Saturday, 28 February 2015

Interview with BAD GUYS

Bad Guys's music has been described as a mixup of Harvey Milk, Torche, Thin Lizzy, Orange Goblin, MC5, The Melivins, Black Sabbath and Motorhead. Sure it's noisy, chaotic but Bad Guys have a great identity of their own mixing dirty lo-fi scuzzy, sludgy, stoner punk driven riffs with sometimes hilarious over the top lyrics that you can't quite believe what they're singing about.

They released their debut album back in 2013 to some critical acclaim. 2 years later, Bad Guys are back with better than ever with their brilliant 2nd album – Bad Guynaecology

I described the album as:

Bad Guys return with their 2nd album 'Bad Guynaecology'. Yeah, awesome pun with a great album cover to match. Bad Guys released a superb debut album back in 2013. Its style of Punk, Sludge, Doom, Stoner and Hard Rock won them a range of admirers within the scene. The other element that make Bad Guys such a great band is their hilarious and in your face lyrics that verged on genius insanity.

In summary 'Bad Guynaecology' is a great album for Bad Guys to return with. It's a different album to its predecessor and it proves that Bad Guys have matured as a band though there's still a ton of laughs to have along the way. It's a must have record. Plain and Simple.”

Bad Guys have written one of the funniest songs of the year with CRIME. Now it's time to find out more about these TONKA TRUCK STEALING mother-truckers.

Q1 – Hi guys. How are things with you all today.

PJ- Prettay prettay good, albums getting good reviews, the Uk tours booked, the videos done, the Euro tour is coming along, Dave’s working on getting us to the Ukraine and Poland in October and most of our colds and infections are clearing up.

Stu – My piles are flaring up but otherwise I’m fine.

Dave – I’m still infectious.

Tamas - I`m very excited! 

Q2 – Can you give a brief history to our readers of how the band came about and where it is today.

PJ - The band started as burning desire to do something loud, stupid and rocking. We'd had enough of dynamics and clever time signatures, we wanted to have fun and we didn't really plan much ahead of that. Early gigs with our old drummer Mark Davidson were an absolute mess of drunken feedback, we'd turn up and play anywhere, usually uninvited, which had the effect of annoying promoters and security but being very entertaining for ourselves and the unsuspecting crowd we'd forced ourselves upon.

The first gigs were in ATP chalets at camber sands and Minehead, it gave us a taste for guerrilla gigs which required military style planning and execution with uncertain results. If we managed to play 1 track or 6 it didn't matter it was a victory, we talked about playing in the middle of the junction at Oxford circus once, We honestly didn't care if we got arrested doing it.

It wasn't until we had to write a 30minute set of material for a proper gig in a venue that we realised we might, actually have something here more than pure indulgent mayhem. The first single and album encapsulated the early Bad Guys spirit and humour. It’s unrefined and ridiculous in places but we put a lot of work into making it and I'm still proud of it.

After the sad loss of Mark our old drummer who left to become a professional hermit on the Isle of Skye, we thought it was probably the end of Bad Guys, as good drummers are as rare as fucking hens teeth, it was quite a low point having to put a DRUMMER WANTED ad on Gumtree as a last resort. Fortunately our saviour came in the form of Tamas Kiss, a brilliant Hungarian drummer we'd known for years who played in about 3 other bands including one of my brothers’. We managed to coax him over with cakes and tobacco to join Bad Guys because one of his other bands split up, I think I just told him he was the man for the job and he agreed.

After the first rehearsal, me and Dave realised we'd have to up our game to keep up with him and a new level of professionalism and life was breathed into the band. Stuart even drank less red wine. That fresh energy meant there was no difficult second album, it practically wrote itself and you can hear these offerings in the form of BAD GUYNAECOLOGY.

August 2011, Bad Guys guerilla beach gig w/ Gum Takes Tooth and Dethscalator. Festvial Pier, Thames South bank. Lo tide, full moon, Mark on drums.

Q3 – How would you describe your own sound. As I feel it's best coming from the band themselves.

PJ - We always just say its 'heavy rock', the influences are pretty clear if you know your rock and metal history.

Q4 – We have to talk about your new album – Bad Guynaecology - So are you excited, nervous or thrilled what people are going to make of it.

Tamas - I`m very excited! 

PJ - I'm as excited as a schoolboy who just found a copy of Razzle in the bushes. I was a bit annoyed it took so long to get out, but that’s probably our fault.

Dave - I don't really mind to be honest, I just hope that people will buy the album so we can get out of debt.

Stu – I just want it all out so I can get on with my life. I’m sure some people make feature films with less faffing about than it took to make the video for Prostitutes. Not to mention how long it takes to layout lyrics on a CD booklet. Fiddling with font sizes and kerning and shit. I’m like the fake Geena Davis at the beginning of The Fly 2, giving birth to a giant maggot screaming GET IT OUT OF ME.

Q5 – Why the hell did you choose the name Bad Guynaecology. Awesome title which shows off your insane sense of humour.

Stu – The keen eyed will notice it’s a lovely portmanteau of ‘Bad Guys’ and ‘gynaecology’. And is a tribute to the (shit) Prince album ‘Musicology’. It’s got so many layers.

Q6 – Was it a hard or easy album to write and record for. Are you happy with the final result.

PJ - As I said this album was a pleasure to produce. Some of the songs we'd been gigging for a while and we demoed it first so it was really easy to bash ‘em out in the studio.
Newer songs like 'Reaper' and 'Fabled Succubus' I wished we'd had a bit more time to refine but sometimes its good to have a time limit and really please with the end result. I will happily give the record to Stuart's parents for Christmas.

Tamas: - Some songs were very easy to write - a couple of rehearsals and the songs were done, but some songs took ages to finalize.  We always revisited the already written songs to see if they are still rockin’, sometimes we had to ditch completed songs or some ideas - unfortunately.

Dave - I think recording the album was the easy part as we had almost everything completely written before we went into the studio.  I am personally really happy with the final result. I think Gomez did an amazing job producing

Stu – Yeah recording was easy coz Gomez is a master blacksmith with beautiful, safe hands. He has his shit on lock.

Q7 – What influenced you when writing and recording the album.

Tamas - Almost everything, lots of laughter definitely...

PJ - Everything from ZZ Top to John Carpenter soundtracks. The giant Well spring of Rock is there to be dipped into and all is considered without bias, prejudice or until it’s found guilty of being a shit idea.

Q8 – Has it surprised you the way critics are enjoying the album. It's starting to win some major praise within the Sludge/Stoner Metal Scene.

PJ - I always thought it was a better album than the first one and we'd managed to step up a gear but yeah I am a little surprised at the response and the biggest surprise is, its not just the heavy rock scene that’s giving it good reviews, the album seems to be creeping over into the mainstream a little, like a pervert in the night. I'm not sure how I feel about this, Bad Guys was never created to go on Jools Holland, but it would be fucking hilarious if we did.

Stu – I wouldn’t go on that weird pixie’s show, but I wouldn’t be against you all using a hologram of me, like Tupac. Or even better, use the Tupac hologram and make him sing my lyrics. That’d be good. And then Jools joining in for a honky tonk section of World Murderer. Can we make this happen?

Q9 – As you may of know I think the song CRIME is possibly the funniest song I've heard all year. So is this song based on an actual event. Did you steal a TONKA Truck when you were younger. You don't have to answer that part. It's a song that shows people your great sense of humour.

Stu – It’s not a true story. PJ said we should write a song called ‘Crime’, I assume thinking we were gonna make something all tough sounding, so I wrote those lyrics just to be difficult, or different. I’ve actually no idea where the Tonka thing came from specifically. It’s a good word though isn’t it? ‘Tonka’. Sometimes it’s good to think about what sounds nice when making music.

Q10 – Humour is obviously a big part of the Bad Guys sound. Especially with the lyrics. Was it an easy decision to include humour in your music. Did you worry that overseas audiences wouldn't understand it as it has a very typical British feel.

PJ - I don't write the lyrics of course but I'm going to throw in my stinkin 2 cents here anyway:
On the contrary, I think what overseas listeners want to hear is our silly British humour and use of provincial language. British humour for me is one of our best exports. I love the idea of a kid in the Philippines going online to try and figure out what Stuart’s just said. Will he be surprised or disappointed?

Stu – I thought most metal bands had a sense of humour? If I’m wrong then there are a lot of serious dudes looking pretty silly singing about weed and magic. If I was gonna write ‘serious’ lyrics, I don’t think a band with two double neck guitars is really the right platform for it. Also, across all genres, there are only a handful of artists who can write good, serious, heartfelt lyrics that are like poetry anyway. It’s Sturgeon’s law isn’t it? Like with anything, 99% of lyrics are shit. All the pseudo-philosophy, and sombre, heartfelt lyrics that fall flat, and tough guy lyrics sung with a straight face by people who’ve fallen for their own act are, to me, way fucking funnier than anything on our album.

Q11 - How important is a physical product to your band being either CD or Vinyl. As some bands are relying on Digital Downloads for their first release(s).

PJ - When you are touring and playing live it’s incredibly important, you still can't beat having the thing, the object to take away with you, no one wants to buy a digital download code from you at a merch table. Maybe its from a bands perspective as well, but the first thing you wanna do when you get into music is to release a PROPER record, that’s never gonna change is it? ­Maybe you should ask some younger people though.

Dave – Whenever I bought an album when I was young I would listen to it from start to finish and read the lyrics throughout, it wasn’t just songs it was an album. I think just releasing singles here and there takes away from the challenge of writing an LP. I am getting old though so don’t listen to me.

Stu - We clutch at relics but they only serve to weigh us down and slow our ascent to the infinite and liberating virtual heavens in our future. People are idiots. Here, buy our record for your shelf.

Q12 – Which bands and artists influenced you all as musicians. Any particular album that stands out that made you decide to become a musician.

Stu – I like noise and dance music. And weirdo avant-garde stuff. When I was a kid I used to really enjoy singing along to all the songs on Faith though. Still do. I just started singing in a band cos PJ said to get drunk and rant while he played guitar, and I’m not one to turn down a drinks invitation.

PJ - I'm from Stoke so we took what we could get. There's plenty of embarrassing influences in there but my earliest real influences were probably Metallica, Megadeth and Earache label bands because you got a free CD compilation on the magazine. So Obituary, Carcass, Entombed, etc… and Cathedral used to come and play in town so we'd always go and watch them, all 10 of us, (they must have loved playing Stoke). 'The Ethereal Mirror' is probably engrained in my psyche. I still love all of these bands today. (Not so much MegaDave though)

Dave – I’m from a small town in Canada, we got even less than Stoke so probably even more embarrassing influences in there for me. I think when Nirvana and Soundgarden made it through to the village that was a big moment for me.

Tamas: From Deep Purple through Edda Muvek to Carnivore and beyond... One artist made me influenced and it’s the drummer on my cousin’s wedding back in 1988 (hope I remember right) and I thought I can play on drums better than him.

Q13 – What is your musical setup when playing live or recording new material. Do you have an advanced setup or basic setup.

PJ - Our set up for both is the about the same, its not that crazy but has a few anomalies.
Drums, 2 guitars, 1 dry vocal. We don't have a bass player though so live I split out to a bass amp to thicken up the bottom end but in the studio we always record a proper bass part. Me and Dave both use these ridiculous double neck guitars which are a Baritone and a straight six so we constantly switch between about 3 tunings. We will have back problems when we're older.

Stu – I have back problems now, from doing removals when I was 16.

PJ - Tamas uses a double kick pedal and has that weird almost left handed set up, with the hi hat on the right and 2 massive floor toms either side. It confuses the hell out of me how he does it but it looks so fluid and natural when he's playing, like liquid gold. Sometimes at rehearsal the 3 of us sit for hours in silence, just drinking beers, watching him play.

Q14 – What is the song-writing dynamic in the band. Is it down to one individual or a group collective.

PJ - I'll usually have a riff or two but no idea what to do with the things, then we'll all take turns at pummelling it into a song, usually the original riff is unrecognisable but it doesn't matter, the process is what matters.

Stu – I write the words but don’t have much say over the rest of it. If I really don’t like something I might just continue to delay writing lyrics for it in the hope they all forget about it or give up. Sometimes what works is singing a riff you don’t like in a sarcastic tone, ruining it for everyone.

PJ – Stuart is usually our litmus test for a good riff or idea, but as we have the instruments and are a lot louder than him he may not always be heard.

Bad Guynaecology cover art

Q15 – What were the reasons behind the album cover. Very understated but I wouldn't expect nothing less from you guys.

PJ - I think Me and Stu liked the fact that you get sucked in by that beautiful bear man's eyes. You don't know whether he wants to kiss you or punch you. Either way you know he could have you if he wanted.

Stu – Yeah I love him he’s mesmerising.

Q16 – You will shortly be going on a small UK Tour in April. Can you tell people what to expect from a typical Bad Guys show.

PJ - It really all depends who shows up! We'll do our part, its up to the audience whether it’s going to be a good night or a great night. (Yes those are the only two options).

Stu – I don’t care who turns up, I will sing to anyone. I love singing.

Q17 – Do you perform gigs on a regular basis in your hometown or do you travel further afield.

PJ - Yeah we play in London all the time, mainly in the east cause that’s where all the venues are (and where we live). We do travel quite a bit but its always a mixed bag of nuts touring the UK, the shittest gigs are always the ones where you had to travel the furthest it seems. Apart from in Europe, its generally more fun in Europe, and they feed you.

Q18 – Riot Season Records are once again releasing your new album. Was it an easy decision to stay with Riot Season. Did you have any more offers to release your new album.

PJ - (shhh don't tell Andy Riot Season but we did look elsewhere) - Not because we were unhappy with him, but because we weren't sure if we were too much of a metal band for his label, he admits it was a bit of a wild card for him putting out our first album and I think it got mixed reviews from Riot season fans.

Dave - Once the album was ready though and we'd had a look around it quickly became clear that we would be silly to move away from Riot Season. It's such a well respected label and it's great to be on a label that's put out Shit n Shine, Mainliner, Hey Colossus, Acid Mothers Temple and Henry Blacker. RS has released some of the best music of any UK label over the last however many years in my opinion.

Q19 – Before you go do you have anything to say to your fans.

PJ - We have fans? - Ok if you exist and like what we do, buy the album. If you don't like what we do, please still buy the album, We had to sell Dave’s liver to fund Bad Guynaecology and the man said we could buy it back if we're quick enough. I don't know how long that is but Dave’s looking pretty weak and yellow.
Don't let Dave die you selfish pricks, forget about drummers have you got any idea how hard it is to find a new double neck guitar player?!?

Stu – I would like to say, to all my fans, thank you for your support, I love you and I’m nothing without you, etc.

Words by Steve Howe and Bad Guys

Thanks to Nita at Gold Star PR for arranging this interview. And to Bad Guys for taking the time out to talk to us at Sludgelord HQ. Bad Guynaecology will be out to buy on Riot Season Records from 16th March 2015 on CD/DD/Vinyl.

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Interview with Kamille from The Grand Astoria

The Grand Astoria was formed in 2009 by guitarist and singer Kamille Sharapodinov and guitarist Igor Suvorov in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Since then Kamille is the only constant member of the band but he’s a hyperactive song-writer and they're five full-lengths albums in The Grand Astoria discography and about dozen releases of smaller caliber like EP's and split-albums. Each album is a new journey in depths of psychedelic stoner music where you can easily meet elements of progressive rock, doom metal or even heavy punk. The Grand Astoria is ready to hit the road and head on in new European tour so maybe they’ll play in your city too… Only Ugly Billy with his bull’s skull on his shoulder may know that.

Hi Kamille! How are you man? How does your preparation for a tour go?

Hello mate! Goes pretty stressful ‘cause simultaneously we try to finish the recording of the new album and send it to the mixing guy. So lots of stuff to do.

What is your necessary equipment in tour besides instruments and merch?

Good behavior, good mood, good books and good music in my mp3 player.

It’s 5th or 6th big tour for The Grand Astoria, and the band has five full-length albums with different range of styles from stoner and doom to psychedelic and progressive rock. How do you choose songs for sets in each tour?

Actually it's 13th or 14th tour like that for us I don't count them. This time we will play mostly new songs because we need to practice them before recording of another new album. We plan to start recording sessions in April.

Stop man! Do you really mean what you're working over two new albums now?

Even three of four maybe. Two full-lengths and few EPs are in the process right now.

Well, I need to ask you about stuff which you have already prepared for a next, nearest record. What is stylistic direction of this record?

It will be very doomy and dark on one hand and very psychedelic and proggy on the other. I think the songs are the heaviest ones I have ever written.

You have an epic song “The Body Limits” which was included in split with Montenegro. I’ve heard this 30 minutes long space doom piece on your gigs in Saint-Petersburg. Will you perform it in tour?

Not this time unfortunately. I'd like to but we need to concentrate on other songs, but there will be also another very long one in the set-list which sound pretty much like The Body Limits pt.2, you will like it! It will appear on the new album.

What about your new stoner-hits like "Gravity Bong" or "Blessed, Cursed and Crucified"? Are they included in your set-list?

“Blessed…” will be there, “Gravity Bong’ will not.

The Grand Astoria “Blessed, Cursed and Crucified”

Do you know names of bands which will share a stage with you?

Most of the tour we will share the stage with our German friends and label-mates Samavayo, some dates in Italy are booked with our best Italian friends - Doctor Cyclops, really nice band! In Switzerland band called Six Months Of The Sun will join us. There will also be some local support in all the cities but I don't know the names.

The band’s line-up has changed not so long ago, did you solve this problem now?

It's not solved and I just asked another friends of mine to join me on this tour. I am lucky to know many good musicians.

Your last big record is “La Belle Epoque”. Does the album’s title has a connection with period of European history from 1871 till 1914 which was characterized by new technologies, scientific discoveries and optimism? How did it reflect in these songs?

I just felt that this title matches good with music. And it's quite an optimistic album. New one will be much darker and heavier.

The Grand Astoria also has two new split-EP's – with Australian band Mother Mars and with German band Samavayo. Are both records already released?

This split with Mother Mars was released digitally last year and the label got the test pressing in December, now we are waiting for the real copies. Split with Samavayo will be out on 27th of February and we will have these vinyls with us for sale during the tour.

What kind of songs did you record for these EP's?

For the split with Mother Mars we contributed short pure hard rocker called "Blessed, Cursed and Crucified". And for the split with Samavayo we gave very prog-oriented experimental long song "Kobaia Express". You will be able to download it from our BandCamp on 27th of February.

So will you have these records on hands during the tour?

As usual lots of CDs, vinyl and T-shirts.

How do you feel yourself balancing on the edge between doom and psychedelic rock scene?

I don't really care or think of it I am taking the best of both worlds and happy with it!

The Grand Astoria “The Body Limits”

Words by Aleks Evdokimov

Saturnalia Temple - To The Other (Album Review)

TO THE OTHER cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: February 23rd 2015
Label: Listenable Records/The Ajna Offensive

To The Other– Track Listing

1.INTRO 01:19
3.TO THE OTHER 08:51
8.VOID 05:16


Tommie - Vocals, Guitar, Drums
Peter - Bass. Tim Call (live/studio drums US)
Kennet Granholm (live drums EU/RU)


Saturnalia Temple returns with their eagerly awaited 2nd album - To The Other. If you're a fan of Saturnalia Temple's music then you know what to expect. Bleak and desolate Doom/Stoner Metal music with hints of violent distorted Occult Rock to standout from the crowd. To The Other is full of heavy pounding riffs that capture the very essence of a band playing their own style of Doom/Stoner Metal.

Opening track - Intro + ZazelSorath - starts with an ambient drone passage with epic chants opening the bleak atmosphere before the album explodes into life with a heavy pounding bass guitar being played like there's no tomorrow. When a familiar Stoner based riff appears you can tell this album is going to be one very complex and dark ride. The vocals are from the Doom Metal world as lead vocalist adapts a more doom and gloom style of delivery. Match it with the heavy pounding Bass Guitar and you have one very unsettling affair that may put off less adventurous Stoner Rock/Metal fans. It sets up the scene for the rest of the album.

Saturnalia Temple venture into darker occult rock based environments with a warped psychedelic rock starting to take over especially on 2nd track - To The Other. To The Other is one of the albums standout tracks as the band adapts a more experimental feel to their music. The vocals are very hard to understand at times as it sounds lead vocalist once again proving he has a unique vocal delivery of his own. The music is firmly rooted within distorted Desert/Stoner Metal riffs with ambient based drones and noises providing a cold and thrilling affair. This album is a multi-layered sonic experience where nothing as it seems as Saturnalia Temple play tricks with your mind. So if you're not a fan of complex and progressive albums it maybe best to turn away now as the band are only warming up.

Up next is the epic 3rd track - Snow Of Reason - that starts with a heavy pounding drum beat with hints of distorted guitar worship that is largely influenced by the Doom/Stoner Metal scene but still maintaining a trippy and original experience of its very own. The instrumental work on the album is heavy and experimental through out as the band don't rely on gimmicks. This is a band that lives, breathe and bath in distorted and down-tempo psychedelia. Saturnalia Temple has been compared to a trippier and doomier version of Kyuss in the past. That's not really a fair comparison as they're two completely different bands. Sure they both play Stoner Metal. But that's where the comparisons end. Saturnalia Temple's style of Stoner Metal is more disturbing and ventures into darker realms.

The albums other tracks - March Of Gha’agshebalh, CrownedWithSeven and Void - turn the burgeoning Occult Rock world on its head and give it a much needed violent satanic makeover. The band oozes confidence as this hard-rocking duo don't hold back with their tales of doom and gloom though crossed with the legendary Californian Desert atmosphere. To The Other works on so many levels that one listen of this great album is never enough. You're bound to miss different sounds and noises within your first few listens. Truth be told, I did. It took me about 4 or 5 listens to fully understand the album as Saturnalia Temple will leave you frustrated and angry at times but when you fully understand this album, you will be left in a state of awe and wonder.

Maybe I'm looking too much into this album but I always admire bands that go the extra mile in creating something different for people to experience. Saturnalia Temple has created something similar with To The Other. It's a rich, complex and highly rewarding experience. Saturnalia Temple has created something special here. To The Other is a must-have album. Be prepared to be blown away.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Suspicious Activities PR for the promo. To The Other is available to buy  via Listenable Records and The Ajna Offensive on CD/DD/Vinyl now.

Words by Steve Howe

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Brett Netson & Snakes - Scavenger Cult (EP Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 24th March 2015
Label: Self Released
Scavenger Cult – Track Listing

1. Play On
2. All Creatures Kill
3. Sharpening Knives


The solo project of BRETT NETSON, well-known for his time spent in Built To Spill, Caustic Resin, on Earth’s most recent album and much more, will debut this Winter, as BRETT NETSON & SNAKES prepares their Scavenger Cult EP for release.

Spawned in Idaho’s Great Basin/Snake River Plain, Brett Netson specializes in heavy, psychedelic, lowdown rock and roll guitar; in some ways, that’s all a person needs to know. But with the upcoming release of his newest full-time project – BRETT NETSON & SNAKES, and the band’s debut, Scavenger Cult — as with the artist’s ‘2009′ intimate solo doomsday meditation, Simple Work For the Dead, and all six of Caustic Resin’s full-length releases, there is much evidence that there are different dimensions to Netson’s existential, freak out rock records. “The spirit made it through with no digitization” Recorded on 2” 16-track tape with Jason Ringelstetter at Tonic Room in Boise, Idaho, mixed to 1/2″ tape by Steve Lobdell at Audible Alchemy in Portland, Oregon with analog mastering at Salt Mastering in Brooklyn, New York, the release features drummer Steve Gere, and stereo bass contributions from Ian Waters and Josh Gallaway, in addition to guitar, bass and vocals courtesy of Netson.

Issues the frontman of his latest venture, “Scavenger Cult was made specifically for the decent ‘70s tuners and turntables that you can still occasionally find at yard sales, pawn shops and thrift stores. Crank this motherfucker up, open the front door and sit on the porch. Smoke, drink, whatever, and just be okay with your damn self and ALL the crazy shit that you are.”


I didn't know what to expect with Scavenger Cult. The Debut EP from Brett Netson & Snakes. At first I thought this was a Country Rock outfit - (Apologies Brett). Then I read Brett's impressive bio and I knew I had to give this EP a chance. Brett Netson has performed and worked with legendary bands and musicians such as Mark Lanegan and EARTH. Plus he used to be part of legendary rockers – Caustic Resin.

The Press PR Sheet said that Scavenger Cult features Heavy Psychedelic Low-Down Rock and Roll. Now that intrigued me and I give Scavenger Cult a spin. WOAH!!! - Wasn't I impressed straight away with the opening track - Play On - that plays like a love letter to all things Space Rock, Desert Rock and Stoner Metal. Imagine Monster Magnet in a more reflective mood with shades of Americana appearing. Play On is pure spaced out riffs with a trippy sideline of delicate hooks to impress you with. Brett is on fine form with passionate vocals to match. The EP has a subtle drone atmosphere hiding in the background that gives Scavenger Cult a more rugged appeal.

Second track - All Creatures Kill sees Brett Netson & Snakes offer a more heartfelt approach compared to the opening track. It's a creepy and more subdued offering that allows the band play some impressive Stoner based riffs that have a sense of sadness and anguish. It's more of a doom and gloom affair where the music speaks for itself. This song has shades of EARTH running through its veins which isn't surprising considering that Brett worked on their last album. Don't be fooled though as this is still a work of stunning originality in it's own right.

Wait until you hear the final track as Brett Netson & Snakes prove they are worth giving a thing about. The final track - Sharpening Knives - is 11 minutes of droned out, psychedelic stoner/desert rock riffs with impressive atmospheric vocals to match. This is where the band trip out into Space Rock territory in a big way as the riffs are HUGE. The music comes crashing around you with the band embracing their Psychedelic Stoner Metal sound. I would love to see and hear this song played live as its powerful ride into the unknown. One of the other highlights of this song is Brett's vocals as he reminds me of a younger Dave Wyndorf. Scavenger Cult is a brilliant ride from start to finish.

Don't pass this EP by as you'll regret it. If you want something bold and daring in the realm of Psychedelic Space Rock/Stoner Rock then Scavenger Cult is a must-have release. I can't wait to hear the debut full length album from Brett Netson & Snakes as these guys have some unfinished business that an EP is never enough. Incredible. As Brett wisely states - Crank this motherfucker up!!!

Thanks to Earsplit PR for the promo. Scavenger Cult will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl from March 24th 2015.

Words by Steve Howe

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Kabbalah - Primitive Stone (EP Review)

Primitive stone E.P cover art

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 01st January 2015
Label: Self Released
Primitive Stone – Track Listing

1.Weirdo 03:24
2.Temples 03:32
3.Atomic 03:34
4.Miserere 03:50


Pamplona, Spain trio Kabbalah have a diverse four-song E.P. up on bandcamp. Each of the four songs are under four minutes long but manage to touch on progressive ground. Overall, the music is steeped in occult moods with leanings toward early 70’s progressive psych or mid-80’s metal, giving it a good retro rock feel.

More than that though, this is the most addictive release I’ve encountered in this early portion of the year. It’s no exaggeration to say I’ve lost sleep unable to get opening track “Weirdo” out of my head. The song comes on strong with a pausey heavy and syncopated intro before settling into a dark and appealing rhythm. The vocals kick in and there’s no looking back. The chorus is incredibly catchy somehow. I think it’s because the song is largely rhythm based before the tension is broken by a hooky melodic passage right when it’s needed. It’s an impressive song and will probably go down as my most played single song from 2015.(all four songs currently occupy my top four most played spots so far).

Second track “Temples” has another great driving rhythm and features the vocals of full-time guitarist German, one-time guitarist/vocalist of the band Atiguaybarbuda. After another syncopated rhythm intro the verse kicks in abruptly and shifts to a melodic bridge that invoked floating feelings. The song moves into a fuzzy stomp section while retaining that airy feel.

Closing number “Miserere” is possibly the darkest song of them all, but it also features a haunting harmonized chorus. The dark moods are aided and abetted here by subtle use of organ during the chorus and a spider-like chord structure during the verse. The most distinguishing feature of the band is their ever-present rumble, which is brought to its thunderous crescendo on this song.

The E.P. isn’t all dark all the time, but there is a candle-lit mood over all of it as the band seemingly invokes things it has little power of controlling. That feeling of danger that rock and metal is supposed to embody all the time? Kabbalah has it. The emphasis here is on well-constructed, melodic and dynamic songs with driving rhythms. Each of the four tracks takes its own path, the diversity of material is impressive, but always that dark and exciting spirit hangs over the balance.

The band was started in 2013 by Carmen & Marga, veteran components of Las Culebras. After recording a four-song EP later that same year, the band apparently spent the next year selling souls and making blood pacts to produce the strongest material possible. The result is this, the ‘Primitive Stone’ E.P., one of the best releases of the early portion of 2015.

Words by LK Ultra

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The Wolf Council - S/T (Album Review)

Victims Of The Sea cover art

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 24/02/2015
Label: Static Tension

The Wolf Council’ Track Listing
  • Plans For The Sky
  • Send Help For The Rest
  • Waves
  • Victims of the Sea
  • All That Was Yours
  • The Day I Cleared The Debt
  • Loading The Guns
  • Just One Push
  • Floor
  • No Reason
The Wolf Council Is:

Jeff Paske – Drums
Steve Williams – Guitar/Vocals
Steve Post – Bass/Vocals


The Wolf Council list their genre on social media as simply ‘Kick Ass’. Another, lesser outfit wouldn’t be able to live up to such self-aggrandisement, but for the Minnesotan trio it fits the bill. What we have here are 10 tracks of sludgy, stripped down metal that have an undeniable and sustained air of ‘cool’ surrounding them.

Opener ‘Plans For The Sky’ sets the scene perfectly, a rolling, 70’s infused doomy riff, backed by Jeff Paske’s clattering drums. The guitar has a satisfying bite to it, and Steve Williams vocals are gruff and burly enough to compete with the sludgy weight. A series of bass runs and instruments dropping in and out have them sounding like a grittier, more bombastic Dozer.

Send Help For The Rest’ is a touch more immediate, all triumphant, colossal drums and deep, locked in grooves. Williams's vocals are commanding, and the tempo is infectious. ‘Waves’ is centred around a throaty, muscular bass riff and sounds absolutely massive. Something one quickly notices is just how sharp the production on the record is, everything is more or less perfectly balanced, there’s no undue prominence given to guitars, drums or vocals.

Victims’ is a bit more stately and doomy in terms of pace, with mirrored guitar and basslines before the guitar solo coils slowly above the rest of the instrumentation. ‘All That Was Yours’ starts off a little bit Metallica, staccato palm muted stabs and semi-whispered vocals, which progresses and morphs into a driving riff and some well executed more melodic singing.

The riff worshipping continues, with ‘The Day I Cleared The Debt’ and its sub-thrash tempo progressing into a dizzying wah infused bass solo. Post definitely has his instrument make its mark on the album, elevating it above simply playing chord structures or driving riffs, with subtle flourishes making as much impact as overt soloing.

There’s nothing outright wrong with the remaining album tracks, ‘Just One Push’ and ‘No Reason’ are still enjoyable exercises in riff worshipping, and just as valid as the previous. There is a sense, though, that perhaps ten tracks is a little too many, that although the Council’s brand of metal is infinitely listenable, this album is better off tackled in smaller doses in order for it to have its full effectiveness.

For those who are immune to this ‘riff fatigue’, and for anyone lucky enough to come across this record, you’ll find a badass, riff-filled experience that is the perfect soundtrack to any activity, from ripping down the highway to navigating your commute to work. Class.

Words by: Jay Hampshire 

The Wolf Council S/T album is available to buy from Static Tension now.

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Friday, 27 February 2015

Elder - 'Lore' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 27/02/2015
Label: Armageddon Shop | Stickman Records

‘Lore’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Compendium (10:40)
2). Legend (12:32)
3). Lore (15:58)
4). Deadweight (09:28)
5). Spirit At Aphelion (10:33)


Elder are one of the most distinguished bands in the ever-growing, ever-developing genre that is stoner-rock. Their most recent output before ‘Lore’ came three years ago in the form of the 20-minute two track split EP Spires Burn/Release. In the interim, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Nick Disalvo found time for a new project named Gold And Silver which explored a jammed-out mixture of psych and prog rock, often nearing the jazzier, more gentle tonalities.

Such a spin-off has proven more than fruitful, as the band seems to have borrowed quite a bit from that approach on this newest outing, sounding similarly reflective throughout. Not quite what one would expect from a band with a history of being as heavy as they were on ‘Dead Roots Stirring’. On ‘Lore’, these prior strengths have really been cranked up a notch but there are moments where the atmosphere is almost melancholic. This adjoining vulnerability is a welcome development, as I find it easy to tire of stoner-rock bands that keep cranking out albums in the vein of ’show of muscles’, where riffs are galore yet there’s less to offer in terms of variation. Luckily Elder show no dangers of falling into such a trap as I’ve yet to hear anyone play quite as thoughtfully as these guys.

The band seems to have quite a fondness of the five-song format, having used it for both their debut and sophomore effort that they’ve again replicated it here. The compositions on ‘Lore’ reman drawn-out, as per usual for Elder, so one really has to take time with it. Out of the five tracks there’s only one that falls slightly short of the ten-minute mark and the sounds are ever more progressive. During these lengthy tracks the band ventures further into their own kind of fables than ever before and it most definitely always requires an attentive ear.

The first one out of the gate is a straight up ripper, coming in strong with throat-clenching riffs that you can’t help but nod along to. ‘Compendium’ is a very turbulent ride with the guitars sounding absolutely lush throughout, the erratic-sounding riffs obviously quite considered, with Nick spewing forth with his instantly recognizable fervour. The song retains its stamina all the way through and the ten minute run of the track definitely feels like much less. There’s a captivating turn at midway point, akin to a break-down. After that a build-up is introduced, combined with a steady stream of guitars lodged between. Some very groovy riffs come in at the very end that cease the lustrous guitar meandering and the severe vocals return for a moment. A flawlessly presented beginning to the record.

‘Legend’ starts off with soothing guitar progressions, very reminiscent of the Gold And Silver debut. Having eased you into the track, these are soon replaced by a grandiose growth which serves as an introduction. The elegant instrumental storytelling then begins, interchanging throughout the track with Nick’s vocals that are masterfully buried in between the fold. The interplay between guitars and vocals very well compliments each-other, so devised that the voice manages to infiltrate any empty creases. There are also some sporadic thicker riffs weaving in and out providing some backbone for the canvas. The lyrical injections are easily discernible but quite laconic so even with the track’s considerable length, the story told still comes off quite ephemeral. Another build-up is employed on this one. When the summit is finally reached, the song goes onto a joyous descent. The convoluted riff-fuelled jamming develops until the end, as that one recognizable guitar theme that has followed beside you the whole way returns and takes you to the close.

The title track calls to mind some tale of a mythical journey as it descends deep into the waters and things get increasingly mind-bending. Ceaseless layers of guitars really give off a vibe as if you’re being embraced by a constant inflow of raging waves and you can’t help but drift along to their rhythms. A deafening surge of guitar is repeated over and over as the soundscape grows even thicker of rough riffs. There’s a gorgeous ambient interlude giving some time to breathe before the swell comes in again. By the time it does, the storm has subsided and you’ll instead find the shimmering sunlight hanging above the water. The conclusion returns more forgiving. Triumphant guitars gloriously pick up the narrative and when those abate there are some invigorating riffs which grow into a consistent riffing wallop, akin to what Austin’s The Sword are known for. The initial layers introduced in the beginning finally return and sound very reassuring after the fury that just receded. With that it’s off for an epic ride into the sunset. It all sounds simple as I describe it but there’s nothing straightforward about the composition presented here. An absolutely epic voyage.

‘Deadweight’ starts off with a glistening sound that’s akin to wind-chimes. As the opening accretions resound, it becomes clear that this one bring back some of sharp focus in exchange for the blurred horizons of prior. Across the duration of it, the interplay of gentle and heavy features some guitars glistening, others grounding. On the whole, this track definitely leans more towards the decimating though with some relentless riffing. Also, Nick here brings forth some thoroughly earthen vocals, as if the gravel was spilling from his mouth. The plummet taken towards the end is really deserving of the title the track’s been given.

It’s still a little early to set yourself down just yet, as the delight of the acoustic guitar that begins ‘Spirit At Aphelion’ brings a welcome change of pace to the restlessness felt on the previous tracks. This one’s a lot brighter and the guitars sound quite up-beat at first. Having taken the back seat during the last few tracks, vocals also feature more prominently here. It takes on a more serious tone toward the middle but that soon falls into an exuberant solo. There’s some long-winding roaming where guitars flutter as a backdrop and come off as quite hypnotizing. The end of the track returns for the verse presented at the star and leads into a final build-up toward its dissolve. I’m usually not too keen on fade-outs but implemented here it works quite well, leaving the future open for subsequent tales.

As a whole, ‘Lore’ is quite the demanding listen. My initial impressions were that the album starts to drift apart toward end and that the overall structure might’ve benefitted from a few straight-shooters scattered between the longer forms. The first part of the album has been arranged with much more cohesion and from the middle on towards the latter, the instrumentation expands and casts forth way into Elder-space. Luckily, all who have followed the band through the years know what an exhilarating place that can be.

The band seems to be increasingly interested in going off on long-winding tangents which allow them to go through some complex twists and turns, all pulled off with such grace and spell-binding precision that it’s easy to forgive you’ve been taken captive for so long. They delve into some completely uncharted sonic territory and following them on that path is consistently a gripping experience. It’s a perfect album for us keen on escapism as marvelling at the end result is bound to remove you from your daily experience and carry you off into Elder’s epic tales of yore, the intricacies of which really only start revealing themselves on many a repeat listens. I’m sure we’ll be absorbing this one for some time to come, until they decide to take us along on another odyssey.

You can pick up a copy here and here

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