Monday, May 2, 2016

Drawers - S/T

As I described on bandcamp earlier in 2013 I had "shit my drawers" upon listening to Drawers first full length album. When I got a hold of the self-titled album I began frantically inching my way closer to the bathroom just in case. I knew the stench was foul on the previous album, the sludge was deep, the vocals were slightly grading, and perhaps I had eaten jalapeƱos the day before? The shock of literally shitting my pants however was just a joke, I don't wear drawers, I have full body control of my bowls, yet if a mere sound of guitars, drums and vocals could induce a pants shitting experience 'Drawers' extremely heavy and groovy Baroness-esque progressive sludge crunch could stain a new pair of tightey whiteys. 

I wouldn't say the new album strays much off the path travelled on All is One. It genuinely swerves in and out of catchy sludge-pop to dirty sludge grime. As the record pummels on I began feeling a subtle Torche vibe, hearing bits and pieces with a hint if a slightly softer intimate side. Intimate like the Beauty and the Beast bonus love scene, where the beast is still in Beast mode.

"Shadow Dancers" one of the album highlights, is like the others, best heard with the volume cranked up high. Lots of variation going on in the background and the song maintains a catchy upbeat energy unlike the overall vibe of All is One, which was a little more dark and evil sounding, Drawers exhibits more of a Happy sludge energy. Again more Torche and neutral Baroness noise. Shadow Dancers a clear highlight especially its strong closing one minute sprint.

Both records possess a tightly wound, crisp and fluidly intricate tone. Rowing up a river of murky sludge in pursuit of the fresh inland water, Drawers wind up quenching the listening pallet with a dose of refreshing, almost poppy sludge rock much like Torche did on their 2012 release, Harmonicraft. Drawers keep the heaviness high and the catchiness higher. Vocals are harsh like a dull razor shave for the average bearded sludge metal listener (emphasis on bearded) and accessible enough for the casual stoner rock fanatic that cries wolf the second the vocal strays slightly out of melody. Being not an active supporter of full on growls and squeals from heavy metal vocalists, I can affirm, these are harsh, but so was that bong toke that knocked you into that state of ecstasy and shouldn't scare you away. 

Another stellar release which may or may not top their last album depending on how sharp your razor is, and if in fact you are able to grow a beard. Keep an extra pair of drawers close as a precautionary measure cause you are in for a messy treat.

-The Huntsman

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Rollins Band – Weight

Remember back in the mid 90s when the big labels and mainstream media looked everywhere for new genuine rock to sign and play? Grunge was in full swing and Headbangers Ball, Alternative Nation and 120 Minutes on MTV was the the thing to look at to discover new music. Those were the days of Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Faith No More, Dinosaur Jr. And of course Rollins Band.

Now, Henry Rollins is a counterculture icon and rightfully so considering his part in Black Flag and as a voice in punk rock. These days Uncle Henry has retired from music but is doing endless spoken word tours around the world. He is an actor, writer and a radio host on KCRW where he is playing two hours of cool music very week. The man seems to have 48 hours in one day.

But back to 1994. This might be the best music year ever considering the amount of classic albums that were released back then. Google it, there are too many to mention here. But Rollins Band released Weight and had a massive hit on MTV with Liar and a minor hit with Disconnect from that very album.

Produced by Theo Van Rock it is the follow up to The End Of Silence released two years earlier that had almost the same line up apart from the new bass player Melvin Gibbs who had a quite intresting non-rock background. And that might have been contributing to the grooviness and new heaviness of Weight.

Rollins has never been afraid to mix things up musically. Black Flag had it's jazzy moments and with Rollins Band he really streched it on Weight. Tracks like Fool and Wrong Man is more of a groove affair than a bone crushing punk rock attack. But the cracking of bones is present in stuff like Civilize and Icon. And in Volume 4 in which Rollins Band turns into that monster of the riff honouring its name with Henry screaming his lungs out.

I love this album because of it's diversity and nonconformist attitude. And it is the high point of Henry Rollins creativity as a musician in my book. I listen to this album today and it doesn't feel dated or old. The production is as good today as it was back then and the songs are stellar.

-The Void

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bandcamp Bonanza – 4/20 Edition

Well it’s not 4/20 by the time this publishes, but it’s within an acceptable time frame to put that as the title for this round of bonanza fodder at camp. We know those of you that partake in the 420 festivities will be partaking regardless of the date, so cheers and happy day to all of you. The gift that keeps on giving (bandcamp) has given us more awesome albums, literally on a daily basis. Check out these fantastic albums I rummaged up recently.

Fuddge- EP
Based out of Weinsburg, Germany we have this band named Fuddge. It was a challenge getting me to push play initially just based on the name being somewhat silly. They added an extra‘d’ to avoid copyright infringement of your grandma’s baked goods at Christmas. I made the corny analogy anyway in my short review on bandcamp. This self-titled EP absolutely blew my mind when I finally got around and gave it a good listen. Plenty of styles to keep a rock fan happy including bluesy riffs, stonerized vocal howls, and psychedelic grooves aplenty. This thing shows promise like I haven’t seen in a while.

Oozing with heavy blues and glistening with jaw dropping psych, Fuddge soothe the musical craving with a mind bending fuzz fest powdered with sensational atmospherics. Eat this shit up, it's all organic and loaded with lysergic groove. Favorite track: Lilith.

THAL - Glitter
THAL, short for The Heathens Are Loose are comprised of just one man believe it or not. I did not realize that upon purchase, nor until after nearly a dozen listens later reading an interview on the blog page Metal Nexus here talking with the mastermind Vince Green about the project. Anyhow, whether or not you read the cool interview you should make sure and find some time to listen to this album. It played on repeat for almost a full week upon discovery and still gives me that love and feeling like the first time the burning riffs and intoxicating vocals graced my speakers. Below my mini-review starts off with a line from one of the songs, just letting you know. I just couldn’t resist getting weird. The album is amazing in every sense of the word.

This is your homework Larry. The fucking Heathens Are Loose with a wildly melodic fuzz, pile driven with savage distortion and sensational groove. Favorite track: Whistleblowers.

Red Scalp - Rituals
Rituals summons a combination of heavy worth telling your friends about. Red Scalp rock hard, there is not much more to say than that. Great accessible vocals, gargantuan riffs with beefy hooks and doomy atmosphere keep you intrigued throughout each of its lengthy songs. Well done guys, well fucking done!!

Rituals is a healthy dose of Native American desert rock straight outa Poland! The vocals cry with dreamy reverb as the colossal riffs concoct a spiritual groove. The doom length songs are weighted with sludgy girth but balanced with a stamina fit for a heavy stoner rock connoisseur.

Red Sun Cult – Red Sun Cult
Red Sun Cult stole the show one day while venturing into the stoner/psych/blues territory of camp. This one definitely has more of a jammy psych factor to it tripping out with extended instrumental intros before absolutely exploding with searing vocals rasping like a punk rocker lost in the desert.

“The guitar solos glow like a starlit sky on acid, the fuzzy riffs warm like a garage lined with shag, and the latent punk energy lingers effortlessly taking on the form of the heavy blues dressed in tie-dye. The riffs are endless and the psych factor is immense.”

Don’t pass this one up; join the cult, the Red Sun Cult.

 -The Huntsman

Friday, April 29, 2016

Holy Grove - S/T

I’ve become aware of a trend towards sabbathy, melodic, heavy stoner-doom bands with female singers lately.  Had the stoner-doom scene not always been so utterly male-dominated, I might not have noticed… but, you know, it was. 

As such, it’s impossible not to take note of the recent emergence of bands like Windhand, Ruby the Hatchet, and Holy Grove, all of whom are female-fronted, and all of whom fucking slay.

Holy Grove brings something interesting to the table, in that the tones are thick and sludgy, while the riffs shift back and forth from contemporary doominess to almost classic rock-esque at times. 

Recorded by Billy Anderson, this actually doesn’t feel like a Billy Anderson record – and by that I mean he didn’t do that thing that wrings a Melvin-esque sound out of every band he works with.  Maybe it’s been a while since I listened to Billy’s work, or maybe he took a gentler approach with someone who clearly has their own vibe and didn’t necessarily need that Anderson crunch to sound thick and heavy on tape. 

The vocal question, to me, has the potential to be pretty polarizing:  would this record and band sound as good with a male vocalist?  In other words, should it be worth mentioning the vocals for their female distinctiveness? 

I guess it depends where you stand on the whole political correctness issue.  I mean, we agree that we have a black president, right?  We don’t have to tiptoe around that?  So then, we can agree to discuss the merits of the vocals in gender-free terms while acknowledging that it’s indeed a woman belting them out.  Agreed?

I like what she’s doing.  It’s not the elastic operatic thing that some female metal singers do, nor is it the breathy, Mazzy Star-possessed by demons thing.  She’s just letting it rip, God of Rock style.  Or, Goddess of Rock, I mean.  Whatever.  It works.  It rocks.

If you like your Windhand a little less graveyardy, your Ruby the Hatchet a bit more seismic, and your stoner rock a few ounces less testosterone-fueled… or you just want to hear a quality fucking stoner-doom record, then check out Holy Grove’s debut full-length.  Available now here.

— MeteorJadd

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Blackwitch Pudding – Betty Kougar/Herman The Worm Man

Blackwitch Pudding are back with this new 7” release, and they've brought along a special guest, Soul Wizard, to belt out some vocals. I don't want to give away too much, but if you're a fan of Witch Mountain, especially the last few albums, I think you'll recognize Soul Wizard pretty easily. This is definitely a collaboration made in heaven. Or hell, depending on your perspective.

There are just two songs on offer here, but man are they good ones. Both songs are about pretty despicable characters. Herman the Worm Man, especially, will make your skin crawl. If you know this band from previous releases, you know that they blend some very tasty heavy music with some tongue in cheek, often very funny lyrics. These tracks are no different. You can look at the titles and figure out what the songs are about, but you will still get a kick out of the lyrics, and fortunately they are sung very clearly and distinctly so you get full value.

Don't mistake this for some kind of joke or parody release, though. There is some serious heaviness going on in the music. These guys get lumped into doom or stoner rock a lot, but they seem to me to be a good, solid, heavy rock band. Just because the subject matter is a little over the top doesn't mean there is some Weird Al stuff going on here. If you enjoy heavy music then you will dig this little taste of the Pudding.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Drawers - S/T LP


Customer Reviews

Wonderful!  A history buffs dream come true!

False advertising!

I've always wondered what kind of drawers Napoleon used to store his belongings.  Now I know!

Underwhelmed by Charles de Gaulle's use of faux-wood paneling.  I expected a more distinguished material.

The brochure promised I could see Marie Antoinette's drawers.  I did not expect them to be wooden boxes with metal handles.  Highly dissatisfied!

Totally titillating!

I am shocked Notre-Dame would allow such a treasure out of their sight!

Total ripoff!

It's amazing that any drawers were left unscathed by the Nazi occupation but some managed to survive.  Thank goodness!  I would have liked a few more examples from the Maginot Line but I guess beggars can't be choosers.

Thank you!  With your help I managed to pull off the best practical joke I've attempted in years!

Greetings waveriders.  I have a confession to make.  I've been listening to the self-titled album from the French band Drawers off and on for a couple of years at this point.  Based off that information anyone with half a brain would inevitably reach the conclusion that I like this music.  Since that is clearly the case you might ask why I have not yet written about this album?  Well, I don't really have a good answer so I am going to rectify my lapse in coverage right now.

Drawers is one heck of an album!  When I'm in the mood for some sludge metal with a more melodic slant to it then I know exactly where I can get my fix.  The eight songs that make up this album's thirty minute run time waste no time delivering their sonic payload.  If you require your metal to foreshadow future headbanging with mood setting introductory passages look elsewhere.  The listener hits play and the audio explosions begin.  It's as simple as that. 

What makes Drawers stand out to my ears over other bands in the sludge metal genre?  One aspect that immediately grabbed my attention was Niko Bastide's vocals.  Yes they're almost entirely screamed/growled, but there is such a wide-ranging tonality to the screaming/growling that his voice is better able to match what the rest of the band is creating.  Speaking of what the rest of the band is doing there is an altogether elevated sense of melody to their music in general.  The riffs, while entirely massive and royally distorted, make me happier while I listen to them.  Can you say that about many sludge metal acts you've come across?  I know I can't.

While I enjoy all eight songs I understand that all of you reading this may not have thirty minutes to listen to the full album.  That being the case I'd like to highlight two of my favorite songs off of Drawers.  The first is called "It's All About Love" and the second is entitled "Shadow Dancers".  Conveniently there is an official music video for the latter.  Listen to these two killer tracks and you'll hear exactly why I continue to be so enthused over this band's work.

Head to Kaotoxin Records Bandcamp page to get your digital copy of Drawers or track down a hard copy from either Kaotoxin's online shop or your favorite music outlet.  However you obtain these tunes, your mission once you have them is straightforward.  Crank the volume and rock out!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DESERTFEST LONDON: stage times are up, weekend tickets almost sold out!

- DESERTFEST LONDON 2016 - 5th Anniversary -
April 29th to May 1st in Camden, London
3-day pass (ALMOST SOLD OUT!): £100
Friday only: £40 // Saturday only: £40
 Sunday only: £45 (Electric Ballroom only: £25)
Running order will be available on the Desertfest website soon. For the first time, the festival will release a mobile app with stage times and useful infos to use during the weekend.  
The festival has also teamed up with Camden Lock Hotel to offer attractive accomodation + ticket packages to the festival-goers. Details and prices are available at this location

Get more infos on the Desertfest website 
Follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
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