Tag: Castle Face Records

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Oh Sees Release Nightmarish and Hallucinogenic Visuals for “Enrique El Cobrador” off “Smote Reverser”

Throughout this site’s eight year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Bay Area-based  Oh Sees (a.k.a. Thee Oh Sees, OCS, The Oh Sees, The Orange County Sound, Orinoka Crash Suite and other variations) — and as you may recall, the band which is led by its ridiculously prolific creative mastermind John Dwyer has long-held reputation for a wide-ranging experimentalism that has seen the band dabble and bounce between lysergic-tinged folk, furious and sweaty garage rippers, sci-fi driven krautrock and more. And with each successive album generally being completely different from its predecessors, it makes the band difficult to pigeonhole.

Last year’s Orc was a muscular and darkly inventive turn for the current lineup which features Tim Hellman (bass), Dan Rincon (drums) and Paul Quattrone (drums), as the material balanced a trippy, cosmic vibe with some of their most hard-hitting and punishing tendencies. Reaffirming their reputation for being unpredictable, the members of the band quickly followed that up with Memory of a Cut Off Head, an album that found the band revisiting the sound and approach of their early years, best known as their “quiet” period; in fact, returning to one of the band’s earlier names — OCS — was meant to herald a return to –the lower end of the decibel meter. 

Last year, Dwyer and company did two shows with their quieter and lush incarnation at The Chapel in San Francisco and those live shows eventually produced a handmade, mail-order only live album OCS Live in San Francisco that was released through Rock Is Hell Records. Interestingly, the album will be re-issued and made available in a condensed 2 LP set and to support that effort, the OCS will play a limited performance run of mellow OCS tunes at The Murmrr Theatre in Brooklyn, as an octet featuring members of the early lineup, including Brigid Dawson (vocals), Tim Hellman (bass), Paul Quattrone (drums), Tom Dolas (keys), Eric Clark (violin), Heather Lockie (viola) and Emily Elkin (cello). (You can check those dates below.)

Also, Castle Face Records will be re-issuing a string of Oh Sees out-of-print Oh Sees albums from the quiet era beginning with The Cool Death of Island Raiders in February 2019. In the meantime, the band has released live footage of them performing the trippy and epic burner “Block of Ice,” that features some wild and unhinged guitar playing centered around a propulsive and steady groove. Quieter? I’m not so sure, as this one as a buzzing, garage psych quality; but either way I’m looking forward to catching Dwyer and company live. 

But before that, the ridiculously prolific Dwyer and his Oh Sees/OCS released Smote Reverser earlier this year, and album single “Enrique El Cobrador” finds the band meshing classic psych rock and prog rock in a way that brings JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard but with a muscular and frightening sense of menace at its core, as the song is centered by a motorik-like groove, explosive blasts of guitar, arpeggiated keys and Dwyer delivering his vocals with a guttural snarl. Directed by Alexis Giroux and featuring animation from Giroux and Massimo Colarusso is a hallucinogenic nightmare of murder, bloodshed and bright colors and other wild imagery. 

TOUR DATES
12/15/2018 Murmrr Theatre – Brooklyn, New York
12/16/2018 Murmrr Theatre – Brooklyn, New York

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Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you’ve likely come across a post featuring the Austin, TX-based punk quartet PLAX. And as you may recall, the band, which is currently comprised of Michael Goodwin, a member of the OBN IIIs and eeetsFEATS; Chris “Anton” Stevenson, a member of Spray PaintDikes of Holland and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth; Marley Jones, a member of the OBN IIIs and Sweet Talk; and newest recruit Victor Ziolkowski, a member of Skeleton and Nosferatu can trace their origins to when Goodwin approached his longtime friend Stevenston and current OBN IIIs bandmate Jones about the possibility of forming an unconventional, outsider punk band, inspired by  Wire and Dawn of Humans. The band’s founding trio quickly went to work writing songs for a demo — they eventually wrote 9 — but they felt were still in need of a vocalist to complete the project. At the time Marley was collaborating with David and Victor Ziolkowksi, the founding members and frontman of Skeleton, a constantly evolving project featuring the Ziolkowski Brothers and a rotating cast of collaborators and friends. Stevenson and Marley then recruited Victor Ziolkowski, who then finalized the project’s lineup.

 

Last July, the quartet played their first live show with  New Orleans punk act Patsy and they quickly followed that by playing with a number of national touring Texas-based bands including Crooked BangsInstitute and Army and others — and building upon the buzz they were receiving, the band went on a January 2017 attention grabbing tour throughout Texas. And although Stevenson has recently relocated to Melbourne, Australia, the band has continued writing, eventually finishing their full-length debut Clean Feeling, which is slated for an August 11, 2017 release through Super Secret Records.

Wit the album’s first single “Boring Story,” the band revealed that they specialize in a scuzzy and sneering, garage punk that would be be perfectly at home on Goner Records or on Castle Face Records, complete with slashing power chords and punchily delivered vocals — and unsurprisingly, the album’s second single “Night Watch” continued along a similar vein, while nodding at the nightmarishly tense, piss vinegar, and PCP-fueled fury sound reminiscent of Ex-Cult’s Cigarette Machine and Negative Growth.  “What A Waste,” Clean Feeling‘s third and latest single “What A Waste” is a bruising punk track that evokes the bitter frustration of those who lives have stalled — often beyond their control; and sonically, the single much like its immediate predecessor will continue to cement the band’s burgeoning reputation for crafting scuzzy and forceful garage punk.

Earlier this month, I wrote about the Austin, TX-based punk quartet PLAX, and as you may recall, the band comprised of founding members Michael Goodwin, a member of the OBN IIIs and eeetsFEATS; Chris “Anton” Stevenson, a member of Spray PaintDikes of Holland and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth; Marley Jones, a member of the OBN IIIs and Sweet Talk; and newest recruit Victor Ziolkowski, a member of Skeleton and Nosferatu can trace their origins to when Goodwin approached his longtime friend Stevenston and current OBN IIIs bandmate Jones about the possibility of forming an unconventional, outsider punk band, inspired by  Wire and Dawn of Humans. The band’s founding trio quickly went to work writing songs for a demo — they eventually wrote 9 — but they felt were still in need of a vocalist to complete the project. At the time Marley was collaborating with David and Victor Ziolkowksi, the founding members and frontman of Skeleton, a constantly evolving project featuring the Ziolkowski Brothers and a rotating cast of collaborators and friends. Stevenson and Marley then recruited Victor Ziolkowski, who then finalized the project’s lineup.

Last July, the quartet played their first live show with  New Orleans punk act Patsy and they quickly followed that by playing with a number of national touring Texas-based bands including Crooked BangsInstitute and Army and others — and building upon the buzz they were receiving, the band went on a January 2017 tour throughout Texas. And although Stevenson has recently relocated to Melbourne, Australia, the band has continued writing, eventually finishing their full-length debut Clean Feeling, which is slated for an August 11, 2017 release through Super Secret Records. And from the album’s first single “Boring Story,” the band seems to specialize in the sort of scuzzy, sneering, garage punk that would be be perfectly at home on Goner Records or on Castle Face Records, complete with slashing power chords and punchily delivered vocals.

The album’s second and latest single “Night Watch” will further cement the quartet’s burgeoning reputation for crafting scuzzy and sneering, garage punk; however, the song possesses a nightmarish, tense, piss, vinegar, whiskey and PCP-fueled fury reminiscent of Ex-Cult’s Cigarette Machine and Negative Growth.  And much like its predecessor, it’s a cathartic, mosh pit worthy, barn-burner.

 

 

 

 

Currently comprised of founding members Michael Goodwin, a member of the OBN IIIs and eeetsFEATS; Chris “Anton” Stevenson, a member of Spray Paint, Dikes of Holland and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth; Marley Jones, a member of the OBN IIIs and Sweet Talk; and Victor Ziolkowski, a member of Skeleton and Nosferatu, the Austin, TX-based punk quartet PLAX can trace its origins to last year, when founding member Goodwin approached his longtime friend Stevenson and current OBN IIIs bandmate Jones about the possibility of forming an outsider punk band that would defy all conventional expectations while being inspired by the likes of Wire and Dawn of Humans. The band’s founding trio quickly went to work writing songs for a demo — they eventually wrote 9 — but they felt were still in need of a vocalist to complete the project. At the time Marley was collaborating with David and Victor Ziolkowksi, the founding members and frontman of Skeleton, a constantly evolving project featuring the Ziolkowski Brothers and a rotating cast of collaborators and friends. And as the story goes, Stevenson and Marley approached Victor Ziolkowski to contribute his vocals, and when he agreed, the project’s lineup was finalized.

By the end of last July, the newly formed quartet had played their first show with New Orleans punk act Patsy and they quickly followed that by playing with a number of national touring Texas-based bands including Crooked Bangs, Institute and Army and others — and building upon the buzz they were receiving, the band went on a January 2017 tour throughout Texas. And although Stevenson has recently relocated to Melbourne, Australia, the band has continued writing and recording; in fact, as you’ll hear on “Boring Story” the first single off the quartet’s forthcoming full-length debut Clean Feeling, the band specializes in the sort of scuzzy, garage punk that would be at home on Goner Records or on Castle Face Records, complete with slashing power chords and punchily delivered vocals. Arguably, “Boring Story” is one of the most mosh pit worthy songs I’ve listened to in several months — and it reminds me of the sort of music I’d hear in countless dive bars and dank DIY spaces.

New Video: Dream Machine Returns with an Anthemic Heavy Psych and Proto-Metal Barnburner

As the story goes, Matthew Melton, best known as the founder, frontman and primary songwriter of well-regarded Austin, TX-based indie pop/indie rock act Warm Soda had approached Thee Oh Sees’ prolific and dynamic frontman and Castle Face Records co-founder John Dwyer with two full-length albums — Warm Soda’s fourth and final album together I Don’t Want To Grow Up, which was released last month and material from a new project Dream Machine, which prominently features Melton’s wife Doris.

Now, if you’ve frequented this site earlier this year, you may recall that I wrote about “I Walked in The Fire” off Dream Machine’s recently released full-length album The Illusion, a single that revealed a rather decided change of sonic direction for Melton and his new bandmates, as the project’s sound clearly draws from the heavy psych, proto-metal and proto-stoner rock of early Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly and RidingEasy Records‘ and Permanent Records’ collaborative compilations of similar sounds from the 1960s and 1970s, Brown Acid while also nodding at The Doors. The Illusion’s latest single “All For A Chance,” which features Doris Melton taking up vocal duties will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting a lovingly spot on take on 60s heavy psych — and in the same loving fashion that Daptone Records does for soul; so much so that you can feel tricked into thinking that you were listening to some obscure rarity that was just discovered. (It helps that the band recorded the single and the material on a Tascam 388.)

Much like the video for “I Walked in The Fire,” the recently released video for “All For A Chance” employs a relatively simple concept — the band performing the song in an empty studio and shot on what looks like Super 8 film, as the video quality possess a smoky, grainy quality.

Perhaps best known as members of renowned Sacramento, CA-based experimental hip-hop act Death Grips, Zach Hill and Andy Morin formed their experimental rock/noise rock/punk rock side project The I.L.Y’s in 2015 and they’ve quietly released two full-length albums, their 2015 debut I’ve Always Been Good at True Love and their 2016 sophomore effort Scum With Boundaries. The duo’s third full-length album is slated for a May 16, 2017 digital release, followed by a vinyl and CD release through Castle Face Records on June 16, 2017 — and while the new album has the band collaborating with guitarist Tristan Tozer, who’s best known for his work with Yah Mos and Drug Apts, the album’s first single “I Love You, Man,” will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting noisy and swaggering, industrial-leaning rock that sounds indebted to hip-hop, punk rock and 80s post punk.

 

 

 

New Video: The Surreal and Darkly Psychedelic Visuals for Thee Oh Sees’ “Gelatinous Cube”

If you’ve been frequenting this site over its nearly 7 year history, you’d likely be familiar with JOVM mainstays Thee Oh Sees. Led by Castle Face Records co-founder, and the band’s founder and creative mastermind, John Dwyer, the Bay Area-based garage rock/psych rock band has a long-held reputation for being incredibly prolific and last year further cemented that, as the band released two more albums — a live album, Live in San Francisco recorded over three nights at The Chapel and the second album, Weird Exit being the first entry of a planned series of albums.

One of the first singles off both Live in San Francisco and Weird Exit was “Gelatinous Cube,” a single that in prototypical Thee Oh Sees fashion managed to be a towering, buzzing barnburner of a song, complete with layers of scorching guitar pyrotechnics, a throbbing and propulsive rhythm section, Dywer’s growling falsetto and a primal, guttural fury — all while possessing an unusual song structure and an almost surf rock-like hook that reminded me a bit of The Blind Shake.

The recently released animated video features some disturbing and wildly psychedelic imagery that for most of the song’s length could very well be a warning n the evil’s of exploitative capitalism until the video’s protagonist becomes one with the song’s gelatinous cube — and by then, the video becomes even more surreal than the first few minutes.

Over the years that I’ve run this site, you’ve likely have been made familiar with John Dwyer, the cofounder of renowned indie label, Castle Face Records and the creative mastermind behind the equally renowned, JOVM mainstay act Thee Oh Sees — and if there’s one thing Dwyer has a reputation for it’s for this: being incredibly prolific. Last year saw the release of The Oh Sees‘ live album, Live in San Francisco and another full-length effort Weird Exit, both of which were supported with some rather busy touring. And yet somehow, Dwyer found time to write and record material with his synth-based, noise rock-based solo recording project, Damaged Bug, which interestingly enough Dwyer has described as a welcome respite from the power chord-based, scuzzy, garage psych he’s known for.

Bunker Funk, Dwyer’s forthcoming Damaged Bug effort reportedly continues where the preceding effort Cold Hot Plumbs left off while expanding upon its sound; in fact, as you’ll hear on “Bog Dash,” the album’s first single, you’ll hear sputtering and noisy squalls of squiggling synths, a funky bass line, propulsive almost tribal-like drumming and explosive blasts of guitar paired with Dwyer’s famed falsetto singing lyrics about traveling across spacetime with a surrealistic and psychedelic feel. Interestingly, Dwyer manages to do this while maintaining a bit of funk to the proceedings. Yeah, seriously.