Saturday 28 November 2015

The Bendal Interlude - Reign Of The Unblinking Eye (Album Review)

Release date: April 1st 2016. Label: Black Bow Records. Format: DD/Vinyl

Reign Of The Unblinking Eye – Tracklisting

Buckfast For Breakfast
Losing Things
The Unblinking Eye
Eframs Hands
Pints of Bodies
Creeks Gigantic
Triumph of Fortitudo
The Block

Band Members:

Tommy - Bass
Dave Archer - Drums
Stu Taylor  -Guitars
Nat Gavin - Vocals


Anyone who is a fan or riffs and heavy music in general is probably a fan of Black Bow Records. Over the last couple of years the label run by Jon Davis (Head Riff Wizard at Conan in case you were unsure) has steadily released a series of impressive and acclaimed releases, including Bast, Undersmile and Slomatics.

The Bendal Interlude are the next name you can add to that list now.

Their first full length "Reign Of The Unblinking Eye" was recorded under the watchful gaze of Chris Fielding at Skyhammer and mastered by James Plotkin, and as such the band have produced a record certainly worth the wait/weight. (You know.... Cos it's heavy)

The fantastically named "Buckfast For Breakfast" starts of with a sample that probably sounds all too familiar to a lot of us "I go to work, I punch a clock, I do the same thing day in and day out" then riffs. Riffs For Breakfast. The song takes of at pace on a riff with a massive groove and some seriously unpleasant vocals. It brings to mind early Iron Monkey but with a sense of urgency.

More of the same massive riffs, expressive drumming and those fucking filthy vocals follow on "Losing Things" and "The Unblinking Eye" It's like thrash had a fight with sludge. I'm not sure who the winner was though....

"Eframs Hands" is up next featuring some impressive dual guitars, blast beasts and by now what is becoming that trade mark groove. It's a ferociously heavy record, that doesn't let up and unlike so many of the bands doing the rounds at the minute (and this is absolutely not a criticism) keeps up a fairly frantic pace throughout.

"Pint Of Bodies" for me the standout track on the record (helped again by another ruddy brilliant name) starts of kinda like some black metal blast beats but being played by a hardcore band, before seamlessly merging into some delicious low tuned sludge and the first slower (but not slow) moment on the album.

"R.I.P" is the album closer and the longest track on the record and starts gently with a bluesy almost lazy riff, but around the minute mark the energy levels go up a notch and we're off into full sludge swagger being dragged towards the records conclusion.

A band that has been around for sometime now and a band that everywhere we go, people always speak about with high regard, but a band that perhaps isn't yet at the forefront of people minds when talking about great UK heavy bands.

Well, "Reign Of The Unblinking Eye" could and should be just the record to change that.....

Available from 1st of April via Black Bow Records.

Words by Simon Ross Williams

Thanks to Dewar and Black Bow Records for the promo. Reign Of The Unblinking Eye will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl via Black Bow Records from April 1st 2016.


Slomatics - Flooding The Weir & Kalceanna (Reissues) - (Album Reviews)

Release date: November 20th 2015. Label: Black Bow Records. Format: DD

Flooding The Weir – Tracklisting

01 I Mean You No Harm (part 1)
02 Running Battle
03 The Technique
04 Celeste
05 March Of The 1000 Volt Ghost
06 I Mean You No Harm (part 2)

Kalceanna – Tracklisting

01 Griefhound
02 By Thor
03 Mans Hands
04 Dirt By The Stooges
05 Meanwhile
06 Viking Sea

Band Members:

David : Guitar
Chris : Guitar
Marty Harvey : Vocals, Drums

Ex-Member Joe (Drums) originally played on both albums before Marty joined in 2011.


For the past decade, the purveyors of skullcrushing heaviness that are Belfasts Slomatics have been pounding audiences into dust with their all encompassing brand of slow and heavy doom. The bands new record label Black Bow records (which is run by Jon Davis of the mighty Conan) have reissued their first two albums 2005s Flooding The Weir and 2007s Kalceanna and gives fans who may have missed them the first time a chance to be blown away at the mindfucking riffs that are on show and with no remastering or anything like that on these reissues, this is Slomatics at their primal best.

The world of heavy music was introduced to the world of Slomatics in 2005 with Flooding The Weir, an introduction to the tortoise slow and elephant heavy sound that the band have become well known for. On most of the tracks on Flooding a The Weir, the vocals are few and far between but the bands music is just as effective without them (although the pained barks, when they do occur are a joy to behold) and the band just let the hefty music do the talking, the riffs, heavy as any you will hear and paced as if on mogadon are the focal point but are enhanced by the pounding drums and the sludgy dirge of the bass play a big part as well.

The album is bookended by I Mean You No Harm (Part 1) and I Mean You No Harm (Part 2), two substantial slabs of riffs and noise that both open and close the album perfectly and demonstrate perfectly the crushing Slomatics sound and with the likes of Running Battle, March Of The 1000 Volt Ghost and The Technique, Slomatics get the head banging and head melting blend of heaviness just right.

The albums highlight, the wonderful dirge of Celeste, starts off with a mournful into before those riffs swoop in and destroy all in its path and with the vocals sounding as if they were recorded in the pits of hell, it's doom laden goodness of the best kind.

By the time you have reached the end of Flooding The Weir with those riffs ringing in your ears, you will feel in awe at just how crushing the experience was and will want to experience it all over again.

Slomatics released the follow up to Flooding The Weir in 2007 and that album Kalceanna takes the foundation that was started with that album and turns everything up considerably. While the bands debut was clouded in fuzzy riffs, the riffs on Kalceaana are still fuzzy but a tad cleaner and are, if anything, even heavier than the riffs that defined its predecessor. Just listen to the opening riff for starters on first track Griefhound and you will hear them in action, the riffs are so heavy they could bring down tower blocks! The bass and drums are still as heavy too with the bass just as dirgey and filthy as in the bands debut and the drums just as pounding and when these three elements are brought together the results are devastating.

The likes of the heavy sludge of By Thor and the impenetrable force of Mans Hands are supreme lessons in how to do heavy music the right way and the magnificently titled Dirt By The Stooges is as slow and crushing as it gets. Album standout, Meanwhile starts as with an intro that is as beautiful as it is full of sorrow before all hell breaks loose and the sound of menace is unleashed throughout the song.

Kalceanna features more vocals on the album, a brutal set of vicious barks set to attack (best witnessed on Mans Hands or Meanwhile for example) and the bands none more heavier sound gets heavier as a result. The album finishes with Viking Sea, an epic 11 minute plus tidal wave of heaviness and doom and this song has to be the most complete encapsulation of the Slomatics sound and a fitting way to finish things off.

When you listen to these albums back to back you can see how Slomatics sound evolved and actually gets heavier and considering how heavy the band were to begin with, this is something to be in awe of.

Slomatics will have a brand new album out on Black Bow next year so while you eagerly wait for that sure to be monster of an album, sit back and let these first two albums devour you whole and appreciate the beginnings of one of the heaviest bands Britain has ever produced.

Words by Gavin Brown

Thanks to Dewar and Black Bow Records for both promos. Kalceanna and Flooding The Weir are available to buy on DD  via Black Bow Records on all digital platforms now.


Black Oath - To Below And Beyond (Album Review)

Release date: November 2nd 2015. Label: -Doomentia/Elektroplasma/Equinox Discos.. Format: CD/DD/Tape/Vinyl

To Below And Beyond – Tracklisting

1.Donum Dei 02:20
2.Wicked Queen 07:43
3.I Am Athanor 07:54
4.Mysterion 07:03
5.Flesh To Gold 09:22
6.Sermon Through Fire 04:53
7.Healing Hands Of Time 07:14
8.To Below And Beyond (Ars Diaboli) 08:44

Band Members: - Vocals/Guitars/Bass
Bon R. - Guitars
Chris Z - Drums
The Uninvited Guest (Live Guitar)


Black Oath are a doom metal band from Milan who specialise in dark and occult tracks that feature swirling riffs and solos and their new album To Below And Beyond is no exception.

After Donum Dei, a sinister intro that combines the use of guitar, piano and spoken word passages into an atmospheric soundscape that wouldn't be out of place in a classic horror movie, To Below And Beyond begins with Wicked Queen, a song that starts innocently enough with a melodic guitar before a huge riff kicks in and some powerfully melodic vocals enhance the sound as the riff drives the song forward, the music changes pace halfway through and gives way to a more doomy and slow paced Celtic Frost-esque vibe for the rest of the track and is a great way to start things off.

The album continues in this vein, melodic classic metal mixed with epic doom with an occult feel to the whole thing, and with vocalist, this crystal clear vocal style taking centre stage this certainly adds mystique to the whole thing.

The highlight of To Below And Beyond has to be Mysterion, a song where the dirge of the bass creeps right through the song and becomes utterly inescapable to the point of consuming the song, the only respite is the vocals that act as a barrier from the bass led nastiness but ends with a beautiful melodic passage that cleanses your ears after what has gone on before.

The mournful Flesh To Gold is another highlight, a song full of sorrow that is reminiscent of The Angel And The Dark River era My Dying Bride and the track sounds like a cross between a funeral march, classic metal and more trad doom styles and the likes of the instrumental Sermon Through Fire (with its eerie vibe and dizzyingly vicious riffs throughout), the epic Healing Hands Of Time and the storming Wicked Queen ensure that any doom metal fiends will get their fix of what they desire with ease here.

The musicianship on To Below And Beyond is fantastic with every riff, solo and rhythm nailed to perfection ( the guitar solo on I Am Athanor in particular deserves particular attention) and the members of Black Oath certainly know their stuff when it comes to doom metal, the riffs are epic, the solos tight and precise while the rhythm section of the band hold things down with their pounding dirge and give the album a touch of doom laden class.

Black Oath have made an album that is rich in both doom metal and both of these styles collide in triumphant style.

Words by Gavin Brown

- CD version released in 2015 by Doomentia.
- D-LP version to be released in 2015 by Elektroplasma.
- TAPE version to be released in 2015 by Equinox Discos.

Danzig - Skeletons (Album Review)

Release date: November 27th 2015. Label: Nuclear Blast. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The White Sea – Tracklisting

01. Devil's Angels (Davie Allan & The Arrows Cover)
02. Satan (Theme From "Satan's Sadists")
03. Let Yourself Go (Elvis Presley Cover)
04. N.I.B. (Black Sabbath Cover)
05. Lord Of The Thighs (Aerosmith Cover)
06. Action Woman (The Litter Cover)
07. Rough Boy (ZZ Top Cover)
08. With A Girl Like You (The Troggs Cover)
09. Find Somebody (The Rascals Cover)
10. Crying In The Rain (The Everly Brothers Cover)


After years of waiting, we finally get a covers album by the iconic barutonos crooner, Glenn Danzig. Some chosen artists and/or songs may be obvious, some omissions may be puzzling, but the resulting selections are fantastic and the overall presentation is on the altar of greatness.

The album cover alone is wicked fierce...I mean come on, Danzig bare chested and in skeleton makeup? This is already a classic album cover and a mail away poster for your bedroom wall.

These particular cover songs are interpreted through the mind of a pioneer who was instrumental in pouring the foundation for esoteric music that proved to be alluring to all of us oddballs.

On this release, Glenn pays homage to his origins, the underlying skeleton, the bones or architecture of the core of his make up. There is something in this memoir that is recognizable from each era of the Danzig diary; the horror punk, the dark harvester, the metal god. There are different overtones and productions values that all lead to the special feeling this backstory gives you. It is historically and holistically Glenn Danzig, from start to finish. I think Glenn succeeds in offering his distinct and unique portrayal of these originals, which in turn exudes respect to the original artist. Danzig makes each song his own through his specific style and triumphs in gathering an extraordinary collection of music by way of his past.

It is an honor to receive this invitation to bear witness to the very art that unleashed his creative energy and that stirred the artistic juices of a grim genius. The majority are probably the songs he played on his bedroom turntable, the melodies he hummed down the hallways in high school, the tunes that he processed through his creative mind and coated with his black magic touch.

Do yourself a favor and follow the macabre maestro through the cobwebs into his closet, past the old skulls, through the labyrinth of vintage library books, well into where he keeps his old record collection and take a glimpse at his archival, jaguar-jungle like roots. This album is a glimpse into the beginning, the autumnal equinox of a patriarch about to gather a modern October family. It's a resonating album that is sure to create a stir inside everybody, whether a rekindling or a reaction.

The biggest thing I learned from growing up listening to Glenn Danzig was that it is essential to be your self and love yourself for it. I'm a creep and I love my creepy self. This is the soundtrack that started the soundtracks to many of our lives. Enjoy it. Now to the tunes…

Devil’s Angels (Dave Allan & The Arrows) - This is a song from a 60's biker film. It sounds like a vintage punk 7" inch. I need to travel to the local hardware store for some drywall because I punched so many holes in my wall listening to this tune. There was one-man war in my hallway with disastrous results…rebuild on the credit card…what a bargain. This is why you fell in love with horror punk power.

Satan (from Satan’s Sadists -The Nightriders) - This is a slow groove rendition of an old outlaw song about motorcycle gangs, switchblades, dune buggies, diners, death, romance and sunsets. Get on your hog, do a burnout and cruise until your taillight fades into the distance.

Let Yourself Go (Elvis Presley) - There is no surprise that this is a great song. Elvis and Glenn both have an iconic voice and gift in talent. Glenn puts a more sinister spin and nasty feel to this classic single. Less swing, more sting and less red coat, more leather jacket.

N.I.B. (Black Sabbath) - This delivery is powerful in its minimalism and its squealing distortion. The solo rocks and the tower bells are a magnificent touch.

Lord Of The Thighs (Aerosmith) - This is a "Danzig-ized" transformation of a classic rock song. Glenn’s voice is incredibly stunning here.

Action Woman (The Litter) - Danzig takes a can of gasoline and an igniter to this original and creates a fiery performance in this energetic number.

Rough Boy (ZZ Top) - Glenn is dangerous here. He orchestrates the overhaul of a newer sounding leisure song by using his patented antique process, resulting in the perfect vintage ballad.

With a Girl Like You (The Troggs) - This is an enthusiastic execution of a teenage fireworks infatuation sing along song.

Find Somebody (The Young Rascals) - This song sounds like a gang of greasy long haired goons and black leather-jacketed hoodlums from the seedy pool hall located in the deteriorated section of the neighborhood, took a break from breaking each other’s faces, got a band together and recorded this downright ditty in an abandoned building left in the wake of a culture shock, being fuelled only with spoiled chocolate malts, bruised banana splits and the broken jukebox dreams of angry adolescent youth. Step up to the counter and take a spin on the stool.

Crying In The Rain (The Everly Brothers) – It is prom night. All evening the popular guy is dancing with the girl you've had a crush on since the first grade. Now, it's time for the last song and he's got his head submerged in the spiked punch bowl. Now is your chance. You ask your beloved darling for the last slow dance, she agrees, and you both sway and enjoy what could never be, because once the song is over, you go your separate ways. She will eventually realize the pain she feels is the regret you have known all your life. This is reality punctuated in tears. Glenn provides the only prom song that makes any sense and it comes with the hurt from the bleeding heart of a horror punk misfit. Chills.

My lady is begging me to put a shirt on at the dinner table. She is also asking me to take the skull make up off because it scares the kids. I guess her putting on similar make up and leaning on my shoulder to watch TV re-runs of “The Munsters” is a long shot...I'll ask her again, maybe at Halloween.

We are not alone…just out numbered. Don’t be sad and tiptoe, for we are real and we are grandfather strong. We wear our pain, tattooed in black, white and crimson. This is our music my fellow creeps and tonight is our dance of death.

Words by Nick Palmisano

Thanks to Pam at 5B for the promo. Skeletons is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl now on Nuclear Blast Records.


Shevils - The White Sea (Album Review)

Release date: November 16th 2015. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

The White Sea – Tracklisting

01. I Wear the Skies
02. We Could Leave the World
03. One Thousand Years
04. The Death of Silence
05. Black Summer
06. Shivers
07. Wordsmiths
08. Fireflies
09. When Will I See You Again?
10. The White Sea

Band Members:

Anders Voldrønning (Vocal)
Andreas Andre Myrvold (Guitar)
Anders Emil Rønning (Drums)


Norway's Shevils have just released their 3rd album – The White Sea. These guys were a complete mystery to me before I listened to their new album. I can't comment on how they sounded on their earlier releases but damn this is one superb album with plenty of angry vocals and riffs to match.

Shevils play an intelligent mix of Hardcore, Punk, Rock and Metal. Whilst the album offers moments of heavy Sludge Rock, Shevils are primarily a Hardcore Punk/Metal band influenced by the likes of The Melvins, Helmet and Fugazi. If you're a fan of Cancer Bats then Shevils will speak volumes to you.

Opening track – I Wear The Skies – is an intense blend of Hardcore, Punk and Rock played at a fast pace. It's a simply played song but it's how Shevils deliver the music and the message of the song that makes it such an exciting listen. The instrumental work is frantic and choppy at times but at least Shevils are living upto their Hardcore/DIY ethic.

Second track – We Could Leave The World – is a bass heavy affair that fans of Hardcore will dig up in spades. The lyrics are what you would expect from a song such as this. Pissed off and direct off to the point. It's cool the band offer vibes of Psychedelic Noise later on the song. The vocals are crisp through out but lack the menace from the opening track. It can be very funk-driven at times but that's good as it shows there's a lot more to Shevils music.

Third track – One Thousand Years – is one of the albums standout tracks. A proper sludge rock groove merged with hardcore punk as the band blast their way through another hard-hitting track. Lead vocalist – Anders is having a ball here unleashing his frustration to an unsuspecting world.

Fourth track – The Death Of Silence – has an early Cancer Bats vibe running through it and the vocals once again hold your attention. The instrumental work deserve praise as even though they sound rather simple and stripped back, Shevils offer a few moment of progressive style riffs especially for a 3 piece band.

The album offers 10 tracks and I'm not going to do a song by song analysis as the rest of the album follows the same path as the first 4 songs on the album. Fast-paced and hard-hitting Hardcore Punk with a snarling Sludge Rock/Metal outlook on life. Other great songs to check out are: Shivers, Fireflies and the sublime title track – The White Sea.

Shevils offer an exciting take on all things Hardcore. Sure they play their luck at times on the album but that's a minor complaint as The White Sea is a fucking blast from start to finish. The production is loud and crisp throughout. It gives Shevils a chance to shine in the spotlight and believe me they take that opportunity in creating an exciting and pissed off experience that will stay with you for a very long time to come.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Shevils for the promo. The White Sea is available to buy from all good stockists now.


Wednesday 25 November 2015

Borderland Fuzz Fiesta Spotlight: An Interview with Mike from BIG MEAN

Today is the start of a new series of interviews of bands and artists who will be performing at 2016 Borderland Fuzz Fiesta in 2016. The festival will be in it's 2nd year in 2016 and it has a killer line-up a you can see from the poster below.

Wayne and Joey Ruddell are the main organizers behind this festival. Wayne and Joey are part of awesome bands Powered Wig Machine and Fuzz Evil. They're highly respected in the world of Fuzz/Stoner Rock music for their tireless work and dedication in getting the loud FUZZ based riffs to the masses.

However, this interview today is with Mike aka Big Mean Maheen from Desert Rock/Stoner Rockers – BIG MEAN. Mike is highly thought of in his home town of Tuscon, Arizona and he used to be part of a great band called Love Mound. Check them out if you haven't already did so.

BIG MEAN will be performing on the bill at Borderland Fuzz Fiesta and I was given the chance to speak to Mike recently.

How did the band get together. And why did you choose the name BIG MEAN.

Big Mean is a sort of side project I started a while ago. I had some buddies from Tucson and other places/states that I wanted to collaborate with. So my plan is to record three or four songs a couple times a year with a different rhythm section. I chose the name Big Mean because that's what it sounds like :)

How would you describe your music.

Big and Mean.

Your scheduled to play Borderland Fuzz Fiesta in February 2016. How did you get involved in that as it looks like a fucking killer lineup.

The line-up looks so great! Wayne was gracious enough to invite us. We are honored to share the stage with such Fuzzy might.

What can people expect from your set at Borderland Fuzz Fiesta.

Thunder. Lightning. Volume. Fuzz. And a lot sweat.

Which bands are you looking forward in seeing at the festival.

I'm excited to see all of them! Some I don't know and that will be great to see new stuff like Dead Canyon, Elder. Bands I've seen/played with and am excited to see are Dead Meadow, Fuzz Evil, Blackwulf.

Will you be performing any warm-up gigs before the festival.

Nothing on the books. We're gathering all of our sorcerous powers to unleash on the festival.

Have you played in festivals before or is Borderland Fuzz Fiesta your first one with BIG MEAN.

The Fuzz Fiesta will be Big Means first.

How hard is it being a band in today's world. What are the most difficult aspects in being in a band.

It seems difficult if you're trying to make something of yourself in a sense that with all of the choices it's hard to be noticed. Making time to do the thing you love while having a busy life.

What inspired you to become a musician. Any particular album, band or life-changing event that told you – Yeah, that's what I want to do....

No specific event just a lifetime listening to and loving music. I would say my brother Sparky (bass) and all of my early friends inspired and continue to inspire me to rock.

What is the song-writing dynamic in the band. Is it a group collective or down to one individual.

For Big Mean I am the principal song writer. Every rhythm section I'll be recording with will add their own flavor and styles to make the songs we record the best they can be.

You released a fantastic EP earlier this year. Do you have plans to release a debut album in the future. Will you be playing any new tracks at Fuzz Fiesta.

I am booked at Wavelab studio in Tucson Feburary to start recording the next four tunes with Fernando Rivas. Kwall and Elvis from Hogjaw in Phoenix will be laying down the drums and bass with me this time :)

Words by Steve Howe and BIG MEAN MAHEEN

Thanks to Wayne Ruddell for arranging this interview.


Love Mound Links

Borderland Fuzz Festival Links


Early Bird Two Day Pass:
Dead Meadow Single Day:
Elder Single Day:

Honeymoon Disease - The Transcendence

Release date: November 20th 2015. Label: Napalm Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Transcendence – Tracklisting

1. Higher
2. Stargazer
3. Imperial Mind
4. Gotta Move
5. You're Too Late
6. Break Up
7. Bellevue Groove
8. Fast Love
9. Rock'N'Roll Shock
10. Brand New Ending
11. Keep Me Spinning

Band Members:

Jenna - vocals, guitar
Acid - guitar
Anders - bass guitar
Jimi - drums


Take a huge cauldron and hang it over an open fire. Add in equal measures MC5, Kiss, Iggy & The Stooges, Thin Lizzy, The Hellacopters and Hanoi Rocks. Stir thoroughly until all the ingredients are well mixed and top everything off with a healthy dose of all things Gothenburg. Let it simmer for a good while and make sure it's cooked to perfection. Vóila, you have a shitkicking, knuckle dragging, in-your-face badass band called Honeymoon Disease. Where are they from you ask? Gothenburg, of course, one of the best cities in the world.

Full of grit and attitude 'HIgher' kickstarts this suckerpunch of an album. Jenna and Acid are riffing like there is no tomorrow while incorporating sweet harmonies at the same time. Beautiful! A sweet mix of Thin Lizzy and The Hellacopters emanates from 'Stargazer'. Slightly slower than it's predecessor, the band goes for melodies and a languishing tone. And man, the solo is awesome. It's back to ballsyland again with 'Imperial Mind'. Stripped down, full of edge and going 120mph this is rock'n'roll at it's prime. Full of groove and riffs 'Gotta Move' is a very apt title. I mean, I can't stop dancing and head banging to it...and I can't dance to save my life! Apart from doing great dual guitar, both in the riff and harmonizing department, Jenna and Acid harmonizes excellently vocally as well. Not only on this song but on the whole album. Oh, that Thin Lizzy ending is great!

Back to good ole' r'n'r on 'You're Too Late' there's a dollop of punk snarl and attitude. Short, sharp and to the point Honeymoon Disease can't do no wrong. 'Breakup' is as close as it gets to ballad on this wax. Slow and full of groove with painful lyrics, hence the title, it shows the diversity and talent this band possess. The rhythm section of Anders and Jimi is on point, as usual, but they really shine here. And the same can be said for 'Bellevue Groove', a song that could have been taken taken straight out of the heydays of Kiss, when they were still a great band. Mid-paced but on the spot as it snakes and weaves it's way to the end. Oh yeah, total rock at it's finest, 'Fast Love' is a beast. Big riffs fly high side by side with harmonies and a devil-may-care demeanour.

Rhythm and rattle rub shoulders on the super tight groover 'Rock'N'Roll Shock'. It belongs to the slower songs on 'The Transcendence' but it showcases a band at it's very best. Weaving back and forth between tempos the guitars either roars or whispers while the bass guitar is thumping mercilessly as the drums pounds me to dust. Yes, I'm talking about the dark 'Brand New Ending'. It has everything the band is rolled into one song and it is absolutely amazing! 'Keep Me Spinning' ends this stunning debut from my fellow Swedes and what a way to end things. Starting out mid-paced, it is one of those songs that gradually builds up to finally explode in the end. Not only is it by far the longest track on the album but it is also one of the best. And that says a lot about this monster release. Once the eruption is over and you think the song is done a beautiful outro commences that blows my mind.

What a nice surprise this was. Had not heard of this troupe before, so to have them knock me off my feet is awesome. That's how I want every album I listen to to be. True, that doesn't happen as often as I like. So when it does I am completely taken away and smitten and I'll love said album until the day I die. Honeymoon Disease has done this and then some. Add to the fact that they hail from my old home town Gothenburg makes things even better. Seriously though, if you like your rock'n'roll to have awesome riffs, loads of groove, harmonies, bite and attitude look no further. Honeymoon Disease are the real deal and they take no prisoners!

Words by Håkan Nyman

Thanks to Mona, Jon and Andy at NapalmRecords for the promo. The Transcendence is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Napalm Records now.


Ape Machine - Coalition Of The Unwilling (EP Review)

Release date: November 20th 2015. Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Coalition Of The Unwilling – Tracklisting

1. Crushed From Within 4:28
2. Disband 3:47
3. Give What You Get 3:11
4. Under This Face 4:02
5. Ape’n’Stein 4:57
6. Never My Way 4:54

Band Members:

Caleb Heinze – Vocals
Ian Watts - Guitar
Brian True - Bass
Damon De La Paz - Drums


Ape Machine has existed for more than 5 years and the monkeys have in this relative short time span managed to put out an impressive catalogue of quality releases. Ever since their first two self-released albums ‘This House Has Been Condemned’ and ‘War To Head’ Ape Machine has been slinging their own take on classic heavy, blues, stoner and 70s rock straight at us. Although recording it all in an analogue manner they have somehow always managed to be relevant and quite modern sounding resulting in an enticing musical product that both the old guard and the selfie-generation can relate to.

3rd album saw Ape Machine maturing and broadening their scope with regards to both song writing, consolidating their sound and placing even more focus on the heavy parts, the complex interplay the musicians in between and furthermore deepening the groove. This one-song monster (cut up into 10-subdivisions) also secured them a label deal with Ripple Music that released ‘Mangled By The Machine’ in 2013 to much praise reviewers and fans alike.

Coalition Of The Unwilling is the fourth and latest outing from these stoner blues grove mongers and at the same time their first on Italian trailblazer label Heavy Psych Sounds. So what does this constellation of a band that is renowned for never missing a tone or misplacing a beat teaming up with a label that seem to be on a one-way flight to grandeur?

For the first, the baboons seem to have taken the term ‘Psych’ to heart on their new EP, that has a clear psychedelic touch on several of the songs. Next, the execution of the songs are second to none, all are expertly performed and not one paw put wrong, but still with somewhat of a more loose feel to the tracks. COTU is just an EP and albeit short (just little over 25 minutes) with regard to running time, but what it lacks in quantity it tenfold makes up for in quality. What we get here is grade-A top shelf stoner rockery metal grooves in abundance. The riffs are aplenty; the guitar tone is thick, warm and vibrant; the vocals are over-the-top; the bass is tight and the groove even tighter.

Knowing this is a short-runner, the apes waste no time, and after short ambient intro sounding like an airplane taking off the machine is put into full motion with Crushed From Within constituted of one of the fattest grooves I have heard all year. This is classic Ape Machine blues stoner groove metal and a prime example on how to move some serious muscle. It is hard to decide what features to highlight from this track as it appears like one solid entity of sonic excess. However, if anything the bass works at play here need a separate mention as now and then the bass lines meander off from the übertight interlock with the drumming and creates short leads somewhere in the empty spaces left by the sparkling drumming.

Up next ‘Disband’ leaves the starting blocks in a high pace kicking up dust and sand in its trail. A nice extra flavor to this track is the presence of some sweet sounding organ adding a little southern tinge in the corner of the mouth. Let us not forgot that the monkeys have one foot firmly rooted in the blues, and while Caleb wails and croons: “We will not be moved” it is nearly impossible as a listener to sit still while enjoying the groove party taking place just on the other site of the speakers.

Third track is yet another up-tempo rocker, blasting off into classic metal territory with blasting guitars and 80s metal riffery, still with that undeniable ape’y-sound. With ‘Give What You Get’ Ape Machine opts for a more straight forward rocking sound and a more simple drum pattern, but be not mistaken, there is never a dull moment during this 3 minute race.

Track 4 ‘Under This Face’ is the track that align most with sound and expression found on ‘Mangled By The Machine’. Anything that comes just vaguely close to that album is gold standard rock in my book. This track has it all; signature singing, insistent groove, thick fuzzy riffs, soaring leads and a rhythm section tighter than an old English librarian’s rectum. Ape Machine moves around touching all corners of interests in heavy, hard rock, like a bunch of naughty monkeys keen to entertain all your musical senses at once.

On ‘Ape’n’Stein’ an all instrumental track Ape Machine goes out on a limb in a jazzy freak-out that at time reminds me of a heavy version of contemporary jazzers in Galactic. This track is complete with progressive, improv-like drumming, flares of white guitar light that blisters in all directions, and all the time with a tight bass bottom keeping all the madness in place. This is genius-ly orchestrated chaos, just like if Albert Einstein was to lead a pack of crazy gorillas stampeding through a musical instrument store.

Final track ‘Never My Way’ starts of as an updated version of ‘Stairway To Heaven’ just to explode into a fuzzy version of Bedlam in Goliath section 3 minutes in. What sort of audacity to pull such a mix of influences from 70s heavy blues rock to 90s freak, progressive metal in little under 5 minutes, some feat of strength and a great example of the sheer musicianship at play inside the Ape Machine (moniker for reel to reel).

Ape Machine gets the job done more than well on ‘Coalition of the Unwilling’ and I wonder what sort of monkey business, they decide to amuse us with next time on a possible future full length. One thing is certain; it is bound to be one hell of fun.

Words by Niels Fuzz Bartholdy

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Coalition Of The Unwilling is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Heavy Psych Sounds now.



Sunday 22 November 2015

An Interview with KRAK KRAK

KRAK KRAK are about to release their brilliant debut album - All The Punks In The World Cannot Save You Now. The album is an adrenaline rush from start to finish with the band crossing so many musical boundaries that I didn't think was even possible.

KRAK KRAK's sound includes Noise, Garage, Punk, Sludge, Stoner and even Thrash Metal. It has a violent addictive quality to it. They're getting some major praise within the UK Hard Rock/Metal Press and they have a formidable reputation when performing live on stage.

The guys were kind enough to premiere – BLOOD - from their new album last week. Well I wanted to find out a little bit more from these experimental riffsters and I'm happy to say KRAK KRAK have kindly agreed to talk to me.

Hi guys, thanks for doing the interview and for allowing me to premiere your new song recently. Much appreciated. How are things with you today.

We're well! We're currently mixing a live EP for December!

For people not in the know can you tell how your band came about and where it is today.

Oh the joy of KRAK... It all began when I became slightly disillusioned with a previous musical outing and wanted to create a band that was about creating a joyous horrible noise. I found Kiyarn through mutual friends and Chris was the only bass player to reply to a vocalist wanted ad... From then we wore our heart on our sleeve and just kept recording and releasing as we went. It's been a year now and we've released tracks through Sonic Anhedonic Recording Company, Fluffer Records, Alcopop Records, Super Fan 99 and Rawshark Records. The debut album is an accumulation of this years adventure as it were!

Where did the name KRAK KRAK came from. Any specific meaning.

Well... When we started we joked that the aim of the band was to make a noise akin to the White Stripes on crack... Crack Stripes? White Crack? Crack Crack? KRAK KRAK!

Photo courtesy of Keira Cullinane.

Your music is very hard to describe. Noise, Garage, Punk, Sludge, Thrash, Metal. How would you describe it. It’s loud and heavy probably why I dig your sound so much.

Thanks man! Hmmm... We've recently coined the term 'Radio friendly grindcore' but I don't think that even describes us... We don't try to be elusive believe me! We all have very big personalties so I think we pull the music in all different directions naturally.

Your about to release your new album – All The Punks In The World Cannot Save You Now. What can people expect from the album and why did you choose that catchy title. Great title.

The title is an extract from a David Sandström (Refused) album, it really stuck with us and summed us up quite frankly! Without sounding too pretentious, the album is literally a musical journey as we started writing it as soon as the band was formed so it sums up our year really. We have have took influence from everything be it the grind, prog, stoner, metal and psychedelia elements. Hopefully they're should be something for everyone!

Was it an easy or hard album to write and record for.

It was easy to write but hard to perfect (if you can call it that)... The nature of the beast with songs that are under minute long or for that matter go on with one riff for over a minute, is to keep those parts interesting but yet not over think them. We had that punk mentality throughout where we just kept writing what we wanted rather than thinking about singles, what was cool etc.

Your music is getting some great praise within the UK Hard Rock/Metal scene. Has that surprised you in anyway or don’t you take notice of things like that.

Yes to both! Every time we get any sort of positive feedback we're like “Really? You sure?” I think as we really are writing and doing this band for ourselves I still find it incredible that people are behind us. It definitely spurs you on. We all find it incredibly humbling to have any sort of feedback to be honest!

Will you be touring the record in the future.

Yes! We're currently booking shows and festivals for 2016. We have a tour being booked for January with some amazing bands. Watch this space!

The UK Hard Rock/Metal scene is sort of at a crossroads at the moment. Some people I’ve spoken to think it’s on the way up whilst others think it’s on the way down. What’s your verdict on this. Have you noticed anything different recently. If it is in decline how can we improve it.

I think it depends on where you look. Personally I think its on the up but I would look to the amazing indie labels like Holy Roar, Small Town America and Riot Season and their releases rather than the majors. Bands like Rolo Tomassi, Workin Man Noise Unit and USA Nails have done extremely well this year. How to improve it? I think people need to support the smaller labels.

How hard is it for you all being in a band within today’s musical scene. Is it always a never-ending struggle.

You're not far off the “Never ending struggle”... Its been a steep learning curve, but we've learnt a lot. There are definitely some things which are harder than others. Gigging is always going to be tricky as your always most definitely going to operate at a loss, which is hard when you want more and more people to witness the noise... But I think the pros outweigh the cons and we wouldn't change it for the world.

We have to talk about the album cover. What is that album cover about. Who designed it and what does it mean to you as a band and the album in general.

The album was based around trying to be inclusive of all our artistic friends, we have so many that it was about getting everyone involved. It also sums up the schizophrenic style of the album quite nicely. We had over 30 teeth so was quite hard arranging it into a coherent vision... A bit like the album...

What’s the song-writing dynamic within the band. Is it a group collective or down to one individual.

Nearly all songs go through the same process... We start with a collection of drums beats and a brief mood “Play a riff that sounds like sludgy Mastodon with a pop chorus that will make us $$$” and then a bunch of riffs get written that we take it into the studio and we re arrange everything like a weird metal puzzle then Chris shouts bloody murder over everything...

With 2015 drawing to a close, what have been your favourite records you’ve listened to this year.

Straight off we all really enjoyed the new Refused album. Definitely the Rolo Tomassi album, personally I really liked the new Cradle of filth album but I think I'm alone in that one... Also the USA Nails, Workin Man Noise Unit and Sergeant Thunderhoof albums are amazing.

What does 2016 have in store for KRAK KRAK

Gigs gigs gigs! We're really looking forward to playing some festivals next year. We're currently writing album 2 which is shaping up really nicely / quickly so we'll be recording that early next year. We're really trying to push the boundaries on the next one, half of it will be entirely noisy grind...

Well guys, thanks for doing this. All the best with your new record.

Our pleasure!

Words by Steve Howe and KRAK KRAK

Thanks to KRAK KRAK for taking the time out to do this interview. All The Punks In The World Cannot Save You Now will be out to buy on CD/DD from November 30th 2015 via Rawshark Records.