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If you are looking for new Stoner Rock, Doom, Heavy Psych or Sludge Metal bands, then you have come to the right place. Heavy Planet has been providing free promotion to independent and unsigned bands since 2008. Find your next favorite band at Heavy Planet. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 30, 2011

New Band To Burn One To-Animal Confession

The "New Band To Burn One To" today is Animal Confession.


Animal Confession is the brainchild of singer/songwriter Andrew Gharib.

Originally from Ottawa, Canada, Andrew started playing music at a young age. Growing up training as classical pianist, Andrew found his musical voice early. When the guitar came calling, it offered a whole new wave of possibilities to express himself. Vocal lessons were the final piece of the puzzle.

Rock was always a staple growing up.

Pearl Jam’s vs. was what opened me up to rock music. From there it was Nirvana, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, then I gravitated to heavier bands like Nine Inch Nails and Tool.

Mainly writing hard rock music, Andrew experimented with lighter and more ambient sounds, coming up with a basic frame for Animal Confession’s sound dark, heavy, warm and ambient.  Also having an appreciation for bands like Pink Floyd, Animal Confession doesn’t hesitate to use dreamy soundscapes to create depth.

Animal Confession recently wrapped shooting of the upcoming music video for their first single A Thousand Lies in Toronto, with Canadian actress Veronika London. Andrew plays a rogue cowboy on a quest to destroy his enemies in a strange blend of traditional western and the supernatural,

They suited me up in a cowboy outfit, threw on a couple scars, and tossed me in front of the camera.

He didn’t have time to think before his first gig as an actor was finished. Oddly enough, his first dig at acting actually came before ever performing with Animal Confession.

Weird, isn’t it? It just kind of worked out that way.

Despite this minor detail, Andrew is hard at work writing Animal Confession’s debut album.

Animal Confession’s debut album will be released late 2011. Their first single A Thousand Lies is now streaming online and you can download 3 songs for free by submitting your name to Animal Confession’s email list on their homepage.

As I listened to the three songs the band currently has up on their Reverb Nation page, I couldn't help but notice the obvious influences ranging from A Perfect Circle to Deftones to Pink Floyd. The songs are dark, moody and passionate while seemlessly weaving heaviness with melody and are much better than anything currently playing on your local Alt Rock radio station.  While not typically a band that is normally featured on HP, there is enough guitar crunch, incredible vocals and psychedelia to warrant a listen.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

CD Review: Orange Goblin-"Coup de Grace" (2002)

Orangle Goblin-"Coup de Grace

by Seth Grennan

Putting on any album from the Stoner Rock genre makes me wanna drive a souped-up hotrod through an arid desert, cranking the volume and choking on dust.  I'm not sure where these Brits find inspiration in a country that's as far from a desert as you can get, but they always fail to disappoint.  Orange Goblin have cranked out three albums full of true stoner bliss, blending fuzzed-out guitar riffs with pounding, primal drums and extended spacey psychedelic jams that recall the days of some of their fat-bottomed 70's predecessors.

Their fourth album, Coup De Grace, saw the band shifting gears and incorporating some sped-up punk elements, sludgy grinding rhythms, and even a dose of catchy dog-collar twang, all while maintaining a steady hum of kick-ass buzzing guitars to keep true to the style.  The vocals have gotten pretty spooky and the samples scream of B-movie schlock, making the album almost sound like a horror film on acid.

The album's opener, Your World Will Hate This, is fast-paced and unapologetically insane and despondent.  The entire album is filled with themes of mental illness, mind-altering substances, and just all-around bad shit.  And when Ben Ward (more aggressive this time around) screams "We know that your world will hate this," it's almost as if he's letting us stoners know he's intentionally speeding up things and he doesn't care if you like it or not.  Orange Goblin change tempos on a dime and go from groovy fuzz to mud-stomping doom without pause.  Rage of Angels perfectly shifts from blistering guitar shredding to crunchy doom to laid-back, dope-smokin' psychedelia.  It sounds great, and it's one of the album's highlights.

Anyone who hasn't lived under a desert rock for the last twenty years knows a visit from John Garcia is never a bad thing.  Kyuss' legendary frontman makes appearances on Made of Rats and Jesus Beater, trading howls with Ben and doing it as well as we've all come to expect.  Scott Reeder oversaw production of these thirteen tracks, and you can hear the confidence he has in these English stoners to kick out a great chapter to their catalog.

Red Web starts out a sludgefest and picks up into a warm, fuzzy rhythm.  We Bite is a an honest cover of (and tribute to) the Misfits' quick, simple 1984 horror-punk thrasher that's not too stripped-down, not too blown-up.  Born With Big Hands, about a burly old boxer, will leave you smiling as you remember Fu Manchu and, later, Sabbath's War Pigs.  And Stinkin' O' Gin makes you wonder if these guys wore cowboy boots and ten-gallon hats while hitting a bong.  They jam beyond 7 minutes here and interweave jangling guitar around a prominent bassline.  The band still likes to break it down, too.  Getting High on the Bad Times spends the better part of two minutes in whammy-bar heaven, while Graviton is a great instrumental, spacey jam where you can catch your breath in between the pop and hiss of spinning vinyl and rainstorm fade-out.

This album's not only put together pretty well for one with so many diverging sounds and elements, it's also a lot of fun.  Some may see it as the band getting away from their roots, though they should instead hear the band expanding their style, honoring their influences, and having a good fuckin' time.  There's something for everyone here: fuzz, grind, sludge, twang.  If you already know and love Orange Goblin, don't be afraid of the adventurous spirit and tempered production of Coup De Grace, you won't be disappointed.  If you don't know Orange Goblin, this isn't a bad place to start!

Best Tracks: Red Web, Stinkin' O' Gin, Rage of Angels.


CD Review: The :Egocentrics - Love Fear Choices And Astronauts

The :Egocentrics - Love Fear Choices And Astronauts
by Zac Boda

Love Fear Choices And Astronauts is an instumental masterpiece created by a trio from Romainia that call themselves The :Egocentrics.  :Ego consists of Brenn (guitars), Jess (bass), and Hera (drums).  As stated on the band's website, "Having developed a solid band chemistry thoughout the years The :Egocentrics deliever a fresh take on psychedelic rock with a jazz-like state of mind..."  I honestly could not put this band and this album into better words.  I truly love attempting reviews of instumental masterpieces, such as this.  These musicians really challenge a listener, to put their beautiful soundscapes and echo-driven ambient passages into words.  I hope to do not fail you :Ego.  
Love Fear Choices And Astronauts (yes, this is the last time I will completely write this album title out) consists of four tracks: Spacewulf, 20 12, Bright Dawn Of The Soul, and Mystic Initiation.  Do not let the short listing fool you.  These tracks are ten plus minute songs, that pack such maverlous transitions, which can dupe the listener.  The album introduces itself and departs much quicker than it seems.  Many instrumental albums can become dull and snooze-worthy, :Ego keeps the tunes fresh and the mind reeling.  They combine beautiful ambient undertones and epic and vast soundscapes, all while keeping great jazz/bluesy licks throughout (my favorite is on 20 12 around the 6:00 minute mark).  Mystic Initiation begins with a very relaxed and mellow harmony.  This allows us (the listeners) to melt into the cosmic highway and prepare us for the up, downs, highs, and lows of the course.  This is the Mystic Initiation. 
LFC&A is another fantastic piece of music that will not get nearly the play it deserves.  I will certainly be sharing the Love and introducing :Ego to as many folks as I think will dig it.  There really is no stand out track to me.  I am once again stuck to say, you must listen to the entire album and make the choice yourself.  The :Egocentrics have created something authentic with LFC&A.  Excuse me for now, I have to go pick up their newest: Center of the Cyclone. 
Enjoy:  5 out of 5

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New Band To Burn One To - Stoned Cobra


Stoned Cobra is a Rock band made up of 4 guys inspired by Stoner Rock, 70's Psychedelic Rock & Metal, and 90's Grunge, and quite simply the Jam. We have set out to make music that we like, combining all of the elements of Rock that we grew up jamming to.

My 2 Cents:
Stoned Cobra has a few tricks up their collective sleeve. Give a listen to the three tracks they've made available on ReverbNation and you'll be treated to an ultra-chill Queens of the Stone Age style jam (What Good is a Sword Against Sorcery?), a bluesy, folk ballad (She Burns) and a straight up balls to the wall rocker (Swamp Witch). These guys will lure you in with their wave of psychedelic guitar work and trippy vocal effects and then bludgeon you with their thunderous riffs and monstrous grooves. Give a listen to these Birmingham, Alabama boys and see what Southern stoner rock is all about.

Facebook|My Space|ReverbNation

Friday, May 27, 2011

Flashback Friday - Slo Burn and Unida

Before I get started with this week’s edition of Flashback Friday, you need to understand something about me. I happen to think that the sub-genres we refer to as “stoner rock” and/or “desert rock” were not only influenced by…but flat out invented by the legendary Kyuss. Furthermore, it is my opinion that no one has yet managed to match the intensity and more importantly, the ingenuity of the four albums released by that band during their brief existence in the early 90's (despite some admittedly amazing attempts by a number of acts throughout the years). It goes without saying then, that I’m also a big fan of all the post-Kyuss projects that spawned from the band’s breakup. Which brings me to this week’s Flashback Friday, which you’ll notice is a little different than usual, as it focuses on...not one...but two bands from yesteryear. The common thread? Both were fronted by former Kyuss vocalist John Garcia following the breakup. Enjoy!

Now Kyuss was known for a lot of things, not the least of which was their heavy, fuzzed-out jams. But another trademark of their sound was the pseudo laid back, yet gruffly masculine rasp of Mr. Garcia. So it should come as no surprise that just months after the Kyuss breakup, the vocalist managed to pull together three like-minded musicians, Chris Hale (guitar), Damon Garrison (bass) and Brady Houghton (drums) to continue making music in the same vein as his former band.

Appropriately dubbing themselves Slo Burn (it doesn’t get much more stoner than that), the new band quickly pulled together a five song demo that ultimately led to the 1997 EP Amusing the Amazing. The four tracks took the colossal riffs and rhythms of Kyuss and stripped away the expansive, meandering jams, resulting in a straight forward, no-frills dose of heavy stoner rock. The EP received overwhelmingly positive press, particularly from fans of Garcia’s previous band, who by then were in utter withdrawal for their desert rock fix. Later that same year, Slo Burn was invited to play the second stage of what was, at the time, a blossoming annual summer event…the metal extravaganza Ozzfest. Unfortunately, that would be the band’s only glimpse of success as they abruptly called it quits almost as quickly as they’d started.

Not one to rest on his laurels, John Garcia immediately got back to work, this time with Arthur Seay on guitar, Miguel Cancino on drums and Dave Dinsmore on bass and in 1999 released a split EP with the Swedish band Dozer, under the name Unida. The EP featured four songs from both bands, the Unida portion of which was titled The Best of Wayne-Gro EP. The sound was unmistakably stoner rock, and somewhat of an extension of Garcia’s Slo Burn project. Later that same year, Unida returned to the studio and recorded their debut full length Coping with the Urban Coyote. The album was (and still is) a collection of some of the most thunderous songs in John Garcia’s impressive repertoire. It is filled with the groove and emotion you should expect from anything with the man’s name attached to it, but keeps that chill vibe that just says “hey man…have a beer”. This is essential stoner rock.

Scott Reeder (ex-Kyuss) would eventually replace Dinsmore on bass for the recording of Unida’s second album The Great Divide, which was scheduled to be released in 2001. Unfortunately record label shakeups would prevent the album from ever seeing the light of day (a common occurrence if you’ve been following along with past Flashback Friday write-ups). The band toured occasionally, with Slipknot’s Paul Gray (R.I.P.) famously filling in on bass in 2003, and Eddie Plascencia filling in on a more permanent basis, but no other albums were ever released and the band remains on hiatus.

The remaining members of Unida, Arthur Seay, Miguel Cancino and Eddie Plascencia went on to form the band House of Broken Promises and released their debut album Using the Useless on Small Stone Records in 2009. John Garcia can now be heard as the vocalist of another stoner rock band, Hermano, a project he’s been involved with since its inception in 1998. To date, the band has released three studio albums and a live album. Garcia was also rumored to have worked on a solo project he’s appropriately labeled Garcia vs. Garcia...so far no recordings have been made available.

And of course the latest buzz on Garcia started in 2010, when he put together a backing band and toured Europe under the guise “John Garcia plays Kyuss”. This led to a now famous set at Hellfest in Clisson, France where the vocalist was joined onstage by former bandmates Nick Oliveri and Brant Bjork to perform the classic Kyuss cuts “Green Machine” and “Gardenia”. Then in November 2010 the three band members announced their plans for a full-on Kyuss reunion (sans Josh Homme) under the name Kyuss Lives!. A new record and more touring are supposedly in the works. One thing is for sure, if John Garcia is involved…that shit will be epic.

That’s your weekly Flashback Friday my friends…you know what to do now…pop open a beer, chill the fuck out and check out some classic stoner rock from Slo Burn and Unida…cheers!

Slo Burn My Space|Slo Burn last.fm|Buy Slo Burn Here|Unida last.fm|Buy Unida Here

New Band To Burn One To - Odyssey 9

As also seen on The Soda Shop
Today's New Band To Burn One To is Odyssey 9. I do have to give a shout out to Chybucca Sounds for featuring this band a few days ago and opening my eyes (and ears) to them.
stepping out of the shadow..creatures of the night..invaders of the light...psyco-expressive..melancholy infusion..black root tiger bass and drums..layers of electric acid... weaving patterns of love.. hate..and death ..guitar tones that blend into deep violet..and rock and roll

Thursday, May 26, 2011


As also seen on The Soda Shop

Today's New Band To Burn One To is Jack and the Bearded Fishermen
Following their formation in 2005, those gentle, not-so-hairy fishermen have sailed the East coast fo France under the undisputed authority of their captain Jack. Though the crew of this intruiging ship may have changed slightly at their last few ports of call, they are currently docked in Besancon, their helm still fixed firmly in the same direction. Taking into their itinery the nehanderthal blues, they will cross through troubled

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Band To Burn One To-Nero Order

The "New Band To Burn One To" today is Nero Order.


San Francisco avant-metal alchemists Nero Order fuse elephantine rhythms with expansive, tragic melodies and moody, severe vocals - effectively concocting a sound that is simultaneously abrasive and consonant, dynamic and cacophonous; academic in scope and violent in delivery.

Though formed in early 2006, Nero Order has willfully chosen to stay silent and hidden, largely avoiding public appearances while focusing on crafting their Great Work: the upcoming full-length album The Tower. Consisting of four meticulously composed movements, The Tower is an exercise in duality, both aurally and aesthetically. Sonically dense, ambitiously constructed, and intensely executed, the songs that comprise The Tower are stylistically without par in the current rock landscape - though the gravity of mid-late period Neurosis, the frenetic energy of Junkyard-era Birthday Party, the minor melodic sense of Metallica’s Master of Puppets, the staggering volume and intensity of early Swans, the grandiosity of Pink Floyd’s Meddle, and the riff-obsession of Black Sabbath are all summoned therein.

Recorded live to tape and mixed in less than one full week with no digital manipulation of the signal, The Tower is an accurate representation of the band laid bare. In an age where the large majority of recording artists partake of the spoils of modern technology, we feel the above fact(s) are noteworthy, and that the approach underpinning this work ultimately serves as a testament to the quality of the material found within.

Champions of the DIY ethos, Nero Order has opted to self-fund and self-release The Tower in an effort to maintain complete creative control over their art. Thus, The Tower is being unleashed into the online realm via iTunes Plus (highest quality downloads, no DRM), Amazon, eMusic, and other online portals while audiophile-quality FLAC files will be distributed via the band’s website on a donation model where listeners can contribute to the band based upon their ability. Hand-packaged physical products (CD, vinyl) will also be available directly from the band via www.neroorder.com.

Ave atque vale!

Nero Order is:
Matt Butler - Drums, Vocals
Matt Harper - Guitar
Ross Hoyt - Bass
Alex Lindo - Vocals

Call them what you will, progressive doom, avant-garde  metal, etc. What you get with San Fransisco's Nero Order is a calvalcade of merciless well structured metal. Seemlessly blending super heavy guitar riffing, high-low dynamics and howling vocals, if you dig deep enough you will find that the band is well aware of the melodic elements in their music which breeds an easier sense of listenability. The band has generously made their latest album available for free download. Check it!



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Band To Burn One To-Colossus

The "New Band To Burn One To" today is Colossus.


True to their roots, this powerful trio who performs a headstrong metal with roots deep in the impenetrable mire of the stoner/doom/sludge tradition nuansed with streaks of progressive rock, post metal and psychadelica. A wide blend of influences are entwined and results in an accomplished and coherent music that is as direct and powerful as it is multi layered and meandering. Names that are commonly mentioned in relation to Colossus are Mastodon, Neurosis, Kyuss and Tool to name a few.

Colossus have created a name through a series of intensive, well regarded gigs throughout Stockholm rock scene. The demo "The Mechanical Engineering of Living Machines" gave the band a huge following all over the world and the songs could be heard on radiostations and compilations throughout the globe. Now, a year later the follow up is due for release, enter three song EP "Spiritual Myiasis" filled with nearly 20 demanding minutes. With this release, which is the final step to the coming fulllength album scheduled this fall, the band aims to take the next step onto the established scene and spread their music to a bigger audience.

Colossus is the perfect blend of Doom/Sludge with progressive complexities and a trace of psychedelia. Along with crunchy melodic guitar work, moving basslines and a passionate vocal, Colossus will leave you craving for more. Highly recommended for fans of bands from Meshuggah to Mastadon.


Monday, May 23, 2011

New Band(s) To Burn One To-Resonaut/Krakow

Today two bands share the spotlight as the "New Band To Burn One To". Those bands are Resonaut and Krakow. The bands also share a split 7" just released on Unborn Productions.

Resonaut Bio:

Resonaut is a continuation of 70s heavy rock, delivering a riff-heavy groove and psychedelic jams topped with strong, distinct vocals. The band is very sound conscious, which is reflected in what they present on stage; thunderous, massive and loud performances.

Resonaut's lyrical concepts are influenced by a fascination for knowledge about nature, space, and Eastern religion and history.

2010 saw two demo releases, «Resonaut» and «Til Dovre Faller (live at Dombås)». Resonaut has gigging experience from most of Norway, playing with bands like Church of Misery (JP), Bohren und der Club of Gore (DE), Faustcoven (NOR), Diskord (NOR), Kvelertak (NOR) and Obliteration (NOR), but has not yet made the move across Norwegian borders...

Planned releases for 2011 include a 7'' split with Krakow (NOR), and a two-track concept EP on Tibetan («Sky Burial») and Zoroastrian («Tower of Silence») burial rites.

The band is based in Trondheim, Norway, and consists of Andreas (drums), Martin (lead guitar, vocals) and Robert (rhythm guitar).

The thing that caught my ear immediately was the strong vocal. Resonaut's music is slow and groove heavy with a tinge of psych. Guaranteed to satisfy.


Krakow Bio:

Krakow consists of Frode Kilvik, René Misje, Kjartan Grønhaug and Christopher Swahn Zibell.
The four-piece was founded by Frode, Kjartan and René in the fall of 2005, and within a couple of months they had already recorded their first three-track demo. Inspired by bands like Mastodon, Iron Maiden and Queens of the Stone Age, Krakow have developed their own unique sound and style on the metal scene, and have been compared to bands like High on Fire.

2007 saw the release of the bands first release, “Dusty Roads EP” (Kontrabande Records), as well as the bands first tour during the fall. Krakow was also invited as support for Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Fu Manchu) as he visited Bergen, Norway. After another gig supporting Norwegian band The Grand, journalist Stig Ødegaard of Scream Magazine stated in his review; “Why haven’t I heard about the band KRAKoW before? Strange, because with so powerful and melodic songs, these guys from Bergen should be more known to the audience.”

2008 was a great year for KRAKOW, played a lot of shows in Norway, and at several festivals, Southern Discomfort Metal Festival in Norway, and Green Christmas Festival in Estonia which was headlined by Lacuna Coil and Enslaved. In November and December KRAKOW did a European tour as special guest to Enslaved.

-Olly Thomas, Kerrang:
“...their short set reveals a band successfully mixing death metal intensity with groovy riffs worthy of CATHEDRAL.”

In February 2009, KRAKOW recorded their debut album with Iver Sandoy (Manngard) as producer. Executive producer was Ivar Peersen (Peersen Productions, Enslaved), who said about working on the album:

”First time I heard Krakow I thought this is a band that's going somewhere! Their choice to go with stoner/ classic metal/ hard rock might not be groundbreaking in itself; it is how they do it – how they mix it up with elements from all ranges of the wondrous world of metal: the melodic, the extreme, the heavy, the powerful and the psychedelic foundations are all there. When they asked me to produce their debut album I immediately jumped on the chance to be a part of this band’s evolution from the get-go!”..

KRAKOW opened the 10 year anniversary for Hole In The Sky in August, and once again performed at Southern Discomfort Metal Festival in September.

KRAKOW continues to unleash their legacy, with lyrics looking at the doomsdays ahead and other downfalls of mankind.

Bombastic doom with elements ranging from classic metal to the extreme, Krakow lays the groundwork for some pretty exiliarating and compelling songs about doom and despair.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Sludge: Bandcamp Edition-Dopethrone, Gurt, Norska

There is this little site called Bandcamp that some of you may or may not have heard of. Anyways, it is probably one of the best sites for getting your music into the ears of potential fans. It is also a great way for the avid listener looking to find their next favorite band by offering their album either for free or at a name your price option. This week's edition of Sunday Sludge is gonna be short and sweet as I am leaving soon for a well deserved vacation. These three bands absolutely deserve all of your attention as each band adds their own unique stamp to the sub-genre we know and love called Sludge. Enjoy!



From Montreal, a band that came into existence on one of those nights of improv, one of those nights of “constructive substance abuse”… One of those nights were you know you had a great time/but you can’t remember much of it… We just kept babbling about the fact that there’s not enough heavy southern soundin’ stoner shit up here in MTL, and then realized that instead of talking about it, we could JUST DO IT… And make it happen. At first, it was all about living the moment, a jam band… And as big fans of doom/sludge/blues, we all loved the album “Dopethrone” by Electric Wizard, so we thought Dopethrone would be a great name even if our music sounds different… and because we NEVER play sober.

Our major influences are Black Sabbath (of course), Electric Wizard (oh, really?), Iron Monkey, Weedeater, Bongzilla, Sleep, Brainoil and some ol’ time blues like Lightning Hopkins, Otis Rush and other musicians that aren’t white… (because of skin color or dirt tans)

This album will absolutely blow your mind! Skull-splitting riffs, heavier than hell grooves,  and harsh vocals mixed with horror movie sound bites. The music is slow, demonic and ever so contagious.



GURT started with 4 lads wanting to make some bloody awful noise and that they did! Made up by Growth, Jbob, Simo and Iron Fist.. sharing a love of bands such as EyeHateGod, Weedeater, Down, Crowbar, Iron Monkey and all the is Sludgy!

From the "Deliverence" intro, to the the screaming vocal, to the thick backwoods swamp filled grooves, these dudes from London fulfill one's need for their Sludgified cravings. Killer shit!



Norska formed in 2004. Their first wave of material was performed around the Northwest and recorded, but never released. Over the years they have seen a few line-up changes in the rhythm section, yet the core members of the band remain. After an indefinite hiatus the band reformed with Jason (a former guitar player in the band) on the drums and produced an album that will be available now.

Cascading doom, with progressive elements and shouting vocals are what Norska purveys. The riffs are mammoth and the song structures complex. This band is one to definitely watch out for. If you like bands such as Mastodon and Baroness you will dig Norska!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Flashback Friday - Raging Slab

Back in the early 80's, New York City's music scene was being overrun by a slew of new wave and punk bands, all eager to replicate one another's style in some form or another. There was one band over on the lower East side however, that was blending the genres of Southern rock, punk and metal to create their own unique sound. That band's self described "boogie rock" would propel them to the heights of major label record deals, MTV airplay and a Guitar World magazine piece that would famously describe them as "Lynyrd Skynyrd meets Metallica". That band was Raging Slab.

It all started when Greg Strzempka (vocals/guitar) moved to New York from Washington D.C. and hooked up with slide guitarist Elyse Steinman. Combining their mutual love of punk and 70's styled classic rock, the two immediately began recruiting additional musicians to fill out their new band. In addition to Strzempka and Steinman, the first version of Raging Slab featured Dimitri Brill (guitar), who would later DJ for the dance band Deee-Lite and Kory Clarke (drums), who would go on to form another seminal NYC band, Warrior Soul.

This version of the band would not last long however as both Brill and Clarke would leave to pursue their other music projects. And after a series of lineup changes, Raging Slab would eventually ditch the three guitar attack in favor of two six strings and a bass, played by newcomer Alec Morton. Tim Finefrock took over on drums, however as you'll see, this was a position that would see a good deal of instability for the band throughout their history.

Finally, in 1987, Raging Slab released their debut album, Assmaster on the New Jersey based label Buy Our Records. This collection of songs was a perfect representation of the band's ability to combine mega riffs with Southern rock swagger and 70's soul. And besides the great tunes, the original pressing came with a comic book about the adventures of the album's namesake, penned by a couple of artists from Marvel Comics (how would you like to get your hands on one of those?). Strzempka and company kept the momentum alive by releasing a followup EP titled True Death in 1988 (with Kenny Kness now on drums). Both Assmaster and True Death would be packaged together and re-released in the early 90's under the name Slabbage.

The buzz around the band was beginning to pick up and by late 1988, RCA Records had stepped in and asked them to record a demo. Upon hearing the first few tracks however, the major label quickly signed on for the band to record a true LP. The result was Raging Slab's classic self titled album. For this one, the band added Mark Middleton to the mix on guitar (their second foray into three guitar territory) with drums being handled in part by T.J. Scaglione (formerly of Slayer) and Steve Wacholz (formerly of Savatage). The album was a huge commercial success due in part to the video for the song "Don't Dog Me" which MTV had placed in heavy rotation. This led to subsequent tours with a diverse group of acts including the Ramones, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Molly Hatchet and even the 80's hair band Warrant. Bob Pantella, who would later play with Monster Magnet, played drums on the tour.

In 1990, when it came time for Raging Slab to record their next album, they decided to build their own workspace in rural Pennsylvania (where Strzempka was originally from), aptly naming it Slabby Road studio. With yet another drummer in tow (The Misfits' Brain "Damage" Keats), the band got to work on the record, which they'd dubbed From a Southern Space. Unfortunately when the album was finished, RCA didn't like what they heard and subsequently refused to release it. To let off steam and perhaps give a big fat middle finger to their record label, the Slab took their act back on the road, ultimately scoring a primo opening slot for Guns n' Roses.

Eventually, the band re-entered the studio (this time with Jack Irons of Chili Peppers/Pearl Jam fame on drums) to record an album more to RCA Records' liking. To their dismay, the result, Freeburden, did nothing to change the label's impression and it too was shelved. Needless to say, the band was devastated. Fortunately, uber-producer Rick Rubin disagreed with RCA's assessment and proceeded to buy out the remainder of Raging Slab's contract, bringing them over to the ever growing roster of his Def Jam record label.

Raging Slab quickly got to work on yet another album, this time enlisting producer Brendan O'Brien (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots) along with string arrangements courtesy of former Led Zeppelin (and current Them Crooked Vultures) bassist John Paul Jones. The result was the 1993 masterpiece Dynamite Monster Boogie Concert, a true testament to Strzempka's songwriting ability, to the band's resilience and to their absolute ass kicking rock n roll. And although that album didn't sell nearly as well as their self titled, it did manage to spawn another hit video on MTV, earning praises from even the channel's biggest critics…Beavis and Butthead.

After a tour through Europe (with another drummer…Paul Sheehan) and more high profile Stateside shows with Monster Magnet and Lenny Kravitz, Raging Slab readied themselves to record their followup for Def Jam (which had become Def American by that time). In 1995, the band was all set to release Black Belt in Boogie, when…to their surprise, Rubin of all people pulled an RCA and refused to release it. Disheartened and frustrated, Mark Middleton quit the band. The rest of Raging Slab pulled up their bootstraps and went back into the studio to try yet again. Sing Monkey, Sing! was the result and the frustration could be heard throughout its thirteen tracks, which were hindered by poor production and unmemorable songs.

At that point, Rubin essentially cut ties with the band. However, due to contractual obligations, Raging Slab was unable to release material on any other label until 2000…their hands were tied. In the meantime, they played live shows and began recording songs for what would eventually be their next album…and of course, their rotation of drummers continued, first with Phil Ondich (who would leave to join Black Label Society), then with Dale Crover (from the Melvins) and finally with Rob Cournoyer (who was recommended by Warren Haynes of Allman Brothers/Gov't Mule fame).

Then in 2001, Raging Slab signed on with New York City stoner label Tee Pee Records and released The Dealer. The album was a proper return to their "boogie rock" form and it harkened back to their old school Assmaster days. But the band's luck had not changed as their planned European tour to support the album had to be postponed due to their flight out of the States being scheduled on…of all days, September 11, 2001.

Raging Slab recorded one more album for Tee Pee Records, the title of which goes a long way towards relaying the frustration experienced throughout their music career…Raging Slab (Pronounced 'Eat Shit'). The band did make it over to Europe to tour for this one, but it would ultimately prove to be their last. Strzempka went on to join members of Swedish stoner rockers Backdraft in the band Odin Grange. And in 2004, he, Elyse Steinman and Backdraft drummer Niklas Matsson and bassist Mats Rydström joined together for a U.S. tour as Raging Slab, but no new music has seen the light of day.

If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to check out this unique, genre-blending band. To take nothing away from the current crop of 70's worshipping, throwback bands who are tearing it up today, Raging Slab was doing that shit about 25 years ago. Their mix of classic Southern rock and punk attitude has certainly stood the test of time. So here's what I want you to do…I want you to crank up your damn speakers, throw on some Slab and go get your boogie rock on!

Website|Facebook|last.fm|My Space|Buy Here...and Here

New Band To Burn One To-Free Range Human

The "New Band To Burn One To" today is Free Range Human.


Van Spencer formed Free Range Human in 2006 after the breakup of Athens-based band Something Shallow. Originally intended to be a homage to the Desert Sessions, Free Range Human was to have a rotating line up consisting of local musicians working together to make the best music they could.

While there have been many changes to FRH’s roster over the years, Van Spencer (guitar, vox) and Brian “MoonBoots” Richards (percussion) have remained constant members. The current lineup also includes Bendi Davidow (lead guitar, vox) and Charles “Goat” Wiles (bass, vox), both members of the band Silent Coyote. Former members include Nick McLeod, Brandon Belcher (Silent Coyote), Ray & Ally, and several others.

Over the years, the band has been writing songs and building a reputation for their energetic live shows. In March 2011, Tooth Monster Records released FRH’s much-anticipated debut album Eponymous as a digital download, currently available on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Last.FM and many other online outlets.

Very loose, groove driven fuzzy rock with a bit of nasty. Free Range Human fuses elements of stoner, grunge, and punk. Their sound is very raw, the production is a bit limited, but the band is pretty tight for using a multitude of musicians. The band is currently on hiatus but plans on releasing a new album in the very near future. In the meantime, you can listen to their new release in it's entirety on Rhapsody.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

King Giant in the Studio

King Giant have been holed up in a Virginia studio for the past 8 months, writing and recording Dismal Hollow, the long awaited followup to their 2009 masterpiece Southern Darkness. You can check out a sneak peek of what's driving the songwriting process for these stoner rock vets in the promo clip below. And while you're at it, give a click on the link provided to help support KG on their quest to make another kick ass music video for all us doom lovers to enjoy. Don't worry, incentives come with your generosity...and hey, who doesn't want to show their buds the new KG vid while bragging..."hey bro, I helped fund this thing"?

Click Here to Help KG Record the Music Video for Appomattox

New Band To Burn One To-Liquid Me

The "New Band To Burn One To" today is Liquid Me.


Liquid Me is a post-grunge, punk-infused, hard rock power-trio from upstate NY (Oneonta).  Years in the making, the band’s signature style is anchored by its attentiveness to the groove.  Highlighted by captivating vocal stylings, nasty guitar riffs, and a pounding backline, Liquid Me has put together a compelling musical product, and has positioned itself to make a very real impact in 2011.

At Liquid Me’s core, Lotus (vocals, guitar) and Kris (bass) have been developing their sound, and catalog, together for years.  Their focus, and ultimate goal, has remained a constant over time: to craft, and perfect, classically-sensible rock-n-roll, with a big dose of edgy, dark, new-school punch.  Nasty and tourniquet-tight, loaded with memorable hooks and whiplash-inducing riffs, Liquid Me has evolved as a musical commodity, and as individual players, to become a scene-stirring force that cannot be denied or overlooked.  On a superficial level, Liquid Me’s material is, apparently, immediately discernable to audiences, and always brings about an emphatic, fired-up response.  However, with gritty, unforgettable lyrics, deeply cerebral melody lines, and an entirely refreshing take on the science of rock music, Liquid Me has all the tools needed to stay in fans heads, and hearts, for years to come.

Liquid Me earned its break in winning over esteemed producer, Jeff Da Bella (Autopilot Off, Island/Universal).  Da Bella immediately gravitated towards the band’s fresh take on the classical model, and noted that few bands, if any, can force comparisons to acts as apparently different as are Sonic Youth, Black Sabbath, Nirvana, and Motorhead, while still producing a musical product that just flat-out works.  Da Bella was so taken by the band and their potential, in fact, that he worked with the band to remedy a massive, potential deal-breaker which occurred during the term of the production agreement (involving a former band-member’s untimely incarceration), rather than electing to scrap the project and throw the band out into the street, as dictated by industry-standard practice.  The EP is presently being mastered by fellow industry stud, Mike Dominici (Black Label Society, Mos Def, etc), and is already thought to be a breakthrough achievement by those in the loop.  In fact, the band plans to return to the studio, with Da Bella, to complete the full-length album this year.

While Liquid Me’s self-titled EP will not be released until this June, the band has recently pre-released its first single, and video, “She Said.”  Both are posted on Liquid Me’s social networking sites (links below). 

Guided by a steady drum beat, crunchy guitars, an infectious bass line and impassioned vocals, Liquid Me lends a twist to their unique brand of heavy rock. Although the band currently has only one song available for listening, it is enough to get you excited for more from this power trio from upstate New York.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Band To Burn One To-Wizard Smoke

The "New Band To Burn One To" is Wizard Smoke"


Altanta based doom metal band influenced by Satan, Weed, and The Cosmos.

Wizard Smoke is not your typical doom metal band, sure the influences such as Black Sabbath and Sleep are evident as are the crushing riffs and slow tempos, but what sets these dudes apart is their touch of prog, psyche and somewhat early 80's 'New Wave Of British Heavy Metal' stylings. Their current release "The Speed of Smoke" as well as their previous and vastly underrated release "Live Rock in Hell" can be download for free for your listening pleasure  .

Awesome review at Doomantia read here.

Web(free download)|Facebook|MySpace

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Band To Burn One To-Deserts of Mars

The "New Band To Burn One To" today is Deserts of Mars.


Austin based Deserts of Mars was formed with a heavy fuzzed out bass and the idea that the riff rules all. After searching the universe for like-minded band members, vocalist and bassist Tony Salvaggio found game artist and drummer Billy Garretsen and started cranking out heavy rock. Their musical space adventure was kicked into hyperdrive with the addition of Bob Hoff, who's melodic guitar work solidified the sound as a perfect counterpart to the low end growl prevalent in much of their music. From there this power trio forged their friendship and their fan base playing on the Red River District of the blue planet. Influenced by a variety of heavy music from around the galaxy, Deserts of Mars has one goal - to create Mars Metal that rocks the universe.

Heavy Planet and Deserts of Mars have one common goal in mind and that is to fill the universe with some awesome music. These three dudes from Austin, TX take the heavy rock genre to a new level with their unique take on riff-infused metal ultimately claiming a stake to what they choose to call "Mars Metal". The songs on their latest CD "Transmission" transport the listener to another world of stoner rock possibilities. Expanding upon the basic riff, these guys add melody, intricate structure, and a bit of crunch to an otherwise predictable genre. Give these guys a listen today and purchase their CD available now!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Album Review - Using Bridge: And I Will Be Heard

Are you a fan of the grunge revolution that exploded out of Seattle in the early 90's? Do you think Pearl Jam was all downhill after Ten? Does Badmotorfinger have over 1,000 plays on your mp3 player? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then chances are you are going to love Using Bridge.

The band hails from Rimini, Italy, which may be a far cry from the Pacific Northwest in terms of geography, but when it comes to musical influences, there's no doubt about where these guys' allegiances lie. Vocalist /bassist Manuel Ottaviani, guitarists Federico Arcangeli and Simone Antonelli and drummer Marco Lupo have created an album that is unabashed in its worship of all things grunge. But unlike most of the "post-grunge" radio rock shit we get force fed these days, Using Bridge is a throwback to the true essence of what made that scene so exciting, so vibrant…so damn unpredictable some 20 years ago.

Take the album opener “Black Rebel” for example. The song takes a page straight out of the Bleach-era Nirvana playbook with roots lying somewhere between the pile driving riffs of metal and the sloppy, garage aesthetics of punk. The dual guitars of Arcangeli and Antonelli (here forth known as the two A’s) each take a side as one churns out the song’s ultra heavy rhythm, while the other loosely meanders his way through a series of ear shredding solos. The song is simple, loud, abrasive and wonderfully obnoxious.

“Sick and Sober” on the other hand is a much more scaled back affair, featuring acoustic guitars, beautiful harmonies and a chorus that could easily find a home on any of those aforementioned rock radio stations…if they had the balls to play something this honest and real. This one is the first to showcase Ottaviani’s incredible vocal range as he alternates between a warbling, Vedder-esque baritone and a screaming falsetto similar to that of Chris Cornell, giving the song a remarkably Temple of the Dog-like sound to it. The two A’s continue their stellar guitar interplay, one strumming while the other noodles away into oblivion and both Ottaviani, who doubles as the band’s bassist, and Lupo drive the song forward with their steady rhythmic backbone.

“Not Like You Know” raises the intensity and the angst as Ottaviani implores “why do you always tell me that I have to be someone?” And its followed by the perfectly titled “One Minute to Go”, which clocks in at…you guessed it…one minute, and is a simple, bombastic, loud-as-hell blast of garage rock that calls to mind the early 00’s punk revitalization that spawned bands like The Vines, The Hives, et.al. “Too Fast” follows right on its heels with a funky bass line and playful guitar part that ultimately transitions into a sort of heavy blues rock jam.

It’s this point in the album, where Using Bridge really begins to showcase their true sound, which owes a lot to early Pearl Jam with the use of the bluesy rhythm/lead guitar duo combined with Ottaviani’s dramatic vocal style. One listen to “Drop”…my personal favorite track on the album…and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Seattle circa 1993. “In You” continues that trend, with the vocalist crooning over the top of an aggressively strummed acoustic guitar, singing “please let me die for one last time…I can die for one last night”. The song, which is exceptional by itself, serves as a companion piece with the electrified “In Me”, the lyrics of which continue the misery and self-deprecation of its predecessor as Ottaviani laments “feels so empty in me”.

“Fire” sees the band returning to the explosive simplicity of early Nirvana…their credo here seemingly…play loud and play fast. And to take nothing away from the steady rhythm section of Ottaviani’s bass and Lupo’s drums, the two A’s just own this song with their guitar work…simultaneously matching the groove laid down by their band mates while chaotically soloing through any open space they can find in the song. The sincerity of “Only For My Eyes”, a true alt-rock ballad, scales the musical intensity back but keeps the emotional outpour alive with the lyrics,”I’ve tried my best, to make you mad”. Using Bridge isn’t finished though, as their next song is a stunning cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”…psst, don’t tell anyone…I like it better than the original. And then the band closes with “Polvere e Cenere” (Dust and Ashes), the only song in which Ottaviani sings in his native Italian and one hell of a conclusion to an exceptional album.

And I Will Be Heard may not start the next music revolution, but it is in fact a true and honest representation of a genre that has been oversaturated and diminished by pretenders for far too long. Using Bridge has resurrected the combination of stellar musicianship and emotionally sincere lyrics that once defined this style of rock music and truly made it an “alternative” to the mainstream. They took their obvious influences and honed them into one of the more cohesive, consistent and damn catchy alt-rock albums that I’ve heard in some time. If you enjoyed the sounds of the 90’s and want to hear a band that manages to bring a little integrity back to the style, then this album is not to be missed.

Track Listing:

01 Black Rebel
02 Sick and Sober
03 Not Like You Know
04 One Minute to Go
05 Too Fast
06 Drop
07 In You
08 In Me
09 Fire
10 Only For My Eyes
11 Gimme Shelter
12 Polvere e Cenere

Band Members:

Manuel Ottaviani - Bass and Vocals
Federico Arcangeli - Guitar
Simone Antonelli - Guitar and Noise
Marco Lupo - Drums

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Mastodon's Brent Hinds Presents: WEST END MOTEL and FIEND WITHOUT A FACE

Mastodon mastermind/guitarist Brent Hinds is proud to unleash two very special projects this year: WEST END MOTEL and FIEND WITHOUT A FACE. 

FIEND WITHOUT A FACE are a rockabilly/porno/metal concoction mixed with a bit of a country, surf guitar and applesauce on the side. They've been rockin' house parties for nearly two decades, but word on the street is that they're about to go legit thanks to Rocket Science! The self-titled debut features 13 tracks of singular awesomeness that needs to be experienced by anyone looking for a bit of adventure in their listening outings. Like a fat man sending back soup, these boys are on a mission for the world’s condition. FIEND WITHOUT A FACE are armed and dangerous, packing just pantyhose, a fez and a bit of Vyvanse. 

WEST END MOTEL are a conglomerate of losers, poets and hobo-sexuals. Tom Cheshire met Hinds in Atlanta on a corner under a bridge in 1993. They were panhandling and drinking cough syrup and before long, music began spewing from their pores. Songs were written on an acoustic guitar and a bucket with the occasional toy piano in the background. Late nights turned into early mornings and much booze was consumed. They write and sing for the underdog and give the listener a glimmer of hope. Originally, they aimed for a Simon And Garfunkel hanging out with Ethel Merman but the end product sounds more like Nick Cave fronting Gogol Bordello. The songs take on a life of their own and no two tracks sound alike.  Throw Mike Shina, Stiff Penalty and Ben Thrower into the mix and you got yourself one good time. WEST END MOTEL are now an official collective and are ready to get down to proverbial business with nine-track debut Don’t Shiver, You’re A Winner. 2011 is their year and they’re on a mission with no luggage. The band took over Brooklyn this past fall, where rich men, housewives, home bums and a garbageman danced in the streets. The West Coast is next, then the world. These men love music and write for people who love music. It's that simple. They write songs of loss and laughter and occasionally offer a new lease on life. They’re a gospel band, a soul band, a band of gypsies… Hear for yourself.

FIEND WITHOUT A FACE and WEST END MOTEL will be released as a two-CD set via Rocket Science Inc. on June 7, 2011. Said Hinds of the recordings: "I feel like a thousand umpa lumpas have been lifted from my back. I want to thank everyone that made this possible..  in the time it took to put these two albums out, I wrote five more, so whoever likes this kind of stuff, there's a lot more where this came from." You can pre-order the CD/bundles & received a free download from each band HERE.

Listen to a stream of FIEND WITHOUT A FACE’s “Tsunami” & WEST END MOTEL’s “I Like It A Lot” at the following locations:

Two - CD Set
View Cover Art HERE

DISC 1: 
01. Calypso
02. Black Grass
03. Green Slime
04. Cha-Cha
05. Bank Robbin Bandits
06. Tsunami
07. Hot Rod
08. New York
09. Don’t Like
10. Cosmonaut
11. Stupido
12. Get Straight
13. Volcano

DISC 2: 
Don’t Shiver, You’re A Winner

01. The Confident Wino/...And We Are Here To Entertain You
02. The Devil Called Me Tommy
03. I Like It A Lot
04. She's On Fire
05. Under My Skin
06. Silly Old Song
07. Highwaters

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