Purveyors of the Finest Stoner Rock/Doom/Psychedelic/Sludge Since 2008

Sunday, September 30, 2012

CALLING ALL BANDS! WE WANT YOU!!

PLEASE READ ENTIRE POST BEFORE SUBMITTING!

HEAVY PLANET COMPILATION VOLUME ONE:


Due to a tremendous outpouring of requests for Heavy Planet to release a FREE digital download we plan on doing just that. Anyone can release a free download with songs on it, we want ours to be special. If you are in a Stoner Rock, Doom, or Sludge band, we want you. For this special release we are looking for at least 20 bands to provide ONE song to be included exclusively on this compilation. Meaning exclusive to this compilation of various artists and not on any other compilations. Heavy Planet has become a great platform for unsigned and independent bands to get their music heard through different forms of media. Heavy Planet Radio, YouTube, Spreaker, etc. Now is your chance to be included on this very special compilation. So what are you waiting for!

Please send your submission to heavyplanet2001@yahoo.com. Please put HEAVY PLANET COMPILATION in the subject line. Also, please include a statement allowing Heavy Planet to use your song for the sole purpose of promotion only.

We will have a page on the blog dedicated to the promotion of this compilation so please include a BAND BIO. Artwork will be done by Helena Harlan Arts.
  • Please understand that we will get a ton of requests and it is at our discretion of what songs make the compilation. Only professional submissions will be accepted.
  • We WILL NOT consider your submission without a professionally written bio. 
  • If you have previously submitted your band to Heavy Planet, please do so again following the rules above.
  • Deadline to submit is November 30th 17th.
Thanks! We look forward to hearing from you.
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Sunday Sludge: Snailking - "Samsara"


Taking your band's name from an album or song title is walking a thin, dangerous line. If you manage to honor your heroes by not creating complete shit (e.g., Godsmack, Aqualung), you've probably bucked a trend that makes some people cringe. I suppose Mayhem and Bad Brains did it right, but someone surely doubted them along the way. You'd better hone your chops before making a move so bold. And if you pull it off, you just might find yourself sharing a bill with some heavily influential people.

Sweden's Snailking appear fully prepared to snuff any doubt on their 2012 demo Samsara. Among the three patient, crushing tracks can be detected a nod to Ufomammut's 2004 sophomore release, but the band separate themselves from psychedelic sludge-doom trailblazers with dark, forlorn lyrical themes and eerily comforting atmospheres. Moving from heavy to heavier to heaviest in the span of 34 minutes, the strange evolutions and gradual developments only partially mirror the tones and sonic landscapes of Sleep and Rwake.

Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Pontus Ottosson, drummer Karl Jonas Wijk, and bassist Frans Levin, Snailking craft a sound that falls somewhere in between crashing clouds and rising depths. Time seems little more than another stupid human construct; the band effortlessly sways between shifts and movements in an expansive realm riddled with one crushing blow after another. Shelter grinds gorgeously for more than fourteen all-too-quick minutes (fuck, didn't I just say time didn't matter?) as Wijk's bass provides balance, parity, and the basis for today's sludge tag. The peaceful trickle that closes the album's opener is an effective and soothing coup to the song's trippy doom and ever-escalating licks.

The album's spook counters its spatial awareness. And the spook becomes full-grown doom at several corners; lyrics like "...So cut our throats and set us free" leave no margin for ambiguity, while "Stiff, frozen cold / A slowly dying drone" give listeners plenty to chew on. At times equally lethargic and cathartic, In The Wake assures audiences that no matter how high these sounds carry us, we'll undoubtedly end up "down there." Cold and dry, lit by breaks and bounces, these sounds light a forest fire and then squat in the mud. Ottosson's vocals are shrouded here, and the unsettling mood is given its full range of due motion.

And why are we here? Well, if we've adequately reserved Sunday mornings for our sludge fix, Snailking lay it thick on the immediately heavy title track. It's the demo's grimiest, but it also contains the smoothest groove. Low and predominantly bass-driven, the rolls and churns are exactly what you sludge-peddlers will share with your neighborhood's misguided teenage outcast. Ah, but Ottosson's licks again emerge, snapping a muzzle on the rhythm and dragging it into darkness. Buzzing sludge mud-skips between crunchy riffs and marries a slow, chewy fadeout. The entire album's good, but this closer's fucking stellar.

A progressive, continual metamorphosis takes hold of Samsara and returns full-circle. Beyond the music is the mood, and a mindfuck of a mood at that. When you can't nail down exactly WHY a sound is trippy or shake-inducing, it's safe to say you've found a winner. At times strangely soothing, at all points relentlessly thick and heavy with either (and often both) tone or topic, this is no band mimicking their forefathers. This is a promising debut from a trio knee-deep in psychedelic sludge-metal turmoil. Lucky for us, that turmoil translates to some killer, crushing riffs and mind-numbingly misty occupancies. Give these guys a spin, cure what ails you, and thank me on Monday.





Friday, September 28, 2012

Nuclear Dog's Atomic Split: Stallone - "American Baby" / Lecherous Gaze - "On the Skids"

The name of the game today, followers of the doom, is pure, sweet rock. Nothing fancy, nothing way off center, no adjustments needed because you have prepared your whole life for listening to this type of music, where the guitar is king, the drums are worthy, and the bass is the badass enforcer of sonic onslaught. Just be sure to limber up those cervical muscles in preparation for swinging that head, something that always comes when the rawk is being righteously rolled and the rawk is pure rock, and is something beyond excellent, beyond great, something that is simply goooooood goddamned rock.


STALLONE - "American Baby"

When the lead guitarist for the awesome groups MonstrO and Torche, Juan Montoya, began playing for fun with work friend and gifted drummer Evan Diprima at a friend's house in 2009 an instant vortex of creativity and energy was unleashed onto the rock world. After recording a few songs together they realized the music was something worthwhile and needed to take that next step toward putting it all out there for the world. Montoya recruited Thomas Gonzalez on second guitar and C.J. Ridings on bass and before too long they were Stallone and had recorded "American Baby", a six song compilation of pure, unadulterated, unfiltered, and riff laden rock and roll.

What is extremely cool about Stallone and "American Baby" is the lack of vocals as a fifth instrument, placing the music out there front and center and inviting the listener to climb aboard without benefit of vocalization. Songs like that have to have the energy and substance to sate the musical cravings of the listener on each iteration without presenting any gaping holes over which to glide. There can't be the repetitive sameness that would quickly breed disinterest without the masking vocalizations of a lyrical entity. Montoya and company pull that feat off with vigor, skill, and aplomb.

The guitars are thick and fuzzy, down tuned just enough to be lush and toothsome while the rhythm section displays a potent attack of bass and drums. All six songs bring pure rock pleasure in their nimble yet simple affectations. From the opening tune, "And Begin", where down tuned stoner guitars are demonstrated during the songs's introduction and blaze a distorted trail throughout, to the funky, stylish, yet fuzzy "Beyond" where the solos sear a hole into one aural canal and out the other, and finishing up with "Ancient Infant" an apt epithet for a song fresh and full of both inventiveness and old school guitar riffage that scorches and burns like old school rock, like it was meant to be played, like you want to hear it every time you get the chance to listen.





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LECHEROUS GAZE - "On the Skids"

Out of Oakland, California come a band, Lecherous Gaze, that has many intriguing and compelling aspects, not the least of which is their ability to flat out unleash the rock. Borrowing from the bio on last.fm : 

"Annihilation Time had a heart attack. We gave it a baboon heart. It became Lecherous Gaze. Asshole Rock. Come Hungry."

Those few sentences give incredible insight into this foursome of friends that were born to play hard, heavy, old school rock and roll, born to be in a rock band that conforms to nothing at all other than what they define as great rock and what sounds to them like great music. You just gotta love it.

Band members are Noel Sullivan, Chris Grande, Zarian Zaidi, and Graham Clise.

"Into the Skids" isn't due out until early October, but below are some links that will let you know just exactly how incredible this foursome lay down the licks. Their music is old school, new school, future school, only school, combining intelligent melodies, let-loose execution, once-in-a-generation guitar work that will assault you at the same time it cajoles you to delve deeper to discover hidden riff treasures so precious they could devalue the gold and platinum standards by the time you finish playing all eleven tracks on this album.

Each song on the album is pure pleasure, providing a significant collection of rock tunes flush with fever that'll boil you senseless as it fries your brain to a crisp. "Frustrated" is big and voluminous in sound, with a beautiful tempo that strikes directly to your primal core before surrendering to a white hot solo radiating with brilliance. "War Woman" is a supernova riff engine that delivers pure enjoyment with its plasma beam solos that rip you a new one while leaving the edges cauterized and clean of unnecessary clotting and seepage. "The Grasp" displays the same tremendous dexterity and pureness of sound as its brethren while offering a slight variation on the melodic song structure that has been to this point the central theme throughout the myriad hard and heavy offerings, this time providing a slight change that simply adds to the majesty of the collection. Perhaps the ass kickingest song on the album is "Bagagozo", which is a ripsaw blade glowing blood red as it slices its way through a thick, meaty, fuzzy melody overlaid with searing, scorching solos of magnificent delivery.

This foursome have fun with their music, and relish in their ability to deliver rock that is fine and pure, comparable to any of the best ever made in any era and in any place.




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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday Playlist of Doom V1

This week I decided to start something new. Each Thursday, I will provide a new playlist featuring a variety of Doom bands. Stoner, Sludge, Classic, Drone, you name it we will play it. I also invite you to join our evolving playlist on Facebook known as HEAVY PLANET RADIO. Now engulf yourself in smoke and become one with the riff.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Zac's "Double Dose": Hot Lunch / SNARF


Hot Lunch: Killer Smile 7" 

Sometime it's best to regress. San Francisco's funky foursome Hot Lunch have done so in a righteous acid rock / punk hybrid fashion. All of the tones and notes are extra fuzzy and distorted without sounding like the over glorified genre that is 'garage-rock'. The vocals are down right viscous in a way unheard in the metal and rock community today and the guitaring is some mutant spawn of proto-metal genius, classic rock flair, and punk catchiness. Oh yeah, and the drum tracking is completely phenomenal. You want to kick out the jams? Lose the silly mustasch and tube socks and pick up a 7" from Who can you trust? records.
 

Members: 
Aaron Nudelman - Guitar 
Charlie Karr - Bass 
Eric Shea - Vocals 
Rob Alper - Drums

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SNARF: Arrak Bisa Ular 

If you were to ask me to describe SNARF's latest release Arrak Bisa Ular in one sentence, I would answer, "A prolonged sense of paranoia". The recording is a thirty minute "monster-piece" that slowly winds in and out of dark caverns and underground pools of stagnat water. The entire experience is haunting and eerie, a psychadelic drone-er, and the only thing fuzzy is the bass line. The lyrics are soft sung and accompany plenty of bone-chilling reverb and distrortion. All which become a venom, gradually running through the blood of your veins ending in state of paralysis... Sound like your cup of tea? Get a copy from Acoustic Desaster Records.
 

Members: 
 Benji - Guitar // Vocals 
Joe - Bass 
 "V" - Drums


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: BLACK AWAKENING


BAND BIO:
Black Awakening is a cult doom duo from Louisiana featuring former members of Goatwhore / Suffer. We are currently in the studio recording our debut release entitled 'Cult of the Dying God' slated for a winter release.


THOUGHTS:
"I must start off by saying that this could very well be one of the most evil bands I have ever heard. Enormous amounts of distortion loom through a fog of smoke as the blackened doom riffs throw your eyeballs to the back of your skull. Terrifying vocals sear through the thick, crusty and snail-paced rhythms of this mighty duo of doom as you are guided into the depths of hell. Being that they are from the state of Louisiana, you cannot forget that foreboding layer of Sludge. As the band states, "Our fire burns bright as we dance around the black flames singing the hymns of Lucifer. Our cult shall rise! The Black Awakening has begun!"

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Monday, September 24, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: BLACK SMOKE DRAGON



BAND BIO:

Black Smoke Dragon is an instrumental Spanish band from northwest of this country (Galicia). We started together at 2009, doing some instrumental jams, with Stoner/Sludge/Doom influences. We love bands like Eye Hate God, Sleep, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, Down, Saint Vitus, Mastodon and Black Sabbath, of course. We have quick songs, slow sounds and later we introduce psychedelic arrangements. Bands like Ghost, Church of Misery, Kylesa,...we love this noise and shit man! Of course, we play on another bands too. Álex is the ex-drummer of Oddy Lane (metal/alternative), Lloymi plays guitar on Arsenaut (Rock/Metal) and Drums on ID3M (Metal), Oskar has post-rock projects and plays on ID3M too. And Berto plays on ID3M and Arsenaut too. We are two guitars (Berto, LLoymi), bass (Oskar) and Drums (Álex). For this recording, one friend (Juanin) helped us with keybord arrangements.


THOUGHTS:

"With thunderous drumming, heavy riffing and brilliant song structures you get a feel of where the bands influences lie. This demo from Black Smoke Dragon is a near perfect representation of how a demo should be. After listening to these two songs, I kept hitting repeat because I wanted to hear more. Many times an instrumental band can get caught up with overproducing and get quite boring because of lack of groove and/or musicianship. It is evidentally clear that these dudes know what the fuck is up. Sometimes when I am listening to a band, I think ,man I wish that band didn't have a "vocalist" to ruin the music. Black Smoke Dragon made the right choice. The demo is well-produced and without a doubt a band that deserves your immediate attention. The band also has a 5-song rehearsal EP from last year up on their Bandcamp page. While not as epic and dynamic as the current EP, the rawness and groove of those sessions show you that this band has something special."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Fight Amp - "Birth Control"


You've gotta make it to the club on time, fellas. St. Vitus opened for someone, right? Pentagram? Yep. Eyehategod, Candlemass, Sunn O)))? Fuckin' right. I caught enough of Fight Amp's set to know I needed to pay attention. Weedeater's Dixie chugged Evan Williams Bourbon onstage, soon after vomited, and I still managed to walk away from the show with a memory of how thick and callous New Jersey's Fight Amp sounded.

Fast forward to September 25th, 2012, when the band releases Birth Control, their third and most jaw-dropping release of their eight-year existence. Simmering with sinuous vigor and unchecked animosity, Fight Amp enter a career-defining era with these eight tracks. Buzzy flutters and a whole lot o' cool are no match for the twisted steel fibers spun through this release, and any fool with a dick can tell you this is Fight Amp's best release to date.

The distant, muffled riffs that open Fly Trap hardly characterize the balance of the album. We're immediately shaken to life with low fuzz and stomping, galloped rhythms. We choke on burning buzz and shiver as things get pretty sticky. Noise rockets go slumming in every direction, slung low and wet as frogs' armpits. The abrupt transfer to White Pickett induces a very loose, very cold canyon of fear and lost identity. Vocals spiral, quick sludge is held to a torrid clip, and bass chugs and hums like a cold January engine. The chamber of chains and rails creepily echoes as a lead-out, and we're on our way to one mindfuck of a Sunday Sludge record, kids.

Creepy Kicks swarms on dense, hollow drums. Sure, guitars swarm as rhythms adjust. But those cymbals fucking clobber. There's a sticky, shit-caked malevolence to the track, but the strong structure is easily lost in the rough edges. This growing, expansive opus could burst at any moment, and its follow-up knows it. Should've Worn Black bounces with riffs laid on flattened soil, eight and a half minutes of unsettling and unrelenting perversion. Cool moods succumb to fear and turmoil, and it's hard to argue when Fight Amp assures "God is dead, so am I." The canopy of filth takes top billing until the sound slows and ominously circles everything. Swampy sludge is strung tenuously through the cool, atmospheric static of closing Nosferatu piano. Sounds like Fight Amp found their stride.

Ah, but that quick punk element is fully exposed on Shallow Grave. Under a cool stream of thickly oozing sludge, the song smears itself from left to right and never feels bad about it. Growing choppy, the song contains some of the disc's most aggressive moments, entering a Coal Chamber-esque hollow guitar buzz. Goner is another story entirely. Buzzing, subdued, and slowed to an industrial urban decay, Fight Amp roll, slur, and progressively set fire to themselves. There's a true sludge toil here, but listeners will love getting stuck in this mire. The rainy day patience is one of the band's assets, and Fight Amp certainly sound like they've had many a rainy day.

But let's discuss the thickest, loosest, most-depraved moments of Birth Control. I Am The Corpse's distant, despondent licks are pure horror growing into an amalgam of grooving heaviness. Pace increases with each refrain as the closer evolves and becomes a low-burning spread of empty death, matched in complacency only by energy and gravity. Riffs form a sidecar to rhythm, rolling through everything in earshot. The brilliance stubs a toe on swampy jams, buzzing through brush and moss. Shake your head.

Holding true to form but spreading seams with growth, Fight Amp know their way around. Birth Control finds the band encrusted and fully-formed, leaving little room for any argument against their claim to sludge-noise dominance. The album's structure is no match for its weight, but that's hardly a collapsible formula. This trio somehow strikes balance, whether they like it or not. Every biting moment buzzes, and every buzzing moment bites.




Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nuclear Dog's Atomic Split: Wheelfall - "Interzone" / Stoner Train - "Hobo From Outerspace"

Today's Atomic Split features two bands unique and disparate in style, but with a common trait of deep, gravelly voiced vocalists. One band is from France and plays excellent stoner/doom music. One band is from Russia with a sound straight out of Alabama or Mississippi. Two different approaches, doubling up on the pleasure of the best rock n' roll in the world.


WHEELFALL - "INTERZONE"

Wheelfall are a very enthusiastic band, excited about playing their version of rock, equally excited about it being an all out assault of stoner/doom tunes, down tuned to the max, underpinned by heavy piledriving bass, and all bracketed up by the snap and thunder of the drums.

Band members include:
Wayne Furter - guitars, vocals
Niko El Moche - bass
Cactus Flo - Guitars
Niko Elbow - Drums

The riffs are determined and fuzzy, rendered with passion by Wayne and Cactus Flo, with Wayne topping the layers off with his deep, gravelly vocals that fit expertly into the groove of these doom tunes. Everything is big and bold, a relentless assault of steady jabs and left hooks, punctuated by an occasional uppercut, each landing a jarring blow that renders you senseless and wobbly from the weight and force, but smiling from the pleasure of the brutal encounter.

Wheelfall take inspiration for their lyrics from science fiction and fantasy, from books and movies alike, naming John Carpenter, HG Wells, and David Cronenberg as some of their favorite influences. Every song is deliberate and devastating, including the opening track "Howling" where they waste no time with a beautifully rendered stoner opening that quickly gives way to the crunch and crack of Wayne's rough hewn vocals. The opener is perhaps the highest tempo song on the album, but it leads eventually into a low down delivery of mud slugging fuzz. "Parasite Ravages" is huge and powerful, evoking the slow but inevitable catapult advance of heavy booted warriors of old. The best is saved for last, with the title track "Interzone" delivering the largest and grandest song in the stack, going over 22 minutes of grind and grit, with cast iron filings flying all over the place from the non-stop riffs grinding it out with the roll and boom of big, powerful bass, along with the pounding fury of the relentless drumwork.

This foursome from Nancy, France bring the metal, all fuzzed out and distorted to the max, with helpings of thunder and doom on the side.





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STONER TRAIN - "HOBO FROM THE OUTER SPACE"

Our next full throttle, full throated album comes from a prolific Russian band, Stoner Train. Hailing from Moscow, they have released 3 separate albums in the course of 2 short years, all of which are more than worthy of the time spent getting to know these fun and singular songs. The newest album is "Hobo From the Outer Space", released in June, which more than makes up for a lack of proper English grammar with a huge dose of international rock n fucking roll that has the unmistakable sound of Southern U.S. rock of the seventies, displaying huge, bluesy guitars, along with heavy doses of banjo and harmonica.

Stoner Train consists of:
Serj Gdanian (Burning Beard) - guitars, vocals
Johnny Palchikov (Johnny Basstard) - harmonica/banjo
Vladimir Terterin (Cowboy 'Old Face') - drums

The harmonica is used prolifically throughout "Hobo" as well as on their previous two offerings, "Sluts for the Rebels" and "Rusty Gears", where it is wielded with force and power on many tracks, and while not normally an instrument of choice for music that prides itself on being as heavy and as forged in the high temperature foundries of hard, hot steel, the enthusiastic and crazy members of Stoner Train make the harmonica work, and make it work beautifully. The harmonica slides right in next to the down tuned riffs of Burning Beard's guitar as well as complements the lightning hot blues guitar from Serj.

The opening track, "Cannibal Hobo", is a perfect introduction to this singular collection of music out of the distant, cold capital of Russia. The guitar begins slicing away immediately upon takeoff, and charges straight through to the introduction of the wonderfully guttural, gravelly vocals of Mr. Gdanian. "Land of the Unheard Song" incorporates generous portions of the harmonica, not to mention a deft and incredible vocal rendition from Burning Beard that is worth the price of admission on its own. Both those elements are complementary to the deep and acoustic strumming of the guitar on this track, a feat of unusual accomplishment. Perhaps the best blending of high energy, adept guitar with Stoner Train's unique wielding of harmonica comes on "Dancing on the Grave"

The songs on "Hobo From the Outer Space" are all well written, with beautiful melodies that lend themselves perfectly to the high energy signature of the Stoner Train musicians. With songs that have such titles as "Dogs From The Outer Space", "Coelophysis Stuthiomimus", "Tractor Driver Fred", and "Frozen Booty Jam", there is a dominant theme of huge fun and high energy on their newest release that matches or surpasses their earlier albums, something that is sometimes hard for bands to sustain over the course of several recordings. Stoner Train, though, not only sustain their high energy and superb creativity, they demonstrate on "Hobo" significant growth in their ability to develop their craft, no longer relying upon cover songs of their favorite musical influences, instead developing high quality melodies that incorporate the discipline of good song writing on the collection of tunes on this album.

Music this fun and unique is nothing but pure enjoyment when it comes along once in a blue southern Russian moon.





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Friday, September 21, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: El Yeti


BAND BIO:


El Yeti is a power trio (though the demo was recorded as a two-piece)  formed in Barcelona (Spain) on 2011 by the brothers Ed and Marc, whom previously had played in local punk bands such as Valiumbitch or Rags To Riches. We just finished our first demo, simply called "Demo". 4 songs dedicated to some of our favourite 80's action films such as Cobra, Commando, Die Hard or 48 Hrs...

Our music has already been described by some as a "powerful mix of Masters Of Reality and The Cult" or "COC meets Kyuss" thanks to the song "El Presidente" being featured in 2012's compilation of the prestigious Azkena Rock Festival (Vitoria, Spain). A festival in which has featured acts as Blue Cheer, Ozzy Osbourne, Orange Goblin, Black Label Society, Pentagram or Clutch.




THOUGHTS:

Relying on thick fuzz and cool cruisers, this Barcelona-based trio serves up a tasty four-track demo that fits snugly within your stoner rock record collection. Choppy riffage and plodding rhythms immediately snag your interest on Cold Pizza, the demo's opener. From there, things only get awesomely hazy. El Presidente has enough stop-start guitar to allow the curbside hand-drumming to steal its moment. Any way you slice it, the track is a fucking jam. Oh, and the aforementioned COC-comparison is heavily notable on Johnson, in which a Pepper Keenan vocal shroud will take you back to 90's era crossover metal. 48 Hrs. takes us home, smokes us out, and leaves us wanting more from El Yeti. This demo is available at bandcamp at a price you can name yourself, so stop over for some fuzzy goodness!

Lineup:

Marc Rockenberg: Drums, Vocals
X-Wong: Bass
Edko Fuzz: Guitar, Vocals


Thursday, September 20, 2012

EP Review: Source of Yellow - The Said


This is an interesting new band from Brooklyn, NY. It’s hard to describe what genre they fall in to. There is a free jazz ideology to their music, but this isn’t traditional jazz, nor is it rock and roll. They are a trio combining guitars, drums, horns and psychedelic sound effects, much like the sounds you’d hear from acid jazz bands like Groove Collective or Jaga Jazzist. It’s an interesting mesh of styles and beats and a different approach to songwriting from the typical singer-songwriter led bands. Every member plays an equal role in the creative process and there is the element of the accident playing an important part. That’s where the free jazz idea comes from. These are not pre-written compositions that will sound exactly the same every show. Source of Yellow sound like a band that’s heavily influenced by jazz and rock, but combine to the result very different from progressive rock bands known for mixing the two. They’re not like Phish and they’re not like King Crimson or Yes, but rather similar to a band like Tortoise. Not only do they have their own sound, but they are also spreading the ideas of jazz and whatever else this band listens to.

The title track- “The Said” is closest to a rock song following any kind of normal writing formula, opening with post-rock guitar riffs over loud tribal drumming. The vocals are somewhat hidden in the mix, making the music more psychedelic than it already is. I like how the drummer leans more towards classical percussion rhythms, like a guy beating on a timpani with a beater, instead of a standard drum set up. 

“1 & 9” rings acoustic chords in a vivid way, like storm weather in music form. Now the vocals are clearer, and the music flows like some of those old british folk records of the 60’s/70’s (e.g. Nick Drake, Bert Jansch, Tim Buckley). The band sounds like they’re in a metronomic trance to the hit of a tambourine on two and four.

“Maybe” begins with ambient effects you’d hear in a horror film, or a Fripp and Eno record. It’s hard to tell how they’re making these sounds, if they’re synths or sampled backing tracks, but it works. The aura is set like the atmospheric moods Miles Davis explored during the Bitches Brew period. Flutes and abstract vocals buzz around the bass and drums. 

Between these three tracks, Source of Yellow provide a variety of musical flavors, along with the facility of schooled musicians. They’re like a jazz band gone wrong, and I mean that as a compliment. They share the same ethos as Tortoise, except Source of Yellow is even more obscure. It’s always inspiring to find new bands like this. It lets us know everything hasn’t been done before, and there is new ground to cover, as long as the musicians are connecting and channeling energy in a stimulating way.

The members of Source of Yellow are:

Anawim Avila: woodwinds, guitar, voice, electronics
Nick Hasty: percussion, electronics
Peter Kerlin: bass, electronics

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Miss Lava - Red Supergiant

The Portuguese Supergiants


Ladies and gentleman: Miss Lava are back with a vengeance!

The Portuguese Stoner Rockers from the sunny city of Lisbon have delivered the goods with their most recent follow up to "Blues For The Dangerous Miles", the debut album.

Having played safely and not changing much from the core sound of the band, Miss Lava present us a straight up groovy and ballsy rock album with a much cleaner and polished production this time (thanks to Samuel Rebelo as well as the mixing and mastering by Matt Hyde). The songs are pretty much straight to the point, and do not go over the 4:30 mark.

These eleven songs are packed with energy, groove and heavy guitar riffs, pounding drums, pumbling bass lines and catchy choruses (examples of this are Hole to China, Ride and Motel Neon). The band does not hide its influences, which is a good thing. You can hear the subtle nuances of Kyuss, especially in Johnny Lee's vocals. The Clutch-y riffs can also be heard throughout the album.

This is a perfect summer drinking album. It is fun to listen to, it has all the right elements and Miss Lava have everything to succeed. They will kick off their Portuguese tour on the 27th of this month with Truckfighters. Let's hope they have the oportunity to spread their word overseas. They deserve it!

Highly recommended!






Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Zac's "Double Dose": Dopelord / XII Boar


Dopelord: Magick Rites 

Careening into Heavy Planet like a Texas-sized meteor are Dopelord and their latest release Magick Rites. This Lublin, Poland based band embodies the very cosmic soul that is stoner and doom metal. You see, the crew here at Heavy Planet, we go through a lot of bands, week in and week out. We try to cover as much 'under'ground musicians as possible and now and again we're blinded by a brilliant star in the sky. Dopelord define the work Heavy Planet does. The equation is easy take a couple guitars, down tune them, add a whole lot of bass, tremendous percussion, some inspiration from the dark arts, and last but certainly not least magical herbs. Check out my personal favorite track Rise! Undying! at bandcamp or order a copy from Can't Tell You Records HERE!

 

Members: 
Arek - Drums 
Klusek - Bass 
Miodek - Guitar // Vocals 
Mroku - Guitar

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XII Boar: Split Toungue, Cloven Hoof 

As you can expect every Wednesday, a second 'Dose' that is sure to scratch that itch that doctor's Rx was supposed to cure. XII (pronounced twelve) Boar graced the pages of Heavy Planet as a NBTBOT and are back with their 2012 release Split Toungue, Cloven Hoof. The trio have proven themselves as true handy-men, taking on all of the work 'in house'. Split Toungue, Cloven Hoof's, much like their previous record XII, production is crystal clear and full of that gritty rock'n'roll attitude that every metal band needs. The vocals are gruff, full of southern appeal and well whiskey [of course], the drum fills are mathematically placed, and all is puppeteered by this boar's almighty RIFF! But honestly, how are you going to ignore a song's with names like Slamhound and Hellspeed Viper? You can't. Jam to my favorite track Triclops below, and be sure to turn the volume to eleven.

 

Members: 
Adam "Bad-Dog" Williams - Bass // Backing Vocals 
Dave Wilbraham - Drums 
Tommy Hardrocks - Guitar // Vocals


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: JESSIE DELUXE

Heavy Planet Presents . . .   JESSIE DELUXE!


Band Bio:

Jessie Deluxe describes her sound as heavy, melodic rock. Her songwriting is dynamic and powerful, featuring choruses that "lift you high in the air and then smash you back down into the ground". This is 'in your face' rock n roll that conjures up the grittiness of P.J. Harvey and the sex appeal of Elvis, all the while adding her own unique edge.

This fiery front woman packs an authoritative punch live with her amazing voice. As she shreds on her Flying V, she commands the audience with the conviction of a rock icon. It is no surprise this L.A. based band has become well known for high energy shows and electric performances.

As for her background, Jessie has garnered the attention of various producers such as David Rowntree (Blur), Dave Jerden (Jane's Addiction, Poe), and Geza X (Sonic Youth). Her influences range from Hendrix, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, to NIN.




Thoughts:

Jessie is a driven rocker who without a doubt plays a deluxe brand of rock n roll. Big guitar, big vocals, high energy, and classic rock sounds that harken to garage, grrrl power, grunge, stoner, and sixties rock, bundling it all up in her own high voltage overture and dynamite presence. She has enlisted the mighty bass services of Sasquatch's Cas, who will only heighten the sound of the great songs Jessie writes as well as complement her nimble, lightning bolt guitar licks. Jessie Deluxe is currently writing and recording, as well as touring, so they are looking to release something new early in the coming year. The new release is bound to be a gunpowder keg of dynamite rock, but in order to satisfy an appetite of in your face riffage and on fire metal mayhem that unleashes a ton of energy, fury, and fun sink your teeth in the meantime into Vol. I, available on Jessie Deluxe's website.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Album Review - Beastwood: Alabama Space Witch


Remember that excellent night some six months back? ...  You don't?  Come on... It was the night after Heavy Planet introduced you to Wyoming's Beastwood and you woke up hung-over as sin, covered in that 'jag-offs' (ignorant prick in Pittsburgh-ese) blood.  Well, the hang-over isn't over sweetheart.  That's right. Beastwood is back with their customized NOLA sludge and southern rock sound just in time to bludgeon some innocent skulls.  The album's name is Alabama Space Witch, and although packing similar fire power to their previous release Sex Devil, Beastwood has found themselves growing and carrying the torch Southern metal-heads lit so many years ago.   

Now, if that little intro didn't give you an idea of what to expect from the mighty Beastwood, snap out of it Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore.  These dudes thrive on some seriously muddy grooves, and [I don't like to single out pieces of a band that have such potent chemistry, but...] Jake's vocal contribution is the agro-icing on the cake.  The onslaught begins with album opener “Galactic Bison,” which (A) would make a damn fine nickname but also (B) makes a damn good way to get the mud slingin' started.  “Trails Beyond Johannesburg” has a tremendous slow chug of steady grooves that found itself a personal favorite of mine.  The grooves continue to pummel, and the vocals scathe, bringing to thought the question, "Just how the hell do these guys do it live?"  I'm curious because we rarely hear the sacrifice and dedication on studio recording that you experience on a Beastwood track.  Amplify and intensify that track in a live audience pushing back on Beastwood and ask, "How do they keep up?"  Maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to find out.   

The album isn't all blood and sweat though.  Beastwood throws a nail in the boot stompin' towards the end of the album and its name is “Man of Many Names.”  What plays as an 'easy' listening Beastwood track (if it's possible to have such a thing) adorns Jake's clean vocals and some of the slickest acoustic pickin' the underground scene has heard.  “Man of Many Names” is sure to stand out in this crowd of thirteen mosh-happy tracks, whether a favorite or not. 


I can't help but recall my first impression of Beastwood stating, "The music embodies the musicians diligent nature, proving that hard time and practice can create kick-ass metal." After having this second shot of Beastwood, I believe I have to add the word 'fun' to that statement.  Why you ask? Because these guys are dead serious about their dedication to the music, but at the same time they are having a great time.  The gang buckled down, traveled and produced one of the finer records in 2012.  Yes, listeners will find some filler...some unwanted and some wanted, including a quote from Eastwood in “Unforgiven.”  I can, with confidence, say anywhere these tracks are spinning and anywhere Beastwood is performing, a good time is surely being had.  

 
**As I have in the past, I discovered a beer that I found myself drinking during the spinnin' of this album and think the combination complements one another quite well.  So, get out there and pick yourself up an Avery Ale to the Chief and save it for the official release of Alabama Space Witch.

Members: 
Blake - Guitar 
Jake - Vocals 
Jeff - Drums 
Tanner - Bass

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Yellowtooth - "Disgust"


I can't say I've "visited" Michigan City, Indiana. I had to pull off Interstate 94 last fall when my son nearly shit his pants on a return to Illinois from Michigan. The exit didn't take us far into town, and I left without giving Michigan City another thought. I'd failed to recall that Heavy Planet years ago featured the down-tempo, beer-guzzling sludge trio Yellowtooth as a New Band To Burn One To. It's too bad; these guys would get along great with my wife.

Just this past week, Yellowtooth released Disgust (Orchestrated Misery Recordings), a ten-track diatribe of shit-caked southern indigestion that buzzes better than a lipper o' Skoal. The sound is thick and damp, while the mood is dark and malevolent. There's no shortage of everything you'd expect from an excellent sludge record, but the band set themselves apart by leaning toward doom, nodding to southern rock forefathers, and spitting a barely detectable whisper of harmony here and there. Tasty stuff.

Wizard Dust opens with an immediate chop-riff-chop dynamic that is nearly buried by a low bass grumble. Henry McGinnis provides a gruff, glass-chewing vocal that perfectly marries the filthy sludge churn. His guitar pulls away from the mire just long enough to break into a middle-finger solo, sailing over a hard-hitting rhythm and shooting straight up your ass. That intermittent chop is revisited on Prophetic Ramblings. Quick and thick with a dusty shred and murky low-ends, the track keeps a torrid clip. The choppy back-and-forth is led by Peter Clemens' bass, strung through the album like hot razor wire.

The heavy-handedness of Burning Daylight and Traitor demonstrate a penchant for an arcing pendulum of doom. Burning Daylight's judgment day sound is evil and unforgiving. The slow burn gives way to a guitar gallop as listeners are dragged by their heels. Yellowtooth are laughing every time you squeal, as the under-lighted vocal creeps alongside buzzsaw riffery. Traitor, on the other hand, punishes slowly. Ed Kribs' drums were recorded in medieval Romania on this drudging doom return. Ominous clouds break on a lifted tempo as McGinnis' fretwork burns down villages. Oh, and that simmering, electric bassline can't be ignored as gargantuan riff-stomps drive in the dagger.

There's a surprise or two as the album's thorax hits its stride. 75 Black Pontiac is a (kind of) hopeful and harmonious change of pace. The massive riffs haven't fled, but the rhythm isn't slung as low as the other tracks. You could say guitars are responsible for the massive directional shift, but you'd be impatient and proven wrong. Yellowtooth return to the grip of stomach-knotting sludge, while a stoner roll and sweet solo later juxtapose the wet-blanket vocal prevalent throughout. Following a similar trajectory is On the Trail of Lewis Medlock, which is only slightly more accessible than what we've come to expect from Yellowtooth. Southern-fried rock elements abound and we never quite leave the bog, though there's slightly more melody here as the tires spin. A vengeful stomp through thick, dense timber relents and Clemens' bass again simmers.

The riff-driven, crackling-ember patience of Soulstalker's opening moments is quickly met with a layered toilet-gurgle, picking up on a grinding sandblast. The engine purrs with malignance, guitars break free and cruise through Dimebag-ish pullback, and Kribs' double kick-drum attack sets the pace. But the Dimebag influence is most noticeable on the smoke-blown, smoldering romp of The 11th Hour. The track is Yellowtooth at their finest, peppering rhythmic drops amid the hollow guitar fuzz. We move from a cool southern jam into a fever-pitched sonic assault, chugging home on ashy swill. These fuckers just set fire to everything the first nine tracks achieved. This closer has it all.

Disgust is a changeling; it's gonna sound different every time you hear it. Whether it's the choppy, stoned rhythms stealing the keys and going off the map or guitars climbing the bell tower, there's a truckload o' stickiness here. Yellowtooth take their pedigree (these guys cut their teeth in some pretty awesome bands) and chuck it from an overpass. This filthy tumbler pairs well with road sodas as you kick up gravel and take out some dickhead's mailbox with a crowbar. "Southern-fried stoner-sludge-doom"? Fuck it. It's heavy. It's bad-ass. And it's perfect when you're chasin' Beam with Busch Light.





Saturday, September 15, 2012

Nuclear Dog's Atomic Split: Enos - "Chapter 1" / Red Desert - "Damned by Fate"

I went through an extremely long spell of time where discovering new music, or more accurately, new good music, was a rarity. Of course I was using mainstream sources to provide this for me for the most part, which two decades ago meant the local 'hard rock' radio station. Word of mouth was probably a better source for discovering new music that was worth listening to back then, but no matter the source, rare was the new album that had me stitching my face back on after the first go 'round on the turntable. Two decades or so ago that began to change a little with my introduction to the interwebs and online radio stations that would play some stuff out of the mainstream. Those stations typically catered to the college crowd and were heavy on 'indie' music, which wasn't heavy, but at least some of it was fresh and good, a modicum of it anyway . . . you know, just like the radio. So, I figured that's just the way it was because that's the way my rock n' roll world had rotated for decades. And then one day, taking advantage of Amazon's feature "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" I discovered Kyuss and Sasquatch, and the floodgates opened, revealing not just a whole new world, but THE world I had always dreamed of, one I always wished could exist, where the guitar was king and the riffs were always . . . primal . . . and here it was! Not long after I discovered Heavy Planet. Holy Shit! Every day a new band, a new album of near perfect rock! I can't use enough exclamation marks to express my excitement. And it got better because, as you may have noticed, I now write for Heavy Planet, so the dream has soared. All of this to say that there is an inordinate amount of truly great rock n' roll out there, music designed and played the way rock was meant to be. Today, I introduce to you two of THE very best albums I've heard recently, starting with Red Desert's "Damned by Fate" and moving to Enos' "Chapter 1".

 

Red Desert - "Damned by Fate"

Red Desert as an entity have been around since 2004, with the typical stoner/doom rock band history of losing and gaining bandmates along the way, but always focused on playing their undeniable vision of heavy, low rock, never losing enthusiasm throughout the 8 year journey that has taken them to the point of release of their first full length album just this past month. "Damned by Fate" is a follow up to 2008's EP "18 Wheels", although the so called EP carried 6 full length songs. The former album was comprised of some mighty tasty rock n roll tunes, but in the 4 years between its release and the August, 2012 release of "Damned by Fate" Red Desert fine tuned their music by down tuning to an incredible, almost primordial degree. The music on this album is the epitome of the stoner sound, with an earthy salvo that rivals the mightiest Richter rumble combined with a champion summertime thunderstorm. The sound Red Desert have produced on this new release is satisfying and thrilling, providing deadly and dangerous reverberations that could shatter the quake proof glass of home and car, or force you to put that stereo warranty into effect once those high powered speakers get blown away by the massive riffs offered up on each song of this superb album.  "Damned by Fate" immediately gets thrown into the 'album of the year' cauldron for consideration in 2012. 

Red Desert have managed to establish a style that is fresh and genuine, easily recognizable as their own, with songs that reflect their tremendous ability and energy, each one worthy of being someone's favorite. For this humble reviewer, the opening track "Older No Wiser" (what a great title) almost immediately unleashes double digit g force riffage intensity before transitioning into a first rate rock song that epitomizes tremendous stoner qualities with the big fat guitars and bass, plus a clean, crisp trap attack. "2012" has a higher tempo, with scorching solos and blitzkrieg drums blasting away on top of the heavy and low guitar chords and bass riffs. There is no wannabe songs on this album, nothing that doesn't belong, no shortage of ability and talent with this group of in your face, in your soul rockers. 

Band members:

Paul Teeter - Bass, Vocals
Dave Dancho - Drums
Jeff Kleugel - Guitars
Shawn Stende - Vocals, Guitars





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ENOS - "Chapter 1"

"Chapter 1" has been out for a while now, so it's not new in terms of chronology, but we've not reviewed it up to this point on Heavy Planet and it is a damn fine album from a damn fine rock group that deserves attention. It will soon enough be eclipsed by a newer release from Enos, hopefully before the end of the year, so to prime the pump you might take this opportunity to see what these guys are all about. What you'll find is a band that manages to bring both heart and polish to their music. The album is superbly produced, without skimping an iota on heart and effort. The guitars are huge, and down tuned enough to be quite enjoyable upon first and all subsequent playings. Drums are crisp and clean, adept at providing a rhythm while providing something special that will likely crack a smile while cracking your neck. The bass rivals the guitar in both presence and signature sound.

"Chapter 1" tells the story of Enos, the last chimp to go into space for the U.S.A. prior to John Glen's epic mission. Enos, the band, have done a great job of creating a collection of first rate fuzz that also tells the story of this brave and unusual animal. Along with the EP, Enos have published a comic book relating one version of the chimp's adventure into and return from the ether, available from the links below that accompany this review.

Another interesting aspect of Enos, they have been signed by Stargun Music out of Great Britain, the same label that brings us the highly rated stoner / psych bands Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight, Stubb, and Steak, among other great rock bands from the UK. Stargun Music may very well rival Small Stone Records in the U.S. as the best rock label, while Enos certainly sits in the pantheon of great rock artists, proven by the superb album "Chapter 1". I am eagerly awaiting Chapter 2, regardless of its true title.

Band members are Chris Rizzanski, Sean Cox, George Cobbold, Sparky Rogers



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Friday, September 14, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: HELM

HEAVY PLANET presents... HELM!






















BAND BIO:

HELM started in 2003 with members of Hard Charger,TroubleStarters,IRONFIST but only start playing actively in early 2011. The band hails from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada but currently resides in HELL.

HELM:

Mark Estabrooks-Guitar/Vox
Tom "Yeti" Ripper-Drums
Aaron Young -Bass



THOUGHTS:
"While not exactly a "new" band, Helm is definitely a band you want to "burn one to". Combining an abundance of doomy riffs with thrash rhythms and an old school metal feel, Helm blast through seven tracks on their latest self-titled album. Unbeknownst to most of the world, go ahead and do a Google search, this album was released in October 2011. Although the production is a bit inconsistant, the music itself reigns supreme. The vocals snarl and groan, providing a thick layer of scum amidst a rapid barrage of thrashing drums and crushing guitar riffs. Standouts on the album include album opener "Lil' Bit O Country", the horns high death and roller "Lot Lizard" and the furious thrasher "Maximum Death in Minimum Time". I would say the band sounds maybe a bit like Motorhead meets Entombed or I could be way off. One thing is for certain, this band should not go unnoticed any longer."
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Zac's "Double Dose": Engines of Ruin / Sky Valley


Engines of Ruin: Electric Weaveworld 

Approximately one year ago Heavy Planet introduced Dublin's finest instru-metal groovers Engines of Ruin with their full-length Triquetra. Known for layin' down "tons of wah-wah and reverb" and Karma To Burn inspired riffs, Engines of Ruin quickly became a Heavy Planet favorite and landed on Podcast 06, The Emerald Isle. Well, as time moved forward, life changed and Engines... spent some time as a two piece. The brothers decided to continue onward and in the process found themselves covering vocals and adding some texture to their already diverse sound. The group soon added a new bassist and is looking forward to releasing a three volume set entitled The Road Of Ruin. While the set has no definite release date at this time, Engines... decided to drop a split single to ease our anticipation. The single includes two tracks Electric Weaveworld and Corporate Blues. The first track, Electric Weaveworld, is a stoner classic, a bag full-o-riffs, and certain to please Kyuss fans out there. Corporate Blues was the surprise treat on the single where Johnny [drums] drops his sticks and stuns us with his slide guitar glory and authentic blues recording... you won't know what hit you. What ruin does Engines... have in store for us next you ask? Well be sure to stay tuned and we'll be sure to keep you in the know.

 

Members: 
Adam Brewer – Guitars // Vocals 
Jethro "The Serbian Moonshine Ninja" - Long Range Guitars 
Johnny Brewer – Drums // Vocals // Slide Guitar 
Keith Walsh – Bass

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Sky Valley: Sleeves EP 

Sky Valley, not to be confused with the Kyuss master-piece, are a Texas quartet who don't venture into the sound of desert rock, although I'm sure are inspired by their [Kyuss] creativity and all around kick-assed-ness. So there need to be no comparisions. What listeners need to know is these Fort Worth natives have created quite the versatile record in Sleeves. The EP is made up partially from demos from 2010, after which the band decided to take a long hiatus, and 2012. Being split by the title track, a listen-able instrumental morsel, listeners will find two very different and distinctive sides to Sky Valley. The first half's, and more recently recorded, songs find sturdy ground somewhere between the instrumentality of doom, drone, and sludge and the anxiety-ridden vocals of indie and post-rock. Honestly, I was startled and intially turned off by the vocal approach, but after a second spin I found the vocals adding an unexpected character and texture to the text-book doom sounds we love so much. The second half, recorded in 2010, finds a catchier and more 'grungie' sound with Roll Me Over and then breaks all expectation with the phenomenal Winter Takes and In Orbit. Interested in finding out why I love these tracks? Click play below to spin Winter Takes and then head over to bandcamp to hear my other favorites In Orbit and Pinned.



Members: 
Four


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