Friday, August 18, 2017

UNBEHELD - Dust



Self-released






Unbeheld is a Death Metal band from Maple Ridge, BC, Canada, and have been compared to Gojira and Decapitated. They came into existence back in 2014 and then released their debut self titled EP, and have now released their first album.

The album starts with an intro that could have been shortened a bit, but then goes into the title track and is a piece of blistering power and fury. Riffs aplenty, growled vocals and a manic speed to get you moshing. The next song is the longest on the album and also has a touch of progressive rock to it amongst the growling vocals. There are quieter parts and faster than fast parts that make for a great listen and change of pace. “Lamentation” is their newest single and video and comes at you like a charging bull, but then, everything gets quiet and lovely, until the explosion of energy that escapes from the band and we are back to a breakneck pace again. “Destroyer” is a straight up blast of venom and anger that it knocks you off of your feet. “Vultures” keeps up the pace of the previous track and really shows off the technical abilities of this band with tight playing and killer guitar playing that would fit in on a classic metal album. The album ends off with “Nothing” which is another devastating song that will rip the skin off your face and kick you in the ass at the same time.

This is a band that if they continue on in this fashion, will be making a name for themselves and going onto bigger and better venues as they progress. They laid the foundation; let’s see them build on it.

-Rick Ecker



Thursday, August 17, 2017

Three Essential Proto-Metal Albums




The 1970’s were a crazy time in music; a lot of things were happening all at once in the rock universe. By 1972, Led Zeppelin was already known as the “biggest band in the world” and the Grateful Dead was making their way around Europe in what would become one of the group’s greatest tours. The scene in San Francisco had dissolved for the most part and the acid rock of a decade previous was starting evolve as a result. One of the earliest examples of this evolution is Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vidda” which was released in 1968, marking a definitive turning point in rock music. Following the success of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” many bands started experimenting with heavier sounds both in the United States and around the world. One of those many bands was Brooklyn’s Sir Lord Baltimore whose 1969 debut, Kingdom Come, sent a shockwave through the rock community.
           
Often considered by many as the “godfathers of stoner metal”, Sir Lord Baltimore was doing things reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, Motörhead and the MC5 making their sound really unique and perfect for 1970. The album’s opening track, “Master Heartache”, kicks off with a thunderous and ferocious Gary Justin bassline beautifully setting the tone for what’s to follow. Bringing together elements of the blues, jazz, an early form of punk as well as what was left over from the acid rock predating the band’s existence, Sir Lord Baltimore crafted a primitive and new kind of rebellious listening experience. Heavily distorted, ugly and sludgy, Louis Dambra’s riffing is infectious; especially on songs like “Ain’t Got Hung On You” and “Lady of Fire”.  The guitar parts are masterfully pitted against the heart pounding and tenacious drumming and singing of John Garner. His voice is rough around the edges and horse only adding to the band’s already blues heavy sound. Along with all of this the band included a stunning homage to the psychedelic baroque rock they’d originated from with “Lake Isle of Innersfree”. The harpsichord builds a gorgeous foundation for the 12-string acoustic guitar and Garner’s voice to float effortlessly on top. However, none of this could’ve been possible without the album that came out a year before it.
           
In sticking with this power trio idea, no one embodied that moniker more than San Francisco’s Blue Cheer. In 1968 they helped to define what would become known has heavy metal and what a power trio was supposed to be. Their debut album Vincebus Eruptum was heavier and louder than anything that came before it. The phrase titling the album is latin for “controlled chaos” which is a perfect descriptor for what this record is. Inspiring most of what followed it Vincebus Eruptum had on it not only some of the band’s best work but, some of the blueprints for heavy metal was going to sound like. The album starts off with a devastating cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” which became a massive hit for the band and was geared more towards the bikers than the hippies. Blue Cheer created a dark and almost primal listening experience when compared to other of the day and shined a light on the other side of the San Francisco music scene.
          
The band had undeniable chemistry and it was evident on songs like “Doctor Please”. The unmistakable guitar sound of Leigh Stephens paired with the soulful, raspy howl of bass player and frontman Dickie Peterson. Stephens pushes his amps to the max by cranking things up to 11 (literally) and creates a mountain of distortion and fuzz thrust forward by Paul Whaley’s epic, gargantuan drums. Dangerous and explosive Blue Cheer destroy Mose Allison’s “Parchman Farm” and nearly go off the tracks with “Second Time Around”. From start to finish Vincebus Eruptum is an eruption of sound and set a new, electrifying standard in the world of heavy metal.

-Hannah Wolfe           

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Shooting Guns - Flavour Country Out Now!



Shooting Guns provide the perfect soundtrack for the morning after the apocalypse, when you are sitting in the rubble of your home in a bathrobe and think, ‘What should I do now?’ and end up zoning out for hours in a psychedelic trance instead of making a survival plan. Bad move on your part, because you are probably going to die.

Canadian sextet Shooting Guns is known (and oft-nominated) for their film soundtrack work, but Flavour Country is more like a collection of anthems for your jettison from this universe into the multiverse.

While they’re known for heavy and saturated sounds befitting crazed horror-comedy flicks like Netflix hit WolfCop, Flavour Country features some of the band’s fastest, heaviest and most visceral material to date. Yet, it also features some of the band’s most atmospheric sounds as well.

At times there are slight hints of Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Western twang amidst the looping Meddle-era Pink Floyd heavy psych and driving drone reminiscent of Bobby Beausoleil’s belladonna laced soundtrack to Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising. But for the most part here, Shooting Guns is out for blood, regardless of tempo.

Album opener “Ride Free” kicks off with a blistering wall of guitars blaring and rattling out of the gate like mutant progeny to fellow Canadian biker-rock heroes Steppenwolf having duly fired all of the guns, exploded into space and returned to hunt down every last one of us. It accelerates from there: “French Safe” sounds like an unhinged battalion of musicians driving full throttle like a scene from a George Miller Road Warrior movie. Biting, lengthier tracks like “Simian Shelf” and the title track occupy the heavy end of the psychedelic spectrum, haunting the foggy moor between early, bluesy Sabbath-styled doom riffery and heavy pulse-riding kraut-rock.

Flavour Country is the first album recorded by the band themselves at their own Pre-Rock Studios in Saskatoon, SK, located in the middle of the Canadian prairies. The album title’s spelling is itself a nod to the band’s Great White North homeland. The album was mastered by John McBain (ex-Monster Magnet, Carlton Melton), who also mastered the band’s previous RidingEasy releases.

Shooting Guns have toured over 60,000 miles across Canada over the past 7 years but have yet to tour Internationally, which will be a big focus for them after this release. They are touring their live score to F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu across Canada throughout 2017 and also just finished scoring the soundtrack to Another WolfCop (sequel to WolfCop), which is slated for a US theatrical release in Sept 2017. Their sophomore LP, Brotherhood of the Ram, released in 2013 through RidingEasy Records was nominated for the 2015 JUNO Metal/Hard Album of the Year as well as the Polaris Music Prize. Their debut LP, Born To Deal in Magic: 1952-1976, was also nominated for the Polaris Music Prize in 2012.

Give them a listen...

WORWS to Release New Album, 'Truth to Power', September 22




Portland, OR extreme metal band WORWS (read: Wars) will release its new album, Truth to Power, on September 22. The follow-up to the band's 2016 debut, Laylines, the impending LP delivers pulverizing crossover that combines grindcore, powerviolence and d-beat with a fever-pitch intensity. Truth to Power is advanced by the record's hammer-drop title track, a violent, lightening-quick assault condensed into pure aggression. Stream WORWS' new song "Truth to Power" at THIS location.

WORWS' raw sincerity, take no prisoners live show and D.I.Y. work ethic has earned the band a vast loyal following and shows alongside scene stalwarts such as OFF!, Trap Them and Today is the Day. Formed in 2015, the band established a sharp-edged sound and focused modus operandi, attacking societal wrongs and ignorance. With Death, The Wipers and Slayer reigning over their record collections alongside contemporaries such as Ceremony and Defeater, WORWS has waded their way through the oppression of the working class and are here to fight.

   Track listing:

   1.) Belfast
   2.) Lot Lizards
   3.) Standing in Place
   4.) Love to Hate
   5.) Truth to Power (listen HERE)
   6.) Sheltering Hands
   7.) Lights Out
   8.) Consumer Bachelor

   Pre-order Truth to Power at THIS location.
WORWS features Tony Meuser (vocals), Sean Cisneros (guitar), Dusty Overstreet (bass) and Sean Carter (drums). Follow the band on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Hilarious House Of Frightenstein

In an attempt to get viewers going with lively comment interactions, Pitchfork recently asked which television show old or new has the best music. Naturally I jumped right in and tagged The Hilarious House of Frightenstein enforcing my belief on several readers who may or may not have heard of such a show. Here's why I'm still obsessed with my favorite tv show, that I relentlessly watched as a kid, all these years later.

Billy Van.  Toronto born, quadruple threat and mastermind behind one of the greatest children's television programs of all fucking time. The Hilarious House Of Frightenstein operated in uncharted territory for its time and lured in countless Canadian children like myself with its multidimensional spook show spectacles.             

Van himself played six characters and forever had me entranced as the silly yet sweet 'Grizelda, The Ghastly Gourmet' (nutrition), 'The Librarian' who actually terrified me (literature), 'The Oracle' (astrology) who I always wanted to write a letter to so they'd read it on air and shout me out. Then there was 'Wolfman Jack' (music/arts) the resident castle DJ who inspires me to this very day with his quintessential 60's & 70's playlists and his super psychedelic dancing backdrops he shared with Igor, the massive sidekick to 'The Count', (the star).   The opening intro is still unmatched today thanks to Vincent Price, and each character added their own distinct flavor to the mix.  Billy Van and THHOF crew made television history.

So whenever someone asks me which tv show I think has the best music I immediately think of Igor and The Wolfman dancing to Midnight Confessions from The Grass Roots, or Strawberry Alarm Clock's Incense and Peppermints. I'm forever grateful Billy Van and the team included rock and roll as part of a healthy child's brain development. It's made my world what it is today.  I hope you check out THHOF and journey back to a time when tv was made by eccentric music lovers and passionate creators who fearlessly worked their magic on small budgets and limited transmitters.

-Miss Melissa




Monday, August 14, 2017

Faith In Jane - Rhythm Of Elevation



I have to admit it took me a minute to grasp Faith In Jane's latest album, 'Rhythm Of Elevation'. But after two or three spins this release opened up and a beautiful gem presented itself to me. And I duly kicked my own ass for not getting it at first. But that's how it is sometimes. Better late than never though, which I am thankful for, because this Maryland trio has created an amazing recording!

Going for a mainly bluesy, jam-filled version of stoner rock, there’s more to it than that. Subtle nuances allow the songs to take on a whole different life, small tweaks here and there. And that’s what makes this album stand out. Hell, they threw in ‘Passage’, a bluegrass-tinged song and it works so well. These guys aren’t reinventing the wheel but they take what they have and what they know and throw it in a cauldron. Adding excellent musicianship to the concoction, their stew doesn’t have to cook long at all before it is ready. The end result? ‘Rhythm Of Elevation’!

Chaotic, crawling and punishing, opener ‘The Ritual’ sets the record straight right away. Taking no prisoners, Faith In Jane are relentless as they unleash one of the most metal-sounding tracks on this album. ‘Trip And Watch The World Burn’ brings out the bluesy, jam stuff coupled with doomy undertones. Clocking in at almost 11 minutes it weaves back and forth between mid-tempo to faster paced rocking giving you time to watch our world disintegrate. Oh, just let the amazing solo little over halfway through wash over you and cleanse you from any kind poison…wonderful, indeed! Stoner blues at its finest, ‘Mushroom Man’ is a bulldozer trip and a half. Led-heavy and spaced out, this composition crushes everything over and over and I just come back for more. Despite punctured lungs and broken ribs I give in to the world according to Faith In Jane and constantly ask for more. ‘Passage’ is the oddball here, being a bluegrass ditty, but it fits in so well and that’s another beauty of this band.

‘Daze Of High Adventure’ is not only the longest song, over 14 and a half minutes, it is also Faith In Jane’s barnburner. Everything this band is has been blended together excellently here. Stoner, doom, jam and blues. Fantastic! ‘Farewell’ is a beautiful eulogy about dearly departed and musically it is akin to the great Southern Rock bands like The Allman Brothers fronted by the late Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone. Amazing and again, listen to that solo! ‘Return’ closes out ‘Rhythm Of Elevation’ and is another headtrip, and then some. These guys knows how to help you on the way to astral traveling and this track is the key to that. Close your eyes, sit back and go! Faith In Jane will show you amazing things.

-Swedebeast

 Photo Credit: Shane Gardner

 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Ripple Conversation With Mick Of The Hazytones




When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

My parents were always listening to old 60's, 70's rock, so I grew up with Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Doors, The Beatles, The Stones. It's really when I got in high school (when your 12 years old in Quebec) that I dug deeper into those bands, listening to their full albums and getting into it. A Funny moment was when, back in high school, we were all doing skateboard, one of the guys had Misfits stickers and he was saying it was a skate brand. The guy next to us said: Hey stupid, it's an old school punk band. I became good friends with that guy, we started our first band and he got me into metal bands like, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, and also Nirvana. That's how it all started.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

I write with the Kurt Cobain method, melodies first always. At any given moment you can write a cool riff but it's when you get a strong vocal melody over it that you know you're holding something. I will usually write the lyrics long after the song is complete, usually a little bit before we hit the studio. I always have temporary lyrics for singing live but it's in the studio that it all comes together. I always thought I was weird doing so but I reed in a lot of my favorite artists bio that they did the same.

Who has influenced you the most?

The Beatles had a strong influence on me, not just because of their music but their whole career. Seeing them evolve from unknown guys living in Liverpool to one of the best songwriters of all time really influenced me. Reading their bio they seemed like taking influences from wherever and it led to some really great albums (sgt. peppers, abbey road). I later got into the stoner scene (Kyuss, Uncle Acid, Sleep...) which really influenced me to start the Hazytones.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Inspirations comes from a lot of place, long nights of insomnia, touring, relationships. I'm also inspired by all the great stoner rock music coming out these days, the scene is so strong and they are so many good bands getting their music out there. Motivation comes from the fact that I really like being on a stage and on the road.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

Montreal is a great place to start a band, this city probably has as many musician's as people who go to gigs, which leads to a really big amount of bands playing every night. This gives you a feeling that, when you think your band is great, you go out to gigs and see those amazing bands and you tell yourself; I got to get tighter and practice my scenic presence and write better songs. I sometimes feel that Montreal would have been the Seattle of the 2000's if the music industry had stayed the same.

Where'd the band name come from?

We had been trying to find a good name for at least a month. We did a show under the name Stoneage (lol). I wanted to have a stoner reference in the name, Frey suggested the Baritones over facebook and it made me think about Hazytones. Right then and there we kept it and it felt right

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

I'm a big fan of old westerns (Sergio Leone, Clint Eastwood, Tarantino) but the music on those movies is already pretty good! So I would say the next film by Tarantino, I would love to do some desert rock/stoner on one of Tarantino's or even Scorsese!

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

Probably Marked by the Devil, cause it's a metaphoric dark vision of life that I enjoy singing live. I assume people can relate to it in any ways they want.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

Well there are so many things that I can't say in an interview (lol). Touring is all about the after party's in my opinion. If you don't enjoy the after show's well it must be tough to be on the road. One night on our last tour we were playing in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, not a big town. I could not find a venue so we ended up in a library with 3 other bands. I managed to get a liquor license to sell in 30 minutes (gotta love Saskatchewan), so obviously we got drunk. Just when we started our set about 8 stoner kids walked in and knew all of our lyrics. They invited us for a crazy after party at their place. This is what makes the road fun, you never know what to expect.

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

Playing live is something magical almost spiritual. Nothing else compares to a band and an audience connecting. What's great about being on tour is when you play your set every night, you start to improvise some things but you feel confident about them. What makes a great live experience is when the crowd turns you on (we usually end up acting crazy on stage when that happens) which then turns the crowd on. I think nothing beats this feeling.

What makes a great song?

I think good hooks will make a great song. A lot of things can be a hook, a great riff, a good melody or the arrangements. But you need something that, from the first listen will make you go; what is this I'm hearing, it caught my attention. I think you have to stay away from having a sound that is too similar to somethings that's been made. I am not saying our music is reinventing anything but I want people to recognize the Hazytones sound as soon as they hear a couple of notes.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?
What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Well I am definitely not proud of the first songs I wrote. To me my first real album was The Hazytones. And we wrote the music when the band was fairly new so, I am really eager to get a second album out. I feel like this one is really going to be the album of a lifetime, now that we gained a lot of experience with the first album and the touring.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Josh Homme is really doing great at the moment, I think he's a really talented songwriter. I think King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are on the right track too, releasing so much new material like they were a 60's band gives me hope that the market is big enough for lot's of new music. Ty Segall is also a good example, he gets involved in multiple projects, he's always touring, and he has killer material. Also a big shout to smaller stoner bands like Elephant Tree, Black Mastifs, and Mothership (which is becoming huge).

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Vinyl to me, is the only real format for listening to music the way it was meant. It is the only format that is going to make you listen to the albums the way the artist wanted you to listen to it. Digital is made a bit more for ''hits''. Nowadays if you have one strong hit on an bad album your band can still get a lot of exposure but it will never be as rewarding as having a good full length.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Whiskey!!! If all venues could bring me coca-cola, whiskey and ice I would be a happy cat. I'm a big fan of bourbon and old fashions too. The problem with whiskey is if you have only 2 drink tickets, you will last longer with two pints than two whiskey coke.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

I grew up in a really small town with no record store. But if you're in Montreal check out ''La table tournante'' (the turn table) it's the best in the city in my opinion.

What's next for the band?

More touring cause we enjoy it so much. We want to hit the U.S.A in January and Europe again in April. Between those tour we will work on an second album that is 60-70% written.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Continue to support emerging bands and go see them live! You guys are making bands go somewhere. I am really thrilled with the ''stoner'' community, you guys are rad and I love you all.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...