Saturday 29 December 2018

AVER - Orbis Majora (Album Review)

Release date: January 18th 2019. Label: Ripple Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Orbis Majora – Tracklisting

1. Feeding the Sun
2. Disorder
3. The Last Goat Out of Pompeii
4. Unanswered Prayers
5. Hemp Fandango


Luke: Guitar
Jed: Bass
Henry: Drums
Burdt - Guitar/Vocals


Aussie Psych Stoner Rockers AVER return with their new album Orbis Majora and it’s a decidedly different affair compared to their previous albums. As this album has a more progressive and experimental sound that I didn’t initially expect. The added use of different instruments such as violins and cello is a superb touch and gives AVER’s music much more depth than ever before.

The album does take some time to fully get going and for the heavy riffs to appear. AVER continue their progressive space rock journey they started almost eight years ago on their acclaimed debut album which had elements of Grunge, Psych and Hard Rock buried under the expansive rock/metal sound the band created even back then. AVER sound wonderfully different on Orbis Majora as they add a TOOL-esque progressive delivery to their music that still offers moments of pure psychedelic bliss.

Opening song – Feeding The Sun – is a ten minute plus epic which sees AVER play different aspects of Psychedelic Rock that ventures further into the Space/Stoner Rock spectrum. The song can be quite folk-orientated at times but that is a good thing as this allows the listener to fully appreciate AVER’s sound even more. The song almost loses its way towards the end but it’s the sheer size and scope of AVER’s music that makes this song an absolute delight to listen to. As you don’t know which musical direction AVER will take you next. Truth be told I don’t think they know either.

Second song – Disorder – opens with a more laid-back psychedelic sound that’s played quite casually. However this all builds upto to a thundering wall of seventies inspired Space/Stoner Rock goodness that’s quite dramatic and trippy in all the right places. The vocals from Burdt are superb and become louder and more passionate as the song reaches its natural and heavy progressive conclusion.

Third song – The Last Goat Out Of Pompeii – is a throwback to seventies prog-rock but with the added heavy modern Stoner Rock influences that AVER wisely bring to the table. This is one of the standout songs on the album with the Pink Floyd and TOOL influences shining through.

The final two songs – Unanswered Prayers and Hemp Fandango – offer almost twenty five minutes of the heaviest riffs contained on the album and sees AVER experiment with their sound even further and perhaps becoming more of a Heavy Space Rock sound than ever before. Hemp Fandango is perhaps the best song of the album as AVER become more confident and fully focused on creating a more comprehensive sound to immerse the listener with.

Overall, Orbis Majora is a wonderful and equally moving audio cinematic experience that will only enhance AVER’s reputation even further within the Psych/Stoner Rock scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. Orbis Majora will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Ripple Music from Jan 18th 2019.


Thursday 27 December 2018

News - EMBER announce 326: Spiritual Dialysis

EMBER announce 326: Spiritual Dialysis 

Throughout 2018 Crystal and Eric Bigelow of EMBER have continued to write music. They have been consistently brainstorming and amassing ideas, arranging and writing despite being deprived of having a full consistent band. It’s been an emotional and trialing year with the loss of musicians, the diagnosis of Eric’s Kidney Disease and surgeries. Despite the trials and tribulations, they have managed to amass a plethora of new material. 

Now, after a full year of absence and a full year since the release of 271, EMBER announce they have chosen a handful of songs that they will be recording in early February of 2019. 
The upcoming EP is entitled 326: Spiritual Dialysis and is to be recorded by Matt Washburn (Mastodon, Leechmilk, Norma Jean, Royal Thunder) at Ledbelly sound in Dawsonville Ga. Eric and Crystal Bigelow’s new musical compositions are weighty, inspired, emotional, expressive and brooding. 

They have created an exceptional landscape for Crystal’s well-known haunting vocals. They also have incorporated new elements to EMBER. Including (but not limited to) some menacing vocals laid down by Eric Bigelow. 

The artwork and track listing for the EP 326: Spiritual Dialysis will be revealed January 2019. The EP will be released March of 2019 with a video soon after to follow the release. 

All digital sales of the EP will go towards Eric Bigelow’s fund for Kidney transplantation.

Wednesday 26 December 2018

Album Release News: COWBOYS & ALIENS Announce New Album - HORSES OF REBELLION

POLDER RECORDS is happy to announce the signing of Belgian’s finest stoner rock legends for their 5th full-length album ‘HORSES OF REBELLION’ out March, 2019.

Cowboys & Aliens is a four-piece stoner rock band from Bruges, Belgium. Formed in 1996, they released 4 full studio albums before falling into hiatus in 2006. The band reunited with the original lineup from ‘’ in 2011 with a brand new EP: “Sandpaper Blues Knockout” and gave a hell of a show at DesertFest Antwerp and opened up for Deep Purple (for the second time) at Vorst Nationaal. 
After playing countless festivals around Europe they released another EP in 2014: “Surrounded by Enemies” that took them once more to numerous stages in Belgium, Holland and Germany.
Now the time has come for their 5th full album: HORSES OF REBELLION to be released March 15th on POLDERRECORDS. The album was recorded and mixed by Pieter Nyckees at Shellshock Studio and mastered by Uwe Teichert at Elektropolis Brussels.

‘HORSES OF REBELLION’ is a classic guide on how to mix different styles into a breathtaking heavy cocktail. It’s all about melodic guitars and classic vocal harmonies, maintaining the riff-loaden grooves and ponderous rhythms Cowboys & Aliens are so well known for. 
‘HORSES OF REBELLION’ is a diverse album with some punk attitude injections, classic stoner rock and the heavy edge of nineties grunge … and even an acoustic masterpiece!

Prepare yourself for a trip loaded with heavy fuzz, riffs and catchy melodies.

Brace yourself for impact soon as the album will release digitally on Cowboys & Aliens Bandcamp and all streaming platforms March 1st, 2019 and get ready to groove along to an absolute monster of an album! CD and Vinyl release: March 15th, 2019.

PR018 - COWBOYS AND ALIENS - ‘HORSES OF REBELLION’, out on cd and vinyl March 15th 2019.


John Pollentier - Guitar
Henk Vanhee - Vocals
Peter Gaelens - Drums
Tom Neirynck - Bass

All songs written,arranged and produced by COWBOYS & ALIENS
All lyrics by Henk V.

Recorded and mixed at Shellshock Studio by Pieter Nyckees.
Mastered at Electropolis Brussels by Uwe Teichert.
Artwork by Sandy Verfaille (Inksane Tattoo)
Photos by Trees Rommelaere

Layout & design by Tom Maene and Henk V.

Track listing:

Side A
Soaking - 04:05
Still in the Shade - 03:37
Two Times a Man - 04:45
Sheep Bloody Sheep - 05:01
Take a Good Look Around - 04:22

Side B

Horses of Rebellion - 03:59
Morning Again - 04:14
Hollow - 03:42
Refuse - 03:11
Walk a Mile in my Shoes - 04:21
Splendid Isolation - 02:20

The Oil Barons - The West Is Won (Album Review)

Release date: Early 2019. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

The West Is Won – Tracklisting

The Oil Baron
Snake Oil
California City
Fuck The Sun
Don’t Touch Me
Hot Cake
King Vulture
Suicide Machine


Lou Aquiler - Guitar
Andrew Huber - Bass/Lead Vocals
Jake Hart - Drums/Vocals


The Oil Barons debut album – The West Is Won is inspired by Paul Thomas Anderson classic movie There Will Be Blood. So you have a concept album based within the world of OIL PRODUCTION and all the joys and pitfalls that industry brings you. Unless it’s influenced by DALLAS and the guys are trying to be all intellectual. I’m kidding.

Anyway this is one album that sounds like it suffers from an identity crisis when you first listen to the album. As the band play a heavy mixture of Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Stoner Metal, Doom Metal and even Desert Rock. If you’re a fan of bands such as Black Sabbath and CLUTCH then these guys should definitely be on your radar.

The West Is Won a brilliantly entertaining album packed full of thrills and (oil) spills with the band writing some progressive sounding riffs and OTT lyrics to match. The opening songs The Oil Baron, Drill and Snake Oil show that The Oil Barons have a deep and rich creative sound and when matched against the superb lyrics then a Stoner Metal/Doom Metal album based on There Will Be Blood isn’t so crazy after all.

The album has a deceptively old-school feel to it and that allows The Oil Barons to experiment with their sound on the later stages of the album. The vocals from Andrew are influenced by the Americana scene at times but still remaining in the Doom/Stoner Metal world. Jake provides solid back-up vocals along with his highly accurate and precise drumming.

The Oil Barons continue playing their heavy Blues Rock inspired Stoner/Desert/Doom hybrid sound for the remainder of the album and they will keep you entertained with other cool songs such as California City, Fuck The Sun, VITCH and the final epic song Suicide Machine which ventures into some pretty dark places which I didn’t expect.

The production is handled superbly well and the album sounds fresh and lively from the start. The music is very direct and you become part of the whole environment. Though it may take you a few listens to fully understand and actually enjoy the overall album. After that happens you’ll be amazed at how much of a good time you will have this with album.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to The Oil Barons for the promo. The West Is Won will be available to buy on CD/DD in 2019.

Check out the awesome new video for VITCH from the forthcoming new album The West Is Won


Saturday 22 December 2018

Steve Howe - Best Albums Of 2018

Here is my Top 25 Albums of 2018. It's been a great year for music and we couldn't run this blog without your support. Same goes for the bands, record labels and PR Reps who allows us to do what we do.

Thanks for all your support. It means a lot to us all.

Thanks to the entire team and the hard work they've put in over the last twelve months.

Roll on 2019!!!

Best Albums Of 2018
  1. Sleep - The Sciences 
  2. Boss Keloid - Melted On The Inch 
  3. High On Fire - Electric Messiah 
  4. YOB - Our Raw Heart 
  5. Weedpecker - III 
  6. Forming The Void - Rift 
  7. Bast - Nanoangstrom 
  8. OHHMS - Exist 
  9. Dead Now - Dead Now 
  10. CONAN - Existential Void Guardian 
  11. Yawning Man - The Revolt Against Tired Noises 
  13. Morag Tong - Last Knell Of Om 
  14. Black Rainbows - Pandaemonium 
  15. Belzebong - Light The Dankness 
  16. Estuary Blacks - Estuary Blacks 
  17. Fu Manchu - Clone Of The Universe 
  18. Monster Magnet - MindFucker 
  19. Orphans Of Doom - Orphans Of Doom 
  20. Sergeant Thuderhoof - Terra Solus 
  21. Henry Blacker - The Making Of Junior Bonner 
  22. River Cult - Halcyon Daze 
  23. Barbarian Hermit - Solitude And Savagery
  24. Domkraft - Flood 
  25. Earthless - Black Heaven

Håkan Nyman - Best Albums Of 2018

1. Pale Divine - Pale Divine
2. Forming The Void - Rift
3. Boss Keloid - Melted On The Inch
4. Kingnomad - The Great Nothing
5. Joecephus And The George Jonestown Massacre - Death Rattle Shake
6. Ozone Mama - Cosmos Calling
7. Craneium - The Narrow Line
8. Flummox - Intellectual Hooliganism
9. Plainride - Life On Ares
10. Lord - Desperation Finds Hunger In All Men

End of the year lists are always fun to compile but also a general pain in the ass. Simply because the older <I get the harder it is to remember all the new album’s I am fortunate to listen to every year. This year, however, that wasn’t really a problem, instead the close line between positions 1-3 was the difficult part. Still, my heroes Pale Divine held out for number one with their brand new amazing self-titled album. 

Forming The Void had to settle for a very close number two with ‘Rift’, while the truly breathtaking Brits Boss Keloid claimed an even closer number three. All the other releases on my list are wonderful recordings and deserve just as much accolade, however, when lists like this are made, some albums has to settle for a lower position when they should rank higher. 

Hope all you readers enjoy this!


Håkan Nyman

Todd Stealey - Best Albums Of 2018

Greetings All,

All in all a pretty killer year for Rock. After a ton of listening and some serious self editing. Here are my 25 favs of the year. Enjoy!

1. Haunt - Burst into Flame
2. High on Fire - Electric Messiah
3. Backwoods Payback - Future Slum
4. Sleep - The Sciences
5. Beastmaker - eps 1-8
6. Brundle Haze - Zardoz
7. Yob - Our Raw Heart
8. Saint Karloff - All Heed the Black God
9. Monster Magnet - Mindfucker
10. Brant Bjork - Mankind Woman
11. Black Lab - Under the Strawberry Moon 2.0
12. Burn Ritual - Blood of the Raven
13. Melvins - Pinkus Abortion Technician
14. Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats - Wasteland
15. Alastor - Slave to the Grave
16. Conan - Existential Void Guardian
17. Domkraft - Flood
18. Corrosion of Conformity - No Cross, No Crown
19. Graveyard - Peace
20. Mos Generator - Shadowlands
21. Greenleaf - Hear the Rivers
22. Clutch - Book of Bad Decisions
23. Druglord - New Day Dying
24. Black Label Society - Grimmest Hits
25. Black Rainbows - Pandaemonium

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

CHRMR - Respective Orbits (Album Review)

Release date: June 12th 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Respective Orbits – Tracklisting

1.Fits 03:58
2.Thermals 04:19
3.58 Rue Madame 04:19
4.Bleeder 03:53
5.Cold Star 04:15
6.Laugh 05:22


Crif Golding
Ed Jusko
Brian Mason
Andy Schmitz
Charlie Street


Respective Orbits is the new record from Rochester, New York, heavy rock riff merchants – CHRMR. The album has a slightly different feel and narrative from their self-titled debut EP. As the guys have gone for a more 90s sounding Alt-Rock/Metal groove and perhaps even early 2000’s post-hardcore sounds from bands such as At The Drive-In.

The band still employ similar Noise Rock, Grunge, Space Rock, Stoner Rock and Sludge Rock riffs that appeared on their debut EP. However Respective Orbits offers a the listener a more comprehensive sound with real intelligence to match. The album may take time to fully understand but that’s perhaps down to CHRMR not settling for one standard sound but for a wide range of different musical elements.

The album is quite soulful with second song Thermals being one of my favourite songs. The huge soaring vocals from the start feel inspired by Chris Cornell and most notably his Audioslave days. The heavy music offers a fine balancing act between Post-Hardcore, Grunge and Alternative Metal. I can feel slight influences to System Of A Down as well. Though that could be just me looking too much into things.

Other songs on the album such as 58 Rue Madame, Bleeder and Laugh are the other standout songs on the album with CHRMR playing more in-depth and equally progressive sounding loud and angry heavy rock that shows a band not afraid to experiment with their own sound and take the listener on a deep meaningful journey.

Respective Orbits is a great evolution and huge step forward in CHRMR’s overall sound and one that leaves you wanting more. Hopefully the band’s next release will have a few more songs. As the album is quite too short and I want to hear more from his hugely talented band.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


Friday 21 December 2018

Hollow Leg - Civlizations (Album Review)

Release date: Jan 25th 2019. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Civilizations – Tracklisting

Dirt Womb
Mountains of Stone
Black Moon
Hunter and the Hunted


Brent, Tim, Scott, and Tom


Greetings all,

I first discovered Florida’s Hollow Leg a couple of years back with their raw and heavy second record Abysmal. The band followed in 2016 with the impressive, post-metal of Crown. So, I jumped at the chance to give a listen to their new album Civilizations and I was not disappointed. The band brings it hard and heavy with a crushing barrage of sludge and post metal. Civilizations shows the band with a cleaner, clearer production than their previous releases and the band really thrives and the record does a tremendous job of showing their talent.

To the songs; Litmus opens the record an assault of drums and feedback that leads to an inspired riff and gruff, growled vocals. The song is slow and heavy and does a stellar job setting the pace for the album. The more uptempo Dirt Womb follows and it has a more distinct metal feel and sound. A big riff and an equally as big solo drives Mountains of Stone that continues the heaviness before settling down with an acoustic outro. The band keeps the low key vibe going with the acoustic and percussion based Black Moon, which is a brief interlude that has feedback mixed with a clean electric guitar. A Neurosis like heaviness returns with the uptempo

Hunter & the Hunted. The song is big and bombastic and my favorite on the record. The mostly instrumental riffage of Intro brings the final phase of the record into focus. Chimera is a drums driven, riff heavy monster that unleashes a wicked solo and utilizes a very cool vocal distortion effect. 

A slow, doom ridden riff drives the impressive Akasha before the band changes the pace for a more metal close to the track. The album closes with the heavy, pulsating riff of Exodus which unleashes a wave of darkness throughout before taking a journey into a Sabbath inspired jazz inflected post metal breakdown. A satisfying close to a great record.

Civilizations is a mighty feather in the cap of this impressive band of musicians. There are no flaws on the record, it is heavy, concise, and focused and at this point the pinnacle for this Florida metal masters. If you haven’t done so, you need to give Hollow Leg a listen. You will not be let down, they rock mightily!

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Thanks to Dewar PR for the promo. Civilizations will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Argonauta Records from Jan 25th 2019.


Thunderbird Divine - Magnasonic (Album Review)

Release date: Jan 11th 2019. Label: Salt Of The Earth Records. Format: CD/DD

Magnasonic – Tracklisting

2.'Til Shiloh
3.Bummer Bridge
4.The Devil's Hatband


Erik Caplan: Lead vocals; 6-string, 12-string, and tenor resonator electric guitars; bass guitar; acoustic guitars; bouzouki; marxolin; mandolin; theremin; noise box

Flynn Lawrence: Six-string, baritone and tenor resonator electric guitars; electric sitar; acoustic guitars

Adam Scott: Electric bass guitars; acoustic guitar

Mike Stuart: Drums; percussion; backing vocals


Thunderbird Divine is the new band that features ex-Wizard Eye member Erik Caplan in their ranks. The band is named after the song that appeared on Wizard Eye’s last album. This is a different beast to Wizard Eye. As Thunderbird Divine play a heavier style of Psychedelic Spaced Out Doom/Stoner Rock. Though the band aren’t afraid to lay down some thundering Sludge Metal grooves.

Thunderbird Divine debut album Magnasonic is perfectly named. As the band explore the many different sounds of levels of Psychedelic Stoner/Sludge Rock. The band add a real progressive groove to their music as they fully take flight on the album. The album contains a vintage sounding Fuzz Rock vibe with elements of classic Doom Rock/Metal.

The production has quite a raw and vintage feel to it with opening song – Qualified – almost seeing the band having an identity crisis with the different musical genres held on this song and that is a good thing. As the band play a different style of Psychedelic Stoner Rock. Lead vocalist Erik has a classic Hard Rock approach to his vocals and the results are excellent. The final stages of the song sees the band play a more Jam based sound where a high amount of epic spaced out riffs appear.

Second song – ‘Til Shilo – has a gloomier feel to it compared to the opening song and intense vocals as well. The song is still very psychedelic but more influenced by bands such as Black Sabbath. Thunderbird Divine still impress with the high voltage riffs and bombastic dual vocals the band have included here. This is one of the standout songs on the album.

Third song – Bummer Bridge – is a Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rock number and one that has a more direct sound compared to the other songs on the album. The gloomy Blues Rock atmosphere is quite soulful and the band sure have fun on this song.

Fourth song – The Devil’s Hatband – is perhaps the centrepiece of the entire album with the band playing an epic eleven minute song that throws everything at you and leaves you within the realm of Psychedelic Spaced Out Rock. The song opens rather quietly before expanding into a heavier sound. The heavier riffs take time to appear but this is where Thunderbird Divine prove why they’re such a great band in their own right. The mixture of classic rock sounds against the modern heavier progressive grooves keeps you entertained from the start.

Overall, Magnasonic is a thrilling and brilliantly loud album that entertains from start to finish. This is a great album to open the new year of heavy music with.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Leanne at Mettle Media PR for the promo. Magnasonic will be available to buy on CD/DD via Salt Of The Earth Records from Jan 11th 2019.


Facebook | BandCamp

Wednesday 19 December 2018

OREYEON Announce New Album Details and New Song Premiere Of ODE TO OBLIVION

You may just remember these awesome Italian Heavy Psychedelic Stoner Rockers OREYEON as ORION in 2016 when the band released their debut album Builders Of Cosmos.

Well almost 3 years later the guys are back with a heavy new sound and the band have changed their name to OREYEON. Details are shown below with a cool song premiere from their forthcoming new album - ODE TO OBLIVION

The Lowdown

OREYEON'S new album ODE TO OBLIVION comes after two years of experimental sessions in their little studio recording nestled between the sea and the mountains in the north west of Italy. This new full length crosses transversely all member's musical influences and takes shape leaving behind and definitely going beyond the rules that mostly describe the classical Stoner Rock genre.

Just from the first track, a strong sense of nothingness blends into a long unsettling travel through a microcosm full of colours while black shapes lead the traveller into a spiral of nihilistic lyrics, title tracks and monolithic riffs all at the same time . A pinch of the 90’s vocals' legacy gives to this full length, the gloominess that crowns a long period of rehearsals playing and jamming over all sorts of musical borders.


1. T.I.O.
2. Trudging to Vacuity
3. Ode to Oblivion
4. Big Surprise
5. The Ones
6. Starship Pusher

You can hear the premiere of their excellent new song - Trudging to Vacuity - from their brilliantly exciting and heavy spaced out album - Ode To Oblivion.

The album is available to pre-order now from Heavy Psych Sounds now on their usual legendary different vinyl formats


Facebook | BandCamp

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage and Heavy Psych Sounds for all the details.

Here's the band's last album BUILDERS OF COSMOS to get you in the mood....

    Saturday 15 December 2018

    An Interview With Reno Gooch From SPACE COKE

    Space Coke are a new band that I didn’t know much about until I listened to their excellent new album L'appel du Vide. Their blend of trippy Psychedelic Doom and Stoner Metal is very dark and mysterious. The band have included two fantastic covers of The Velvet Underground – Venus In Furs and Stevie Wonder classic Evil. They need to be heard. As Space Coke make these songs their own. 

    I caught up with Reno Gooch (Guitars/Vocals) from the band where we discussed the meaning of their name and working with Philip Cope of KYLESA fame when making their new album.

    Have a read and listen to the trippy sounds of the mightily weird SPACE COKE….

    Hi Reno. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today?

    Things are good. I have really been enjoying the buzz and positive responses from our new release. Happy to be here doing this interview with you.

    For people not in the know can you give a brief history of how Space Coke came together and what the current line-up is today.

    Space Coke started about a decade ago as a few guys jamming on some noise and dissonant, rhythmic music and evolved into a performing band. We began as an improvisational act and have evolved into more structured songwriting. There have been a few line-ups and each had a different sound. The current is myself on guitar and vocals, Jay Matheson on bass, Brandon Johnson on drums and Moses Andrews III on organ.

    Where did you get the name Space Coke from. Very cool sounding name.

    Thank you! It's from a scene in Cheech and Chong's "Next Movie" If you look for that scene (just search Cheech and Chong Space Coke on YouTube) you will see exactly why it's our name. Many of our shows have the same vibe as that scene. Chong's guitar antics in the whole movie remind me of myself.

    How would you describe your own music in your own words. As you play a very warped version of Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal which I find very hard to describe.

    I have always disliked joining the crowd artistically. My younger self refused lessons and learning other people's music because I felt it would make me sound like other musicians. I grew up listening to old family records and Indian classical music. My Grandfather raised me and is a Hindu from northern India. My other grandfather is Venezuelan. So I didn't listen to the music my American peers did at all.

    Many Interviewers look at me through white American classic rock glasses and don't understand the vibe. I was introduced to rock music through my dad's Zappa, Sabbath and Neil Young records. Zappa's perversion of musical norms and way of always improvising guitar solos really resonated with me. I just play what comes out.

    You have just released your new album L’appel du Vide. Can you give provide any details on this album. Such as what people can expect from the album, who will release the album and what formats.

    It is out on Mystery School Records and is available on their site and our Bandcamp page in CD form. Digitally it's available almost on any streaming site. It will be on cassette as soon as I can get that fulfilled. As far as what one can expect I hope it's a form of heavy music that is new and intriguing. I'm really looking for listener feedback to help direct me towards the follow up.

    I love your cover of the classic song Venus In Furs. Why did you include that song on the album and have you been playing that song for a long time. Or was it included just for this album.

    We only played it for the album. I wanted to do two covers that helped guide the listener into my mindset. It's such a trippy, droning song with excellent lyrics and subject matter. The originals are heavier and I wanted to round out the dynamics. "Evil" by Stevie Wonder was included because I was reintroduced to it on the series Atlanta's episode "Teddy." I love that episode and the song just fits. Also it's a message to the world we live in.

    Was recording the new album a hard or easy experience for the band?

    Recording is very easy for me. I love sounds and getting to hear them back. I generally know what I want to do before I record it. Our bassist owning an amazing studio helps a lot though.

    You worked with KYLESA’s Philip Cope on the album. What was that experience like and what does Philip bring to Space Coke’s music.

    He is such a cool guy to know and understands my stranger paths. Like when I say i want Helios Creed sounds and he understands completely. Phillip tracked the guitar and drums live then Jay Matheson did the rest and the mixing and mastering. I would love to have Phillip more involved in the future, he is very busy.

    That process works so well for me. Jay owns the Jam Room studio and Phillip is an engineer there. They have done some amazing records there including Kylesa, Baroness, Black Tusk and Coffin Torture. I am very lucky to have Phil and Jay involved in my efforts. They both bring a lot to the table.

    Did Philip provide any helpful words of advice to the band when you were recording the new album.

    He pretty much just let us rip. He was helpful in assuring me that what I was doing would work. Laying the foundation for the album with him and his support of our live feel was essential. 

    The album cover is awesome. Who designed the cover and how much input did you have into the final design.

    Lane Speas at Amplified Design in Boulder, Colorado is my guy. I wanted him to design the whole package. We went back and forth discussing the images a lot. There is a story to it. It's anti colonizer, anti patriarchal and has elements of Hindu astrology and numerology to it. The look and coloring is all Lane. I can't wait to work with him more.

    Will you be touring and promoting the new album heavily.

    We aren't able to tour much but I plan to. I'd love to go on the road soon. We have only played regionally so far but with some killer acts like Heavy Temple, Weedeater, Mick's Jaguar, Mountain Tamer, R.I.P., 20 Watt Tombstone and Coffin Torture among many others.

    What is the song writing dynamic in the band? Is it a group collective or down to certain individuals.

    I write the guitar parts then jam with Brandon to get it down rhythmically. After that Jay gets the tracks and writes the bass-lines. Moses is so far beyond all of us that he can just jump right in.

    What comes first when writing and recording new music? Music or lyrics.

    I write them simultaneously but separately. I then decide which lyrics fit which songs.

    What inspires you when writing music?

    Well I am obsessed with making noise and sound. I do this because I love sound and rhythm. As far as lyrics it's amazing to be able to make a scene or story abut anything that interests me.

    With this year almost drawing to a close, what have been your favourite albums of the year?

    A lot of Riding Easy stuff this year has been amazing. Standouts are Monolord, Blackwater Holylight and Spiny Norman. I love Saint Karloff and Shrooms Circle. The Coffin Torture album is so nasty in a good way. So much good shit came out in 2018 it's hard to say. I'm listing heavier stuff but I also like a lot of genres. The list could go on for pages.

    Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go do you have any words of wisdom to say to your fans?

    I love how music fans this year have supported diverse smaller acts and have pushed them forward with open minds. Let's keep that going!

    Words by Steve Howe and Reno Gooch

    Thanks to Curtis at Dewar PR for arranging this interview. L'appel du Vide is available to buy now.


    57 Down - S/T (EP Review)

    Release date: December 11th 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

    57 Down – S/T – Tracklisting

    1.Crown of Thorns 06:04
    2.Sisters of the Valley 03:30
    3.EyeSaw 03:21
    4.Stockholm Calling 03:16


    Matt Chapman - Bass
    Billy Law-Bregan - Bass
    Johnny Mittens - Vocals
    Daryl Hocking - Drums


    I originally featured 57 Down on the blog earlier this year when I featured them as a band to look out for. Well the band are here to deliver on that statement with their self-titled debut EP. The EP is a mixture of Grunge and Stoner Rock and draws influences from Alice In Chains and Clutch in parts. I was expecting this EP to be a lot heavier but 57 Down have still delivered a hard-rocking and highly confident release.

    Opening song – Crown Of Thorns – is an old-fashioned Grunge/Stoner Rock number with a soulful psychedelic groove holding everything together. The vocals from Johnny have a nineties alternative rock/metal feel to them and they match the music superbly well. The song is not what you call flat-out Stoner Rock. However this allows 57 Down to play different styles of Hard Rock.

    Second song – Sisters Of The Valley – is a more straight-forward song with the band having less time to play with compared to the opening song. Though the song does take time to fully get going but the vocals are perhaps the best part of the song. Lead singer Johnny relishes his role here and perhaps puts his best vocal performance on the EP. The song does have some of the heaviest moments on the EP and they’re quite exciting to hear at times.

    Third Song – EyeSaw – is the standout song on the EP as the song opens with a classic and jagged Hard Rock sound that soon gives way to 57 Down grizzled Grunge/Stoner Rock sound. The psychedelic vibes keeps the mood vibrant and leaves you wanting more. The band even manage to find time to include some heavy pounding NWOBHM sounds. As the song has a harsher sound compared to the other songs on the EP.

    Fourth Song – Stockholm Calling – is perhaps the most “rocking” song on the EP. I mean it’s perhaps the song that the band would use to open a set with and get the crowd pumped up to rock out to or start a mini-moshpit. The song is quite catchy and has a rebellious feel to it.

    The production on the EP is good and you can feel the raw energy coming from the band’s music. Though it would have been better if some parts of the EP had more volume to it. As it can be too quiet for its own good. Maybe with future releases 57 Down will sound heavier and more dynamic as a result. 

    However this hasn’t stopped the band releasing a strong and hugely entertaining record that will hopefully get them noticed within the UK Hard Rock/Grunge/Stoner Rock scene. As I do want to hear what the guys can do on a longer record.

    Words by Steve Howe


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