Monday, December 18, 2017
Sarah Schonert is very creative, writing, recording, and producing original pieces out of her home studio in Peoria, IL. Sarah is a multi-instrumentalist and singer that loves her gear and software. Her style is rooted in classical piano, supported by electronic vsts, loopers, ambient washes, carefully crafted arps, and assorted instruments she has collected over the years.
The opening track “Astound Me” offers a minimal sound while still being completely engaging, plus the vocals add warmth that perfectly sets the scene for what’s to come on the rest of the album. “Tree with Feet” has delicate sound that is upbeat and charming. “Glacier Dive” has a thrumming melody with an industrial-lite aspect that made for a thrilling listen. “Penguin Party” has a quirky intro that will grab your attention with peculiar noises that slowly come together. Closing off the album, “Get Thee to a Nunnery” is a gentle track with a swaying beat and soothing vocals that provides the perfect ending to Penguin Party.
With interesting sounds and clean production, this is an album that you might have to take around the block a few times, but it will grow on you and make you a fan. I think I will go and check out some of her older material now…and you should too!
Sunday, December 17, 2017
Swedish Heavy Rockers, Nekromant, Sign to Ripple Music for Exclusive World-Wide Deal; New Album Coming Soon!
Ripple Music is thrilled to announce one of Sweden's heaviest new bands, Nekromant, to it's growing family of some of the best of modern heavy rock.
Nekromant is a Swedish heavy metal band known for delivering a raw, gritty and honest brand of the music they love. Formerly known as Serpent, the band unleashed their 2015 debut album conveniently entitled "Nekromant", an album filled to the brim with heavy, blues-laced heavy metal worship.
2017 marked the release for the bands second coming, a dark and heavy entity entitled "Snakes & Liars" which has received unanimous praise from both old and new listeners.
Wearing their inspirations on their sleeves, NEKROMANT is still carrying the torch for simple, old school and straight-forward metal and will continue to do so.
"The 2018 album will be our strongest one to date. Still in the same vein, still simple and still honored to be representing the music that we live for. We are truly proud to finally be a part of Ripple Music and the Ripple family. This is a friendship we cherish and one that we hope will help us deliver our new album in the best way possible."
Keep your eyes open for Nekromant's Ripple Music debut to come later in 2018
Adam Lundqvist- Guitars
Mattias Ottosson - Bass/Vocals
Joakim Olsson - Drums
California-based Ripple Music is widely regarded as one of the world's leading record labels for heavy psych, Stoner, Doom, and heavy rock. Ripple releases are available world-wide in physical and digital form via all standard channels and records stores, as well as at the Ripple Music website and Ripple Music Bandcamp page. Check out www.ripple-music.com for more all info and news
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Winter is definitely here and the colder temps have surely caused a sluggish output of bonanza material for you all. Sorry about that. It’s not that I am too cold to write these features up, it’s more of the same old excuse. Busy at work, family is needy, I am lazy, etc…. However, my listening habits are the easy part to keep up on. I have not stopped listening. To tell you the truth the more time goes on the more I seem to listen to new and exciting music and the less I find myself reflecting on it via this feature on the blog. Anyhow, I will try to be better at consistency and have a handful of albums to keep your fire kindled in the meantime.
Old Major – OK
Nothing screams winter like that Bear on the cover and Old Major have unleashed a beast of an album on OK. Released back in August it’s been sweltering in my collection and just recently came back up on the radar after digging back through the archives and realizing I hadn’t mentioned it yet in the bonanza feature. Old Major have a very unique twist of different sounds. I described their last album out on R.A.I.G. Records as a blend of QOTSA and Red Hot Chili Peppers. That might not be entirely accurate on OK, but the album surely stands out from the pack with its eclectic breed of heavy groove. Slow rumbling basslines, heart throbbing vocals, and mind traversing atmosphere keeps the pace alive on OK. Not a dull moment. Highly recommended to get you out of the cliché stoner rock gutter.
Mountainwolf – Absinthe Moon
The latest album by Mountainwolf maintains that Spongbob album cover pattern, as well as staying true to a progressive wall of piledriving fuzz they demonstrated on their debut. This is one epic release I am impatiently waiting for on vinyl.
Mountainwolf have fermented a potent elixir of downtrodden grunge meets celestial doom on their latest ‘Absinthe Moon’. This is the kind of album you finish up and feel like you’ve just awoken from some sort of demented, yet wet, dream, pushing the repeat button like snooze on a Monday morning. Entrenched with epic groove, serene riffs and enchanted melody. It’s a grower and a shower.
Bottle – Where Here Is
This one kind of took me by surprise and gets better with each listen. I can’t help but be reminded of Witchcraft back when I first discovered them. Bottle has that occult ring to it and names a song Witchcraft which undoubtedly ode’s the band. Winter may be here in the states but these Aussies are waxing up there surf boards and hitting the water to cool down. Wherever you reside, Bottle will surely sooth you in a good way.
Where Here Is is where it is in the realm of slow-baked doomy fuzz. Bottle shake up a frothy head of groove guzzled by mournful croons and occult infused blues. Bottoms up!
Elkhead – Swamp City Vol. 2
These guys just do it for me. Can’t believe there isn’t more attention on their bandcamp page. Why don’t you join in on the fun. It’s about the price of that overpriced coffee you claim you need. However, listening to good shit like this will keep you wide awake without caffeine and in an unlimited streaming format and choice of high quality download type.
Take the hard rock swagger of Mick Jagger dosed with the druggy haze of Jim Morrison, shake it up in a barrel of SoCal beach sand and you’ve got the mystic rockabilly flair of Elkhead. Prime-time psych-ridden grit floating like a rusty surf board on a tidal wave of whiskey.
Redscale – Set in Stone
This one immediately caught my attention with it smashing vocal performance and conceptual song titles. The melodic chorus runs and solos add a nice flair to the intimidating album cover.
This album cover describes the sounds within. The muscular vocals drag weighty metallic riffs barefoot across a petrified atmosphere of fuzz. The songs have big, fat, catchy chorus's and endless grooves driven by a raspy power vocal.
Smoke Healer – Highway Meets the Sky
Talk about Ripple Rock, Smoke Healer diagnoses the need for speed and riffs on this stoned out sexy album leaving you in with the Ripple Quivers. No, they aren’t on Ripple Music, but we were joking about a new genre category and one thing led to another our Ripple Nipples were standing on end. I did tell you it was cold outside, but make sure you don’t change out of those short shorts.
I came for the denim and stayed for the turbo charged riffs (and denim).
Fire in the Field – War Bonnet
This may very well be one of my favorite new albums on bandcamp. The guitarist is something else. One hell of a frontman and what gets me excited about these guys is they are young, they are ambitious and those little guitar ditties scattered throughout the songs give this one a vibrant feel.
Not only does War Bonnet extinguish the flames set by the scorching debut Gypsy Tea Room, it retains the rock n roll fury with another layer of banging guitar licks, catchy grooves, and stage commanding vocals. Those guitar freak outs buried within seal the deal rather nonchalantly.
Sorry if I bombarded you this round. I was playing a bit of catchup trying to stay warm. I’ve definitely stocked up on tunes and will have more coming soon including the Best of Bonanza 2017 edition where I plan to list my favorite bandcamp finds of the year. Wish me luck there.
Friday, December 15, 2017
Greetings waveriders! It's your old pal Penfold coming to you with a new musical recommendation. Today I'd like to highlight an enchanting album that managed to escape my notice when it was initially released. Thankfully I stumbled upon it recently and these tunes have been played repeatedly ever since. Yes my friends, This Guitars from Grandkids is definitely worthy of your time and interest!
What makes this release so interesting to my ears is the difficulty I have in firmly nailing down an accurate description of the band itself. Is Grandkids a folk/americana outfit? Yes, I would say the bedrock of the group's sound is folk music but that is simply the jumping off point. From there you must factor in noise rock, classic rock, jazz, as well as more exotic musical strains that influence the proceedings. Also, vocalist Vivian McConnell effortlessly grabs the listener's attention thanks to her elegant, insistent voice. Her tonality and the technique she utilizes remind me of Exene Cervenka.
Grandkids' songs fluidly lead into one another but they don't hesitate to throw curveballs. For example album opener "Dust Cabin" begins with a rather subdued, confident swagger. Shortly thereafter the listener is hit with heavily distorted guitar along with thumping, downbeat-emphasizing drums. You might expect the remaining songs to follow a similar sonic template. Two tracks later however "Dinner Women" sounds like the result of adding discordant melodies to a 1960s psychedelic folk song. "Only To Be Blue" is a wonderfully jazzy number. "Royal Jam" leans heavily on a noise rock vibe. "Pinball" could have been taken from the sessions which spawned Led Zeppelin III.
What I am attempting to say waveriders is that despite all the unique qualities of these songs, they combine to form a bewitchingly cohesive whole entitled This Guitars. I used a descriptor in my introduction to this review and I'm going to use it again. Grandkids produce enchanting music. Feed your ears and pick up your copy of this album today!
Thursday, December 14, 2017
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY Issues Part Four Of Their No Cross No Crown Video Series; North American Tour With Black Label Society Nears
[photo by Dean Karr]
View / Share CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's latest video blog at:
Part four of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's No Cross No Crown video blog series is now playing. In an interview conducted by J. Bennett, the band discusses their sound evolution from their earliest days to now.
Watch the clip at the Nuclear Blast YouTube channel HERE.
View previous clips:
Part One - How It Feels To Be "Back:" HERE
Part Two - Working With John Custer: HERE
Part Three - Expectations Of Making A New Record With Pepper Keenan: HERE
No Cross No Crown, which marks the first recording with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan in over a decade, will see worldwide release on January 12th, 2018 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment on CD, digital, vinyl, and cassette formats. Various preorder bundles are currently available at nuclearblast.com/coc-nocrossnocrown.
Listen to CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's first single from No Cross No Crown, "Cast The First Stone" HERE.
Watch the band's recently-issued video for "Wolf Named Crow" at THIS LOCATION.
Recording in North Carolina with longtime producer John Custer, No Cross No Crown sounds as though no time has passed between 2005's In The Arms Of God and today. Some of these new jams sound like they could've easily appeared on Wiseblood or Deliverance, two of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's most revered records. Beefy Southern stompers like "The Luddite," "Little Man," and "Forgive Me" are interspersed with melancholy guitar interludes like "No Cross," "Matre's Diem," and "Sacred Isolation" - just like Sabbath used to do in the '70s. "We started doing that on Deliverance," Keenan points out. "My theory on that is that if you're trying to make a record flow, you need to break it up a little. When you need a breather, write an interlude. I like writing those mellow pieces just to space things out and make the next thing come in heavier."
Of course, the band recognized that any new CORROSION OF CONFORMITY album with Keenan out front would be analyzed, scrutinized, and held up for comparison with aforementioned gems like Deliverance and Wiseblood. "That was in the back of my mind the whole time," Keenan acknowledges. "The big thing for me was trying to write songs that have the same attitude and caliber that we were used to doing. I didn't wanna get out there like some 50-year old dude making a mediocre record."
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY will join Black Label Society for a mammoth North American live takeover this winter. The tour begins December 27th, 2017 in Denver, Colorado and will wind its way through nearly four dozen cities, the journey coming to a close February 27th, 2018. Additional support will be provided by Eyehategod and Red Fang on select shows. See all confirmed dates below.
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY w/ Black Label Society, Eyehategod (12/29 - 1/20; 2/11 - 2/27), Red Fang (1/26 - 2/09):
12/27/2017 Ogden Theatre - Denver, CO
12/29/2017 Anthem at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Sioux City, IA ^
12/30/2017 Uptown Theater - Kansas City, MO ^
12/31/2017 Pop's Nightclub - Sauget, IL^
1/02/2018 Sokol Auditorium - Omaha, NE^
1/03/2018 House Of Blues - Chicago, IL ^
1/04/2018 Egyptian Room at Old National Centre - Indianapolis, IN ^
1/05/2018 The Fillmore Detroit - Detroit, MI ^
1/07/2018 Upstate Concert Hall - Clifton Park, NY ^
1/08/2018 M Telus - Montreal, QC ^
1/09/2018 Rebel - Toronto, ON ^
1/10/2018 20 Monroe Live - Grand Rapids, MI ^
1/12/2018 Diamond Ballroom - Oklahoma City, OK ^
1/13/2018 Bomb Factory - Dallas, TX ^
1/14/2018 Emo's - Austin, TX ^
1/15/2018 House Of Blues - Houston, TX ^
1/17/2018 House Of Blues - New Orleans, LA ^
1/18/2018 Marathon Music Works - Nashville, TN ^
1/19/2018 Bogart's - Cincinnati, OH ^
1/20/2018 Center Stage - Atlanta, GA ^
1/26/2018 Jannus Live - St. Petersburg, FL *
1/27/2018 House Of Blues - Myrtle Beach, SC *
1/28/2018 The Ritz - Raleigh, NC *
1/29/2018 The Fillmore Silver Spring - Silver Spring, MD *
1/31/2018 PlayStation Theater - New York, NY *
2/01/2018 The Palladium - Worcester, MA *
2/02/2018 Aura - Portland, ME *
2/03/2018 Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA *
2/05/2018 Town Ballroom - Buffalo, NY *
2/06/2018 The Goodyear Theater at East End - Akron, OH *
2/07/2018 Stage AE - Pittsburgh, PA *
2/08/2018 Eagles Ballroom Club Stage - Milwaukee, WI *
2/09/2018 Myth Live - St. Paul, MN *
2/11/2018 O'Brians Event Centre - Saskatoon, SK ^
2/12/2018 The Ranch Roadhouse - Edmonton, AB ^
2/14/2018 Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, BC ^
2/16/2018 Bowes Event Center at Revolution Place - Grande Prairie, AB ^
2/17/2018 MacEwan Hall - Calgary, AB ^
2/19/2018 Showbox SoDo - Seattle, W ^
2/20/2018 Roseland Theater - Portland, OR ^
2/21/2018 Ace Of Spades - Sacramento, CA ^
2/23/2018 House of Blues - Las Vegas, NV ^
2/24/2018 The Marquee - Tempe, AZ ^
2/25/2018 Sunshine Theater - Albuquerque, NM ^
2/27/2018 The Fonda Theatre - Los Angeles, CA ^
^ w/ Eyehategod
* w/ Red Fang
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is:
Pepper Keenan - vocals, guitar
Woodroe Weatherman - guitar
Mike Dean - bass, vocals
Reed Mullin - drums, vocals
Deluxe 400-page softcover book with foreword by Civ of Gorilla Biscuits
This deluxe softcover runs 400 pages, features a foreword by Civ of Gorilla Biscuits, includes a full-color insert, and after is available HERE. This is the latest authoritative and exhaustive leap by Bazillion Points into the vast demi-world of a powerful DIY subculture. Launch events were mobbed at the Sonos NYC store, Bridge 9 Records in Boston, and Hold Fast Records in Asbury Park, NJ, where Tony Rettman sat for a riveting Q&A with Minor Threat's Brian Baker.
Starting in 1981 via Minor Threat's revolutionary call to arms, the clean and positive straight edge hardcore punk movement took hold and prospered during the 1980s, earning a position as one of the most durable yet chronically misunderstood music subcultures. Straight edge created its own sound and visual style, went on to embrace vegetarianism, and later saw the rise of a violent militant fringe. As the "don't drink, don't smoke" message spread from Washington, D.C., to Boston, California, New York City, and, eventually, the world, adherents struggled to define the fundamental ideals and limits of what may be the ultimate youth movement.
Tony Rettman traces the story of straight edge from adolescent origins to enduring counterculture via fresh first-hand accounts from the clear and alert members of Minor Threat, SS Decontrol, Youth of Today, DYS, Slapshot, Uniform Choice, 7 Seconds, Stalag 13, Justice League, Chain of Strength, No for an Answer, Insted, Gorilla Biscuits, Judge, Bold, Project X, Lärm, Brotherhood, Shelter, H2O, Half Off, Resurrection, Raid, Strife, Earth Crisis, Vegan Reich, Mindset, Stop and Think, Mouthpiece, Floorpunch, Ten Yard Fight, Mental, Fucked Up, Trial, Have Heart, Praise, Clear, the Geeks, and many others.
Time Out New York calls the book: "a trip through the storied history of the straight edge punk movement, from its origins in 1981 as a call-to-arms from the band Minor Threat to its later flourishing as a fully-fledged counter-culture manifesto."
"What separates hardcore from punk is that punk was just saying, 'fkck this place.' Hardcore was saying, 'let's make a difference. Let's make our minds stronger and focus.'"
- Toby Morse, H2O
"We were out to create a revolution. We loved the power and energy of hardcore, but not the whole self-destructive punk ethos. We were into being healthy and living clean, mean, and smart."
- John Porcelly, Youth of Today
"Straight edge became a religion. It's a very strange feeling to be one of the unwitting founders of this religion."
- Jeff Nelson, Minor Threat
"I'm honored to be part of this book, which accurately recalls a counterculture within a counterculture, a movement that changed the course of so many people's lives, including my own. Straight edge gave us some stable footing and handrails in a confusing time, and provided us a soundtrack of hard, positive, and life-affirming music to craft our progressive and positive adult lives. This book will serve as a crucial and authoritative glance into that world, shining light for fans around the globe on a time that we will never forget."
- Ray Cappo, Youth of Today
"I fxcking loved it! The SSD stuff was amazing, they were my game changer. I also really loved the Uniform Choice chapters. It's a great book. Tony Rettman has done it again, and I'm stoked to have a small part in it."
- Mike Ferraro, Judge
"I will look forward to having this on our coffee table and showing it and reading it with pride for my role in this beautiful movement, for what you've done and captured, and what straight edge was, is and will be."
- Dave Smalley of DYS/All/Dag Nasty
"Tony Rettman's book is THE CHOICE for a firsthand account of the history, inner workings, and real truth of straight edge, one of the most important cultural influences of the last century."
- Al Barile, SSD
"A fantastic read and a true documentation straight from the people who made this small scene an important piece of music history."
- Dennis Lyxzen, Refused
"I love this book! Everyone's stories are tied together to bring validity to the subject. Rettman covered a lot of ground here, and I'm impressed."
- Steve Larson, Insted
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Angus Black - Angus Black
Antti – Guitar/Vocals, Jyri – Bass, Sampo – Drums
All The Sins is slow dark and heavy plodding along like a snail with stoner rock vocals. I’ll Guide You Home has a mid-tempo Sabbath riff and drum bass rhythm with some very dark soulful vocals. I’m Yours is over 12 minutes of slow plodding droning music that takes you on a trip to who knows where. Incomplete feedback and a great riff that sound like Sabbath slow and heavy with some excellent drums and bass that speeds up for a short while then back to the original pace. Children of The Stars is stoner head banging heaven great riffs time changes and some excellent bass and leads that will have you playing air guitar. Leaving some excellent drums that just plod along then the bass and guitar kick in to slowly drag you to the depths of who knows where.
Void Generator - Prodromi
Gianmarco Lantaffi – Guitar, Sonia Caporossi – Guitar, Enrico Cosimi – Synths, Marco Cenci – Drums
40 Kiloparsecs is prog rock with excellent riffs and strange sounds along with some excellent drumming and bass work kind of like heavy Tangerine Dream. Sleeping Waves strange sounds tripping through your mind and a rhythm that just worms its way into your brain taking you on a trip to far beyond psychedelic space rock at its best. I Am The Brave another trip thru time and spaces and the farthest reaches of your mind just sit back close your eyes and enjoy. Calvary ends this musical odyssey with sounds of a crowd and a band tuning up the slow melodic music that twist and turns its way into your soul.
Babylon A.D. – Revelation Highway
Derek Davis – Vocals/Keyboards/Guitar, Ron Freschi – Guitar, John Matthews – Guitar/Keyboards, Robb Reid – Bass, James Pancheco- Drums
Crash And Burn is classic Babylon AD with an awesome catchy riff and excellent sing along vocals mixed with some shredding guitar. Fool On Fire melodic guitar and soulful vocals with a riff that builds and makes you want to just groove to the beat reminds me of Y&T. One Million Miles is one excellent toe taping sing along power ballad with lots of style and emotion and some awesome lead guitar. Tears vocals that have emotions just dripping from them a riff that will stick with you for days and some awesome musicianship these guys know how to rock. She Likes to Give It would be an excellent song for strippers to use what a rhythm slow and sexy foot tappin and ready to rock. Rags To Riches awesome drum intro with a bass that just makes you wanna groove and a riff that will have you pumping your fist in the air those powerhouse vocals and some screaming lead guitar hell yeah. Last Time For Love takes you on a trip back to the 80s and those great melodic hard rock sing along songs just close your eyes and drift back in time. I’m No Good for You another excellent melodic hard rock metal song with powerful vocals great rhythms and scorching guitar. Saturday Night awesome riff that just takes you back to your youth and the excellent fist pumping sing along songs from the 80’s. Don’t Tell Me Tonight makes your feet start movin and your head start swaying what a great catchy riff that just sticks in your head an awesome song to end the album hard and sweaty.
Isendoral- Lughnasadh MMXVII
Inevitable Product Of The Foretold acoustic Celtic heartfelt slow emotional music with lots of great emotions. Disillusion Into The Earth more Celtic/renaissance style of melodic acoustic music that just warms the soul.
Interstelar – Resin
Kothmann – Vocals/Guitar, Gary Gladson- Guitar, PJ McMullan – Drums, Joe Puccio – Bass
Silo has a driving heavy riff with a tribal drum beat and soaring guitars. Resin a slow steady drum beat then a solid rumbling bass and guitar feedback that turns into a slow BLS style meets the M5/Amboy Dukes type of song. High Horse a melody that slowly builds with a guitar lead that is in the feel of Pink Floyd and some excellent vocals with lots of reverb. Hold it is a straight forward hard rock metal riff that will have you fist pumping and singing along or playing air guitar. Opposite Daze (II) a slower Zeppelin style of riff that just works its way thru your very being. Armada (II) is a Sabbath/BLS feeling riff that works from heavy to lighter and back over and over with lots of emotion and searing lead guitar. Behold a dark heavy riff that is very emotional great vocals and amazing rhythm work. Sequoia is very melodic and back woods southern sounding with maybe an Allman Bros feel.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Ripple Music is thrilled to announce the worldwide release of Cry Witch, the debut album from Austin, TX-based four piece and old school doom metal band, Witchcryer.
As indebted to the heavy rock muscle of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, and Blue Oyster Cult as their doom descendants Witchfinder General, Trouble, and St. Vitus, Witchcryer’s mix of influences puts emphasis on strong riffs, memorable hooks and dynamic strong structures.
Created by guitarist Jason Muxlow during his time with Chicago doom band Earthen Grave (also signed to Ripple Music), the band became his priority when he moved to Austin in early 2015 and began co-writing songs with drummer Javi Moctezuma. ‘The Preying Kind’ demo was recorded and released shortly after the arrival of vocalist/lyricist Suzy Bravo, who joined the band later that same year. With the final addition of San Antonio bassist Marilyn Monroe (Pillcrusher, ex-Las Cruces), the band played its first show in April 2016 and have since been described as “an onslaught” and “revelatory” with Bravo singled out as, “a powerful and amazing stage presence” Negalithic
Having recently completed their first ever US tour with Italian doom band Messa, Witchcryer’s debut album Cry Witch – which had originally been self-released earlier in year on CD – features nine songs of classic doom, produced by the band and Brant Sankey.
The album has already been described as one of the year’s best kept-secrets and as such has been heralded as one of 2018’s most exciting new discoveries. Cry Witch is released worldwide on 19th January 2018 on Ripple Music and you can stream and share the title track ‘Cry Witch’ here – https://soundcloud.com/ripple-music/witchcryer-cry-witch-01-cry-witch
Monday, December 11, 2017
This gem that is 'Heavy Fire' has been out for a while now and like very fine wine, it has aged amazingly well. And that’s the reason why I took my time to write this review. Black Star Riders have been close to my heart from the moment I heard they had formed. After all, Scott Gorham from my favourite band of all time, Thin Lizzy, got the band going with Ricky Warwick from another favourite band, The Almighty, so of course, I would be into them. Even though their first two albums, ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ and ‘The Killer Instinct’ are very good in their own right, they both show a band trying to find it’s identity, where especially ‘The Killer Instinct’ quickly lost momentum. And that’s why I used the long time frame to put these words on paper. I wanted to give the new wax time to breathe. And it sure as hell paid off. Because on ‘Heavy Fire’ all the pieces have fallen in place and Black Star Riders are finally Black Star Riders with a killer album to match.
The title track catapults opus number three into orbit immediately with it’s hard, razor sharp riffs and super heavy rhythm section. And I think it’s safe to say that the song epitomizes what Black Star Riders are. Every little piece used to form and shape the band is featured and the end-result is fantastic. ‘When The Night Comes’ keeps the pace with a heavy rocking chorus while the verses bring out that punk and diesel attitude The Almighty perfected. And man, Black Star Riders are on fire. Scott Gorham’s past comes out beautifully in ‘Dancing With The Wrong Girl’. The heritage of Thin Lizzy is all over the place, if you ask me. The storytelling, the harmonies, the solos, you name it, making it a brilliant homage to the best band in the world. ‘Who Rides The Tiger’ hits the ground running as the band elegantly rocks hard, real hard pounding the listeners into the ground with a music barrage of unheard of portions. So by the time ‘Cold War Love’ starts it gives you a chance to catch your breath. Being the closest thing to a ballad it allows an old timer like yours truly to ponder one’s ability to keep up with even older guys who kick your ass so easily. Not that I’m complaining but this sad song of longing and despair is the perfect bridge back into heavier rock territories.
A little bit slower but full of mesmerizing twin-axe harmonies and some sweet bluesy solos, ‘Testify Or Say Goodbye’ grabs you immediately and reels you in hook, line and sinker. ‘Thinking About You Could Kill Me’ ups the ante with a thumping bass guitar line leading the way until the song gradually becomes heavier and rockier. Semi-heavy and bluesy in approach which goes back and forth between sombre explicit parts and more in-your-face attitude, ‘True Blue Kid’ has an amazing exchange between guitarists Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson through the solos and harmonies. Beautiful, waveriders, beautiful! A strange yet spellbinding mix of heavy blues, punk - mainly in the vocal and lyric delivery - and soul ‘Ticket To Rise’ confirms even further that Black Star Riders have honed in on their own sound. Up front and personal, the band is on fire, to say the least. Ending with a more punkish song in ‘Letting Go Of Me’, especially in attitude, the guys add sharp riffs as well as melody resulting in a perfect closer.
An album you go back to time and time again, is the perfect sign of greatness. Whether it’s on constant play or sometimes put away only to be frequently revisited, either way is, in my opinion, one of the biggest compliments you can give a record. And ‘Heavy Fire’ falls into this exclusive group, and then some. Black Star Riders has finally reached that place where everything they do is right, which, in turn, means the album(albums) they release are going to have a great lasting effect. A fantastic third recording by a band who deserves the greatest accolades. Don’t miss out, waveriders!
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Two years after their last outing and after a couple of great tours the Roma rockers Black Rainbows are back with a new drummer and an incredible record coming out in spring via Heavy Psych Sounds!!!
Since the release of their debut album, Twilight in the Desert, in 2007, Roma rockers Black Rainbows have become one of the most essential acts in Europe’s heavy underground. As the spearhead of an entire movement of Italian bands, They’ve issued five full-lengths to-date and are on the precipice of their sixth in 2018, with founding guitarist/vocalist Gabriele Fiori and bassist Giuseppe Guglielmino welcoming new drummer Fillippo Ragazzoni to the fold for the first time.
Across albums like 2010’s Carmina Diablo (recently reissued), 2011’s Supermotherfuzzalicious!!, 2015’s Hawkdope and 2016’s Stellar Prophecy, Black Rainbows’ sound has oozed between classic ‘90s-style stoner fuzz and deep-cosmos psychedelia, drawing on the best of hard-driving space rock to conjure a vibe totally tripped-out and all its own. By bringing Ragazzoni on board, the riffs have gotten tighter and are fuzzed as ever, and two years after their last outing, Black Rainbows enter 2018 refreshed and with well-earned veteran status resulting from countless tours, festival appearances, and their track record of absolutely unstoppable energy.
BLACK RAINBOWS are:
Gabriele Fiori - Guitar & Vocals
Giuseppe Guglielmino - Bass
Filippo Ragazzoni - Drums
Heavy Psych Sounds Records&Booking
CLAMFIGHT: New Jersey Quartet To Release III LP Via Argonauta Records In January; Track Debuted At Doomed And Stoned + Preorders Posted
New Jersey sludge crushers CLAMFIGHT present their third album, III, which will see January release through Argonauta Records. Alongside the album's cover art, track listing, and other details, the band and label have teamed up with Doomed And Stoned webzine to premiere the album's first single, "History Of The Earls Of Orkney."
CLAMFIGHT offers, "We're thrilled to be working with Argonauta for the upcoming release of III. We had a few options available to us however we kept going back to Argonauta because Gero seemed so genuine and honest to work with. We're also pretty tight with the lads in Hollow Leg and they had nothing but great things to report regarding their experience with Argonauta. We're excited about the potential that exists with this budding relationship and look forward to broadening our reach across the Atlantic and helping promote the other great bands on the Argonauta roster!"
With their debut of "History Of The Earls Of Orkney," Doomed And Stoned reports in part, "CLAMFIGHT have always offered up a lot of fun with their song titles and especially their lyrics. This go 'round, they're honed in on a theme, of sorts: the small Scottish islands of Orkney... III transports us to another world, one that is less fantasy and more a part of history, which is always twice as fascinating to me."
Stream the new song at THIS LOCATION.
Booming with five massive tracks which total nearly forty-five minutes of groove-laden sludge-soaked stoner rock jams, CLAMFIGHT sounds more victorious in their thunderous mission than ever before on their third full-length release. III was recorded and produced at Gradwell House Studios in New Jersey by Steve Poponi, with additional recording by Davin Sosa and Christopher Skowronski. The album was mastered by Dave Downham at Gradwell House, and completed with photography by Woody Musgrove, and features guest contributions of lead guitar on "Whale Road" by CWolf, lead vocals on "Echoes In Stone" by Jean Saiz and Janette Valentine, and lead guitar and sonic spookery on "Echoes In Stone" and "Whale Road" by Erik Caplan.
CLAMFIGHT's III will see CD and digital release on January 19th through Argonauta Records; find preorders HERE.
A vinyl pressing of III will see release through Elder Magick with a release date to be announced.
III Track Listing:
1. Whale Road
3. Echoes In Stone
5. History Of The Earls Of Orkney
CLAMFIGHT has booked several new shows to break the new year in, beginning with a record release show for III in Philadelphia with Kings Destroy on January 19th. The next week they head south for two shows with Rukut, playing in Frederick January 26th and Charlottesville the 27th.
Watch for additional audio samples, tour dates, and more to be issued in the weeks ahead.
1/19/2018 Century - Philadelphia, PA *Record Release show w/ Kings Destroy
1/26/2018 Guido's Speakeasy - Frederick, MD w/ Rukut
1/27/2018 TBA - Charlottesville, VA with Rukut
The members of CLAMFIGHT, Joel Harris, Louis Koble, Andy Martin, and Sean McKee, are childhood friends turned grown-ass men who are almost as committed to big riffs as they are to each other. Influenced in equal parts by their dads' vinyl, that sketchy older kid from woodshop class' thrash and hardcore tapes as well as touchstone heavy bands like Sleep, Clutch, Neurosis, Eyehategod, and Mastodon, the band has plied its unique brand of suburban working slob metal up and down the East Coast of the United States since 2005. Having issued a debut album, Vol. I, in 2010, and a second album, I vs. The Glacier, in 2013, the quartet is now poised to release its third full length, III, through Argonauta Records.
Saturday, December 9, 2017
As someone who loves exploring new sounds in music there is something incredibly comforting in knowing that you can always go home again. What does that mean? I'm describing a situation in which you discover an artist you enjoy releases a new collection of songs and you know, music unheard, that you're about to listen to tunes that will reconnect you with what made you love music in the first place. Speaking for myself I recently received the new Love Under Fire EP from Dan Miraldi and sure enough, it helped me return to my original musical happy place.
Thanks to my work at The Ripple Effect I was exposed to Dan Miraldi a few years ago. He had put out a fantastic EP, appropriately titled Tease, which I took great pleasure in reviewing. Sonically Mr. Miraldi expertly mines the classic rock/power pop vein that I identify with based off of the music I was regularly exposed to at a young age. Years have passed but anything this young man releases I find captivating. The Love Under Fire EP is no exception.
"The Sweet Sound Of Protest" explodes out of the gate thanks to its tremendous, rollicking guitar riff. "Love Under Fire" brings the tempo down and features drum programming which reminds me of Nine Inch Nails "Closer". "No Words" hearkens back to haunting psychedelic folk rock. "Fear Is A Powerful Drug" is a Simon And Garfunkel-esque melancholy-filled acoustic ditty. Closing out the EP "Name Of Love" and "Kids Are In The Street" ratchet the energy level back to dangerous levels with big, rockin' choruses.
Waveriders, if you have a hankering to hear some exceptional new music built upon the extraordinary foundation of 1960s and 1970s rock 'n' roll this EP is for you! Dan Miraldi is a superb singer/songwriter who has never disappointed me with his music. Pick up your copy of the new Love Under Fire EP today!
Friday, December 8, 2017
Be prepared as Ripple Music takes over Thee Parkside stage for the second RippleFest!
This time, bigger and badder than ever, RippleFest II (a.k.a The Ripple Rager) features 5 (!) Ripple bands including Montreal's The Hazytones as they stop by on their cross North American Tour.
Jam to the heaviness of The Watchers, The Hazytones, ZED, Blackwulf and War Cloud, Saturday night Feb 3, at 8pm at Thee Parkside in San Francisico. Tickets available at the door and can be pre-purchased at :
Here's the facebook event page with more info!
Don't miss one of the Bay Area's premiere heavy events of 2018!
California-based Ripple Music is one of the world's leading purveyors of heavy psych, stoner, doom and heavy rock. All Ripple releases are available in physical and digital formats world-wide, and at the Ripple Music webstore and Bandcamp pages. Check out the Ripple Music website for all news and information.