Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

I have not posted for a while as my tinnitus of the last five years has spread to my right ear and has been excruciating lately, so music has unfortunately taken a back seat. Apologies to the Witchskull lads for missing your show last Friday, and I had to give the Black Cobra/Jucifer show a miss as well (anyone go? How was it?).

The Grand Astoria
This Russian band's name had me interested right from the get go, so I was very pleasantly surprised to discover how good they are. Formed in 2009, they have pumped out around ten releases, so I have much catching up to do. The songs on the latest releases tend to go from 10 to 25 minutes, whereas the earlier releases tended to stick to the five minute mark. There are multiple members but Kamille Sharapodinov (vocals, guitars, korg monotron) seems to be the main man. He has a great voice and sings in Russian, which really works. They play a weird mix of jazzy progressive metal that is highly recommended.
Bandcamp

Lucifer
Last year I reviewed The Oath's stunning debut. Unfortunately they broke up not long after that release, but their brilliant vocalist, Joanna Sadonis has returned with a new band that features riff master Gary Jennings (Cathedral, Death Penalty). Not as upbeat as The Oath but mystically epic, catchy, doomy heavy metal. Headbanging guaranteed to start during the track "Izrael".
Soundcloud
Interview and debut album stream: Invisible Oranges

I usually try to feature at least one Australian band but nothing has really jumped out at me the last few months. I will endeavour to uncover some gems this month.

Playlist: Unkle K
1. The Grand Astoria - The Mighty Few/Kobaia Express
2. Lucifer - Lucifer I
3. Legion of Andromeda - Iron Scorn
4. Pink Floyd - Live at Pompeii
5. Goatsnake - Black Age Blues (Brilliant)

Playlist: lxp
1. Acid King - Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere
2. Mutoid Man - Bleeder
3. Goatsnake - Black Age Blues
4. Cloud Rat - Quilphoth
5. Metz - II
6. Seremonia - Kristalliarkki
7. Abyssal - Antikatastaseis
8. Refused - Freedom
9. Hellbringer - Dominion of Darkness
10. Frank Zappa - The Man from Utopia/Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch

Unkle K

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Twins of Evil

The last time Black Cobra were supposed to play in Canberra, there were about five of us who - either because of not being on Facebook or not hearing word from anyone "in the know" - showed up to a very desolate, very closed ANU Bar on a Tuesday night, only to find the show had been cancelled. Well, almost six years later, our town is finally getting another chance to see this killer double-barreled sludge juggernaut as part of a very exciting bill that also includes nomadic merchants of eclectic, ear-splitting volume, Jucifer and Melbourne's Dead, who always throw everything into their pummeling live shows. Having seen all three of these bands perform at other times in the last few years, I reckon this is definitely going to be one to get out and brave the cold for. Additional Canberra support comes from the always excellent Looking Glass, whose new album has got to be pretty damn close to being released by now! See you at The Basement this Tuesday 14 July, from 7pm.

 lxp

Monday, 8 June 2015

Upcoming gigs

Tuesday 9 June at Magpies City Club
Weekend Nachos, Cursed Earth, Years of Abuse, Wretch,
Hygiene
and Autonomous Drones

Sunday 14 June at The Basement (early show - starts 4pm)
Totally Unicorn, Lo!, Looking Glass, I Am Duckeye and ...Is Dead

This one isn't in Canberra, but will be well worth the trip up the highway to Sydney...
Saturday 20 June at Hermann's Bar
Pallbearer, Hawkmoth and Looking Glass
lxp

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Unkle K's Bands of the Week


Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard
Welsh doomsters M.W.W.B totally sound like their name. What really impresses me with this one-track 30 minute beast is that it slowly builds to epic proportions but at all times stays thoroughly enjoyable. As you would expect, the riffs are MASSIVE. Highly recommended for those folks into mammoths, weed, wizards and bastards.

Elder/Gold and Silver
I didn't think Boston's Elder could top 2011's brilliant Dead Roots Stirring, as the following EP, Spires Burn/Release didn't really blow me away. But their latest, Lore has exceeded all expectations. Heavy, melodic, top class musicianship, fantastic vocals. Already shaping up to be my album of year. Seriously, strap in for track number one, "Compendium" and be transfixed.
Bandcamp

And as an added bonus, Elder guitarist Nick DeSalvo, along with Mike Risberg, have a brilliant release out: Gold and Silver - Azurite and Malachite. Very similar to Elder but a little mellower and jammier, without vocals. DiSalvo is really talented at playing the drums and keyboards, as well as sharing guitar duties with Risberg.

Sobbed/W.D.L.K.
This split is from two of Kyoto's finest bands. W.D.L.K. open with two tracks that sound very much like Japanese legends Corrupted's older material, and go for around 17 minutes. Nasty stuff. Sobbed play a more traditional style of grind, like 324 or Realized, smashing out six tracks in six minutes. Thanks to old mate Emil Minty for the heads up. Melbourne's Die Pigeon Die recently played with both of these great bands on their Japanese tour in January - would have loved to have been there.
Sobbed: Facbook
W.D.L.K.: Facebook

Gigs of the Week
Thursday 14 May at Transit Bar
Hard-Ons, Super Best Friends and Yoko Oh No

Thursday 21 May at Magpies City Club
King Parrot, High Tension and Colossvs

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Captain Cleanoff - Rising Terror
2. Elder - Lore
3. Witchskull - Promo CD
4. Year of No Lights/Bagarre Generale - Split
5. All Them Witches - A Sweet Release

Playlist: lxp
1. Hydromedusa - S/T
2. Bell Witch - Four Phantoms
3. Sumac - S/T
4. Fu Manchu - Daredevil
5. Captain Cleanoff - Rising Terror
6. Zombi - The Zombi Anthology

Unkle K

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Reviews: Samothrace / Norilsk / Zig Zags

Samothrace - Live at Roadburn 2014
Featuring performances of both cuts from 2012's Reverence to Stone along with "Awkward Hearts", from their debut Life's Trade, this set portrays Samothrace to be every bit as enveloping and awe-inspiring on stage as I would have hoped. The vocals are noticeably less prominent than they are on the studio albums, but that makes the guitars soar even higher and provides a bit of a different feel that those familiar with the songs can sink into. Unlike many concert recordings, in which both the impact of the live setting and the quality of the music can be completely lost, the majesty and power of Samothrace comes across in full here, which is a testament to both the band and the Roadburn team. I wish I had been there to see this.

Live it here.

Norilsk - The Idea of North
Norilsk offer up an album of death/doom/metal that combines the cold and morose with the upbeat and melodic. The music creates an expansive and foreboding landscape that is broken up intermittently by atmospheric guitar lines that build tension and trudging rhythms that propel some fairly infectious doom riffs (often overlaid with tremolo picking). Morne and Paradise Lost influences are apparent. Being from Quebec, the band uses French lyrics, delivered through both death growls and whispers, which adds a point of interest. Although The Idea of North is produced more sharply than I normally go for, it is still compelling.

Listen here.

Zig Zags - S/T
Blasting out of an isolated garage stuck in the middle of a vast post-apocalyptic wasteland, Zig Zags hoist high a (black) flag rallying the punks, rockers and thrashers to keep the party alive. Absorbing the blood of The Stooges, The Ramones, The Misfits, Black Sabbath and old Metallica through their tongues, they spit their influences back out as twisted skate rock: something like a more nostalgic, lo-fi bastard sibling of The Shrine. Part Easy Rider, part Return of the Living Dead, all catchy as fuck.

Listen here.

lxp

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Lizzard Wizzard
A new 7” from Brisbane’s Lizzard Wizzard to follow up from 2013’s excellent S/T tape. Another quality QLD stoner/doom outfit along with Frown and Zodiac. Song title of the month: "The Ghost of Randy Savage".
Bandcamp

Holy Serpent
Only one track to go on so far from this very promising Melbourne outfit's forthcoming release, Shroom Doom, out in May on Riding Easy Records. This is heavy, catchy and the singer has a killer set of pipes. Melbourne is pumping out quality doom at the moment with Horsehunter, Watchtower and Holy Serpent all making a massive impression on me.
Bandcamp

Elite Suppressor
Old mate Kevin (Geeheeb), formerly of The Oily Menace has just torn my face off with his new project Elite Suppressor. Short nasty, noisy, punky grind turned up to the max. Vocals sound like a Japanese Man is the Bastard x10. Not for Opeth fans.
Bandcamp

Gig of the Week
Melbourne’s Horsehunter and South Oz’s Space Bong team up for this killer tour. Canberra show is Thursday 19 March at the Phoenix.

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Elite Supressor - 2015 Demo
2. Lizzard Wizzard - S/T
3. Grief - Alive
4. Dystopia - The Aftermath
5. Motorhead - Ace of Spades

Playlist: lxp
1. Elder - Lore
2. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth - S/T
3. War on Women - S/T
4. Torche - Restarter
5. V/A - Back from the Grave Vol. 9 and 10
6. Nux Vomica - A Civilized World
7. Gay Kiss - Preservation Measures
8. Burlap - Demo

Unkle K

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Thank you Dave S for this week's photo.

Lotus Thief
Wow, I’m really digging Lotus Thief’s blackish doomgaze. This band features members of Botanist (who I’ve been interested in for a while but their lo-fi black metal just does not click with me, which is a shame as the artwork is amazing). Anyway, this is a lot more accessible than Botanist, with only the drumming being similar. The melding of different styles really works for me, with only the quieter ambient interludes not really coming off.
Bandcamp

Wild Rocket
Another bloody awesome Irish band. Along with Slomatics and War Iron, there are some great bands coming out of the Emerald Isle. Doomy space rock, but the vocalist sounds totally original with his kind of punky approach. It took me a few listens to get used to them but once they clicked with me I was hooked.
Bandcamp

Playlist: Unkle K
1. The Kill - Kill Them...All
2. Graveyard - Hisingen Blues
3. Lotus Thief - Rervm
4. Wild Rocket - Geomagnetic Hallucinations
5. Internal Rot - Mental Hygiene

Playlist: lxp
1. Usnea - Random Cosmic Violence
2. Manhunt - S/T
3. Haapoja/Dephosphorus - Collaboration LP
4. The Kill - Kill Them...All
5. King Woman - Doubt
6. Los Saicos - Wild Teen-Punk from Peru 1965 (cheers Dave/Brad)

Unkle K

Monday, 2 February 2015

Upcoming gigs

Saturday 7 February at Transit Bar
With Heavy Heart 2, featuring Inverloch, The VeilMyraeth, Los Hombres del Diablo
Black Trillium
, and And Then Silence
 
 
Wednesday 11 February at Transit Bar
CJ Ramone, Hard-Ons and No Assumption

Saturday 14 February at Magpies City Club
Harm's Way, Legions, I Exist, Hygiene and Urge to Kill

Wednesday 18 February at The Street Theatre
J Mascis and Peter Black

Thursday 19 February at Lacklustre HQ
Manhunt, Internal Rot, Hygiene and Blight Worms
lxp