Category: stoner rock

New Audio: Here Lies Man Returns with Their Most Anthemic and Ambitious Song to Date

Over the past year or so, I’ve written a bit about the Los Angeles, CA-based act Here Lies Man, and as you may recall, the act, which was founded by Marcos Garcia and Geoff Mann, both of whom have been members of renowned Afrobeat act Antibalas have received attention here and elsewhere for a sound that manages to seamlessly bridge classic, Fela Kuti-era, funky Afrobeat grooves with classic, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin-era, power chord-fueled rock.

The band’s highly-anticipated sophomore effort You Will Know Nothing is slated for a June 15, 2018 release through RidingEasy Records, and the album finds the band busily refining and expanding upon their sound; in fact, as the band’s co-founder Marcos Garcia explains in press notes, “We’re very conscious of how the rhythms service the riffs. Tony Iommi’s (Black Sabbath) innovation was to make the riff the organizing principle of a song. We are talking the same approach but employing a different organizing principle: For Iommi, it was the blues, for us to comes directly from Africa.” Along with that, the members of the band specifically focused on writing catchier, much more anthemic material with a slightly slicker, crisper production, while lyrically, they wanted to focus on a conceptualized effort, as the songs thematically are centered around states of being and consciousness. As Garcia continues “We wanted to go deeper with the sonic experience. Even though it sounds more hi-fi than the first record, it was important that it didn’t sound too polished.”

Interestingly, the album’s material is also based around some musical theory and mathematics with interludes between each song that are 2/3rds to 3/4th of the tempo of the previous song. “The reason it breaks down to 2 over 3 or 3 over 4 is that everything in the music rhythmically corresponds to a set of mathematical algorithms known as the clave. The clave is an ancient organizing rhythmic principle developed in Africa.” As the band’s Geoff Mann says “We dove deep into the texture of the music, beyond the groove and the riff. Although something might sound like one instrument, there are subtle layers shifting through. It’s definitely a headphone album.”

However, much like the previous album, the duo of Garcia and Mann recorded You Will Know Nothing a their Los Angeles studio on a Tascam 388 8-track recorder. Congas later recorded by percussionists Richard Panta and Reinaldo DeJesus. Then Garcia traveled to New York to record the interludes with former Antibalas keyboardist Victor Axelrod. Mixing took the most time of the entire process, as they had to found the proper sonic space of each layer of musical detail with their first album engineer Jermey Page mixing the drum parts and the band tackling the remainder while balancing a busy touring schedule.

Much like its hallucinogenic but anthemic predecessor “Fighting,” You Will Know Nothing’s latest single “That Much Closer to Nothing” is centered around a blistering power-chord rock and shuffling yet propulsive rhythms — and while managing to mesh psych rock, stoner rock, Afrobeat and classic rock, the album’s new single is incredibly textured and requires multiple, careful listens. Interestingly, the track also reveals a band that has written some of the most ambitious yet accessible material they’ve written to date.

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New Audio: RidingEasy Records and Permanent Records Release Bluesy, Anthemic, Fist Pumping, Second Single from Sixth Brown Acid Compilation

Over the past few years, Permanent Records’ and RidingEasy Records have collaborated on an increasingly expansive series of proto-metal and pre-stoner rock compilations, Brown Acid. Now, as you may recall, each individual edition of the series is based on RidingEasy Records’ founder Daniel Hall’s and Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi’s extensive, painstaking research and curation — with Hall and Barresi spending a great deal of time tracking down songs’ creators, most often bands that haven’t written, played or recored together in 30 or 40 years, and then encouraging them to take part in the compilation process. As Permanent Records’ Barresi has explained in press notes regarding the previous editions of the compilations “All of (these songs) could’ve been hits 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.”

Naturally, by having the original artists participate as much as possible in the compilation process, it can give the artists and their songs, a real, second chance at the attention and success that they originally missed. Additionally, these songs can help fill in the larger picture of what was going on in and around the underground music scenes during the 60s and 70s. Following the critical and commercial success of its first five volumes, RidingEasy Records and Permanent Records’ sixth volume of 60s and 70s proto-metal and pre-stoner rock Brown Acid: The Sixth Trip is slated for an April 20, 2018 continuing what I hope will be an annual rite of passage. And much like the previous five editions, the sixth edition continues on Barressi’s and Hall’s exhaustive, painstaking research and curation with the duo continuing to discover that the well of hard rock, psych rock and proto-metal 45s from the period is incredibly deep — with the sixth edition featuring 9 deep cuts from bands based in Continental USA and one Canadian act.

Each edition of Brown Acid has begun with an barn burner of a track and the sixth edition also continues that honored tradition with a swaggering yet frenetic, mind-melting, guitar pyrotechnic-fueled track from San Francisco, CA-based act Gold, “No Parking” recorded circa 1970. Reportedly, the band used to open their sets with the song — and as soon as you hear it, you’ll hear why: it captures a band that’s completely unafraid to kick ass and take names. Interestingly, The Sixth Trip’s latest single is Flight’s “Luvin’, Huggin’ & More,” a single that to my ears sounds like a fist-pumping, beer chugging and beer raising, anthemic, amalgamation of Quadrophrenia-era The Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Business” but featuring a narrator, who gives his new lover a list of relationship requirements/demands, including the prerequisite luvin’ and huggin’ — with an emphasis on more. 

New Audio: RidingEasy Records and Permanent Records Team Up Once Again for Sixth Edition of Renowned “Brown Trip” Compilation — Release Explosive First Single from Album Slated for 4/20/18

Over the better part of the past few years, Permanent Records’ and RidingEasy Records have collaborated on an expansive series of proto-metal and pre-stoner rock compilations, Brown Acid. Each individual edition of the series is based on RidingEasy Records’ founder Daniel Hall’s and Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi’s extensive, painstaking research and curation — with both Hall and Barresi spending a great deal of time tracking down songs’ creators, most often bands that haven’t written, played or recored together in 30 or 40 years, and then encouraging them to take part in the compilation process. As Permanent Records’ Barresi explained in press notes regarding the previous editions of the compilations “All of (these songs) could’ve been he 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.”

Naturally, by having the original artists participate as much as possible in their compilations, it frequently can give the artists and their songs, a real, second chance at attention and success. And certainly as a critic and as a fan, these songs help fill in the larger picture of what was going on in and around the underground music scenes during the 60s and 70s. Following the critical and commercial success of its first five volumes, RidingEasy Records and Permanent Records’ sixth volume of 60s and 70s proto-metal and pre-stoner rock Brown Acid: The Sixth Trip is slated for an April 20, 2018 continuing an annual rite of passage.  And much like the previous five editions, the sixth edition continues on Barressi’s and Hall’s exhaustive, painstaking research and curation with the duo continuing to discover that the well of hard rock, psych rock and proto-metal 45s from the period is incredibly deep — with the sixth edition featuring 9 deep cuts from bands based in Continental USA and one Canadian act.

Interestingly, each edition of Brown Acid has begun with an barn burner of a track and the sixth edition also continues that honored tradition with a swaggering yet frenetic, mind-melting, guitar pyrotechnic-fueled track from San Francisco, CA-based act Gold, “No Parking” recorded circa 1970. Reportedly, the band used to open their sets with the song — and as soon as you hear it, you’ll hear why: it captures a band that’s completely unafraid to kick ass and take names.  

The Los Angeles, CA-based desert punk act, ExSage is essentially the solo, recording project of its creative mastermind, primary songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and frontwoman Kate Clover, who throughout the project’s run has chosen local musicians as part of her touring band, although with the project’s recently released sophomore EP, Total Devotion, Clover has specifically chosen an all female backing band. As it turns out, Clover had initially overlooked being the only woman member of the project, and she believes that it’s a highly symbolic (and necessary) change, that she hopes will inspire women to pursue what they believe in — especially grabbing instruments and kicking ass.

Interestingly, the project’s sophomore EP was inspired by a midnight drive through the Los Angeles area and she was driving, she heard Suicide’s “Ghost Rider” on a left-of-the-dial radio station. Returning home, Clover feverishly wrote new material — with a deeply personal mission: to be true to herself, no matter the cost. Additionally, the material on the EP is reportedly inspired by the work of PJ HarveyLet Love In-era Nick Cave and Black Sabbath while lyrically, the material draws from French Surrealistic poetry — namely the work of Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud. And although  “Under Your Spell,” the EP’s first single is inspired by Suicide, sonically the song to my ears, reminds me much of Only in Dreams and Too True-era Dum Dum Girls, PJ Harvey and Josh Homme’s renowned Desert Sessions compilation, thanks to a blazing psych rock meets stoner rock-like power chord-based turn towards the song’s last one-third, but the song is under-pinned by a urgent and insatiable desire.

 

Comprised of Jonathan Phillips, Dylan Palmer, Terry Kane and Reid Cummings, the Nashville, TN-based quartet Faux Ferocious can trace their origins to when they all met while attending the University of Tennessee. And since the formation of the band, they’ve released music through Burger Records, Infinity Cat Records and Striped Light Records that’s been described as brain-liquefying fare and strange, hypnotic rock and like John Lee Hooker‘s Endless Boogie while on speed. Interestingly, the band’s soon-to-be released EP, 12″ will be released next week through Drop Medium Records, and as you’ll hear on “Solvency,” the second single off the soon-to-be released EP, the Nashville-based quartet will further cement their reputation for being uncompromisingly weird, as the new single seems to draw from thrash metal, stoner rock and Krautrock as they pair layers of buzzing guitar chords with a chugging, motorik-groove and spoken word-delivered lyrics describing how difficult it is to stay financially solvent, which gives an incredibly trippy song a bitterly ironic bite reminiscent of Gang of Four.

 

 

 

New Video: The Lysergic and Apocalyptic Visuals for Blackout’s Doom-Laden “Graves”

Currently comprised of founding members Christian Gordy (vocals, guitar) and Justin Sherrell (bass, vocals) and newest member Adam Taylor (drums), the New York-based doom metal/hard rock/stoner rock trio Blackout released two albums through renowned hard rock/stoner rock label RidingEasy Records — their 2013 debut effort We Are Here and 2015’s self-titled album — before going through a hiatus, which resulted in the departure of the band’s third founding member Taryn Waldman. Waldman’s departure from the band was a devastating blow to Gordy and Sherrell, both of whom saw Waldman as being so instrumental to their sound and songwriting approach that they felt the band’s fate was uncertain; however, last summer Gordy armed with a handful of mushrooms and a bottle of tequila set out to write new material for the band — and while being particularly inspired, Gordy contacted and recruited Adam Taylor, who had just left Ghost Punch to write and record the band’s third and latest album The Horse, which RidingEasy Records released last month. 

“Graves,” The Horse’s first single will further cement the trio’s reputation for a gritty and bruising sound, consisting of sludgy power chords and thundering drumming that reportedly draws influence from Helmet, Cro-Mags, Judge, Prong and others but just underneath the surface is a slow-burning brooding sense of menace.  And it shouldn’t be surprising as the song describes scenery from the apocalypse in such vivid terms that you can smell the sulfur and feel the debris falling around you, and feel everyone around you going absolutely mad from panic. 

The recently released lysergic-tinged video features footage of the band playing in front of a projection screen that features footage of the cosmos, nuclear bombs exploding, psychedelic sludge, exploding lava and other scenery; in some way, it’s like a White Zombie video gone absolutely insane.

Renowned, iconoclastic and deeply influential filmmaker Jim Jarmusch is best known for his independent films 1984’s Stranger Than Paradise, 1986’s Down by Law, 1989’s Mystery Train, 1995’s Dead Man, 1999’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, 2003’s Coffee and Cigarettes, which featured cameos from Bill Murray, The RZA and The GZA and others, 2005’s Broken Flowers, 2013’s Only Lovers Left Alive and 2016’s critically applauded Patterson. And as a musician and composer, Jarmusch has composed music for several films and released two albums with Jozef van Wissem, a Dutch-born, Brooklyn-based minimalist composer and late player. But along with that Jarmusch is the leader of a locally-based stoner rock trio SQÜRL, which features his colleagues/collaborators and friends Carter Logan and sound engineer Shane Stoneback. Interestingly, the members of the trio can trace its origins back to 2009 when Jarmusch, Logan and Stoneback teamed up to write and record the original score for the film The Limits of Control. Echoing the varied Spanish landscapes captured within the film, the three wound up writing and recording a slow-burning set of psych rock, initially released under the band name Bad Rabbit. Following those session and a name change to SQÜRL, the trio wrote and recorded 3 EPS of originals that explored the boundaries of country, noise and psych rock.

In 2013, the members of SQÜRL collaborated with Dutch-born, Brooklyn-based minimalist composer and lutenist Jozef Van Wissem to compose, write and record the critically applauded score for Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive; in fact, the score earned that year’s Cannes Soundtrack Award from a consortium of film and music critics, and as a result the quartet performed the material off the film at a number of festivals including that year’s inaugural All Tomorrow’s Parties Iceland, Primavera Sound, Big Ears Festival, as well as a set at Jack White‘s Third Man Records, which was recorded and released as a live album.

 

Jarmusch and Logan followed their work on Only Lovers with performing improvised live scores of four silent films by American Dada and Surrealist artist and filmmaker Man Ray that employed the use of looping machines, synthesizers and pedal effected guitars — and the material drifted heavily towards experimental, ambient and drone-like soundscapes. The trio officially recovered to compose and record the ambient electronic music-based score for Patterson; however, with their forthcoming EP #260 slated for release through July 14th release, the trio reveal a return to form. And as you’ll hear on the EP’s first single “The Dark Rift,” the song features a droning and buzzing power chord-based riff paired with a simple yet propulsive rhythm section, which slowly twists, turns and morphs throughout the tracks four and a half minutes — and interestingly enough, the track manages to sound as though the band had been listening to the Melvins.

 

 

Earlier this month I wrote about the sibling indie rock quartet  Stonefield. Healing from Darraweit Guim, a small rural town in the southeastern Australian state of Victoria, the sibling quartet featuring Amy (drums, lead vocals), Hannah (guitar), Sarah (keys) and Holly Findlay (bass) can trace the origins of the band and their music careers to when they began playing together at a rather young age — ranging from the youngest being seven and the oldest being 15. The band’s first song “Foreign Lover” was recorded by the band’s eldest member, Amy Findlay for a school project — and was then reportedly entered in Triple J’s national, unsigned band competition for youngsters Unearthed High as an afterthought; however, the Findlay Sisters wound up winning the contest, and within an incredibly short period of time, they had two singles receiving regular airplay and an invitation to play at the Glastonbury Festival.

Since then, the members of the sibling quartet have released two EPs and their self-titled, full-length debut and with a growing international profile have toured extensively,  including at some of the world’s largest festivals. Adding to a growing profile, the Australian indie rock quartet  has opened for a variety of renowned acts including Fleetwood Mac, Meat Puppets — and a Stateside tour with fellow countrymen King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard earlier this year.

Stonefield’s sophomore full-length effort As Above So Below was released earlier this month through Rebel Union Recordings/Mushroom Records and the album’s first single “Changes” was a dreamy and swirling bit of psych rock featuring a propulsive, motorik-like groove and some impressive guitar work, played though massive amount of effects pedals. And while nodding at The Mallard’s Finding Meaning in Deference and The Fire Tapes’ Phantoms, the track reveals a cool-self assuredness that belies their relative youth and some ambitious songwriting. The Australian sibling quartet’s latest single “Sister” is featured both on the “Changes”/”Sister” 7 inch and on their recently released album, and the single is a doom-laden, power chord dirge that sounds as though it were influenced by Black Sabbath and stoner rock. And much like “Changes,” “Sister” reveals some ambitious songwriting by a band, who seems poised to kick ass and take names — right this very second.

 

 

 

Now, if you had been frequenting this site 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.  As Permanent Records’ 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.” Naturally, by having the original artists participate as much as possible, it can give the artists and their songs, a real second chance at attention and success — and as a fan and critic, it also helps fill in the larger picture of what actually was going on around the margins during the 60s and 70s.

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.

Earlier this year, I wrote about Brown Acid: The Fourth Trip‘s first single 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. The compilation’s latest single is a swaggering and expansive “Coming Back,” by Zekes. Clocking in at a little over 8 minutes, the song finds the band nodding at Led Zeppelin 1-era Led Zeppelin and Steppenwolf‘s “Magic Carpet Ride” but with a percussive, cowbell-led funkiness and a summer of love refrain “Love is the answer” to close out what may arguably be one of the funkiest tracks on the fourth edition.

 

 

 

 

Currently comprised of founding members Christian Gordy (vocals, guitar) and Justin Sherrell (bass, vocals) and newest member Adam Taylor (drums), the New York-based doom metal/hard rock/stoner rock trio Blackout released two albums through renowned hard rock/stoner rock label RidingEasy Records — their 2013 debut effort We Are Here and 2015’s self-titled album — before going through a hiatus, which resulted in the departure of the band’s third founding member Taryn Waldman. Waldman was so instrumental to the band’s sound and songwriting approach that the band’s fate was uncertain; however, last summer, Gordy armed with a handful of mushrooms and a bottle of tequila set out to write new material for the band — and while being particularly inspired, Gordy contacted and recruited Adam Taylor, who had just left Ghost Punch to write and record the band’s forthcoming third, full-length effort The Horse, which is slated for a May 26, 2017 release.

 

“Graves,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming album will further cement the trio’s growing reputation for a crafting bruising and gritty sound, full of sludgy power chords and thundering drumming that reportedly draws a bit from Helmet, Cro-Mags, Judge, Prong and others; but while possessing a sinister and menacing air.