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Black HeavenPressed On Clear & Black Colored Vinyl
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Earthless has a surprise for you. Whereas the band's three previous albums featured anywhere
from two to four completely instrumental space rock jams, the California trio's fourth
and latest, Black Heaven, is nothing like that. "It's quite different," drummer Mario Rubalcaba
says with a laugh. "It has six songs, and most importantly it has vocals on about 70 percent
of the record. There goes being pigeonholed as an instrumental band, I guess "
Of Black Heaven's six tracks, only two are instrumental. And one of those instrumentals is
less than two minutes long. "It wasn't a premeditated thing to do a record with vocals," Rubalcaba
explains. "On the older records, Mike was responsible for a lot of the riffs that would
start these jams, but on this one Isaiah really brought his own pizazz and flavor to it. I'd say
that's one of the major differences on this album: It has more of Isaiah's input. He took a risk
bringing these ideas to us, not knowing if we'd like them. But as with everything we've done
in the past, it felt very organic and natural."
Black Heaven is a game changer for Earthless. Nobody is more aware of this than the band
members themselves. But they also know this: you'll never get anywhere if you're running
in place. "I'm sure there will be some people who have come to expect the big gargantuan
space rock jams, and I don't know if they'll be into this or not," Rubalcaba admits. "But I'm
ready to deal with a little bit of disappointment from people who just want the freakout stuff.
At the same time, I think people are gonna enjoy hearing a different side of us. If people really
listen to what we're doing, it's gonna sound like us. Sometimes it just takes a few listens. And
that's the kind of stuff that pays off more in the end."1. Gifted by the Wind
2. End to End
3. Electric Flame
4. Volt Rush
5. Black Heaven
6. Sudden End$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
CreationThe garage-psychedelia explosion of the 1960s produced such a massive wave of incredible music that, four decades later, were still unearthing amazing unsung gems from this remarkable period. Thats the case with Creation, the lone album by the Druids of Stonehenge, which stands as a prime embodiment of the timeless sound and spirit of vintage garage-psych.
The New York-based Druids of Stonehengefrontman Dave Budge, guitarists Carl Hauser and Bill Tracy, bassist Tom Workman and drummer Steve Tindallexemplified both the surly essence of teen garage-punk and the experimental spirit of psychedelia. The band formed in 1965 as a scrappy, R&B-influenced teen combo in the Rolling Stones/Pretty Things mold. (This period is documented on the earlier Sundazed vinyl EP The Druids of Stonehenge.) By 1968, the Druids had embraced psychedelia, relocated to the West Coast and signed with the UNI label.
The Druids of Stonehenge unveiled their retooled sound with Creation, which revealed the quintet to be one of the toughest, most imaginative outfits of its era, maintaining both a forceful, earthy edge and an ethereal air of mystery. Those qualities were manifested in Budges snarling, Jaggeresque vocals and the bands tense, punchy playing, which elevated such memorable originals as Six Feet Down, Earthless and Pale Dream, as well as their distinctive reworkings of Bob Dylans Its All Over Now, Baby Blue, Loves Signed D.C. and Screamin Jay Hawkins I Put a Spell on You.
Despite its obvious quality, Creation was largely lost in the shuffle in its initial release, and the Druids of Stonehenge broke up the following year. In the decades since, the band and the album have gained immensely in stature and prestige among garage-psych aficionados and 60s devotees, with original copies of Creation becoming sought-after collectibles. Now, this legendary cult item is back in circulation on high-definition vinyl, mastered from the original analog tapes and featuring complete original cover art.1. Six Feet Down
3. I Put a Spell on You
5. Bring It on Home
6. Painted Woman
7. Pale Dream
8. Signed D.C.
9. Forgot to Be Begot
10. A Garden Where Nothing Grows
11. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Wasted YearsAlong with his role in the Black Flag reunion project FLAG, Keith Morris also fronts supergroup OFF!, featuring Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Mario Rubalcaba (Hot Snakes/Rocket From the Crypt/Earthless), and Steven McDonald (Redd Kross). Following their 2012 self-titled release, the next OFF! record, Wasted Years, will be out in 2014 through Vice. The album cover, features art by legendary Black Flag/Sonic Youth cover artist Raymond Pettibon. The 16 tracks on Wasted Years were tracked live to tape at OFF's practice space, recorded as they were written. According to a press release, the record has a thematic darkness to it.1. Void You Out
2. Red White And Black
3. Legion Of Evil
4. No Easy Escape
5. Over Our Heads
7. It Didn't Matter To Me
9. Death Trip On The Party Train
10. I Won't Be A Casualty
11. All I Can Grab
12. Time's Not On Your Side
13. Meet Your God
14. Mr Useless
15. You Must Be Damned
16. Wasted Years$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Black ChordBorn in San Diego but bred in the mists of Avalon, Astra have fast-become a synonym for the ethereal, the sublime, and indeed the genuinely progressive. Ever since 2009's The Weirding put these analog-inflected San Diego visionaries on the map alongside the likes of co-conspirators Earthless, Diagonal and Dungen, who like some lost tribe of prog faithful - have brought this unwieldly and much maligned form of music out of the dark ages and in front of a new generation of mellotron-loving cognoscenti.
Limited gatefold special die cut vinyl edition with attached booklet
Think wailing guitars and dulcet harmonies thickened by Mellotrons and given hypnotic qualities by the kind of drumming that borders on the shamanic. Cinematic in scope but frequently yielding to a kind of melodic fragility that can only be the product of genuine emotion. The Black Chords musical ebb and flow prove Astra to be both a bands band capable fo an artistry all too rare among their generation, and it's a sound to behold.1. Cocoon
2. The Black Chord
3. Quake Meat
5. Bull Torpis
6. Barefoot In The Head$37.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
VesselThe first track of Vessels, "Fear the Followers", comes in with tight frantic riffing coupled by a stark immediate thrash part. The song, bordering on hardcore underneath, is screamed in two separate distinct voices; one being a screechier version of the lower growls. A strict delivery of sharp metalcore is prevalent. But then the middle dips into some Sabbath swings before further slowing with cymbals crashing and synths.
Track two, "Buried in the City", however exploits the notion of the riff and just goes full throttle doom metal. The tidal journey is engrossing, barbaric! Without rehashing any hacked riff, Cokegoat comes in with snarling bit of doom metal. It carries significant weight as a tribute to classic sounds while approaching them differently. The layered vocal and galloping metal guitars spark the energy of the finish.
"Dogs" contrasts that with a cosmic synth aura and a taut minimalist riff approach for a tense 3 minutes. Then the explosion of a sinister 1970's free-wheeling riff takes center stage. All of which are to be manipulated into an Unsane, Faith No More ("Malpractice, "Caffeine") ugly place. Eventually, among static shorelines, we get a dreamy recoil into a bluesy meandering.
Cokegoat begs you to pinpoint them, not by album but by the minute.
There are continuous bounces from Strife type hardcore intros (I swear) to scathing black metal nods. Usually bands that boast that spectrum of influence are raw and crusty and loose in the production. This is tight as sutures. Andy Nelson of Weekend Nachos engineered this and Carl Saff (Unsane, Red Fang, Earthless) mastered the final sound for this. Not surprising. Heavy is a key factor in Vessels.
Vessels is one hell of a debut. This bitch has balls. But quickly flashes some groove. "The End of Your Life Pt 2" is controlled chaos. It also is one of two 2-part songs. Yeah. This is foresight, ambition, ardor and grit in this album. Here we have "three guitarists, three voices, synths, bass and drums," kept on a production leash that adds an urgency to the manic time changes. Which crush. The atmospheric layers are just touches. They add mood but never take center stage. This is about riffs, but Cokegoat know where to accent their talents as well.
FFO: Sons of Otis, Type O Negative, Monster Magnet, Electric Wizard, early Baroness, Mastodon, Black Tusk, Moss, ASG, The Gates of Slumber, Earthride (Hutch)
- New Noise Magazine1. Fear the Followers
2. Buried In The City
4. End of Your Life, Pt. 1
5. End of Your Life, Pt. 2
6. Fly by Night, Pt. 2
7. Fly by Daylight
8. Glorious Dead$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now