Sunday, March 1, 2015

Monolord on tour with Salem's Pot

UK & European Tour Dates in Full:

Feb 18th – KB18 (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Feb 19th – Kufa Löseke (Hildesheim, Germany)
Feb 20th – Merleyn (Nijmegen, Netherlands)
Feb 21st – Vera (Groningen, Netherlands)
Feb 22nd – Het Bos (Antwerpen, Belgium)
Feb 23rd – The Anvil (Bournemouth, UK)
Feb 24th – The Library (Leeds, UK)
Feb 25th – The Black Heart (London, UK)
Feb 26th – Glazart (Paris, France)
Feb 27th – Heretic Club (Bordeaux, France)
Feb 28th – Sala Sonora (Erandio, Spain)
Mar 1st – Wurlitzer Ballroom (Madrid, Spain)
Mar 2nd – RockSound (Barcelona, Spain)
Mar 3rd – The Black Sheep (Montpellier, France)
Mar 5th – Arena (Vienna, Austria)
Mar 6th – P.M.K. (Innsbruck, Austria)
Mar 7th – TBA (Munich, Germany)
Mar 8th – Alma (Leipzig, Germany)
Mar 21st – Kulturhuset Bastionen (Uddevalla, Sweden)
Apr 9th – Roadburn Festival (Tilburg, Netherlands)
Apr 10th – Crystal (Berlin, Germany)
Jul 10th – Lo-Fi (Milan, Italy)
Jul 11th – Stick And Stone Fest (Nikolsdorf, Austria)
Aug 14th – Leper Hardcore Fest (Leper, Belgium)
“We’re not going to hold back from you discovering your new favorite band. Behold! Monolord.”
Decibel Magazine

“Remember that time you drove your battered old VW out into the woods, took an unfeasible amount of peyote and listened to nothing but Sleep, Ufomammut and YOB for four days straight? No? Well, this is going to trigger one hell of a flashback.”

“No shit guitar solos, no questionable vocals, just relentlessly heavy riffs generated by this newly formed monolithic Swedish trio. Love their name, sound and heavyweight approach.”
The Bug

“This is a record no doom devotee can afford to miss, laying out a veritable smorgasbord of great riffs and electrifying moments. Remember the name.”

“This is a great record, and the hypnotic low settling cloud that engulfs it just about pulls Empress Rising through for me as an album meriting recognition as a doom monolith of 2014.”

“When Monolord find the right balance, the result is a stunning example of 90s-tinged doom. Opening track ‘Harbinger of Death’ is them at their most Electric Wizard, and would fit nicely on Witchcult Today; high praise indeed, and most deserved for this head-nodding groove. On the slow creep of ‘Audhumbla’, they sublimate the Sleep influence and find their own somnambulistic style, with that gut-churning effect described before acting not as a side effect but a featured player, roiling and rolling before stepping back to let the listener breathe, then swooping back in for another round.”
Last Rites
Twitter – @easyriderrecord
Instagram – @easyriderrecord

CHIEFS: The Obelisk Streams "Vovi" From Debut Album Tomorrow's Over

CHIEFS' debut album, Tomorrow's Over, comes out on CD/DD next week via Roosevelt Row Records, with a vinyl release via Battleground Records to follow soon this spring. Today, The Obelisk is hosting a stream of the record's second single, "Vovi." H.P. Taskmaster says, “While grooving, it asks little more of the listener than participation in that process, as Chiefs remain wholly unpretentious throughout Tomorrow’s Over, of which 'Vovi' is the penultimate track before the title cut closes out.” Preorder Tomorrow's Over here.
Stream "Vovi" on The Obelisk at THIS LOCATION.

CHIEFS originally began as a two-piece back in January of 2012 in Phoenix, AZ, but after years of releasing demos, touring and playing often around the Phoenix Valley, the duo made the decision to relocate to San Diego, CA. Shortly after, they released a four-song demo entitled Buffalo Roam, and did numerous short west-coast tours to support it. Eventually the group became a three-piece with the permanent addition of bassist Jeff Podeszwik, who filled out the low-end of the band and transformed their sound.

Hot off the heels of releasing a split 7" with Fuzz Evil through Battleground Records,
CHIEFS have returned with a debut full-length record in the bag, entitled Tomorrow's Over. It was recorded at Arcane Digital Recording Studio in Chandler AZ and recorded, mixed and mastered by Ryan Butler (Landmine Marathon/Unruh). The record will be out on February 24th through Roosevelt Row Records on CD/DD, with a vinyl reissue through Battleground Records shortly thereafter.

In case you missed it, you can hear "Like A Match" over on Noisey RIGHT HERE.

You can also listen to "Stone Bull" from CHIEFS' recent 7" split with Fuzz Evil right HERE and check out their incendiary 2013 demo Buffalo Roam right HERE.

Paul Valle - Vocals/Guitar
Jeff Podeszwik - Bass
Kevin Michel - Drums


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Marillion From a Swedebeast's Point of View - Clutching At Straws

At the time of the release of 'Clutching At Straws', little did I know it spelled the end of an era, the end of Marillion as I knew it. I was clueless to all the problems and animosity within the band which lead to the spiteful split between Fish on one side and Steve, Mark, Pete and Ian on the other. Decent record sales and successful tours couldn't prevent the end, instead it probably increased the gap between the band members even quicker and more ferociously.

When I listened to the album for the first time I was thrilled by the rockier edge to the song 'Incommunicado', as well as the heartbreaking frustration and rejection of 'Sugar Mice'. You can call it a slight return to the Marillion of old, if you will. Fish is wearing his heart and emotions on his sleeves, having written some of his most candid lyrics to date. Musically the band are pushing themselves to a fantastic performance that elegantly enhances the pain, the brief hope and broken dreams the lyrics portray.

Bleak and paranoid, 'Hotel Hobbies' starts off slow and in a reflective mood. Torch, the main character of the album - Fish perhaps? - is pondering over his destructive ways but is getting none the wiser. A brief burst halfway through could be a moment of hope but after Rothery's brilliant solo, ineptitude rears it's ugly head again, leaving our leading man in the hardship of another oncoming failed day.  'Warm Wet Circles' is reminiscent, going way back in time, thinking about life before moving away from your home town. What life is for those who stayed behind while you tried to make well as the awkwardness you feel going back to your old haunts realizing things are still the same. A gut-wrenching solo from Steve! Again, the partnership of Mosley and Trewavas elegantly works as the band's heart beat. The thumping of Pete's bass guitar while Ian softly rides the hi-hat allows Torch to rack his brain, coming to the realization that he probably is just like the guys who remained but worse off. Despite his making it, he has really gotten nowhere which pushes him to the breaking point. The amazing Tessa Niles was brought in to add vocals and lifts the song to uncharted territory. 

Omitted from the original vinyl version, 'Going Under' is a short haunting mainly acoustic song, where our main man's mental state is at the throes of breaking apart completely. He is fully aware of this and is seriously contemplating leaving this world. An upbeat keyboard piece by Mark Kelly kick starts 'Just For The Record', bringing some hope for Torch. Still, it's about the typical self-deception of an addict who, in the midst of the ultimate high, believes he can kick anything, get back on track and come out of this on top. A strong, cold wind blows in while the band builds up the atmosphere in this sinister composition. Lyrically, it's the odd one out since it deals with neo-nazism and very little about Torch. Remember, this was recorded in 1987 but is more poignant than ever since that movement is on an alarming rise in Europe right now. Torch's contribution is his observation of this and his decision to do nothing at all...but get more drugs to shy away any piece of responsibility.

Lifting the mood considerably, 'Incommunicado' is as stomping a rocker as Marillion ever will be. Torch is on a high, in all senses of the word, seeing himself on top of the world. All his problems are gone and he is back on the winning team again. It all comes crashing down for him in 'Torch Song'. Laughter and the opening of a bottle initiates the song as he brutally realizes nothing has changed. He is still knee deep in his addiction which is gradually killing him. But he doesn't care since life as he knows it is nothing but misery, so why bother any more? 'Burn a little brighter now...'. Just listen to the beginning of 'Slainte Mhath'! Ian and Pete are again portraying the heartbeat and nerves that are standing on edge; Steve's amazing picking on the guitar soars on top as Mark creates dreamy, emotive atmospheres. Set in a full blown war where soldiers are needlessly killed, Fish used this as an allegory for how Thatcher's politics demoralized and ruined the shipping industry in Scotland. As part of the story of Torch it represents his hopelessness with his ailing health and mind. One of my all time favourite Marillion songs ever, 'Sugar Mice' might be a bit on the commercial side, but it is one of the most heartbreaking lyrics Fish has ever written. Forced to look for work abroad due to the expansive lay-offs Thatcher's rule over the UK caused, an exiled man sees his relationship crumble and fall while trying to make ends meet. Steve Rothery plays one of his greatest solos here...nuff said! 'The Last Straw' is the last song on 'Clutching At Straws' and it carries a very fitting title, indeed. While hard at work, Torch's eyes are opened up to whom he really is and what he has become. And more importantly it finally dawns on him that he has lost. His addiction has won and there is only one way to go. Tessa Niles is back for this one and her duels with Fish are bar to none and adds so much power to the song. Fading out is 'Happy Ending' which is someone yelling "No" followed by some crazed laughter. It is listed as a song but really isn't.

Hindsight is always twenty-twenty no matter how you look at things. So in regards to this magnificent album with all the craziness surrounding the creation of it, and even more the climax after it's release, all the signs of the inner turmoil within the Marillion camp that I was oblivious to are present in virtually every sentence sung. Perhaps that realization has made 'Clutching At Straws' an even better album in my eyes, as the years have rolled by. I don't know, however I do know that despite all the anger and hostility the guys went through, they created a near-perfect goodbye for Fish. After all, this classic line-up of the band ended on the highest note possible.

- Swedebeast

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cleaning Out the Corners - The Blackbury Accident, Flying Lizards, Fortune Maltese, and Buddy Holly

Another installment of the column where we weed through the piles of vinyl in my office together to decide what stays and what goes.  Is it a keeper or a tosser?

Chosen randomly from my "To Spin" stacks . . .

The Blackbury Accident - Overdose of Love/Under my Roof

No idea where this one came from, but here it is, in my collection, wondering when it was ever going to get a spin.  Well, that spin came today and it most likely will be it's last.  Here's all I could find on the band :"Hard to find album from this unknown Netherland band formed in 1979. The band had a lot of success in the Dutch club scene with their powerful bluesy hard rock. In 1981 they even hit the local charts with the song “Overdose of Love”. In 1985 the band had their first album, called “Too late to hide”,  recorded at Ivory Towers Studio and produced by Fred Rootveld, but without being successful anymore the band split up in 1986."

So, if Overdose of Love was their big "hit" we got a problem.  It's a rather flat, uninteresting, formulaic barroom shuffle.  To call this bluesy hard rock is a slap in the face of bluesy hard rock bands everywhere.  Not that it's awful, but oh man, is it ordinary.  Could be any bunch of bearded drunk guys climbing up on stage at an open mic night any where. Flipside "Under my Roof" is much more interesting with a quasi-NWOBHM vibe -- just not very good.  Part of the problem is the vocalist sounds like he's gargling Listerine while singing.  The other part of the problem is that the songs simply aren't very good.

Yes, it's rare, and yes, it may be worth some money.  But it will be even rarer in my collection.  I'd never play it again which is my criteria for taking up my valuable shelf space.  Maybe someone will want it on discogs.

Verdict - Tosser

Flying Lizards - TV b/w Tube

Money was a kitschy hit and lived up to it's hype.  With Deborah Evans' deadpan delivery and weirdness, it's still a cool-as-shit, deliberately eccentric cover of Barrett Strong's "Money,"  So it's not a surprise that this 7" ended up in my collection.  But I wish I could say the same about it as I did for "Money"   TV is a disjointed vomit of weird noises and random sound bites that I'm sure seemed oh-so-avante-garde at the time, but now simply sounds outdated and weird.  Evan's is as flat and tuneless as ever, but that's really the only charm here for me.  Money was aided by a strong melody, undeniable hook, and catchy lyric, TV isn't.  It's arty for the sake of arty and entirely forgettable.  Tube seems to be a dub-version of TV which is actually more interesting because I like dub.  But as I write this, I've already forgotten all about it.

Verdict - Tosser

Fortune Maltese - Girl's Gotta Learn

Now this is more like it.  After those first two random pullings I almost lost faith in my 7" stack.  Fortunately, Fortune Maltese has come raving back to restore my wavering strength.  Full-on, massively fuzzed garage punk from Get Hip Recordings, "Girl's Gotta Learn" is a 4 song EP of sea-water drenched surfer garage madness.  Big organ, maximally fuzzed guitars, short bursts of energetic vocals, hooks and spit.  Just the way I like it. Four all-out-rockin’ dance your pants off songs by the Detroit kings of garage rock, and heavily inspired by the Cynics and Chesterfield Kings! Features Amy Gore on drums on track 1.

Like most 7" in my stack, I have no idea where this one came from, how much I paid for it, or how long I've had it.  All I know is I plan to keep it a little longer.

Verdict - Keeper

Buddy Holly - It Doesn't Matter Anymore b/w Raining in my Heart

So here's the facts: ""It Doesn't Matter Anymore" is a pop ballad written by Paul Anka and recorded by Buddy Holly in 1958. The song reached No. 13 as a posthumous hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in early 1959 shortly after Holly was killed in a plane crash on February 3, 1959. The single was a two-sided hit, backed with "Raining in My Heart". "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" was Holly's last US Top 20 hit and featured the orchestral backing of Dick Jacobs. It was also successful in the United Kingdom."

So, it's Buddy Holly.  It's original 1958 issue, and in fact, somehow I got a Promotional only copy.  Needless to say, I'm hanging on to this one.  In truth, the songs are a bit more polished, produced and orchestrated than I'd prefer (I'd rather have the rawness of Peggy Sue) but still, it's Buddy and even lost with the strings and orchestra, he still sounds great.  Kinda proud to have this one.

Verdict - Keeper

-- Racer

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ripple Music Announces "The Second Coming Of Heavy" Vinyl Anthology

Ripple Music Announces "The Second Coming Of Heavy" Vinyl Anthology

Ripple Music is pleased to announce "The Second Coming Of Heavy" - a new series of 12" split LPs designed to bring music and vinyl lovers everywhere the best in heavy rock. The label comments:

"Featuring the best and most exciting emerging bands from the underground, already onboard with the project are Borracho, Volume IV, Supervoid, Red Wizard, Desert Suns, Bonehawk, Blue Snaggletooth, Red Desert, Switchblade Jesus, Geezer, Chiefs, Red Mesa and more.

"Each chapter of the series will be strictly limited to 300, with no re-pressings and will have three editions, Black Virgin (for those who love black vinyl), OBI Edition, and the Resurrection Edition.

"These will be the most badass vinyl we’ve ever put out, with the art all tied together by Joseph Rudell and Carrie Olaje. Expect Chapter One to come out end April or early May. Here’s a sneak peek at the rough art for the first cover."

FUZZ EVIL Confirms April Headlining Southwestern US Tour; Debut Album To See 2015 Release Via Battleground Records


Southern Arizona stoner rock outfit, FUZZ EVIL, will record their debut full-length album in the coming weeks for release via their cohorts at Battleground Records, and have already begun booking their tour schedule for the year with a headlining run of dates through their Southwestern stomping grounds in April.

The action begins April 21st, in FUZZ EVIL's gritty Tombstone-neighboring hometown of Sierra Vista, followed by Texas shows in El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas through April 25th. The band will be provided by support in El Paso by Oryx and Skulldron, with special opening support from Mothership and Switchblade Jesus on the other three Texas gigs, the final show also including Wofat in the lineup.

FUZZ EVIL Tour Dates:
4/21/2015 JR's Bar - Sierra Vista, AZ
4/22/2015 Low Brow Palace - El Paso, TX w/ Oryx, Skulldron
4/23/2015 The Mix - San Antonio, TX w/ Mothership, Switchblade Jesus
4/24/2015 Lost Well - Austin, TX w/ Mothership, Switchblade Jesus
4/25/2015 Club Dada - Dallas, TX w/ Wofat, Mothership, Switchblade Jesus

Prior to the tour, FUZZ EVIL will begin to record their debut full-length album, the follow-up their debut split 7" with Chiefs which was released through Battleground Records in late 2014. The album will see release on multiple formats sometime mid-year, with additional details to be released as they're confirmed.

Comprised of brothers Wayne and Joey Rudell on vocals/guitar and vocals/bass, respectively, and drummer Marlin Tuttle, FUZZ EVIL delivers solid, groove-laden, heavy psych rock, with big-ass rock jams fans of Grand Funk Railroad, Jimi Hendrix and Steppenwolf will dig, as well as the prime riff/stoner rock contingent devout to the works of Goatsnake, Queens of The Stone Age, Clutch, and the Rudell brothers' other outfit, Powered Wig Machine.

Limited to three hundred copies, the heavy, white-splattered grey vinyl of FUZZ EVIL's split 7" with Chiefs is cut at 45 RPM and includes a digital download. Stream the record and order it while the final copies are available RIGHT HERE.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Oral Groove - June

Jealousy.  Yes waveriders, I admit to experiencing this awful feeling.  I'm human, so sue me.  Wait...that was a joke.  Please don't sue me!  I really don't want to rely on that trusty insanity plea for my defense.  Sure it worked once, but there's no guarantee another judge would buy into what I would be selling.  Anyway what was I talking about?  Oh yes!  Jealousy.

Do any of you waveriders have a friend or family member who regales you with glorious tales of clearance/bargain bin treasure hunts that always seem to end with some priceless/quality artifact being acquired for an insanely low price?  Me too!  Hearing story after story of friends and associates bringing home hidden musical gems and classic albums for next to nothing allowed my jealousy to rear it's ugly head.  Life was being unfair!  Why couldn't I find these inexpensive musical treasures?  Then it dawned on me. 

In order to find the discounted booty I was looking for I needed to change my purchasing behavior.  I needed to shop for music at stores that actually had bargain bins/clearance racks.  Now I know what you're thinking.  How in the world could he have reached that conclusion on his own?  Believe me I understand.  Amazing revelations such as that sometimes occur to me out of the blue like a gift from the universe.  To make a long story short I began frequenting a chain of stores called Half Price Books and I immediately hit pay dirt.

Leafing through a shelf of $1 used CDs I spotted a band name that caught my attention on the spine of a jewel case.  Oral Groove.  Well that's a cool name I thought!  The name of the album was June, and when I picked up the CD I discovered that it sported an album cover that I would describe as spastic modern art.  Intriguing, and I had absolutely no idea what kind of music this band played.  Opening the case I found a small photo of three young guys on the back of the info booklet.  One was playing electric guitar, one was behind a drum kit, and the last was playing bass.  Alright, so some kind of rock n' roll.  What the heck, it was only a dollar right?  I bought the CD and popped it into my stereo when I got home.  Good decision!

June is a fantastically enjoyable album!  If you have a hankering for melodic garage rock with a clean modern production then Oral Groove is the band for you.  Actually, upon review I wouldn't necessarily classify OG as a garage rock band.  That vintage sound is definitely evident, but many of the songs on June are too punk to ignore.  Punk with heavy folk elements, but punk nonetheless.  Regardless of genre tag this music is overflowing with vocal and instrumental hooks, infectious energy, and good time cheer. 

Waveriders, I have played June many times and I assure you that this album is going to stay in my active rotation for some time.  If you can track down a copy I would strongly recommend that you pick it up!  Not only will you have some groovy new tunes to listen to, but you'll also inevitably have a 'treasure hunt' story to make your friends jealous.  It's a win-win!

- Penfold
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