Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Holy Serpent
Another great new band from Melbourne. The stoner/doom scene down there is spitting forth some great new bands: Horsehunter; Watchtower. These guys are not as heavy as some of the other new bands, with the singer having a pretty mellow voice, but he can sing and combined with some rocking tunes, I’m keen to hear further output.

Corsair from Charlottesville, Virginia have a rocking Lizzy-Gary Moore-Maiden vibe - great leads, cool vocals, great hooks. I found myself singing along after a couple of listens.

Video of the Week
Keeping up with the old school vibe is Ryan Waste’s (Municipal Waste) Living Fast video channel, totally dedicated to heavy metal. First two episodes feature Raven, Venom and many other NWOBHM classics. Highly entertaining.
Episode 1: YouTube
Episode 2 (Part 1): YouTube
Episode 2 (Part 2): YouTube


Couple of killer shows in the next few weeks. One for the kiddies with Full of Hell from the USA at a new venue called the Crossroads (a house) on Thursday 4 December, supported by Idylls and Machina Genova. And then on Saturday 13 December, Witchskull appear to be the youngest band on a bill of nursing home veterans appearing on a great old school lineup at the Croatian Club in Turner.

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Corsair - One Eyed Horse
2. Lucifers Friend - S/T
3. Electric Wizard - Time to Die
4. Hawkeyes - Poison Slows You Down
5.The Shrine - Primitive Blast
Playlist: lxp
1. Baptists - Bloodmines
2. Today is the Day - Animal Mother
3. Hoarse - S/T
4. Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire
5. Electric Wizard - Time to Die
6. Pneumatic Slaughter - Failed Executions
7. Horrendous - Ecdysis
8. Holy Serpent - S/T
9. Captain Beyond - S/T
10. Om - Enjoying revisiting all their releases.

Unkle K

Monday, 10 November 2014

This week's gigs

A couple of killer shows to look forward to at the end of this week...

Thursday 13 November at The Basement
Meth Drinker (NZ), Whitehorse, Hygiene and Blight Worms

Friday 14 November at The Pot Belly
Sete Star Sept (Japan), Michael Crafter, Machina Genova and Blight Worms


Friday, 24 October 2014

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

G'day folks,

Have not done this for a while, but with a bunch of killer tours coming up - Full of Hell, Sete Star Sept, Sleep and Whitehorse/Methdrinker before the end of the year - I thought I’d get back into the swing of things. The last few months has been spectacular for shows, with the Neurosis, Conan and Windhand tours all kicking arse, and that does not include Torche last weekend, which I unfortunately missed.

Young Melbourne doomsters obliterate all comers with their debut release.

Yuri Gagarin
Killer heavy space rock from Sweden. Great leads and Hawkwindy keys.

The Oath
Hooks and looks - great heavy metal from this now-split German/Swedish group.

Gig of the Week
The VeeBees, Stanley Knife (Sydney) and Brown Paper Bag (South Coast), Saturday 25 October at The Chop Shop.

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Horsehunter - Caged in Flesh 
2. Yuri Gagarin - S/T 
3. Electric Wizard - Time to Die
4. Fistula - Vermin Prolificus 
5. The Oath - S/T

Playlist: lxp
1. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
2. Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend
3. Megaton Leviathan - Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Cell
4. The Shrine - Bless Off
5. Horsehunter - Caged in Flesh
6. Earth - Primitive and Deadly
7. Dilated Peoples - Directors of Photography
8. Corrupt Moral Altar - Mechanical Tides
9. Shellac - Dude Incredible
10. Bastard Sapling - Instinct is Forever
(I'm also really looking forward to Captains of Industry, the new album from Melbourne duo DEAD, which will be out in a couple of weeks.)

Unkle K

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Kansas City band Merlin have an interesting approach to the stoner/doom genre, with what sounds like Western style slide used at times. The songs are catchy, the lyrics are cool and they create a great atmosphere over the course of these 5 songs. This band has made a massive jump as they improve with each release. Check out if you dig Clutch, the Melvins or Pentagram.

Eight Bells
Out of the musical hotbed that is Portland, Oregon, comes Eight Bells, which is a new band made from ex-members of psychedelic rockers Subarachnoid Space. This is cool, going from proggy hard rock to proggy metal. I’ve read reviews that keep mentioning black metal but, besides the occasional vocal shriek, I don’t really hear it. I’ve also read some scathingly bad reviews of this, which surprises me because I think it’s pretty good.

Judd Madden
Judd Madden is from Melbourne and releases his own instrumental doom metal. This is around the 7th release from Judd in what seems to be a short period of time. Judd plays all the instruments himself and then puts his releases out on Bandcamp, and they are all available for "name your price" download. Each release seems to have stunning artwork and presentation. Support this dude.

Video of the Week
Electric Wizard - "I Am Nothing" (acid video), from the forthcoming LP Time to Die: YouTube

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Merlin - Christ Killer
2. Bert Kreischer - Everything
3. Thou - Heathen
4. Neurosis - All
5. Dead Infection - Corpses of the Universe

Playlist: lxp
1. The Atlas Moth - The Old Believer
2. Sunwolf - Beholden to Nothing and No One
3. Trap Them - Blissfucker
4. Lecherous Gaze - Zeta Reticuli Blues
5. Barghest - The Virtuous Purge
...and also spinning everything Neurosis.

Unkle K

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Obits transiting

Next week, Canberra will be the first stop on a short Australian tour by Obits from Brooklyn, NY. Their indie and punk tinged rock 'n' roll comes straight out of the garage and will provide a welcome reprieve from the cold. The band features members of Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu and Girls Against Boys. If you haven't heard their music, there are a few videos and downloadable tracks on their website.

Wednesday 30 July at Transit Bar, with support from locals TV Colours and Wives (formerly Sweet Shoppe).


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Mt. Mountain - EP

I'm really getting the impression that there is something in the water over in the west...

Hailing from Perth, Mt. Mountain are definitely on the softer and more subdued end of what we usually cover on this blog. But when I hear warm, earthy, psychedelic rock such as that displayed in the five tracks on their (self-titled?) EP, I find it hard to resist.

From start to finish, the relentlessly hypnotic, down tempo rumble of the bass acts like an undertow, churning subliminally but forcefully, to drag you wholly into the rest of the music. It is by no means the most complex bass work out there, but it is extremely effective. Upon repeat listens, I found myself happy to just follow those thick, rubbery basslines as they meander unhurriedly through the rest of EP's landscape.

And that landscape resembles some kind of dense, mossy forest, spotted with sunlight, its shadows populated with a procession of familiar spirits crossing your path - the Black Angels, Dead Meadow, Mark Lanegan, Hawkwind.

However, even with its inviting familiarity, EP is more than just a moody psychedelic scrapbook. Mt. Mountain are not afraid to throw unpredictable elements together to make their music reverberate in its own interesting way. "Tomorrow", with its crooning harmonica, adds a touch of the Doors-inflected blues. In "FX/My Love", you know the breakaway riff is coming as the song builds, and when it does it kicks with a big, groovy swagger (akin to Black Mountain). But it only rears its head in that form once - when it returns towards the end of the song it is dismantled with noise, bends and notes left hanging in the air. In closer, "Ghosts" unexpected outbursts of fuzzy, spacey guitar cut right through the brooding, heavy-headed trudge that characterises the rest of the song, lifting it to unexpected heights.

Mt. Mountain's EP has plenty of twists and turns to hold your attention, but is also more than capable of lulling you into the aether. Highly recommended if you are looking to just drift away for about half an hour. Listen here.


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Locktender - Rodin

The premise of Locktender's music is the presentation heavy, emotional post-hardcore interpretations of creative works by figures such as Franz Kafka, William Blake and, on their new album, Auguste Rodin. And why would I want to listen to screamo art appreciation essays? Well, the couple of times I have seen Rodin sculptures in real life, it has been difficult to turn away - I remember standing and staring slack-jawed at The Gates of Hell, transfixed by the swarm of twisted, strained figures emerging from dark, solid bronze. So with that in mind, curiosity took hold and I decided to give Locktender a go...

The four tracks on Rodin, each titled after one of the artist's sculptures, provide a sprawling and compelling document of admiration for the album’s namesake. The music moves continuously and fluidly through myriad atmospheres in a progression of light and shade that, at different points, calls to mind Fall of Efrafa and Cara Neir.

Opening song, "The Burghers of Calais" is the standout. At just under 20 minutes in length, it patiently evolves from lonely guitar lines resonating gently in empty space, through tense, jangly riffs that build desperately into explosive outbursts of metallic sludge that monstrously bellow bloody murder (while retaining their soaring melodies), before returning to do it all again. The absence of repetitive hooks, laboured phrases or simple breakdowns provides a lot of time for contemplation, but when Locktender let their savagery rip, they give it everything. The jagged onslaught of percussive, noisy hardcore in the first half of "The Thinker" exemplifies this, until the song shifts into a rousing refrain - "can we still find the light at the end of the tunnel?" - which is delivered by voices that seem to be inviting you to join in the thinker's engrossed musings.

Then a black swan appears in the form of “Eternal Springtime”, a piece that is more romantic chamber music than hardcore. A surprising departure from the rest of the album, it features only a lilting violin accompanying a swooning guitar composition. But it also feeds smoothly into the intro of the final track, “The Man With the Broken Nose”, which resumes the extended journey through contrasts between the delicate and the brutal that characterise the album overall.

The music on Rodin unfolds in a way that makes it very easy to drift away thinking about the ideas Locktender are trying to express, or the stories behind the artworks they are trying to retell. Although it does get carried away in its own airs and graces at times, it does so honestly, and the theatricality of the band’s delivery seems completely forthright. While this album might draw some polarised reactions, Locktender are trying something a bit different and, in my opinion, managing to pull it off well and making it interesting to listen to.

Rodin and the rest of Locktender's music is available on their Bandcamp page and their website.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Geoff, setting new metal fashions at this year's Maryland Deathfest.

Beast in the Field
Two-piece from Michigan that creates a massive racket with lots and lots of cabs and amps. Possibly one of my fave instrumental bands at the moment. Very catchy tunes. Could maybe compare them to High on Fire without vocals.
Saw Her Ghost Records

Atomic Death Squad
More Melbourne thrash, this time a little bit closer to the crossover side of things. They do a Cryptic Slaughter cover on their 7”, which may give you an idea of where they are coming from.

Tree of Sores
Really like this band's name, but when I first gave them a spin a few years ago the tunes didn’t really do it for me. Anyway, these Leeds lads are back with a 27 minute epic track of doomy, crusty sludge that blows my socks off. Much improvement.

Gig of the Week
The VeeBees, Meatbeaters and Hell Crab City, Saturday 31 May at Magpies City Club.

Video of the Week
Blood, Sweat & Vinyl: DIY in the 21st Century: YouTube

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Serpentine Path - Emanations
2. Deep Purple - Fireball
3. Floor - Oblation
4. Beast in the Field - The Sacred Above, the Sacred Below
5. Tree of Sores - A Cry of Despair

Playlist: lxp
1. Vidunder - S/T
2. Slug Lord - Transmutation
3. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em
4. Grimpen Mire - A Plague Upon Your Houses
5. Man is the Bastard - D.I.Y.C.D.
6. Mark Lanegan - Has God Seen My Shadow? An Anthology 1989-2011

Unkle K