Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New Rockers Hi Fi re-issues


We are pleased to announce the release of the second and third Rockers Hi Fi studio albums, Mish Mash and Overproof for the first time on bandcamp.

Mish Mash was originally released on WEA in 1996 and contains classic collaborations with UK rapper Phoebe One as well as Farda P's timeless ode to excess, "Going Under" and the Rockers' take on the Clash's "Ghetto Defendant".  Bonus tracks include the Kruder & Dorfmeister rework of "Going Under" and a rare Rockers dub.

Overproof (1998) saw the outfit returning to their dub/house roots as well as exploring deep house sounds and using more live instrumentation.  Farda P again makes an appearance on "Transmission Central" and the Thievery Corp remix appears as a bonus item along with another extremely rare d&b track, "Mic Check".

Both albums are available at a special discounted price for one month only - use the codes
mish_offer and proof_offer at the checkout on the biggabush bandcamp page.

Monday, February 19, 2018

MAXX THE MUFFIN MAN - Every Summer Since


Maxx the Muffin Man is an 18 year old rapper and song writer working out of his college dorm room in Portland Oregon. This is his new mix tape that he said, “I really hope that whoever listens to this enjoys it, and if it helps anyone through a hard time, then I'd be extremely happy!”

This kind of reminds me of Canada’s rap band Organized Rhyme who put out the great track, “Check The O.R.” and was the group that had “comedian” Tom Green in it back in 1992. Lots of personal lyrics, some positive stuff and a bit of goofy stuff all makes for an interesting listen that will get your head bobbing and has a cool mix of beats. This is something to throw on and get into the flow and cruise along to. Pretty fresh sounding and actually holds up fairly well compared to a lot of the crap that’s out there.

Take a chance if you like hip hop and want something a bit different to listen to, something that has a positive message mixed in. Maxx said, “I almost gave up on life, and music is what allowed me to survive. I hope this mix tape can touch you in a way that music did for me.” If that isn’t a good enough reason to support someone, I don’t know what is.

-Rick Ecker

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Monolord announce tour dates supporting Black Label Society in EU/UK in March

"Universally beloved... Swedish doom royalty." -- Noisey

"A truly modern sound: recognizably doom, but with glistening production values and adventurous songcraft." -- Consequence of Sound

"The Platonic Form of doom...perfection... faultless." -- Echoes & Dust

"Hugely accessible without having sacrificed their crushing heaviness." -- Metal Hammer

"Monolord's records have only gotten heavier, and now the band has taken a turn for the catchy (yet still crushing)." -- Metal Injection

"Rust is perfect; it's as fuzzed out as any of the genre's great records, but the mix is clean and even, allowing the drums and vocals to cut through. Most importantly, there are songs aplenty: you'll be humming the riffs and vocal hooks immediately." -- Metal Sucks

Gothenburg, Sweden trio Monolord announce European & UK tour dates supporting famed Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society band in March and April. Please see all dates below.

Monolord's recently released third album, Rust received universal praise in reviews, and landed atop multiple Album of The Year lists for 2017 -- including the #1 Album of 2017 on the Doom Charts collective of journalists, bloggers, radio and podcasters. Rust is available to hear & share on YouTube and Bandcamp.

Monolord is a rare breed: A band both encompassing and transcending genre; a vortex of heavy rock density that consumes all others. Their thunderous, tuneful heft has built a rabid international fanbase in short order since their 2014 debut. But Rust, the band's third full length, truly exemplifies why some refer to them as the Nirvana of doom.

Monolord's enveloping, syrupy sludge is a vibe, it's a state of mind. Not riffs for riffs sake, but a collective buzzing, rattling and rumbling that's more total environment than collection of songs. Together, guitarist/vocalist Thomas Jäger, drummer Esben Willems and bassist Mika Häkki create a massive, dynamic sound with ultra-low frequencies serving as its fourth member.

"We've always been inspired by great band musicians - as opposed to technical solo peacocks," Willems says. "Because that force of a band really playing together as one single unit is incomparable. At its best, it's just unstoppable." And, Monolord is truly unstoppable, on record and on stage. "A heavy groove that contains both bombastic overkill and a lot of dynamics is what we always aim for in Monolord; in playing, in song writing and arranging, in recording," Willems says.

Album opener "Where Death Meets the Sea" perfectly exemplifies their mastery of dynamics and hooks with a driving, infectious buzzsaw riff that lesser bands would ride off into the sunset, but Monolord uses subtly to spur the song's skull rattling rhythmic core ever onward. Jäger's watery vocals glide over ominously building verses that erupt with the song's insistent refrain. Being such a tight rhythmic unit, it sounds almost like an early ZZ Top record played at half speed. "Dear Lucifer" squeals and hums with slow deliberation as Willems summons Dale Crover pummel with chasm like low-tuned toms and syncopated cymbal crashes. The album's title track is also its centerpiece, opening with a dramatic, shimmering Hammond organ intro as Jäger sings, "you are the reason that I lied/ You are the reason that I cried/ Please don't wait until tomorrow/ There's only pain, hate, grief and sorrow." Suddenly, the band kicks in with a bellowing line downtuned to B that nosedives down the guitar neck as the drums hammer down for the kill. Elsewhere, tastefully understated guitar harmonies elevate the behemoth churn of "Wormland" and apocalyptic album closer "At Niceae" simmers in a slow build of rumbling guitars and rolling drum triplets.

Monolord formed in 2013, quickly recording their 2xLP debut Empress Rising, which RidingEasy Records released in April 1st, 2014. The second album, Vænir, followed April 28th, 2015. The 2-song Lord of Suffering / Die in Haze EP was issued in late 2016 amid the band's relentless touring schedule in order to tide fans over until the next full length. Vænir landed on countless Album of the Year lists in 2015, and Rust is poised to open an entirely new range of possibilities for Monolord.

Rust is available on LP, CD and download, released September 29th, 2017 via RidingEasy Records.

03/08 Paris, FR @ Bataclan
03/09 Toulouse, FR @ Le Bikini
03/10 Vitoria, ES @ Jimmy Jazz
03/11 Santiago De Compostela, ES @ Capitol
03/13 Madrid, ES @ Riviera
03/14 Barcelona, ES @ Razzmatazz
03/16 Milan, IT @ Alcatraz
03/17 Telfs, AT @ Rathaussaal
03/18 Prague, CZ @ Mala Sportovni Hala
03/20 Krakow, PL @ Studio
03/21 Warsaw, PL @ Stodola
03/23 Munich, DE @ Backstage Werk
03/24 Frankfurt, DE @ Batschkapp
03/25 Pratteln, CH @ Konzertfabrik 27
03/27 Cologne, DE @ Live Music Hall
03/28 Berlin, DE @ Huxley's Neue Welt
03/29 Hamburg, DE @ Markthalle
03/30 Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg
03/31 Antwerp, BE @ Trix
04/03 Luxembourg City, LU @ Den Atelier
04/05 London, UK @ Royal Albert Hall

Artist: Monolord
Album: Rust
Label: RidingEasy Records
Release Date: September 29th, 2017

01. Where Death Meets The Sea
02. Dear Lucifer
03. Rust
04. Wormland
05.Forgotten Lands
06. At Niceae

On The Web:

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Nonsun • 'Black Snow Desert' [2xLP] out now!

Nonsun • 'Black Snow Desert' [2xLP] out now!

The Lviv, Ukraine duo Nonsun clearly excels at living up to their disquieting moniker, carefully representing the sound of a world without light. Their seamless blend of sludge, drone, doom, stoner and post-metal crafts the soundtrack to despairing resignation. They inhabit a world vacated by both God and the Devil, where the souls who remain worship at the altar of a living, thriving sorrow; yet against the odds there is a spellbinding beauty that follows this willful abandonment of hope.

From the yawning chasm of album opener "No Pity For The Beast, No Shelter For The Innocent" to the swirling cacophonies of "Rest of Tragedy," Black Snow Desert is a challenging and richly layered sermon on the many faces of sadness and regret. It bares sharp teeth, but within an inviting grin that convinces the listener to subject themselves to whatever suffering it may be that enthralls and beckons them continuously closer to the abyss therein. As with the most difficult trials, the rewards are hard-won and multitudinous. Slow and measured as its painstaking unfolding may be, there remains a breathless sense of purpose, an aching to reveal to the listener sights and sounds they never knew they yearned to witness.

Samantha Muljat's album art brilliantly captures the Nonsun aesthetic – dark and unforgiving, Black Snow Desert also holds promise of an intoxicating mysticism, pulling the listener further along its foreboding, sinuous pathways, eroding apprehension moment by moment as one draws closer toward the ever-dawning realization of the journey's enchanting power. With this release, Nonsun has deftly surveyed the extraordinary endeavor of conquering fear, sadness, and the overwhelming darkness by immersing oneself within the eye of its storm.

Black Snow Desert by Nonsun comes on double colored 180g vinyl in gatefold cover (reverse cardboard). Black inner sleeves. Direct download included!
Release date: Jan. 25th, 2018.

Against PR announces release details for "III" compilation

Against PR will release a new compilation on February 22nd. Entitled "III", this new release will present 22 tracks featuring several sub-genres from the metal spectrum and will offer an opportunity to all metalheads to discover new bands.

"III" will be available on double CD (digisleeve) and digitally.

Tracklist below:

CD 1
1. Crossbones - Messing With The Masses
2. The Outsider- The Invocation (feat. Thomas Vikström & Nalle Påhlsson)
3. Blackest- Mortal Curse
4. Rites to Sedition - The Moon Titan Phylon
5. Blaspherion - Causa Mortis
6. Demon Head - Older Now
7. Godhead Machinery - Tithe
8. Dead Season - Guidestones
9. HIVE - Street Meat
10. Hexenklad - In This Life or the Next
11. RacheEngel - Ascheregen

CD 2
1. VersOver - Enemy
2. Sâmbăta Morților - Pendulum of Madness
3. Atonement Theory - Ominous Sensation
4. NACARBIDE - Lots of Eyes
5. Humanity Check - War Is Coming
6. Death on Arrival - Endless Agony
7. el Camino - Crooked Wand
8. Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf - Lilith Crimson Deep
9. Boneset - Needles
10. Guillotine - Not Worth Saving
11. Von Justice - I Saw Hogan with Jimmy Hart

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fistful of Questions

What do the bands Void Vator, Ironaut and No Legacy Records have in common?  Erik Kluiber.  That’s what.  He’s the head honcho at No Legacy Records, bassist/singer/songwriter in Ironaut and guitarist in Void Vator.  He also happens to be the recipient of this edition of Fistful of Questions. 

Void Vator just wrapped up a string of west coast dates and released a video for the single No Return.  In the midst of all that madness Erik generously agreed to carve out a few minutes to answer my queries.  

What is your full name?
     Erik Michael Kluiber, social security # 666-go-fuck-yourself

Do you have an aliases?
     Ron Kirkland Houser V

If you had an alias what might it be?
     see above

What was the first instrument that you played?

What was the name of the first band you were in?
     The End

What bands are you actively involved with?
     Void Vator and Ironaut

Tell me about No Legacy Records.
     I put out a 9 band vinyl compilation featuring professional up and coming bands that I met through the underground metal scene in 2017.  All the bands are from Southern and Northern California.  I printed 500 limited edition copies.  No Legacy is pressed on 180 gram vinyl and has a printed record sleeve on the inside.  If you're reading this interview, then you are into underground metal and you will dig this compilation.  Order a copy for $15 at http://www.nolegacyrecords.bigcartel.com like the facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/nolegacy

You play guitar (Void Vator) and bass (Ironaut).  Which is your favorite and do you play any other instruments?
     I'm primarily a guitar player and I find more hellistic pleasure playing it. I'm concentrating on improving my home recording skills for band demos and making music for video games.

Tell me about one of your first musical memories?
     Hearing She's a Little Run Away by Bon Jovi on the Radio in the early 80s.  Maybe 82 or so...  That song rocks.

Do you have any non-metal musical inspirations?
     They used to write really good music for tv and movies in previous decades that still get stuck in my head from time to time.  I suppose there are a few good tv songs now like Family Guy, Bojack the Horseman...  I guess South Park...  Hmm...  Brickleberry has a nice short intro song..  But songs like Hill Street Blues, Mash, Batman, Bonanza, etc..  Those were life changing. 

What is your favorite thing about touring?
     Forgetting about the distractions and frustrations of mundane day to day life.  Touring is being on a mission with the successful completion of the rock show being the primary goal every night.  The constant change in scenery, people, and culture makes me feel alive again.

What is your least favorite thing about touring? 
     Vehicle problems

Is there a city that you love to hit while on tour?
     Reno Nevada is like Mad Max meets the Wild Wild West.  It's total freedom and total danger mixed in one.  I LOVE it. 

Do you have a favorite venue to play at?
     The Token Lounge in Detroit has a special place in my heart because it was home base for my Detroit band Overloaded and John Anton has put so much heart, soul and money into the club to make it world class.  The best venues I've ever performed at are Webster Hall in NYC and The El Rey Theater in Los Angeles back when I was in Gypsyhawk and we toured with The Sword...  Oh, and Club Soda in Montreal.  That place is amazing.  Canucks know how to party.  I played Club Soda when I was in White Wizzard on tour with Korpiklaani and again when Gypsyhawk toured with Alestorm.

What band have you played with that has really impressed you with their live show?
     Alestorm's live show, energy, and crowd reaction was probably the best.  That's a band who is better live than in the studio IMO. 

Do you have a pre-show ritual?
     I typically drink one 24 oz PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon)

What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had on the road?
     Having sex with a girl in a tent and then being shocked when she introduced me to her then current boyfriend a few hours later.  Bad Karma.

What is an absolute band killer?
     EGO.  I don't know why someone would have an ego just because they are a good musician. That is just one skill point.  Take a comedian for example.  These guys and girls do stand up, act, write, get paid, get laid, most of them can play an instrument, just about all of them can sing, and they work their set 6-7 days a week.  Get over yourself. Talent is expected, it's part of the job.   

What advice would you give young musicians that are just starting out in the music business? 
     Being in beginning bands is like dating.  Don't think that your first band is going to be "the one".  Once it becomes obvious that the band you're in is not working out, get out and move on to the next.  You're not young for long.  Youth is a MAJOR asset.  Don't waste it.

The year is 1989.  Where are you at and what are you listening to?
     I just moved back to the suburbs of Detroit from Orange County, CA. I was wearing an Iron Maiden T Shirt listening to Megadeth and learning to play a black Ibanez Roadstar II.

If you could insert yourself into any one band what band would it be and why? 
     Void Vator

Have you ever heard a song and immediately wished you had written it?  If so… What was the song and artist?
     Fuck You Bitch by Wheeler Walker Jr.

What’s the longest time you’ve gone without bathing?
     I think proper hygiene is incredibly important and not that difficult.

Iron Maiden or Motorhead (if you had to pick one)?
     Iron Maiden

Favorite book?
     Dragon Lance - Legends series

Favorite movie?
     Conan the Barbarian

Favorite album?
     Megadeth; So Far So Good So What

Favorite meal?
     Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Pancakes or Waffles?
     Waffle House

Describe Patrick McHugh (guitarist for Ironaut) in fifteen words or less.
     I hope he doesn't die this year.

I hope everyone enjoyed this interview as much as I did.  I’m betting Erik is a hell of a guy to hang out with.  Be sure to catch him on the road with Void Vator or Ironaut and while you’re at it you should pick up a copy of No Legacy Vol. 1. 

-El Pedo Caliente  (a.k.a. Uncle Jameson from the Fistful of DOOM show)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

WOODHAWK Announce Canadian "Magnetic North Tour" (AB/SK/MB/ON/QC)!

L-R - Kevin Nelson – Drums,  Mike Badmington – Bass/Vocals, Turner Midzain – Guitar/Vocals

Photo Credit: Mario A Montes

Calgary, AB's masters of straight ahead riff-rock wizardry WOODHAWK announce their 2018 Canadian "Magnetic North Tour" in support of their latest full length album "Beyond The Sun" released April last year and recently named the #12 most played release on the Canadian College Radio Top 20 Loud Charts for 2017 (Source: Earshot). The tour will see the trio trek across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba plus performing for the first time in Ontario and Quebec (dates listed below).

The band comments:

"We're excited to be hitting the road again and heading out East this time. We haven't played past Winnipeg yet and we're stoked to finally make it out there."

WOODHAWK's debut album "Beyond The Sun" was produced by the band with Jesse Gander (Bison, Japandroids) to follow their 2014 self-titled EP.  Made of equal parts 1970's Birmingham and a myriad of 21st century heavy who’s who, WOODHAWK are purveyors of riff-centric rock and roll. Capable and original, the band is able to craft anthemic fist-pumping songs while forgoing tired stoner rock clichés. With time travel tested themes of science fiction, swords and sorcery, the band’s lyrics are born from snowy winters, hot practice spaces and pages of dog-eared paperbacks. While the musicianship reinforces recollections of Black Sabbath, modern influences that have helped you smash air drums or highway speed limits are undeniably present.

'Beyond The Sun' album stream available on Bandcamp at https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com.

The album is available on digital, vinyl and CD.

The band's music video 'The High Priest' can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5g5jTKtEfM 

WOODHAWK "Magnetic North Tour" (AB/SK/MB/ON/QC)

March 21 - Calgary, AB - Ship and Anchor
March 22 - Edmonton, AB - Brixx Bar
March 23 - Saskatoon, SK - Vangelis Tavern
March 24 - Winnipeg, MB - The Handsome Daughter
March 27 - London, ON - Call The Office
March 28 - Hamilton, ON - This Ain't Hollywood
March 29 - Ottawa, ON - House of TARG
March 30 - Toronto, ON - The Bovine
March 31 - Montreal, QC - Quai des Brumes
April 2 - Oshawa, ON - TBA
April 5 - Thunder Bay, ON - Black Pirates Pub
April 6 - Brandon, MB - North Hill Inn
April 7 - Regina, SK - The German Club

Track Listing:
1. Beyond The Sun (3:57)
2. The High Priest (4:46)
3. Living In The Sand (6:03)
4. Magnetic North (4:13)
5. Lawless (3:06)
6. Quest For Clarity (4:14)
7. A New Hope (4:49)
8. Forsee The Future (2:12)
9. Chrononaut (5:19)

Woodhawk is:
Turner Midzain - Vocals/Guitar
Mike Badmington - Bass/Vocals
Kevin Nelson - Drums

For more info:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Xroadie Files

Come Back From The Dead - Caro Data Vermibus
Marcos - Drums, Hector – Guitar, Lago -  Bass, Miguel – Guitars, Paul – Throat

Vomits of A Demonic Infestation dark demonic vocals and death metal riffs grind you into the netherworld.  Caro Data Vermibus heavy plodding stoner meets death like a steam roller smashing you slowly into the ground.  Endless Bloodshed fast heavy thrash death metal with screaming guitars and growling vocals.  Carnivorous Craving From Beyond more grinding evil plodding riffs with demonic vocals.

Dark Hound - Dawning
ET Brown – Bass/Vocals, Evan Hensley – Guitar, Preston Walls – Guitar, Josh Brown – Drums

The Ashes Of Your Worth will take you back to the heyday of classic thrash speed metal great riffs ripping leads and head thrashing riffs.  Guilt Trip slow building into a thrash frenzy of sounds and fast beats has a very Rage from Germany sound.  Carnival Of Youth start the pit cause here comes a riff that will get it going hard and fast.  The Answer excellent shredding lead guitar that builds and builds into a crescendo of thrash heaven.  Crisis Of Hope get out the air guitar and prepare to thrash away with this great song.  Thrown To The Wolves fast heavy and in your face thrash speed metal that will remind you why you enjoyed this style of music.  Stripped Away acoustic guitar then the band kicks in and a great almost thrash progressive sound emerges.  Balancing Act Anthrax meets SOD meets MOD meets testament in this thrash classic style of song.  The Jagged Edge fast heavy but still with melody and some awesome screaming leads.  Thrashgasm get the pit thrashing for this excellent thrash speed metal ripping song.  Here Lies Truth fast heavy in your face riffs that just make you head sway and your fist pump away till the last note.


Devlsy – Private Suite
Giedrius – Guitar, Darius – Bass, Vytautas – Vocals/Drums

Corridors evil sounds build slowly moving toward t you to devour your very soul and drag you to hell.  Hatching Tomb, a weird driving riff and rhythm beat that just makes your heart skip beats evil a diabolical in sounds and feelings.  Bring My Word enveloping you from all around with sounds of evil and eerie feelings.  Patient #6 blast you in the face with a grinding riff that just tries to saw you in half.  Porta Formica slow dreary and evil taking your essence with it.  Horizon Attached dark evil and demonic stealing your soul and eating it.


Djinn And Miskatonic – Even Gods Must Die
Gautham Khandige – Vocals, Sriram Kvlteswaran – Guitar, Mushaf Nazeer – Guitar,
Jayaprakash Satanmurthy – Bass, Siddharth Manorahan – Drums

I, Zombie a slow and steady plodding bass and melodic guitar that builds into a Sabbath style of riff. Bones Of My Brothers is another stoner rock style of slow driving beat that just drags you along. Doombringer steady bass and guitar that takes you back to the days of early Sabbath mixed with psychedelia.  Frost And Steel is slightly heavier and a bit more up tempo but still just kick back and enjoy the trip.  Harvest Of Kings get ready to take a trip back to the early 70s with stoner and psychedelic rock.  Hangman’s Hope ends the album with more stoner psychedelia Sabbath inspired heavy rock that just moves on down the road to oblivion.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Supernaut - Supernaut

Sometime in the distant past…well actually it was 2016…I was attending a now legendary earth-moving event in San Jose known as “Beers In Hell” with about a zillion awesome heavy bands shredding the now closed Johnny V’s bar (R.I.P. Johnny V’s!) down to its’ concrete foundations, and one of the bands that caught my eye and ear was a band called Supernaut.  I mean, really, how can you go wrong with a name like that?  Well, I suppose you could if you were just a cheesy Sabbath tribute band, but these guys were nothing of the sort.  There was a guy with his head down and hair falling down concealing his face as he wailed along with riff after riff of fuzzy, thick…riffs!  (Yeah, I know I used the same word three times in seven words, whaddya want from me?!?  This is a music blog not an 3000 word essay for a high school English final!!!)  There was another guy bobbing his head and hair thumping along with note after note of bassy goodness.  Then there was this clean-cut guy wearing nothing but a pair of shorts absolutely beating the living daylights out of his drum kit as a voice that was 50% Geddy Lee, 50% Rob Halford, and 50% first four Sabbath albums Ozzy (I always did suck at math…) projected from his lungs with the force of a wailing banshee. They tore through their set with a kind of controlled chaos, and even among a lineup of some of the Bay Area and California’s greatest underground heavy bands and quite possibly more than my usual level of beer consumption made a lasting impression on my riff addled brain that night.
The musical progeny of brothers Sean and Oliver Niemann (drums/vocals and guitar respectively) and Will Iermini (bass), Supernaut, though bearing the influence of the godfathers of heavy metal as their moniker alludes to, manage to create a musical brew that reflects a much larger sphere of musical influences.  Supernaut’s furious thick bluesy riffing and nuclear fueled drumming paired with Sean’s high-pitched reverb-soaked vocals lends the songs a sense of psychedelic vibe, reminiscent of the mighty Cream, with time signature changes and breakdowns that would make any hardcore first-four albums Rush fan grin from ear to ear, delivered with a Sabbathy sense of light and shade, able to transition between mellower sections and uptempo hard rock fury seemingly with ease.  Supernaut’s debut promises greatness to come, while delivering the goods in the here-and-now with well crafted tunes that flow gracefully from the first song to the last, with production that allows space for the instruments and the music to breathe.  This is simply 37 and a half minutes of furious rocking spaced-out fun.  It’s available for free download on the band’s Bandcamp site, get on over there and don’t be cheap, throw them ten or fifteen bucks to put in the gas tank!  It will be the best ten or fifteen bucks you spend this week.

1. Crystal Witch Cave 05:13  
2. White Wizard 04:48           
3. Little Fires 02:46    
4. Dragonfire 03:06    
5. Mad Prophet 03:42
6. Mind Control 04:52
7. Warlords 03:46
8. Golden God 05:01
9. Doomspell 04:29

Sean Niemann – Vocals, Drums, Keyboard(Crystal Witch Cave)
Oliver Niemann – Guitar
Will Iermini – Bass, Vocals

Monday, February 12, 2018

THE GREEN DOOR - Wolf In The Fold


Formed in San Francisco in 2008, the band is comprised of Mike Carnahan on lead vocals and guitar, Reese Abell on bass, guitarist Evan Wardell, drummer Vanessa Wolter, as well as Devin Triplett on keys. They mix up spaghetti western and psychedelic music to create their own Western Psychedelic on this new EP.

Sounding like a combination of Jefferson Airplane and Ennio Morricone on these six songs actually works really well and makes for a fun and interesting listen, one that you can go back to again and again. The riff-heavy “Wolf In The Fold” is a great opener that grabs your attention with its mix of styles and a thick sound. The acid alt-country of “Back to Houston” lays on the dirty playing and is a gritty song that has some “twang” in the guitar playing that really gives it that country feel. “You Won’t Hear That Anymore” comes closest to being a straight psychedelic track compared to the others. “Rivers” starts off with vocals that I can’t understand, almost native sounding and then goes quiet for a few seconds and then the band kicks things into gear with a twangy and peppy song that perfectly ends things off on this great EP.

A mix of styles that I never thought would work well together has just blown my expectations away and given me something thrilling to listen to, an original and unique band that will make your ears happy and make you look forward to their next release. 

-Rick Ecker

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Ripple Conversation With Jeremy And Justin From Mr. Plow

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?

Jeremy: I was always a fan of heavy music, beginning with Kiss when I was about 6. Growing up in a small town, the most accessible heavy music in the 80s was the glam or “hair” metal. Gun n’ Roses was a little different and exciting, but it was discovering bands like Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Nirvana in the early 90s that really grabbed me.

Justin: I was a bit of a late arriver to the rock/metal scene.  I was pretty much a new wave kid through most of high school.  Hearing the Cult for the first time—Love and then Electric—was a big deal for me.  I’d say they were the band that transitioned me toward rock, and I still love their stuff.  Ian Astbury remains one of my favorite vocalists.  I met Jeremy my freshman year of college, and he began turning me on to more rock and metal.  The real standout was Alice in Chains, although I love pretty much all the grunge stuff.  I think that prepared me for my real epiphany a few years later, which was seeing the video for Kyuss’s Green Machine on Headbanger’s Ball.  I was hooked immediately and have been a stoner rocker through and through ever since.

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?

Jeremy: Most of the time, it starts with riffs. These days, Greg and Justin write the majority of the songs. I sometimes come up with riffs that get turned into songs when we all get together and collaborate. Occasionally, Justin or Greg will record rough Garage Band versions of whole songs that we will then collaborate on.

Justin:  I’d agree it mostly starts with riffs, although occasionally I’ll hear a vocal melody in my head first and come up with a riff that suits it.  Even when we have full Garage Band demos, the songs never really come together completely until the four of us are in a room together playing them at high volume.

How did the band originally get together?  The how did you reform after the long hiatus?

Jeremy: Justin and I met as freshmen in college and became friends. I had been playing guitar for a while, but not consistently. He was interested in guitar, so I traded my old first guitar to him for a bunch of comic books. Then we just started playing, and formed a band with some other friends I knew from growing up in a town about 30 miles south of Houston - Alvin, TX (one of whom, Chad Robinson, went on to form the band Dynamite Hack). I knew Greg from high school, also, and he would sometimes come to our practices. We eventually started playing together along with another guy from Alvin, David Obert, on drums. This was about 1997. In 2006, after we had self-released 3 albums, Greg decided to go to chiropractic college in Florida. Mr. Plow played a few shows with Ben Yaker on bass, but it slowly fizzled out.  Justin went on to sing in Sanctus Bellum with Ben.  Cory Cousins, a friend of Ben’s who had played in Ben’s other bands, played drums for Sanctus Bellum. Greg moved back to Houston, and after not playing for a long time, Mr. Plow got asked to play a show, and Dave was not interested in continuing.  So Cory played drums. We all had a lot of fun practicing and playing that show that we decided to write some new songs and keep it going!  We are having more fun than ever now.

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

Jeremy:  Popular culture usually.

Justin:  My actual life is pretty boring, so I typically look to novels and comic books for inspiration.

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

Jeremy:  Houston is a great place to live, but not somewhere you would really want to visit. It’s hot and humid most of the time. There is a lot to do, though, if you live here, and it’s relatively inexpensive for a big city. It has always been behind Austin and Dallas as far as music goes, but there is a thriving scene here now. There is really a lot of camaraderie, whereas in the past there seemed to be more of an air of competition.

Justin:  We spent a lot of years playing to pretty much nobody but family members and friends who were too polite not to show up.  I agree with Jeremy that it seems like the heavy music scene in H-Town is getting a more vibrant and engaged.  We see a lot of familiar faces at shows, but more and more unfamiliar ones as well.  That’s pretty rewarding, but I think our early experience taught us that if the music isn’t its own reward, it’s not worth doing.  It also taught us not to take things too seriously, which I think comes through in the music too.

Where'd the band name come from?

Jeremy: The Simpsons, of course. We were going through potential names. I can’t remember any others, but I can’t be serious about anything, so I assume they were all ridiculous.  This is the one that we hated least.

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

Jeremy: Porky’s 2 or Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (tie)

Justin:  I want to say The Big Lebowski, but none of our songs are as good as CCR.

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?

Jeremy: Maybe Outshined by Soundgarden. Badmotorfinger is a desert album for me, and this is a great song. I might be able to write 1,000 words on the drum sound alone.

Justin:  I’d probably go with Gardenia by Kyuss.  To me, it is the apex of stoner rock, capturing everything that is so great about the genre:  killer vocals, incredible drums, and down-tuned guitar and bass that are beautifully muddy and heavy, all meshing together in a magical way that is greater even than the sum of all these really great parts.

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

Jeremy: When we first started playing, none of us had tuner pedals.  We would usually make sure that we were tuned to the bass, because the bass rarely goes out of tune. During a show, Greg accidentally bumped his headstock and threw the low E string out of tune. But Justin and I thought we were out of tune. We proceeded to try to figure it out, tuning loudly in front of an audience for about 5 or 10 minutes, but it seemed like hours.  It was brutal.  Another time, we used so much fog during our performance that you could not see 6 inches in front of your face. The owner of the venue got pissed and pulled the plug on us.

Justin:  At a show years ago at Houston’s legendary Emo’s Lounge (which is sadly no more), I was rocking out a little too hard and fell off the stage.  Luckily, a couple of my friends up front caught me on my way toward the concrete and set me back up.  It probably looked a fair amount like Nigel Tufnel being propped back up after his epic guitar solo he performed on his back—although I’m pretty confident there was nothing nearly so epic emanating from my guitar at the time.

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

Jeremy:  We love playing live and it’s always great to hear that others enjoy it. Expect it to be loud and foggy.

What makes a great song?

Justin:  It’s gotta be heavy, but it’s also gotta be catchy.  If the vocal or main instrumental melody gets stuck in my head, I take that as a good sign.

Jeremy:  A half-time breakdown gets you a lot of the way there.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

Jeremy: It might be Right On, Gauntlet or Travis Bickle. Just your standard type of Fu Manchu – inspired songs. Lyrically, they are about space travel, eating very spicy chicken, and the movie, Taxi Driver.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Justin:  I’m pretty proud of Matchstick from our upcoming album, Maintain Radio Silence.  It’s inspired by my favorite comic of all time, Mage by Matt Wagner.  I put together the basic parts and structure of the song and vocals, but I was really excited with how Greg, Cory, and Jeremy built on that to create what appears on the album.  I think the final product sounds better than I ever thought it could.

Jeremy: I like when the main riff of Johnny Gentle (also on our upcoming album) kicks in.

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

Jeremy: There are so many great bands right now. A few examples off the top of my head are Truckfighters, Pallbearer, Red Fang, and Mastodon. They are the right combination of heavy, melodic and catchy.

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

Justin:  I have to confess I mostly go digital these days, just for the sheer convenience.  But I also like having a physical product.  I generally buy CDs so I can listen in my car, but I think vinyl is its own art form.

Jeremy: Digital for ease, convenience, and physical space limitations. Vinyl for fun and sound quality.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice.

Jeremy:  Beer, it tastes good and can be consumed in greater volume.

Justin:  Totally agree.

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?

Justin:  Sound Exchange, Vinal Edge and Cactus in Houston, TX.  I’d check ‘em all out if you have the time.

Jeremy: What Justin said.

What's next for the band?

Jeremy:  World domination. Or at least trying to promote the new album, Maintain Radio Silence, by playing in as many cities as we can after the album comes out.

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

Justin:  Thanks for supporting heavy music!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Kut Announce World Wide Record Deal for Debut Album

Rock category Finalist of the UK Songwriting Contest 2017, The Kut, announces a World Wide Record Deal with Cargo Records for the long-awaited debut album 'Valley of Thorns'.  Known for bringing some of the best independent albums to the fore, including those by The White Stripes, The Black Keys and Jonny Rotten's Public Image Limited, Cargo Records have now put pen to paper and added The Kut to a long list of UK musicians to join their world wide roster.  The album, produced by 'James Le Rock' ( Skindred / Def Leppard / White Zombie / My Vitriol) finally sees the release of some of the live favourites heard on tour, and releases on Friday 13th April.

John Dryland at Cargo spoke of the record deal, noting that "it's great to be releasing the debut album from such a hard working, stellar band as The Kut."

Active on the UK and European alt.rock scene, The Kut, is the alter-ego of multi-instrumentalist, Princess Maha. The live outfit has seen many guises, with the most recent line up featuring Diana Bartmann (drums) and Stella Vie (bass / bvs). Festival performances have included Download, Camden Rocks Festival, Rebellion Festival, Hard Rock Hell, Glastonbudget, Nice N Sleazy and Strummercamp among others. Meanwhile, tours have spanned the UK, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Voted into the winning spots of the MTV Brand New Unsigned Poll for 2014, subsequent EP releases and tours have gained support from - deep breath -  The Guardian, Metro, Scuzz, Kerrang! Magazine, Big Cheese, Planet Rock, BBC Introducing Lancashire, Kerrang! Radio, Metal Hammer, Big Cheese, Q and Classic Rock, AXS TV, MTV-U USA and many credible independents. 

Maha announced that "It's an absolute dream come true to sign with Cargo. They are super passionate about their artists - truly one of the UK's finest. The debut has been a long time coming, and I can't wait for everyone to hear it".

Cargo and The Kut have partnered with Pledge Music to set the release in motion.  The campaign sees special exclusives for supporters, including rehearsal hangouts, signed lyrics and the opportunity to be included in the vinyl liner notes. Pledgers can also get their hands on signed Limited Edition CD DigiPacks, or even the infamous Kut jackets seen on the band and krew during recent tours.

2017 saw The Kut featured as one of Kerrang! Magazine's Breakthrough Acts of 2017, while 'The Kut EP' was released on 500 limited edition picture disc for Record Store Day 2017, also featuring at number 4 in Kerrang! Magazines Top 10 Record Store Day Releases, alongside Baby Metal and Gerard Way. The summer saw The Kut playing 21 UK mainland dates, and the year ended with the band claiming the Number 1 Spot in the Beyond 50 Promotions Top 50 Under the Radar UK Bands.  Announcements for 2018 have included The Kut being added to the line ups of Camden Rocks Festival, Amplified Festival, Strummercamp Festival, Nice and Sleazy and Rebellion Festival.  Rock fans - watch this space! .

The Guardian - Editor's Pick
"Your snarly singer-guitarist in the latest line up of this doughty girl-grunge trio. Shades of Courtney, Brody and L7, naturally, but with plenty of contemporary haters to aim her barbs at"

"This trio of multi-talented girls with a '90s grunge alt-rock sound have been touring all over Europe"

Kerrang! Magazine
"Led by Princess Maha, this is a neat twist on grunge pop"

Q Magazine
"There's a slice of angst-offloading gutter rock that's a kissing cousin of Hole, but The Kut's scuzz-covered family tree also stretches further back to the garage rampages of The Stooges."

Rock Regeneration
"They have the songs, the stagecraft and a stellar work ethic. But don't take my word for it, go see them for yourselves"

Metal Hammer
"The Kut are like the bastard lovechild of Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson with awesome riffs and chaotic live shows"

Classic Rock Magazine
"Marks the precise point in the Venn diagram where L7 meets I Wanna Be Your Dog meets Courtney Love, which is equal parts terrifying and a cause for long and rowdy celebration. Punk's not dead, pass it on."

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