Album Review – A Projection “Framework”

A Projection

Framework – Vinyl / CD / DD

Tapete Records – Released January 13th, 2017


I’d been telling Taste Nation brainchild Matthew Thomas that I needed some good new post-punk in my life.  Believe it or not, I don’t just sit around listening to stoner metal, doom, and all the old Black Sabbath albums all the time.  I actually have fairly eclectic tastes, and I start to feel pretty burned out listening to one genre of music all the time.  I beg and practically whine to be able to review someone who doesn’t list Kyuss or Sleep as influences, and eventually Matthew was kind enough to oblige.  Okay, maybe not initially, when he tricked me into reviewing another stoner metal band by telling me it was a post-punk band, but I’m willing to forgive him that little bait and switch tactic, because it was a good stoner album, and the next band that landed on my proverbial desk was Sweden’s A Projection.  Matthew basically asked me, “Is this post-punk enough for you yet??”  And I answered with a resounding YES, then proceeded to bombard his Facebook page with cute pictures of kittens as a show of gratitude, for which you’d think that he’d be far more appreciative.


Band Pic


From the opening bassline from first track, ‘Hands’, which creeps and crawls through the brain like some long-lost Joy Division outtake that’s just resurfaced circa 2017, you pretty much know what you’re getting into: frenetic, restless and infectious basslines, drumbeats that pulse with a steady, hypnotic monotony, cold baritone vocals delivering bleak lyrics and minimalistic melodies, soaring synthesizer parts, and guitars that toe the line between lush ambiance and abrasive angularity.  The second track, ‘Dark City’, follows suit quite nicely, with a catchy instrumental hook that’s reminiscent of the classic Joy Division tune, “24 Hours”, though A Projection definitely ups their early Cure influence on this one.  This tune for me represents the peak of what they can accomplish with the whole  Joy Division exchanging bloody kisses and  black roses with The Cure approach, so I think that it’s cool that they change things up by the third song, “Transition”.  The memorable line “No more singing on the dance floor” is reinforced with the more dance friendly beat and song structure, and it marks a turn towards the more upbeat, which continues on the next track “Sensible Ends”, with its curt vocal delivery and driving drum rhythms that eventually morph into a straight up four-to-the-floor dance beat.

The next track, ‘Scattered’, is where they really start to shake things up a bit.  A Projection utilizes a two chord major key progression that’s eerily reminiscent of the Modern English song “I’ll Melt With You.”  There’s also a really cool and quirky keyboard breakdown thrown into the middle before the vocals break out of the baritone range into more ecstatic octaves.  In case you think that they’re going soft on us, rest assured that the next song ‘I’m Not Here’ once again launches into  a dark and emotionally tortured dalliance, like Ian Curtis providing guest vocals for a Disintegration outtake.  This is followed by ‘No Light’, which is more in the same vein of the second song, “Dark City.”  Just read the above description of that track; it’s the same idea.

‘Next Time’ once again strays into pop territories, with a ridiculously infectious main hook initially introduced by the guitars and then driven home by the catchy chorus.  I swear that I’ve heard this hook in another prominent 80’s tune, though I can’t place it off the top of my head.  The ending of the song is great too, as it descends into this ranting style of vocals, like a goth-rock take on R.E.M.’s 

‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (I Feel Fine).’  The next song, ‘For Another Day’, once again reminds me of early Cure, which is fine and dandy. ‘Betrayal’ is next, and once again brings that major key melodic sense to the table, and the quicker tempo gives it an irresistible urgency.  ‘Hollow Eyes’ is slower and bleaker, with a more dissonant, eerie progression and some harsh triggered electronics in the background, along with a splendid descending keyboard line after the chorus.  ‘Breach’ is in the same realm as “Dark Cities”, right down to the main guitar part that reminds me of “24 Hours.”  The final track, ‘Listen To The Dark’ once again makes heavy use of electronics and effects – the drums and vocals are punctuated by heavy delay, which stretches out the otherwise sparse arrangement into a dark abstract soundscape that recalls some of The Soft Moon’s best work.  This would have been a goth anthem were it only released in 1983.


Framework_Album Cover


I’m sure that you know what you’re thinking right now – I started this review by saying that I was burned out only listening to bands that sound a lot like other bands, and yet here I am reviewing a band that by my own account, simply sounds a lot like other bands.  This is absolutely true; I’m guilty as charged.  A Projection aren’t bravely treading new ground, nor do they really attempt to do so.  This is an album made solely in the post-punk/goth/new wave tradition of the early 80’s.  I’m not going to lie to you or insult your intelligence  by saying that this album is the greatest thing since sliced bread and you must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard it.  It’s just a well written collection of thirteen songs that are executed, performed, and produced to accomplish a particular effect, namely to conjure the spirit of a bygone age of music past.  Right now, that’s simply scratching a particular itch that’s been nagging at my backside for the past couple weeks, plain and simple.  If this albums sounds like it scratches your particular itch as well, then I’d encourage you to check it out for yourself.  If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, and you’re looking to drink down something more in the mode of a 70’s rock throwback, the new Horisont album is most excellent in my humble opinion.

Reviewed by Andy “Darkwave Duck” Beresky

Album Review – Sorority Noise “Joy, Departed”

Sorority Noise

Joy, Departed

Topshelf Records – Vinyl / CD / Cassette / DD

When I saw Sharon Van Etten play to perhaps 30,000 souls at a festival in Kentucky, she unabashedly announced from the stage that she is very serious about her feelings.  That’s one of the many things that enamors her to me, though the list goes on and on. I’d like to take this time to unabashedly announce that she’s my celebrity crush.  Perhaps if I write a review that’s intriguing and interesting enough, she’ll one day become aware of my precarious existence and think to herself, “Hey, that guy is pretty cool for a supposed critic.  Andy Dingus Beresky seems like a guy who gets things done.  I wonder what makes him tick.  I wonder if he’d be interested in knowing what makes me tick.”

Of course, it’ll never work out between us, as she lives in Manhattan, and I’m motherfriggin’ country mouse as it comes.  Last time I was in Manhattan I had a full-fledged meltdown when I was stuck on the subway in the dark for an hour.  This ended with me sitting down and crying on a crowded subway car one fine May morning, and this did elicit an unexpected outpouring of empathy from the normally stoic New Yorkers who shared in my plight, though seemed so utterly unphased by the incident.  When I finally emerged from that underground nightmare, I’d missed my bus and chose to alleviate my woes with an expensive beer and cheap sushi at 10AM.  All’s well that ends well, I suppose, and maybe someday, my morning will end with Miss Van Etten and I sharing AM beers and sushi while we stare longingly into each other’s eyes.  I wonder if she even likes sushi??  Wow. I’m suddenly acutely aware that I’ve derailed this review from the very get-go.  That’s a new one even by my own admittedly low standards.


Great Band Shot


I bring this all up simply because Sorority Noise also strike me as being very serious about their feelings.  Actually, I’ll recant that statement ever so slightly, as I’m sure there’s a bit of tongue in cheekiness to Sorority Noise’s lyrical approach.  I mean, the first lines sung on the album are “Let me be the drug, that you use to fall in love, the heroin that keeps you warm enough” from the aptly titled lead track, ‘Blissth.’  Sure, that’s kind of sweet and romantic from a somewhat somber and morbid perspective, so I can relate to the underlying sentiment.  Still, it’s too over the top to be totally serious.

Sorority Noise is a four piece outfit from Hartford, Connecticut. They name check a bunch of bands that I’ve never heard as influences, such as Roswell Kid, Pinegrove, Modern Baseball, and Led Zeppelin.  Oh wait…I HAVE heard Led Zeppelin a couple times, and the two sound nothing alike.  The most obvious analogy to me is Weezer, who are a pretty straight forward rock band with obvious indie influence and emo appeal, though the big sound and clean production of their albums obviously sets them apart from the aesthetic of the original “emotional hardcore” bands that were in full bloom during the early to mid-90’s.  Sorority Noise may not sound exactly like Weezer – they’re far more dark, with a heavy emphasis on melancholia and moodiness.  However, they have a similar approach and appeal, in my mind.  They understand the emotional impact of indie/alternative rock, and are able to elevate it to anthemic heights by adding in the perfect amount of stadium-ready bombast.

Heck, these guys might not even like Weezer.  They might even hate them for all I know, and this paltry review may incite them to commit questionable acts of throwing star violence.  Sorority Noise have some similar elements: the big catchy choruses, the big crunchy guitars and the big rock solid rhythm section.  But there are a lot of reasons that my Weezer comparison is way, way off.  Overall, this record is much darker and bleaker, with a pervasive slacker/junky vibe to the lyrics, even in the moment when the music itself is all bittersweet pop and candy-coated melodies, such as on the self-explanatory song, “Using.”  The big difference is that Sorority Noise sound like they’re haunted. There are more atmospheric and orchestrated elements, and the dynamics are more stark.  They shift gears between minimalistic, downtempo indie to frenetically upbeat pop-punk with twin harmonized guitars, sometimes within the course of the same song.  At times, their lyrics go beyond simple self-deprecatory humor, and land firmly within the realm of the full-blown bummer.  This shouldn’t be much of a revelation, given the title of the album.

“Does hell taste as sweet as you thought, do you like what you bought?” This was the question I was left musing to myself after I’d finished the closing track “When I See You (Timberwolf)”.  I was starting to feel haunted as well, though it was that pleasant, warm, fun form of haunting, as if I’d transcended the gloom veil of the mundane, and for a brief instant tasted the highs of heaven and then drank the depths of hell before I took off my headphones, bundled up, and walked down the street for that next cup of afternoon coffee.

Reviewed by Andy “Dingus” Beresky


Album Review – DOOL “Here Now, There Then”


Here Now, There Then – Vinyl / CD / DD / Book / More…

Prophecy Records – Release Date February 17, 2017


From the opening progression of notes, it is apparent that, as DOOL themselves describe, there is something stirring underneath the fumes of Rotterdam and it is rising to the surface as so much cream rises to the top. Featuring the rhythm section from THE DEVIL’S BLOOD and joined by a twin guitar assault that perfectly frames the power of the voice that emanates forth to take you with, wandering through dim streets, out of the confines of the city and into the wild that lurches just past, with tales of dark caves inhabited by ghosts to the deep abyss of a broken heart. Imposing, ominous and at times, sensual and teasing, it is time to  lock it down and close your eyes kiddies… DOOL has the wheel and this ride is but a beginning.

Singer/guitarist Ryanne van Dorst lends her voice to the delivery of clarity and entices you to ‘turn it up’ so you don’t miss a word she offers while Micha Haring (drums) and Job van de Zande (bass) build the foundation of each song, allowing guitarists Reiner Vermeulen and Nick Polak to complete the unique recipe for each of these eight ‘morsels’ that are offered for ravenous consumption with this debut release.


Promo Image


DOOL describes ‘Here Now, There Then’ as such – “The album is about dreaming, ambition, and will; about breaking boundaries and behavioral patterns, destroying stigmas. The phrase ‘Here Now, There Then’ is a mantra for whomever needs it. Whichever way one chooses to use it. This is the Shadowlands between fantasy and reality.  A lucid fairy tale set against a concrete background.

Ten + minute opener ‘Vantablack’ demonstrates that DOOL is exactly as they describe themselves and are not afraid to let you know from the onset. Harmonic vocals draw you closer as Ryanne takes you along the path of the ‘tip of her tongue’ into the realm of the imposing and ominous… truly a song about vicious cycles and negative behavioral patterns. Featuring guest vocals by Farida Lemouchi.


Band Pic


“In Her Darkest Hour” begins with the sound of what can best be described as a child’s toy piano before the snapping snare takes you into this tale of someone that wishes to be someone/somewhere else to find the elusive eternal happiness that always seems to elude. Delivered with a vocal that shows the influence of bands like GHOST and SISTERS OF MERCY with a hypnotic flow that washes over as the mist swirls just beyond reach.

Tracks ‘The Death Of Love’ / ‘Oweynagat’ / ‘Golden Serpents’ and ‘Words On Paper’ show the mix of goth-pop and psych-metal in a manner much like GUANO APES while ‘She-Goat’ hints at SONIC YOUTH as ‘The Alpha’ resembles a mix of equal parts TOOL and early EVERGREY sealed with Ryanne’s own breath marking the taste as her own.

DOOL states on their Facebook page that they are bending their nature to find their true identity; with “Here Now, There Then” they have found it indeed…

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr

Album Review – Dr. Boctor’s Medicine Band “Old Bottles, New Medicine”

Dr. Boctor’s Medicine Band

Old Bottles, New Medicine

Psychedelic/Jazz Fusion/Blues/Funk/Garage/Krautrock

Digital (Bandcamp only) Release: January 20, 2017


There isn’t anybody out there (myself definitely included) who hasn’t thrown around the words “original” and/or “unique” a little too much or even when we want to make a more dramatic point that doesn’t really apply. If something can be realistically labeled as such, that doesn’t necessarily make it good either (I’m talking to you, Yoko Ono). Fortunately for your ears and mine, ol’ Doc Boctor and his musical “Licensed Practicing Nurses” are both very different and wickedly enjoyable. Now the problem is trying to tell you just how….


Painting of Band


Last year, it was Odd Couple’s wildly diverse, yet remarkably cohesive “Flugge” (see review HERE) that hit me in a similar fashion, but DBMB somehow pulls even more influences successfully into the mix, albeit in a different style of sound. The main blueprint used is one of garage/psych rock circa 1966 fused with the jazzy, spacey underground from the beginning of that most glorious decade, the 70’s. This means you can hear a wide variety of classic, obscure bands/influences anywhere, at any time. Imagine The Seeds, Electric Prunes, 13th Floor Elevators and the like crash headlong into, then fusing effortlessly with Thirsty Moon, Zappa, Kraan and Skin Alley. Listen a little closer still, and you will find snippets of 50’s, surf and funk as well. Are you thinking all this can’t possibly work? Think again.

So, when all is said and done, you really do have something of a quite special listening experience in “Old, Bottles, New Medicine”. It’s the kind of release that only pops up a few times in a given year and needs to be obtained. The sound, feel and even the private-pressing look to the album’s cover all scream 1971 or ’72 at its most adventurous and eclectic. Get your carcass over to Bandcamp and let Dr. Boctor fill your prescription- NOW!

Words by David “The Lovely” LaMay

Album Review – Dread Sovereign “For Doom The Bell Tolls”


For Doom The Bell Tolls – Vinyl / CD / DD

Ván Records – RELEASE DATE: 3rd of March 2017


From the dark catacombs of Ireland and what could seemingly be the ashes of the doom/ black metal legends PRIMORDIAL,

A.A. Nemtheanga//Bones//Johnny King have come together delivering the self-described ‘born-dead brainchild’ of Nemtheanga, named DREAD SOVEREIGN. Using his years of slaying & slashing on guitar, the blueprint presented is old-school doom/black metal, much in the vein of pioneers VENOM and BULLDOZER, loaded with everything we expect from a band with the time spent honing and perfecting this latest configuration is what keeps us coming back for more.


Band Shot


Opener and title track ‘For Doom The Bell Tolls’ is the perfect set-up for the rest of the record complete with the vortex of white noise and tolling bells as well as an undefined ominous presence that lurks just out of reach. Until you hear the pick-slide at the beginning of ‘Twelve Bells Toll In Salem’ you are just waiting for some sign of what lurks in the shadows from a distance. Nemtheana’s vocal piercing tells of the DREAD SOVEREIGN’s entrance to our world as commanded to embrace the UnderLord. All the elements of evil rising and the swirling mists of darkness permeate here and take you to the edge of the brimstone glowing from below the surface of this world. Clocking in at 13 minutes, this is the longest track but gives the listener ALL you need to know to grasp the story offered.

‘This World Is Doomed’ follows immediately after as the last of the twelve bells has faded off into the fog. Three measures of crunching chords are broken only by the call “Let’s GO” as the rhythm section belies the real intent to call out the disbelievers to ‘rack up another lie’ and ‘take another pill’ denying the impending as described by Nemtheana’s lyrical tale.

‘Draped In A Sepulchral Fog’ revisits the swirling, menacing white noise and tolling bells of the opener, leading you into ‘The Spines Of Saturn,’ a track that is reminiscent of 70’s space-rock with enough phase-shift used to make you think there is an orchestra of guitar pushing you directly into the halo of rings that surround this ominous planet. In MY opinion, this song could stand alone and is even stronger as surrounded by the rest of this album.


Live Shot of Band


Closing track ‘Live Like An Angel, Die Like A Devil’ is the perfect tribute to the band many say brought us TRUE Black Metal back when, VENOM. They don’t miss a note in a cover that would make Cronos proud!! While this may not signal the end of PRIMORDIAL, they did just release a live album in 2016, it is something welcomed and NEEDED in this market. DREAD SOVEREIGN have done exactly what they set out to do in their own words; “We have not intended to re-invent the wheel just to give it a good kicking in the true old evil metal fashion.” Mission accomplished boys…

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr

Album Review – OLNEYA “Olneya”

Album Review – OLNEYA

Olneya – Digital Download

Independent – released December 30, 2016


Maurizio Morea faced something not that uncommon anymore when he set out to record this EP. He had been working with two other musicians and after facing several issues with the other players, like lack of material, time to rehearse and other commitments, Maurizio decided to ‘mutate into a one-man band’. Beginning in November and going through December of 2016, he did whatever it took to make this “Self-Titled” EP into a reality.  At the time of writing this review, Maurizio is searching for permanent band members to create more material and get to playing LIVE!!


Artist Picture


‘Mantar’ is the lead off and seems a little long as an intro at just over three minutes, but once ‘Zero Uno’ hits, it makes sense and flows perfectly into ‘Zero Due’ both tracks showing the influences of bands like KARMA TO BURN and KYUSS. ‘Road To Aokigahara’ takes you off across the horizon of lilting floating notes that echo endlessly across your tongue, all the while almost sounding like some spaced-out spaghetti western music slowly fading out to nothing and then, before you know it ‘Zero Tre’ comes in and wraps it all together. The melody and drum line remind you of where this started 20 mins ago and answers all queries your mind may have asked during the flow of this short journey throughout. I completely get the one-man routine as I have done this myself over the years a few times and to me, this seems the perfect vehicle for this man from Italy to make his vision materialize… give it your time and let it envelop you.

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr


Album Review – Freedom Hawk “Sunlight”


Sunlight – Vinyl / CD / DD

Ripple Music – Release January, 28th 2017 




Emanating from the dunes of – Sunlight -Virginia as FREEDOM HAWK, they describe themselves as “Heavy, head-spinning blend of 60’s acid and fuzzy bluesy guitar with generous helpings of melodic 70’s Soul, Blues, Hard Rock, and 90’s Stoner Metal.” The resulting brand of rock capitalizes on the best of the heavy ‘70’s, but presents a fuzzy take that’s modern and based around quality songwriting rather than ‘style-over-substance’ retro posturing.

Formed in 2003 when T.R. Morton (vocals/guitar), Mark Cave (bass) and Lenny Hines (drums) began jamming in Virginia Beach, the band began getting serious to the tasks of rehearsing and performing in 2004 when Mark’s brother Matt Cave joined the fold. The first release was “Sunlight” in 2008, followed up in 2009 with an EP titles “Freedom Hawk”, both receiving positive press helping to grow the fan base and leading them to stoner-rock label Small Stone that released “Holding On” in 2011 and “Into Your Mind” in 2015.


Sunlight_Album Cover


From the first note of “Sunlight”, I thought I had stumbled across some unreleased tracks from BLACK SABBATH’s “Never Say Die” LP, not even imagining that was a new band with a direction that had seemingly been MIA for some time. From the beginning of opener “Executioner”, through “Land Of The Lost”/”Sunlight”/”Stand Back” and “Lightning Charge” there is no doubt that this is NOT your daddy’s Sabbath but something special to NOT be missed. Standout track for me and a sign of what is coming forth is “King Of Order” that for five minutes and 40 seconds is a full on assault using that pull no punching while traversing the spectral skies of psychedelia before putting you back on your feet. On the first listen, I had left it rolling as I tried to decide what to listen to next and at ten minutes, 3 seconds, all of a sudden, an unlisted song began with a funky bassline, trippy little guitar bubbles and this DAVID JOHANSEN style verse begins. It is SO unlike anything else by these guys but quite enjoyable. Reminded me of the same sort of moment I had had with NIRVANA’s “Nevermind” cd with all that silence at the end then BOOM!!!!

“Sunlight” had been relegated to ‘digital only’ status after the band had done the ‘self-released’ CDs back in 2009. Ripple Music is now giving this release the treatment it has deserved since it was completed. Two vinyl versions and a CD version will be forthcoming towards the end of January 2017.  FREEDOM HAWK will be hitting the road with new guitarist Brendan O’Neil (PESTILENCE CHOIR) and ask you to spread the word, spread the bird!! Just DO IT and let FREEDOM HAWK fly!!

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr

Joint Interview – Outlaws Nation Interview Child

Outlaws Nation Joint Interview: An Interview with CHILD

Blueside – December 2, 2016  Vinyl / CD / DD

Kozmik Artifactz / Bilocation Records


Logo and Album Image


It’s been a while since Matthew over at Taste Nation LLC and myself participated with a joint interview. We decided to interview rising Aussie Hard Rock/Blues/Stoner Rock Trio – CHILD.

CHILD first burst onto the scene in 2014 with their celebrated and acclaimed self titled debut album. It won a wide range of praise from fans and critics alike. CHILD have just released their incredible new album – Blueside – which has seen their reputation enhanced further.

CHILD play a soulful kind of Blues/Stoner Rock with a lot of room for heavy riffs amongst the tender moments. CHILD have kindly agreed to doing this interview. So lets get started.

OOTS – Outlaws Of The Sun

TN – Taste Nation

OOTS – Hi guys. Thanks for doing this joint interview with myself and Matthew from Taste Nation. How things with you all today.

Very well! Looking forward to talking with you

TN – There seems have been a lot of albums released this past year (2016) that are rock albums with various levels of blues mixed in. On the contrary, you fine gents have produced a stellar BLUES ROCK album!! That said, where/who are your sources of influence?

In our case influence comes from anywhere that turns us on. Apart from the obvious, we draw a lot of good feelings from late 60’s early 70’s Australian Music. Acts Like Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs, Masters Apprentices, Coloured Balls and Chain to name a few.

OOTS – Congrats on your excellent new album. What can people expect from the album.
We tried to be as honest as we could with this record. We hope it gets listened to and felt as opposed to just being heard.


CHILD Band Photo


TN – The progression from your debut to “Blueside” is pretty significant. Was your approach to this album different?

For this record we took more time to utilize pre-production and played the songs live as much as we could before recording them.

OOTS – It seems you guys have came out of nowhere over the last few years and created quite an impact within the Stoner Rock community Has it surprised you the way people have enjoyed your music and the Stoner Rock community in general.

We are really happy people are enjoying what we do. We like the idea of appealing to whoever feels it. Can’t thank all the supporters enough.

TN – What comes first, lyrics or music?

Whichever feels right at the time.

OOTS – What is the songwriting dynamic within the band. Is it a group collective or is it down to one individual.

Some songs come from preconceived and others come from jams. No song is completed without the whole input of each member of Child. It has always worked out best for us when we play and write as a unit.

TN – “Blueside” is garnering quite a bit of positive praise among the Independent / Underground community. Has this bled into any commercial attention like radio airplay?

There has been a great show of affection for ‘Blueside’ so far but no commercial attention that we know of as yet.


Cool Band Shot_Logo


OOTS – Has touring Australia on a regular basis helped you prepare physically and mentally to do a more grueling tour abroad. And will you be touring Europe anytime soon.

It definitely has because Australia and Indonesia aren’t the easiest places tour. By the time we got Europe at the end of 2015. We had developed a good enough work ethic to tour at length without too much problem. We are looking to get back to Europe in mid 2017.

OOTS – The album is being released on Kozmik Artifactz again. How did you hook up with them. Did you have any other offers to release your album.

Kozmik Artifactz produce top notch releases and we had no reservations working with them again.

TN – Why did you call the album “Blueside”. Any specific meaning to you as a group.

It’s a combination of words that we used to describe the mood of the record.

OOTS/TN – Well guys thanks for doing this interview. Much appreciated. All the best with your new album and future endeavours Hopefully we will see you both in concert if your ever near our respective home–towns in the United States and United Kingdom. Do you have anything else you wanted to say to your fans.
Thanks to all of you for the support. Cant wait to get back to Europe and over to the states to play for you.

Words by Steve Howe, Matthew Thomas and CHILD

Thanks to CHILD for doing this interview. Blueside is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl from Kozmik Artifactz.

Links for Child:

Official | Facebook | BandCamp
Taste Nation LLC – A Music Consortium – Links

Official | Facebook | Twitter





Album Review – Hey Satan “Self Titled”

Hey Satan

Hey Satan

Cold Smoke Records – January 28th 2017


 Hey Satan is a three piece rock outfit hailing from Lausanne, Switzerland.  This is their debut, self titled album, so I’m going to be nice.  There’s a couple glaring reasons that I’d hold an initial bias: firstly, if you’ve read my prior reviews, you’d probably know by now that I find overt “Satanic” references to be a bit cliché and lame in this day and age.  Not very metal of me, I know, but I really don’t care. What does talking about Satan in 2017 actually mean??  It’s not edgy or dangerous anymore, and it’s so ubiquitous as to be essentially meaningless.  It’s not even really that funny or goofy anymore, like it was in the bygone age of  Black Widow, or in the early days of Venom.  Satan is just extremely tame, and I am not a tame lion.  Whatever, I’m just going to let it slide, because every band needs a name and they could do far, far worse.  However, Hey Satan also name check Rage Against The Machine as an influence, who are one of my least favorite bands of all time.  Really,  I can’t stand them.  Let’s just not get into it right now, because thankfully there are no badly rapped vocals or pseudo-political lyrics on this album, so it’s kind of a moot point anyway.  I’m now being both tangential and unduly negative, so let’s change the subject to the music itself rather than discuss my personal hang-ups, shall we??


Band Pic


What you are going to hear on this album is basically a bunch of well executed, straight up, bluesy riff-rock tunes, with a heavy 90’s grunge influence and a dash of thee old stoner rock thrown in for flavor.  You’re not going to hear much in the way of spacey sounds or “lava lamp moments”, as I like to refer to psych sections, though there’s definitely some tasteful usage of the wah-wah pedal and those big, fuzzy guitar tones that have come to define the stoner metal genre.  Otherwise, this stew is strictly meat and potatoes.  There’s ten songs on here, clocking in at a whopping 36 minutes, so let’s do the math – most of the songs are around the 3-4 minute mark.  I can definitively say that Hey Satan have trimmed all the fat from these tunes and left us with the tastiest morsels.

Do you remember the main riff that Monster Magnet busted out on their rendition of the classic Howlin’ Wolf tune, “Evil (Is Going On)”, from their now seminal Superjudge album?  It had that ultra-cool vibe, the stop/start chord followed by that rapid, slightly sinister sounding blues walk that used to slay me when I was just a teenage dirtbag, baby.  Well, the verse riff from Hey Satan’s first tune, “Fallon City Messiah” sounds remarkably similar, and that’s not a bad thing in my eyes.  Not a bad thing at all, it’s a catchy riff, and there are many more memorable riffs to follow.  These guys also name drop Led Zeppelin as a main influence, and that’s readily apparent in both the blues-based writing and the lyrics.  They’re singing about levees breaking during “Song For A Lost Mariner”, and there’s even a direct lift of a line from “Black Dog” thrown into a song for no good reason at all, other than that it rules.  Otherwise, the lyrics are dark and ominous, and they play with some of those taunting hero/anti-hero dichotomies that the above mentioned Monster Magnet have pulled off so well over the years.  Stylistically, the vocals are delivered a tad bit differently; they’re smoother overall, less gruff or over the top, and they’ve got that mid-90’s Seattle swagger.  The rhythm section sounds HUGE, big drums and bass that sit right in that sweet spot of the pocket like a well-worn leather wallet.  I’m digging the production on this one a lot, it really suits their sound.


Logo_Third Eye


The songs are mostly straight forward riff driven rockers with varying levels of aggression and big, catchy hooks.  They make excellent usage of dynamics and subtle variations, and none of songs overstays its welcome.  Later in the album, tunes like “Bastardizer” and “Black Flags Down” definitely demonstrate a more in your face vocal approach, as well as a more punk/hardcore urgency, so although Hey Satan aren’t exactly reinventing the proverbial wheel, they’re not a one trick pony either.  The mixture of punk immediacy and dirty blues riffs reminded me of Orange Goblin more than a couple times.  It’s pretty obvious that these guys love music and have far more influences than the few that they’ve listed and that I’ve written about.  I’m hoping on future releases, they can bring more influences to the fold.  There was a reason that music like this was referred to as “cloner rock” in the early 2000’s, because European bands that sounded similar to this were popping up left and right.  It’s worth noting that Hey Satan also list Kyuss as an influence.  If you recall a bit of rock history, Josh Homme of Kyuss/Queens Of The Stone Age publicly distanced himself from the whole “stoner rock” scene because he thought that too many of the bands were too under the influence of one another.  I’d have to agree with him on that point.

Like I mentioned above, this is a debut album, and it’s super solid; it soundly follows in the tradition and heritage of heavy rock.  In full disclosure, I’ll take innovation over tradition any day,  but hey – that’s just me, and my opinion is hardly the do-all or end-all.  I’m just one dude with a pen and a pair of speakers. Ultimately, it’s up to each listener to decide what music works for them.  Plenty of folks I know will eat this album up (heck, I’m going to recommend it to some folks I know as soon as I finish writing this), though I personally would like to see a bit more variation and experimentation on their future releases.  For me, that’s what ultimately distinguishes one band from all the myriad others that can also nail this kind of sound like it’s second nature.  Solid songwriting helps, and Hey Satan have definitely achieved the rare feat of releasing an entire album without a clear clunker.  If they can continue in that vein, hey….I’ll gladly take it.

Words by Andy “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” Beresky


Album Review – Plainride “Return of the Jackalope”

Album Review – PLAINRIDE 

Return of the Jackalope

Ripple Music – Vinyl / CD / DD 

Vinyl ships after first week in February 2017


If you think you may have heard of this release before, well, it’s because you have… BUT there is a double-vinyl release slated for February 2017 of this opus including one side of four that is exclusive bonus material!! If the weight of this release (nearly one pound) doesn’t hit you, the music within certainly will.

Using their self-described recipe of ‘Earth rockin’ drums’, ‘beard growth inducing bass’, ‘fuzzomental guitars’ and the ‘roar of a wolfman’ and a whole lotta beer to hammer out each of these songs into the forms offered here, Plainride classify themselves as ‘Kick-ass stoner rock and roll’ and state that this is something to ‘shake the Earth like a ravaging hurricane filling skies with thundering riffs’ as they push through what many consider to be one of the finest genres to rise from the ashes of the 70’s.


Vinyl Release


Opening up with “Challenger ’69” there is no doubt this ride is going to be one to remember. One of the shorter tracks here, it is indeed the perfect set-up of what’s to come with the rest of the 13 total songs. “Salt River” is next, starts out with just guitar for two measures, then bass drum for another two, standard back in the 70’s but when you hear “Killed my father with a shovel and a shotgun…” you know it’s about to get deep. That ‘growl of a werewolf’ is a pretty apt description and it suits this band perfectly with tales of such as this. “(The Tale Of) Private John Colter” offers some insight into how the Jackalope entered the fray… less than two minutes long, we are given the back-story of and told that “No body was ever found” leading perfectly into the title track. The chorus belies this tale with the words “Roll on by me, don’t ya roll so slow, use your guns and watch me go”, seemingly speaking from the Jackalope’s perspective. One of the standouts on this is “(The Beards Upon) Mt. Rushmore”. FULL of fuzzy guitar tone and solo’s with a rock-solid rhythm section rolling along, you can’t help but to move and groove along to the end. “The Grailknights” follows this formula taking over your mind as you trudge along keeping pace with these guys, wanting to devour it all. “Beermachine” shows the fuel behind the fire as Plainride describes a major component of who they are, with this pace set to incite your thirst and have you drinking deep to slake the thirst that is now consuming. “Devil At Your Heels” comes out of the gate at full force before slowing to a tempo that pulls you forward into this tale of the ‘very influential’ that seems looming. “Warpdrive” is the last track, but not one that you will leave behind. More than likely, you will want to ‘spark up’ for this 15 minute tune and enjoy the ride as it courses you along.


Band Pic


A ‘must-have’ for 2017 and this repackaging is the pinnacle especially considering the gram weight and will seem like a whole new record with the extra’s and clarity that only vinyl can deliver.   I look forward to what Plainride next sonic release as they have raised a very high bar with this epic Debut.  Kudos to Ripple Music for putting this album on must needed Wax!

Track Listing

  1. Challenger ’69
  2. Salt River
  3. (The Tale Of) Private John Colter
  4. Return Of The Jackalope
  5. Dog
  6. (The Beards Upon) Mt. Rushmore
  7. Vengeance
  8. The News
  9. Black Wolves
  10. The Grailknights
  11. Beermachine
  12. Devil At Your Heels
  13. Warpdrive

Plus Special Bonus Tracks with Vinyl Purchases

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr