Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Horns First

Shit the Cow ~ Rissna (2014)

Shit the Cow are back, Jay gave us the rundown on their release from last year "Salt of the Earth". This time the self-proclaimed scrapyard rockers (or skrotrock in Swedish, which does have a ring to it) are back with "Rissna", named for a town in the north of Sweden where they go to record. Their sound is a straight forward one, they really just take the best things in Punk, Garage, and Stoner Rock and boil it down to it's rawest form, then blast it at full volume. Always ready with something catchy to suck you in, sometimes it's a chorus, a riff, sometimes it's the whole damn track. From start to finish it's five songs full of rocking drum rhythms, heavy and infectious guitar riffs, rolling bass parts that keeps everything glued together nicely. The vocalist often uses the shouted style of delivery, changing it subtly depending on the song, but it can go from an angry, anthemic Punk Rock shout, to melodic and raw vocals that harken back to the early days of Stoner Rock. My favorite song on this release is probably the closer, "Pieces of Led", it's a blast of fast and hard Stoner Rock in the vein of Fu Manchu's glory days. Opening with a fuzzy riff, it doesn't take long for the groove to kick in, with a fat and round bass line leading the way. At just under two minutes it ends way too fast, but for those two minutes you're taken in by the perfectly executed Stoner Rock track, and it doesn't loosen its' death grip until the end. They seem to excel at never painting themselves into a corner on their releases, always having something different ready to go when the song changes. It would seem that the group took the expression "variety is the spice of life" to heart, and they're absolutely right if it makes you churn out rock songs as good as these. Go check out their bandcamp, and get in on it for the small price tag of just a couple bucks. Don't forget to check out their older releases too, as they have yet to put out anything that wasn't good.

For Fans Of; Fu Manchu, Switchblade Jesus, Brain Police

Monday, August 25, 2014

Raisin’ Hell In Them Southern Pines

Thieving Coyote ~ Thieving Coyote EP (2014)

If you happen to remember the show I mentioned in my review for Tripping the Mechanism, the band that followed them were another killer South Carolina act. They got in touch with me and asked if I'd consider giving them a review, already knowing first hand that they put on a damn good live show, I couldn't turn it down. Thieving Coyote play a liquored down style of Southern Hard Rock and Stoner Metal. If you drowned Orange Goblin in Jack Daniels and propped the corpse up at one of those country bonfire parties, where they blast Lynyrd Skynyrd out of a truck's stereo system all night, the next morning you'd have Thieving Coyote pulling themselves off the ground in a hazy stupor. The lead off track "White Lightning" opens up with a Southern Rock riff, but it's not long before it turns into a swinging, gritty Southern Metal song. In between howling guitar riffs, breakneck drum fills, and a masterful use of the often overlooked cowbell (insert funny Christopher Walken/SNL/Blue Oyster Cult reference here), you have the vocalist snarling out the story of a guy and his old lady that knock off a moonshine dealer and then a sheriff, and proceed to shoot it out with the FBI. The singer uses a style similar to Dallas Taylor from Maylene and the Sons of Disaster fame on this one, and he fucking nails it to the wall. I'm always a sucker for a song with a good story in it anyway, and this one delivers. But bringing together the combination of excellent musicians, great songwriting, and even better delivery, that's a winning formula every time. With almost no reprieve from the auditory onslaught you're thrust into the second track "Space Van", and I'm sure you can already see where this is going. Opening with grooving guitar riffs that take on a real 70's vibe at time, and more cowbell, but it's not long before those dirt road vocals start up, this time talking to us about the great pastime of getting stoned while using images of slaying five head hookah monsters and the like, it's a long lost Stoner Metal anthem. The track ends strong, using a screaming solo to end on. And there's still three more tracks of skull smashing Stoner Metal to get through before you're finished. You can get in on all the sleazy, booze and dope fueled goodness at their bandcamp for just five bucks. I can think of a hundred worse things for you to spend that on than this slab of heaviness, so show 'em so love if you dig what they have going on.

For Fans Of; XII Boar, Orange Goblin, Weedeater, Corrosion of Conformity, Mammoth Mammoth

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Echoes Of Yul Interview

The second band on an untitled split album recently released by Instant Classic, Echoes Of Yul continue the dark musical experimentation with which the album began.  We had a chance to fire a few questions about EoY's past and future at the band's founder, Michał Śliwa, so read on!

RWTD: How did Echoes of Yul first develop as a band?

Michał: Echoes of Yul was never intended as a "real" band.  It was always my child and I invite guest musicians to co-operate.  This is in my case the best way to work flawlessly.

RWTD: Where does the 'Yul' in the band's name come from?

Michał: It is just a word.  My previous band's name was Yul and now EOY is some kind of continuity of these ideas.

RWTD: Given the diversity of EoY's musical style, are there any specific influences coming into play while writing the music or in the studio?  For instance, what was the process of creating "Asemic" like?

Michał: A lot of stuff from movies, art to music (spacerock, psych, sludge, a lot of electronic stuff, movie soundtracks, etc.).  I like to work alone without any distractions to get trance-like state of mind and that's how "Asemic" was composed - I achieved very basic raw sound and tried focus on repetitions, then added a lot of layers of guitars, synths, accordion, theremin and so on.  In my case writing and working in the studio is basically very close to each other: post-production/studio work is very important part in my process of creating music.

RWTD: How did Echoes of Yul and Thaw first meet?

Michał: I met Artur (Thaw's guitarist) few years ago on one of the first gigs of Thaw.  Also EOY shared a split record with his previous band Sun for Miles, years later both our bands had records released through Avantgarde at the same time and we agreed that we should release another split.

RWTD: What are Echoes of Yul's plans for the rest of the year?

Michał: The rest of the year I reserved for recording EOY's third record, I hope I'm gonna finish it this summer and release it sometime next year.  My intention is to do this time something a little different from previous releases: more minimalistic and melodic.

RWTD: Anything else you'd like to say to our readers?

Michał: Greetings, readers!

Find our review of the split release here, and you can also get more information on Echoes Of Yul and the split at the following sites.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hear The Call!

Dog Moon Howl - Dog Moon Howl (2014)

Dog Moon Howl's self-titled debut album brings the blues together with hard rock and stoner rock, and for a band which hails from Glasgow, they do a fully respectable job of emulating the Delta-region sound. Throw in some buzzy, fuzzy psychedelic guitar solos, and the band already has a distinctive sound of their own, one which I have to imagine draws in crowds at live shows like iron filings to a magnet. There's some friendliness underneath the rough surface of the music, as though the band really just wants to have a good time laying out some finely-polished songs for their audience.
There's a pleasing sense of casual familiarity between the performances of each band-member, though they've only been together for a few years so far, and as they rummage around in their bag of styles for different pieces to put together for each song, they sound natural and unforced in their synthesis. At the same time, there's an undeniable sense of the heavy rock bands of the '70s over all of the songs, with craggy guitar against melodic vocals and manly wails, while the drums just plug away with full game and just a little muffling. Though most of the songs are in the standard rock range (aside from the quick'n'dirty Motörhead-channeling of “Punching Walls”), the band also gets to preen a bit with some longer tracks on the album, like the tight grooving and Hendrix-flavored shred solo of “Lost” and the closing trip of “Your New King”, in which the band goes deep into the heavy end for their first finale.
Dog Moon Howl has put together a debut of which they can rightly be proud, as they tip their hat to their influences while building it up into something of their own. With good ears for riffs and amp settings, they're bound to go far, as long as they get the recognition they deserve. Do your part and snag a copy of their album for yourself, either in CD or download format from their BandCamp, and kick back with an album tailor-made for the hottest days of the year.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Deep Purple, Groggy, Kadavar, Saint Vitus, Danzig


Friday, August 22, 2014

All Shaken Up...

Acid Kola Turbo - EP-1 (2014)

Acid Kola Turbo's first EP brings four songs to the table to establish the band's sound. They start with “Look Around”, a groovy little number with some grungy flavor to it as the guitar dips and crunches. The drumming is tight and clean, while the vocalist has a good sense of character and pitch-shifting to his voice. “Start Believing” kicks off with a short audio sample, then kicks into a groove that immediately put me in mind of early Electric Wizard, though they soon shifted from there into a more rock-focused swinging riff, which is then escalated to a cascade of feedback and keyboards; it's a real face-melter of a track. “Shame On You” begins with a real Undertow-era Tool-sounding drum rhythm and crunch riff, then applies heat to make it boil over, and “Falling” serves as the band's big set-closer, with 7 minutes of psychedelic grooving twisting through the air.
It's difficult putting a sense of identity to the album, since each of the songs is so wildly different from the next, but there's a few things tying it all together; this group's already excellent at writing songs, they're inventive, and they bring a great deal of character out of their instruments. I fully expect to find myself getting a piece of one of their songs at the back of my mind and having to listen to the EP still another time, because these tracks are positively infectious little ear-worms. Hopefully some sharp label will sign this up for a physical release, but until then, you can pick up a digital copy at the Acid Kola Turbo's BandCamp. Don't let this one slip by you!
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Eternal Elysium, Wicked Lady, Moon Curse, RHINO, Weed


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Get It Rocking...

Manthrass - Manthrass EP (2013)

Once you've torn your eyes away from their cover art, we'll go on with the review.  Ready?  It's okay, I'll wait.
Hailing from Argentina, Manthrass blend heavy rock with some truly ripping energy and buzz-saw guitar-work.  The drummer (who has been replaced since the EP's recording) is no slouch, as he bashes away and lays down some inspired fills and rhythms.  The bassist (Ángel Rizzo) and guitarist (Mariano Castiglioni) share vocal duties, and the two of them work well together, while the mixing of their voices into the rough edges of the instruments hits on a solid balance.
The EP features three original tracks, and one (“Post Crucifixión”) which the band credits as a cover of a song by Pescado Rabioso.  Their original material is very strong, occasionally inviting comparisons to early Black Sabbath, and the guitar often has a swagger to it that really energizes things.  While I've never heard the original version of the song they cover, the sweat they put into paying the song tribute will have me looking for it before too long.  Here's hoping they're already hard at work on another EP or, if we're very lucky, a full-length album; until then, do not miss out on this excellent release.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Brimstone Coven, Jimi Hendrix, Saint Vitus, early Black Sabbath, Salem's Pot


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Beginning The Journey...

Uroboros - Misantropía & Blasfemia (2013)

Argentinian sludge band Uroboros released Misantropía & Blasfemia
about a week and a half before their follow-up, Herejía & Exilio. The titles and proximity of release dates suggest more than a little connectivity between the two EPs, and with each of them adding up to somewhere around 20 minutes of material, it's easy to imagine it as a concept album separated by force and intentional isolation of the experiences on each.
The first of the EPs begins with sludge as you usually think of it, with force and aggression pouring out of the guitar, vocals, and drums while the bass lays down some thick and nasty resonance. The group has a solid grip on the spirit of sludge, some excellently violent riffs and bridges, and a willingness to go as long or short with the song as called for by the music and mood.  In the 10-minute closing track "En Las Fauces de Uroboros", the band shows that their song-writing is sharp enough to sustain stretching out that environment into big pieces with more room for experimentation.  They also do well at having the distinct sections flow naturally into each other, with some nice juggling of rhythms and crunch.  Their material on this first release is excellent on its own, no questions about that, but it's perhaps even more exciting as the first piece of their larger works.  Basically, if you like sludge of any sort, this group is one worth checking out.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Hesperian Death Horse, Ksyatriya, Gilla Bruja, Meth Drinker, Fleshpress


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Devil to Pay

At Devil Dirt ~ Plan B: Sin Revolución No Hay Evolución

The update is a bit late today, so I'm going to keep thing short, sweet, and to the point. This Chilean duo seems to escape all normal classifications, let's just say that at times it's bordering on Psychedelic Doom Metal, and at others it could be considered ridiculously fuzzed out Stoner Rock, give it a little time and you're hit with a track that you could pass off as Doom Metal all day, whatever you feel like calling it, it's heavier than hell with a groove that slays. While every track is worth your time, my favorite was probably the incredibly catchy title track, "Sin Revolución No Hay Evolución". With guitar riffs as dark and fuzzy as my front-side, the song screams Black Sabbath with the initial vocals sounding like they were pulled straight from the 90's Grunge scene, but when the chorus kicks in, you wonder when the hell Paul McCartney joined the group. Being a dynamic duo, the only other instrumentation is the drummer, who pounds out his mid-tempo rhythm with a vicious precision. There are so many ways to get your paws on this  of fuzz, you don't have much of an excuse for not having a copy. You can head over to the group's bandcamp and get the digital version for a "name your price" deal, or pick up one of the last few CDs from them. You can get all of your vinyl fixes from our buddies at Bilocation Records, while there's still some available at least.

For Fans Of; Kyuss, Exporting White Elephants, Sleep