Category: Hard Rock

New Audio: Sub Pop Records and Soundgarden Release Second Single Off Remixed and Expanded Re-Issue of Their Debut Album

Currently comprised of founding members Chris Cornell (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Kim Thayil (lead guitar), along with Matt Cameron (drums), who joined in 1986 and Ben Shepherd (bass), who joined in 1990, the Seattle, WA-based grunge/alt-rock quartet Soundgarden can trace its origins back to the formation and eventual breakup of an early 80s Seattle-based band The Shemps, which featured Cornell on drums and vocals, along with original bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Strangely enough, over the years what seems to have been forgotten is that the members of Soundgarden had started their recording career with Sub Pop Records; in fact, the renowned alt rock/indie label released the band’s first two EPs 1987’s Screaming Life and 1988’s Fopp, two efforts, which the label re-issued a couple of years ago through both vinyl and digital formats, marking the first time in about 25 years that the EPs were pressed onto vinyl — and the first time they were released digitally. Interestingly enough, Sub Pop Records helped distributed Soundgarden’s 1988 full-length debut, Ultramega OK.

And although they had some creative differences with the album’s producer Drew Canulette and the band’s overall dissatisfaction with the final mixes, their full-length effort was a commercial success as it garnered both a 1990 Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance and attention from larger labels — including A&M Records, who quickly signed the band. At the time, the band had intended to spend some time remixing the album for subsequent pressings of the album; but those plans wound up falling by the wayside, as the band went on to write and record their sophomore effort, and major-label debut, Louder Than Love.

Last year, the members of the band acquired the original multi-track tapes from the Ultramega OK sessions and they enlisted the assistance of renowned producer, engineer, long-time friend and frequent, old-time collaborator Jack Endino, who has famously worked with Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard, The Black Clouds and others to create a new mix of the album that would tie up what the band felt were persistent loose ends — while fixing the album’s overall sound. Interestingly, the band found six early version of album singles that eventually wound up on Ultramega OK and reportedly those early versions, which would eventually become staples of their live sets at the time, capture the band’s sound and songwriting in a much rawer, less polished form — and much closer to the sound on the Screaming Life EP.

Almost 30 years after Ultramega OK’s original release, Sub Pop Records will be releasing the remixed and expanded re-issue of the album, as a long-awaited “correction.” Naturally, for die-hard fans and completists, the re-mixed material will capture the band’s sound as they fully intended it, while the re-discovered early material will serve as a window into the development of the band’s songwriting approach and overall sound. Now, as you may remember, I wrote about the re-issue’s first single “Beyond The Wheel” and the re-mixed version possessed a crisper, cleaner sound, which helped to display Kim Thayill’s incredible guitar work and the interplay between Matt Cameron’s Bonham-like thundering drumming and Cornell’s Robert Plant-like wailing. The re-mixed and expanded Ultramega OK’s second single “Flower” much like its preceding single displays a cleaner, crisper sound, which gives the song the muscular insistence that the band became known for while interestingly enough, the song has moments that nod at Badmotorfinger and Superunknown.

Over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts on Permanent Records‘ and RidingEasy Records‘ collaborative proto-metal, pre-stoner rock compilations Brown Acid: The First TripBrown Acid: The Second Trip and Brown Acid: The Third Trip. Each edition of the compilation has been based on RidingEasy Records founder Daniel Hall and Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi extensive and painstaking research and curation — with Both Hall and Barresi spending a great deal of time tracking down the songs’ creators, most often bands that haven’t written, played or recorded together in 30 or 40 years, and encouraging them to take part in the process.  And as Barresi explained in press notes, “All of (these songs) could’ve been huge given the right circumstances. But for one reason or another most of these songs fell flat and were forgotten. However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.” And by having the artists participate it can give the songs and the artists a real second chance at success, if not some kind of attention for their work.

Following the critical and commercial success of the first three volumes, Riding Easy Records and Permanent Records will be releasing the fourth volume of 60s and 70s proto-metal and pre-stoner rock Brown Acid: The Fourth Trip fittingly on April 20, 2017. Much like the previous three volumes, the fourth edition is based on Barresi’s and Hall’s exhaustive, painstaking research and curation, and as both men discovered, the well of privately released hard rock, heavy psych and proto-metal 45s is incredibly deep; in fact, they’ve barely scratched the surface. Most of the singles they stumbled on for the fourth volume of Brown Acid were either barely released or never properly distributed with two of the album’s 10 tracks being previously unreleased — until now.

Brown Acid: The Fourth Trip‘s first single is Kanaan’s “Leave It,” a towering and explosive, barnburner that features some incredible guitar pyrotechnics paired with swaggering vocals fed through a bit of reverb and delay, a sinuous bass line and propulsive drumming. and while the song possesses a free-flowing, booze and psychedelics fueled improvisational feel, the song manages a tight, motorik-like groove that holds the song together.

Since their formation back in 2005, San Diego, CA-based drone metal/doom metal band Goblin Cock, comprised of frontman and founding member Rob Crow (guitar, vocals) a.k.a. Lord Phallus, and a member of Pinback; Lara Benscher (vocals, guitar), a.k.a. Larben The Druid; Dave Drusky (guitar), a.k.a. Bane Ass-Pounder; Sam Mura (bass), a.k.a. King Sith; Anthony Fusaro (drums), a.k.a. Braindeath; Adam Ekorth (keys), a.k.a. Loki Sinjuggler; Mike Goldfarb (keytar, banjo), a.k.a. Phuck Tard, have developed a reputation for pairing metal power chords with rather unusual lyrical subjects –i.e., they once wrote material about Sesame Street‘s Snuffleupagus.

The band’s soon-to-be released album Necronomidonkeykongimicon is slated for a September 2, 2016 release through Joyful Noise Recordings and as the band notes, the album is a “crushingly brutal ‘Dear John’ letter to society.” And interestingly enough, the album’s latest single “Your Watch” was written for those who “heroically endure” the exhaustion that comes from being a parent — and they pair those lyrics with sludgy power chords, forceful drumming and anthemic, shout-along worthy hooks and melodic vocals. Sonically, the song sounds as though it could have been released in 1993 or 1994 but with a mischievously — and yet subtle — post-modern take on a familiar and beloved sound.

Goblin Cock will be embarking on a US tour throughout the fall to support the new album and it includes a September 25, 2016 stops at The Knitting Factory. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates:
9/14: Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
9/15: El Paso, TX @ Bowie Feathers
9/16: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar n Grill
9/17: Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
9/18: Houston, TX @ Rudyards
9/20: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade – Purgatory
9/21: Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle – Backroom
9/22: Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
9/23: Washington, DC @ DC9
9/24: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts – Black Box
9/25: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory
9/27: Providence, RI @ The Parlour
9/28: Allston, MA @ Great Scott
9/29: Syracuse, NY @ Funk N Waffles
9/30: Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig
10/1: Indianapolis, IN @ The Hi-Fi
10/2: Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
10/3: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
10/6: Spokane, WA @ The Observatory
10/7: Seattle, WA @ El Corazon – Funhouse
10/8: Portland, OR @ Ash Street Saloon
10/10: San Francisco, CA @ Social Hall SF
10/11: Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
10/14: San Diego, CA @ Casbah

Comprised of Daniel Rice (vocals, guitar), David Kent (guitar), Hayden Doyel (bass), and Cody Tarbell (drums) the Visalia, CA-based quartet Slow Season have developed a reputation for a power chord-based hard rock sound that is indebted to the classic rock sound of the 60s and 70s as you’ll hear off “Y’Wanna,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming full-length effort, Westing slated for a July 8, 2016 through RidingEasy Records.

Written during an intensely busy touring schedule with labelmates Electric Citizen and Mondo Drag and recorded in DIY-like fashion, much like their previous efforts — in other words on reel-to-reel tape at Cody Tarbell’s home studio, located in the middle of a cornfield. And although their recording process hasn’t changed much, as Cody Tarbell explains in press notes the new album is “a different album. But we never wanted to find a particular sound or any one thing and be attached to it permanently. A big part of our records is experimenting.” While cementing the band’s reputation for being sonically ambitious, Westing‘s material is thematically ambitious as well, with the album lyrically following “a loose narrative about our nation’s loss of innocence as it explores its frontiers re-contextualized in a story about an unnamed protagonist faced with choosing between different ideological allegiances and his own social identity,” as the band’s frontman Daniel Rice explained in press notes — with each song following “the unholy trinity of greed + power + violence, the injustice wrought from this, persisting in willful ignorance and reaping what is sown.” In some way, the album’s thematic arc seems to capture the general tone and feel of contemporary conversations about institutionalized racism, institutionalized gender inequality, inequality in general and social justice.

Westing‘s swaggering, second single  “Damascus” will further cement the band’s burgeoning reputation for crafting a sound that’s deeply indebted to 60s and 70s rock — in this particular case Black Sabbath, 38 Special, Led Zeppelin, and others as the band pairs bluesy power chords, some incredible guitar pyrotechnics, a propulsive rhythm section consisting of four-on-the-four drumming and a sinuous bass line with Rice’s crooned vocals. In other words, it’s old-time  rock out with your cock out, arena-friendly rock that sounds familiar — but with a subtle contemporary sheen.
You can catch the band live throughout a rather extensive tour schedule during May and June. Check out tour dates below.
TOUR DATES:
05/27 Boise, ID @ The Shredder
05/28 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
05/29 Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
05/30 Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge
05/31 Chicago, IL @ Double Door
06/01 Indianapolis, IN @ Bent Rail Brewing
06/02 Kent, OH @ Stone Tavern
06/03 Pittsburgh, PA @ Gooski’s
06/04 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
06/06 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
06/07 Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
06/08 Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Yacht Club
06/09 Nashville, TN @ FooBAR
06/10 Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone *
06/11 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia *
06/12 Hattiesburg, MS @ The Tavern *
06/13 Shreveport, LA @ Bears *
06/14 Texarkana, TX @ Arrow Bar *
06/16 Oklahoma City, OK @ Blue Note *
06/17 Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
06/18 Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
06/19 San Antonio, TX @ The Mix
06/22 Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Taproom
06/23 San Diego, CA @ The Merrow
*w/ Dirty Streets

Comprised of Daniel Knowler, Paul Middleton and Samuel Mclaughlin, London, UK-based trio The Infinite Three have developed a reputation for a sound and aesthetic that possess elements of post-punk, drone and porto-industrial rock, and channels Killing Joke, SWANS, Cop Shoot Cop and Nine Inch Nails — but with nods towards psychedelia and noise rock. Of course, on a certain level that shouldn’t be surprising as the members of the trio have an extensive history of genre defying work. Middleton has had a stint in industrial jazz act GOD and was a member of noise pioneers Cindytalk along with his fellow bandmate Knowler while McLaughlin has collaborated with poet and artist Gerry Mitchell. Knowleer has also worked on MFOTWU with performance artist Franko B. And in The Infinite Three, the members of the band have worked with renowned saxophonist Tom Jackson and London-based producer Den Liberator.

Recorded with engineer Jon Clayton, who has worked with Band of Holy Joy and The Monochrome Set, The Infinite Three’s third officially released full-length effort Lucky Beast will cement the band’s burgeoning reputation for a muscular, post-punk leaning take on prog rock and experimental rock. The album’s latest single “Hydrogen” has the band pairing angular power chords, swirling electronics, propulsive drumming and a punchy and aggressive hook to craft a song that sounds as though it were indebted to Wire, Mission of Burma and SWANS; in other words it the song possess a mosh pit worthy, sneering aggression while nodding at industrial metal.