Stinkeye, Llantera: Down the Gutter and into Space

Posted in Reviews on August 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

stinkeye llantera

If Stinkeye have anything in common with the current West Coast heavy psych boom, it’s the possibility that at any moment — any moment at all — it just might be time to boogie. But at the same time, true to their geography, the Phoenix, Arizona, trio are a little more inland in their sound, a little more suburban-skatepark-disaffection and garage-rehearsals than they might be were they otherwise basking in the coastal sunshine of San Diego. Issued by Milwaukee Junction Records and Blade RecordsLlantera is the debut full-length from the young three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Andrew Hosley, bassist Harris Smull and drummer Anthony DeMuro, and though it takes some tonal and tempo cues from the unabashed I-got-this-legally new-school stonerism of Fuzz across its span, whether it’s the Dead Meadow march of post-intro opener “Orange Man,” the Sungrazer-style vocal harmonies of the subsequent “Pink Clam,” the weirdo-born bounce of “No Spoon” or the grunged-out, semi-punk fuckall thrust of closer “Feed,” Stinkeye careen from one influence to another with fluidity more deceptive than the forwardness of their hairy tones and cymbal washes might at first convey.

Including the digital bonus/maybe-hidden track “Fink Ployd,” Llantera checks in at a thoroughly manageable 37 minutes — ready and seemingly waiting for whoever might want to pick it up for a vinyl release to do so — and is the follow-up to the band’s first outing, last year’s Llantera Demos (review here), a four-track demonstration released in October that also featured “Orange Man,” “Pink Clam,” “Llantera” and “Fink Ployd.” If that seems like a quick turnaround between a first demo and a first long-player, it is, and Llantera has its rough edges to be sure, but that ultimately becomes a part of the album’s appeal, as shown in the harsher bite of “Feed” or the manner in which “Bringer of Grief” shifts from its instrumentally jamming first half to the languidly bouncing verses of its second. Youth is very much on Stinkeye‘s side. The energy of their delivery and the sense of exploration at root in the construction of their material both benefit from the freshness of the experience on the part of the band. They’re new to their potential listenership? Well, they’re new to themselves too.

Accordingly, in addition to actually being partially comprised of the same tracks, Llantera carries forward the overarching rawness of the Llantera Demos. Produced and engineered by Dylan Thomas, “Pink Clam,” “No Spoon” and the rest of the cuts bask in a natural vibe and a variable mix that sees Hosley‘s vocals brought to the fore in volume on “Orange Man” and “Pink Clam” and the latter portion of “Bringer of Grief,” highlighting a burgeoning melodic approach that one can only hope the guitarist and the band as a whole will develop as they move forward, and pushed back into echoing trippery to allow the added percussion in “No Spoon” to flourish amid the fuzzy and desert-hued guitar leads while Smull‘s bass — with a ’90s-style funk at its core — provides the grounding force necessary to tie it all together before DeMuro‘s drums lead the way into the slowdown at the end that explodes and the tongue-in-cheek keyboard wash rounds out as the transition into “Feed.”

The smoothness of that transition, as well as that earlier between the 28-second intro “The Calm” — which functions in direct defiance of its title with an immediately abrasive push of guitar noise — and the ultra-welcoming initial roll of “Orange Man,” isn’t to be understated, but this too feels like an element in progress on the part of Stinkeye, something they’ll build on from here for their next release. Still, as righteously paced as their material is throughout Llantera, and as much as they shift from one vibe to the next — the title-track becoming a party of gang shouts and the record’s most shuffling rhythm, much thickened by Smull‘s low end and clearly having a great time getting alternative-universe surf-rock in Hosley‘s guitar over DeMuro‘s steady, handclap-worthy snare before “Bringer of Grief” more fully introduces the edgier single-word shouts foreshadowed in “Pink Clam” that will jab throughout “No Spoon” to follow — the front-to-back impression is hardly lacking flow either way. Repeat listens to the entirety, which are well earned, only make this linearity more resonant.

Add to that little hints of bizarro nuance like a possible lyrical mention of Barbara Bush in “Pink Clam” and the structural departure in “Bringer of Grief,” and Llantera becomes a decisively engaging piece of crafted fuzzy, heavy rock, infused with the sneer of garage and some noisier impulses for good measure. That, as the debut full-length from a relatively new band, it says as much as it does about their potential makes it all the more welcome, but there’s value in the breadth Stinkeye present in the here and now as well, and as much as one looks forward to hearing how they might bridge the sonic/stylistic gaps between “Llantera” and “Feed” as their methods evolve over time, the fact that they can put both of those songs together in relatively close proximity on a short-ish album isn’t to be ignored. And while one suspects that pieces like “Feed” and”Bringer of Grief” and “No Spoon” were already in the works, the quick turnaround between the demo and the long-player bodes well for future productivity too.

Llantera might be a sleeper in terms of the response it gets, but it puts Stinkeye in league with next-generation upstarts like FoggBison Machine, Salem’s BendCloud Catcher and perhaps even Slow Season (among others) in fostering a new breed of American heavy that learns from the past even as it places itself at the cutting edge of what’s to come. Of course, what Stinkeye become as they pass through the next few years is up to them — they could call it quits tomorrow and completely pull the plug on the potential shown here; it’s certainly happened before — but Llantera fills one with hope for what they might be able to contribute to this pastiche and kicks more than enough ass besides to be counted as one of the best debuts of 2017. May they continue to work quickly, may they continue to boogie at will, and may they continue to get weirder as they go.

Stinkeye, “No Spoon” official video

Stinkeye on Thee Facebooks

Stinkeye on Bandcamp

Llantera at iTunes

Stinkeye on Soundcloud

Stinkeye website

Stinkeye on Instagram

Blade Records webstore

Milwaukee Junction Records website

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Queens of the Stone Age Post Video for “The Way You Used to Do”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

queens-of-the-stone-age-Andreas-Neumann

As a people, a collective and a universe constantly in flux, we’re inching closer to the Aug. 25 official release date of Queens of the Stone Age‘s new album, Villains, on Matador Records. The record, which was announced back in June, has carried a sense of production value as a forward-facing theme since the outset — even the announcement was a well-directed and clever video — and with the emphasis on the recording by Mark Ronson (Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, etc.) plays into that as well. So to it would seem does the new clip for the uptempo leadoff single “The Way You Used to Do.” Nothing quite like being on theme.

I say “it would seem” as regards the new video though because all I’ve seen of the thing is the teaser clip below. Queens of the Stone Age released it exclusively through Apple Music, and while I’m sure it’ll make its way to YouTube in short order if it hasn’t by the time this post is live, the notion of paying to watch a music video in 2017 strikes me as more than its fair share of ridiculous. Most bands can barely give away a video, and while I’ve already reconciled myself to writing about it and subsequently purchasing Villains when it comes out — I used to be cool enough to get promos of their stuff to review; this one’s got me chasing down leaks like I’m the dag-nab Attorney General — you’ll pardon me if I try and hold onto some measure of propriety, at least, you know, until I don’t.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve all heard the record by now and have your own opinions on it. I’ll have a review up I think next week for it if all pans out the way I’m hoping it does, and then the universe will proceed on its merry way, catchy songs and whatnot.

Here’s the teaser for the video and more info from Matador‘s website:

Queens of the Stone Age, “The Way You Used to Do” teaser

“Dancing and headbanging are truly individualistic expressions of losing oneself fully in appreciation of music—who better to combine these things into a singular vision than someone who’s directed Madonna and Lady Gaga videos–and also happens to have been a member of Bathory?”—Joshua Homme

“The Way You Used To Do,” the recently released first single from Queens Of The Stone Age’s ominously approaching seventh album ‘Villains’, has been realized as a fever dream Satanic dance ritual extravaganza—featuring QOTSA founder and frontman Joshua Homme lighter on his feet and darker in his soul than ever before.

Conceived by Homme, directed by Jonas Akerlund and produced by Serial Pictures, “The Way You Used To Do,” somehow fit its multiple sets, wardrobe changes and intricate dance routines into one day of shooting August 8th in Los Angeles. Considering potential reactions to the sinister shuffle of “The Way We Used To Do” being translated into a panoramic soul-selling dance trip, Homme says “It’s our way of paying tribute to Cab Calloway and the film Hellzapoppin’. I fully realize that may be a little more than some are open to, and that’s perfectly fine with me. There’s the door. If some of the more close-minded are gently pruned, that just leaves more room on the dance floor for the open-minded ones to get loose. That’s been the spirit of Queens Of The Stone Age and the space we’ve worked to create from day one.”

‘Villains’ is co-produced by Mark Ronson and will be released worldwide on August 25th.

Queens of the Stone Age on Thee Facebooks

Matador Records website

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Gin Lady Announce Sept. 15 Release for Electric Earth

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

gin lady

Right from its very start, Gin Lady‘s upcoming fourth album, Electric Earth is striking in its classic-style impression. Though it doesn’t necessarily fall into a vintage-style production mode, the record — set for release Sept. 15 through Kozmik Artifactz — begins with two five-minute cuts in “Flower People” and “I’m Your Friend,” and the primary impression between the two of them, respectively, is The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. Read that as easy grooves, choice melodic work, a little arrangement flourish in the vocals a deceptive depth of accessible songwriting. They play these impulses off each other throughout and get a touch more raucous in the process later on with the likes of “Water and Sunshine,” but that sing-along feel never leaves them, and the further one digs into Electric Earth, the warmer the outing seems to become.

There’s no audio public from the LP yet, but preorders are up now from Kozmik Artifactz, who sent the following down the PR wire:

gin-lady-electric-earth

Gin Lady return with glorious rock masterpiece “Electric Earth” this September!

Gin Lady from Sweden formed in early 2011 and released in 2012 their same titled debut, which received positive feedback from all over the globe. The group is influenced by artists such as The Faces, Alice Cooper, Master’s Apprentices, Cream and Blue Oyster Cult. The sound is straightforward and heading for the roots of rock.

Earlier ventures, Black Bonzo and The All Janet, clearly show the members taste for detail and perfection in their sound, production and songwriting.

On their 3rd album ‘Call The Nation’, which was released by Kozmik Artifactz in 2016, the band showed their talent for creating catchy melodies and songwriting in the best tradition of Ufo, Free, Rolling Stones, Humble Pie and from the heydays of heavy rock from the seventies.

Now with ‘Electric Earth’ the quartet is proud to present us with their new masterpiece!

Release Date: 15th September 2017

VINYL FACTZ
– Plated & pressed on high performance vinyl at Pallas/Germany
– limited & coloured vinyl
– 300gsm gatefold cover
– special vinyl mastering

TRACKS
1. Flower People
2. I’m Your Friend
3. Badger Boogie
4. The Things You Used To Do
5. Mercy
6. Brothers Of The Canyon
7. Rolling Thunder
8. Water And Sunshine
9. Wasted Years
10. Running No More

Gin Lady are:
Vocals – Magnus Kamebro
Guitar/Vocals – Joakim Karlsson
Bass/Vocals – Anthon Johansson
Drums – Fredrik Normark

https://www.facebook.com/Gin-Lady-254447104608141/
https://ginlady.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/

Gin Lady, Call the Nation (2016)

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Árstíðir Sign to Season of Mist; New Album Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Icelandic chamber folk ensemble Árstíðir have signed a deal to release their fourth album through Season of Mist next year. The Reykjavík-based crafters of melody haven’t set an exact date yet so far as I’ve seen, but if that means it’s going to be a winter release, one could hardly think of more appropriate fare for those darker, still and reflective moments of that time of year than the rich folk harmonies they offer.

Even if it winds up being a Spring 2018 outing — leaving you even more barren, eternal hopelessness of February — Season of Mist has done well in the past setting fellow Icelanders Sólstafir up for colder-month releases, and as a kind of companion outfit, Árstíðir are even more of a fit with the label’s ongoing expansion in roster and style. Not that they need me to say so, but this is a cool pickup.

The PR wire has details and heralds good things to come:

arstidir

ÁRSTÍÐIR sign to Season of Mist

Season of Mist are proud to announce the signing of Iceland’s ÁRSTÍÐIR. The contemporary indie/chamber folk band will release their much anticipated new album through Season of Mist later next year. The band’s complete catalog is now available digitally in North America, on all platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, and more.

Regarding the recent signing, the band comments: “We have admired bands associated with Season of Mist for years. In our minds, this label represents quality and artistic integrity. It has that aura which tells you that it is all about the music, that the bands are the real deal, and not just grist to the grinding mill of commercial music. And that is the kind of label, you want your music on. We feel a kinship with the good people and artists at Season of Mist, and we are proud be a part of this family.”

ÁRSTÍÐIR first emerged from the burgeoning Icelandic music scene in 2008, when the three founding members (Daniel Auðunsson: guitar, vocals; Gunnar Már Jakobsson: baritone guitar, vocals; and Ragnar Ólafsson: piano, vocals) discovered their mutual love for vocal harmonies. Daniel, Gunnar and Ragnar quickly went from playing acoustic covers to their own music, amalgamating influences from classical compositions, folk rock, and minimalist soundscapes into something they could call their own.

With early lyrical references pointing towards the spectacular nature and scenery of the Icelandic volcanic landscape, and the wildly different seasons there, the band took the name ÁRSTÍÐIR, which translates to “Seasons” in their native tongue.

Only four months after their formation, ÁRSTÍÐIR scored a number one hit on Icelandic national radio with the track “Sunday Morning”. The band then released their eponymous debut ‘Árstíðir’ in 2009, and began touring internationally.

ÁRSTÍÐIR’s second album, ‘Svefns Og Vöku Skil’ followed in 2011, and only a year later, the band won Geramny’s prestigious Eiserner Eversteiner European Folk Music Award. Shortly thereafter, an impromptu acapella performance of an old Icelandic hymn in a train station, went viral on YouTube, attracting millions of views.

ÁRSTÍÐIR launched a highly successful crowdfunding campaign in 2014 to finance the recording of their third full-length ‘Hvel’, which translates to “Spheres”. The campaign exceeded all expectations, raising almost four times their original goal, and uncovering a legion of North American fans that the band was unaware they had.

A 2016 collaboration with Anneke Van Giersbergen (formerly of THE GATHERING) followed. The album, ‘Verloren Verleden’ contains a collection of re-imagined traditional and classical songs.

https://www.facebook.com/arstidir/
https://twitter.com/Arstidir
http://instagram.com/arstidir
http://www.arstidir.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial/
https://twitter.com/SeasonofMist
https://www.instagram.com/seasonofmistofficial/
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

, “Scarborough Fair” live Dec. 23, 2016

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Långfinger Announce Fall 2016 European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

langfinger (Photo by Bengt Persson)

Swedish classic-style heavy rockers Långfinger have announced a new round of European touring for this September and October. The Gothenburg three-piece will head out for a run through Germany, Belgium, and the Czech Republic beginning Sept. 28 as they continue to support their 2016 offering, Crossyears (review here), released by Small Stone in the US in conjunction with Cargo Records in Europe.

Though they’re still young, Långfinger are fast becoming veterans of Europe’s heavy rock underground. With Crossyears as their third album behind 2010’s Skygrounds and 2012’s Slow Rivers, the band have more and more refined their sense of songcraft to make their tracks organic, memorable and engaging in their blend of ’70s roots and modern impulses. Earlier this year, they hit the road alongside labelmates Captain Crimson to represent two of Sweden’s strongest upstart presences in next-generation riffage.

Dates for the upcoming autumnal run and more info follow here, courtesy of the PR wire:

langfinger tour poster

Långfinger Autumn Tour
28/9 Kiel (DE) – Schaubude
29/9 Oldenburg (DE) – MTS LP’s & CD’s
30/9 La Louviere (BE) – La Taverne du Theatre
1/10 Rodewisch (DE) – Ars Vitae
2/10 Prague (CZ) – Fatal Club
3/10 Pod?brady (CZ) – Boss Bar
4/10 Kolin (CZ) – Bar Pod Hodinama
6/10 Weimar (DE) – Kasseturm
7/10 Lubbeneu (DE) – Kulturhof

Poster design by: Thomas V. Jäger from Monolord.

Långfinger, from the fertile rock ‘n’ roll city of Gothenburg, are masters of the art. They’ve been playing together since they were in their early teens, and their third album, called ‘Crossyears’, is both the thrilling culmination of their collective endeavour, and a rumination on it – on how Time has shaped them and brought them to this point. Within its hard-hitting grooves, the interlocking of Långfinger’s three disparate characters – Kalle, the unflappable, precision axeman; Jesper, the athletic sticksman battering out physical revenge on his kit; and Victor, the intense, exploratory spirit, bridging thundering bass and howling exorcism – is a magical proposition.

Långfinger:
Kalle Lilja – Guitars & backing vocals
Victor Crusner – Bass, keys & lead vocals
Jesper Pihl – Drums & backing vocals

https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/crossyears
https://www.facebook.com/Langfingerofficial/
http://langfinger.net/

Långfinger, Crossyears (2016)

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Six Dumb Questions with Cortez

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on August 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

cortez

Let’s face it: a new Cortez outing doesn’t come along every day. The Boston heavy rockers offered up their first release in 2007’s Thunder in a Forgotten Town EP through Buzzville Records. It would be five years before they’d answer with their 2012 Bilocation Records self-titled debut full-length (review here), and five more beyond that for the recently-landed second album, The Depths Below (review here), to make its mark this year as their first domestically-backed collection, issued via the Connecticut-based imprint Salt of the Earth Records. They had a 2014 split with Borracho (review here) and a 2016 digital single covering Deep Purple‘s “Stormbringer” (posted here), but still, they’re not exactly what you’d call prolific.

But, when a new Cortez outing does arrive, it’s all the more of an occasion worth marking. The last half-decade has brought some significant changes in the band, as seen in the departure of longtime drummer Jeremy Hemond (who still plays on The Depths Below) and his replacement with Alexei Rodriguez and the addition of second guitarist Alasdair Swan alongside founding six-stringer Scott O’Dowd, bassist/backing vocalist Jay Furlo and frontman Matt Harrington, but one thing that has remained central to the band is their songwriting. The Depths Below, from the opening aggro thrust of “All Gone Wrong” through the three-part storytelling of “Walk Through Fire,” “The Citadel” and “Blood of Heirs,” and the Life of Agony-esque “Dead Channel” late in the tracklisting, is a shining example of how Cortez are and seem to have always been underrated for the quality of their craft and the purpose of their execution. A well-kept secret known to denizens of smaller Boston-area venues and European labels, it would seem, but primed nonetheless for a wider reach.

As they have been all along. Maybe on that level the lessons of The Depths Below are a refresher course in the kind of straightforward righteousness Cortez have honed since they got their start more than a decade ago, but if check-ins from them are to be so periodic in their nature, then attention and appreciation for the band’s work on its own terms are no less duly earned than they might be if they busted out a new record every eight months. In the interview that follows, O’Dowd and Harrington talk about making The Depths Below and the shifts in lineup Cortez have undergone since the self-titled, as well as the work that’s already begun on their next outing, which is set to arrive whenever the hell they decide it’s good and ready to arrive.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

cortez the depths below

Six Dumb Questions with Cortez

A lot has changed for Cortez since the self-titled. How do you feel about everything that’s gone down with the band in the last five years? Tell me about bringing in Alasdair on guitar and Alexei on drums. How do you feel about where the band is at now?

Scott O’Dowd: In the five years since the release of our self-titled album, quite a lot has happened. Not the least of which was adding Alasdair on second guitar. We’ve always envisioned ourselves as a two-guitar band, but after Tony (our original second guitarist) left the band in 2008, we continued on as a four-piece. This was only because we didn’t have anyone else in mind to fill the position. We’re big believers in chemistry, both musically and personally, so rather than adding someone that we didn’t know, we decided to continue with the four remaining members until we found the right fifth member. Alasdair (who happens to be married to my wife’s cousin) had recently moved to the US from Scotland and we really hit it off on a musical and personal level. I told the rest of the guys about him and he came down to rehearsal. He was a perfect fit and has been with us ever since (2012).

We parted ways with our long time drummer Jeremy [Hemond] in November of 2016 when he moved back to Vermont. As might be expected, devoting time to the band had become an issue because of the distance. We decided to move on and look for another drummer. In a complete stroke of luck, Alexei came across an ad we placed and came down to audition. After trying out a handful of drummers who weren’t right for us, we knew Alexei was our guy from the first song. He fit right in and we all feel a renewed sense of purpose.

We’re really happy, looking forward to working on new material, and playing shows.

How did the writing process work out for The Depths Below? When did you start thinking about a follow-up for the self-titled and how did the material come together? Was there anything in particular you wanted to do coming off the first album?

SO: The writing process worked pretty much the same way it always does, except for Alasdair contributing to the songs, and Matt having even more input this time around. We very rarely stop and say, “OK, it’s time to write for the new album.” Instead, we are always working on ideas whenever we have a chance or are feeling inspired. It’s a perpetual thing for us. Sometimes songs will come together rather quickly, such as “Johnny” from the self-titled. Other times we may have a couple of parts and not be able to finish the song. When that happens we tend to put that particular idea on the back burner and come back to it at a later date. Sometimes even years later. We work on a particular idea until we feel it’s finished, however long that takes. It’s not enough for us to throw a few riffs together and call it done. It’s important that a song has a flow and makes sense. We work democratically and listen to each other’s input and tweak parts until we are satisfied. We’re our own toughest critics.

Some of the material written shortly after the self-titled was in the process of being recorded. Some of the other ideas were fleshed out later on. As I mentioned above, it’s an ongoing thing.

When did you know that “Walk Through Fire,” “The Citadel” and “Blood of Heirs” would tie together? How did that come about, and what is the narrative uniting the songs?

SO: I’m going to defer to Matt on this one.

Matt Harrington: If I’m remembering correctly, “The Citadel” was the first song we completed of the three. “Walk Through Fire” is in a different tuning, but I must have heard it right before “The Citadel” on a practice recording because I remember really liking the way they led into one another. I also knew I wanted to tell a little more of the story when I finished “The Citadel,” which also plays into the lyrical why of “Blood of Heirs.”

“In the Shadows of Ancients” is a loose adaptation of a story I wrote. “Walk Through Fire” is the radicalization of the disenfranchised, “The Citadel” is the execution of the oath by the faithful with a little familial revenge thrown in, and “Blood of Heirs” is a homecoming of sorts with the backdrop of a battle.

How about the recording? Was the album done in one shot or over multiple sessions? It seems like there’s a more aggressive sound this time around. Was that something you were looking to bring out purposefully, or just how it worked out in the writing and production?

SO: We recorded the whole album with Benny Grotto. I give him major credit for understanding exactly what we wanted and helping us capture it in the recording. The album was recorded in a few different sessions. The basic tracks (drums, bass, and some guitars) were recorded at Q Division in Somerville, MA, in December of 2014. We recorded most of the rest of the rhythm guitar tracks at Mad Oak in Allston, MA. We finished up leads and vocals at Moontower (R.I.P.) in Somerville. The actual recording was finished in June of 2015. From there we mixed with Benny and sent it off for mastering to Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice at Peerless Mastering.

As for the more aggressive sound, I think partly it just had to do with some of the songs themselves. We’ve always listened to all sorts of music, and I know I tried to bring some more of my metallic influences to the forefront on a few songs. “Walk Through Fire” for example, was a song that had a bit of a NWOBHM feel to me when I came up with the main riff. “Blood of Heirs” has more of an oldschool thrash-metal-meets-Bathory sort of feel to the main riff. I know we made a conscious effort to have a lot of variation in tempo and feel. I’m sure that directly contributed to the genesis of those two songs. Aside from wanting a good amount of variety, there were no strict “rules.” We like to write riffs and songs we enjoy and try not to worry too much about something being a stylistic outlier or odd man out sort of thing. If we like it, we go with it.

What’s the story behind “Dead Channel?”

MH: I’ve always loved dystopias. I never expected to live in one, but that’s a whole other thing.

The name is a nod to the first line of William Gibson’s seminal cyberpunk book, Neuromancer: “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”

That line drew a young me in instantly, and the visual is a favorite of mine. Pretty soon, someone who picks up that book for the first time won’t know what that is without checking Google, if they even bother to. Isn’t it sort of weird, uncomfortable, and exciting all at once that culture and technology change so completely and frequently now?

Lyrically, this song is a companion of sorts to “Poor and Devoid,” in that they both touch on the idea that we are both consumer and product everywhere we go physically and virtually, and what is presented to us (and sometimes what we present) isn’t always genuine or real.

I watched online communities go from USENET and dialing into BBSs to message boards/forums to where we stand now in both the more mainstream and less accessible parts of a vast internet. These communities have become global cultures and I think this sort of connection without boundaries or borders has power, both positive and negative. The optimist in me likes to think that interconnectivity, community, and freedom are ultimately a good thing.

Do we want to live in a dying world or die knowing we built something that lives on? Maybe we find a better us together, and find better ways to communicate and collaborate without the noise, ideologies, or agendas. Maybe we take a look at the old and say… you know what, it’s okay that isn’t a thing anymore. Maybe we decide to tear every last vestige of those old things down completely. Sometimes it takes weird, uncomfortable, and/or exciting to make something new. Nostalgia and fear shouldn’t prevent people from building things. My hope is that the new things we create are real and genuine and not born from the distractions that are all around us now.

You did the release show earlier this month for The Depths Below, so what’s next for you guys? Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

SO: To be honest, there was a great sense of relief in releasing The Depths Below and playing the actual release show. The record had been a long time in the “gestation” period (which seems to be our pattern at this point), and it was our first Boston show with Alexei on drums. We wanted to pick up right where we left off and, at the same time, state our intent to continue progressing as a band. It was a packed house at our favorite club, with some of our favorite folks. We couldn’t have been happier.

As for what’s next, we’re working on new material, getting Alexei up to speed on some choice older tunes, and looking forward to the demo process for the new stuff. We’re already pretty booked up for the Fall with a bunch of regional shows. We also have a split 12″ in the works; that will hopefully be released late this year/early next year. We’re just looking to keep it rolling, wherever it takes us.

Our album is available from our Bandcamp page, or at shows.

Cortez, The Depths Below (2017)

Cortez on Thee Facebooks

Cortez website

Cortez on Bandcamp

Cortez on Twitter

Salt of the Earth Records website

Salt of the Earth Records on Thee Facebooks

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Thonian Horde Debut “Helltrain”; New Album Inconnu out Sept. 22 on Grimoire Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Thonian-horde-Shane-Gardner-rock-n-roll-socialite

Sometimes puzzle pieces fit together so well you have trouble seeing it. So it is with Thonian Horde and Grimoire Records. With the band’s extreme take on heavy, their being located in Maryland and with the impressive onslaught they brought to bear in raw fashion on their 2016 self-titled debut (review here), they’re such a perfect match for working with Grimoire that I’m sitting here slapping my forehead because I can’t believe I didn’t see it coming. I’m a little ashamed to not have thought of it, to be honest.

Nonetheless, it’s happened, and Thonian Horde will release the Noel Mueller-recorded Inconnu Sept. 22 with a Grimoire stamp of approval. Can’t help but feel like that’s the way it should be.

The band are premiering the track “Helltrain” at the bottom of this post, and it’s got all the caustic torment you could possibly ask for. Enjoy it as you peruse the following PR wire info:

thonian horde inconnu

Thonian Horde “Inconnu” out 9/22/17 on Grimoire Records

This is a proper full-length release, with 10 tracks of thrashy black n’ roll for fans of Immortal, Satyricon, Dissection. The drums and bass were done in a single day, mostly live, in the Grimoire Studio (no reverb was used on the drums, thats au naturale Grimoire room reverb on that snare!). The final guitars and vocals were recorded shortly after, and the final master was wrapped up within about a week after the tracking was complete. The cover art was provided by the very talented Gilbert Miranda for Lingua Mortis Artwork, and the CD layout was finished by me.

“Inconnu” is released via limited edition CD and digital download on 9/22/17 through Grimoire Records.

Credits:
Thonain Horde is FeZZy (Bass & Vox), Dirty (Guitars), D-Mize (Lead Guitar), Tyler “The Beast” Lee (Drums). “Inconnu” was recorded on May 27th 2017 by Noel Mueller. Mixed and mastered by Noel Mueller. Cover art by Gilbert Miranda for Lingua Mortis Artwork.

https://www.facebook.com/thonianhordeofficial
https://www.facebook.com/grimoirerecords
https://grimoirerecords.bandcamp.com/album/inconnu
https://thonianhorde.bandcamp.com/releases

Thonian Horde, “Helltrain” official premiere

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Truckfighters Announce October Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

After traipsing and stomping their way around the US earlier this Spring for a two-leg tour, Sweden’s chief fuzz exports Truckfighters are set to do what they do best this October — come back for another round. With a companion West Coast stint to be announced, the Örebro natives his North American shores starting Oct. 6 in gorgeous Montreal as they continue to support the living crap out of 2016’s V (review here), which also marked the first licensing collaboration between their label, Fuzzorama Records, and Century Media.

Speaking of, one can’t help but wonder how much scouting for Fuzzorama‘s lineup in involved in Truckfighters taking on Midwestern duo Telekinetic Yeti as direct support for the Tone Deaf-presented run. The Iowan two-piece’s Abominable (review here) debut album was rich enough in tone that it would seem to position the band as an excellent fit for Fuzzorama if Truckfighters bassist/vocalist Oskar Cedermalm and guitarist  Niklas Källgren decided to bring them aboard. Either way, seems like a great opportunity for Telekinetic Yeti to reach an audience that should be well favorable to their thickened beardo riffery. I hope they play their asses off and do really well. That album continues to rule.

The PR wire brings dates and promises more to come:

truckfighters oct tour

TRUCKFIGHTERS Announce North American Tour Dates in October with Support From Telekinetic Yeti

Lauded as “the best band that’s ever existed” by Queens of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Sweden’s fuzz rock charmers TRUCKFIGHTERS are excited to announce a series of headlining dates later this fall across North America. Previously the band has been seen featured as one of the headlining acts of Psycho Fest 2015 and have performed over 700 shows throughout the world.

In continued support of their latest album, “V”, the trio will kick off their upcoming tour on October 6 in Montreal, Quebec – with support provided by stoner doom duo Telekinetic Yeti – until they land in Washington, D.C. on October 16. Full dates can be found in the above admat or listed below. Tickets are on sale now at www.truckfighters.com. Stay tuned for a further announcement with West Coast dates in the coming weeks!

Guitarist Niklas ‘Dango’ Källgren stated: “It was so freakin’ fuzzy awesome last time around so we decided to go back to North America as soon as it was humanly possible – NOW! You demand we obey!”

TRUCKFIGHTER N. American Tour Dates
10/6 Montreal, QC – Foufounes Electriques #
10/7 Quebec City, QC – L’Anti #
10/8 Ottawa, ON – Mavericks #
10/9 Toronto, ON – Hard Luck #
10/10 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
10/11 Millvale, PA – Mr. Smalls Funhouse #
10/12 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups #
10/13 Richmond, VA – Strange Matter #
10/14 Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory #
10/15 Philadelphia, PA – Voltage Lounge #
10/16 Washington, D.C. – Black Cat #
# with Telekinetic Yeti

http://www.truckfighters.com
https://www.facebook.com/truckfighters
https://twitter.com/truckfighters
https://www.youtube.com/user/TruckfightersTV
http://www.centurymedia.com/
https://www.facebook.com/tonedeaftouring/

Truckfighters, Live in Glendale, CA, March 16, 2017

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