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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

As The World Burns-New Band To Burn One To

HEAVY PLANET presents...today's "New Band To Burn One To"-AS THE WORLD BURNS


Bio:

AS THE WORLD BURNS (formerly RUST) is a Norfolk, VA. based hard rock/metal band, and consists of five guys, longtime friends, John Ferreira – Lead Vocals, Rich Clark – Lead Guitars, Evan Swenson – Guitar, Jim Vandale - Drums and Barry Couch – Bass Guitar.


AS THE WORLD BURNS was formed in early 2005. We are all seasoned musicians. A.T.W.B. has a strong rhythm section and lead guitar and vocals that really set us apart from the others.

We sound like Megadeth had a one night stand with Ozzy and were raised by Steve Vai and David Gilmour. Bands we would fit with, style wise, range from rock like Skid Row- Guns and Roses to Metal such as Avenged Sevenfold, Megadeth ect. Always difficult to label yourself. We sound like the sum of our collective influences which is quite broad and which give us our unique sound.

We play regionally. On the east coast mainly. We frequently open for national acts at The NorVa in Norfolk, Va. (the premiere place to play in our area.) Other venues worth mention are Jaxx in Springfield, Va- Alley Katz in Richmond- Sonar in Baltimore and Lamoure's in N.Y.C. We have acquired a healthy following over the years.

Some band's we have played with include- George Lynch, Kix, Duff McCaggen's Loaded, White Lion, Devil Driver, Finger 11, Doro Pesch, Airbourne, Veil of Maya, Emmure and a slew of tribute bands.

Late spring ’08 we released a 4 song Demo CD, “Let it Rust”, that was been well received. Our full length debut CD was released May 12th, 2011. Currently available at all digital retail outlets. Including iTunes and Amazon.


ComScore

Thoughts:

"As The World Burns is a tremendous band  from Norfolk, VA. The band's unique blend of melody and bombast are intriguing, most notably the fiery guitar work of Rich Clark and gritty southern vocal style of John Ferreira. Plenty of heavy guitar crunch provide the backbone to a sound that lies somewhere between eighties heavy rock to today's heavy metal. Throw up your horns and bang yer fuckin' head to As The World Burns!"
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Monday, January 30, 2012

Gesso-New Band To Burn One To

HEAVY PLANET presents...today's "New Band To Burn One To" GESSO!


Bio:

We are Gesso, a psychedelic stoner rock band from Portugal. We are recording our first EP and searching for a record label. We are Ruben Sequeira on drums, Flávio SA on bass and Joel Fausto on guitar. Our sound is strong and transcendental ones with a gross rock.





Thoughts:

"With their fuzzed-out vibe, trippy guitar effects and pulsating repetitious grooves, Portugal 3-piece Gesso thrust the listener head first into a glowing interstellar cloud of space dust. Clumping together pieces of doom, stoner and psychedelic space warble, the band leaves behind a magnificent trail of cosmic debris."


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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Monarch - "Omens"


Loosen up your stomachs, folks. Today's featured band is France's Monarch, and their sound could be called "boues
funérailles dimanche." To categorize the band as "sludge" would be wholly misleading. The absolute gut-wrench of doom steals marquee billing here, and you can almost hear light snow tapping cold headstones. This is mournful sludge kneeling at the precipice of an open grave.

While the sound at most funerals is one of either sadness or reflective celebration, Monarch's Omen is
a shrill, haunting drone that blankets listeners with hovering guitar buzz, torturously distant vocal delivery, and painstaking rhythmic grind. From beginning to end, the three-track, thirty-five minute lamentation is veiled in black sludge dirge, slowed to a crawl as if to allow for a pensive search for answers we won't soon find.

Hollow, ghastly, spooky. Take your pick, but adjectives won't do justice to the crunchy knell of Blood Seeress. A misty choir echoes just beyond the riverbed as crushing blows are delivered in beautiful succession. Emilie Bresson's screams are slow, bruised, and ten miles beyond casket-crawling anguish. Whether she's holding a burning cross, a melting candle, or a thorn-riddled Fleur-de-lis is of no consequence. Atmospheres are kept eerie with distant drone and Rob Shaffer's arduous drumwork is a tithe for your sins. The fuzzy sludge is just enough to help you remember these sounds are in your headphones, not your mind. But be careful.

Transylvanian Incantations is an intermission of sorts. The dead haunt this vacant corridor and you can almost hear flickering candles amongst the sustain. It's strange to think of something this spooky as a cleft in the filthy, tormented canvas of the tracks bookending Omens. But whatever the intentions were for this track, Monarch seem to get it just right.

Building slower than your dusty grandfather's sex-drive, Black Becomes the Sun is damn-near twenty minutes of pounding, buzzing. Shiran Kaidin's guitars are crunchy and magnetic without being outdone by a cathedral's echoes. The track's sludge/doom/drone is, however, broken down into an even slower, fuzzier purr. The Sunn 0))) influence begins its whispers, but the throaty hiss of fecund evil counters preconceptions. MicHell Bidegain's bass underlay drives the tempo into scorched, blackened earth, though the sludge maintains an almost lilted buzz. The song's second chapter, however, is the strongest representation of vocal balance between whispers and screams. The mood is one of woe and heartache, but lush, barbaric fury has its place as well. We didn't think humans were capable of creating these auras. Actually, we didn't think ANYTHING was.



Omens is like that cold you feel in your bones. You can light a fire, crank the thermostat, and wrap yourself in flannel, but that damp ache just won't let you be. If the rhythms here were any faster, they wouldn't be as gorgeously troubling. Monarch haven't lost all hope, but on their sixth album they cement their footing as funeral-drone kings of the most melancholy nature. The spirit is troubled, and you can bet your ass you won't sleep well tonight.



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Friday, January 27, 2012

JOY-New Band To Burn One To

Heavy Planet presents...today's "New Band To Burn One To"-JOY!


Bio:

Joy is the newest, loudest tune meltin' power-trio-trip band to come screaming outta Southern California. Since their formation in 2010, Zachary Oakley (Vox, G), Trevor Mast (B), and Taylor Charter (DR) have dialed in a spaced-out-sonic-groove-ride all their own. Their live shows conjure musical spirits of the past in the form of improv-jams and unapologetic volumes and wild stage energy. Fans of Blue Cheer, Cream, Jimi, acid and freestyle-psych take note: JOY will have their first full-length out early in the year 2012 on San Diegan label Cavepunk Records.






Thoughts:


"One word that truly describes this band: Intense. This power trio from San Diego simply known as JOY steps on the gas and never lets up. With reach for the sun guitar soloing, bouncy moving bass lines, and a hypnotic groove, JOY takes their cue from many of the heavy psych legends of the seventies. I would imagine seeing these guys play live would be an absolutely exhilarating experience."
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Truckfighters Fuzzomentary: A Film Review


The drone of winter isn't exclusive to mid-America. The cold, packed earth crunches under my Chuck Taylors just as it does under those of Truckfighters' Ozo (Oskar Cedermalm, bass/vocals). It's easy to immortalize three guys who play on an elevated stage or craft a sound so huge that your chest rattles if you get too close. When documentaries explore the backstage, on-the-road, and at-home lives of rockers you can't get enough of, so rarely is found symmetry between god-like stage persona and sound humility.

Where many rock-docs sag is where this Truckfighters Fuzzomentary sails. Perhaps the small-stage sphere is more appropriate for capturing the intimacy between band and fan. Viewers aren't witness to cock-rock bravado following a gig at Wembley hosting 90,000 (no fist-pumps, no inflated egos). The meat of this film takes place in clubs where 25 screaming fuzz-o-philes are shoved into sweaty one-anothers and don't give a shit if they're leaning against amps. And how refreshing is it to see a frontman agreeing to play a show in return for "gas money, food, and somewhere to stay"?

The humble beginnings only serve as a tributary to Truckfighters' humble present and future. Narrator Chris Cockrell (of Kyuss, no less) introduces the film as "a good story about three down-to-earth guys." These are men with jobs, children, bills, fights, car-problems, and serious fucking ambition. It's impossible not to fall in love with a band so determined, so tireless, and so thankful for every listener they've enlisted with their expansive, focused buzz. What's not clear, however, is how they haven't managed to become the most important band in the fucking world.

The 8mm handheld approach is a perfect parallel to the band's sound. Spliced throughout grainy live footage is no shortage of campy 70's pulp, complete with spinning faux magazine covers, trippy Atari-sequences, and dickloads of wispy, smoke-filled monologue interviews. Joerg Steineck manages to perfectly complement the fuzzed-up sonic blast of Truckfighters with the bumpy, gritty filmstock characteristic of fat mustache porn. The marriage works, and we can almost imagine ourselves in dusty trailers on outskirts of small towns. I guess Truckfighters have more in common with my mom's sisters than I'd ever imagined.

Based in Örebro, Sweden, Truckfighters never get too wrapped up in themselves to focus on making woolly mammoths of records. The film demonstrates a unique and brotherly relationship between Ozo and Dango (Niklas Källgren, guitars), one that can only result from a shared path and vision. Late to the film is Pezo (Oscar Johansson, drums), who holds a clearly different approach from his mates. Sure, jest is made of his quasi-religious pleas to God for the strength to drum and his argument that "the clock is not a real thing. It's just made up by man." But the divide between Pezo and the Ozo/Dango tandem begins to punctuate the film's point. Honestly, what fan doesn't mind waiting a few extra minutes when Truckfighters open a set with a live fuckin' Desert Cruiser? And when the amp breaks, audiences are privy to an improvisational jam. Works for us.

As non-linear as the film may appear, distinct moods, methods, and motivations emerge. Nine chapters form the film, though the final two chew the bulk of both time and relish. Pezo's self-critical preoccupation rises just alongside the band's allure, as larger stages and audiences loom. Sure, Truckfighters serve a loyalty to the fans filling local venues. But the band's reach is becoming undeniable. Cameras again take viewers backstage following a club show where Pezo enjoys the atmosphere as much as anyone. So when the film abruptly announces Pezo has quit, it's as much a kick to the nuts of viewers as it is to Ozo and Dango. Though critical of Pezo's practice and time management, they can't deny he's "a hell of a drummer."

Oozing humor, the film is almost a counter to the gravity of the band members' everyday lives, Pezo's departure, and the struggle to find his adequate replacement. Recruiting a roster of A-list stoner rock heroes (Josh Homme, Nick Oliveri, Vic Du Monte, Rob Oswald, Alfredo Hernandez), Truckfighters lament never fulfilling their dreams of stunning audiences in the U.S., Japan, and Australia. Laugh all you want when Josh Homme claims the band influenced Kyuss, but nobody's convincing Josh to say that shit for a band that hasn't EARNED his accolades. The end sequence is so tongue-in-cheek that you don't need to seriously question it. But it doesn't take long for listeners to realize Truckfighters won't be "their band" for long.

Truckfighters
plays up the band's "stoner" and "desert" labels plenty. But it paints a picture different from the band-focused documentaries to which you've grown accustomed. It's certainly no Stop Making Sense-like concert film. We're going deeper than that. Nobody's getting stabbed like they did in Gimme Shelter. You won't find any of these three Swedes shooting heroin, self-destructing on stage, or developing a God-complex a la Anton Newcombe in Ondi Timoner's Dig!. And as for Some Kind of Monster, well... this film nurtures a respect for the subjects.

Beginning with Örebro's wintry fields, moving through the mundane "coma" of everyday life, and ending on fuzzy, promising highlights, the Truckfighters Fuzzomentary never loses sight of the priorities of the everyman. The band is never over-inflated or over-indulgent, nor is the film. The style so well delivers the band's dogma that anyone who's never heard of Truckfighters will love both film and band regardless. Steineck's countless hours sidelining the trio, trimmed to 84 minutes, is as effective a paradigm as there is in terms of focus, perspective, and influence. If every rock band could be more in love with the music and less with themselves, we might realize a broader escape from the jobs and lives that kill us. I don't know what I'll do if this band doesn't conquer the world. Maybe just move to Örebro.



Film Site | Band Site | Facebook | Joerg Steineck

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Zac's "Double Dose" - Alegionnaire / Sea of Zyn


Alegionnaire: Realms

Alegionnaire began as an instrumental metal quartet in 2007. In 2009 the four some decided to take an experimental approach to their metallic creation, and what we have here, 'Realms' was formed. Realms integrates a stoner riff and down-tuned doom foundation with sonic interludes and barbaric vocals. Envision, if you will, the bastard-spawn of Pelican and Amon Amarth, with a touch of Randy Blythe's vocal influence. Give my favorite track, Clinging to the Titans Beard, a spin. If you dig it, head over to bandcamp and download the entire album, its free!



**Alegionniare is currently on hiatus. Aaron Todd is currently working on a solo / collaborative effort project entitled Audible Burst. Adam Nicholson and Chris Clough are working on a doom project, with Realms producer Jay Brafford, called Below. Both worth listen!

Members:

Aaron Todd - Bass / Vocals
Adam Nicholson - Guitar
Chris Clough - Drums / Vocals
Phillip Claunch - Guitar / Vocals

I bandcamp I facebook I myspace I reverbnation I youtube I

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Sea of Zyn: ...In the Key of Sinners

Sea of Zyn is a dynamic duo, The Rev and Zyn, from the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. While they have worked together in the past, this particular project came together in 2008. Largely inspired by their love for their home-town, the music is full of pounding percussion, strings, and brass sections, while the vocals are powerful and poetic (a strange mixture of Wino, Mike Patton, and Chris Cornell) . "They [Sea of Zyn] nod to nearly everything birthed in this great music city." Really, in the end Sea of Zyn are just a great rock band. My personal favorite track is 'Idolatry'. From the intros patriotic proclamation, to the classic riff-age, and the chorus 'bleed it dry, you're bleeding it dry, you bled it till it withered and died.' The song is solid through and through, with some lyrical substance that truly cohere with the instrumental side.



Members:

Jason Seaman "The Reverend"
Jeffrey Golzynski " Zyn"

with the addition of

Eric Fischer: Drums on Atrophy, Panacea, & Light.
John Piasentin: additional guitars on Light.
Art Peitsch: additional vocals on Idolatry
Danny Methric: additional guitars on Fearless & Idolatry
Eddie Baranek: additional guitars on Deliverance
Glenn Bengry: horns on Poppies & Deliverance

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Diablo Strange-New Band To Burn One To

Heavy Planet presents...today's "New Band To Burn One To"-DIABLO STRANGE


Bio:

Diablo Strange formed in 2010 as a power trio with a vision of making old school heavy rock with a modern twist. The band has taken influences ranging from classic rock, metal, blues and punk and fused them all together tastefully to create their own sound. With catchy melodies, powerful rock riffs, vocal harmonies and lively drumming, Diablo Strange shows variety by delivering songs that tell stories of tap dancing outlaws to an escape from a mental institution.

The chemistry between members Matt Cormier (Lead Vocalist/Bassist), Marty Surette (Lead Guitar/Backup vocals) and J-D Thibodeau (Drummer) is undeniable in both their explosive live performance and the creation of their own heavy yet groovy brand of bar rock. The growly vocals comparable to Clutch, bass and drum rhythms similar to Queens of the Stone Age, and the head-bobbing guitar will surely give all fans something they can relate to. Diablo Strange is getting ready to release their first self-titled EP containing 6 tracks in early 2012.



Thoughts:


"Canadian band Diablo Strange charges ahead with a trashy brand of what I would call stonerockabilly. Pounding rythyms, scorching guitar work, sing-a-long choruses, and infectious melodies rise through the flames and into your soul. I really like what I hear, especially the gruff cigarette ravaged vocal-style of Marty Surette. Check out the two songs the band has posted on Bandcamp for your listening pleasure."

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Church of Wolves-New Band To Burn One To

Heavy Planet presents...today's "New Band To Burn One To" CHURCH OF WOLVES.


Bio:

Hitherto, a monolithic beast ravaged and raped the stewards of the simple life. He had seven heads, the gullet of a serpent, and a wolfs body. Cries of agony echoed to the village from the dark and dense forest. Finally the day for retaliation came, and the monks summoned an even greater beast to battle their foe. Church of Wolves was born, in blood and under a heavy moon to aggressively seek justice for all.

We formed in Durham NC and have members around the triangle area of NC. Consist of Alex Kokawski(vocals and guitar), Chris Walls(guitar and vocals), Bret Mcgraw(bass and vocals), and Rick Moras(drums).


ComScore

Thoughts:

"This band from NC known as Church of Wolves sets an ominous mood by resonating goose-pimple inducing feedback from their speakers. The band churns out some pretty sick stoner groove-laced sludge jams. Along with thundering drum wallops, devastating low end, a fuzzed-out tone and a devout vocal unholiness, Church of Wolves unmercifully devours through the meaty flesh right down to the bone.  This shit reeks of pure fuckin evil!"

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Godhunter - "Wolves"


It's nearly impossible to get lost in the woods anymore. I'd think no matter how far you wandered, you'd be able to catch the hum of an engine or stretch your neck to find a distant porch light. But if you're worried you won't make it home in time for dinner, lock yourself in a closet and crank Godhunter's Wolves. The layered, haunting sludge holds more than enough unease to pin you down and bloody your lip.

On Wolves, Tucson's most eligible quintet craft five stoner-sludge boulders of undeniable weight, unwavering non-conformity, and unrelenting brutality. Commencing with the strangely clean, creepy buzz of (Stop Being) Sheep's opening licks, the sound wastes no time in warning listeners of scorched-earth desperation. Spyro's drums trample fuzzy expectations and progress toward spooky tablesaw grind. Acute, pained vocals via Charlie Touseull only magnify the beautiful discontent. And we're just getting started.

Maintaining gradual silt build-up is Wolves of the North. Marching militantly behind dual-vocal shouts, the caked sludge thickens, grows deeper, and nearly breaks under the weight of its own sonic shifts. These wolves sound like they're getting closer with each passing beat, though the attack also seems to be coming from every direction. You're left no choice but to embrace the madness.

Southern riffage burns Red State/Black Crusade. The vocal tandem remains, as lyrics channel Charlton Heston and David Rodgers channels his inner Dimebag with groove and pullback. Shifting, hitting cruise, and later bulldozing itself into a landfill, this track ultimately meets the backwoods unrest. Chaos melds with slugging rhythms and listeners begin to enjoy this malevolence.

Powerbelly is a fuzzy, pensive, progressive burn without even a hint of subtlety. You'll never quite get your footing on this dense roll that sticks low to the leaves. Godhunter slow to a squirm after days of dense repetition, but you'd better have a good explanation for all those pulsating bruises. No cop is ever gonna believe you fell down the stairs last night.

Revving the motor and crunching dry bone come effortlessly for the album's closer, (Dead Hooker by the side of) The Road. Peel back the skin and find Matthew Davis hanging hope at the clearing. The keyboards balance the Phil Anselmo influence through more than a few tempo shifts. Slowing to a soldier's cadence, the stomp of Spyro's drums and the stutter of Dick's bass take a moment to grab your greasy collar and shout in your face. The song (and the album) walks off and doesn't turn back to see the rubble.

This band is hunting more than God. I'm not sure what's happening out in the Arizona desert, but Godhunter have hit their stride and found their teeth. Wolves, for all its defamation, showcases the promise of sludge giants shedding their skin. This chilling collection is a statement of heavy, jaw-jacked sound and the itching of eager ears should relent with the first note. Leave a trail of breadcrumbs and keep an eye on the falling sun. Wolves WILL leave you with no compass, be it magnetic or moral.


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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Heavy Planet Interviews Corrosion of Conformity's Woody Weatherman

I'm not gonna waste the world's time introducing Corrosion of Conformity, and I certainly won't pretend you don't know that Woodroe "Woody" Weatherman is the only member found on every recording the band ever laid to tape. Thankfully, I won't toot my own horn stating I recently had the incredible fortune of talking music with one of the greatest guitarists (and greatest inspirations to countless musicians) of the last thirty years. Woody Weatherman does far more than shred.

What I will do is tell you the band's new album hits shelves on February 28th, their tour commences March 1st, and the three-piece C.O.C. is as dynamic and blistering as they've ever been. Woody had plenty to say about the recording, the tour, the three-piece dynamic, and pretending not to be the coolest motherfucker on the planet. It went something like this:


HP: The new album's due out February 28th. There's a lot of excitement about it. You guys spent about a year recording it?

WW: "We actually recorded it really quickly, but we kept on interspersing live dates in-between, y'know, little snippets of working on it. So we kind of recorded the whole thing back in March and then toured all summer long and wound up goin' back out.... I think it was right at the end of October, first of November... and finished things. So we didn't really work on it that long, it just took us that long to get done 'cause of all the live shows, y'know?"

HP: When you guys are writing, is it more of a collaborative effort all at once or do you and Mike and Reed write your own material and bring it together later?

WW: "This time around, a whole lot of it was all of us just sort of had songs in our minds that we were ready to bust out. So we all kind of showed up with songs ready to go and just showed 'em to each other. Of course, there's a couple of Frankenstein songs where, y'know, say I might have two riffs that fit good together and I'm like 'Well, I got these two riffs. What do you got?' Mike Dean would bust out the other two riffs and the next thing you know you've got a song, y'know? There was a lot of that. Of course, Reed had three or four songs as well, so he contributed quite a bit this time, too."

HP: And you guys recorded at Studio 606 in LA, right?

WW: "We did, and mixed it there as well."

HP: What's that place like?

WW: "Ah, man! Y'know, it's Dave Grohl's place so you can imagine he's got a lot of cool vintage gear, a lot of amps, tons of guitars. And when we first went in, I wasn't sure how much he was cool with us using it. I know he invited us to use the studio but when we got there I was like 'Now, you know there's like 300 guitars back there and about 50 amps. Is it cool if we, y'know, can we use any of that?' and he was like 'Yeah!' So we did! And as usual, I always kind of find this tone I really like and wind up stickin' with it. So 90% of the guitar tracks were done on a little Orange Tiny Terror-kind of amp. Which I've never used before, but it wound up sounding pretty cool for this album."

HP: Cool! And what's the atmosphere like when you guys are recording. Is it laid-back, is it pretty focused and hunkered down?

WW: "This time around, it was really casual 'cause it's just the three of us. We've recorded together an awful lot through the years. Plus, the songs were ready to go. By the time we made it into the studio we'd already had some touring under our belts playing a lot of the songs live and we were just really prepared. So really, the basic tracks only took us about six days, we did it really quickly."

HP: And you guys worked with John Custer again, huh?

WW: "Yeah, man! You gotta have Custer! I've said it a couple times before, he's sort of like a quality control agent. He tells us if something's f'ed up or not. Y'know, he's one of those producers, at least when he's working with us, that doesn't try to change songs or change us at all. He'll just say 'Okay, go do what you do and see how it sounds." And we go do what we do and usually he likes it pretty good. He just makes sure the tones are right and all that kind of stuff, he doesn't really mess with the songs, per se, much."

HP: There's a lot of people talkin' about the lineup now, and it's goin' back to the Animosity lineup. Was that really on your minds when you were writing and recording, did that play into it at all?

WW: "Well, it did. And plus, especially since it was the three of us contributing... I mean, Pepper (Keenan) is a big, creative force. Whenever we're workin' with him he comes to the table with quite a bit, too. So Mike, Reed, and I gotta step up, y'know? These songs are geared for a three-piece. They're simple, the structures... Whenever we make a record we wanna make sure we can play the songs live and it not sound so dramatically different than what we created for the studio. We always have that in mind."

HP: Pepper's busy with Down, but his absence certainly doesn't detract from the record at all. It's a fuckin' great record! He had a hand in everybody kind of getting back together in the first place, didn't he?

WW: "Yeah, he did. Reed had been out of the band for awhile, he'd had some trouble with his back, a bunch of other things. And so Mike and Reed have a little side project called Righteous Fools they were workin' on. And Pepper had called us all up individually and said 'Y'know, I've been out with Down and there's some interest in C.O.C. comin' over to Europe and doin' some festival shows and what-not.' So Mike and Reed and I, of course were all three down in Raleigh, close together... we got together and started rehearsing and messing around, jammin' a little bit possibly in preparation for doing that and it just never materialized. But we kept on jamming as a three-piece. So it's kind of like Pepper initiated getting everybody back together and that was pretty cool, man."

HP: And the tour starts March 1st, is that right?

WW: "It does, yeah. We've got Torche, Valient Thorr, and A Storm of Light rollin' out with us on this little trek. It'll be awesome, it's cool to travel with an interesting feel like that. Everybody's not doing the same thing, but yet it fits together pretty good."

HP: I'm hoping to catch you guys in Chicago. Are the shows gonna feature mostly new stuff or are you gonna have any stuff from Animosity, Eye for an Eye...?

WW: "We're gonna reach back. Of course we're gonna do some of the Animosity and Technocracy stuff. We'll probably pick and choose a few from each period. Pluck a thing or two off of Deliverance or Wiseblood, but we're gonna be pretty heavy on the new record, too. That's what we're touring in support of, we like it. So we wanna do a bunch of it live, but we're not gonna leave the old-school fans out in the cold, that's for sure."

HP: I heard your interview with Jeff Olson from the other night...

WW: "Ohhh, what a cool guy, man!"

HP: He's somethin' else, man... He's awesome. You guys were talkin' a little bit about takin' no hiatus after this tour, just going into the next record or whatever. So we can expect some further material soon, huh?

WW: "That's what we all wanna do. We have said that before and then we wound up taking a three or four year hiatus or whatever, but we don't want that to happen again. I think we've got too much interest in the band right now and we're too excited about it to let that happen. Plus, we kinda got that work ethic right now where we're into jammin', we're into playin' shows, so I think it'll continue."

HP: What'd you do with that last hiatus? How'd you spend your time?

WW: "Mike and I actually worked on a lot o' tunes during that time. And if you heard the thing with Jeff Olson the other day, we chatted a little bit about my little farm. That kinda keeps me busy a little bit, we've got the animals and what-not. And I do have a son, I've got a three year-old boy now, so he ate up a little bit of that down time. We always find ways to stay busy somewhere with music even if C.O.C.'s not out on the road. We're thinkin' about stuff, messin' with stuff, Mike always keeps a studio goin'... a practice pad. So we get a few ideas, we put 'em on tape, y'know."

HP: You guys did a few albums on Sanctuary, now you guys are with Candlelight. What took you there?

WW: "What took us to Candlelight was they had an interest, they seemed to know what they were doing. It just seems like a pretty good fit so far and they seem to be doin' a good job."

HP: Goin' to the new record, what's the mood on a day when you record el Lamento de las Cabras versus a day when you record River of Stone? You've got two completely different sounds, so how do you approach those? What mindset do you take into the studio, does it even matter?

WW: "Yeah, it does. You mentioned the instrumental there... That's one of the instances that I busted out and got into some of the Foo Fighters' guitars back there. We found some kind of crazy 12-string electric that I wound up utilizing on that. It might take us a few minutes to figure out a tone, but generally you just kind of sit down and do it. Maybe in the morning you do that, you finish, then you take a little burrito break. Then come back and do Psychic Vampire in the afternoon."

HP: Yeah, that's not a 7am song, really.

WW: "Yeah, it depends on how the night before was goin'! You take a burrito break in-between each stage!"

HP: Man, you guys have done this for thirty years. How do you keep it up? So many of your contemporaries have just fallen off or just aren't around anymore. You guys have done it for three decades. How have you guys maintained?

WW: "I know, it's pretty amazing. The thing that is amazing about it is the people that keep coming to see us through the years. That's the difference, y'know? We've got the kind of fans that don't really forget about us, they tend to remember. Even if we do take a four or five year break, they're there the next time. They seem to be pretty loyal. That's the thing that's granted us the opportunity to keep doin' it; because of those fans that hang in there for us, y'know?

HP: You've done some collaborations with people, you were talking about it with Jeff the other night...

WW: "I didn't really get to talk much about Stanton Moore from Galactic when I was chattin' with him. That was another pretty cool collaboration we had on the In The Arms of God album.

HP: Is there a dream collaboration of yours that you haven't done that you'd like to someday?"

WW: *Laughs* "I think they'd all be so unrealistic, y'know, haha..."

HP: I don't think so! Look at the ones you've worked with already! You talk about Warren Haynes and James Hetfield and you're recording in Dave Grohl's studio...

WW: "That's true, y'know... I don't really think about it. Those are things that just sort of popped up... great opportunities we followed up with. Y'know, to be honest... having Reed back in the band has really been a big boost for me. Goin' back and workin' with him after about a ten or eleven year absence has made a giant difference. The ease of playing, especially the older songs, and the ease of writing the new songs... I mean, literally, whenever you bust out a riff he starts playing the drums behind it as you envisioned. You don't have to spend any time goin' 'Man, I need a roll here, I need you to do that. Slow it down.' There's none of that stuff, it's just automatic. That's my dream collaboration, gettin' back with Mullin."

HP: And you guys grew up together, is that right?

WW: "Yeah, around Raleigh and what-not. Reed and I went to school together up through junior high and high school and all that kind of stuff. That's kinda where we started the band. Mike wound up moving up to Raleigh from Charlotte around that same time period. We all grew up listening to a lot of the same kind of music and all that. I think that ties in to the ease of being able to write stuff together 'cause we all can say 'Y'know that part in that song on Presence when Bonham does this, the so-and-so, such-and-such,' and it's 'Oh yeah! Let me try that!' We just have little things like that that just make it work."

HP : You guys always get along perfectly then, right?

WW: "Awww, man! There's the occasional rift. After traveling... really, what I think tears a lot of bands up is hitting the road. They don't know how to handle the road life. And you've got the give and take and not gettin' in people's face, givin' everybody room, or whatever. What everybody needs to make the road life happen and stay happy and all that so it's pretty easy for us, man."

HP: So you're takin' the family with ya?

WW: "Well, I have before. But nah, not really. The boy's too young to really come out to any shows, so maybe later."

HP: I know you guys do a lot of interviews and probably hear a lot of the same questions. Is there a question you've never been asked that you've always waited for someone to ask you?

WW: "I don't know, um... I'm usually really open to whatever people wanna ask. And they've asked a lot of funny and different kind of things, y'know... Off the wall stuff. But nothin' pops into my head. I mean, heck... Come up with somethin' and see if I'll answer, y'know? *Laughs* Nothin' scares me. I can't think of anything but I'm sure there is...

HP: You were talking with Jeff about the Allagash beers. I'm no beer connoisseur, by any stretch. But I like the microbrews. Where should I go? What's the best you've had?

WW: *Laughs* "To be honest, man... As many great small breweries as there are in America, I think Belgium has really... That's their life over there. You find totally good beers in Belgium. Travels over there will tell you that and there's all those abbey beers and all that. Yeah, I'm like you, man. I'm not really a connoisseur I just enjoy having a beer when I get thirsty, which is fairly often."

HP: I like a cask ale now and then but I'll drink Old Milwaukee sometimes.

WW: "That's what I'm sayin', man! Give me a PBR on a nice, hot summer afternoon and I'm happy as a bug in a rug!

HP: Haha, hell yeah. This new record's great. There's an eleven-track and a thirteen-track version of the album, right?

WW: "Yeah, they've got the bonus tracks on vinyl and special edition, so we did two extra songs for that."

HP: Well, I've got all thirteen tracks, so I'm doin' pretty well!

WW: "You've got the whole she-bang! You're good to go!"

HP: You guys have been doing this for so long, you've been doin' it well... As a fan, just let me say thank you, Woody! I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today! If there's anything you need from us, from Heavy Planet, just let us know.

WW: "Will do, brother! I appreciate you takin' the time to chat with me today!"


Anyone reading Heavy Planet knows the importance and relevance of a band like C.O.C. If I hadn't spent my formative years with bands like this, I'd probably be jockeyin' a register in New Jersey. When a band from your youth crafts an album that so well blends fresh sounds with nostalgia, you'd better do your best to buy their albums, hit their shows, and wait for incredible things to happen. Look for Toby's review of C.O.C.'s self-titled, arriving on Heavy Planet faster than you can say "Loss for Words."



C.O.C. site | Facebook | ReverbNation

Friday, January 20, 2012

Album Review - King Giant: Dismal Hollow


King Giant is a band whose music, lyrics, imagery, mood...hell everything that defines who and what they are…can be attributed to the solemnity, the tranquility and the aura of the Appalachian foothills where they call home. It was true on their debut album Southern Darkness and I believe it to be an even more accurate statement after having listened to this, their sophomore release. There’s a foreboding something about their songs that gives off a sort of nostalgia…like hearing granddad tell you some haunted tale from his past…you want to believe its fiction, but there’s this nagging suspicion that it just might be grounded in truth. And the thing is there’s a lot of history surrounding old Appalachia…and a whole lot of ghosts. With Dismal Hollow, the guys in King Giant are out to make damn sure those restless souls get their stories told.

Take the album opener “Appomattox” as an example. The small Virginia town is of course famous for being the location of the final battle of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia…a battle that ended with Lee’s surrender and ultimately led to the end of the American Civil War. Knowing that bit of history is crucial to feeling the weight of David Hammerly’s vocals as he roars the album’s opening lines…”C’mon boy…headed to meet your maker, on a windswept field of glory…in the Shenandoah Valley.” I cannot begin to describe to you the momentousness…the significance you’ll feel when those words are combined with the dual guitars of Todd Ingram and David Kowalski. Hairs will stand on the back of your neck as bassist Floyd Lee Walters III and drummer Brooks level the rhythm section and King Giant marches forward with this instant classic, which even includes a quote from the Union Brigadier General Joshua L. Chamberlain on his impressions as he watched the Confederate soldiers march past in defeat…”as if it were the passing of the dead.” Shit man…all history lessons should be this engaging.

“Tale of Mathias” will immediately sweep you away with its catchy guitar, steady beat and a groove that is unmistakably Southern. You’ll feel shivers up your spine as you listen to this account of an abused woman’s vengeance and scorn, which is made all the more realistic, and consequently disturbing, by the inclusion of female vocals courtesy of Alexia Church, that sort of merge with Hammerly’s as they sing “he coughed and then he died…last time he ever laid a hand on me.” That theme seems to carry right on over into “A Steward’s Prayer” which features the chorus “revenge of the innocents”. The track is built around a sinister doom riff that doesn’t so much advance as it does lurch the song forward. The guitars swirl with melody, as they do throughout Dismal Hollow, giving each song a recognizable quality that simply demands repeat listening.

“Pistols and Penance” opens with the subtle plucking of a lone acoustic guitar that is eventually joined by the sheer heaviness (heavenliness?) of the entire King Giant ensemble. This one, another macabre tale of Appalachian woe, features a bludgeoning rhythmic backbone thanks to Walters III and Kowalski and accented by Brooks’ steady use of the crash cymbals and a hypnotic guitar solo from Ingram that comes off…at times…like a second vocal track…mesmerizing. And speaking of ensemble…and mesmerizing…the song’s coda sort of merges back into the acoustic guitar only this time it’s joined by a haunting cello (credited to Jonathan Stark) adding even more atmosphere to an already distinctive piece of music. Yeah…you’re gonna dig this one.

The pace of Dismal Hollow picks up on “6 O’clock Swill”, which opens with a bluesy guitar riff that becomes the rallying point for the other instruments as Hammerly bemoans “you have failed me.” In my review of King Giant’s Southern Darkness two years ago, I said that the vocals “sound like they’ve been marinated in whiskey for weeks.” Well as with anything else, the longer you marinate, the better it gets and people, it’s been two years…the vocals now sound a touch raspier…an octave lower…and ultimately a hell of a lot darker and more intense…think Kirk Windstein after a pack of Camels.

You can hear it on the following track, “The Fog” as well, when the vocalist sings over a brooding riff, lyrics that tell a tale of bootleggers running liquor “through the hills of the Old Dominion”…that’s Virginia boys and girls. This song perhaps best defines Dismal Hollow more than any other, with its carefully structured flow from a lumbering doom riff to a melodic chorus…”sins and transgressions”…into a spoken word bridge featuring what I assume to be a well placed pun…”God bless America, but God save the King”… and finally ramping up into a full blown tempest featuring another phenomenal guitar solo by Ingram. And speaking of Ingram, he's the man in the spotlight on "Road to Eleusis", a guitar driven, instrumental ode to a place often associated with the Greek mysteries surrounding life after death.

Then in true King Giant fashion, Dismal Hollow concludes with "O' Drifter", a story slightly more twisted than "Mississippi River" from their debut, about a wandering pick-up artist that no woman ever wants to meet…"by the end of the day, the side of the road would be her resting place." Hammerly sings the demented lines like a raspier version of Ian Astbury, which is to say he sounds like Jim Morrison in the middle of a week long bender. Meanwhile, Brooks, Kowalski and Walters III lay down a tormented rhythm of controlled cacophony. And with another oh so appropriate chorus…"I am the king, of all these highways…or a devil in disguise", the last of King Giant's latest LP fades away.

Listen…it’s obvious that these guys have matured as a band since we last heard from them in 2009. I distinctly remember drawing comparisons to others who traverse a similar sonic landscape when I reviewed Southern Darkness. But with this album, I don’t hear anyone other than the band who created it. They’ve found a sound that is all their own…a signature sound…and these eight tracks perfectly define that niche. This is what it takes to stand out amongst your peers. This is what it takes to carry your music beyond the confines of a regional audience. Here's hoping that the tales of Appalachian decadence and discontent found on Dismal Hollow will turn King Giant into troubadours for all the world to hear…because, by God this album deserves to be heard.

Track Listing:

01 Appomattox
02 Tale of Mathias
03 A Steward’s Prayer
04 Pistols and Penance
05 6 O’clock Swill
06 The Fog
07 Road to Eleusis
08 O' Drifter

Band Members:

David Hammerly – Vocals
Todd Ingram – Lead Guitar
Brooks – Drums
Floyd Lee Walters III – Bass Guitar
David Kowalski – Rhythm Guitar

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Heavy Planet Podcast #04 - THE MID-ATLANTIC UNITED STATES

It's that time again...time for another Heavy Planet Podcast on Grip of Delusion Radio! This month we'll be featuring stoner rock, doom and sludge bands from the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. You'll hear some all time classics alongside up and comers...songs you know by heart and songs you probably didn't even know existed. So tune in this Sunday, January 22nd from 4:00 to 6:00 PM EST to take a ride with us up the Eastern seaboard of the United States, from North Carolina to New Jersey...this is gonna be one wicked trip!



BANDS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC UNITED STATES

DJ-Toby

North Carolina:

01 Corrosion of Conformity - "Vote With A Bullet" (Raleigh)
02 Valient Thorr - "Man Behind the Curtain" (Chapel Hill)
03 Buzzov*en - "To A Frown" (Wilmington)
04 Weedeater - "Gimme Back My Bullets" (Wilmington)

Virginia:

05 Freedom Hawk - "Edge of Destiny" (Virginia Beach)
06 The Crimson Electric - "Shake the Dead" (Virginia Beach)
07 Alabama Thunderpussy - "Motor Ready" (Richmond)
08 King Giant - "Appomattox" (Pimmit Hills)
09 Pentagram - "Dying World" (Arlington)

Washington DC:

10 Borracho - "Grab the Reins"

Maryland:

11 Clutch - "The Regulator" (Germantown)
12 Lionize - "You're Trying to Kill Me" (Silver Spring)
13 Earthride - "Fighting the Devils Inside You" (Potomac)
14 Sixty Watt Shaman - "Seed of Decades" (Baltimore)
15 The Obsessed - "Streetside" (Potomac)
16 The Hidden Hand - "Screw the Naysayers" (Potomac)
17 Nitroseed - "Molt" (Laurel)

West Virginia:

18 Karma to Burn - "20" (Morgantown)

Pennsylvania:

19 91s - "Hold Out" (Harrisburg)
20 Kingsnake - "Feel Like Dying" (Philadelphia)

New Jersey:

21 Infernal Overdrive - "Electric Street Cred" (Red Bank)

Click HERE to download previous podcasts.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Zac's Double Dose: Firelord / Wench

Firelord: The Burning E.P.

Turin, Italy's Firelord formed in 2007 from Mario Bussini's doom project Saint Judas. Relying heavily on their influences in stoner and doom music, Firelord charged forward through line up changes to record and release their first E.P., The Burning. Firelord resound bass heavy, down-tuned jams touching on vengeance, riding, smoking, drinking, and (who could forget) crazy women. The majority of vocals are sung cleanly, though snarled, throughout most of The Burning. The E.P. runs approximately twenty five minutes and is well worth a listen.


Members:


Dario Giuva - Bass

Giulio Buscaglione - Drums

Mario E. Bussini - Vocals / Guitar



I bandcamp I facebook I myspace I soundcloud I youtube I

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Wench: E.P.

A big bass line and some power chords and Wench are off with the monster Slippery Wall, the intro and my favorite track from their 2011 self-titled E.P. Wench are an Australian three-piece, and got started back in 2007. Having faced the loss of a great friend, Darren Egelhoff, the dummer and founding member, Wench decided to finish this E.P. in memory and on behalf of Darren. Wench continue on, grinding out the tunes. Their sound is a mixture of sludge and desert rock and the production is gritty and raw. All an important part of the Wench formula. The E.P. can be streamed and downloaded at Wench's bandcamp.





On behalf of the Heavy Planet staff and all of the Heavy Planet readers, I would like to wish our sincere condolences and the best for Wench in the future.

Members:

Beak - Drums

Skinman - Vocals / Guitar

Winston - Bass



I bandcamp I facebook I myspace I


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bitter Resolve-New Band To Burn One To

Heavy Planet presents...today's "New Band To Burn One To"-BITTER RESOLVE.


Bio:

Bitter Resolve completed the trio in December of 2010, when drummer Lauren Fitzpatrick (The Curtains of Night), signed on to learn and record six songs by the end of the following January. Initially, she agreed to do the recording project only, but was surprisingly taken by the work that the other two members, Robert Walsh (Dirty Little Heaters, The Spinns) and R. Corey Dial, had already created. It became clear that this would be the new lineup, as well as each member’s first priority.

Following the completion of their first self-released record, Bows and Arrows Against the Lightning, bitter resolve continues to meet regularly in a dark basement to write good songs that are heavy, passionate and meaningful, teetering on overly dramatic. They are determined to find their own audience, one that adheres to a good/bad dichotomy, rather than settling down with any specific genre. Following suit with this dichotomy, favorite bands, past and present, include Black Sabbath, Earth, Neil Young, The Byrds, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones.

From Chapel Hill, NC, members are:

R. Corey Dial – guitar, vocals
Robert Walsh – bass, vocals
Lauren Fitzpatrick – drums



Thoughts:


"Aside from the interesting song titles, Chapel Hill, NC band Bitter Resolve exhibits an aural lambasting of post-rock sludge. The band tinkers with elements of prog, stoner, space rock and even grunge. The harsh monotonous vocal style and gargantuan bass rumbles along with ripping solos and a sincere approach to each song's unique structure, albeit with heavily distorted noises and very raw production."

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Speaker Eater-New Band To Burn One To

Heavy Planet presents...today's "New Band To Burn One To" -SPEAKER EATER!


Bio:

Speaker Eater is a 3 piece band based in central Wisconsin. The only word consistent with Speaker Eater's material is "heavy". Attempting not to stick to any genre, or write songs with any particular style, Speaker Eater just plays what they feel, with as much energy as they can. Massive guitar tone, pounding bass, polyrhythmic drumming and intimidating yells, all complementing each other perfectly. Their self titled 5 song EP is the bands first release. In an attempt to keep their packaging unique and eye appealing, it was designed and crafted entirely by the band. Hand stamped on recycled cardboard sleeves, hand written lyric cards and bound by twine.

Matthew - Guitar/ vocals
David - Bass/vocals
Thomas - Drums/vocals



Thoughts:

With short punishing jabs, Speaker Eater from Wausau, WI. intrude your aural cavity with a relentless barrage of hardcore sludge metal. Combining down-tuned riffs, a meaty guitar tone, terrifying vocals, and an obsessive use of polyrhythms, this band teeters on the edge of sanity. By layering in some dreamy vocal harmony, the band gets a bit atmospheric on the tunes "Witches" and EP closer "The Indoctrination" as well. Don't let that fool you though, this band is loud, crude and nothing but rude.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Stone Angels - "Within the Witch"

I always thought a fixation with death acted as a sidecar to getting older. Listening to relatives talking about "when they'll be gone" always had me wondering if I'd someday develop this same fascination and rant about nothing else. Well, here I am hitting the heart of my thirties and listening to bands like New Zealand's Stone Angels, a sludge/doom trio that's not afraid to question, accept, and embrace what most people fear.

The band's debut, Within the Witch, finds parity between brooding, instrumental doom and gruff, riff-driven sludge. But whether Steven Bell is retreating to his cave in a vocal bluster or sewing himself shut so his guitar can loom, you immediately get the feeling there's something to worry about. I've always said I'm a sucker for the sound of falling rain, so The Dark struck me as the perfect way to open an album. The creeping, hovering thunder and the seep of slow doom make for a cool, ominous mood. I'll wait out this storm all day.

Two other near-instrumental tracks, White Light, White Noise and Withdrawing the Jinn contain percussive vocals but no lyrics, and they effectively punctuate the album's atmosphere. White Light... is a doom/black metal pairing fit for a wet dungeon. The demon gurgle disappears and a slow reverb hum suspends this horror film score. Remaining tense and creepy, keep this one in your pocket and let the tide roll in.

Withdrawing the Jinn is, on the other hand, a burning forest of dense fuzz. Taut coils unravel and guitar buzz knocks us around, riff after riff. Geoff Eyles (drums) and Mike Cheer (bass) weave a steady rhythm that has a calming effect, yet they've also mastered keeping us on edge. Stone Angels seem devoted to carrying us to our own shallow pits, but we're so comatose from the hypnotic groove that we barely notice.

The band drags us to the timber and we hear a shovel striking earth on Grave. The slow doom riffs lurk, almost attempting to remain undetected. Low rumble rhythms chug and churn, growing slower and lower with each beat. Eyles' crushing medieval drums stomp as guitar licks escape falling dirt to hit the skies. Grave manages to throw in a dash of hope under the bleak, damp canopy of clouds.

The album's title track is where Bell's vocals take center stage. The smear of thick, up-tempo sludge delivers on what The Dark forecast and Bell sounds like a seasoned mud merchant with his confident "gnashing teeth, reduced breathing." Cheer's low-end hits peaks and valleys, all the while grinding your knuckles on rusty gears. You'll be fine, just rub a little dirt on it.

Bleeding Black holds a low, buzzing groove accompanying the sticky stoner sludge promised by the lyrics (which the band actually provides, thankfully). Measures roll despite an opaque, uneven landscape. And getting back to Bell's growl... it's effectively unsettling when he spews shit like "left there with the needles and stones." *Shudder*

A slow drone characterizes Coffin Cross, the disc's cheerless closer. Stone Angels aren't just trying to bury us, they're also trying to keep us alive long enough to know it. What else could Bell mean with "Bony hands to claw down wood fixed in the cold ground." As cadences pick up, the mood remains dark and death-obsessed. Slow and gloomy, there's no way this album could have ended with any other track. The coffin's lowered here, and a hopeless, smoldering drone (not quite Sunn 0))), but agonizingly apathetic and lingering) welcomes a bleeding sky.

Stone Angels aren't gonna pull you out of a gutter when you lose your job and develop a drug dependency. Maybe keep this disc out of your buddy's reach if he's a little on-edge lately. For all its sludge splendor, however, Within the Witch also manages to craft some haunting, melodic vistas. The band understands when to pull back and, more effectively, when to push limits. Give this one a spin once everything else in your life is stabilized. And please, don't kid yourself.



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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Album Review - Infernal Overdrive: Last Rays of the Dying Sun


Yowza!

Alright...before we go any further, I need you to do me a favor. Run to the fridge and grab yourself a cold one...I'll wait right here.

Okay, you ready? Good. Now take a big gulp out of that can of suds and listen closely. I've found the fountain of youth. No shit...I got it right here. It's called Infernal Overdrive. You interested in something like that? Yeah I thought you might be. You see, these boys from Red Bank, New Jersey have found a way to conjure the spirits from rock & roll's glory daze. You know...bands like Aerosmith, Cheap Trick and AC/DC? You remember those times don't you? I'm sure it's a little foggy, but that's okay. I'm talking about the 70's and 80's, a time when rock music was all about excess...it was dangerous...it got you laid...and dammit, it was fucking fun!

Fast forward to 2012 and let that familiar feeling wash over you once again. Just listen to the bluesy raunch of Rich Miele's guitar on the opening track of Infernal Overdrive's Last Rays of the Dying Sun. Or better yet, check out Marc Schleicher's vocals as he summons the spirit of the late Ronnie Van Zant as he sings "heading down the road...feel like I'm losing my mind." And when his brother, bassist Keith Schleicher joins he and Rich in the harmonized chorus of "moving on again" you'll think you've died and gone to 1975.

Hell, the guitars on track two, "The Edge", shoot out of the gates fast enough to make even Angus Young start sweating. And speaking of guitars, I hope you like 'em, cuz you're gonna get an ear full of 'em. You see Marc's not only the singer, he plays a mean axe as well and between he and Rich...well they'll cram a solo anywhere they damn well feel like it. You're gonna love it when these dudes harmonize the chorus..."I live, I live, I live on the edge" and then Marc gets all smartass with "I'm gonna fall" and the song erupts into a gnarly solo...yeah that's right, gnarly.

"Duel" starts off with a nice beat from drummer Mike Bennett and seems like it's headed for more classic rock territory, but then Infernal Overdrive throws a curve ball as they introduce a bit of stoner rock groove, making the song sound something like Lynyrd Skynyrd fighting off Grendel, Snowman. "Cage" sees the band continuing to expand on their signature mix of loose improvisation with tight, heavy riffage. Only here they pull out all the stops by throwing in little tricks of the trade...like a quick guitar flourish between verses...or shouts of "alright" and "uh huh"...or my personal favorite...hand claps...hand claps people!

"Deported to Jersey" keeps the mood light and the music dirty...damn I bet these guys are fantastic live! This bluesy romp rollicks along for three and a half minutes before shifting into a completely different chord progression accompanied by a sing-a-long of "I need your love...get you on my side" and finally ending with an old school fade and return. Seriously, when is the last time you heard a song fade out and then come back in mid-chorus...1987? Nice!

"Electric Street Cred" (best song title ever) is Infernal Overdrive showing that they don't have to sound retro to write a killer rock song. This one is a straight up monstrosity of riffs layered on top of more riffs and it features an incredibly catchy, echoed vocal effect and...wait for it...a fucking drum solo shoved right into its ass end! Yeah that's right, after all the guitar wankery on display for the first three quarters of Last Rays of the Dying Sun, Bennett finally gets an opportunity to showcase his skills behind the kit.

The album's final two songs are polar opposites, but two of its strongest nonetheless. First comes a cover of Ace Frehley's "Rip It Out" that will make you forget you're not actually listening to KISS. Honestly, Marc Schleicher is such a dead ringer for Gene Simmons on this one, it's kinda scary. And the last song sees the band shift back into stoner rock mode as they settle in for the long haul. "Motor" is a hazy, groovy, psychedelic jam session that rolls along for almost 15 minutes and calls to mind everything from Kyuss to the Jimi Hendrix Experience to Soundgarden all in the span of the same song. Between you and me, this one alone is worth the price of admission.

So by now you should have a pretty good feeling of what you're in for with Infernal Overdrive. Last Rays of the Dying Sun hearkens back to the 70's and 80's heyday of unapologetic, guitar driven, blues inflected, rawk & roll. They're not out to solve the world's problems and they sure as hell can't fix yours. But what they can offer is an escape...an escape from the everyday doldrums and a sonic journey to someplace where you can get away...someplace where you can rock & roll all night and party everyday. If you can remember when music was like that...or if you're too young and you only wish you could...then I encourage you to come along on this ride because you will not be disappointed.

Track Listing:

01 I-95
02 The Edge
03 Duel
04 Cage
05 Deported to Jersey
06 Electric Street Cred
07 Rip It Out
08 Motor

Band Members:

Marc Schleicher - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Rich Miele - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Keith Schleicher - Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Mike Bennett - Drums, Percussion

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Soleilvert-New Band To Burn One To

Heavy Planet presents..."New Band To Burn One To"-SOLEILVERT.



Bio:

Created In November 2010 in Paris, France, SOLEILVERT gathers experimented members who have played in many bands before. Coming from different horizons and influenced by many styles, creating osmosis has been fast. Affiliated to the Stoner scene, SOLEILVERT produces powerful, energetic, raw and uncompromising music, a music coloured of metal, hardcore and punk that delivers with an " in your face" direction. First songs have been written quickly . In June 2011, the first EP "Dear Domineering" was recorded at studio LA & B by Leo No-Edit. without any record LABEL, Soleilvert is a self-produced BAND.

SOLEILVERT takes its name by reference to Richard Fleischer’s movie released in 1973.


Thoughts:


"Translating to Green Sun, Soleilvert from Paris, France rocks your face off with the gravitas of  hard-driving Stoner Metal. Seering riffs, anguished vocals, emphatic foot-stomping rythyms, and a high-speed intensity ignite the band's propensity for exhibiting some truly scorching tuneage. Crank this shit up!"

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Album Review: Mountains of Blow - "Connoisseur II"


So marijuana is little more than the first step toward harder stuff, right? I've been caught in some seedy bathrooms and been able to talk my way out of handcuffs, but how could I pass on Mountains of Blow? Don't let the name fool you. The band is from Los Angeles (not Miami), nobody's yelling "Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuttin' ta fuck wit'!," and those bangers at the corner of La Brea & Santa Monica (y'know... always wearing Scarface hoodies) wouldn't go near this stuff.

Connoisseur II is brief, mostly instrumental, and the first thing you'll reach for when you can't see your finger in front of your face. This pensive hand-hold through dense fog, however, has merits far-beyond the extra-curricular accompaniments. Shane Berman (guitar, bass, vocals) and Billy Hawken (drums) are a perfectly formidable stoner-psychedelia tandem that drifts in underwater escapades and follows up with moonshots.

A fuzzy, distant trill characterizes Dial, channeling a slower, dreamier Truckfighters atmosphere. Guitars buzz with confident warmth and take listeners back to that cozy womb we've been trained to forget. Chew on this groove and let it carry you on a distant cloud where your feet can park in the sand. A little dust never hurt anybody.

Narshe's whimsical dreamscape picks up right where Dial leaves off, rife with lilted guitar moxie and fuzzy strata. The perfect marriage of somber and peaceful pulls you underneath a tripped-out psychedelic fade, barely leaving a moment before FSD's doorstop coils echo off one another. The song builds steadily toward a chk-chk-chk guitar grind and we hear Hawken's drums crushed to fine powder. Balance moves left to right, back and forth, until we're so fuzzy we can't even think.

Mountains of Blow shift gears (and I mean it) on Matrix (Red), a rougher cut with (ah-ha!) vocals. The raw, primal change of pace is suited for a rain-soaked nighttime prison break and does its part to cast a shadow of intrigue on the album's other four tracks. Bass stays low and unhinged, the entire sound grows heavier. The crunch nearly gives way to a village-plundering doom scrape, but January's molasses shotgun Berman's haunting whisper. This cavern-echo spook is the album's high, but the guitar's dive after dive make for II's shining declaration.

Smoky, hazy, foggy... the album's closer, Whorepaddle (10 bucks, 12 bucks) is any number of clouded experiences. The bass canvas is dusted with flaming guitar ribbons, growing slower and slower before the rockin' desert stoner licks trip you to a stumble. Hell, if you're gonna close out an album with a thick, 5 1/2 minute trip through the nowhere place, you might as well distort time as much as you can.

And that's sort of Connoisseur II's entire scope. You're not gonna need any herbal supplements with this album; it's plenty trippy on its own. You're not gonna piss your pants and forget who you are for thirty minutes, but these songs could easily carry you to a place where your business dinner seems less important. Don't worry. Mountains of Blow won't leave your rusty pipes with a nosebleed. Your ears, on the other hand...

Mountains of Blow - "Connoisseur II" by noproduction

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