Tag: stoner rock

New Video: Stockholm’s Spelljammer Releases a Technicolor Fever Dream Visual for “Lake”

Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) have crafted a unique sound centered around a long-held penchant for massive, sludgy power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

2015’s Ancient of Days was the Stockholm-based act’s third release — and in many ways it was a rebirth of sorts: it was the band’s first recorded output as a trio and sonically the album represented a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system.

Spelljammer’s fourth release, Abyssal Trip is the first bit of new material from the acclaimed Swedish act in over five years, and the album reportedly finds the band bridging their earlier desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their more recent massive, slow-burning sludgy riffs. And while continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with pondering the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. The album’s six songs manage to embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike its predecessors, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the proceedings a hypnotic quality.

“The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.”

Additionally, the album finds the band employing a much different recording process than previously releases: the members of the Swedish act opted to capture the performances live while holed up in a house in the countryside, just outside of Stockholm. “The songs benefitted from the relaxed environment of being away from everything,” Olsson explains.

Clocking in at a little under 7:30, “Lake,” Abyssal Trip’s expansive first single is centered around alternating sections of crushing, sludgy doom-laden dirge and menacing galloping thrash, a gorgeously shimmering, melodic break and a scorching guitar solo — and it’s all held together by mosh pit friendly hooks. “Lake” manages to find Spelljammer crafting a song that evokes the vastness and and power of a brewing storm over an enormous body of water — and the smallness and powerlessness of humanity.

The recently released video is a uneasy and hallucinogenic fever dream that features grainy Super 8 footage of a devil a technicolor field, pulsating to the oceanic sounds of the single.

Abyssal Trip is going to drop tomorrow release through RidingEasyRecords.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Here Lies Man Releases a Forceful New Ripper

Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays Here Lies Man — Marcos Garcia (vocals, guitar), Geoff Mann (drums), JP Maramba (bass) and Doug Organ (keys) — will be releasing their fourth album Ritual Divination through their longtime label home RidingEasy Records later this month. Ritual Divination reportedly finds the band crafting what may arguably be the best rendering of their long established aesthetic The Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays’ fourth album Ritual Divination reportedly finds the band crafting what arguably may the best rendering of their long-held aesthetic — Fela Kuti-inspired Afrobeat grooves paired with Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin -like power chords — with heavier and bluesier guitars, while maintaining the rhythmic formula of the clave. “Musically, it’s an opening up to more traditional rock elements,” the band’s Marcos Garcia (vocals, guitar) explains in press notes. “It’s always been our intention to explore. And, as we travelled deeper into this musical landscape, new features revealed themselves.”

Interestingly, the album marks the first bit of recorded output from the band as a full-time quartet while continuing the band’s equally long-held songwriting concept: the band crafting the soundtrack to an imaginary movie int chic, each song applying to a particular scene of that movie. “It’s an inward psychedelic journey, the album is the trip,” Garcia says. “The intention and purpose of the music is to create a sonic ritual to lift the veil of inner space and divine the true nature of reality.” Ritual Divination’s material is self-reflexive but with song possessing its own narrative and emotional arc, rather than the trippy, trance-inducing jams of their previously released material.

Perhaps as a result of all of these changes, the album also finds the members of the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays eschewing the fuzz and distortion pedal driven riffs of their previously released material and focusing on a live, more dynamic feel and forceful sound.

Over the past few months, I’ve written about two of Ritual Divination’s released singles:

“I Told You (You Shall Die),” a lysergic ripper centered a mind-bending and expensive song structure featuring scorching Black Sabbath-like power chord riffs, Afrobeat-like polyrhythm and enormous, arena rock friendly hooks.
“Come Inside,” a sinister and menacing track centered round chugging power chords, a forceful motorik groove and chanted vocals darting in-and-around the song’s instrumentation.

Ritual Divination’s latest single “Collector of Vanities” continues an impressive run of forceful, Black Sabbath-like rippers featuring squiggling keys, thunderous drumming, chanted vocals and an rousingly anthemic hook. And much like its predecessor, the track finds the band seemingly conjuring evil spirits out of the ether.

New Audio: Stockholm’s Spelljammer Releases a Brooding and Forceful Ripper

Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) have crafted a unique sound centered around a long-held penchant for massive, sludgy power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

2015’s Ancient of Days was the Stockholm-based act’s third release — and in many ways it was a rebirth of sorts: it was the band’s first recorded output as a trio and sonically the album represented a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system.

Spelljammer’s fourth release, Abyssal Trip is the first bit of new material from the acclaimed Swedish act in over five years, and the album reportedly finds the band bridging their earlier desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their more recent massive, slow-burning sludgy riffs. And while continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with pondering the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. The album’s six songs manage to embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike its predecessors, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the proceedings a hypnotic quality.

“The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.”

Clocking in at a little under 7:30, “Lake,” Abyssal Trip’s expansive first single is centered around alternating sections of crushing, sludgy doom-laden dirge and menacing galloping thrash, a gorgeously shimmering, melodic break and a scorching guitar solo — and it’s all held together by mosh pit friendly hooks. “Lake” manages to find Spelljammer crafting a song that evokes the vastness and and power of a brewing storm over an enormous body of water — and the smallness and powerlessness of humanity.

Abyssal Trip is slated for a February 26, 2021 release through RidingE

New Audio: Elephant Tree’s Scorching Live Version of “Aphotic Blues” off “Day of Doom” Live Album

London-based doom metal/stoner rock quartet Elephant Tree — currently founding members Jack Townley (bass, guitar) and Sam Hart (drums) with Peter Holland (bass, vocals) and John Slattery (guitar, synths) – can trace its origins back to 2013: Townley and Hart would meet every week at a rehearsal space nestled behind the now demolished 12 Bar Club, where they actually started cobbling the first notes of what would eventually become their debut single “Attack of the Altacia.”

Townley and Slattery had a random encounter with Peter Holland, who had an almost mythical status in the scene at a local bar. After talking for a few hours, they all agreed that they should get together to jam. The idea was further cemented after the trio caught OM play at The Village Underground — with Holland taking bass duties, allowing Townley to switch to guitar. As a newly constituted trio, the members of Elephant Tree began polishing “Attack of the Altacia”‘s rough edges before progressing onto newer riffs and melodic ideas paired with Holland’s vocals. And yet, the trio felt something was missing from their sound — until they met Canadian-born Riley MacIntyre (guitar, sitar, vocals), who competed the band’s first lineup.

In 2015, Elephant Tree was handpicked by Magnetic Eye Records from an early demo submission that featured a unique blend of stoner rock, doom metal and sludge centered around a warm, syrupy fuzz and soaring vocal harmonies. Their debut effort Theia and 2016 self-titled effort wound up becoming two of the most popular records of the Magnetic Eye Records’ catalog.

Although the band has gone through a series of lineup changes, their third album, this year’s critically applauded Habits finds the band’s sound and stylistic range expanding to include elements of post-metal and acoustic folk paired with unconventional songwriting.

Last year, Magnetic Eye Records celebrated their first decade with the Day of Doom Showcase at Saint Vitus Bar, which featured nine of the label’s acts including the Swedish doom metal act DOMKRAFT and Elephant Tree. Much like DOMKRAFT’s Day of Doom set, the British quartet’s set was recored by Deafheaven‘s and Summoner’s Chris Johnson as part of a set of four exclusive live albums. Elephant Tree’s Day of Doom set is a career-spanning set of what Metal Injection describes as “gloomy atmosphere with head-bobbing grooves.”

“Aphotic Blues,” is the first single off Elephant Tree’s live album and the single is centered around syrupy and sludgy power chords, thunderous drumming, Alice in Chains-like harmonizing within an expansive song structure. And its all delivered with a snarling forcefulness.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Here Lies Man Return with a Menacing New Ripper

Throughout the course of this site’s 10-plus year history, I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering Los Angeles, CA-based JOVM mainstays Here Lies Man. Founded by Antibalas‘ Marcos Garcia and Geoff Man Here Lies Man has developed and honed an attention-grabbing sound that aesthetically bridges Fela Kuti-like Afrobeat grooves with classic Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin-era, power chord-fueled rock.

The Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays’ forth album Ritual Divination reportedly finds the band crafting what arguably may the best rendering of their long-held aesthetic — with heavier and bluesier guitars while maintaining the rhythmic formula of the clave. “Musically, it’s an opening up to more traditional rock elements,” the band’s Marcos Garcia (vocals, guitar) explains in press notes. “It’s always been our intention to explore. And, as we travelled deeper into this musical landscape, new features revealed themselves.”

Ritual Divination marks the band’s first bit of recorded output as a full-time quartet, featuring JP Maramba (bass) and Doug Organ (keys). The album also continues their long-held and ongoing concept that has the band crafting the soundtrack to an imaginary movie with each song describing and being part of a parritucalr scene “It’s an inward psychedelic journey, the album is the trip,” Garcia explains in press notes. “The intention and purpose of the music is to create a sonic ritual to lift the veil of inner space and divine the true nature of reality.” As a result, the album’s material is self-reflexive: “On this album the feel changes within a song,” Garcia continues. “Whereas before each song was meant to induce a trancelike state, now more of the songs have their own arc built in.”

Interestingly though, Ritual Divination finds the band focusing on a a live, more dynamic feel with the band eschewing the fuzz and distortion pedals of their previously released work. The end result is a much more direct and forceful approach as you would hear on the album’s first single “I Told You (You Shall Die),” which I wrote about earlier this year. The song was a lysergic ripper centered around scorching Black Sabbath-like power chords, Afrobeat-inspired polyrhythm, and enormous arena rock friendly hooks within an expansive, mind-bending song structure.

“Come Inside,” Ritual Divination’s second and latest single is lysergic haze of a song centered around chugging power chords, driving drumming and a motorik-like groove and chanted vocals darting in and around the song’s instrumentation. While continuing in a similar vein as its predecessor, “Come Inside” manages to possess a sinister air.

Ritual Divination is slated for a January 22, 2021 release through their longtime label home RidingEasy Records.

New Audio: Permanent Records and RidingEasy Records Release a Grungy Jam off Their Soon-to-Be Released “Brown Acid: The Eleventh Trip”

Throughout the course of this site’s 10-plus year history, Brown Acid, Permanent Records’ and RidingEasy Records‘ ongoing collaborative proto-metal and pre-stoner rock compilations from the 1960s and 1970s have become a regularly occurring biannual feature. Each individual edition of the series 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.

Frequently, those bands haven’t written, played or recorded together in more than 30 years — but they encourage the bands to take part in the compilation process. “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,” Lance Barresi explained in press notes for the previous editions of the compilation. “However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.”

Of course, having the original artists participate as much as possible in the compilation process can give the artists and their songs a real second chance at the attention they missed all of those years ago. And for critics and fans, the songs on the Brown Acid compilation series can often fill in the gaps within the larger picture of what was going on in and around both regional and national underground scenes at the time. The eleventh edition of the Brown Acid compilation series, Brown Acid: The Eleventh Trip is slated for release on October 31, 2020;

Much like its predecessors, the eleventh edition of Brown Acid finds Barresi and Hall digging even deeper into the well of material reduced to obscurity to find new jams we should all know and love. Brown Acid: The Eleventh Trip’s latest single, “Something Else” by Tacoma, WA-based act Adam Wind was originally released in 1969 — and the track, which sounds a bit like Jimi Hendrix Experience with is centered around Leroy Bell’s groovy crooning. propulsive cowbell-driven drumming and fuzzy power chords and a scorching acid-tinged solo. In some very small way, the track seems to presage both Mudhoney and Pearl Jam.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays All Them Witches Release an Expansive and Trippy New Ripper

After the release of 2018’s critically applauded ATW, the Nashville-based psych rock act and JOVM mainstays All Them Witches went through a massive lineup change that resulted in what may arguably be the most pared down lineup in their history — Charles Michael Parks, Jr (bass, vocals), Ben McLeod (guitar, vocals) and Robby Staebler (drums, vocals). And although bands typically release more restrained and quieter work whenever their operating with a smaller lineup, their self-produced standalone single “1X1”  found the JOVM mainstay employing a muscular, prog rock-like sound, with scorching guitar work, thunderous drumming and enormous arena rock friendly hooks. 

The Nashville-based JOVM mainstays forthcoming album, the eight song Nothing as the Ideal is slated for a September 4, 2020 release through their longtime label home New West Records. Co-produced by the band and Mikey Allred, who produced their New West debut Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, Nothing as the Ideal was recorded at Abbey Road Studio’s Studio Two — and the album’s material not only serves as the first batch of original material written and recorded as a trio, it’s also reportedly among the most experimental and heaviest they’ve written to date. The material features tape loops, unplugged minimalist sections while retaining their long-held reputation for pummeling, heavy hitting headbangers.  

Nothing as the Ideal’s first single is  “Saturnine & Iron Jaw.”Clocking in at a little under seven minutes, the expansive track and constantly shifting track begins with a slow-burning and atmospheric introduction before quickly morphing into a track that’s one Queens of the Stone Age-like stoner rock, one part Soundgarden-like grunge and one part The Mars Volta-like prog rock centered around massive, arena rock friendly power chords, thunderous drumming and brooding atmospherics. The band’s Ben McLeod told Consequence of Sound, “We very specifically wanted to lead with this track. I think it’s the most well-rounded track on the record; it’s constantly changing, it has a lot of different vibes to it.” Giving a hint at what to expect with the rest of Nothing as the Ideal, he adds, “Obviously there are way heavier songs on the record,” but “‘Saturnine & Iron Jaw’ should let fans know All Them Witches are still very much rooted in psychedelic and bluesy rock.”

Baron Crâne · 02 – Acid Rains – Commotions – Baron Crane (feat Arthur Brossard)

Baron Crane is a Paris-based indie act, whose members bonded and formed the act over one common desire — sound exploration through singular music. Throughout their history, the band has developed and honed a difficult to pigeonhole sound and approach that draws from psych rock, prog rock, noise rock and even jazz.

Released earlier this year, the French band’s latest effort Commotions finds the band expanding upon their sound through collaborations with vocalists for the first time in their history. The effort’s last single “Acid Rain” features Dentelles Nerveuses‘ and Mrs. Good‘s Arthur Brossard on an heady and expansive ripper that alternates between Queens of the Stone Age-like stoner rock, The Mars Volta-like prog rock and Foo Fighters-like grunge rock/power pop held together by swaggering and forceful playing, rousingly anthemic hooks and Brossard’s soulful delivery.

 

New Audio: Permanent Records and RidingEasy Records Releases a Power Chord Fueled Boogie Woogie off “Brown Acid: The Tenth Trip”

Brown Acid, Permanent Records’ and RidingEasy Records‘ collaboration on their ongoing series of proto-metal and pre-stoner rock compilations from the 60s and 70s have become a regularly occurring biannual feature throughout this site’s almost decade history. Each individual edition of the series 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 recorded together in 30+ years or more, and then encouraging them to take part in the compilation process. As Permanent Records’ Barresi has explained in press notes for 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 so long ago. 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. Continuing the critical and commercial success of its first nine editions of the, RidingEasy Records and Permanent Records will be releasing Brown Acid: The Tenth Trip on April 20, 2020. (4/20 y’all!) And much like its predecessors, the tenth edition finds the duo of Barresi and Hall digging even deeper into the well of material sadly reduced to obscurity for a variety

Continuing upon the critical and commercial success of its first eight editions of the Brown Acid compilation, RidingEasy Records and Permanent will be releasing Brown Acid: The Ninth Trip on Halloween. And much like the preceding eight editions, the ninth edition finds Barressi and Hall digging even deeper into the well of obscure material written, recorded and released during the 60s and 70s. Interestingly, Brown Acid: The Tenth Trip’s latest single “Mr. Sun” is by a band that was previously featured on Brown Acid: The Third Edition — the Central Texas-based band First State Bank. Led by guitarist/vocalist Randy Nunnally, First State Bank only released three singles during 1970-1976, the first one being “Before You Leave.” “Mr. Sun” is the power chord-driven boogie woogie B-side to “Coming Home to You.” Sonically, the track sounds like a synthesis of Jimi Hendrix, Grand Funk Railroad and T. Rex –on acid.

Rochester, NY-based metal/prog rock trio King Buffalo — Sean McVay (guitar, lead vocals), Dan Reynolds (bass) and Scott Donaldson (drums, vocals) — formed back in 2013, and with the release of demo, several split releases, a handful of one-off singles and an energetic live show, the members of King Buffalo quickly earned an international profile in the metal and prog rock scenes. And with their self-recorded and self-produced full-length debt Orion, King Buffalo firmly established a sound that meshed elements of heavy psych, stoner rock and the blues in a way that many critics compared to Tool and Pink Floyd among others.

2018’s Ben McLeod-produced sophomore album Longing To Be The Mountain found the band expanding upon the hard rock and stoner rock sound that own them attention — but while increasingly incorporating elements of expansive prog rock. Longing To Be The Mountain‘s highly-anticipated follow-up, the self-recorded and self-produced Dead Star EP reportedly finds the band pushing the psychedelia aspects of their sound into the cosmic ether with elements of ambient drone, space rock, prog rock, synths paired with the bluesy hard rock and early metal riffage of their earliest efforts.

“In the early stages of Dead Star, we made the decision to make a strong commitment to experimentation,” explains guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay. “From exploring different time signatures, tunings and textures, to tweaking the song writing processes themselves. We’re extremely proud of these recordings, and feel it’s some of our most ambitious work yet.” Adds the band’s Scott Donaldson, “These six songs deviate and expand on horizons that we as King Buffalo haven’t reached. It’s extremely exciting to make something familiar, but unlike anything we’ve previously done. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”

“Eta Carinae” Dead Star EP‘s latest single is an expansive and hypnotic, prog rock-inspired take on their sound. Clocking in at a little over eight minutes, the track is centered around a chugging and forceful Black Sabbath and Rush-like riffage, thunderous syncopation, rapid fire tempo changes and some ambient and shimmering synth bursts and paired with dystopian sci-fi lyrics and imagery that feel much like our own fucked up world.
The members of King Buffalo will be embarking on a tour to support Dead Star EP and it includes a March 21, 2020 stop at Mercury Lounge. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates 

Mar 19 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
Mar 20 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
Mar 21 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
Mar 26 – Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
Mar 27 – Milwaukee, WI @ Colectivo
Mar 28 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
Mar 29 – Winnipeg, MB @ Park Theatre
Mar 31 – Calgary, AB @ Palomino
Apr 2 – Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret
Apr 3 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza
Apr 5 – Portland, OR @ Lola’s Room
Apr 7 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
Apr 8 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
Apr 10 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
Apr 11 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
Apr 13 – Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
Apr 14 – St Louis, MO @ Duck Room
Apr 15 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
Apr 16 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
Apr 17 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Café
Apr 18 – Syracuse, NY @ Funk N Waffles