Tag: heavy rock

New Audio: Boris Returns with a Mind-Bending and Expansive Ripper

Formed back in 1992, Japanese, experimental heavy rock outfit Boris ((ボリス, Borisu) — core members Takeshi (vocals, bass, guitar), Wata (vocals, guitar, keys, accordion and echo) Atsuo (vocals, drums, percussion and electronics) with Mucho (drums) — settled on their current lineup in 1996. Since then, the members of Boris have tirelessly explored their own genre-defying take on heavy music.

In an effort to sublimate the negative energy surrounding everyone in 2020, Boris wrote and recorded NO, one of the most extreme albums of their widely celebrated and lengthy career. The band self-released the album during the heigh of pandemic-related lockdowns, desiring to get the album out as quickly as possible. But interestingly enough, they intentionally titled NO‘s closing track “Interlude,” while planning the album’s follow-up. 

Released earlier this year through Sacred Bones Records W saw the band crafting material that stylistically ranged from noise to New Age, continuing their long-held reputation for dynamic and sonically adventurous work. While being disparate, the material is held together by a melodic deliberation through each song that helps the band accomplish their ultimate goal with the album — eliciting deep sensation. 

NO and W were conceived to weave together to form NOW, a pair of releases that respond to each other: The band followed one of their hardest albums with an effort that’s sensuous, lush yet thunderous. The result is a continuous circle of harshness and healing that seems more relevant — and necessary — now than ever. 

Throughout their 30-year history, the member of Boris have been remarkably prolific. Their second album of this year, the 10-track Heavy Rocks (2022) is slated for an August 12, 2022 release through Relapse Records. The album, which is another installment of their Heavy Rocks series sees Boris channeling 70s proto-metal and glam rock through their own unique lens. 

“The world has changed over the last two years. Everyone’s thinking is simpler and pragmatic. Now, it is easier for everyone to grasp what is important to each of us,” the members of Boris say of the new album.

“We leave it to the future and pass it on. The soul of rock music is constantly evolving. A soul that transcends words and meaning to reach you – instinct, intuition, and fangs.

This is the heavy rock of Boris now.

As we land on our 30th anniversary, Boris continues to evolve, accelerating the latest and universal.

Boris does not lead anyone anywhere.

We just keep showing this attitude.”

Earlier this month, I wrote about Heavy Rocks‘ first single and album opener “She Is Burning,” a mosh pit friendly ripper that saw the Japanese outfit effortlessly mesh glam rock, punk and proto-metal while subtly hinting at hinting at early Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy

Heavy Rocks‘ second and latest single “Question 1” is a mind-bending and expansive track that features four distinct movements:

  • a furiously breakneck Headbanger’s Ball– meets D-beat punk-inspired metal introduction with screamo delivered lyrics for the song’s first 80 seconds or so.
  • a lush post rock/post section featuring wailing guitars and layers of shoegazey feedback paired with thunderous drumming and a plaintive vocal delivery for the middle two minutes or so
  • a section that subtly meshes the Headbanger’s Ball-meets D-beat punk-inspired metal of the song’s introduction with a subtle bit of thrash metal
  • a dreamy acoustic guitar-driven coda that quickly fades out.

The song manages to unapologetically kick ass and take names — while sending the listener into a mad frenzy. Play this one as loud as your ears can take.

New Video: Swedish Heavy Outfit BESVÄRJELSEN Shares a Forceful Ripper

Deriving their name from the Swedish word for “conjuring,” the Dalarna, Sweden-based heavy metal/heavy psych outfit BESVÄRJELSEN — founding members Staffan Stensland Vinrot (guitar, vocals) and Andreas Baier (guitar, vocals) with Lea Amling Alazam (vocals), Erik Bäckwall (drums) and Johan Rockner (bass) was formed back in 2014 by its founding duo of Vinrot and Baier, with the clear vision of channelling the spirit and traditions of the Dalarna forests, a region famous for painted wooden horses and for being the meeting ground of ancient Norse and Finnish cultures , into contemporary heavy music.

Baier, who has a lengthy background in the region’s punk and hardcore scenes had come to realize that by slowing things down, BESVÄRJELSEN’s music would gain depth while allowing haunting melodies to exist alongside a cathartic heaviness.

When Baier and Vinrot met Lea Amling Alazam, who can trace her passion for punk and stoner rock to being a 13 year-old, hanging out at the local skate park, they happy relegated their shared vocal duties to a backing role. As a trio, the band released their first two self-financed and self-released EPs — 2015’s debut Villfarelser and 2016’s sophomore effort, Exil, which received critical praise and airplay on Swedish national radio with minimal promotion. Around that time, Erik Bäckwall, a former member of Dozer and Greenleaf joined the band as a permanent member.

Bäckwall then recruited his Dozer and Greenleaf bandmate Johan Rockner to join the band. And with the band’s lineup finalized, they wrote and recorded 2018’s full-length debut, Vallmo, an effort that saw the band pair crushing riffs and thunderous drumming with sophisticated melodies and thoughtful thematic concerns. The attention on the album, helped the band land a festival slot opening for the legendary Deep Purple.

Much like every other act across the globe, the Swedish quintet had plans to support 2019’s mini-album Frost with extensive touring across Europe — but the COVID-19 pandemic scuttled those plans for the next two years. The band used the unexpected spare time to compile a wealth of ideas amassed remotely and shared virtually, which would result in the material that would comprise their Karl Daniel Lidén-produced sophomore album Atlas.

Deriving its name from the Greek mythical character Atlas, who literally carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, the members of BESVÄRJELSEN boldly take a massive step forward with their sound and approach with the album’s material featuring elements of melodic doom, prog rock, punk, folk and classic rock. Along with that the band’s frontperson embraced the melodies and phrasing of the grunge and emo that she loved as a young person, as well as African and Middle Eastern music while retaining a bluesy undertone.

Atlas‘ latest single “The Cardinal Ride” is a breakneck yet melodic, arena rock friendly ripper centered around crunchy and enormous riffs, a scorching yet bluesy solo and thundering drums paired with Alazam’s powerhouse vocals and massive hooks. With “The Cardinal Ride,” the Swedish outfit seems poised to be both their homeland’s and the heavy scene’s next big thing — while crafting an empathetic portrayal of sin, uncertainty and ugliness.

“First time I heard the riff for this song I knew I wanted to go punk and messy with the melodies and lyrics,” Lea Amling Alazam says in press notes. “”I had been reading The Seven Deadly Sins by Karin Boye and the was book lying on the table as I was listening to the track.The first line that came to mind was ‘a rollercoaster of the seven deadly sins.’ Life is a fucked-up rollercoaster and you never know how the path will turn next, so I wanted to celebrate the ugly parts of life. We live in a glass house society, in which people want to portray themselves as if they have their shit together and be on the right side of life, while most of us are messed up, confused, horny bastards with no self control. It’s okay to be a fuck-up. It’s okay to run through life not knowing where the hell the road is going. But if you are the type of person, who always gets super drunk and cries at parties, maybe it’s time to go and see a shrink. Because chaos is fun, but taking mental health serious is even much cooler. See ya’ll in hell!”

“Well, ‘Cardinal Ride’ was the only song on the album that started as a jam and evolved from there”, BESVÄRJELSEN’s Erik Bäckwall adds. “It was faster at first and had the working name ‘Sendrag’, which means ‘Cramp’ due to the effect it had on my right leg. The track went through several iterations before Johan finally nailed the arrangement and Lea came up with the perfect vocal melody and lyrics for it.”

The accompanying, cinematic video for “The Cardinal Rule” is partially shot in the forests of Northern Sweden during golden hour paired with some sultry and decadent portrayals of sin.

New Video: Boris Shares a Feral Ripper

Formed back in 1992, Japanese, experimental heavy rock outfit Boris ((ボリス, Borisu) — core members Takeshi (vocals, bass, guitar), Wata (vocals, guitar, keys, accordion and echo) Atsuo (vocals, drums, percussion and electronics) and Mucho (drums) — settled on their current lineup in 1996. Since then, the members of Boris have tirelessly explored their own genre-defying take on heavy music.

In an effort to sublimate the negative energy surrounding everyone in 2020, Boris wrote and recorded NO, one of the most extreme albums of their widely celebrated and lengthy career. The band self-released the album during the heigh of pandemic-related lockdowns, desiring to get the album out as quickly as possible. But interestingly enough, they intentionally titled NO‘s closing track “Interlude,” while planning the album’s follow-up. 

Released earlier this year through Sacred Bones Records W saw the band crafting material that stylistically ranged from noise to New Age, continuing their long-held reputation for dynamic and sonically adventurous work. But the work is held together by a melodic deliberation through each song that helps the band accomplish their ultimate goal with the album — eliciting deep sensation.

NO and W were conceived to weave together to form NOW, a pair of releases that respond to each other: The band follows their hardest album with an effort that’s sensuous, lush and thundering. The result is a continuous circle of harshness and healing that seems more relevant — and necessary — now than ever. 

Throughout their history, the member of Boris have been remarkably prolific. Their second album of the year, the 10-track Heavy Rocks (2022) is slated for an August 12, 2022 release through Relapse Records. The album, which is another installment of their Heavy Rocks series sees Boris channeling 70s proto-metal and glam rock through their own unique lens.

“The world has changed over the last two years. Everyone’s thinking is simpler and pragmatic. Now, it is easier for everyone to grasp what is important to each of us,” the members of Boris say of the new album.

“We leave it to the future and pass it on. The soul of rock music is constantly evolving. A soul that transcends words and meaning to reach you – instinct, intuition, and fangs.

This is the heavy rock of Boris now.

As we land on our 30th anniversary, Boris continues to evolve, accelerating the latest and universal.

Boris does not lead anyone anywhere.

We just keep showing this attitude.”

Heavy Rocks‘ first single, album opening “She Is Burning” is a mosh-pit friendly, power chord-driven ripper that effortlessly meshes glam rock, punk and proto-metal in a way that kicks ass and takes names — while subtly hinting at early Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy.

Fittingly, the accompanying video which features dancing by Snatch, has the band dressed up as though they walked out of 1974 and the dancer performing in front of enormous flames. And holy shit, does it kick so much fucking ass!

New Video: Japan’s Boris Shares a Mesmerizing Ode to Hiroshima

Formed back in 1992, the influential, Japanese, experimental heavy rock outfit Boris ((ボリス, Borisu) — Takeshi (vocals, bass, guitar), Wata (vocals, guitar, keys, accordion and echo) and Atsuo (vocals, drums, percussion and electronics) — settled on their current lineup in 1996. Since then, the members of Boris have tirelessly explored their own genre-defying take on heavy music.

In an effort to sublimate the negative energy surrounding everyone in 2020, Boris wrote and recorded NO, one of the most extreme albums of their widely celebrated and lengthy career. The band self-released the album during the heigh of pandemic-related lockdowns, desiring to get the album out as quickly as possible. But interestingly enough, they intentionally titled NO‘s closing track “Interlude,” while planning the album’s follow-up.

Slated for a Friday release, W is the acclaimed Japanese outfit’s debut effort through their new label, Sacred Bones Records. Stylistically, the album’s material ranges from noise to New Age, continuing the band’s long-held reputation for crafting dynamic and sonically adventurous work. But the material is held together by a melodic deliberation through each song that helps the band accomplish their ultimate goal — eliciting deep sensation.

NO and W were conceived to weave together to form NOW, a pair of releases that respond to each other: The band follows their hardest album with an effort that’s sensuous, lush and thundering. The result is a continuous circle of harshness and healing that seems more relevant — and necessary — now than ever.

W‘s latest single the expansive “Beyond Good and Evil” begins with a lush, placid and lengthy introduction centered around Wata’s breathy delivery, strummed, reverb-drenched guitar and gently padded drums. About half way into the song, the song quickly morphs into a swirling and painterly textured shoegaze-like arrangement that builds up into an explosion of feedback and drums. The song ends with a gentle fadeout into silence.

“Beyond Good and Evil” draws much of its inspiration from the history of Wata’s hometown of Hiroshima. “There is a vast magnitude in a huge mushroom cloud and in decaying ruins. We feel both the sadness and beauty of these things at the same time; that is who we are,” the band explains.

The cinematically shot video for “Beyond Good and Evil” features the band’s Wata wandering through the abandoned ruins of what was one a gorgeous compound. Wata moves through gradations of shade and light through the property but we eventually pan out to the exterior, seeing it overrun by nature before panning up further heavenward. “This video was made from the perspective of a mushroom cloud,” the band says.

Nashville-based melodic, heavy duo Friendship Commanders — Buick Audra (vocals, guitar) and Jerry Roe (drums, bass) — have released two albums and an EP so far, 2016’s Dave, 2018’s Steve Albini-produced Bill and the Hold On To Yourself EP, which was released earlier this year.

Recorded with mix engineer Kurt Ballou, Hold On To Yourself EP finds the band crafting their heaviest batch of material to date while being a sonic and stylistic departure — with the EP’s material introducing a layered, studio polish instead of the raw, mostly lived-tracked approach of their previously released material. Thematically, the EP found the band examining the world around them, including their part in the world’s massive problems and potential solutions, and challenging the patriarchy while also delving deep and discussing being an adult, who has survived childhood trauma. Interestingly, enough the EP’s title essentially summarizes Audra’s message to other survivors — and has been a personal mantra for the Friendship Commanders’ frontperson; she has a habit of writing the phrase “hold on to yourself” every morning as a reminder. “This has been especially true during times of dealing with unsafe family members, abusers, or unwell people,” Audra says in press notes. “With a past of self-abandonment, holding on to myself has to be a focus in everything I do. It’s a good reminder and I always need it. It just seemed like the right set of words for this record.”

“Stonechild”/”Your Reign Is Over” is the first bit of new material since the release of Hod On To Yourself and continues their ongoing collaboration with the mixing and engineering team of Kurt Bailou and Brad Boatright. And although there is a sort of sonic through-line between HOTY and the new singles — with all of the material centered around sludgy power chords, thunderous drumming and rousingly anthemic, mosh pit friendly hooks. However, the new singles find the band moving into new emotional and thematic territory while tackling even tougher subjects. “Stonechild” manages to the outrage over injustice and the ache of unjust loss while “Your Reign Is Over” expresses frustration and a desire to get out there, snatch control from the old bastards fucking things up and making it a better world — right now.

“Stonechild” was written about the circumstances of Stonechild Cheifstick’s death last July 3rd. Chiefstci was a 39 year-old, Chippewa Cree man, who was part of the Suqamish Tribal community and father of five, who was killed by a white police officer. “Through a friend of mine who lives on the Port Madison Reservation, I connected to articles in local publications about his death, all of which I read with horror,” Audra says in press notes. “My brain kept going back to facts of the story: He was murdered by a white police officer . . . At the location where the community was gathered to enjoy the 3rd of July fireworks, at a waterfront park . . . Families with kids were everywhere and witnessed his death . . . And they still held the fireworks after he died. The song was written to acknowledge a life, question a death, and stand in solidarity with a community that has lost someone. We, alongside the people who knew him, demand justice for Stonechild. With this song, I am also asking questions to all of us about how we’re actually moving through this world, injustice all around us, systemic racism normalized and ignored. Are we helping, or are we hurting?”

“Stonechild” also features s spoken word section txʷəlšucid, co-written by Casey Fowler, who is a member of the Suquamish people; Zalmai Zahir ʔəswəli, who is part of the Puyallup; and Chris Duenas, who’s also part of the Puyallap people. Fowler recites the section in Lushootseed, and does on on behalf of Chiefstick’s family.

“Your Reign Is Over” encapsulates the general frustration and despair most of has have felt so deep this past year. We’ve had a pandemic that has rampaged communities, economies and entire industries with millions here in the States out of work and in danger of losing their homes. There’s the continued struggle for racial justice and gender equality, which have been on the forefront of the country’s consciousness during a summer of protest and unrest. There has been continued environmental calamities — and we’re in the middle of arguably the most consequential presidential election in the past 150 years. We’ve seen the destruction of people and the environment; the hatred and strife. If you’re like me — or like the band — you’re exhausted and fed up. And as a result the song calls out the greedy, the selfish, the destruction, demanding that they get out of the way for new voices, new ways of doing things, new thinking and new systems.

On June 19, 2020, the Tennessee legislate voted to pass the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. The vote took place in the middle of night — without the public knowing. As it turns out, Buick was in the state capitol building for the vote. “As an activist who advocates for bodily autonomy, the fact that our largely white and male Republican super-majority legislature took the extra steps to hinder the rights of so many – the middle of such a vulnerable time – really blew my last fuse,” Buick says. “There’s no way to dress that action up as anything but deliberately harmful. Such action is rooted in racism, classism, and sexism There’s some junk science in there, too. I haven’t written much this year, but I have written this work to say that this chapter is over. We can no longer allow any of the above to go on. This election needs to flip the state of Tennessee, and also the presidency.”

New Audio: Two from Mrs. Piss the New Project featuring Chelsea Wolfe and Jess Gowrie

Mrs. Piss is a new musical project featuring:

JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe. Over the course of this site’s ten year history, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the Northern California-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist. And throughout that time, Wolfe has developed an honed a reputation for channeling somber and eerily haunting beauty in a variety of forms, including gothic rock, doom metal, folk and others.  
Jess Gowrie, a multi-instrumentalist, who played drums during the JOVM mainstay’s tour to support her 2017 effort Hiss Spun — and was Wolfe’s bandmate in their previous band together.  
The project can trace its origins back to Wolfe’s Hiss Spun tour — and the material they’ve created together are much more urgent, forceful and visceral than anything they’ve previously created before: heaviness that channels a punk rock spirit. 

“Working on this project brought Jess and I so much closer as songwriters and production partners, after reuniting as friends and bandmates,” Chelsea Wolfe says in press notes. “It was freeing and fun to channel some wild energies that I don’t typically put into my own music. We tried not to overthink the songs as we were writing them, but at the same time we did consciously put a lot into crafting them into our own weird sonic vision. This project was a chance for us to do things our own way, on our own terms, and we plan to invite more womxn musicians along for future Mrs. Piss recordings.” 

“To me, Mrs. Piss represents a musical chemistry cut short long ago that now gets a second chance,” Jess Gowrie adds. “Creating with Chelsea has always been very liberating for me, and we both push each other to try new things: anything and everything. Both of us have grown so much as writers and musicians since our first band together (Red Host), and with the journeys we had to take separately to get there, we both have so much more to say; so much more pain and anger to express. That said, we also had a lot of fun doing it, not to mention how freeing it is to not give a f-k and to just create.” 

Recorded at Sacramento’s The Dock Studio and Wolfe’s home studio, The Canyon, the duo’s full length debut Self-Surgery is slated for a May 29, 2020 release through Sargent House — and to commemorate the announcement of their debut effort as Mrs, Piss, the duo released two singles. The first single is the breakneck, mosh pit friendly “Downer Surrounded by Uppers.” Centered around thunderous and forceful drumming, grungy power chords and Wolfe’s howled vocals with the end result arguably being one of the most seductive songs they’ve released to date. The second single is the slow-burning, power chord-driven dirge “Knelt,” a track that brings Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and JOVM mainstays Blackwater Holylight to mind. Simply put, these two singles are among the heaviest bit of material I’ve come across this year. 

New Audio: RidingEasy Records Releases Indianapolis-based Band’s Previously Unreleased Album 50 Years After Its Recording

Over the course of this site’s almost 10 year history — JOVM turns 10 in June — I’ve spilled quit a bit of virtual ink writing about RidingEasy Records’ and Permanent Records’ ongoing Brown Acid compilation series. The series’ 10th edition is slated for an April 20, 2020 release, and much like its predecessors, the forthcoming new edition will remind listeners that there’s a massive amount of incredible heavy psych, proto-metal and proto-stoner rocker that has seemingly been lost to the sands of time — but has been slowly rediscovered by RidingEasy Record and Permanent’s staff. 

During the late 1960s, Barry Crawford (vocals, keyboard), Jim Lee (lead vocals, bass), Mike Saligoe (drums), John Schaffer (lead guitar) and Richard Strange (rhythm guitar, vocals) started a band on Indianapolis’ West Side — and when they started the band they chose what they thought was the coolest name possible: ICE. The quintet quickly became one of the first emerging bands from their hometown to play a set of originals throughout the Midwest, performing at high schools, college campuses and venues. Building upon a growing profile, they eventually opened for national touring acts like Three Dog Night, SRC, Kenny Rogers & the First Edition, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and others in arenas and theaters. 

In 1970, the members of the Indianapolis-based psych rock band recored 10 songs of original material at Chicago’s 8-Track Studios, only to break up shortly after the sessions. Two of the album’s tracks were eventually released as a 45 in 1972 — but confusingly under a different band name: Zukus! Interestingly, that 45 managed to receive regional airplay. The A-side of that single “Running High” was featured on Brown Acid: The Ninth Trip. While licensing “Running High” for the ninth edition of Brown Acid, the folks at RidingEasy Records discovered that ICE had recorded an entire album that had been languishing in obscurity, with the 2-inch master tapes had been shelved and forgotten until recently. RidingEasy Records then converted the analog tape tracks to digital files, remixed them to preserve the original vocals and instrumentation, packaging the material as The Ice Age. 

50 years after the initial recording sessions that produced the album will finally be released — and see the light of day. Sonically, the material reportedly features 10 songs of hard-edger rock with enormous, radio friendly pop hooks that recalls Grand Funk Railroad, The Guess Who, and The Move. Centered around fuzzy power chords, shimmering organ arpeggios, propulsive drumming, some dexterous guitar soloing and enormous, arena rock friendly hooks, The Ice Age’s first single “Run to Me” finds the band meshing trippy and ambient-like psychedelia with explosive riffage that manages to recall the aforementioned Grand Funk Railroad and The Guess Who, along with a subtly nod of Steppenwolf. Listening to the track, there’s a sense that ICE if history was a bit more fair, the Indianapolis-based act should have been much larger. 

The Ice Age is slated for a May 15, 2020 release. Be on the lookout. 

New Audio: Permanent Records and RidingEasy Records Release a Gritty and Funky Track from Eight Edition of Brown Acid Compilation

I’ve written a lot about Permanent Records’ and RidingEasy Records ongoing collaboration on their increasingly expansive series of proto-metal and pre-stoner rock compilations Brown Acid over the past few years. And as you may recall, each individual edition is based around 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 for each of previous editions of the compilation, “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.”

Having the original artists participate as much as possible in the compilation can give the artists and their songs, a real second chance at the attention and success that they missed. Plus, these songs can help fill in the gaps within the larger picture of what was going on in and around regional and national underground music scenes during the 60s and 70s. Following the critical and commercial success of its first seven editions, RidingEasy Records and Permanent Records’ edition of 60s and 70s proto-metal and pre-stoner rock Brown Acid: The Eighth Trip is slated for release on April 20, 2019 (4/20 y’ll!) continuing what has become a bi-annual tradition for both labels — and this site. And much like its preceding editions, the eighth edition finds Barressi and Hall digging deeper and deeper into the well of hard rock, psych rock, proto-metal and pre-stoner rock primarily from the States — with the addition of a Canadian band. The album’s first single was from “School Daze,” a seamless synthesis of MC5, Jimi Hendrix and Grand Funk Railroad from Detroit‘s Attack — or more precisely St. Clair Shores.

Originally recorded in 1969, Memphis-based act Grump took on “Heartbreak Hotel,” popularized by a fellow Memphian that you may have heard of, by the name of Elvis Presley — and Grump’s rendition is a gritty and funky stomp that recalls Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride,” and Grand Funk Railroad. 

New Audio: The Budos Band Release a Funky and Cinematic New Single

I’ve written and photographed the acclaimed Staten Island-based instrumental act The Budos Band a number of times over the years, and as you may recall the which is comprised of Jared Tankel (baritone sax), Tom Brenneck (guitar), John Carbonella (congas, drums), Mike Deller (organ), Daniel Folder (bass), Andrew Greene (trumpet), Rob Lombardo (bongos, congas), Brian Profilio (drums) and Dame Rodriguez (percussion) initially developed a reputation for a sound that they described as “Afro Soul,” which draws from Ethiopian music with a soul undercurrent, and some sound of the sounds of the 60s; however, with the band’s most recent releases, they’ve moved towards what they’ve referred to as “70s Psychedelic Instrumental Music.” 

The acclaimed instrumental act’s fifth album, aptly titled V is slated for an April 12, 2019 release through their longtime label home Daptone Records, and as the band’s Tom Brenneck says in press notes, the band’s forthcoming album feels like the truest sonic representation of the band as the material possesses the rock ‘n’ roll/heavy metal elements off of 2014’s Burnt Offering, as well as songs that could have easily been found on their first three albums.  The album’s latest single, the cinematic  “Arcane Rambler” is centered around a looping and whirring guitar line, boom bap-like percussion, an enormous horn line and a propulsive and incredibly tight groove — and interestingly enough, the composition, which nods at hip-hop, 70s funk and psych rock finds the members of the collective at arguably their loosest and trippiest.

New Audio: Austin-based Doom Rockers The Well Release a Murky and Uneasy Ripper

Comprised of Ian Graham (guitar, vocals), Lisa Alley (bass, vocals) and Jason Sullivan (drums), the Austin TX-based heavy psych rock/heavy metal act The Well can trace their origins to when Graham was fired from his previous band. Determined to redirect his musical focus, Graham hooked up with Alley and the two began picking out riffs in their garage. Completing the lineup, Graham and Alley stole Sullivan from Graham’s old band — partially out of vengeance and partially out of karma. The members of the trio are huge fans of cult horror films, and are inspired by early 70s psych rock and proto-metal and as a result their material revels in dark themes and haunting echoes. Interestingly, with their first few releases the Austin-based trio have developed a reputation for a sound that has been compared to Black Sabbath, Sleep, Electric Wizard and Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats. And adding to a growing profile, the band has shared stages with the likes of Kadavar, Orchid, Fu Manchu, High on Fire, NAAM, Orange Goblin, Pentagram, Dead Meadow and others. 

Slated for an April 26, 2019 release through Riding Easy Records, The Well’s forthcoming, third album Death and Consolation reportedly may be the darkest and most intense album of the band’s growing catalog. As the band’s Ian Graham says in press notes, “This one is a little more personal. 2018 was a strange, dark year. A lot of change was going on in my life, there was a lot of depression and coming out of it over the last year.” And while darker, the album continues their ongoing collaboration with longtime producer and engineer Chico Jones and finds the band expanding upon their sound and approach, at points nodding at Joy Division and The Cure — but also while being a bit of a continuation of 2016’s critically applauded Pagan Science. Death by Consolation’s latest single is the monstrous and murky ripper “Raven.” Centered around enormous and extremely downtuned, power chords and bass chords,  thunderous drumming paired around Layne Staley-delivered vocals, the song evokes a sense of unease and dread, familiar to classic horror movies — and stumbling around graveyards late at night. But more important, the song captures a band that kicks ass, takes names and will frighten  the shit out of you.