Friday Full-Length: Dozer, Through the Eyes of Heathens

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Part of the magic of listening to Dozer is being able to say, no matter which of their five albums you put on, that, yes, this was the moment when they came into their own. Even going back to their 2000 debut, In the Tail of a Comet (discussed here), as their sound was so highly influenced by the desert rock coming out of California, they inevitably brought their own spin to those established elements. 2005’s Through the Eyes of Heathens was their penultimate album ahead of 2008’s Beyond Colossal (discussed here), and it was their first release through Small Stone Records in the US, which became their home after moving from Man’s Ruin Records to their own Molten Universe imprint. They were, of course, an absolute monster of a band by then, and given the swath of early and later splits and singles they released and the touring they did, it’s easy to forget that only five years separate their first and fourth long-players. But that momentum can be heard as well across the 10 songs on Through the Eyes of Heathens, and it sounds utterly unstoppable.

From the very start of “Drawing Dead” through the memorable lead line in the slower-paced closer “Big Sky Theory,” Dozer assembled a work of impeccable songwriting and deep-rooted character. In the arc of their career, every record was another step forward, and just as 2001’s Madre de Dios built on the debut and 2003’s Call it Conspiracy (discussed here) built on that, so too did Through the Eyes of Heathens pick up from where its predecessor left off. Its sound was still rooted in a heavy rock feel, but Dozer were able to translate that into something more aggressive when they wanted — their sound had bite as well as lumber, and while a cut like “Born a Legend” could be traced back to their desert-minded beginnings in its basic structure, by the time it was finally executed, it was something else entirely. Working with the core trio of guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Nordin, guitarist Tommi Holappa (see also: Greenleaf), bassist Johan Rockner (now of Besvärjelsen), the band had parted with drummer Erik Bäckwall (also now in Besvärjelsen) after the third LP, and they brought in Karl Daniel Lidén to fill in behind the kit.

No minor change. Lidén had played in Greenleaf with Holappa as well as in Demon Cleaner, and was already by then well into honing his craft as a producer/engineer. On drums for Through the Eyes of Heathens, he added to the propulsion of songs like “From Fire Fell” and the underlying intensity of “The Roof, the River, the Revolver,” while holding together the airy groove in the volume-surge chorus of “Days of Future Past.dozer through the eyes of heathens” His approach to the riffs was to meet them head on, such that every turn of “Blood Undone” seems punctuated and “Man of Fire” seems to run at a clip trying to convey putting itself out. His work, alongside Holappa‘s leads and riff construction, Nordin‘s ultra-distinctive and ever-more-confident vocals, and Rockner‘s classic you-guys-just-go-ahead-and-have-fun-if-you-need-me-I’ll-be-here-being-the-foundation-of-these-songs style of bass, helped bring the pointed energy of Through the Eyes of Heathens to live, such that it wasn’t just heavy, or grooving, or loud, or whatever else. It was vibrant. On a sheer delivery level, Dozer evoked a sense of shove that spoke to the urgency of its own creation. Putting it on was like having Arnold Schwarzenegger hold out his robot hand and say, “Come with me if you want to live.”

And while, yes, definitely some of Through the Eyes of Heathens‘ highlight moments were found in its intense push, there was never a lack of atmosphere. Sure, flourish of piano, organ, percussion, etc., helped with that, but most of it was owed to the breadth of the guitar tones and to Nordin‘s ease of melody. His shouts in “Born a Legend,” and the standalone lines in “Until Man Exists No More” — which almost made the guest vocal spot on that track from Mastodon‘s Troy Sanders feel superfluous — made for an essential presence throughout, and as much reach as there was in the songs, Nordin‘s performance was one more standout factor tying the material together. One could say the same of Holappa‘s work on guitar. I already said it about Rockner on bass, and the same applied to Lidén‘s drums. It was everything in these songs. There was no “miss” anywhere on the album.

Which is what it came down to. It was the songs. There was a memorable line, or a riff, or just something about the way it was played, to go with every single track on Through the Eyes of Heathens. It’s a 44-minute record, so not short — though the standard has gotten shorter in intervening years with the vinyl resurgence and so on — but a cut like “Omega Glory” seemed to move from hook to hook to hook, and even in the eight-minute stretch of “Big Sky Theory” at the end or in the quieter verses of “Days of Future Past,” there was ultimately nothing spare about it.

There are arguments to be made for each of Dozer‘s full-lengths as being their best work. Through the Eyes of Heathens, for me at least, seems to summarize much of what made them so rich and hard-hitting as well as the individualized sensibility of their material. I won’t take away from anything they did before or after — their last offering, 2013’s Vultures (review here), was the compiled pre-production demos for this album — but I still find myself going back to Through the Eyes of Heathens not infrequently and it feels each time like not only does it still have something new to offer, that it’s not just nostalgia, but also that it stands up to the time since it first came out with an ease that makes almost a decade and a half seem like nothing at all. Maybe that is nostalgia in itself. Fine, and well earned. True front-to-back releases are rare. They don’t happen every year, contrary to what hyperbole and promospeak tell you. Through the Eyes of Heathens is a blueprint for how to make an album last longer than its runtime.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I went last night and saw Yawning Man and Freedom Hawk in Brooklyn. First club show in a while. I get too anxious these days in crowds. Fests I can kind of get away with it, because usually I’m going back and forth from one thing to the next, taking pictures, writing notes, whatever it is, but just standing around at a gig waiting for a band to go on, I feel like I’m losing my mind. It was a good show though, even though The Drunkest Guy in the Room kind of accused me of being a CIA agent. I guess because I looked stiff and was standing in the back? I don’t know. I was just glad he didn’t stab me in the throat with a piece of the glass he subsequently broke. New Yorkers, such as there are any, delude themselves in thinking that a kind of charm.

The baby was up this morning by the time I was done writing about Dozer. 5:30 or thereabouts. Brutal. I got in a little after midnight from the show, which ended a bit before 11, and was up at 4. My alarm had been set for 6. Just up. So it goes. Got some writing done, grabbed the baby, read books — One Fish Two Fish, Hop on Pop, and whatnot — and had breakfast. Gave the baby a bath and put him down for a nap, which The Patient Mrs. rightly decided also to take.

I meanwhile did the voice tracks for Sunday’s episode of ‘The Obelisk Show’ on Gimme Radio, answered some email to the best of my limited ability, and settled in for this. We’ll see if I can finish by the time The Pecan awakes.

Seemed silly to post about it, but this week I put up the 11,000th post on this site. Not bad. They’re not all gold, but you know, it’s a pretty significant number anyway.

So Monday will be the Yawning Man/Freedom Hawk live review. Here’s what else I’ve got in the notes. There’s plenty:

MON 01/21 Yawning Man live review; Hollow Leg album stream.
TUE 01/22 The Sabbathian album stream.
WED 01/23 9Doorsopen track premiere; Benthic Realm video premiere.
THU 01/24 Thermic Boogie track premiere; Sundrifter video.
FRI 01/25 Swallow the Sun review.

Subject to change something something blah blah.

It’s a lot of cool stuff, and it means I won’t just be spending this weekend filing my secret undercover CIA report about the vape-quotient at the Yawning Man show and instead will have plenty of writing to keep me busy. Seriously, what the hell would the CIA be doing at the Vitus Bar? I would love to know what the reason would be. Why would they be there? What’s the operation? Testing the effects of the sustained awesomeness of Mario Lalli’s bass-playing on the fragile human psyche?

Again, I was glad to not be stabbed.

Or slashed.

Alright, I’m gonna punch out so I can go read reviews of the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery season two before I actually watch it so I can sound smart when I make “observations” about canon connections to The Patient Mrs. Don’t tell her.

Have a great and safe weekend. Forum, radio, merch.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

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Dr. Awkward and the Screws Premiere “Doomed” Lyric Video; Gettin’ Out of Style out Feb. 18

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

dr awkward and the screws

That’s certainly one way to win at band names. Dr. Awkward and the Screws, based in Athens, will release their debut full-length, Gettin’ Out of Style, next month. The four-piece issued a self-titled EP in 2017, and that was loaded with boogie and good vibes, but if the track premiering below, “Doomed,” is anything to go by, they’re exploring some darker fare on their long-player. And by the way, I have no idea if “Doomed” is anything to go by or not. And having listened to the EP, I wouldn’t try to predict one way or the other. A classic-style influence persists between the EP and the new track, but the context of that has changed significantly, and there’s enough quirk to go around in their approach that it may well be “Doomed” is an outlier chosen to be a single in an effort to throw listeners off. I’m not saying Dr. Awkward and the Screws can’t be trusted, but, well, okay, yeah, I guess I am saying that. But hey, sometimes unreliable narrators are fun.

And “Doomed,” while more grim of attitude than the three-songer the band released two years ago, is still fun. Whatever might surround it on the LP to come, it seems likely to carry that thread. Bassist Greg has an almost early-thrash style to his vocals, or scum-punk since it’s essentially the same either way, and the riffs he tops from guitarists John and Kostas tap into proto-metallic vibes through clean tones that run organically over the crashing of Thoukydidis‘ drums. “Doomed” is a quick listen at 3:28, which is shorter than anything that appeared on the self-titled, so that may be another clue to an aesthetic shift, or it may not. Like I said, not knowing is part of the appeal. While we’re on the topic of known-unknowns, the release date for Gettin’ Out of Style is set for Feb. 18-25. It’s a release week. Somewhere in there. I would assume it’ll be out before March, just to play it safe.

Hey, it’s Friday. Lighten up and enjoy being “Doomed.”

Have at it:

Dr. Awkward and the Screws, “Doomed” official lyric video

Doomed is the single of the upcoming album ” Gettin’ out of Style “.
Release date: February 18-25 , 2019

Credits:
Recorded by S_FX & Greg Konstantaras at Ritual Studios , Athens , Greece
Mastered by S_FX at Ritual Studios , Athens ,Greece
Artwork by Manster Design

Dr. Awkward & The Screws is a 70s rock – heavy blues band from Greece. In the January of 2017 their homonym EP was released and they made their first professional move. Slowly, steadily, and strongly they have already played in “Gyftopoulou Street fest” with: Vodka Juniors, Wherswilder, 7 odds, and Overjoyed. Furthermore, they have played in a really appraising appearance in “Kyttaro” as a support band for Imperial State Electric – of the legendary Nicke Andersson.

Dr. Awkward and the Screws:
Greg – Vocals / Bass Guitar
John – Guitar
Kostas – Guitar
Thoukydidis – Drums

Dr. Awkward and the Screws on Thee Facebooks

Dr. Awkward and the Screws on Bandcamp

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Here’s the Bio I Wrote for Iota’s Tales Reissue

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

It was just a couple months ago that I was last heaping retrospective praise on Iota‘s Tales full-length, which was originally released by Small Stone Records in 2008. Needless to say, then, that when the label came around and asked if I had anything to say about a vinyl reissue in the works, I mashed my forehead into my keyboard until a bunch of nonsensical fanboyism could be deciphered by a trained team of baboons, syllable by syllable. Something like that. It may have been orangutans.

The important factor, more even than the fact that this is a “Thing I Wrote” post, which are always a little jolt to my fragile-manchild ego, is that said LP edition of Tales will be out on March 15. In my head, this will play out to massive fanfare and the discovery of a kickass band with untold potential being discovered by a new generation of fans, leading to a reunion, a vital new album and a tour on — why not? — a comfortable bus, maybe shared with Monster Magnet or someone like that. Sounds good? Sounds good to me.

Maybe that’s how it goes. Maybe if you tell two friends and they tell two friends and they tell two friends we’ll all invent the internet. I don’t know. But it’s been 11 years and Tales is still due more acknowledgement than it’s gotten.

Here’s the bio I wrote as circled back through the PR wire with the release info:

iota tales 2019

IOTA: Small Stone Recordings To Release Tales Full-Length From Cult Stoner Metal Collective On Limited-Edition Vinyl This March; Preorders Available

When IOTA’s Tales was first released more than a decade ago, it immediately heralded a change in the scope of heavy rock ‘n’ roll. From the hard punch of its opening duo “New Mantis” and “We Are The Yithians,” it departed into three extended cuts that drew together already-classic elements of weighted riffs with a doors-thrown-open sense of space and jammed into scorched-solo psychedelic oblivion. With Joey Toscano, who’d go on to form Dwellers, on guitar and vocals, the suitably wizardly Oz on bass, and recording engineer Andy Patterson, who soon enough would join SubRosa, IOTA raised a monolith of singular intent and showed throughout Tales a potential that was entirely their own.

The Salt Lake City trio had been around for over five years by then, having formed in 2002 and released two demos before the album as they earned local praise and found themselves supporting the likes of Brant Bjork, High On Fire, Black Cobra, Eternal Elysium, The Sword, and others. And that’s all well and good, but it would be Tales that defined them, whether it was “The Sleeping Heathen” started off at a sprint on its ten-minute run, “Opiate Blues” sure enough finding room for some harp alongside its dirt-covered riffs and foresight-laden heavy blues pulsations, or the massive sprawl of the twenty-two-minute “Dimensional Orbiter” that dream-jammed its way toward the outer reaches of cosmic sensation. Tantric, broad, and a gorgeous showcase of a dynamic ready to storm the earth, it helped earn Iota a cult following that persists over ten years later.

And along with anyone else who might be fortunate to stumble upon it, that cult, quite frankly, deserves to have Tales on vinyl. This is the first official LP release of the album, so call it a reissue or don’t. It doesn’t matter. Music this good exists out of time, and whether IOTA’s Tales is new to a listener or a well-kept secret regarded as a classic unto itself, it still sounds as far-reaching as it did when the band unfurled it the first time around. It wasn’t to be missed then. It’s not to be missed now [words by JJ Koczan].

Small Stone Recordings will release IOTA’s Tales full-length on vinyl for the first time ever on March 15th. Limited to 500 units in a clear with black swirl color combination, Tales was remastered for vinyl by Chris Goosman at Baseline Audio in Ann Arbor, Michican with the original running order of the album slightly altered to fit on the LP format.

For preorders and to stream Tales in its entirety go to THIS LOCATION.

Tales Track Listing:
Side A:
1. New Mantis
2. The Sleeping Heathen
3. Opiate Blues
Side B:
4. Dimensional Orbiter
5. We Are The Yithians

IOTA is:
Joey Toscano – guitars, vocals
Oz – bass
Andy Patterson – drums

http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
http://www.smallstone.bandcamp.com

Iota, Tales (2008/2019)

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Híbrido Stream I in Full; Out Monday on Spinda Records

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

hibrido

Jan. 21 marks the release date of (review here), the debut album from Spanish psych-prog four-piece Híbrido. It’ll be out through Spinda Records and is aptly-named both in terms of being the band’s first release and for their being a hybrid of influences and ideas. The lineage is complicated, but Algeciras, where the band is based, has played host to a heavy rock and psych scene for decades spearheaded in no small part by Híbrido‘s members. Guitarist Jose Angel “Oceano” Galindo and bassist Jose “Pot” Moreno played together in a group called Viaje a 800, who released their final studio album, Coñac Oxigenado (review here), in 2012. Moreno would go on to form Atavismo with drummer Sandri Pow, who had also played in the space-rocking Mind!. If you haven’t heard them, Atavismo‘s releases to-date — 2018’s Valdeinfierno EP (review here), 2017’s Inerte (review here) and 2014’s Desintegración (review here) — are increasingly progressive gems that presage some of the ground MorenoPow and Galindo cover as well in Híbrido, working alongside Los Bradlys guitarist Zoa Rubio.

It’s a complicated family tree — and I’m by no means claiming that’s the entire narrative of it — but even if you were to go back and listen to Viaje a 800Los BradlysAtavismo or Mind!, that wouldn’t really give you a full picture of what’s happening with Híbrido, in no small part because that doesn’t seem to be an entirely settled issue. That players so familiar with each other could manage to turn around a record that sounds so much like a debut is an accomplishment in and of itself, but indeed, one of the great strengths of I is the promise it shows for future development, hibrido iand that’s in the harmonies of the Floydian apex of the 13-minute “Le Pilules Vertes” as well as the quick turns and the fuzzy hook of “Nada, Nadie,” which follows the previously-premiered opener “Pensando en un Eco de Instinto Interior” that unfolds such a sense of progressive tonal warmth in the guitar and bass and the fluidity of the drums pushing them along their plotted course. As side B comprises just “Les Pilules Vertes” and the accompanying 10-minute closer “Ente,” there’s a bit of a dual-personality for the record, but that too adds to the sense of their aesthetic being (perhaps willfully) unsettled.

The closer, even more than the shifts in sound between centerpiece “Escarlata” at the end of side A and what follows in the second half of the album, is most indicative of all of the breadth Híbrido are harnessing, and while everything before it might be seen as at least in line with what the members have done before — that is, has its own identity, but shares aspects in common with past work of the players involved — “Ente” takes a stark turn, changing from the dreamy clean vocals to a harsh, black metal-style rasp in its second half. To complement this, the track has a particularly progressive feel in its guitar work, moving from a tense forward push to nuanced classic-prog winding that remind of some of the math Opeth once did in combining elements of extreme metal and ’70s-style progressive rock. It’s a shocking moment on an otherwise peaceful I, and a surprise that leaves one curious as to just where Híbrido might go from there in terms of their sound. That’s one of the best impressions a band can make on a debut, to establish a foundation of quality craft and remain unpredictable, and I wouldn’t dare guess what another release — perhaps called II — might do to build on what brings to bear. Really. It happens at about 7:40. The first time I heard it my brain didn’t believe what my ears were telling it.

Although isn’t officially out until Monday, of course Spinda has it available to order now, and I’m thrilled to be able to host the album streaming in full. Yeah, I did the premiere for the opener before, but I think this is a special case where going deep and really hearing the record front-to-back is entirely warranted. I hope you agree and I hope you enjoy.

Vinyl release info follows.

Dig it:

Heavy Psych & Alternative Rock from Algeciras (Spain). Including members of Viaje a 800, Mind!, Atavismo, Medicina & Los Bradlys.

****OUT ON 21st JANUARY 2019****

Híbrido’s debut album ‘I’ is released on:
-Vinyl 12″ 150grs Classic Black Edition (218 copies worldwide)
-Vinyl 12″ 150grs La Novena Clear Limited Edition (110 copies worldwide)
-CD Jewel Case (330 copies worldwide)

All music by Híbrido.

Recorded, mixed and mastered at Trafalgar Estudios by Curro “Snortil” Úreba (El Palmar, October 2017).
Artwork by Antonio Ramírez (Mentes de Ácido).
Edited by Spinda Records.

Track-list:
SIDE A
1. Pensando En Un Eco De Instinto Interior
2. Nada, Nadie
3. Escarlata
SIDE B
4. Les Pilules Vertes
5. Ente

Híbrido on Thee Facebooks

Spinda Records on Thee Facebooks

Spinda Records website

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Burning Gloom: My Home on Trees Announce Name Change & New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I’m not going to go as far as to say I’ve heard any of Burning Gloom‘s forthcoming long-player, Amygdala, or that I’m listening to a song from it right now that’s kicking my ass all over this room, but I will advise anyone still reading this sentence to keep an eye out for more on the offering as it gets closer to its to-be-announced release date. Big tones, big melodies, big hooks. It’s an interesting turn from the Milan-based outfit formerly known as My Home on Trees toward a kind of psychedelic but still thoroughly doomed atmosphere. Again, not that I’m listening to it or anything, because I’m not going to say that I am.

In all seriousness though, you can hear enough of a shift in vibe as to justify a name swap, and beyond just the fact that they’re doing something different, Burning Gloom sound vital even coming of My Home on Trees‘ 2015 album, How I Reached Home (review here). Hard to believe it’s coming up on four years since that one came out. Wow.

Time flies, doom plods. Here’s word from the band on the name change:

burning gloom

We used to be called MY HOME ON TREES from 2012 to 2018, but this new year that just started brought us a new life and a new identity: Burning Gloom. We realized that “My Home on Trees” didn’t fit us properly anymore. We feel closer to a different and heavier path, mentally and also musically. A new journey, made of fires in the night, a dark road enlightened by flames and sparks.

This is what our new full-length “Amygdala” represents. It took us 3 years to be ready to come back in studio, but we made it between february and june 2018 and our new record is now ready to be released later on this year, we have signed a contract and we’ll announce it very soon. Our new logo has been made by our friend STRX. A new life has begun, see you soon on the road and stay tuned for the next news.

https://www.facebook.com/burninggloom/
https://myhomeontreesband.bandcamp.com/

My Home on Trees, How I Reached Home (2015)

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Zed Premiere “Halo” Video from Desperation Blues Reissue

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

zed

I can’t give away too much at this point, but this Spring, Zed are going to Europe. The San Jose-based heavy rockers this month will oversee a reissue of their 2013 Desperation Blues album, billed through Ripple Music as Desperation Blues Deluxe and including refreshed art and bonus tracks culled from the band’s 2010 debut, The Invitation. The four-piece have been building momentum over the last several years on tour and with the signing to Ripple for the release of Trouble in Eden (review here), their third LP, and after doing gigs on both coasts — they’ll make a return in 2019 to the Maryland Doom Fest as well — the initial incursion abroad seems nothing if not earned. One expects they’ll be well received.

It would seem on an initial reading that the lyrics of “Halo” are all the more relevant in today’s climate of political unrest, troubling surges of populism and crumbling international relations, but the truth is the US has been at war since before Zed put out The Invitation nine years ago, and lines like, “So confused, so afraid/What if the pigs come back today?/All I’ve worked for, all I’ve saved, so easily taken away,” aren’t so much finding new meaning as simply still applicable to the same degradation. The video premiering below works on similar ground, pitting footage of protesters engaging riot police alongside shots of the band playing live, the wobbly closed-circuit effect giving unity to the two as though to underline the notion of expression as an inherent act of defiance in a system of oppression. That is, if you want to piss someone off, make good art.

Though in that regard, throwing shit at cops works too.

Some would say that is art.

In any case, the spirit of the video suits the track’s workmanlike chug and subtle undertone of aggression, and the song remains catchy and well-composed without getting weighed down by its theme. Putting it in the context of what Zed would do on their two to-date subsequent outings, it’s a strong indicator of the band they would become — the band that will make themselves ambassadors of US heavy in a few months’ time — and shows how songwriting has been at their core all the while through their career, along with no small supply of swagger. That also continues to serve them well.

Safe travels to come, Zed. I’m looking forward to the tour announcement.

Desperation Blues Deluxe is out Jan. 18 on Ripple Music. Enjoy the video. It’s not the last one they’ll have for the reissue:

Zed, “Halo” official video premiere

Zed on “Halo”:

Wanted to make a video that honors the spirit of the song which is about how there is so much unrest and strife in the world and it doesn’t matter whether you are right or left leaning, there are movements and machinations at the highest levels of government that are being done to further oppress, devalue and control the common man. Yet the human spirit is unstoppable and will stand up even when the odds are stacked high against it.

Music Video for the song Halo off of “Desperation Blues Deluxe” the Ripple Music re-issue of ZED’s critically acclaimed self-released album.

Replete with new album artwork and bonus material (previously unheard first time around) Desperation Blues is an honest collection of blood, sweat, Desperation Blues will be officially re-released on 18th January 2019 through Ripple Music. Pre-order the album now at www.ripple-music.com.

Zed is:
Pete Sattari- Guitar/Vox
Sean Boyles – Drums
Greg Lopez – Guitar
Mark Aceves – Bass

Zed on Thee Facebooks

Zed on Bandcamp

Zed website

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

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Geezer Announce Spiral Fires EP out Feb. 8: Premiere “Spiral Fires Part 1”

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on January 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

geezer

New Geezer? Don’t mind if I do, and whilst engaging in the groove-rolling outer-thereness of Spiral Fires, maybe take a second as well to process just how far the Kingston, New York, three-piece have come since issuing their first album, Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues, in 2013. With guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington as the sole remaining founder of the band, the trio have moved from a heavy blues style to an anything goes, slide-infused grit-psych jam band with one foot in traditional songwriting and the other dropped into a region of cosmic trippery that Spiral Fires brings to emphasis even more than 2017’s Psychoriffadelia (review here). Working with labels like STB, Ripple, and indeed Kozmik Artifactz — who’ll have the new EP out on vinyl following its Feb. 8 digital release — the band has grown into a stylistically amorphous, richly expressive outfit who are unpredictable and reliable in kind. The kind of quality you can rely on.

To wit, I knew I wanted to premiere “Spiral Fires Part 1” before I heard it, and after hearing it, knew I was right in getting on board for it. Spiral Fires continues to expand Geezer‘s reach in its two-part title-track and in “Darkworld” and “Charley Reefer,” showcasing a shift in dynamic with drummer Steve Markota in the lineup with Harrington — who also produced — and bassist Richie Touseull. I had been expecting the band to turn out a long-player in 2019, and they may yet, but whenever that inevitable “next album” shows up, these songs give a righteous glimpse of where Geezer are at nearly a decade after getting together and where they might be headed from here. Uncharted space brought to earth with anchored, locked-in groove. You probably could ask for more, but you’d be a jerk if you did.

You can hear “Spiral Fires Part 1” at the bottom of this post in a lyric video provided by the band. Release info for the EP follows here, courtesy of the PR wire:

geezer spiral fires

GEEZER TO RELEASE NEW 4-SONG ‘SPIRAL FIRES’ EP ON FEBRUARY 8, 2019 – KOZMIK ARTIFACTZ TO RELEASE ACCOMPANYING VINYL FORMAT

After recruiting Steve Markota as Geezer’s new drummer in summer of 2017, the band knew it was now the peak time to refocus and start afresh. With gigs as their inspired motivation, over the following year or so the Kingston, New York heavy blues triad set about performing at multiple regional festivals in the U.S.. From the Doomed & Stoned Festival to the New England Stoner and Doom Festival, from The Maryland Doom Fest to the Descendants of Crom. Throw in a supporting slot for Acid King in Brooklyn and many other righteous shows, and a full year did bloom indeed.

All the while, a revitalized Geezer was writing and road-testing new songs. During that process, it became clear that one album was not enough to fully capture what was happening. An EP would be the foundation to set the stage for the upcoming full-length LP. Drawing inspiration from the vinyl version of the most recent Child EP, Geezer hooked up with Kozmik Artifactz to release their own EP in the same vein. Limited Edition, one color cover, black vinyl, no bells and whistles… just rock and roll.

The result is the mind-altering new EP, ‘Spiral Fires’. A three-song collection edifying the embodiment of Geezer’s quest for all things heavy, trippy, and groovy. Spiral Fires is the first passage in Geezer’s new journey.

Guitarist and vocalist Pat Harrington on the new EP:

“Hooking up with Steve changed the band. For the first time in a long while, we had the ability to really take our time and see where the music would take us. Changes were taking place, we were traveling to new musical landscapes. Along the way, a flash of light would appear over the horizon, these songs are those moments… lightning in a bottle.”

The EP was produced by Pat Harrington and recorded at Darkworld Studio in Kingston, NY, assisted by Engineers David Daw and Robert Kelly. Mixing was done by Matthew Cullen at The Cat Haus in Catskill, NY, with Mastering by Scott Craggs at Old Colony Mastering in Boston, MA. The Spiral Fires cover artwork is by Lee Fenyves, with design layout by Steve Markota.

Spiral Fires will be available on vinyl through Kozmik Artifactz in the very near future. Firstly, the band is releasing the EP for digital download and streaming through their Bandcamp page on February 8, 2019.

Kozmik Artifactz Webstore: http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/
Geezer Bandcamp: https://geezertown.bandcamp.com/

Spiral Fires – Track List:
Spiral Fires Part 1
Spiral Fires Part 2
Darkworld
Charley Reefer

UPCOMING LIVE SHOWS:
Jan. 25 – Kingston, NY @ BSP Kingston (w/ Sun Voyager, Shadow Witch)
https://www.facebook.com/events/295547331302289/
Feb. 23 – Baltimore, MD @ Oliver Brewing (w/ Backwoods Payback, Cavern, Dana Ortt)
https://www.facebook.com/events/275935323074808/
Mar. 20 – New York, NY @ Arlene’s Grocery – ODE TO DOOM (w/Thunderbird Divine, Ancient Stone, +)
https://www.facebook.com/events/253278718707961/
Apr. 20 – Kingston, NY @ The Anchor (w/ River Cult, Eternal Black)
https://www.facebook.com/events/2329157044035387/

Geezer is:
Pat Harrington – Guitar, Vocals
Richie Touseull – Bass
Steve Markota – Drums

https://igg.me/at/xxo6XcM2mD4/x/16460786
https://www.facebook.com/geezerNY/
http://geezertown.bandcamp.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Geezer, “Spiral Fires Part 1”

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Ian Blurton’s Future Now Premiere “Space is Forever”

Posted in audiObelisk on January 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ian blurton

Ian Blurton’s Future Now played their first show this past New Year’s Eve at Bovine Sex Club in their native Toronto. The project is spearheaded by its eponymous figure, whose career in bands and production goes back decades to his work in Change of Heart, who released their debut album in 1986. Along the way, Blurton has helmed outings for Blood Ceremony, Electric Magma, Cursed, The Weakerthans and a wide swath of others in just as wide a swath of genres, and as one might imagine, his new project benefits from an array of influences. Joined by guitarist Aaron Goldstein, bassist Anna Ruddick and drummer Glenn Milchem, Blurton elicits a vibe in the band’s first single, “Space is Forever,” that brings to mind the sharp-hewn indie quirk of Pinback while tapping into a classic heavy strut with its rhythm and a timeless melody that speaks to hours spent in sunshine and gives its progressive edge an accessible complement.

It does not feel happenstance, which is to say there’s more to come. Blurton will release a solo album in May titled Signals Through the Flames, and the band seems to be so formative that I’m not even sure if “Space is Forever” has anyone else playing on it, but the clearheadedness of its aesthetic moves — the way it drifts smoothly into echoes as it fades — tell the tale of more to come either way. I’ll go one step further and note that New Year’s Eve was like two and a half weeks ago, and I don’t think the four-piece lineup of Ian Blurton’s Future Now were around all that long before that, so there could well be some changes as they continue to take shape. They might, for instance, decide just to call themselves Future Now, since although born out of the Ian Blurton solo-project, they’re a full band now one way or the other. Whatever they end up calling themselves by the time Signals Through the Flames lands, “Space is Forever” is a catchy, tightly-structured but still laid back-feeling cut that sounds fresh even as it taps into familiar genre elements. The power of songwriting laid bare.

Whatever the coming months and beyond (that’s not to say “the future”) might bring for them — as of Twitter two days ago, they were recording a B-side for a new 7″, so it may well be that this song will feature there — I’m happy today to host the premiere of “Space is Forever,” which you’ll find on the ol’ Bandcamp embed below, followed by a few words from Blurton about the track and a couple Ontario live dates.

I hope you enjoy:

Ian Blurton on “Space is Forever”:

The song is about staring into the endless infinity of space and trying to find light in its darkness. It’s about days becoming nights and nights becoming days and the sun and moon leading us through them. It’s about pondering the planetary phases of the solar system and coming to the realization that the future is now.

Ian Blurton’s Future Now upcoming live shows:
Sat Jan 19 Toronto at The Horseshoe Tavern – Biblical, Whoop-Szo, IBFN
Sat Feb 2 Hamilton at This Ain’t Hollywood – Not Of, IBFN, Mount Cyanide

Future Now (the band) has been put together to play shows in support of Ian’s upcoming solo record (Signals Through The Flames, due out in May) and two pre-LP tracks of which Space is Forever is one. They consist of Toronto heavy hitters Glenn Milchem on drums (Holy Fuck/Starvin’ Hungry), Anna Ruddick on bass (Randy Bachman) and Aaron Goldstein on flying V (Daniel Romano) backing Ian, a 35+ year veteran of the Toronto music scene as a musician and producer (Cursed, Tricky Woo, Blood Ceremony).

Ian Blurton on Twitter

Ian Blurton on Bandcamp

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