Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bad Afro Records set to Release Baby Woodrose Compilation of Rare B-sides


In March 2014 Baby Woodrose will release a compilation album of vinyl 7” b-sides and rarities collected from various releases from the past 13 years. Besides b-sides and split singles released on Bad Afro Records the album will include b-sides from singles released on American, Swedish, French, Norwegian and Greek record labels. It also includes a cover of “Beat City” by The Raveonettes.

This collection of songs from the 14 7” singles Baby Woodrose have released so far is made for the fans who don’t collect vinyl singles or are not willing to fork over the cash for the often rare and expensive singles of which most are deleted years ago. Two songs from the compilation:

"Coming Around Again"
"Bubblegum"

In connection with the release Baby Woodrose will play six shows in Denmark this coming spring:


13.03.2014 – Baby Woodrose – Templet, Lyngby (+ Bite The Bullet)

22.03.2014 – Baby Woodrose – Kulisselageret, Horsens

27.03.2014 – Baby Woodrose – Posten, Odense (+ Bite The Bullet)

28.03.2014 – Baby Woodrose – Studenterhuset, Aalborg (+ Bite The Bullet)

29.03.2014 – Baby Woodrose – Det Bruunske Pakhus, Frederecia (+ Bite The Bullet)

05.04.2014 – Baby Woodrose – Koncerthuset, Copenhagen

Manthra Dei - S/T



Mind-altering substances.  They don't have to be drugs.  It doesn't take acid, peyote, 'shrooms or pot to alter one's perception of reality.  Books, the spoken word and music also let humans view things differently.  However, they usually take longer for the consumer to fully appreciate and for people to become aware of the alterations. As mind-altering substances go, they are not nearly as immediate or as reliable in altering reality as ingested changes to body and brain chemistry.  Media, by itself, may be slow at changing perception. Yet, it is the Swiss army knife of mind-altering substances.  When coupled with chemically induced mind alteration, media can direct, enhance or, as in a "bad trip," even destroy the experience. 

Early on writers, musicians, painters and dancers experimented with art created under the influence of a variety of substances - opium, heroin, alcohol, absinthe, peyote, psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, cocaine, amphetamine, marijuana, hashish, glue - just to name a few.  However, it really wasn't until the mid-1960's that artists starting writing, arranging and performing to enhance the experience of an audience that was high on mind-altering substances (other than alcohol - many works pre-date the 1960's that were intended to enhance the effects of alcohol consumption - most of which used alcohol's effect of loosening inhibitions to separate the consumer from his or her cash.)  Along came the Beatles' Revolver album, the Rolling Stones' Her Majesty's Satanic Request, Hendrix's Are You Experienced?, Blue Cheer's Vincebus Eruptum, Pink Floyd's Ummagumma, King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King.  All of them were focused on stoner, psychedelic music as a tour guide for the audiences' chemically induced high.  It was such an effective trail companion enhancement that now, some fifty years later, it is an established musical genre in and of itself.  Humans continue to chemically alter their reality and this jammy, spacey, jazzy, rockin', riff-laden, time-skipping music continues to enhance the experience.

Enter Manthra Dei, an Italian psychedelic/stoner rock band consisting of two Paolos (Paolo T. - keyboards; Paolo V. - guitars), a Brano (bass) and Michele (drums and vocals).  Their October 2013 released self-titled album is a classic head trip perfect to accompany artificially induced attitude and perception adjustment. Fittingly, Manthra Dei is offered through fledgling Acid Cosmonaut Records, an apt description of one of the album's most likely audiences.  Just think of Manthra Dei as Mission (out of) Control for your flight.

There are six tracks on Manthra Dei:

1. Stone Face 10:50
2. Xolotl  07:35
3. Legendary Lamb 05:40
4. Urjammer 05:00
5. Blue Phantom 17:39
6. Stone Face (Acoustic reprise) 04:32

My impression -  Robert Fripp is smiling, Geezer Butler is making devil horns, Ian Anderson is prancing with delight; Chris Cockrell is riding the bottom and Nick Mason is rolling another one.  Then, again, listen for yourself - I may have been high at the time.

- Old School

   
   
 


Daily Bandcamp Album; Lightning Medicine by Wounded Giant

"They like all things psychedelic and heavy and it shows from the songs and riffs that they wield with the katana sword precision of a disciplined Samurai. Together they build formidable layers that give hint to their forefathers; the likes of Sabbath and Hawkwind, with hints of Blue Cheer while retaining a fresh feel and tone that is unmistakeably their own."

-Tad Doyle


Two words I will use to describe this album, warning, it may be slightly NSFW. 

"Holy Fuck!"

This is some pretty heavy shit here. Somewhat psychedelic too. I had to blast this with the volume cranked all the way on the way to work. It was cold out but I made sure the people that were around me heard it. This one makes the new Black Sabbath album sound like a wet fart. Get behind this people. This is the future of heavy!

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Ripple Conversation with Bobbie Brown (Ex Wives of Rock)



"I Didn't Grow Up A Heavy Metal chick"

The classic Heavy Metal video vixen, an iconic figure in the MTV heyday of hair bands and glam metal. When we think back to those over the top days, only one name comes to mind; Bobbie Brown. She is best  known to most of you as "that hot  girl" in the Warrant Cherry Pie video. She married jani Lane the singer from warrant, toured with rock bands and lived a life of total 80's excess. Now a published author of Dirty Rocker Boys,(Simon And Schuster)  and a reality T.V. star on the ex-wives of rock. I found  Bobbie Brown to be friendly, funny, and she came across as a genuine, honest individual. Her intellect and street smarts have culminated with the creation of this 80's tell all book, and true to herself, she pulls no punches.


How Long Did It Take To Write This Book?

"Wow. I've been working on the idea for about 4 years. When I finally got out of my old contract and signed with Simon and Schuster, it's taken about a year. It's a lot harder than I thought it was going to be."

How Involved were you with The editing? Where there things you wanted in that they didn't and vice versa?

"Actually I wanted to be a big part of the process. I didn't want it to come across like an interview. I wanted my story to be true and honest. I got nervous towards the end because it may have been too honest. But they, (Publisher) were like, "No leave it in". I thought it might cause controversy but they were like "No that makes it honest." So I am a little bit nervous."

Any  Plans for a nationwide Signing Tour?

"I would love to. I don't know what they have in mind. Depends on sales."

What's on your IPod?

"I don't have one (laughs). But I'll listen to Spotify or Pandora. I put on hip hop music to keep me going. I love Incubus."

Were you a fan of the Glam Metal scene and music back then?


"Some of it. Never was a big Poison fan or anything like that. I thought Jani was an amazing songwriter and of course I loved his music. I didn't even know they (Warrant) wrote the song "Heaven", until I did the video. I was like, "Oh you guys did this song?" And they were just like wow..."

Can You Describe A typical Night on the Sunset strip back then?

"Special. Totally different now with all this reality television. Everyone is famous now for whatever. back then you were famous because of talent. It was a big deal. It was cool. Crazy back then. A decadent time. That was my heyday. The book goes through that time period. The book starts with one crazy night back then and then it Tarrantino's its way back to my childhood and then works its way up from there."

O.k. You list a lot of people you knew and some you dated. I have to ask...Kevin Costner? Was he more "Dances With Wolves" or "Water World"?

"Wow. More like "Water World".(Laughs)  Yeah. I pretty much left a lasting impression on him that probably scarred him for life. Needless to say I pretty much ruined every type of interaction I had back then with my chaos."

Do you ever run into some of those people now?

"I have not run into Costner anyway. There are still some people I am friends with. But basically no."

You have a time machine. Going  to visit yourself back then, what do you say?

"Chill out on the ego a little bit. Take pride in my career and make it more of a priority. Take advantage of the opportunities that I passed on. Living in regret is not a fun place to be. I am very grateful  that I have this opportunity for a rebirth of my career. Not everyone gets that."

On the show (The Ex-wives Of Rock), you come across as very honest and genuine. How do you get beyond the loss of your career earlier and what could have been?"

"It's horrible. It's hard to manage. I got to a point after being famous and successful in the entertainment industry. Recover from drugs. Just didn't feel like I was done. Things just happened. I got a regular job at a pet rescue agency. They had a reality television show and it went from there. I got fired because I called  the boss a dick. I then did the documentary "women of the Sunset strip". Eventually I was asked to do the show and I brought the other girls in.

You're all really good friends?

"Yes. We have known each other for ever. Scharise was my best friend back in the day. We have all have been in each other's lives for one reason or another. It's not forced. It's honest and people can relate. I'm honest. I do have plenty of stories. I am nervous about the book. I have things to talk about like Jani's death. I'm honest. I don't lie. People might not like what I say about Jani and our divorce. But it is a great read."

Crazy stories about bands?

"I have a great Dave Navarro story in the book, Mark McGrath from Sugar ray. Leonardo DiCaprio. Kevin Costner, Rod Stewart."

Rod Stewart?

"Yes. Some hook ups, others are just crazy stories. Tommy Lee, Milli Vanilli..."

Milli Vanilli?

"Idated Robert. So yeah that story is in there. It's preconceived notion about me . I didn't grow up a heavy metal chick. I was a dancer who liked hip hop and dance music."

--MetalRising




Daily Bandcamp Album; Homeless by Final Flash

A couple of things written about this band:

“They add a fine mist of melancholy melodies atop the hypnotic guitars, aren’t afraid to throw in sitar or take things folkier, and go for ’verbed-out production that’s equally commercial radio, psych rock and shoegaze. Spin the album once and by the second go around you’ll catch yourself thinking you’re listening to a classic.”
Now Magazine"

"Much better were Montreal’s Final Flash, a sixties psychedelia obsessed five piece who bash out folky rock n roll on a stage made out to look like Mr Tumnus’ LCD trip. It’s the best use a cherry red double-neck Gibson since Jimmy Page defined a generation with his.”
Dai’s Great Escape Overview | The Dirty South"

They get my full endorsement. I thought the music was well written and performed.
it's a nice break from the heavy stuff I normally listen to.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

LOUDLY PRESENTS PETE HOPKINS ALTERNATIVE ROCK PERFORMER ~ THE WISHLIST


A HOLIDAY SHOW FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION!!

With Special Guest, 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee
~ ROGER FISHER ~

Come join us for a great night of MUSIC, CONTESTS, RAFFLES and FUN!  

Check out this clip of "New Umbrella" from Pete's Album "Odd Size Baggage", which will be available at the show.



Check out Pete Hopkins brand new single "Extraordinary"
and follow Pete on Sound Cloud.

https://www.soundcloud.com/petehopkins 

And you don't want to miss the ALL STAR JAM featuring some of  the best musicians in the NORTHWEST!

Advance Tickets $10 / $12 Day of Show ~ Get 'em while you can!!

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/522780

Sgt. Sunshine - III



I enter the room at the end of the barracks.  Lieutenant Oppressor was standing imposingly behind his desk.

"Staff Sergeant Penfold reporting as requested sir."
"Sergeant Penfold we have a problem."
"What kind of problem sir?"
"A very serious problem Sergeant Penfold."
"Yes sir.  I understand sir."
"Do you understand Sergeant?  Do you really?"
"No sir.  I told you that I understood hoping that you would choose to elaborate on the problem sir."
"Ha!  Clever tactic Sergeant.  Very clever.  Tell me.  What would you have done if I had not divulged any more details concerning our problem?"
"Sir, I am confused.  You have not divulged any more pertinent details concerning our problem in this instance.  But to answer your question, I would have carried on with my illusion of understanding until either the situation became intolerable or you called my bluff sir."
"Very good Sergeant Penfold.  With those instincts you'll be an officer in no time."
"Thank you sir.  May I request more information about this problem of ours sir?"
"Certainly Sergeant.  There is a troublemaker wreaking havoc on this squad's morale.  Do you know who I'm referring to Sergeant?"
"No sir.  I haven't a clue sir."
"It's Sergeant Sunshine."
"But sir, Sergeant Sunshine is a happy soldier.  He's one of my best men."
"Exactly Sergeant Penfold.  The men I command have historically been depressed and anxious, which is just how I like it.  This Sergeant Sunshine is ruining your squad with his infectious good cheer!"
"Very well sir.  What would you have me do about this sir?"
"I want you to do whatever it takes to make Sergeant Sunshine unhappy.  No, scratch that!  I want him to be miserable!"
"May I speak freely sir?"
"Permission granted Sergeant Penfold.  Speak your mind."
"Thank you sir.  It is my belief that you should immediately seek help from the base hospital's on-duty shrink, because I'm convinced that you've gone off the reservation mentally...sir."
"..."
"Lieutenant?"
"That will be all Sergeant Penfold.  Your suggestion has been duly noted.  You are dismissed."
"Thank you sir."

Barren outpost, here I come!

Greetings waveriders.  I recently encountered something quite rare in my musical travels which I wanted to share with all of you.  To be clear, these occurrences are rare enough that I immediately put my brain on high alert for fear that I was being mislead.  What happened you ask?  It's quite simple really.  I popped the album III by Sgt. Sunshine into my CD player, put on my headphones, hit play, and was absolutely floored by what I heard!  Now, being floored by music is nothing new to me.  What separates Sgt. Sunshine from the vast majority of my other listening experiences is that it took absolutely no time whatsoever to decide that I wholeheartedly loved this music!  Normally it requires two full listens for me to pass judgment on an album.  Not this time.  Once was enough!

Sgt. Sunshine is a somewhat difficult case study.  There is not a whole lot of information floating around the internet about the group not tied into an album review.  That said, here is what I know.  Sgt. Sunshine hails from Sweden.  Malmo, Sweden to be exact.  The band is made up of three men; guitarist and vocalist Eduardo Fernandez, bassist Par Hallgren, and drummer Christian Lundberg.  Another gentleman named Michael Mino plays bass, percussion, and also performs backup vocals on one song.  What kind of music do they play?  Fuzzy, heavy, fuzzed out, soulful, fuzz-tastic, brilliant hard rock!  I mentioned the fuzz aspect right?  Good.  A very cool nugget of information I came across is that the band engineers their own homemade distortion pedals.  All I can say is that these guys clearly know what they're doing.  Listening to the devastatingly heavy, wickedly righteous guitar and bass tones is like wrapping yourself inside a comforting electric blanket of doom.  The sound is so warm and inviting it defies logic!

On III Sgt. Sunshine weave desert rock, stoner rock, heavy-psych, and doom metal into a wonderful whiplash-inducing tapestry.  "Zoetrope" starts the proceedings off nicely with an insistent drumbeat and a guitar line that evokes Queens Of The Stone Age.  "Golden Dawn" is the auditory equivalent of a highly potent energy drink.  "Beneath The Song" lulls the listener into a false sense of calm before detonating a megaton-force riff with no advance warning.  Led Zeppelin aficionados will flip over the "Dancing Days"-esque "Solar Butterfly", and the delightfully folksy "Levin".  And "Holy Mother"?  Holy cow!  The remaining four songs are worthy of individual analysis as well, but I think at this point you understand that I like this album.  I really, really do.  Besides, I guarantee that once you get a taste of what Sgt. Sunshine has to offer it's inevitable that you're going to listen to the whole album anyway!

Still with me waveriders?  Well alright then!  Allow me to draw this testimonial to a close.  Sgt. Sunshine has created what may end up being my favorite album of 2013.  At the very least it is my current go to music when I'm feeling up, when I'm feeling down, and when I'm feeling somewhere in between.  III is a magnificent work of musical heaviness that needs to be heard by any fan of hard rock with a pulse.  End of story.

--Penfold

Zoetrope 



 Golden Dawn 




Daily Bandcamp Album; Three Wolf Moon by Three Wolf Moon

"Three Wolf Moon is the psychedelic-folk-rock imagining of friends Adam Grant, John Sayer, Tyler Maynard, Max Grant and Evan Joel. Three Wolf Moon is emotive and transcendent, eerily transitioning from sparse song-writing to ambient fullness, added by masterful keys and the robust sound of two drummers. The haunting sound of Three Wolf Moon is sure to have its audience howling."

Equal parts of psychedelic, folk, classic rock, indie and alternative rock make for an interesting album. It's a good album that draws you in with it's uniqueness. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt



I had a big internal debate with myself over this one.  Not because I wasn't sure that I loved this album, but I wasn't sure if writing up a band like Pearl Jam was appropriate.  After all, this is the site with the tagline, “the best music you're not listening to”.  Let's be honest, a LOT of people listen to this band and have heard this album.  In the end, though, I had to do it, because this album is just that good.

When you're a band with 20 plus years under your belt and a very stable lineup once Matt Cameron jumped on board, you know what you're doing.  That is exactly what this one sounds like.  Every note, every lyric, everything was put in place exactly as these guys wanted it.  It might be the best album they've ever recorded.

The funny thing is, maybe not that many people have heard this.  Pearl Jam have a diehard fan base, but the general public jumped off their band wagon a long time ago.  Ten literally changed music, and you can argue over who really was the first grunge band, but its hard to make a strong case for any other album that really put grunge on the map.  Vs came out and people were still on board.  That one is still my favorite Pearl Jam record.  But then Vitalogy came out and people jumped ship en masse.  And everything else they've put out has flown under the radar with the average rock fan.  I know people who have never given them a listen after their 2nd album.  You have missed out on a great set of albums and one of the great rock bands in the world today.  But here is where you can catch up.

“Lightning Bolt” opens up with a nice mid-tempo rocker called “Getaway” which would be right on home on any of their last 3 or 4 releases.  “Mind Your Manners” comes next, a good punky feeling song that would work on any of their previous albums.  Same with “My Father's Son” and “Lightning Bolt”, the title track.  I have to say that it's really a shame that pop, Top 40 music just doesn't embrace rock music much anymore.  If it did, “Lightning Bolt” would be a chart topper, its just a great pop song.  “Sirens” comes in between the previous two tracks, and is a little bit of departure but not much.  It does have probably the best solo on any Pearl Jam song ever.  Not because its flashy and all over the place, but because it is beautiful, well crafted, and just fits the song to a T. 

Then “Infallible” comes along and changes the game up.  They've never written a song quite like this one and it where, on this album, they show how much they have stretched and grown as song writers and musicians.  “Pendulum” does the same, not so much that it doesn't sound like Pearl Jam, but that they've made their sound with some different instrumentation.  “Let The Records Play” is as close to a blues song that they've ever done, and another change up.  And the whole thing wraps up with “Future Days”, just an absolutely beautiful love song.  All of these tracks show a band that even 22 years in are still experimenting, still growing, still in love with what they do.  They do it oh so well these days, and its a shame that they don't have the following they did when they burst on the scene.  If you haven't stuck with these guys, jump back on the bandwagon.  This one is worth it.

- ODIN




Daily Bandcamp Album; A Day As Wolves Self Titled Ep by A Day As Wolves

"Hailing from Calgary,Alberta "A Day As Wolves" are about Fuzz in your face/Rock N Roll that will get the blood pumping, beer flowing and good times rolling."

These guys remind me a lot of The Heavy Eyes. They share a similar sound and style which if you didn't know, is fuzzed out blues rock. Deeply rooted in the blues. This EP is very short. You can get through it in 10 minutes. From the description on the Bandcamp page, this is more or less a short little teaser to a full length that they're working on. I look forward it as this is a pretty damn impressive EP.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mutation - Error 500



One day, mathy grindcore in the vein of Dillinger Escape Plan woke up after a night of heavy chugging and shifting time signatures.  He yawned and stretched out, reaching towards his bed side table.  As he reached, he brushed someone sleeping next to him.  Shocked and incapable of remembering the night before, he woke his mysterious lover.  To his dismay, 90’s industrial in the vein of Orgy and Nine Inch Nails awoke and said “Good morning, honey”. 

Nine months later, Grindcore and Industrial had a baby called Error 500.  Already backed with the tense blastbeats and insane industrial sludge, Error 500 grew up listening to old Korn and eventually worked in a circus.  The end. 

Seriously. 

Mutation’s Error 500 came out of nowhere and absolutely stunned me.  Part grindcore, industrial, old-school Korn, and settling in with an insane carnival-esq vibe, this album breaks down so many barriers that I can’t even begin to list them all.  It’s a completely engaging listen from top to bottom. 
So many times in music, reviewers and fans complain about bands like Mutation.  “They don’t know who they want to be!”, “Too much singing!”, “Too much screaming!”,  “Sounds like a bunch of noise!”,  “Not enough noise!”, they all cry out as they go back to listening their “go-to” albums and remain rooted in their stubbornness .  Mutation doesn’t give a shit about that.  You can tell from the way they combine elements of music that they obviously love into something all their own. 

I won’t go into too much detail about the musical accomplishments of the playing members of Mutation.   Needless to say, they are all absolutely amazing musicians who could just about play anything you put in front of them.  They are absolutely top notch with incredible production backing this album.  No, I need to hammer home the fact that there is literally NOTHING I have ever heard quite like these guys.  Completely unique, heavy, intelligent, and straight up fun,  Error 500 will be on my top ten album list of 2013.  It’s unique for me to stop and listen to something like this.  I mean, I can’t put into words what these guys do.  From the moment I heard the incredible and traditional mathcore song Bracken, with its hints of Poison the Well-style heavy rock and unique time signitures, I knew I was in for a great and well-crafted grindcore/mathcore/metal album.  How wrong could I be?  Well, not wrong about the fact that this is a well-crafted album… but the grindcore/mathcore stigma. 

Directly following this song is a bouncy, almost Green Day inspired tune complete with “Way-oh-Way-oh” rising up from the noise.

Every song is a different journey.  The song Mutations throws you another curveball.  You’ve got crazy industrial metal mixed with Queen style vocals. 

Ah fuck it.  I can’t explain it.  Just find this album, buy it, and love it.  If you’re into any of the things I’ve mentioned above… you gotta get your hands on this.   

--The Professor




Daily Bandcamp Album; Going To Hell by Salvación

"What the name Salvación represents is the faith in true Heavy Metal and Rock N' Roll. The band members are die hard believers in that faith and are here to spread their beliefs."

"Going to Hell" is Salvación's first record. It is a genuine and heartfelt venture of a young band hammering out their trade and determined to perfect their craft. For fans of true Heavy Metal and Rock 'n Roll."

Pretty impressive first album. Heavy and pounding riffs right into your brain.

Monday, November 25, 2013

STRYPER - No More Hell To Pay






Frontiers Records 


Tracklisting: Revelation; No More Hell To Pay; Saved By Love; Jesus Is Just Alright; The One;
Legacy; Marching Into Battle; Te Amo; Sticks & Stones; Water Into Wine; Sympathy; Renewed.

Bonus DVD content: “Making of the Album” documentary; No More Hell to Pay (videoclip); Sympathy (videoclip).


      When you speak of Stryper, images of bible tossing and preaching come to mind. I remember getting the "To Hell With The Devil" album(yes vinyl album) and every song just kicked ass regardless of how the message was portrayed. Years later my wife and I would chose a stryper song as our wedding song. The band promoted peace and an end to the negative. And while the positive message of stryper has never been in doubt, the music has often been pushed aside or over looked because of its obvious religious connection. Most metal heads I knew never took them seriously.  Listening to the latest release we can hear the 80's version of stryper updated to include a millennial approach to songwriting and creation. The music is simply this: Awesome. They are back and this is some serious killer songwriting.

        Laying down a barrage of heavy hitters the band seems to have shied away from its former glory and concentrated more on the song. The structure remains clear and concise as does the message but here there is more. More metal less preach.

  "Revelation" kicks off this killer album with a full force attack on the ears and the stereotypes. Stryper is back. If this album is designed to be a follow up to "To Hell With The Devil" then they have succeeded. Soul scorching guitar leads abound. The vocals are always angelic in their form and power.

  "No More Hell To Pay" is the title track and this is easily one of the best tracks on the album. Michael Sweet unleashes some serious vocal power  on this one. Great chorus.

     The cover of "Jesus Is Just alright With Me" is a tongue in cheek powerhouse that truly works. Stryper is the band that needs not apologize for its convictions. They simply rock and rock you hard.
Just check out "Sympathy" if you doubt the strength of this band.


10 horns up/10 horn scale

--MetalRising
 

Daily Bandcamp Album; Predator by Bionic Cavemen

"The Bionic Cavemen are vintage heavy. They have come to destroy the future."

There's a saying that "The future is now." If their little bio is true, it must be raining fire and brimstone outside. Let me check.... yep. It is. In all seriousness, this Chicago, IL band seems poised to take on the world with their latest release. It's full of fuzzed out, psyched out thrill ride from beginning to end.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Favorite Sunday Morning Album: Dot Hacker – Inhibition


Sundays are about winding down after the weekend and preparing for the week ahead.  They almost always consist of a bacon sarnie, if not a whole fry up, and the Sunday papers.  Being from the UK, we are massively into our Sunday fry ups as they’re often needed to mop up the leftover alcohol from the night before.

My Sunday AM album is Dot Hacker’s Inhibition.  To be fair, this is one of my favourite albums of the past few years and is not exclusively a Sunday album but I thought I’d share it with you all the same!  Featuring ten fairly lengthy tracks, Inhibition is the perfect display of innovation in music, not just rock music alone.  Each track is as delicious as bacon (I love bacon) and as a full album, it’s just stunning.  I can’t rave about it enough.

The album is available in all usual formats but my format of choice is this beauty.  The pale blue swirls of the vinyl conjure up an ethereal vibe which is definitely echoed by the album itself.  Featuring Josh Klinghoffer of The Red Hot Chili Peppers as a leading man on guitar, vocals and piano amongst other things, this slice of heaven is quite tough to describe.  Each song contains poignant lyrics and is entirely different from the previous one, leaving an album which is difficult to describe.  Swirling riffs with angelic vocals leave for the perfect record to soothe away your troubles and prepare you for the week ahead.








Track Listing

1.    Order/Disorder
2.    Idleidolidyl
3.    Eye Opener
4.    Discotheque
5.    Be Leaving
6.    The Earth Beneath
7.    Inhibition
8.    The Wit of the Staircase
9.    Quotes
10.    Puncture

The Rock Fairy x

Daily Bandcamp Album; Knuckle Duster by Asomvel

"The best heavy metal has plenty of dirt under its fingernails: this lot must never be allowed to work in a food preparation area." - Dom Lawson, The Guardian"

WOW! I wasn't going to be buying any more music until after the holidays but this one came across my screen and BAM! This is some great heavy metal. A little like Motorhead, but better. Yeah I said it. Listening to Knuckle Duster is like being softly caressed into a near coma only to be beaten off until climax. It sounds more sexual than it actually is. An eargasim if you will. Riff after glorious riff, this is one album you won't want to be without. It's heavy metal at it's finest.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

By the Bull - The Witch



In an industry filled with false idols, fading stars, and pretentious self-promotion, By the Bull and their new record The Witch explode into an auditory honesty that is rarely seen anywhere. Nick Brewer may be one of the most honest musicians I’ve heard today, and his new record is a testament to that sheer honesty.

There is little praise I can heap upon this album that does it justice. The playing is superb, with Nick Brewer showing us how incredibly talented this guitarist, pianist, singer, and songwriter truly is. Unique and always honest, Nick’s musical ability is all-encompassing.  He is a living, breathing artist. What sets Brewer  apart is his ability to be himself in his music.

Johnathan Palance and Matt Buck should not be undervalued or looked over on this record either. They have also put years of work into becoming well-rounded musicians, and it shows on this record. Buck’s incredibly artistic and musical bass work leaves me (a bass player) longing to crank up my Ampeg and get to work covering his stuff. This is the greatest compliment I can give a bassist… his stuff… makes me want to play. Palance is a great song-writing percussionist. He is capable of turning a song on its side and completely nailing the emotive and driving nature of the tune. You put these things together on a record that is vastly improved over their amazing Ghosts and Prophecies, and you’ve got a contender for album of the year.

I’ve gone on and on about the talent level and craft of these musicians, but this wouldn’t matter at all if the songs were terrible. There are plenty of talented that can’t write good music. I am pleased to report that not only can these guys write great music, but they absolutely nail a unique style and sound all their own. They are progressive, heavy, beautiful, and truly live up to their self-proclaimed “dreamy and artful” nature.

From the opening salvo of To Die Awake to the beauty and sadness of Wake Up to Break Up (minus one miscue) this album is sheer brilliance and creativity.

The only place that truly keeps this EP from being a masterpiece is the beautiful and strange Three Dreams in the Belly of Anne. This song, while brilliantly orchestrated and unique, doesn’t sit well with me on an EP. If this was an LP, I’d give it a pass as a nice change of pace. However, as 1/5th of the total album, a three minute instrumental break with very little in the way of lyrics and structure sort of ruins the epic pacing for me. This is a very minor complaint, because that song is also brilliant and the acoustic guitar work just screams awesome.

Overall, this is one of the finest albums I’ve ever heard.  Through sheer talent and honesty, By the Bull continues to make music that transcends the normalcy that has settled upon music. What we have in this finely crafted work is a true look into a man’s soul. This, my friends, is art.

Album Review; Ancient Warlocks by Ancient Warlocks

This review comes with great anticipation. It seems like just yesterday I was doing a little write up on Seattle's own Ancient Warlocks for both The Soda Shop and Heavy Planet. In fact, it was almost 3 years ago. They've been a band I've followed waiting and waiting for a release. A few singles and a live split 45 later, the debut album was announced seemingly out of left field by Lay Bare Recordings. Finally!

So, was it worth the nearly 3 year wait? In a nutshell, yes. Most certainly. What is the album like? Well if you've heard the demos and single releases, you have a good idea of Ancient Warlocks sound. For those of you who are just discovering this band, welcome. Pick your poison, turn the volume up and enjoy. First and foremost, Ancient Warlocks sound is a down tuned, dirty stoner rock with an obvious nod to bluesy and desert rock ala Kyuss. Don't mistake that statement as the band being a Kyuss rip off band or Kyuss wanna be. Far from it actually.

"Into The Night" opens the album. It's a familiar song as it was previously released as a 7". The song pretty much sets the tone for how the album is going to sound. The band doesn't stray from the sound that they're familiar with. They stick to their guns and those guns are firing left and right on all cylinders. The song is catchy, especially the opening riff. It's one of those tunes that's hard to get out of your head. Perfect for when you get that horrible 80's song that you heard playing in the supermarket stuck in your head. It's one of those songs that get you moving your head and shaking your body to the tune even if you don't consciously know it. That's not the only song that gets you going. Others like "Sweet's To Slow" and "Cactus Wine" are quite capable of doing it too. "Super Wizard," if I didn't know any better, is a homage to Black Sabbath, even if in a more spiritual way. The song is a bit more slower paced, it has a slower beat and seems to be a tad bit on the doomy side. "Killer's Moon" treads that line a bit too only not as doomy. The highlight for me also happens to be the closing song. "Sorcerer's Magician" is as every bit heavy and everything that has made the album great thus far is represented here. The instrumental at the end is killer. I love how it gets all bluesy at the end which is a nice little spin to it.

So was this album worth the long wait? A resounding "Hell yes!" comes from this reviewers lips. I'd say it was worth every second of every day that it took to get the album out. It's an album that needs to be listened to and experienced. It's full of energy that just consumes you. It's an album that can be enjoyed with or without your favorite vice. Personally I think it's great sober so don't go and get confused by the whole "stoner rock" part (although it probably wouldn't be bad while on it). The album should be out and available by time you read this through the new but great Lay Bare Recordings on both CD and vinyl.

Friday, November 22, 2013

COVEN 13: Destiny of the Gods Out Now


COVEN 13: Destiny of the Gods Out Now
 
Detroit's Doom Metal Juggernaut COVEN 13 (formerly known as COVEN) have officially released their first offering of new material in over two decades, Destiny of the Gods, via Shadow Kingdom Records. The release comes on the heels of the 25th anniversary of the band's debut, Worship New Gods, offers a modern twist on traditional doom from a band who came into being during the genre's formative years. Select tracks from the album are streaming atshadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/destiny-of-the-gods. 

Ordering info for Destiny of the Gods and other Shadow Kingdom Records releases is available at store.shadowkingdomrecords.com.  
 

"We're giving this album a Metalasfuck rating." - Metal411.com

"Coven 13 sounds like a mixture of Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath with a dash of Candlemass which can give some songs that epic heavy/doom metal feeling." 
- Dangerdog.com

"'Destiny of the Gods' is a fantastic doom album and if you are a fan of the genre you can't go wrong with here.  It is a well crafted, well played album and is actually one of the few good things coming out of Detroit these days.  The city should be proud to have a great band like this producing music." [4/5] - SkullBanger.net
 

Stream Sons Of Huns' debut album,Banishment Ritual, in its entirety at The Sleeping Shaman!



 

The Sleeping Shaman are streaming Sons Of Huns' debut LP from EasyRider Records, Banishment Ritual, in its entirety prior to its November 29th release at THIS LOCATION. Vinyl pre-orders are live at the EasyRider Records website here.

.......................


Praise for Banishment Ritual:

"I’m having visions of the painted desert and feeling like my brain is being boiled in a cosmic soup!...BLAST THIS BAD MAMMA JAMMA LOUD!" - CVLT Nation

"You could play a game trying to spot the multiple film TV/Sci-fi cameos the band have included. Though you’re probably having too much fun listening to the awesome riffs the band have written...Banishment Ritual will definitely win a load of praise from the Stoner Rock crowd when it’s unleashed upon to the galaxy. This is one album you cannot afford to miss." - The Sludgelord

"Everywhere they play they blow crowds away as if it were a sixth sense. With an amp set up that would dwarf Metallica’s, and double the classical training, Sons of Huns are easily three of Portland’s most metal musicians." - bePortland.com


"...a blazing rampage of a song complete with backmasking." - The Portland Mercury

In a city like Portland, Oregon, where there are quite literally hundreds of people playing heavy music – and playing it well, at that – it takes a bold, tightly-honed punch to the crowd’s ears in order to stand out. Formed in the winter of 2009 and armed with a full stack of Orange cabs, a lifetime of experience and enough classical training to out-riff any band that dares stand in their SG-wielding path, stoner-rock (or "brontosaurus rock", as they like to call themselves) trio Sons of Huns have consistently blown crowds away. Peter Hughes (guitar), Shoki Tanabe (bass) and Ryan Northrop (drums) have headlined shows in anywhere from tiny bars to the main stages of Portland’s biggest music festivals, and had the honor of opening for the likes of Red Fang, Andrew W.K., Danava and even the world’s most metal comedian, Brian Posehn.

Prior to this year’s huge milestone of being signed to modern stoner rock’s premiere independent record label, Easy Rider Records, Sons of Huns released both an acclaimed self-titled EP in 2011 and a seven-inch single for their lumbering, thunderously catchy song about astral projection, “Leaving Your Body,” with a massively successful music video to match, depicting the three members as hooded figures performing a ritual in the dead of night. Throughout their reign in the Pacific Northwest music scene, they have become widely known for their ability to remain musically serious, nailing every song with precision while also turning every live show into a sci-fi, psychedelic-rock party and livening the spirit of every crowd with their jokes and unforgiving volume.

Though Sons of Huns have caught the attention of underground-heavy-music lovers both here in the US and overseas without a full-length record out, the band will release their first LP,Banishment Ritual, on November 29th and hit the road. Though the band is sad to announce the departure of Shoki Tanabe, who is blasting off to pursue a lifelong dream of teaching English in Japan, they are excited to have managed to nab Aaron Powell from his usual throne at the low end of Spokane, Washington’s heavy-psych group Belt of Vapor, as a touring bassist.

Ready your senses and join Sons of Huns as they forge their way through this unpredictable genre, traversing unexplored riffs and stacking them atop one another to hypnotize you and give all the ladies “the fever.” Wherever you are, they will find you.

Peter Hughes - vocals, guitar
Shoki Tanabe - vocals, bass
Ryan Northrop - drums
Aaron Powell - touring bassist

Listen to the title track, "Banishment Ritual," here" (http://www.cvltnation.com/exclusive-cvlt-nation-streaming-sons-huns-banishment-ritual)

Listen to "Horror In Clay" and preorder the gatefold 2XLP here: (http://www.easyriderrecords.com/product/sons-huns-banishment-ritual-double-lp-pre-order)

Watch Sons Of Huns' video for "Leaving Your Body" here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV967zcgY7o)

Upcoming Live Shows:
  • November 23 ALBUM RELEASE SHOW @ Dante’s, Portland OR (w/ Gaytheist, Monogamy Party and Vultures In The Sky) Facebook Event
  • December 3 @ Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR (w/ Portugal. The Man and Hustle And Drone)
  • Dexcember 7 @ The Know, Portland OR (w/ The Ax and Fellwoods)

HAMMER FIGHT Checks In From the Road



 
 
New Jersey thrash n' rollers HAMMER FIGHT are currently on the road in support of the recently released Chug of War. To preserve every drunken moment of the Chug of Tour Vol II Tour, the band is keeping a written record of the hell being raised via a series of blog posts on GunShyAssassin.com.The latest installment has been posted at this location.   

Remaining Chug of Tour Vol. II dates:

11/19 - Columbus, OH - The Shrunken Head 
11/20 - Chicago, IL - Cobra Lounge 
11/21 - Akron, OH - Annabelle's Lounge 
11/22 - Erie, PA - The Beer Mug 
11/23 - Asbury Park, NJ - The Saint

Chug of War is out now on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. A cross between Slayer, Motorhead, and beer, HAMMER FIGHT return to Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, who released the band's 2011 untitled EP, for Chug Of War. Combining ripping guitars, bass leads and gritty dirty vocals, HAMMER FIGHT stand out from the rest with a unique sound. Chug Of War is a rockin' album of drunken madness for fans of Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Anthrax, Slayer, Blood Duster, Blood For Blood, Carnivore, Thin Lizzy, Gang Green and Venom.

Chug of War is now streaming in full at hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/chug-of-war. 

The album is available in digital and CD (limited to 500 copies) formats the link above. 

The DC in the City-directed music video for "I Didn't Feel Like Drinking (Until I Started Drinking)," also from Chug of War, is now playing at the link below:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeG_Pxp15jk
 
 

"Chances are, they'll steal your drink and fuck your girl..."  - StereoKiller.com
"This four piece of tattooed Jersey shore hooligans play a real aggro punk metal influenced highly by MOTORHEAD." - Scumfeast Metal 666

Hamburg's Hammer Studios ( Gamma Ray / Dark Age ) burnt down!

 
 
Hamburg's Hammer Studios ( Gamma Ray / Dark Age ) burnt down!
- Help for musicians in organisation with the Hamburg Cultural Foundation + donation account now available! -


It is a dark time for the music scene in Hamburg, Germany: On Monday, November 18th 2013, the legendary Hamburg-based 'Hammer Studios', ran by Kai Hansen & Dirk Schlächter of Gamma Ray and Eike Freese (Dark Age), burnt down in a mass fire.

The recording studio, several practice rooms of Hamburg-based bands and a visual artist studio were completely destroyed.
The damages are immense and
according to initial estimates more than in a few hundred thousands. Together with the Hamburg Cultural Foundation an official donation account for the involved artists, who have lost their rehearsal rooms, studios & full equipment in the fire, has now been established.
For reasons yet unknown, on Monday, 18/11/2013 a warehouse complex in Hamburg went up in flames. Affected by the fire including the prestigious 'Hammer Studios' are several rehearsal rooms of local bands such as Brothers In Arms,
A Million Miles, Chain Reaction, Black Hawk, Sambódromo, Kamizaraky, The Golden Creek or Cate 's Leila .
Valuable musical instruments, all guitar collections, amplifiers, and studio facilities were destroyed in the mass fire. Most of the bands are uninsured or underinsured and now fear for their existence.

In order to help these artists quickly and easily, a consortium of helping hands has now been launched
in support of the victims:
The Facebook page 
»Help4HammerStudios«  now acts as the central point for those who want to help. Within only a few hours more than 4,500 people have already found together who want to support the musicians, whether in kind and cash donations till offering equipment or new rehearsal room facilities. In addition, already more than 50 bands have reported their assurances to support their musician fellows in form of benefit concerts.
With a separate fund-raiser campaign among its members as well as at this year's 'Hamburg Music Prize' "Hans" on November 27th, also the community of interest 'Hamburg Music Economy (IHM e.V.) want to help the affected artists and music companies.

The Hamburg Cultural Foundation has just established an official account for donations to support the artists & producers, who have lost everything in the fire:


Name: Hamburgische Kulturstiftung
Bank: Berenberg Bank
IBAN DE25201200000052757010
BIC BEGODEHH
Keyword:  Help 4 Hammer Studios

More infos & how YOU can help at:
www.facebook.com/Help4HammerStudios
www.facebook.com/groups/HELPHAMMERSTUDIOS


The Gentlemen Bastards - S/T


What do you get if you take one Icelander, one Canadian and two Alabamians and bring them together in Huntsville, AL? You get The Gentlemen Bastards, a true music gem of a perculiar kind. Playing great stoner rock they step off the template for this genre by adding a rich southern twist. And contrary to most bands of this particular style, they refrain from using fuzz and reverb. Instead the go for big fat riffs and a heavy rock approach with a shit-ton of groove.
Born out the ashes of Saturn5 where guitarist Bill Barry and drummer Dave Stanley used to play they soon came across singer Will Quinn and writing commenced. Oh, Dave is one half of the foreign contingent in the band. The second half, and the last piece to the band's formation, was the arrival of Icelandic bass maestro Böðvar Böðvarsson. Finally The Gentlemen Bastards found their direction and the end result is this, their self-titled self-released debut album...and it's goddamned fantastic!

The riff is a very important thing for these Southern gentlemen, that and a strong sense of melody. And they use these two ingredients perfectly. Never overdoing anything the songs flow so natural and with such ease it's a great joy to listen to them. Instead of thinking "why did they do this" I think "how the hell did they do it". Every new spin of this album brings something new to the table but best of all is the feel-good sense that emanates from this wax. Don't ask me how they do it but the way they let the riff-fest that is stoner rock mix with the attitude and song structure of southern rock, the outcome is truly an exceptional one of a kind album.

Neverland initiates the proceedings as these southern fried gents aim to shatter my aching old bones to dust. And shatter, shake, rattle and roll is what I do as they let their hair hang down and fly down I-65 towards Gulf Shores with no care in the world. And that's how the album plays out. Making sure the songs are as good as possible is these bastards' only concern and tell you what, there is no need to worry because this is so good!

Don't know if they meant to but to me the guys have created a new kind of cruising down the highway kind of music. Of course I spend a lot of time in my truck driving back and forth to work, so I do a lot of listening to all kinds of albums in it as it is but what this one does is something else. I just want to keep on driving and forget about everything else. That's quite an accomplishment because I'm not a keen driver. I see it as means to end basically. So bringing out that desire in me means The Gentlemen Bastards are doing something very special.

By blending the groove and rhythm of The Allman Brothers with the guitar attack of Tony Iommi and Dickey Betts and pouring it into a cup full of Palm Desert juice, you have a heavy yet very organic sound. Having been brought up on classic heavy 70's rock it is a delight for me to hear this. Not only does it bring back great memories but it also carries on a great music tradition in the best possible way. Heavy rock, metal whatever term you want to put on it has always had a way of reinventing itself. A lot of crap comes with it but once the skin has been shed and the new is in place new fantastic music has come to life and The Gentlemen Bastards are part of this. So what are you waiting for? Go get your hands on The Gentlemen Bastards and let yourself be immersed by some sweet kick-ass heavy tunes. This is great!

- Swedebeast




Thursday, November 21, 2013

Audrey Horne – Youngblood


2013 Napalm Records

Back in the day (last year!) Facebook was a place where people posted videos of cool bands and I would follow up if they caught my ear, or band members would find me due to my connections with various New Wave of British Heavy Metal happenings and participants.  Nowadays my limited time on “the social network” consists of scrolling past pictures of other people's unappetizing food,  inane memes about pop icons (I get it, Miley Cyrus is a slut...whatevs), and blocking everyone's Candy Crush invitation.  In the midst of all that, a guy in England called Roger Fauske was posting about a band from Norway called “Audrey Horne”.  I'll admit, the name put me off a bit originally, not being a big Twin Peaks fan, but then again, I listen to Uriah Heep and their name isn't the catchiest....  Back in September Roger  posted he was traveling all the way to France to see them and I thought “OK they must be good if he's going that far!” and asked him to send me a YouTube link to what he thought was their best song.  He sent me a link to the band playing “This Ends Here” from the Masters of Rock Festival in the Czech republic earlier this year.  He could have heard the sound of my jaw dropping in New York all the way to where he was.  It wasn't the best quality video, but the song was extremely catchy (not in a pop music sense) , you could see the band's energy straight away and it didn't hurt that they were all gorgeous Vikings!  I decided I had to hear the rest of the album and immediately went to Amazon and downloaded “Youngblood”.

The album kicks off with “Redemption Song”, the opening riff is a bombastic Arabian-esque motif of twin guitars and bass drums before seuging into the songs main riff.  Usually with songs like this I get my hopes up and its that annoying (to me), death metal vocals (Ala Arch Enemy)  Torkjell Rød's voice is clean and powerful (I think only his mother calls him that – everyone else refers to him as Toschie.) Ironically, guitarist  Ice Dale (real name Arve Isdal) is also in the black metal band Enslaved. 

“Youngblood” is  one well-crafted hard rock song after another, with a “nautical” theme running through all the lyrics. “Here she comes, shipwrecks and all” in “There Goes a Lady”, “I will be the undertow/ drag their crew down rats and all” (actually all of “This Ends Here”.  The song, “The Open Sea”... The band's hometown of Bergen is on the West Coast of Norway so perhaps that had something to do with it?

It's hard to say who exactly Audrey Horne sound like, there are hints of Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, early Van Halen (the intro to “Cards With the Devil”), Byron-era Uriah Heep, (the into to “the Open Sea”.  All the while the band sounds modern while tipping a hit to their influences.  It's not very often a new release makes me sit up and take notice, but “Youngblood” did just that. Definitely an album to check out.  Remind me to thank that fellow Roger for turning me on to them. 

Here's a link to an interview Roger did with them backstage at the  Raismes Fest back in September, the audio quality isn't that great, and the band were pretty drunk (and other things!) but it's fun to watch.

--Rys



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