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April 21, 2014
TOKERidiculous riffing, slow and nasty doom grooves from Wilmington, NC.
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April 17, 2014
ORYXDunes of droning hypnotic sludge from the deserts of Las Cruces, NM.
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April 14, 2014
MAMMOTH STORMPlodding, tar-lathered metal-fed groove doom from Sweden.
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April 8, 2014
LADY FLINT Explosive stoner blues rock duo from Marselle, France.
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April 7, 2014
KING DEAD Doomy psyche-tinged spaghetti western sludge from PA.
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April 2, 2014
GROGGYBlues-obsessed fuzzy garage rock duo from Omsk, Russia.
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March 31, 2014
THE SILENT LOWMelodic, hard-hitting, attitude-driven stoner rock from Denmark.
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March 25, 2014
GRAILPsychedelic punk with a southern demonic desert groove out of Texas.
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March 24, 2014
LORD OF GIANTSincere, lumbering, 70's influenced heavy rock from Germany.
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March 19, 2014
WOVOKA Intense yet melodic, brutal gut-twisting post-metal sludge from LA.
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March 16, 2014
HEAVY VOODOO
Torpedo riffs, hazy grooves and cosmic stoner sleaze from Portland.
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March 13, 2014
SPIRITUAL VOID
Toxic, heavy southern groove metal attitude from Brazil.
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March 11, 2014
SOUTHERN STATE
Somber, shoegazing post-metal sludge from Columbus, Ohio.
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March 10, 2014
HYPERGIANT
Cosmic, gravity-defying stoner fuzziness from Sydney, Australia
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March 6, 2014
KHEMMIS
Fuzz-filled, snail-paced riff-praising doom from Denver, CO.
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March 5, 2014
BITCHCRAFT
Polish doom band with female vocals is a fuzz worshippers dream
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March 4, 2014
DRUG MOTHER
Sleazy, fat and dirty stoner metal riffs from down under.
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March 2, 2014
SPIRAL GURU
Newly formed 70's inspired stoner doom band from Brazil.
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Feb. 27, 2014
TIMESTONE
Expansive psychedelics and dusty grooves from Austria.
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Feb. 25, 2014
RHINO
Fuzzed-out heavy desert grooves from Catania, Italy.
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Feb. 24, 2014
SOLAIRE
Get stuck in some sludgey stoner groove from South Carolina. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 20, 2014
HADDOCK
Heavy lightning in a bottle stoner boogie groove from Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 19, 2014
VALFADER
Stirring progressive ambient doom from Bath, UK
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Feb. 17, 2014
BRUNT
Intense instrumental sludgefuzz from these Guernsey blokes. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 15, 2014
MATUSHKA
Swirling hypnotic heavy psychedelic rock from St. Petersburg, Russia. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 10, 2014
MOPE
Sultry and somber jazz-laden ambient doom from Genoa, Italy.
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Feb. 8, 2014
LANDSKAP
Late 60's early 70's influenced heavy psychedelic rock from London.
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Feb. 5, 2014
TOMBSEALER
Death/Doom/Thrash from the mean streets of Adelaide, Australia.
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Feb. 4, 2014
SLUG SALT LAVA
Doomy apocalyptic instrumental Sludge from Istanbul, Turkey.
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Feb. 2, 2014
MIST
Spell-binding all-female occult doom from Ljubljana,Slovenia.
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Feb. 1, 2014
GRIT
Heavy heartfelt psychedelic jams from Heidelberg, Germany.
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Jan. 30, 2014
9OZ OF NOTHING
Riff Heavy Stoner Doom with Southern grit from Athens, Greece
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Jan. 27, 2014
BRILLIANT MACHINE
Chest collapsing progressive heaviness from Ventura, CA
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Jan. 25, 2014
OUTWAILED
Genre-defying atmospheric mood music from Tampere, Finland. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 23, 2014
YURI GAGARIN
Freaked-out psychedelic space rock from Gothenburg, Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 22, 2014
BLACK SNAKE
Swamp-infested grooves and fuzzy desert riffs from Portland,Oregon.
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Jan. 21, 2014
BORDEL INFERNO Gritty heavy rock, solid riffs from Rio de Janiero.
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Jan. 20, 2014
OVERLORD Melodic groove-oriented Heavy Rock from Oxford.
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Jan. 19, 2014
A DAY AS WOLVES Garage-rock inspired bluesy fuzz and roll from Alberta, Canada. Eh! facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 18,2014
NAKED BROWN Hard-hitting Polish heavy rock in the vein of Clutch and Motorhead.
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Jan. 17, 2014
OMEGA SUN
Smoke obsessed Stoner Doom from Slovenia. Free demo.
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Album Review - The Grand Trick: Reminence Boulevard


The term “Southern Rock” has often been used to describe the gritty and groovy blues based jams that were popularized in the 1970’s by bands like The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top. The label was an obvious allusion to the fact that most of the bands responsible for developing that particular style were from the American South. Well…following that simple logic then, perhaps it makes the most sense that from now on, we change the name of the genre from “Southern Rock” to “Scandinavian Rock”. You see, the sheer number of bands coming out of Sweden and Norway, who are playing this sort of retro/classic rock style of music is astounding. And I’m not talking about nostalgia acts or cheesy tributes, these bands are kicking out some serious, grade A, funky ass, rawk n’ fucking roll!

The latest example is The Grand Trick from Linköping, Sweden. These five guys, vocalist Robert Cunningham, guitarist Stefan Johansson, keyboardist Magnus Nilsson, bassist Jonas Malmqvist and drummer Daniel Larsson, have just released an album that will have you searching for a headband and a pair of bell bottoms before you get to the end of the first track. Trust me on this. Reminence Boulevard pays homage to the arena rock of the 70’s in every way possible, from its bluesy swagger to the gritty vocals, right on down to that persistent organ.

Once you hit play and hear the opening riff and steady drum beat of “Hitman Blues”, it’ll take you all of ten seconds to know what you’re in for with this album. Cunningham’s gruff, raspy vocals seal the deal, making The Grand Trick sound something along the lines of Grand Funk Railroad if they were fronted by Lemmy Kilmeister. And check out the next track, where the complex interplay between the guitar and keys is followed by a harmonized chorus of “ooh…frequent flyer”, making the band sound like the evil twin of Steely Dan. I’m telling you, this shit is vintage my friends!

In subsequent tracks, like “Face in the Moon”, “Eraserhead” and “The River Queen”, you’ll hear contagiously catchy grooves overlaid by psychedelic keyboards that lend an atmospheric backdrop to the entire proceeding. In fact, I’d argue that if any one of those songs doesn’t have you tapping your foot and nodding your head along to the rhythm, then The Grand Trick is probably not your band. But my personal favorites from this collection are “Rollercoaster Ride” and “When is your Hell”, songs that exhibit that pure Southern…err…Scandinavian Rock sound. To be perfectly honest, if you played either of these tracks for me without telling me who I was listening to, I’d have thought I was hearing new music from Warren Haynes and the rest of the boys in Gov’t Mule.

Despite their name, The Grand Trick does not in fact have any tricks up their sleeves. They play it straight from the heart with their brand of good old-fashioned, blues based, boogie-woogie rock n roll and you’ll know that right away. With the warm months now in full swing, I suggest you consider Reminence Boulevard as the first summertime album of the year…the perfect groove for heading down the highway with your windows rolled, warm breeze in your face and your ears ringing like hell. Cuz that’s the way they do it in the American South…and dammit that’s the way they do it in Scandinavia too!

Track Listing:

01 Hitman Blues
02 Frequent Flyer
03 Face in the Moon
04 Rollercoaster Ride
05 Eraserhead
06 Daddy Mc the Knife
07 The River Queen
08 When is Your Hell
09 Dog on a Leash
10 Reminence Boulevard

Band Members:

Robert Cunningham - Vocals
Stefan Johansson - Guitar
Magnus Nilsson - Keyboards
Jonas Malmqvist - Bass
Daniel Larsson - Drums

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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Flashback Friday - 13th Floor Elevators


For this week’s Flashback Friday, we’re gonna go way back. The year was 1965 to be exact and the band was the 13th Floor Elevators, pioneers of the psychedelic rock scene that was only just beginning to blossom at that time. It all started in Austin, Texas where a college student named Tommy Hall began to expound upon his notion that a combination of music and mind altering drugs (most notably LSD) could assist in the exploration, expansion and evolution of the mind and spirit. Before long, through mutual friends and acquaintances, he was introduced to Stacy Sutherland (guitar), John Ike Walton (drums) and Benny Thurman (bass) who had already been playing music together in a band called The Lingsmen. The four joined together with Hall playing, of all things, an electric jug, and the only thing that was missing was a singer. Enter Roky Erickson.

At that time, Erickson was already honing his signature yelp as the frontman for another Austin based band called the Spades. Being fans of his vocal style, Tommy Hall and company immediately approached him about joining their new project. Alas, Erickson agreed and the 13th Floor Elevators were born. The name of the band was an obvious reference to the non-existent floor in most high-rise buildings and an allusion to altered perception.

By late 1966, the band had recorded a new version of the song “You’re Gonna Miss Me”, which had already been a local hit for the Spades, and it was released by International Artists Records. The song subsequently became a moderate nationwide hit, allowing the band to tour outside their native Texas for the first time and ultimately leading to an appearance on Dick Clark’s television show American Bandstand. In fact, the episode is probably best remembered for Erickson’s retort when asked by Clark, “Who’s the head of this band?”, to which he replied “We’re all heads, Dick”.

Later that same year, the 13th Floor Elevators re-entered the studio and famously (or infamously) recorded their debut album The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators while under the influence of LSD. The album combined Erickson’s howl with the philosophical leanings of Hall’s lyrics and eclectic (and thoroughly original) electric jug playing. It also featured an echoing, reverb-laced dual guitar attack courtesy of Erickson and Sutherland that was unheard of at that time. To say the 13th Floor Elevators were ahead of their time back in 1966 would be quite the understatement. And aside from the uniquely trippy music, the band’s debut would be remembered for another thing…its acid drenched liner notes, which openly advocated the drug induced mind expansion that the band themselves relied so heavily on when performing.

Touring for Psychedelic Sounds led to a lengthy visit to San Francisco, where the hippie movement was just getting underway. While there, the band spent time with an old friend and fellow Austin native, Janis Joplin, who is rumored to have mimicked Erickson’s vocal style in her own singing. The band also supposedly had a heavy influence on a couple of other San Fran legends during this period of time…namely, Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead.

Finally, in 1967 the 13th Floor Elevators made their way back to Texas to record album number two…a mistake that would ultimately cost them dearly. During the recording process, the band’s rhythm section was completely overhauled as both Walton (drums) and Thurman (bass) had become increasingly frustrated by what they perceived as mismanagement of the band by International Artists Records. Their replacements were Danny Thomas on drums and Ronnie Leatherman on bass (Leatherman would subsequently leave later that same year to be replaced by Danny Galindo). But despite all of the turmoil, the Elevators managed to finish their second album, Easter Everywhere, and to this day, it is widely regarded as a psychedelic rock masterpiece. Unlike the debut however, the follow-up did not have a commercial breakthrough hit like “You’re Gonna Miss Me”.

Regardless, the band’s biggest misstep had nothing to do with their music, but rather the decision to bring their bohemian, counterculture lifestyle from the relatively safe, hippie-friendly confines of San Francisco back to their ultra-conservative (especially in those days) stomping grounds of Texas. Not long after recording Easter Everywhere, Erickson was arrested for possession of marijuana (this not being his first such offense). And at the ensuing trial, the singer plead not guilty by reason of insanity in an attempt to avoid a prison sentence, a strategy that ultimately landed him in a mental institution where he was reportedly subjected to shock treatments and psychoactive drugs.

In the midst of all this turmoil, the 13th Floor Elevators managed to record a third and final album titled Bull of the Woods prior to Erickson’s sentencing. Given the circumstances, it was primarily the work of Stacy Sutherland with very little input from the singer or from Tommy Hall. Regardless, it still featured the band’s meandering, fuzzed out, psychedelic sounds. The album was released in 1969 after the Elevators had officially disbanded due to the legal (and mental) issues surrounding their singer.

The epilogue to this story is a mixture of tragedy and redemption. In the aftermath of the band’s breakup, Stacy Sutherland also had run-ins with the law due to substance abuse issues, and in 1978 the guitarist was tragically shot and killed by his wife during a supposed domestic dispute. Erickson on the other hand, was released from the mental institution in 1973, but reports indicate he wasn’t quite the same person as the man who was admitted a few years earlier. Despite a notable period of seclusion, he eventually resurfaced in the 80’s and has maintained a steady succession of solo output since, including his most recent album True Love Cast Out All Evil in 2010. In addition, he has performed at a number of major music festivals in recent years including Coachella and South by Southwest. The other members of the band, including Tommy Hall, have kept relatively low profiles in terms of musical output.

It can be argued that the 13th Floor Elevators practically invented psychedelic rock. Listen closely and you can hear their influence in the fuzzed out jams and echo effects employed by bands like Queens of the Stone Age, The Black Angels and countless others. As always, I encourage you to take a listen for yourself. Go on…you just might see what mind exploration is really all about.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Band To Burn One To - The Grim Wilderness

 
As also seen on The Soda Shop

Today's New Band To Burn One To is The Grim Wilderness
Having only been playing together as a full four piece for the last four months, The Grim Wilderness has quickly gained a reputation in the area for their exciting brand of psych-blues that they energetically have been playing at local art galleries and bars most recently. Now looking to expand their sound all over the world they have just recorded a fully mastered 5 song studio set and are looking to promote themselves anywhere and everywhere they see fit.

CD Review: Ginger Trees - Along With The Tide

Ginger Trees-Along With the Tide

by Zac Boda

























"In the heartland, thru the mindscapes, into the unknown that is yet to come..." Ginger Trees, from Boras, Sweden, consists of Rasmus (vocals), Jonte (bass), and Johan (drums). The trio have created quite a delectable treat in Along With The Tide. Their soundscapes of progressive and bluesy rock are sure to entice a multitude of music lovers. GT has layered and textured AWT with incredible vocals and a plethora of instrumentation, including an organ and vibraphone; truly engulfing the listener.

GT begin the Tide with Forever This Longing. A very mellow track that climax around 2:15 with the addition of psychedelic keys. AWT continues and soon arrives at the title track Along With The Tide. This very well could be my favorite, "Along with the tide, felt the blood rush to my head..." great lyrics, drumline, all around just a great tune! AWT is followed by another stand out song, Poseidon. With a melancholy intro, reminiscent of Alice In Chains (even sounds a little like Layne during the intro). Okay, I was wrong, Poseidon is definitely my favorite track here. With a nice chunky lick and poetic lyrics, leading to a tremendous drumline... if you are looking for some new prog, this is the album! Breathe will bring a Porcupine Tree atmosphere. Swirl takes the listener into a retro/classic rock era. The finale, and a grand one at that, is Kurukshetra. I quick searched and found this to be a "Holy City" in India, which sounds to fit very well with the music and lyrics... if only they could have added a sitar (I think that is an Indian instrument).

I have been blessed to have the chance to review so many incredible musicians and their work. AWT, at this time, sits at the top of my list. I enjoy Ginger Trees as much, if not more than my last 5 out of 5 (Earth: Angels of Dark, Demons of Light 1). If you are looking for new progressive rock, that's not just some rehash I would suggest picking up a copy of "Along With The Tide".

Enjoy: 5 out of 5

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Band To Burn One To-Mystons

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



















Bio:

In late 2007, something mystical was brewing in the city of Turku, Finland. As long-time friends and musicians M Myston (guitar, vocals) and Jay Myston (drums) found themselves in extended spontaneous jam sessions, it became evident that this burst of creative energy was to turn into something more permanent, and more menacing, harnessing into rock music a sense of danger it seemed to be lacking at the time. The band that came to be known as Mystons first appeared in the flesh in its current line-up on the eve of the 2007 September equinox, on a Finnish ranch. The actual birth of the band is surrounded by rumors and mystery, but one thing is for sure: Mystons have brought a wholly unique sound to the field of rock music, one that can be described as Mystic Rock, a mixture of influences ranging from blues and alternative rock to grunge and metal, with a dark, brooding undertow flowing through it. The inimitable Mystons sound finds its ideal expression in the enthralling live performances of the band that have occasionally led to talk of fire-spitting demons in black robes.

The legendary Mystons bible known as the “Black Book”, gave title to the band’s debut album, released in 2008 and followed by the single “Tearstained”, from their second album “Alkaem” released on Nov 4th, 2010. “Alkaem” showcases Mystons’ wide range of styles and influences, with M Myston’s distinctive vocals tying the songs together, varying from a tender sigh to a bold, confident audacity and further to a despairing, Morrisonesque shriek. The dynamic, almost telepathic chemistry between band members has been a key element for Mystons from the very beginning, enabling a sound that knows no boundaries, while keeping it uniquely Mystons. Bands such as Danzig, Black Sabbath and The White Stripes have been mentioned when describing Mystons, as well as The Doors and Johnny Cash, giving some idea of the roots of the band’s Mystic Rock. According to some rumors, the origins of Mystons can be traced as far back as the 14th century, to a group of robe-wearing religious mystics. Whatever the truth may be, through some enigmatic alchemy, the ancient creative force of music has found a new, dark and powerful outlet in the hands of Mystons. It is rumored that a third album will see the moonlight in the fall of 2011!!!!

Lead by captivating vocalist/guitarist M Myston, this 2-piece band along with Jay Myston emit some of the freshest sounds heard by these ears in a long time. These robe wearing "mystic rock" muther fuckers skillfully blend elements of metal, grunge, stoner and blues with the passions of evil and sadness. The guitar tone is especially warm and fuzzy and the production is stellar. M Myston's vocals are the highlite of this band especially on ballad "All Alone". I hear influences in their music ranging from Johnny Cash to Danzig. Tunes such as "Mountains", "Shadows of the Beast", "Good Enough For Death" are simply stated, cool as hell. You will be hitting the repeat button multiple times, guaranteed! The only problem I had with this album was that it was not long enough. The band has made the album available as a FREE download, but be generous and help the band out by purchasing the album at this location.



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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Band To Burn One To-Imperial Legions of Rome

The "New Band To Burn One To" today is Imperial Legions of Rome.



















Bio:

"We got together in January 2006 to play some heavy psychedelic cover songs for
fun, we kept going. Our original bassist (Erik Brown) and lead guitar (Ron
Hayes) left after our first record (Imperial Legions Of Rome), Jackson Portwood
and Karl Caleb joined and shortly after and we recorded our second record (The
Appian Way), then in April 2010 our keyboard player (Tim Krueger) left, which
drastically changed our sound. Our early material was alot more classic heavy
acid rock influences, but with the loss of the keyboards, we started to lean
more in a guitar driven, heavier "stoner rock" direction, now we are kickin ass
even harder and preparing to record again. Come see us live to hear the new
sounds of ILOR, and check out our first 2 records because they are damn good.

2010 marks the second full length release for the band "The Appian Way" and has
generated a well deserved buzz in their hometown of Seattle, Washington. The
songs "The Christening" and "Soul Shaker" have been getting continuous radio
play on KISW and KEXP as well as on many blog playlists and amongst other
things, the band was recently voted as "one of the standout acts of 2010" by The
Seattle Weekly and invited to play the Reverb Music Festival. They have worked
with NW producing veterans Kurt Bloch and Brian Nelson in the studio and many
others live." -Brian Felcher

This Seattle, Wa band has been gaining "legions" of fans lately due to their wildly energetic live shows in the Pacific Northwest area. The band's music is a hodge podge of classic/acid rock influences melded with progressive rythyms, stoner rock grooves and scorching heavy metal licks. The organ adds depth and regality to the music. The vocals are gritty but somehow work into the mix rather nicely. If you are looking for something that is a little different, I suggest you check out Imperial Legions of Rome. The band has a ton of music on their Reverb Nation player for you to check out.




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Monday, April 25, 2011

New Band To Burn One To-Desert Storm

The "New Band To Burn One To" today is Desert Storm.






















Bio:

UK stonerrockers Desert Storm boast gigantic riffs, sludge and blues grooves. Their recent release, Forked Tongues, features a vast dynamic range - from the mellow moments to the crushing waves of distortion. The five piece operation based in Oxford first formed in 2007, hitting the local rock scene with full force. Now having torn up multiple cities across the UK and festivals such as the mighty Bulldog Bash; on top of playing with the likes of Orange Goblin, Taint, CKY, Winnebago Deal, Firebird and Black Spiders they're well underway spreading the NOISE.

As I listened to Desert Storm's latest release "Forked Tongues", I couldn't help but notice a bit of Clutch resemblence in their sound. By that I mean, you can hear the blues/southern /soul influence as well as the gritty preacher-like vocal delivery. The band throws in a female vocal to offset the grit of the music. Don't get me wrong, in no way is this band a Clutch-clone. As the album rolls on it gets heavier and sludgier. They have a more crunchy metal sounding guitar tone and the vocals are a bit more angry. This is a very fine release. Gigantic riffs and a groove that will have your head bobbing from the first track. I would recommend this band for fans of Clutch, Scissorfight, and Backwoods Payback. You can hear for yourself on their Bandcamp page.




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Friday, April 22, 2011

Flashback Friday - Fall of Because


Back in 1989, three guys (and a drum machine) from Birmingham, England united to form the seminal industrial metal outfit Godflesh. And while that band is definitely worthy of your time, they are not exactly the focus of this edition of Flashback Friday. No, I’d like to rewind a few years earlier…to a time when the term “industrial“ referred only to factories and mechanics not to a style of heavy music.

The year was 1982 and bassist Ben (G.C.) Green and guitarist Paul Neville had already begun to create an aggressive blend of grindcore and sludge that was mostly unheard of at that time. The duo took the name Fall of Because after the first track off Killing Joke’s legendary 1981 album What's THIS For…!. Eventually they would recruit Napalm Death guitarist Justin Broadrick to join the band as their drummer and vocalist and at that point, their lineup was set.

Fall of Because recorded a demo called Extirpate in 1986 that included the songs “Mighty Trust Krusher” and “Life is Easy”, both of which would later be featured on Godflesh‘s first full length Streetcleaner and “Merciless“, which would appear on their EP of the same name. Unlike the militaristic, mechanized onslaught of that band however, Fall of Because was more organic, more abrasive…more sloppy. Their sound was a crushing, pissed off, sludgy ball of noise that predated even the likes of genre mainstays Acid Bath and Eyehategod.

But not long after recording the demo, Broadrick would leave the band to focus on another interesting project, the stoner/industrial tinged Head of David. His departure was short lived however and in 1988 he contacted Green about reforming their old band. When the reunion occurred, Broadrick decided to return to the guitar (his original instrument in Napalm Death) and the drum machine was incorporated in place of an actual drummer…alas Godflesh was born.

The summation of the Fall of Because era was finally compiled and released in 1999 on the album Life is Easy. Give it a listen and you can hear the ambient noises, the barking vocals and the syncopated riffing that would come to define the industrial metal of Godflesh. However, if you look deep inside the maelstrom, the distinct, lumbering heaviness that would eventually characterize sludge is lurking there within. Go on and check it out for yourself…just…because.

last.fm|Buy Here

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Heavy Rotation: Music For a Dreary Day

It has been so damn dreary in Pittsburgh, Pa as of late raining just about every day with little or no sunshine, so I've been in a very doomy mood to say the very least. I figured what better way to celebrate the unpleasant weather than with a few of my favorite super heavy Stoner/Doom metal bands for this week's edition of Heavy Rotation. Doom on!!


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01. Sons of Otis-"Super Typhoon"


This is one of the coolest songs ever! I love the way the song starts off with the yelling of Suuuperrr Typhoooon!, then the ride cymbal starts this droning super wah-wahed bass extravaganza. Think of a heavier version of Monster Magnet. Good luck finding a copy of this album, and if you do expect to pay a hefty sum. This track is taken from their 1999 Man's Ruin release"Temple Ball".


Sons of Otis are a stoner rock/doom band from Toronto, Canada. Sons of Otis was formed by Ken Baluke in Toronto sometime around the years 1992 and 1993. Strongly influenced by the underground heavy music of the time (Melvins/Fudge Tunnel/Shallow N.D), their first release, "Paid To Suffer", came out in 1994. Subsequent albums took on a more ethereal, psychedelic tone, and this has led to their immediate association with the stoner rock/doom scene.


The band went through about 11 drummers and has at times resorted to a drum machine for recordings as well as performances. Every single record released by the band to date has been distributed by now defunct labels, leaving the band's back catalog consistently out of print.


02. Toner Low-"Devilbot"


Taken from their self-titled 2005 release on Roadkill Records, this song epitomizes all things heavy. The song begins appropriately enough with what sounds like a sample of a robot booting up, then plasters you to the wall with heavy crushing guitars and a tempo change that goes from slow to slower to even slower. This one is maybe a bit hard to find as well. I'm sure with a little creative searching you can find it somehow.


Combining never ending songs and a loud, relentless sound with low-end heaviness, wild psychedelic trips and doomrockin’ riffs, Toner Low are one of a kind to roam the green fields of Leiden, Holland. In the first four years since their formation in 1998 these doomstoners released a couple of promos, played gigs in Holland and Belgium (2000) with among others Karma to Burn (USA), Isis, Candybar Planet and Lawn and parted with two bandmembers.


03. Church of Misery-"Spahn Ranch"


Following the news commentary of the Manson family killing of actress Sharon Tate (Spahn Ranch was known as one of the residences of Charles Manson and his group of followers commonly referred to as "The Family" who lived there in the spring of 1968), the song blasts into one badass heavy wallowing groove. This is Doom at it's finest! This song was taken off of their 1998 Game Two records split with Canadian Stoner/Doom gods S'heavy called "Born Too Late". Their "Early Works Collection" is a nice start if unfamiliar with the band.


Church of Misery is a japanese doom metal band with a specific extra-groovy sound that is often described as “” but the band tends to snub this term saying “We hate trend. We hate corporate attitude. We hate the word ‘stoner’. Death to false stoners!! Let there be DOOM!!” (citation from the Master of Brutality album cover artwork notes).

Band was formed in 1996 in Tokyo by bassist Tatsu Mikami (ex-Salem) and guitarist Tomohiro Nishimura, line-up was completed with singer Nobukazu Chow and drummer Hideki Shimizu. Band’s raw and groovy style of doom metal rooted in 70s heavy rock with psychedelic feel and their notable lyrics mostly based on the famous serial killers’ characters soon founded out the way into the hearts of the underground metal fans all over the world even though the band didn’t play anywhere outside Japan until 2005.



04. Acrimony-"Heavy Feather"


Acrimony for some reason has always been an underrated and underappreciated band. This song is a brilliant piece of why this band was so important. The two minute build-up of this song culminates into a doomy spaced-out groove. The band effortlessly combined sludgy classic rock grooves, corrosive acid/psych rock trips, epic space rock excursions, and pounding metallic aggression into their sound.  This song is taken off of their most poignant release from 1996 "Tumuli Shroomaroom". Also a bit hard to find, you can pay a steep price on Amazon or once again do some creative searching.


Acrimony was a Welsh stoner metal band who were active during the 1990s. Releasing their debut album in 1994, they are regarded as the pioneers of stoner metal in the United Kingdom, and an important influence upon the scene. Although the band never achieved mainstream success, during their career they received much critical acclaim – they were nominated for the Kerrang! Best Newcomer award and earned top review ratings. Acrimony have maintained a cult following in the British metal scene, their records reportedly selling for vast sums as collectors items. Allmusic described their musical style as "typical mid-'90s stoner rock" that "combined Black Sabbath's heavy metal riffery, Hawkwind's space rock excursions, and Blue Cheer's fuzzed-out psychedelic feedback with extreme doses of volume .... particularly reminiscent of desert metal gods Kyuss." (Read more...)


05. Goatsnake-"Flower of Disease"


Slow and low that is the tempo, Goatsnake helped define the Southern California Stoner/Doom metal scene in the 90's. This track is a great example of the aforementioned sound and can be found on the band's 2000 Man's Ruin  release of the same name. This is the easiest to find of the bunch because it has recently been reissued on Southern Lord as well.


Goatsnake was formed in 1996 after the disbanding of The Obsessed. After The Obsessed's disbanding, the rhythm section consisting of Guy Pinhas (former bassist of the Dutch stonerband Beaver) on bass and Greg Rogers on drums began jamming with guitarist Greg Anderson (Thorr's Hammer, Burning Witch, Sunn O)))). They soon found a vocalist in Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool, Earthlings?, Desert Sessions). (Read more...)

New Band To Burn One To-Hellpie

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



















Bio:

HELLPIE is a delicious blend of musical spices with savory chunks of rock, metal and punk in a bitter red sauce baked within an earthy herbal crust. Goes well with red, white or thunderbird wine. In fact most ales, spirits and frames of mind go well with HELLPIE. Above all, HELLPIE is about good times and delivering good tunes to our hungry fans.

Would you like a nice slice of Hellpie? These dudes from the DC area create a tasty slab of groove inflicted sludge with a punk attitude. Sprinkle on a bit of angry vocals and crunchy as hell guitars to enhance the flavor. Check out the tunes the band has up on their Reverb Nation player.




MySpace|Facebook|Official

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Band To Burn One To- 2 Ton Yakama

The "New Band To Burn One To" today is 2 Ton Yakama.



















Bio:
The band was formed on April 2010 during a Metallica concert in Panama. Drummer "Yigo" Manzo reunited with guitar player Pedro "Anguila" Caicedo in the middle of the crowd after almost 15 years. Inmediately they set up a jamming date and that´s how it happened.
Maelin Caicedo, bass player and Tavo Colindres, vocals joined the band that same week and started to jamm. At the beggining it was clear that they wanted to make original stuff so no covers were never involved in the process. All seasoned musicians they started to write music of their own with clear influences of their favorite bands such as Slayer, Motorhead, Deep Purple, Cactus, Clutch, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Anthrax etc, etc.

After a few rather "fast" weeks, the band had almost 7 songs finished and ready to roll. So by July 3rd 2010 the guys were playing their first gig, opening for local band THENIA....great reviews from that first show gave 2 TON YAKAMA the confidence to keep going.....by the end of 2010 there is a line up change in the band and founding member, drummer Rodrigo "YIGO" Manzo is replaced by experience drummer TONY SINCLAIR.

Several shows later the guys participate on the 2011 WAKEN OPEN AIR METAL BATTLE PANAMA....an eliminatory gig where the winner will go to Costa Rica and "fight" with other LatinAmerican bands for a spot to open for MOTORHEAD in Costa Rica and play WAKEN OPEN AIR 2011 in Germany.

2 TON YAKAMA enden up in 2nd place by a 2 point margin difference against the winner...25 year veterans CABEZA DE MARTILLO. It is a great deal for 2 TON YAKAMA that only after 11 months and 2 weeks after it´s formation now it´s considered one of the top bands in Panama.

 2 TON YAKAMA has recorded in different formats several songs (9 of them) are posted in their Myspace page, Reverbnation and thru Facebook., currently they have 22 finished songs and they are working hard with local producer DAVID COLINDRES on what will be their first album.

For 2011 the guys are aiming to start playing outside Panama and have a couple of gigs in the region. Costa Rica and Colombia will be the first countries to experience 2 TON YAKAMA´s music. Althought it´s difficult for the band since all of these plans are self financed.

2 TON YAKAMA will be playing every possible gig in Panama City while they promote their music internationally thru every possible channel hoping for a producer or label takes notice on their talent.  If that ever happens or not....it´s no problem since the band only wants to play LIVE no matter what...in front of 1 person or 1 million...it´s no difference...KEEP IT METAL!!!

Unfortunately, there are no songs available on any of 2 Ton Yakama's websites, but they did send me a song to make available as a free download to the listeners of Heavy Planet. Their sound can be described as riff-driven Stoner Metal with lyrics sung in Spanish. Visit their follwing sites and let them know you want to hear more.

Listen: 2 Ton Yakama-Mi Primer Veneno

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Legendary Acid Rockers, JPT Scare Band, Drop Hard Rocking New Single and Video “Long Day” to Celebrate National 420 Day. Exclusive World Premiere on The Obelisk

























After more than 3 solid months of Acid Blues is the White Man’s Burden, holding down a top 5 spot in CD Baby.com’s Extended Jam Category, legendary acid rockers, JPT Scare Band come roaring back with a blitzing assault on their newest single, “Long Day.”  Featuring the sizzling guitar work of Terry Swope, “Long Day,” tears through more than 7 minutes of searing guitar leads, massive bass riffs, and mammoth drum jamming, all in the definitive JPT Scare Band style.
To make things even more appropriate, JPT Scare Band and Ripple Music will release the single and world-premiere of the psychedelic video on April 20, 2011, National Weed Day.  The term 420 originated from a group of teenagers at San Rafael High School in California in 1971. The teens met after school at 4:20 p.m. to smoke out at the Louis Pasteur statue.  Since then, the date has become legendary in the Stoner Rock community.  An ethos JPT Scare Band embraces whole heartedly.
After years of plying their frenzied, hard-rocking, acid blues trade in near obscurity, the love and accolades keep pouring in for JPT Scare BandClassic Rock Magazine honored JPT by including their last single “Not My Fault” on their November cover-mounted CD.   After previously naming JPT Scare Band one of the “lost pioneers of heavy metal,” Classic Rock continued the love fest proclaiming that “JPT Scare Band plied a terrifying form of ear-bludgeoning hard rock that was so far ahead of its time, people are still trying to catch up.”
The world premiere of the hard-rocking, definitively heavy psych video for “Long Day,” will make its debut April 20th exclusively at The Obelisk, one of stoner rock’s premiere websites and the home of The Obelisk Forum, a watering hole for thousands of fans of hard, heavy, stoner and doom rock.  You can find the video here: The Obelisk
 “Long Day” will be available as a digital single from CD Baby and all fine digital music emporiums.   Meanwhile, Acid Blues is the White Man’s Burden is still available in limited quantities from Ripple Music in two-toned, gatefold, double-LP with two bonus tracks, Deluxe digipack CD, or digital at http://ripple-music.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c35d849247b42a2a6bac7b710&id=4dbec6080c&e=34adc51105
Go here to check out the world premiere video.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Band To Burn One To-God Ox

The "New Band To Burn One To" today is God Ox.

























Bio:

In the early Middle Ages, many rival religions and philosophical schools (including Christianity, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, and Manicheanism) competed for domination of the hearts and minds of the world. One such faith that has been mostly forgotten, is that of Oxism. There is evidence to suggest its origins go back as far as ancient Greece. Xenophanes of Colophon may have eluded to it when he wrote “Yes, and if oxen had hands, and could paint with their hands, and produce works of art as men do, oxen would paint the forms of the gods like oxen and make their bodies in the image of their several kinds.” (500 B.C.) Most sacred Oxic texts burned with the Library of Alexandria in 391 A.D. However, one piece of scripture, the Book of Abyssal Gigantism, survived, and was recently discovered by five unsuspecting rock musicians, who upon reading the text, were instantly transformed into the five original Oxchetypes: War, Frost, Axe, Myth, and Beast, who have taken the mantle of the High Priests of Oxism. These sonic conquistadors receive direct communications from their Lord God Ox, may he be exalted, and channel His word into excruciatingly sludgy riffs with blues infused space crooning and annihilative rhythmic pummeling. Inseminating the world with divine wisdom, God Ox embody the uncanny strength and nobility of oxen, who have been made in His image. Their thunderous onslaught of righteous metal will be your ecstatic rapture or agonizing torment for all eternity!

God Ox:
Myth Ox – drums
Axe Ox – guitar
Beast Ox – bass
Frost Ox – guitar
War Ox – vox

A very interesting band from NYC, these Stoner/Doom merchants have a huge fascination with theology as well as the word OX as each band member takes on the surname. I love the soft yet heavy bass lines, the wah-wah blues-licks, and  the overdramatic vocals. The riffs are massive! Listen to this one a few times before you actually get it. I guess you could call this thinking man's Doom.

What others had to say:

The Obelisk
The Soda Shop
Doommantia
Hellbound.ca





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Monday, April 18, 2011

New Band To Burn One To-The Asound

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

























Bio:

After an extended hiatus from music, former SEVEN FOOT SPLEEN & STONE OF ABEL members, Chad Wyrick and Jon Cox, along with ex-JAMES DEAN WEREWOLF drummer Michael Crump, formed THE ASOUND in early 2009. THE ASOUND pull from influences as diverse as 70’s hard rock, punk, psychedelia, prog and of course Black Sabbath, melding them into a style that is distinctly THE ASOUND.

Stomping the ground below with their massive riffs, North Carolina's The Asound set to conquer everything in their path. Their sound features super fuzzy guitars, driving rhythms and clean vocals. Each song has a distinct feel about it. "Joan" starts off with a roaring drum fill then feedback preludes to a slow thunderous rhythm. Second track "Snow White" is a straight up Stoner Rock jam, very reminescent of QOTSA, albeit very raw. The final track on the EP "Open Eyes" has a more psychedelic feel to it, with wailing solos and a driving tribal-like rythym. Overall, I am liking what I hear from these guys. Time will tell on their progression, so keep your ear out for this band. 




THE ASOUND also have a track on the new "SON OF THE TRANSCENDENTAL MAGGOT" CD COMPILATION called "Liver Puffin".

The CD also features tracks by: SONS OF TONATIUH, ENOCH, YELLOWTIEF, YUUGEN SYNDROME, AKRIS, SHIT AND SHINE, AHLEUCHATISTAS, PIGS, US CHRISTMAS, THE GRAND ASTORIA, SHANE PERLOWIN & THE WAYWARD.

Every CD comes w/ a sticker featuring original art by Tanabe Yorichika.
First 100 come w/ a button.
Only $10 ppd
Paypal to: allseeingeyedesign@yahoo.com.
Cash, check or money orders payable to Jonathan Cox NOT Tsuguri Records.


TSUGURI RECORDS
2847 DOC PUGH RD
CONNELLY SPRINGS NC 28612

Here is a new song for free download that the band recently posted to their Bandcamp page.




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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Sludge: A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm, Sons of God, Throng of Shoggoths

Alright people, I'm back from a one week layoff. I was sicker than shit last week, so I do apologize. I have some fine bands for you guys to check out on this week's edition of Sunday Sludge. First up we have from France, A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm.

A VERY OLD GHOST BEHIND THE FARM is the keeper of a hidden truth. This project deals with fear, tales of dead horses and bewitched maids, peasants' superstitious deeds and forgotten devilish rites.

These nightmare stories take the form of haunted HEAVY ROCK songs drowned into a corrosive SLUDGE bath.

Sometimes shall you hear the voices of very ancient ghosts.
Sometimes shall you feel the touch of some diabolic spell.
Sometimes shall you behold what hides behind the farm.

A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm's music is the the perfect soundtrack to your next ouija board seance. Let these guys conjure up the spirits with their sludgy doom-inspired raspy throated brand of metal. The band's most recent release "Primary Septagon" is available through their Bandcamp site as a pay what you desire, so be kind to these gents and help them any way you can.



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Next up is Sons of God. Sons of God is not your typical Southern Sludge band, what I mean by that is that these guys are a Christian band. Here is a little information about the band.

Founder, guitar and vocalist Eric Crowe [ex Social Infestation & Big Yellow Mama] knew that he could no longer live his life for the sake of this world and could no longer play music that didn’t glorify Jesus Christ. With a burning passion and desire to spread the Gospel, Sons of God was born. Over the course of years there have been numerous line-up changes and unscheduled hiatus’, but things seem to have gotten a lot heavier and tighter with a new line-up, which includes: Tommy Butler (ex-60 seconds, Huckleberry and Dead Sewn Lips) & Colby Anderson (Apathetic Discharge) to fill in for the time being. Sons of God takes influence from bands inside and outside the Christian circle (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Place of Skulls, Sleep,  Goatsnake, Weedeater, Disciple, Buzzov*en, etc.) which has brought about persecution from many. Our sound is more stoner rock / doom than the more popular sounds of metalcore and scene bands. As a band we will never force “religion” down peoples throat, because religion in itself is bondage. Jesus Christ didn’t come to bring religion, but truth and light. Besides who are we to judge, no one is perfect, why should anyone pretend that they are? We just want to spread the Gospel, be who we are and meet you where you are.

These guys know how to bring it. Sludgy heavy southern groove with whiskey soaked vocals, Check out the track "Hogtie'n the Devil and you'll see what I mean.



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Our final band this week is Throng of Shoggoths.

Sludge/doom/death metal band from Birmingham AL. Formed originally as a trio Summer 2010, guitarist Andrew and bassist Tim were members of thrash band Annexed Asylum. Drummer Chris Hendrix is currently guitarist with long-lived hardcore/dada weirdos Grossest National Product. By Fall 2010, the band expanded to a quartet with the addition of Allen Eaton on bass, Tim moving to guitar.

Ahhh, some crusty death/sludge from sweet home Alabama. The songs are brutally intense with guttural vocals and lyrics inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and Austin Osman Spare. The band currently has their latest offering "Nauseated and Terrified for the Future" available on their Bandcamp site for a measly $3. Go help these guys out any way you can!



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Friday, April 15, 2011

Flashback Friday - Chrome Locust


What happens when a couple of punk rockers decide they’d rather play Black Sabbath instead of Black Flag? Well, if you want the answer to that question, then look no further. Chrome Locust was a short lived project made up of old school punks who decided, at least for one album, that sludgy stoner rock was their true calling.

This brief story begins back in 1997 when New York punk band D Generation was in the midst of a vicious touring cycle for their second album No Lunch. Having just finished supporting runs with an array of impressive headliners including the likes of Social Distortion, the Ramones and even KISS, guitarist Richard Bacchus abruptly quit the band. With an opening slot on the Green Day tour in the works, D Generation had no time to waste in seeking out his replacement. Fortunately, they landed Todd Youth, a veteran guitar player who had already earned his stripes playing in legendary hardcore bands Murphy’s Law and Agnostic Front, and they never missed a beat.

This version of D Generation would go on to record their third and final album Through the Darkness in 1999. But more importantly for this story, is the musical collaboration that arose from that final lineup. Around the time that the album was being recorded, drummer Michael Wildwood and newcomer Youth had discovered a mutual affinity for the slower, heavier sounds of stoner rock. The two got together to jam with Youth on vocals and guitar and Wildwood on drums and ultimately they began writing songs. Interestingly enough, the third piece of the puzzle, bassist Jim Heneghan, would come by way of a band called Vasquez, whose singer/guitarist was none other than Richard Bacchus (the guy that Youth had replaced in D Generation). And in the aftermath of D Generation’s eventual demise, Chrome Locust was born.

The band released their debut, self titled album in 1999 on Tee Pee Records and it was exactly what you might expect from a bunch of punk vets playing Sabbath inspired tunes. Slow and heavy in all the right places…abrasive and fast in all the others…the record was a true underground classic. Unfortunately it would be the first and last we would hear from Chrome Locust as Todd Youth would leave later that same year to take a more high profile gig as the guitarist in Danzig. And in an interesting, yet unrelated twist…Michael Wildwood would go on to play drums for space rock legends Monster Magnet on their 2004 album Monolithic Baby!. Thankfully, unlike a lot of my Flashback Friday recommendations, the Chrome Locust album can still be found relatively easily. As always, I strongly recommend that you check out this excellent band whose career was all too brief...take a listen and see for yourself what it is to be a “sludge punk”.

last.fm|Buy Here





Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Band To Burn One To - The Heavy Co.

 
As also seen on The Soda Shop

Today's New Band To Burn One To is The Heavy Co.
Formed in the Fall of 2008, the Heavy Co. has been steadily working on writing, recording, and performing distinctive psychedelic rock music that combines the vibe of classic rock, the acid flashbacks of Haight-Ashbury and Swinging London, and the improvisational driven live experience of the jam band scene. The band was formed by members of Indiana’s burgeoning doom/stoner rock scene seeking a subtler approach to getting spaced and fuzzy, musically speaking.

Heavy Rotation: When Grunge Ruled the World

For this week's edition of Heavy Rotation, I decided to dig around in the attic for some of my old Grunge CDs. For some of you younger readers that may be a bit unfamiliar with what I am talking about, Grunge is generally characterized by a sludgy guitar sound that uses a high level of distortion, fuzz and feedback effects. Grunge fuses elements of hardcore punk and heavy metal, although some bands performed with more emphasis on one or the other. The music shares with punk a raw sound and similar lyrical concerns. However, it also involves much slower tempos, dissonant harmonies, and more complex instrumentation – which is reminiscent of heavy metal.


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01. Skinyard-"1000 Smilin'Knuckles"

This song was the first song I ever heard from Skin Yard, as it was the the first song on the self-titled album of the same name from 1991. What lead me to purchase this album in the first place was the cool album cover artwork. A bit more upbeat and more metal than punk, this song along with its layered vocals and crunchy guitar also had great melody and stellar production thanks to grunge wunderkid Jack Endino.

The band was formed in January 1985 by Daniel House and Jack Endino, who were subsequently joined by Ben McMillan and Matt Cameron. Skin Yard played its first concert in June 1985, opening for the U-Men. In 1986, Skin Yard contributed two songs to the now-legendary Deep Six compilation. This album, in addition to featuring the first commercial recordings of The Melvins, Soundgarden, Malfunkshun and Skin Yard, was the first to showcase the early grunge sound. That same year, Skin Yard released their self-titled debut album and their first single, Bleed. Read more...

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02. Gruntruck-"Crazy Love"

I saw a video of this song on Headbanger's Ball back in 1992 and was instantly drawn to it's great groove and killer vocals which  lead to the purchase of their album "Push" as well as their debut effort "Inside Yours". Gruntruck was also a bit more on the metal end of the spectrum as well, are you starting to detect a trend?

The band only released two albums. They toured the U.S. and Canada with Alice in Chains in fall of 1992, as well as Europe in the winter of 1993 with Pantera, who were supporting Vulgar Display of Power. According to Sean Kinney, they were Alice in Chains's most supported band at the time, opening alongside the Screaming Trees for Alice's Dirt tour. In 1996, they ended up in a legal battle with Roadrunner Records for contract termination. Gruntruck won the case, but at heavy cost to the band. Bassist Tim Paul left and was replaced by Alex Sibbald, and following a less than stellar tour with Circus of Power, drummer Scott McCullum left as well. In 1996, they resurfaced with new drummer Josh Sinder, previously of The Accüsed to record a 3-track EP called Shot. The classic lineup reformed in the late 90s for various shows and recordings that never properly surfaced. In 2000, the band had a successful comeback stint in the Northwest playing many shows to audiences eager for Gruntruck. However, the band disbanded permanently in 2002, leaving behind rumors of a possible album of unreleased rarities that may or may not surface in the near future. Ben McMillan died from diabetes on January 26, 2008.

Buy

03. My Sister's Machine-"Diva"

When I first received this as a promo at the record store I was working at back in 1992, I couldn't get enough of it. Very reminiscent of Alice In Chains, the band used great melodies and passionate vocals to ignite the ever hungry grunge crowd looking for more, unfortunately for the band things did not work out. This song is the title track from their 1992 debut album.

My Sister's Machine was a grunge band that formed in 1989, prior to the "grunge movement" of the early 90's in Seattle, WA. In 1990, My Sister's Machine received the "Best New Band" award from the Northwest Music Association.

In 1991, they had much interest from the major record labels but chose to sign with a smaller label Caroline Records who could spend more time and effort promoting them.

In 1992, they released their debut album, Diva to much critical acclaim. Steve Kurutz of Allmusic gave the album four and a half stars, calling it "a surprisingly strong record musically...Though the lyrics are, for the most part, ridiculously poor, they are delivered with enough attitude that the listener will hardly notice unless he reads the album booklet." Read more...

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04. Soundgarden-"Into the Void" (Black Sabbath cover)

I had always wanted to hear what it would sound like if Soundgarden covered a Black Sabbath song, well my wish came true on the companion disc "Satanoscillatemymetallicsonatas" to 1992's Badmotorfinger. It did not disappoint as Chris Cornell and Co. tore it up complete with words of protest by Chief Sealth replacing the original song lyrics.

Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1984 by lead singer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron became the band's permanent drummer in 1986 while bassist Ben Shepherd became a permanent replacement for Yamamoto in 1990.

Soundgarden was one of the seminal bands in the creation of grunge, a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle, and was one of a number of grunge bands signed to the record label Sub Pop. Soundgarden was the first grunge band to sign to a major label (A&M Records, in 1988), though the band did not achieve commercial success until they popularized "grunge" in the early 1990s with Seattle contemporaries Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. Read more...

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05. Tad-"Grease Box"

Featuring a bass line as heavy as the man himself, this track was off of their 1993 major label release "Inhaler". The album was full of driving rhythms and melody while staying true their grunge roots.

Led by Tad Doyle (b. Thomas Doyle) on vocals and guitar, Tad was formed in early 1988 by Doyle and bassist Kurt Danielson, who met while at a Christian Banquet. They previously played together when Danielson's band Bundle of Hiss played with Doyle's previous band (in which he played drums) H-Hour. Doyle had also earlier played in a Gang of Four cover band called Red Set. They recruited drummer Steve Wied (formerly of Skin Yard and Death and Taxes) and guitarist Gary Thorstensen (ex-Treeclimbers) to complete the original lineup.

Tad was among the first bands to be signed to Sub Pop Records and was possibly the first pioneer of what was to be later called grunge rock. Read more...

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Album Review - Blood Ceremony: Living with the Ancients


If a modern take on William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was ever written, Blood Ceremony’s Living with the Ancients could easily be its soundtrack. On their latest Rise Above Records release, the Toronto band creates a macabre blend of folk, doom and psychedelia that sounds like it could have been made by the mischievous fairies, elves and other supernatural creatures that inhabit the play’s forest. Of course the primary reasons for such a comparison are the haunting vocals and rustic flute playing of Alia O’Brien. The songs have a mystical aura that conjures up images of Puck, the devilish, Pan-like sprite from the story who had the legs, cloven hooves and horns of a goat.

How appropriate then that the album begins with “The Great God Pan”, a song about a ritualistic séance to resurrect the mysterious pagan figure. The track features a combination of driving doom riffs and supernatural lyrical flourishes before O’Brien’s organ takes center stage and then she and her band mates, guitarist Sean Kennedy, bassist Lucas Gadke and drummer Andrew Haust, go on an extended retro-style jam that lasts for nearly five minutes. This gives way to “Coven Tree”, where we first hear the aforementioned flute. The song has a very 60’s vibe to it, sounding kind of like a fresh take on The Mamas and The Papas. In fact O’Brien’s vocals often remind me a lot of the legendary Cass Elliot from that band. This one keeps the creepy mysticism alive with lyrics about a gathering of witches.

“The Hermit” is a beautiful, folk-rock transition piece that sees the band strumming and grooving around a whimsical flute solo by O’Brien. And then Blood Ceremony gets down and dirty, losing the flute in favor of the weightier organ as they unleash the Sabbath inspired dirge, “My Demon Brother”, definitely one of the heavier tracks on Living with the Ancients. The flute resurfaces amidst the catchy, up-tempo groove that starts off “Morning of the Magicians”. Here, O’Brien’s vocals take on an ethereal quality, particularly during the mid-song breakdown that features another of the singer’s stunning flute solos intertwined with some intricate acoustic guitar plucking by Kennedy. The two are eventually rejoined by the rhythm section of Gadke and Haust and the band picks right back up with the up-tempo groove that started this masterpiece…perfection.

“Oliver Haddo” is a straight forward, riff-driven doom number about a character from the 1908 novel The Magician that is apparently based on Aleister Crowley. Around six minutes into the song, O’Brien and Kennedy enter into an impressive jam session that recalls prog-metal giants Mastodon, if they had replaced one of their guitars with an organ. “Night of Augury” is a definite throwback to the 60’s as it features more of O’Brien’s organ grinding as well as what is perhaps her strongest vocal performance on the album. “The Witch’s Dance” is another brief interlude that features the flute with an acoustic guitar accompaniment and ultimately leads us to Blood Ceremony’s final act, “Daughter of the Sun”. On this one, the band seems to have saved their best for last, incorporating all of the elements that make Living with the Ancients such a fantastic listen, into an epic ten minute finale. The song shifts from hard driving riffs through fantastical sweeps of flute and guitar into organ laced jams and back again, all while maintaining the eerie vibe that permeates the entire record.

On Living with the Ancients, Blood Ceremony have created a vibe…a strange sense of supernatural evil that never quite leaves you as you listen to it. The greatest albums do this…they create a feeling or some sense of emotion that courses through them from one song to the next. The difference here is that it isn’t just the subject matter that lends to the album’s atmosphere…it’s the band’s choice of instruments. The flute has long been associated with devilish spirits like the Greek god Pan and Shakespeare’s Puck. So here’s my recommendation to you. Turn down the lights…fire up the candles and incense…and join in this Blood Ceremony. Who knows…maybe the séance will work and the ancient satyr himself will appear right there in your living room.

Track Listing:

01 The Great God Pan
02 Coven Tree
03 The Hermit
04 My Demon Brother
05 Morning of the Magicians
06 Oliver Haddo
07 Night of Augury
08 The Witch's Dance
09 Daughter of the Sun

Band Members:

Alia O'Brien - Vocals, Flute, Organ
Sean Kennedy - Guitars
Lucas Gadke - Bass
Andrew Haust - Drums

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