Saturday, 17 August 2019

An Interview With Brad Frye Discussing Desert Records And WOMEN OF DOOM

Today I'm interviewing Brad Frye. Owner of Desert Records and the creative genius behind Psychedelic Stoner Rockers - RED MESA.

I'm interviewing Brad as he's just setup a KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN with Jadd Shickler from Blues Funeral record label to focus on the WOMEN OF DOOM.

Women of Doom is an album of all-new music and original songs from some of the best artists in heavy music today to recognize and celebrate the impact of women on all things heavy.

I wanted to find out more about Brad's work with Desert Records and where the idea of WOMEN OF DOOM came from. There will be a future interview with Brad where we will discuss RED MESA.

For now enjoy this interview with Brad and find out more about the awesome work he's currently doing...

How did Desert Records start?

It started in Albuquerque, NM in 2018. I was watching a raven out in the desert flying around rocks and cactus. It landed on a dead tree limb overlooking the desert landscape. It looked wise and intelligent and strong and beautiful. The raven turned its head and looked straight at me. It stared straight into my soul. It asked me if I was on the right path in my life. I wasn't and the raven knew it to. Without words, the raven said, “You better get on it.” Then it flew off.

I went home and started Desert Records. 


When did you get the insane idea to run a record label?

My band Red Mesa was finishing up recording our album “The Devil and the Desert”. I figured that if we were going to press a vinyl record, why not have it on a label? And if I wanted to have control of the process, I knew it what time to do it myself.

I felt like it was very important for me to learn more about the music business side of things while learning how to get the album into the hands (and ears) into more people.

Was it hard process setting up Desert Records?

It's the first business that I have ever started. Huge learning curve. Still a huge learning curve now, a year later. I took a small business class online. I talked to a lot of people. I dove in and started learning on the fly. I've made a ton of mistakes. The amount of stress has been overwhelming at times. It's an extremely hard process because there are so many different components of running a label. I'm a one man DIY operation. I could use about 10 employees, but I can't afford to pay one person at the moment. I hope that at some point the label will become successful enough for me to have a team to work with. In the meantime, I'll be working a full-time day job, being a husband, working on Desert Records AND writing new music with Red Mesa with every free second I get.

Looking back now would you do anything different?

I wouldn't have started a record label! Ha ha! It's so much work. But totally worth it. I think I would have done so many things different in the first year. I've learned so much, and I look back and think, “Fuck, I could have done things so much better.” Such as life.

Why did you call the label Desert Records?

I wanted to name the label something very simple and easy to remember. Like Island Records, for example. Also, I didn't want the name to be something fancy or flashy, because I want the bands on the label to stand out, not the label itself. Plus, I love the fucking desert. I'm obsessed with the SW United States desert country. And I grew up in Maine on the coastline where I could see Mount Desert Island from my kitchen window as a boy. So, the Desert Records is something that combines my past, present, and future all into one.


Have you had any help from the DIY Record Labels currently within the underground Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal scene? Or have you done this all by yourself? 


Dude, I have been so blessed to have received guidance from some of the best in the underground.

I'm glad you asked, because I want to give big shout outs to Todd at Ripple, Jadd at Blues Funeral, Neils at Cursed Tongue Records, and Jay at Orange Whip Records. I could not have done this without them. They have been so kind, helpful, and supportive. They have provided me with so much advice and business resources.

I remember talking with all these guys individually before starting Desert Records and saying, “Hey man, I'm gonna start a record label. I wanted to let you know and hope that's cool. Not trying to take away any business.” They all responded with encouragement and support. That felt really good going into it.

Which bands do you have signed currently to your label?

The newest band to join Desert Records is Nebula Drag. They are an amazing psychedelic stoner metal band from San Diego. “Blud” will be released on vinyl, CD, and digital on September 27th, 2019.

The artist roster includes When The Deadbolt Breaks (CT). They are an incredible psychedelic Doom band. The Horned God (NM), an ancient Celtic Stoner Metal and Cos-play band. Their debut album is out now. Red Mesa (NM), my band that is desert rock, metal, Americana and psychedelia.

I have a small artist roster for now. This is intentional because I wanted to take the time to learn how to run a label and be able to have time to work with the bands. I'm slowly growing, but only as I feel comfortable with. Bands really like to be able to feel support from their label. I talk, text, and message with the bands all the time. I want to be there for them. If I had 50 bands on the label, I wouldn't be able to do that.

Do you have a set of rules when signing a band to your label or who you want to work with?

Yes. Number one, I need to love their music. If I don't love it, I'm not putting it out. Two, I want to work with good people. People that are loving, intelligent, thoughtful human beings and artists. Desert Records does not tolerate racism, bigotry, fascism, homophobia, or hatred of any kind. Three, I want to work with bands that are very active and are willing to work hard through tours, making fans, promoting their record, and networking. Four, have fun. Music is important, and it's a very challenging journey, but you gotta enjoy the trip.

Do you have any upcoming album releases that folks maybe excited about?

Nebula Drag's second full-length “Blud” will be released on September 27th. This album is a ripper!

This will be 10 tracks from dudes in San Diego. If you have never seen or heard Nebula Drag, go check them out. First class music wizardry. This band is a perfect example of the evolution of heavy rock. They have elements of many things that rock, metal, and punk fans will love: riffs, melodic singing, high energy, psychedelic grooves, huge and heavy sound, and killer songs.

And of course, Women of Doom in the spring of 2020!

The project I’ve seen you working on now is WOMEN OF DOOM. What is that project all about. 

This project is celebrating and honouring women for their contributions and achievements in heavy music. This brings together some of the most talented musicians in the heavy music world today, under one album, to honor highlight women in rock. I knew I wanted to do a project with some of my favorite artists in the heavy underground. It took a long time and a lot of conversations with the artists and women in my life to have the right plan. 


I wanted to make sure that fans and the artists know this is not about the exploitation of women. This isn't about “sexy women of heavy metal”.

The agreements between the artists and the label are 50-50. As simple and fair as a record deal exists. I have the artists submit all the photos of themselves. Content and news are exchanged between the artists. Transparency and trust.

The artists are free to submit the music/song of their choice. I encourage dialogue and feedback about the project. I want this to be done right.

It's an obvious challenge to create and launch a project like Women of Doom when I am not a woman myself. I let the women do the talking, and I will support them in any way possible and help get their music out their for the people to enjoy!

What is the overall aim for the project.

The overall aim is to inspire through music and creativity. I hope that the musicians and the music fans will be inspired by this project. I hope this will give the musicians an opportunity to create and express themselves in a way that they haven't had the outlet for. I hope that music fans will discover their music and start to listen to new music. I hope people will be inspired to pick up a creative project in their life. Maybe this will inspire kids to pick up musical instruments. I feel there are so many negative things going on in the world, that this is something positive that people can focus on.

Are you doing this project yourself or do you have help arranging this entire project.

Once I felt ready and comfortable to make this idea a reality, I talked with Jadd Shickler from Blues Funeral. He owned and operated the legendary record label MeteorCity. He lives here in Albuquerque too. After many discussions, I asked him to collaborate. This project required wisdom and experience that I didn't have to properly launch it. Jadd was the right person to work with.

Desert Records has also joined forces with Jenn D'Eugenio of Women in Vinyl. She is amazing and has really helped to guide the direction of the project. She's introduced me to artists that are now on the album. She has been a supporter of this project from the first day we talked and I'm very happy and grateful that we are working together.

You have some awesome musicians currently involved. And everyone writing new material for the album.

Yes! Holy shit, this line-up is getting stacked: Rebecca Vernon (Subrosa, The Keening, Amy Tung-Barrysmith (Year of the Cobra), Lauren Gaynor (Deathbell), Sarah Pendleton and Kim Cordray (Subrosa, Avarice), Doomstress Alexis (Doomstress), Gwyn Strang (Frayle), Nighthawk (Heavy Temple), and a couple big surprises to be announced over the next few weeks!

Yes, all the artists are providing brand new, never-before-heard material. The songs I have heard so far have blown my mind. You are in for a real treat.

It’s good to see your KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN reaching it’s target in double quick time. Has it surprised you how quickly that happened.

Thank you! People have shown a lot of love and support for this project. I truly didn't know what to expect. I hoped that people would be as excited about it as I am. For us to hit our goal in the first 15 days felt so good. As I'm writing this, we still have nine days to go. I hope the project can continue to be supported so we can do as much as we can for the incredible artists who are providing us all with new music and amazing songs.

Do you think there’s an issue with female musicians not getting enough credit as their male counterparts within the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal scene.

I feel heavy rock and metal has been historically dominated by males. But some of my favourite artists and bands are centered around women. I find a lot of inspiration from these women. I hope this project will give these musicians and their bands new fans.

Will this be a regular project or just a one-off project.

Not sure yet! Women of Doom will come out in Spring 2020.

Words by Steve Howe and Brad Frye

Thanks to Brad for doing this interview. 

WOMEN OF DOOM


Desert Records


Red Mesa

Facebook | Bandcamp

Yarnspinner - A Massive Head Of Steam (Album Review)


Release date: August 16th 019. Label: Self Released. Format: DD – Physical Releases coming later.

For The Masses – Tracklisting

1.The Stag of Lee's Valley 02:40
2.Hair of the Tooth 04:48
3.Drunk Cosmonaut 03:33
4.Night Witch 09:52
5.Respect the Whakamanas 01:41
6.The Great Indulgence 07:36
7.A Massive Head of Steam 14:01

Members

Thomas Brand - Vocals
Nick Smith - Guitars, Vocals
Josh Day - Guitars, Vocals
Brigitt White - Bass
Tim Stewart - Drums

Review

A Massive Head Of Steam is the debut album from New Zealand Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metallers – Yarnspinner – and it’s gloriously heavy and rough as hell album that doesn’t shy away from it’s DIY rock/metal roots for a thrilling and direct modern sound.

The album opens with The Stag Of Lee’s Valley and it’s a mix of Sludge, Doom, Stoner Metal and a healthy dose of Punk Rock holding everything together. The snarling vocals of Thomas feels he’s been picked out of a Punk Rock band as he carries a rough and ready demeanour to his style of vocals and it works like a charm. The heavy riffs take time to become settled and more confident. Once they do Yarnspinner create one hell of a racket that sees the band play some epic sounding Doom/Sludge/Stoner based sounds.

Second song – Hair Of The Tooth – is a more gloomy affair with the band playing a more Doom based sound with elements of Sludge/Stoner Metal creeping in here and there. The overall sound of the album is quite lo-fi but is handled surprisingly well. The lyrics aren’t the strongest and quite basic in parts but it’s the overall package that Yarnspinner offer on this song that makes it an uncompromising listen.

Third song – Drunk Cosmonaut – feels influenced by WEEDEATER and New Zealand Heavyweights – BEASTWARS. So if you like your music with a WEEDIAN influence but with a more cosmic sound then this song will impress you the most. The riffs are HEAVY AS FUCK and Yarnspinner make no apologies for this and offer one of the most exciting songs on the album.

Fourth song – Night Witch – sees the band change direction for the album as they venture into the realm of Of Progressive Rock/Metal with this almost 10 minute epic. This is the first of 3 songs on the album where Yarnspinner offer the listener a more progressive listen with the band impressing with their own style of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal but with a more theatrical edge. The lyrics and vocals are both on point here and show you that the band are a more exciting prospect writing and playing these epic songs.

Fifth song – Respect the Whakamanas – sees the band return to their fast-paced Punk driven Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal sound with the band playing a more primal style of music. It’s all over and done with in under two minutes and it’s breathlessly entertaining.

The final two songs – The Great Indulgence and A Massive Head Of Steam – sees the band offer 22 minutes of music with the final song lasting over 14 minutes by itself. The band flex their creative talents on both of these songs and perhaps offer the most exciting parts of the album. However, it can be frustrating in places. As the band play many different styles of music on this part of the album and it can be hard to keep up at times. 

Overall, A Massive Head Of Steam does exactly what it needs to do and that’s to entertain and to pummel the listener into submission with heavy sounding riffs from the start.

If you’re a fan of Weedeater, Bongzilla, CONAN and BEASTWARS then this is the perfect place to be.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:


Thursday, 15 August 2019

Ghastly Sound - Have A Nice Day (Album Review)


Release date: September 13th 2019. Label: Magnetic Eye Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Have A Nice Day – Tracklisting

1.Bait and Switch
2.We're All Shadows
3.Deathlogic
4.War
5.No Security
6.Selina Kyle
7.The Holocene Has Ended
8.Electric Tumor
9.Have A Nice Day

Members

Tyler Gurwicz
Ryan Lewis
TJ Maynard

Review

Ghastly Sound debut full length album – Have A Nice Day – is a vivid, bold, brash and violent delight that sees this hard hitting power trio drawing influences from Torche, At The Drive-In, Red Fang and Kylesa. As the band play a mix of Sludge Rock, Doom Metal, Punk Rock, Stoner Metal with violent Psychedelic Rock tendencies.

The opening two songs Bait and Switch & We’re All Shadows have a fast-paced and complex rhythm merged with a harsh “Doom-Pop” sound that Floor and Torche are known for. Add aggressive riffs, vocals and lyrics where the Psychedelic Grooves hide a darker and progressive sound that Ghastly Sound fully explore on the later stages of the album.

Ghastly Sound explore the darker side of their music compared to their previous EP’s. This album takes you places that you wouldn’t expect with socially aware lyrics having a distinctive edge to them and all set against a backdrop of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal grooves that shouldn’t really work this well. However, Ghastly Sound make you believe in their overall creative vision of the entire album.

Songs such as Deathlogic, War, No Security, Electric Tumor and Have a Nice Day sees the band continue to offer a bleak and harsh vision with brash and pissed off soulful vocals to match.

The albums production is quite intense and allows Ghostly Sound to preach their hard-hitting message with expert precision. The best parts of the album is when the “poppier” moments appear and allow the listener to catch their breath and take every trippy psychedelic sound into their own being. Though the album doesn’t stay silent for long as Ghastly Sound thrive upon playing music that is LOUD, ANGRY and PRIMAL that leaves you wanting more.

Have A Nice Day is an epic sounding album that has BRAINS as well as BRAWN. This is an album that sees Ghastly Sound fully live up to their huge potential and deliver a record that’s packed full of different sounds that allows you to have a completely different kind of Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal experience.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Jadd at Red Lead PR for the promo. Have A Nice Day will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Magnetic Eye Records from September 13th 2019.

Links:

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

DUNES - Take Me To The Nasties (Album Review) and Video Premiere Of SOS


Release date: September 06th 2019. Label: Sapien Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Take Me To The Nasties – Tracklisting

1.Take Me To The Nasties 
2.SOS
3.Been Expecting You
4.Release The Clowns
5.Phantom Head
6.Danger Mouth
7.Shakamoto's Revenge
8.Lantern
9.Denim Casket 
10.Everything Is Blue

Members

J - G/V
A - B/V
N - D

Review

Take Me To The Nasties is the highly anticipated debut album from UK Desert Rock/Stoner Metallers – DUNES – who are from Newcastle Upon Tyne. Which is coincidently my home town. So I was super excited to hear and review this album and the guys don’t disappoint at all. Taking influence from bands such as Clutch, Red Fang, QOTSA and Torche. DUNES have all the bases covered with their highly infectious blend of Desert Rock and Stoner Metal that has a vintage Punk Rock sound holding everything together.

The album flies out of the hurdle with the first two songs – Take Me To The Nasties and SOS. Both tracks show that DUNES play their own style of Desert/Stoner Rock with a rough and ready attitude. The band take the street credibility of early QOTSA with the hard rocking aggression of Red Fang. The vocals and lyrics are very much in your face and allow DUNES to have a no holds barred approach to their music. There are some cool sounding Psychedelic Rock vibes played on SOS and makes the album even more addictive.

Third song – Been Expecting You – has a classic QOTSA feel to it again with the jagged edge Stoner Rock riffs building upto a confident rhythm. DUNES show a real creative flair for writing music that gets straight down to the point of ROCKING OUT.

Take Me To The Nasties overall production is quite raw from the start and it’s quite good for the most part of the album. There’s a couple of rough moments on the later stages of the song but nothing major to complain about.

Fourth song – Release The Clowns – is where DUNES finally bring a more thunderous Stoner Metal groove to their overall sound and this perhaps one of the best songs on the album. The song is quite intense in places and has an unforgiving nature with it’s Red Fang style delivery. Though this is still DUNES show and they prove they know how to write a loud and mean Stoner Metal song.

Other standout songs on the album include – Phantom Head, Danger Mouth, Shakamoto’s Revenge and Denim Casket – with DUNES employing a more rigid style of music that opens the album to echoes of Doom Metal and even Drone Rock in places.

Take Me To The Nasties is the type of album that you wish QOTSA would still make today before they left the Stoner Rock/Metal world behind. This is one of the most exciting and fast-paced Stoner Rock/Metal albums you’ll likely to hear this year.

DUNES have proved their worth already on this debut album and I can only see great things happening to this band over the next 12 to 18 months. My advice is to get with the program and check DUNES out now.

You won’t be sorry…..

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to David at Sapien Records for the promo. Take Me To The Nasties will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Sapien Records Psych Sounds from September 06th 2019.

Check out the new video for the excellent new song SOS from their upcoming new album.


Links:


Sunday, 11 August 2019

NEWS - Boston Heavy Rockers CORTEZ Begin Recording New Album


Boston heavy rockers CORTEZ have entered Mad Oak Studios in Allston, MA to begin recording the follow up to their 2017 album "The Depths Below." The band is once again recording with Benny Grotto (WORSHIPPER, SCISSORFIGHT, GOZU) manning the board. This will be the first recording to feature the current lineup:

Matt Harrington - vocals
Scott O'Dowd - guitar
Alasdair Swan - guitar
Jay Furlo - bass
Alexei Rodriguez - drums

Speaking about the material the band states, "We couldn't be more excited; our new material is at once different and yet quintessentially Cortez. We are thrilled to be working with Benny Grotto again, as he totally gets what we are trying to achieve sonically. We can't wait for everyone hear the songs." 


Cortez are laying low on the live front to concentrate on recording, but currently have one show scheduled: Friday September 27 at Lucky 13 in Brooklyn, NY with Vessel Of Light, Eternal Black, and Clothesline.

Viaje a Ixtlan - CALMA I & CALMA II (Album Review)

Release date: May 20th 2019. Label: Self Released. Format: DD


Calma I – Tracklisting

1.El Puente 05:50
2.El Rio 06:32
3.Sueño de Agua 06:52
4.Atemporal 04:41


Calma II – Tracklisting

1.Ruhe 09:42
2.Motorico 07:02
3.Autopista 03:41
4.El Aliado 05:50

Members

Mariano Bertolazzi – Bass
Andrés “el Jeque” Raffo – Synth
Fernando Figueiras – Guitar
Leonardo Aldegani – Drums

Review

It’s quite ambitious for South American Psych Rockers Viaje a Ixtlan to release a double album with Calma I and Calma II. It would have been better to release the album as one overall package. Though I’m hear to review the music and not how they’ve been released.

Viaje a Ixtlan play a wild blend of Psych Rock, Krautrock, Post-Rock and Stoner Rock that works for the majority of both albums. The sound can be too experimental in places but Viaje a Ixtlan have written some excellent out of this world sounds. The albums sound quite similar to each other but vastly different as well with Calma I being the heaviest of the two albums and Calma II being the more quiet and less forceful release.

The albums are superbly produced with Viaje a Ixtlan playing a wide range of different moods and emotions. The vocals are quite personal in places and feel restrained especially on Calma I. There is a lot of sonic experimentation on both albums and Viaje a Ixtlan are quite adapt in marrying off different sounds and genres that shouldn’t really work but they pull this off with effortless style and grace.

You can hear some cool sounding “Jazz” influences being played on different parts of both albums and it has quite a chilled out effect before the Space Rock grooves appear and return Viaje a Ixtlan to their heavier Post-Rock/Stoner Rock vibes.

Even though both albums are quite on the short side each running for 25 minutes. You are treated to some fantastic progressive sounds. If you’re a fan of EARTHLESS then you will find much to admire here.

Viaje a Ixtlan have released two superb albums that have every emotional need and mood covered with their Psychedelic/Spaced Out journey into the cosmos.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:


Calma I 



Calma II

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Desert Records Announce WOMEN OF DOOM


DESERT RECORDS have announced the following KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN for WOMEN OF DOOM.

The Lowdown

In a music universe dominated by male artists and egos, female musicians have been creating powerful heaviness and kicking ass since the dawn of the amplified riff.

Women of Doom is an album of all-new music and original songs from some of the best artists in heavy music today to recognize and celebrate the impact of women on all things heavy.

Great music is great music, and while there probably shouldn’t be a distinction between male and female musicians, we know there is one. That’s why it’s important to highlight and recognize the badass women whose creativity and heaviness have been blowing our minds and our speakers for years.

Women of Doom is a collaborative album presented on limited edition vinyl, CD, and digital formats in an array of exclusive collectors’ packages, featuring new, original songs from artists like:
  • Sarah Pendleton and Kim Cordray of SubRosa/Avarice/The Otolith
  • Alexis Hollada of Doomstress
  • Gwyn Strang of Frayle
  • And many more to be revealed soon!
To be clear, this album isn't about sexualizing women in metal - that would be an insult to our own values and the artists involved.

Heavy music is a powerful force, and some of our favorite heavy musicians are women, so what better time than now for an album dedicated to the talent and strength of these phenomenal artists?!?

That's why Women of Doom is about bringing new music into the world by artists we admire, and focusing on the inspiration they create. Women inspiring women. Women inspiring everyone.

Our ultimate hope is that listeners are inspired to pick up instruments, start bands, write songs, and carry the torch of heavy rock into the future.

An Interview With Andy Murray From ALLUVION

It’s hard to believe that Psychedelic Rock/Metallers ALLUVION have been going as a band for 20 years now. The band have gained quite the reputation since then and in my humble opinion they should be more well known within the Sludge/Stoner Metal scene.

Hopefully with the release of their upcoming 3rd album – The Secret’s Out – due to be released on Sept 6th 2019 that the band will gain more attention as they truly deserve it.

With that in mind, I managed to chat to Andy Murray (Drums/Vox) from the band where we discussed the making of the new album and ALLUVION epic journey so far...

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

Very good, indeed.

Can you give a brief history of how Alluvion came together and what the current line-up is today?

1999... Just kids with a passion for music. Playing for our friends, and our friend's bands. The current line-up is the best it could possibly be.

How would you describe your own music in your own words?

Experimental heavy rock and metal fluctuating with sensory overload at times. A variety of sorts with a solid core. Very collaberatory between the members, whom bring their own influences and point of views across.

You will be releasing your new album – The Secret’s Out very soon. What can people expect from the album?

Great tunes; interesting sounds and production. This one is thorough, and not to be missed.

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

Not too difficult, thanks to Stickman Studios which is operated by our own Brian Carnes.



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

It can vary at times. The song "By Design", for example, was song written by Steve collaborating with other local musicians. Now composed by Alluvion to be a track that holds a lot of weight on the new album. Where was "Husk" was a spontaneous jam session where everything falls into place at once.

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

It's hard to pin-down a method for songwriting because it can start with lyrics sometimes. Other times it can be certain members jamming or swapping demo recordings of ideas and such. The four of us get together to complete it and add their flavor to the mixture.

What inspires you when writing music?

Everything. I'm always searching for sources of inspiration, usually finding it at live shows.

Did you have the opportunity to perform live on a regular basis in your home town or do you have to travel further afield?

Yes we've certainly covered most of the ground in our home town. That's not saying a whole lot because it is a small town. However, we are lucky to be about an hour away from two major cities D.C. and Richmond. This providing some different opportunities through the years.

How would you describe the Alluvion LIVE experience?

A full-effect experience; Intense and fun. We aim to make it memorable, inspiring, and heavily gratifying. To show our appreciation to everyone who came to the show, and make the show possible.

Alluvion have been going as band for over twenty years. Did you ever expect for the band to last that long? 


That is very rare. At this point I think we recognize that and can all agree to protect it. To avoid self destructing something so powerful and uplifting, and something that rocks so fucking hard.


What have been your high points and low points within that period? 

We've had hiatuses, our arguments, disagreements. We've pursued other musical ventures. And to focus on those would be a complete waste of energy. I would say a high point would be right now. We got our health, our chemistry in the band. We're dropping a brand new solid record. Let's ride this wave it feels good. 

Looking back over your epic career, would you change anything that the band has experienced?

Nah I guess not. It may sound cliche, but the experiences make us what we are today. Helps us learn from mistakes and hone our craft whatever that may be.

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

Be inspired, support bands, have a good time.

Words by Steve Howe and Andy Murray

Thanks to Curtis at Dewar PR for arranging this interview. Thanks to Andy for doing this interview.

The Secret’s Out will be available to buy from Sept 6th 2019.

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

Ecstatic Vision - For The Masses (Album Review)


Release date: September 20th 2019. Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

For The Masses – Tracklisting

1 Sage Wisdom
2 Shut Up And Drive
3 Yuppie Sacrifice
4 Like A Freak
5 For The Masses
6 The Magic Touch
7 Grasping The Void

Members

Doug Sabolik
Michael Field Connor
Kevin Nickles
Ricky Culp

Review

Ecstatic Vision new album – For The Masses – takes the freak-out and psychedelic sounds of Raw Rock Fury and matches it against the Heavy Psych Stoner Rock backdrop that appeared on their celebrated 2015 debut album Sonic Praise.

For The Masses is a more focused album with the band finally settling down for a clearer and more diverse sound. The album is quite compact and doesn’t waste a second within it’s 35 minute run time. Ecstatic Vision blend Psych, Classic Rock, Space Rock, Stoner Rock and Doom Rock for one massive Psychedelic Freak Out that bring back memories of Hawkwind and early-era Monster Magnet.

The production is excellent and the 7 songs on offer show a band who are happy and willing to experiment with every part of their overall sound and still leave you wanting more.

The vocals are quite SHAMANIC in places and have a mad preacher vibe to them. The riffs are built on a wild mix mix of ZEN LIKE CREATIVITY and Stoner Rock Weirdness. This is how a classic Psychedelic Rock album should sound like. Bold, Brave and willing to take risks at every single opportunity.

The album does see Ecstatic Vision play a wide range of different sounds and instruments on this album. Perhaps from their time recording Raw Rock Fury which sounded vastly different to Sonic Praise. It’s good to see the band blend those two different sounds onto this album and still sound vastly different as well.

Standout songs include – Shut Up And Drive, Yuppie Sacrifice, The Magic Touch and Grasping The Void.

Ecstatic Vision have found the perfect home with Heavy Psych Sounds and this albums proves that Ecstatic Vision are one of the smartest, weirdest and most exciting voices within the Psychedelic Rock/Stoner Rock scene today.

Overall, For The Masses is a gloriously hip and fresh sounding album that will rank as one of the best albums of 2019.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. For The Masses will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from September 20th 2019.

Links:


Tuesday, 6 August 2019

MØNSTRØID Announce New Video For LOST IN THE HAZE

Cape Town based stoner/desert rock band MØNSTRØID have released the video for their track Lost In the Haze, taken from their 2017 debut album Set 1.

Shot in both South Africa and the Namibian desert the band comments on the video, “We love where we live, and we wanted to position the Western regions of Southern Africa as the African counterpart to California’s desert rock scene, from where we draw so much inspiration. The video puts the band driving through it. From the dried-up desert pans, to the water flowing out of rocks sustaining life when all around it is dry, to the semi desert where the water flows freely. All the vast desert beauty we should celebrate.”

MØNSTRØID is the love child of 4 dudes from Cape Town, born out of a deeply shared appreciation for writing, making and sharing tectonic plate-shifting music. From the rumbling depths emerges a melodic molten soundscape. From the skies a flaming fireball of fuzz. MØNSTRØID resides where these forces collide. For lovers of growling guitars, distorted groove laden bass, melodic vocals and exploding drums of thunder.

The band are in studio at the moment working on their new album which is set to release early 2020


Sunday, 4 August 2019

Sūrya - Solastalgia (Album Review)


Release date: July 26th 2019. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Solastalgia – Tracklisting

1.Anthropocene 09:17
2.The Purpose 08:55
3.Fenland 02:30
4.Black Snake Prophecy 07:32
5.Saviours 05:06

Members

Raquel - drums
Greg - guitar
Mark - bass
Bartek - guitar

Review

Solastalgia is the new album from UK Doom/Post-Metal collective Sūrya and it’s a socially aware and emotionally driven album taking influences from Neurosis, Russian Circles and Fall Of Efrafa. The album doesn’t hold back in creating a bleak and sombre mood that’s quite emotionally draining. For me that’s a sign of a truly forward thinking album.

Solastalgia runs for 35 minutes across 5 songs that blend Post-Doom Metal grooves with progressive Post-Metal sounds with haunting Psychedelic and Ambient based textures that allow Sūrya to fully maximize their overall presence on this album. Some of the songs start real slow before building upto a heavier and threatening sound that captures the “Doom and Gloom” of Post-Metal like Pelican and Russian Circles used to back in the day.

The instrumental work is near flawless with the members of Sūrya all proving their work on the deep complex sounds they have written on songs such as Anthropocene, The Purpose and Black Snake Prophecy. The album does veer into Post-Black Metal territory a few moments and it’s good to hear Sūrya explore their more extreme sounds on the album.

Solastalgia won’t be for everyone and I think that works to Sūrya’s favour. As the band can take more bolder risks and decisions with their music and that shows on Solastalgia. The album takes no prisoners despite it’s short running time and actually leaves you wanting more.

Overall, Solastalgia is one of the boldest and most socially aware Post-Metal albums I’ve heard in a long time.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Mona at All Noir PR for the promo. Solastalgia is available to buy on Cassette/CD/DD/Vinyl via Argonauta Records now.

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp