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GIVEAWAY: Win Weedeater Goliathan Vinyl from Season of Mist!

Posted in Features on February 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

weedeater asg tour

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Next month, North Carolina sludge mainstays Weedeater head out alongside heavy rockers ASG on a Southern US tour. The riotous and by-now-more-or-less-legendary-on-stage trio are supporting their 2015 album, Goliathan (review here), which also served as their label debut on Season of Mist and offered some subtle progressive flashes to go with their groundbreaking, searing nod.

You can hear the record in full below, and I know from past experience that the notion of free Weedeater stuff hardly needs selling on my end, but suffice it to say that if you want to get in on some no-cost vinyl, this is a damn good way to do it. And if you’ve never seen them before or if you have, make sure you catch them on the road next month and into the start of April. Dates follow:

WEEDEATER TOUR DATES
W/ ASG
Mar. 14 Atlanta, GA @ Basement* Tickets
Mar. 15 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia* Tickets
Mar. 17 Hattiesburg, MS @ The Tavern*
Mar. 18 Little Rock, AR @ Rev Room*
Mar. 19 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar* Tickets
Mar. 20 Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone* Tickets
Mar. 21 Nashville, TN @ Exit / In Tickets
Mar. 22 Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco Tickets
Mar. 23 Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall Tickets
Mar. 24 Tallahassee, FL @ Sidebar Tickets
Mar. 25 Gainesville, FL @ High Dive Tickets
Mar. 27 Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub Tickets
Mar. 28 Miami, FL @ Gramps Tickets
Mar. 29 Lake Worth, FL @ Propaganda
Mar. 30 Savannah, GA @ The Jinx
Mar. 31 Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero*
Apr. 01 Charlotte, NC @ Rabbit Hole Tickets

As always, please note no email addresses given are kept, stored, shared or sold. I’m a one-man outfit and I’d rather spend my time writing than selling out your data. That’s just how it is. Thanks and good luck to all who enter!

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

Weedeater on Thee Facebooks

Weedeater at Season of Mist

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Chron Goblin Announce UK and European Live Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

chron goblin

Moments ago, and probably it went on longer than it should have, I started this post talking about how the impending horrors of global climate change would eventually make Canadians of us all, and how particularly Americans would swarm to the north to escape the just-went-outside radiation burns and dried-up landscapes and turn the newly-thawed tundra into strip malls because we’d learned nothing. Shit was grim, I don’t mind saying.

Ultimately, I opted to scrap the screed, because there’s little one might talk about that’s further away from the good-times-had-by-all party vibing of Calgary’s Chron Goblin. The four-piece, who released their third album, Backwater (review here), late in 2015 on Ripple Music, are headed over to the UK and Europe for a quick run that centers around an appearance at Desertfest London 2017. You might recall Total Volume, which is involved in this run as well along with Snuff LaneRipple and Buried in Smoke, brought the band over early last summer. As I understand it, the only thing better than going is making a return trip, so safe travels and rock and roll all around.

Chron Goblin have also been demoing new material, so you know, if you’re not feeling particularly hopeful about the future, there’s a bit of reason to.

Dance, dance, dance:

chron-goblin-uk-eu-tour

Chron Goblin – UK & Euro Tour 2017

Chrome up your pipes and break out the botanicals. Chron Goblin is poised to descend upon fortress UK/Europe. Hailing from the backwaters of The Great White North, this potent four-piece invokes the smell of diesel and pot-distilled gin with their rugged, yet refined, approach. The hangover cure you have been praying for, Chron Goblin’s airtight performance will screw your head on right and prime you for yet another night — of rock ‘n’ roll revelry!

We’re stoked to return to UK/Europe this spring! Big thanks to everyone who helped to make this tour happen!

Chron Goblin UK & Europe Tour 2017:
04.28 Birmingham UK
04.29 London UK
04.30 Oxford UK
05.01 Bristol UK
05.02 Bournemouth UK
05.04 Coventry UK
05.05 Westmalle BE
05.06 Siegen DE

chrongoblin.com
facebook.com/ChronGoblin
chrongoblin.bandcamp.com

Chron Goblin, Backwater (2015)

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Stone Machine Electric, Vivere: Dormiendo Somniare

Posted in Reviews on February 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

stone-machine-electric-vivere

Last Spring, Texas duo Stone Machine Electric — who by my estimation remain underrated as only a non-touring band can — self-released their second long-player in the form of Sollicitus es Veritatem (review here). The timing on that is important. It was May, and as a grueling primary season wound down, the US presidential election was beginning to take shape as a contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The Hurst-based two-piece acknowledged these current events in the cover art, which depicted a rat in a suit and a telling red tie standing in front of an audience of sheep, with his arm raised in front of a building burning with a giant skull behind it. Not subtle in visual metaphor, and the translation from Latin of the title — “nightmares are reality” — was correspondingly blunt.

Among what passes for a left-leaning contingent in the States, it would be difficult to see Sollicitus es Veritatem as anything other than prescient in hindsight. Songs like “Dreaming” had a bent of social commentary that never came at the expense of the liquidity of Stone Machine Electric‘s jamming, which has been central to their appeal over the last half-decade-plus, across offerings like the 2015 The Amazing Terror EP (review here), 2014’s Garage Tape (review here), their 2013 self-titled debut (review here) and their 2010 demo, Awash in Feedback (review here). Working frequently in the studio with Kent Stump of Wo Fat, guitarist/vocalist William “Dub” Irvin and drummer/thereminist Mark Kitchens (also synth and backing vocals) have developed a sound able at once to convey straightforward heavy roll and an echo of unpredictability, so that the listener never quite knows when they might take off and just where they might be headed on a given track.

That ability is a big part of why I call them underrated above, and it’s writ large over Vivere, their new live CD recorded June 3, 2016, at the Doublewide in Dallas and issued through Off the Record Label. As the Latin title — the infinitive form of the verb meaning “to live” — hints, the six-song/40-minute set is intended as a complement to Sollicitus es Veritatem, and it very much functions on that level. Its longer tracks, opener “I am Fire,” “Dreaming,” “PorR” and the finale “I am Fire (Slightly Burned)” all come from Sollicitus es Veritatem, and with the proximity of one to the other, another mixdown by Stump, and the general live feel that Irvin and Kitchens bring to their material, there’s no shortage of commonality between Vivere and its studio predecessor. Particularly for someone who’s grown to be a fan of the band and hasn’t been fortunate enough to see them play live — as I have and haven’t — the draw should be obvious.

For others, the question becomes what does Vivere have to offer that Sollicitus es Veritatem doesn’t? Fair ask. For one thing, like the studio counterpart, it’s the most cohesive Stone Machine Electric live outing yet. Their last one, 2013.02.07 (recorded, clearly, in 2013), was performed as a trio with Mark Cook on warr guitar, and caught them in the midst of a series of lineup shifts before they settled on the Dub/Kitchens duo as their seemingly permanent configuration. I don’t think I’m giving away state secrets in saying they work best in this form, and that shows itself from the nodding “I am Fire” onward here. It’s not uncommon for a live album to represent a band’s stage presence well — there are very few that are truly “warts and all” — but something else Vivere does is mirror the immersive listening experience of Sollicitus es Veritatem in how one song plays into the next via two short, seemingly-improvised transitional pieces: “Mindless Meanderings” and “Invented Passages.”

Though these are quick courses run at 2:54 and 2:42, respectively, and the broader impression of Vivere is found in moments like Dub‘s execution of the hook in “Dreaming” — the lines “Hustlers ain’t in the alley/They’re runnin’ the global scene/They’ll take you down/And take you further/Oh, how I wish I was dreaming” standing out as something of a centerpiece and summary of the set as a whole, let alone the track itself — and the raucous uptick provided at the end by “I am Fire (Slightly Burned),” on which Kitchens joins in a vocal call and response, both “Mindless Meanderings” and “Invented Passages” are crucial to the flow of Vivere. The first arrives between “I am Fire” and “Dreaming,” and gives Stone Machine Electric an even more atmospheric space in which to work, shifting via guitar lead and drum fills between the one longer song and the other without stopping. They are a band of few words, it seems.

Amid an initial hum at the outset of “I am Fire,” Dub says, “Yeah, we don’t talk. We’re just Stone Machine Electric,” and over a closing bed of synth drone in the ending of “I am Fire (Slightly Burned),” he follows up with “We’ve been Stone Machine Electric…” and something else only semi-intelligible, but other than that, they move from song to song without stopping. Accordingly, “Invented Passages” rises from the end of “Dreaming” with a bit of rhythmic push from Kitchens and a winding riff to accompany but hits the brakes well in time to start the familiar drift of “PorR,” which tops 13 hypnotic minutes riding that progression — down from over 14 for the studio version — and builds to an apex of thud, rumble and slow-motion riffing that moves via feedback into “I am Fire (Slightly Burned)” feeling both practiced and unforced; the closer picking up after about a minute and providing Vivere‘s final movement, which turns to brief cacophony just before ending in a way that seems only to re-suggest the improvisational elements at root in their creative approach.

The reinforcement thereof is another aspect of Vivere that shines through especially in its following Sollicitus es Veritatem, which was arguably the most song-based outing from Stone Machine Electric to-date. Still, this is the part where I say that one doesn’t need to have heard the studio album to appreciate the live one. A cliché, and probably only half-true, but valid when considering the molten nature of the band’s execution in either sphere. One of the joys of following Dub and Kitchens over their years together has been the way in which one release has always fed into the next — the debut into the first live album and Garage Tape into The Amazing Terror into Sollicitus es Veritatem — and Vivere adds to that line, acknowledging what they’ve done before and using it as a basis for moving forward.

What makes it even more engaging, though, is that the songs themselves do the very same thing on a meta-level, and are reshaped and recontextualized by this performance on this given night. One expects that as Stone Machine Electric put more distance between themselves and their second full-length headed perhaps toward a third, the evolution of their ideas will likewise continue, and the multi-tiered fluidity they’ve thus far shown will reach its next stage. That’s the hope, anyhow. But though their heavy psychedelia is often tinged with a darker, brooding sensibility, and Sollicitus es Veritatem certainly had its air of cynicism, I hear nothing on Vivere to make me think that core vibrancy will dull anytime soon. And who knows? If the live album turns out to be as predictive as its predecessor, we might all just survive these curious times in which we’ve found ourselves.

Stone Machine Electric, Vivere (2016)

Stone Machine Electric on Thee Facebooks

Stone Machine Electric on Twitter

Stone Machine Electric on Bandcamp

Off the Record Label website

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The Obelisk Presents: Godmaker, Rozamov, Hush & Husbandry at The Well, Brooklyn, NYC, March 8

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on February 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-presents-godmaker-rozamov-hush-husbandry-the-well

Fancy a little mid-week slaughter? Sure, we all do. All the more reason I’m proud to have The Obelisk present GodmakerRozamovHUSH. and Husbandry on March 8 at The Well in Brooklyn for an evening that will boast both kinds of music — crushing and pummeling.

Okay, you’ve seen the names. Before we get into it, just go ahead and get your tickets here.

Headlining are Brooklyn’s own Godmaker, who are now more than two years past the Aqualamb release of their self-titled debut (review here) and who in the time since have added guitarist/vocalist Carmine Laietta to their lineup. Somehow I doubt bringing the former Hull axe-slinger on board has dulled their scathing, blister-raising noise rock approach. They have new music in the works that as of a couple weeks ago was in the mixing stage, so it seems likely we’ll be hearing from them again sooner than later. Not a complaint.

As for Rozamov, this gig at The Well follows the March 3 hometown release show in Boston for their long-awaited debut album, This Mortal Road (review later this week), on Battleground and Dullest Records, and marks the beginning of a tour (info here) that spans both coasts and includes time at SXSW to play the Austin Terror Fest. The three-piece have put in significant road time already as a band, but with the record coming out, there are going to be a lot of people turned onto their post-sludge roll and doomed atmospherics.

I was fortunate enough back in 2015 to see all-caps, punctuation-inclusive NY doomers HUSH. open for Conan (review here) in Brooklyn, and if they could stand up to that kind of massiveness on stage — which they did, and admirably — they can conquer just about anything. Their 2016 EP, Nihil Unbound, was recently issued on vinyl through Fuzz RecordsDullest (making them partial labelmates to Rozamov) and Silent Pendulum, and is gone, though they might have a few copies on-hand for the merch table. Won’t know if you don’t show up.

And rounding out the bill are Husbandry. Also native to Brooklyn, the four-piece released their debut album, Fera, on Aqualamb — making them labelmates to Godmaker; I love a lineup with comrades and symmetry — and though they label themselves as post-hardcore and certainly that tells part of the tale, it hardly accounts fully for the charge of a song like “Grab Twist Pull” or the alt-minded infectiousness of “Hymn to Tourach.” Still, gotta call it something I guess. Expect a riotous kickoff to a show that only gets meaner as it goes on.

Rozamov bassist Tom Corino had this to say about the night: “The lineup for this show is heavy, diverse and incestuous. The crushing and bleak Hush are joining us for the first couple dates of this tour and will are Dullest Records lablemates with Godmaker and ourselves. We’ve played with Godmaker a bunch of times, and they’ve become our brothers in ‘loud.’ The ‘oddball’ of the group is Husbandry, a mathy-post hardcore band that will melt your mind and tantalize your senses. See you soon Brooklyn!”

It’s going to be a stellar, ridiculously heavy night, and I’m honored to join Tone Deaf Touring in presenting it.

Here’s the raw data:

Godmaker, Rozamov, Hush and Husbandry at The Well

Wednesday, March 8

The Well
272 Meserole St, Brooklyn, New York 11206

Loudest, heaviest show of the spring, in Brooklyn.
Quote us on that.

7pm doors, 8pm music – 21+
$10 adv//$12 at the door.

Tickets at Ticketweb

Event page on Thee Facebooks

Godmaker on Bandcamp

Godmaker on Thee Facebooks

Rozamov on Thee Facebooks

HUSH. on Thee Facebooks

Husbandry on Thee Facebooks

The Well website

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Duel Announce Witchbanger Details; Out April 28

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Kind of hard to imagine the band meeting whereby Austin heavy rockers Duel decided which track they’d choose for the name of their second full-length for Heavy Psych Sounds, but you have to figure at some point one of the four dudes actually said the words, “Uh, how about ‘Witchbanger?'” And so it went. Witchbanger, which follows their 2016 debut, Fears of the Dead (review here), and will reportedly be supported by tour dates very likely in Europe if past is prologue with the label involved, is due out April 28. Preorders start March 17. Preorders, for Witchbanger.

I’m 35 years old, writing about a record called WitchbangerDuel are a good band and all — don’t get me wrong — but that title. Woof.

Whatever. I’m sure the album will kick ass and on will go the blinders.

Heavy Psych Sounds posted the art and details:

duel witchbanger

DUEL – WITCHBANGER – HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records & Booking is extremely proud to unveil album details for DUEL – Witchbanger.

The new album out 28th April. Presale starts March 17th.

available in:
Ltd Splatter Vinyl
Black Vinyl
Cd
Digital

Sex, drugs, the occult and buckets of blood. Austin, Texas tripped out heavies DUEL release their second album “Witchbanger”. Eight hard hitting new tracks of deep grooves and blistering riffs paying tribute to the darker breed of early 70’s proto-metal and classic old school early 80’s heavy metal pioneers. Growling desperate vocals and angry fuzzed out guitars telling tales of horror and hallucination. Hard Rock as it should be totally pure and unpretentious.

Produced and engineered by lead guitarist Jeff Henson at his new studio Red Nova Ranch in the wastelands of Texas not far from the historic Texas Chainsaw Massacre house. Prepare for Hell or Valhalla, from start to finish this carefully crafted album WILL KILL YOU!

Duel – Witchbanger tracklist:
Devil
Witchbanger
The Snake Queen
Astro Gypsy
Heart Of The Sun
Bed Of Nails
Cat’s Eye
Tigers And Rainbows

TOUR DATES WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON!!

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, Fears of the Dead (2016)

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Sólstafir to Release Berdreyminn May 26

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

solstafir

I only have one hesitation — and let me stress, only one — when it comes to the notion of a new album from Icelandic progressive melancholia specialists Sólstafir. Simply put, it’s that I’m not sure I’m done with 2014’s Ótta (review here). That fifth outing was my first exposure to the four-piece’s emotionally resonant moodiness — universal enough to overcome a rather significant language barrier — and the prospect of a sixth full-length makes me a little nervous. Still, time marches forward, and Berdreyminn is due out May 26. Hopefully that’s enough time for me to begin to wrap my head around the concept of its existence.

Among my most vivid memories of live performances over the last couple years as well was being able to catch Sólstafir at Roadburn in 2015 (review here). They performed as part of the day curated by Enslaved guitarist Ivar Bjørnson and Wardruna multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik, and stunned in both presence and execution. They’d go on to tour the US and Europe multiple times over, and I expect Berdreyminn will bring them back again. That set played significantly in growing my affection for Ótta, so hopefully at some point we’ll cross paths as they support the new one.

Really, I’m nervous about it.

The PR wire brings album preliminaries and gorgeous cover art from Adam Burke:

solstafir berdreyminn

Sólstafir announce new album, reveal cover art and track list

Acclaimed Icelandic rock band SÓLSTAFIR have revealed new details their highly anticipated forthcoming sixth album. The new album is titled ‘Berdreyminn’, (which translates to a “dreamer of forthcoming events”) and will be released worldwide on May 26th. The new full-length was produced by Birgir Birgirsson (SIGUR RÓS, ALCEST) and Jaime Gomez-Arellano (GHOST, PARADISE LOST, ULVER).

The album cover, painted by Adam Burke (UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS, DANAVA) and track list for ‘Berdreyminn’ can be found below.

Track list:
1. Silfur-Refur
2. Ísafold
3. Hula
4. Nárós
5. Hvít Sæng
6. Dýrafjörður
7. Ambátt
8. Bláfjall

https://www.facebook.com/solstafirice
http://twitter.com/solstafir
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial/
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Sólstafir, “Dagmál” official video

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Ulver Confirm April 7 Release for The Assassination of Julius Caesar

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ulver-photo-Ingrid-Aas

Perennial residents of their own wavelength Ulver have shored up an April 7 release for their new album, The Assassination of Julius Caesar. The long-running Norwegian progressive post-black metal experimentalist outfit have spent the several years engaged in any number of different kinds of projects, from the 2012 reinterpretations/covers album Childhood’s End through 2016’s sprawlingly improvised ATGCLVLSSCAP and Riverhead film soundtrack, but The Assassination of Julius Caesar will be their first proper studio outing since 2011, and as they engender a cult following few can match, that alone makes it significant, never mind the sonic achievements that are almost certain to show up on the thing itself.

The album was first announced back in October when Ulver was an early add to Roadburn 2017 (info here) in April, but with preorders up and more fest dates carrying them into the summer, it looks like they’ll be plenty busy even aside from that. Sorry, but every time Ulver do anything, it just feels like a landmark. Will hope I get the chance to hear the record.

From the PR wire:

ulver-the-assassination-of-julius-caesar

Ulver announce new album, The Assassination Of Julius Caesar, incoming on House Of Mythology 7 April, live shows on the horizon

Following last year’s release of ATGCLVLSSCAP, a massively acclaimed album of mainly improvisational, rock and electronic soundscapes, comes news of a brand new studio album from Ulver – their first since 2011’s Wars of the Roses.

The Assassination of Julius Caesar arrives on 7th April via House Of Mythology. The album has been recorded and produced by Ulver themselves and mixed by legendary producer Martin ‘Youth’ Glover with Michael Rendall.

Ever evolving, Ulver have never been afraid to make bold musical statements nor to broaden their already expansive sonic palette, and this new album is no exception. We predict that jaws shall drop!

Ulver have some select live performances on the horizon to launch their new album material. Dates as follows:

LIVE SHOWS:-
Friday 21-Apr – Safe As Milk Festival @ Pontins, Prestatyn, Wales
Sunday 23-Apr-2017 – Roadburn Festival @ 013, Tilburg, The Netherlands
Saturday 29-Apr-2017 – Impetus Festival @ Les Docks, Lausanne, Switzerland
Sunday 30-Apr-2017 – Donaufestival 2017 @ Krems, Austria
Thursday 15-Jun-2017 – Dark Mofo Festival @ Hobart, Tasmania
Friday 30-Jun-2017 – Prog Be My Friend! @ Poble Espanyol, Barcelona
…and more to be announced

PRE ORDER:-
https://store.houseofmythology.com

https://www.facebook.com/Ulver-31166220421/
https://twitter.com/ulverofficial
https://ulver.bandcamp.com/
www.houseofmythology.com
http://www.jester-records.com/ulver/

Ulver, Riverhead OST (2016)

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Uzala Announce Breakup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

UZALA

Sad news out of Boise, Idaho, in that atmospheric doomers Uzala seem to have broken up. The announcement came via a brief Facebook post from guitarist Chad Remains that went like this:

R.I.P. UZALA
2009-2017
Our sincere thanks to everyone who supported us along the way. We love you all.

What he or the trio — which at last check was Darcy Nutt on guitar/vocals, Remains and drummer Chuck Watkins — has not said is why. Uzala had been relatively quiet since the release of their early 2016 Live at Roadburn MMXV (review here) CD/LP through Burning World Records, and it now looks like that will serve as the band’s final recorded statement.

Their two prior full-length albums, Tales of Blood and Fire and Uzala (track premiere here), were issued in 2013 and 2011, respectively. Both earned the band significant acclaim, and especially the latter found them coming into an atmospheric individualism bolstered by the melodic range in Nutt’s voice and the tonal onslaught from Remains. These elements, set to the steady foundation from Watkins’ drumming, the low rumble of then-bassist Nick Phit (see also: Graves at Sea), and a recording job by Tad Doyle, positioned Uzala for remarkable forward momentum.

They toured the US alongside Mike Scheidt of YOB in 2013 (review here) before following up with the aforementioned trip to Europe for Roadburn (review here), where they were nothing short of spellbinding. Having been fortunate enough to stand in front of the Green Room stage and see that set in its entirety (as well as take the pictures on the cover of the subsequent live outing), it seemed Uzala were living up to and through the potential their work had shown up to that point, and whatever was going to come next from them would not be something to miss.

Whether or not they’ll ultimately make some statement, and whether or not the breakup sticks — I don’t want to speculate at reasons without anything concrete to go on, so I won’t — their output stands in testament to what they had to offer, and while they appeared to be on the cusp of reaching a new aesthetic level, the accomplishments under their collective belt remain substantial enough to resonate for years to come.

You hate to see good bands go, but Uzala never operated under any terms but their own, so there it is. Respect and best wishes to them.

Uzala, Tales of Blood and Fire (2013)

Uzala on Thee Facebooks

Uzala on Bandcamp

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