Roadrunner & Other Drivin’ Tunes

Roadrunner & Other Drivin' Tunes (Front)

An old acquaintance just asked for road trip music recommendations, and I thought I had posted this when I made the mix for a CD mix club I participated in 7-8 years ago. I guess I didn’t, so here it is! Some of the MP3s are included with PDF cover art and liner notes if you click on the first image. Or you can stream it all on Spotify below. Enjoy! Continue reading

UFOMAMMUT Finally Tours North America

Italian stoner/doom/sludge/psych pioneers UFOMAMMUT celebrated their 15th anniversary as a band last year by releasing a retrospective XV DVD and Magickal Mastery live album. Incredibly, they have never before toured North America. They played a couple dates in L.A. and San Francisco back in 2009, and that’s it. With a string of incredible albums, each topping the last — Idolum (2008), Eve (2010), and the double album Oro (2012), the band clearly has a substantial audience patiently waiting for them to tour the states. Labelmates Neurosis and YOB receive rapturous responses and acclaim with each tour and album, and I keep thinking, but what about Ufomammut? Before the final headliners were announced for Psycho California fest, I was positive Ufomammut would be announced. It makes zero sense to me that they would play Maryland Death Fest rather than that. But all is forgiven, with new album Ecate set for a March 31 release, and a real honest to goodness tour, kicking off at my favorite metal club, Reggie’s on May 13 and ending at the Metal Grill in Milwaukee, site of last year’s final Days of the Doomed Fest. Continue reading

Crispy Ambulance – The Plateau Phase Released 30 Years Ago

Crispy Ambulance - The Plateau Phase (Factory Benelux, 1982)A year ago today Factory Benelux Records released The Plateau Phase, the debut album by post-punkers Crispy Ambulance. Dave McCullough of Soundsgave it a five-star review. “It conjured up, after the second listen, big thoughts like, this is how the Doors would sound if they were around in ’82… (they) straddle humour and huge creative strength. Little wonder then that their music is so utterly dissociated, so cut off from the stream of life. It sounds disembodied… Crispys are like an aborted Ruts. They have more good rock riffs than the Rolling Stones. The whole point  is they refuse, at arms length at any rate, to use them.” Hilarious! Crispy Ambulance were recently included in my piece, The Greatest Post-Punk Bands You Never Heard:

Despite early associations with Factory Records and Joy Division (vocalist Alan Hempsall once substituted for Ian Curtis at a gig and Martin Hannett produced an EP), they don’t have any hooks to hang your hat on, instead focusing on prog and kosmische influenced soundscapes and guitar textures, and some of the bass ‘n’ treble sounds of Public Image Ltd. Their debut full-length The Plateau Phase (LTM, 1982) may require some patience to navigate the murky atmospheres, but is rewarding for any fans of dark wave and post-Siouxsie goth. It’s been reissued on CD twice, the latest in 1999, featuring the single “Sexus” and the aforementioned Hannett produced songs from 1981, the amazing 13:03 long “The Presence” and “Concorde Square.”

Baroness’ John Baizley Writes About Crash

Over six weeks since Baroness’ horrific bus crash in Monkton Combe, UK, John Baizley gives a detailed account of his experience. I knew the band would choose to get back on the horse if they could, but the long-term implications of their injuries were in question. I’m relieved to learn that Baizley has already resumed playing guitar along with doing physical therapy. I’m also relieved to know he doesn’t believe in fate or some higher power either punishing or rewarding him. Because really, is there anyone more insufferable than a musician who believes they’re some sort of chosen one? Not that I was worried about Baroness, a tough group of men who have been around the block a few times. That doesn’t mean Baizley doesn’t have some pretty intense insights resulting from the experience. Check it out after the jump. ‘Til the wheels fall off! Continue reading

Mixturam Metallum on Pop Matters

I’m excited to see this new series on Pop Matters. I read the site daily on my Kindle, and was psyched to see them expand their metal coverage. I wonder if any of my hectoring comments influenced it?! They have a nice variety of solid writers who often tackle challenging think pieces that go beyond the usual boring review/promotions cycle.  The 20 albums are not ranked, and do not include other favorites of theirs that had already been reviewed this year, such as the absolutely classic latest by Gojira, Ufomammut, Christian Mistress, Dawnbringer, and other heavy/hard rock albums by Baroness, Royal Thunder and Torche. The 20 included cover a wide range, from extreme, black metal, post-metal to traditional and even the Finnish occult rock of Jess And the Ancient Ones. Bravo! I would love to see them also tackle some similarly under-the radar European heavy psych type of releases by Witchcraft, Graveyard, Spiders, Captain Crimson, Sir Admiral Cloudesley Shovell, Alunah, Orcus Chylde, Kadavar, and also Americans Wo Fat, Witch Mountain, Castle and Venomous Maximus.

Mixturam Metallum #1: 20 of the Best Metal Albums of 2012

The Sword, Tacos & Tears Of Fire With Anthony Bourdain

Tacos are definitely one of the top foods that put me in my happy place. Stoner metallers The Sword are on the same page as frequent customers of Quality Seafood Market in Austin, TX. They love their fish tacos so much they had their own hot sauce made called “Tears Of Fire” so they can experience the tacos twice (yay TACOS! ouch, curse you TACOS!) It includes both red habaneros and the hottest pepper in the world, the ghost (naga jolokia) pepper. They shared tacos and sauces with Anthony Bourdain in an episode of his travel show, No Reservations – The Final Tour that aired on Monday. The sauce is so hot, it apparently took the FDA a while to approve it, and I think I saw Bourdain break a sweat after sampling it.

Continue reading

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats Sign to Rise Above

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, who’s second album, Blood Lust spread their message of “misery and disappointment” throughout the blogosphere like a doomsday virus, rating highly on end of year lists, including a number seven spot on Fester’s Lucky 13 list, have signed to Rise Above records. Hopefully this means Rise Above will finally make a reissue of their impossible-to-find first album, Vol. I (2010) available. See the press release after the jump for details on their third album, and also labelmates Purson. Continue reading

Baroness Tour Bus Crash in Bath – Update

Baroness Coach Crash

Earlier today, Baroness‘ publicist, Monica Seide of Speakeasy PR & Marketing, released the following update regarding the musicians’ medical condition:

“The band members of Baroness and their crew are recovering from injuries sustained after their tour bus crashed outside of Bath, England early on Wednesday morning.

“John Baizley [rhythm guitar, lead vocals] has broken his left arm and left leg. Allen Blickle [drums] and Matt Maggioni [bass] each suffered fractured vertebrae. All three remain in the hospital as of this writing. Pete Adams [lead guitar, vocals] has been treated and released from the hospital.

“Three of the five crew members who were on the bus have also been treated and released. One member is still undergoing testing. The driver of the bus remains in critical condition.

“Please stay tuned for further updates. Thank you for all the support during this extremely difficult time.”

Two guys with broken backs is pretty bad, but send good thoughts to the driver who isn’t out of the woods yet. Continue reading

The Darkness – Hot Cakes Streaming

The brief lull of summer releases the past few weeks will be ending soon. There’s been a few good ones by Nachtmystium, Testament and Redd Kross, but nothing I’ve been inspired to buy. I’m kind of excited over The Darkness. Nearly a decade after the UK band emerged in a blaze of glory and Justin Hawkin’s catsuits and some will still misunderstand them. Understand this, the band is not a joke. They may seem campy, but their homages to Queen’s Freddie Mercury are sincere, not ironic. Not to say their over-the-top lyrics aren’t often hilarious. Their party-rockin’ synthesis of 70s glam, AC/DC and 80’s hair metal is too well crafted to be a parody.  Continue reading

Teeth of the Divine Interviews Chris Black of Dawnbringer

The interview was conducted before the Alehorn Of Power fest. Chris talks about the differences between his recording lineup and the live players, and the fact that they only had one weekend to rehearse together before the show. Are you kidding me? Anyone who was there knows how tight Dawnbringer were. Chalk it up to the fact that most of the players have a long history with Black.

Like An Earthquake – Teeth of the Divine