet 1965

If you could insert yourself into any one band which one would it be and why?

I don’t know, I never really thought about that before. I always wished I was somewhere in a studio or seeing a band live when I hear a song or album I like. There are certain live albums when I hear them I picture it in my head. I wouldn’t want to mess up the band by adding me to it.

Have you ever heard a song and immediately wished you had written it? 

Not really wished I wrote it but wished I could play it right on the spot. I don’t think I ever “wrote” a song, I never tried.

The year is 1985 where are you at and what are you listening to?

Hmmm I would have been 12, in 6th or 7th grade. Definitely listening to Prince Purple Rain, Van Halen 1984, Twisted Sister “Stay Hungry.” Taping songs off the radio on one speaker boombox that I took everywhere I could take it in NJ.

What is the longest time you have gone without bathing?

Good question. Probably on a tour, maybe a week. When I went to Europe in Temple of Bob Matin and I can only recall showering twice in the week plus we traveled to and from.

What is the last concert that you went to?

I have no idea, I haven’t been to a show that I haven’t played at or a concert that I had an actual ticket in over 10 years.  I don’t get out. I think it was Radiohead 2008 or the Stooges.

Who’d make a better jazz musician… Indiana Jones or Han Solo?

Hmmm again good question, probably Han Solo because he would get cocky. The finale of the set will be him shooting Greedo.

What is your favorite property in Monopoly?

Baltic Ave. Cheap rent. It’s probably not a good neighborhood but everyone is cool with each other.

Bruce Springsteen or Eddie Money (if you have to choose)?

Come on. Eddie Money has nothing on Springsteen.

Favorite book?

I like biographies and oral history books mostly about music. I just read the Beastie Boys book and the Roger Daltrey autobiography.

Favorite album?

Way too many to name. Whatever I am listening to at that moment, I like old 80’s hardcore or punk then switch to old prog or the Smiths or 80’s alternative music then some jazz, rap on and on.

Favorite movie?

I saw Star Wars when I was 4, it’s been my favorite since. Big Lebowski, I have seen that a million times.

Favorite meal?

Usually the ones I get to eat with my family.

Favorite guilty pleasure?

Naps. That's how you know you are getting old. You look forward to being asleep.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Bandcamp Bonanza – 091

On this historic day of February 22, 2019, the day after the 21st and the day before the 23rd of the year 2019, the Bandcamp gods gave upon to thee a plethora of heavy albums. Not since the birth of the baby jesusChrist have we had the joy and thrill of such a treat. I’ve got just a few of the albums listed below that I’ve had the pleasure of hearing, and a few that I have not, but I trust my fellow Bandcampers in their judgement. Utterly astounding day of release in the heavy music underground and may go down in history as a monumental moment.

Birdstone - SEER
The artwork had me before even listening. I am a sucker for those bronze colors and style of artistry. There is something truly special going on here. The bluesy licks have a golden sheen shadowed with vintage psych and etched in occult. SEER would make an excellent vinyl package. I want inserts, posters, and actual snakes to go with the annihilating aura of proggy fuzz.

Palace in Thunderland – The King of the Empty Aeon
The King of the Empty Aeon carries the torch of progressive doom through a saturated wasteland of stoner and grunge with an apocalyptic output of electrifying groove. The riffs are catchy, the vocals are savage yet melodic, and the groove bangs with crushing atmosphere. Today will go down as a historic day of heavy music releases and this is at the top of the heap in terms of quality. (2-22-19) Favorite track: The King Of The Empty Aeon.

Gypsy Chief Goliath – Masters of Space and Time
If you’re not convinced by the sheer force tingling your spine upon the conclusion of song one City of Ghosts then you’re in luck. The entire album is a massive progression from earlier GCG works delving into much more of the classic rock side of the spectrum while still maintaining that brute Canadian grizzle. Dual guitar harmonies, organ driven melody, production that hits you like a ton of bricks, and AL’s refined vocals proving the Yeti can sing with the best of them. Mark your yearend lists, Masters of Space and Time is here to stake its claim. Favorite track: City Of Ghosts.

Witchers Creed – Awakened From The Tomb
Witchers Creed have awakened from the tomb, steeped in the stench traditional doom, ringing with proto-metallic harmony, caked in beefy rhythm and crying with bluesy solos that'll eat your heart out. Favorite track: Salem (Resurrection).

Sanhedrin – The Poisoner
The Poisoner is stricken with another round of immaculate heavy metal. Like their predecessor ‘A Funeral For the World’ the follow up takes influences from classic metal and doom with a modern-stamp and burly female vocal tone. It’s exciting, fresh and timeless without sounding derivative. This could have came out in 79 or 84 and we’d have been blown away then.

The Traveler – The Traveler
I’ve only scanned a few songs of this new release by Traveler, whom to be honest, I only just heard about today on release day as a bunch of folks in the scene were discussing how big this day is for releases and this one was on some lists. I did select it as a choice due to the scan I conducted resulted in big juicy metallic riffs galore and not too unlike Sanhedrin above the classic metal flavor was on point. The NWOBHM influence runs deep on Traveler’s debut self-titled album. I will be digging deeper into this soon.

Demon Head – Hellfire Ocean Void
I’ll be honest here, I have never been able to totally get into Demon Head. I don’t know what it is. I am sharing it here in the spirit of the big day being Friday the 22, 2019. This band has a cult following and I think with some time I could find myself appreciating what they are doing a little more. You be the judge, but most my counterparts rave about them regularly and I’m sure this will be turning some ears throughout the year.

Red Eye – Tales From The Days Of Yore
This one is thick folks. The progressive doom tones fuzz along at crushing volume and heavy enough to sink the titanic. Hell, this is so heavy it could sink the iceburg that took down the Titanic. The cover art gives you an idea of what to think. Its hazy, its desolate, its quite sharp and intricate at the same time. Check out Red Eye.

Red Beard Wall – The Fight Needs Us All
This new album by Red Beard Wall is pretty fucking killer. Its not like most anything you’d expect to hear. It’s noisy, progressive, and grungy all the same. Its chaotic without being obnoxious and has an accessible element to it that keeps me engaged.

Dead Witches – The Final Exorcism
The latest album by Dead Witches proves that a band can improve and catch your ear even if prior material did not really do a whole lot for you. Although I still need to give this some more time, I did find that right off the bat I was intrigued and surprised at how much I enjoyed it compared to its predecessor. I don’t know if it’s the new singer or what, but they seemed to have grown into an actual interesting band with this release. Check it out.

Sons of Morpheus – The Wooden House Session
Sons of Morpheus ride out on the dusty trail on a steel horse slinging soulful boogy rock drenched in blues andoozing with fuzz. Everything they’ve released has been top notch. The Wooden House Session adds a little twang to their signature distorted blues rock.

Wolf Counsel – Destination Void
Wolf Counsel are on the epic side of traditional doom while maintaining that signature accessibility that Doom has over other styles of heavy in the genre. The melodic aspect has the power to retain the casual listener with a cleanish vocal and catchy groove. Even if it is slowed down to half speed, its enjoyable and doesn’t wear out its welcome that easily.

Candlemass – The Door To Doom
Candlemass need no introduction. The purveyors of traditional doom are back with their first material in a long time with their original singer Johan Langquist. Well, I haven’t heard the entire album, and really wasn’t all that much anticipating it, I will find the time to hear it out as they are an influential band who has left their impression on the generation of Doom troubadours out there today. Tony Iommi makes a guest appearance on the track Astorolus.

Ordos – The End
Ordos is on the rise at becoming one of todays hottest heavy underground bands. There is something so sinister and captivating about the riffs on display combined with their occult vibes and vintage fuzz tones.

Cocaine Wolves – Second Scorching
I just found this one while searching my friends feeds to see which albums I forgot about. Look at that album cover and try and tell me these dudes from Indy aren’t out to have a good time. Reminds me of the movie RAD from back in the 80’s. The music sounds as if it could have been released in that same era. Straight up rock and roll, anthem ringing chorus’s dualing guitars harmonizing over fist pumping riffs and pile driving bass. I can dig it, can you? It’s a little corny but man this is fun. Look at those vinyl patterns. Why have I just discovered this stuff?

Jerky Dirt - Kaleidotropic
Jerky Dirt brings us some salty licks of psych, rock and stoner groove. The fuzz is eclectic, vocals are kind of post-punky or something. This is a cool sound and one that I am sure will grow even more with time.

Straytones – Beware, Dark Lord! Here Comes Bell-Man!
Intensely psychedelic garage rock here. The tones are trippy, the fuzz is thick,and the reverb secures the fact that they nailed their band name. How many more albums can I list?

As I mentioned this is just scratching the surface on how many quality albums were released today and available on bandcamp. I could keep going but I’d be stealing from your listening time. If there was a day to pick for releases today was the day. You know what else? There are a thousand more killer releases yet to hit the shelves. It’s never ending. We are all doomed to die doing what we love being listening to new music until the end of time.

-The Huntsman

Friday, February 22, 2019

UB40 To Release First New Album in Five Years Just Ahead Of 40th Anniversary Tour

"For The Many" comes to CD and Vinyl on March 22nd

Includes a 24 page booklet complete with photos of the band
and lyrics to all songs

The 38 date 40th Anniversary Tour starts on March 29th in Portsmouth

For The Many is the Birmingham reggae veterans' nineteenth studio album - their first since 2013's Getting Over The Storm. It features UB40's founding members Robin Campbell (co-vocals/Guitar), Brian Travers (saxophone/keyboards), Jimmy Brown (drums), Earl Falconer (bass/keyboards/vocals) and Norman Hassan (percussion/vocals), alongside long-time members Duncan Campbell (vocals), Martin Meredith (saxophone), Laurence Parry (trumpet) and Tony Mullings (keyboards).

Formed in Birmingham in 1978, UB40 named themselves after the UK government's unemployment benefit form. Their debut album Signing Off was released in August 1980 and is considered by many to be one of the greatest reggae albums ever released by a British band.

It was the start of a career that led to 100 million record sales worldwide and dozens of hits, including "Red, Red Wine," "I Got You Babe" and "(I Can't Help) Falling in Love with You" which all topped the charts in the UK and in many countries across Europe. The band had a run of hit albums that have spent a combined period of eleven years in the UK's Top 75 album chart, establishing UB40 as one of Britain's most successful bands of all-time.

Jimmy Brown said, "For The Many is our first original album with Duncan, and a true reflection of where the band are at right now. It gave us an opportunity to go back to our roots and draw on the 1970s-style reggae that inspired us to be in a band in the first place. We intended to make an uncompromising reggae album and I think we have achieved that. There's lots of dub, various guest toasters and a blend of love songs and political songs. I'm really happy with the final result. We're really looking forward to playing some of these tunes live on our 40th anniversary tour in spring next year."

Duncan Campbell said, "After ten years of fronting UB40, for us to make an album of our own original material feels like the final hurdle for me. The album and its title reflect how UB40 are all in support of Jeremy Corbyn and The Labour Party. Both of the songs I have written on the album (I'm Alright Jack and Poor Fool) also reflect this. We all feel this album is going back to what UB40 was all about and we are all excited for everybody to hear the album and looking forward to touring it."

Robin Campbell added, "For The Many is a great mix of reggae styles, while the different artists we have collaborated with will appeal to more fans and tastes in reggae - it really is an album for the many. The 2019 UK tour is a continuation of our 40th year celebrations, as well as sharing tracks from our latest album. We're playing all over the UK instead of a few arenas dates, meaning our fans from all over the UK can get to see us much more locally and up close - truly a tour for the many."
The album's artwork was created by Brian Travers, whose abstract canvases have been the subject of several highly acclaimed exhibitions. He said, "Our 40th anniversary celebrations started earlier last year with our sold-out show at the Royal Albert Hall in June, and we had our big hometown concert at Arena Birmingham on 21 December. We can't wait to finally release For The Many in February and then start our 40th anniversary in March."

Moonlight Lover [VIDEO]
You Haven't Called [VIDEO]

1. The Keeper
2. Broken Man (Feat. Kabaka Pyramid)
3. Gravy Train (Feat. Slinger)
4. I'm Alright Jack (Feat. Pablo Rider)
5. Moonlight Lover (Feat. Gilly G)
6. You Haven't Called
7. What Happened to UB40
8. Bulldozer
9. Poor Fool
10. All We Do Is Cry (Feat. Hunterz)

Facebook: ub40official
Twitter: @UB40official
Instagram: ub40official

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Sky Giants – The Shifting of Phaseworld

The are all kinds of unwritten rules and traditions. Sports certainly have them. Why, it seems like at least once every baseball season there is a “brawl” brought on by someone ignoring the unwritten rules. We have them in rock music as well, one of them being the rock trio. There are bands like Triumph, who bring the meat and potatoes rock with just 3 guys. ZZ Top took a genre and made it their own with 3 band members, through sheer perseverance and consistent quality. And who doesn't geek out on Rush, a trio for the ages that are able to sound like they have 6 band members at times.

I speak of trios because this band, The Sky Giants, are a trio. These gentlemen are kind of in a league of their own as far as how I would describe their music. There are certainly some influences from Rush that are clearly heard at times throughout the album, and I also hear some Mastodon type things going on. There are also moments on this release when things are starting to get really manic when they remind me of The Mars Volta. All of those are pretty good jumping off points but the band certainly have their own unique sound. The band describes their sound as progressive hard rock and metal. I'll be honest, I don't listen to a lot of music that sounds like this, so maybe that is what makes it all the more enjoyable.

This is a really great group of songs and it seems that someone in the band pays attention to the lost art of album sequencing, because it all flows together very nicely. When I listen to what I consider to be my classic albums, one of the things that always stands out is the flow of the tracks. These guys get it; a lot of other bands don't. The performances of drums, bass and guitar are really on point as well. This is very intricate, complicated music and these guys pull it off flawlessly. It all sounds like they just do this without any effort, yet that is all the more difficult when there are only three instruments involved and each one has to stand on its own.

I really dig the lyrics as well. I haven't yet listened to them very deeply, but they seem to be very science fiction-y without drifting over into full on demons and wizards mode. These guys really seem like they put some thought into every aspect of this release and its not just some knuckle dragging, meat head music, but music that is also looking for listeners who want to put some thought into the finished product. Personal favorite tracks are the title track, “Half Machine”, and “Rhyme and The Flame”. Spend a little time with this one and you'll have your own favorites.

This one is highly recommended, especially if you find yourself listening to the same old stuff over and over. Right now I believe it is only available digitally, so head on over to Bandcamp and check this one out. The Sky Giants bring us a breath of fresh air in a winter full of releases that all sound like things we've been listening to before.


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Xroadie Files

Nightrage – Wolf To Man
Ronnie Nyman – Vocals, Marios Iliopoulos – Guitar, Magnus Soderman – Guitar, Francisco Escalona – Bass, Dino George Stamoglou – Drums

Starless Night searing leads slow rhythms that just flow all around you gruff vocals and a steady beat fast and heavy. Wolf To Man has a tribal beat that just swallows you with some interesting melodies and rough vocals. Embrace The Nightrage fist pumping slamming head banging shredding metal. Desensitized catchy riffs gruff vocals thundering bass pounding drums and great melodies with a few tempo changes. God Forbid hit the pit slam and sweat as bodies crash about. By Darkness Drawn fast heavy punch you in the face death thrash melodic metal. The Damned great guitar melodies solid beats and gruff vocals. Arm Aim Kill fist pumping foot stomping head banging metal magic. Gemini grab your air guitars and just jam along as you head bang. Disconnecting the Dots nice guitar melodies flow all around then a riff kicks you in the teeth and gruff vocals added. Escape Route Insertion hit the floor and slam and sweat bodies slamming against each other. Lytrosis (Instrumental) a very nice melody that will stick with you.

Ad Patres – A Brief Introduction To Human Experiments
Axel Doussaud – Vocals, Olivier Bousquet – Guitar, Pierre Yves Marani – Guitar, Arnaud Pecoste – Bass, Alsvid – Drums

Shock Therapy spoken words from a movie. Mechanical Enlightenment heavy riffs gruff vocals pounding drums and thundering bass. The Disappearance of 1 grabs you and slams you into submission. Led By Flesh pounding thrashing death metal. Symbiosickhit the pit slam and sweat away as bodies pound each other. Sermon sounds of a storm and spoken words. Verses Void grabs you, slams you against the ground and just pounds you. Spellbound chugging guitar riffs pounding betas thundering bass and growling vocals. Enclosing Terror fast heavy punch you in the mouth death metal. The Floating Point eerie riffs that cut right thru you before they just run you over.

Defecal Of Gerbe – Mothershit
Dave Chaigne – Guitar/Vocals, Mike Chaigne – Bass/Vocals, Herve Motte – Drums/Vocals

Sympathy For The Debile interesting vocals spoken words then growling hard fast heavy punk influenced metal. Camembert Necrophile (LaUne) hit the pit slam and went away.  Once Upon The Crotte (La Dix) just punches you in the throat and never lets up. Leffe for Dead (La Neuf) just hit the floor and get into the aggression. Ass of Ped (La Treize) a strange punk influenced thrash metal song. Sublime Inspecteur Derrick Decomposition (La Six) aggressive punk hardcore. Discolocauste the anger and hate never lets up full on fury. Chiasse A Paillettes (La Cinq) is a crunchy riff that just slices thru you. Beheaded Kamikaze an aggressive yelling intro and a punch in the teeth song. Regles in Blood (La Huit) chugging riffs pounding rhythms and growling yelling vocals. Madame Richard In The Land of Fist chugging hard core mayhem. Adolph Lundgren hard heavy thundering ripping tearing yelling. Boogie Woogie Dancing Truie (LaDeux) is just full on hardcore fury. Abbath Loves Friskies (La Sept) just slams into you like a freight train. I’m Your Boogie Touffe (La Quatre) slamming sweating thrashing ripping tearing. DiarrheeMousseuse (La Trois) cutting thrashing pounding fury. La Sono El Claque spoken words then chainsaw riff thundering rhythms and yelling hardcore style vocals.

Inhume – Exhume 25 Years Of Decomposition
Vocals – Doorus Van Ooij/Johan Dirkx/JoostSilvrants, Guitar – Ben Janssen/Harold Gielen/Richard Elbisch, Bass – LoekPeeters, Drums – Roel Sanders

Tiamat dark heavy aggressive death metal. Forbidden Hunger aggressive mayhem. Fucking Shit heavy aggression dark and demented. The Missing Limb evil rises and destroys. Tumorhead chainsaw guitars rumbling bass growling vocals pounding drums. Squirming Parasites eaten alive in pain and agony. Inescapable Destiny thrashing about in a sea of pain. Invisible Death rumbling pounding thrashing ripping shredding.  Hate Kill Just For Fun chugging riffs pounding beats angry vocals. Meatcleaver pounded into small pieces of oblivion. Blood Sperm Shit slammed against a wall and pounded to death. Gargling Guts evil destroys the world. Airplane Crash hitting the ground at a full force of falling over a thousand feet. Human Fucking Guinea Pig being sliced and diced for experiments. Cadaverous Abortion just almost making it into the world the being destroyed. Dead Man Walking pounded into the ground into small pieces. Destructive Impulse having the desire to destroy and maim. Schizophrenic Pulp being driven mad to the point of no return. Trapped In Darkness evil just devours your very soul. Genital Cancer pain agony dying a slow death. Bowell Movement just ripped and torn apart. Process To Decelerate slamming into the ground full force and fury.  Fucking Shit different version. Virus death mayhem and destruction. Moulding The Deformed ripped and shredding into small pieces. Acid Bath thrown into a bath of acid and slowly dissolving in pain. Virus different version. Moulding the Deformed different version. Cure for Life being pulled into the pit of hell. Zombie Grinder death slowly follows and tries to eat you alive. Prophet eerie shredding death. Tiamat different version. Invisible Death (Live) hit the pit and just try to survive. Corporation Pull In/Airplane Crash (Live)spoken words heavy riffs growling vocals and thundering in your brain.

Brave The Waters – Chapter II Days Of Solitude
Rick Habeeb – Guitar, Tom Anderer – Guitar/Bass

Endless Pursuit soft melodies flow all around just close your eyes and drift along. Above The Broken Clouds memories and emotions flood thru you. Written In Stone & Locked Away acoustic guitars and mellow melodies just grab at your heart strings. To Be Alone imaginations flow thru your mind as you drift along. Transcending Horizons drifting thru time and space alone in your thoughts. Vague Shadows sitting around watching your friends play guitar. Trials Of The Sunken Swamp close your eyes and just let your imagination run wild. Out Of Nowhere melodic tones that just surround and envelope you. Maze of Winding Roads lost in your thoughts and imagination. Arrival At the Gates of Torment melodies and tones drift and flow in and around you.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

THE CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND: Sixties’ Garage-Psych Legends Return With "This Is My Voice"

The Chocolate Watchband Photo: Greg Gutbezahl
Breaking out of the West Coast counter culture scene of the 1960s,  The Chocolate Watchband , influenced by the British Invasion sounds, shook with an intensity and drive that saw them drench themselves in psychedelia while at the same time foraging an early proto-punk trough. Their influence has proved more potent than their sales were at the time, overshadowed by other groups and ripped off by music fat cats, theirs is a tale of returning to the stage to find that their fanbase has grown in the intervening half a century. So, sit back and take a ride with one of the original voices of the psych garage-rock scene.

Sometimes it’s pretty cool to see the old timers getting their due. Over the years, a lot of the legends of ’60s garage rock who didn’t quite get the same level of recognition back in the day as some of their more famous peers have made a comeback after a lengthy hiatus. Bands like The Sonics and The Sloths come to mind as just a couple of the acts who’ve shown in recent years just how good a bunch of old guys playing garage rock can be. And now California garage/psych/proto-punk legends The Chocolate Watchband are back again with a new album,  This Is My Voice .
While the Chocolate Watchband reunited in 1999 after a 29-year hiatus, they've not released much new material since then. So that makes the strength of This Is My Voice all the more impressive. For this incarnation of the group, key early members such as vocalist/percussionist David Aguilar, guitarist Tim Abbott, and drummer Gary Andrijasevich have been joined by bassist Alec Palao and guitarist Derek See (both of the excellent psych-rock unit Rain Parade).
Together they've created a record that deviates from the Watchband's first phase of raunchy groovers and tender space-outs, opting for a more modern rock sound, yet without sacrificing their keen ear for anthemic songwriting and memorable melodies. These seasoned musicians didn't take the easy route with their original, politically engaged compositions, but did acknowledge their roots with four well-chosen covers of songs by the Mothers of Invention, the Seeds, Bob Dylan, and the  Music Machine.

The song that blew the proverbial top of everyone's head (Especially Little Steven's Underground Garage) off is “Secret Rendezvous,” the opening track of This is My Voice, the forthcoming album from psych-rock legends The Chocolate Watchband. It’s an exhilarating monster of a cut, equipped with a hook that doesn’t quit, snarling fuzztone guitar notes, a stomping backbeat, and lead singer David Aguilar’s ragged, swaggering growl of a voice.
The band has made a deliberate decision to avoid the nostalgia band tag that many of their contemporaries have been tagged with. They have new ideas and things that they want to say that are contemporary. It’s a delicate balance to remain true to themselves and their long term fans.
On This Is My Voice, The Chocolate Watchband have returned strongly, with firm proof that there is still a fire of indignation in them that they need to let out. It’s great to have them back and on form and the record neatly rounds their circle. But here’s hoping there’s more to come in the future. What’s certain is that it looks like there will be material for them to write about for a long while to come.

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