Hobo Magic “The World Today” Album Review + Stream…

Hobo Magic

The World Today – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

Desert Highways – Released: September 14, 2017

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
Connor Mitchell – Guitar/Vocals
Jake ‘Greasy’ Bennett – Bass Guitar
Carter Veltmeyer – Drums / Percussion

Previous Releases:
2013:  Single –  Tides of the Astral Sea
2014: full length Self-Titled album Hobo Magic.

Tracklist:
Follow The Holy Riff 06:44
Hobo Magic 06:48
The Poet 04:32
The World Today 06:28
Frostbite 07:40
Lady Of The Groove 09:27

 

 

Review:

Hobo Magic are Stoner Rock band from Noosa, Australia.

But classifying them as just stoner wouldn’t give you a true description of what you are going to hear.  The band use their influences of Black Sabbath, Blues, some Jazz rhythms and at some points even Metal.

Track-By-Track Breakdown:

This whole album is very similar and in the sonic universe of Sabbath’s Paranoid and Master of Reality era. As you listen along you will hear it too. They stay very much in the time period and sounds that can be produced in that time.

Pro Band Pic

Follow The Holy Riff
Which should be subtitled “Children of the Groove”, is a groovy tune. Most of the song is spent on keeping an almost sludgy repeating riff (which might be the holy riff) with breaks in between of a melodic reverbed guitar and great slow solo. The time scale shifts continually but they never sound like they are interrupting the flow of the jam.

Hobo Magic
This song is less “intense” than the last. It starts of sludgy but slowly picks up pace and becomes faster. It isn’t a heavy but still has a repeating riff and it revs up and up until the ending much like the guitar began at the start of the song. After 1:50 the jamming starts now that the almost warm up sounding beginning.

The Poet
The Poet starts off very strangely in contrast to the previous two songs; there is no distortion. This song is more of a melancholy tune, there is just a slow revered riff with slow and vocals that are a little distorted making the song feel cold.

 

Limited Wax

 

The World Today
The title track is a shift from the previous and is back to the norm that the first two tracks set us up for. It is also the most Sabbath sounding sound, the shouted high(er) pitched vocals, more of a jam song with little bits of vocals. Ask a simple question… About the world today. This track straight rips!!

Frostbite
This song is more like the first one; the tempo/timescale change quite a bit, and is a repeated bit with subtle changes. It even has moments that sound close to The Poet. The vocals are processed in a similar way. The song is almost eight minutes and feels like it. Kind of slow, like frostbite.

Lady Of The Groove (Favorite)
This song is a LOT like “Children of the Grave” (I’m pretty sure they meant it to as well.) The song also works as a way to remind and wrap up all the previous motifs that were in the past few songs. This is a great way to wrap up the album for just that reason.

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In a way they are like a band named Magma. Hobo Magic are sticking to the mythos that they have created; all about the groove, the story of the lady finding and jamming to the groove, even their Facebook is curated in a way to complement the mythos just look at their About Us page.

Like I mentioned before, Hobo Magic are descendants from that 1970-1 period of Black Sabbath and they work really well in changing it into their own thing, different riffs, story, and singing. If you are a fan of Sabbath‘s 2nd and 3rd albums then you will definitely DIG this album.

Funny Band Pic

Stream the album on Spotify or Bandcamp.

Buy and download from Bandcamp HERE.

Extra Links:
https://open.spotify.com/album/6EbXoNDAnLI7GYepgfUNqn

https://hobomagic.bandcamp.com/album/the-world-today

https://www.facebook.com/pg/hobomagicband/about/?ref=page_internal

www.deserthighways.com

https://hobomagic.bandcamp.com/track/tides-of-the-astral-sea

https://hobomagic.bandcamp.com/album/hobo-magic


Kal-El “Astrodoomeda” Album Review + Music Video + Stream…

Kal-El

ASTRODOOMEDA – CD // DD

Argonauta Records – Released August 25th, 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

Lineup:
Cpt Ulven – Vocals
Roffe – Guitars
Liz – Bass
Bjudas – Drums

Prepare to Rock ‘N’ Roll Earthling

Review:
Hey Tasters this is your old friend “The Ancient One” and today’s flavor is psychedelic space rock from Kal-El, the fuzzed-out step children of hard rock and heavy metal. Founded in Norway in 2012 by members of Theatre of Tragedy, Six Eyes Lost and Desspo, the band Kal-El quickly got to work rehearsing for its debut and formed a sort of family / domestic following doing gigs throughout their native country Norway’s many venues. On November, 28th, 2012  Kal-El self-released it’s 1st single called “Dark Moon Voyage”, quickly followed by their debut full length album “Pakel” released May 26th, 2014 on Wyrmhole of Death Records which was followed by “Ecosphere,” released on Setalite Records on August, 22nd, 2015.  And now after two years of hard work Kal-El is preparing to release it’s 3rd album “Astrodoomeda” on Aug 25th, 2017 Argonauta records.

Promo Image

As a lover of heavy metal, hard rock, doom, psychedelia, and space rock I refuse to review stuff if I am not feeling it. So rather than saying oh what a great album I researched Kal-El’s past music before I even listened to the advanced copy of “Astrodoomeda.” What I discovered through their music videos and overall band concept is they put on one hell of a show.

Listening to the album “Astrodoomeda” was like smoking a bowl and watching the old black and white episodes of Buck Rogers, Flash Gordan, or the animated movie Heavy Metal. Musically this band is tight!! Liz lays down some gnarly bass grooves that blend with drummer  Bjudas’s beats that create smooth rolling rhythms, and other times rolling thunder as Roffe plays fuzzed out psychedelic leads that Cpt. Ulver uses to give his vocals an even more spaced out sound.

Besides the title track, ‘Astrodoomeda’, some of my favorite tracks ‘MOTHERSHIP’ in which you see the sonic blast coming from Bjudas’s drums in the band’s video. I also enjoyed ‘LUNA’, ‘STARLIGHT SHADE’ and the band’s cover of the Kyuss song ‘GREEN MACHINE’. While I think lovers of Black Sabbath, Monster Magnet, Nebula, and Kyuss are naturally going to love this album, fans of Greenleaf and Horisont might want to check this out too .

Additional Links:

http://www.kal-el.no

http://www.argonautarecords.com/shop/music-/214-kal-el-astrodoomeda-cd.html

                                                         

 

                                                                                                                                     


Red Mountains “Slow Wander” Album Review + Stream…

RED MOUNTAINS

Slow Wander – Vinyl // Digital Download

All Good Clean Records – Released – September 1, 2017

Reviewed by Mike Hackenschmidt

 

Line Up:
Simen Mathiassen – Drums
Sverre Dalen – Bass
Jostein Wigenstad – Guitar
Magnus Riise – Guitar / Vocal
 

Review:

Red Mountains is a Psychedelic stoner rock band out of Trondheim Norway. “Slow Wander” is their sophomore offering following the 2015 release of “Down with the Sun.” Their Facebook page lists their influences to include Dead Meadow, Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Sleep, Brant Bjork and Fuzz. I’m not familiar with all those acts but I can hear the Sabbath for sure. They especially remind me of “Vol. 4” – Tomorrow’s Dream, Cornucopia and Snowblind but not Supernaught.

Let me tell you now this album is chill as fuck. My first taste of Slow Wander was when I was driving. I happened to be in a hurry, realized I had forgotten something at my place and had to turn back. I’m already late and waiting at a light to do a U turn when I hit play. The opening track, ironically named Home has a slow, smooth wane to it, as if it’s recorded on the wrong speed. It’s almost hypnotic how the high notes are placed just so, contrasting the doomish rhythm. I find myself getting sucked into the music and I soon forget I’m in a hurry. I come to and look down at my speedometer because the last thing I need now is to get pulled over. Normally I’ll go 10 over the limit but I’ve got a lead foot so I have to be careful as my speed creeps up. When I look down, I realize I’m doing the speed limit.

Now I know this particular style of music is meant to be enjoyed under the influence. I happened to not partake in said activities on the regular, especially while I’m driving but I can say if you let ‘Home’ take you you’ll get a very similar chill feeling.

‘Endless Ocean’, track 4, sounds like it should be on the soundtrack to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or maybe Trainspotting. If I relax and close my eyes, images of lava lamps and the feeling of floating is induced. Faces distort, patterns can be seen in the windows and one must stop to have a closer look at the wares of the shop we’ve walked past uninterested so many times before. We head down the stairs to the local metal bar, only to find it’s zombie night. We’re not entirely sure if we can be so lucky or perhaps it’s not really happening and just an unexpected effect. It’s troubling and fun at the same time.

Blue Wax

Upon returning to reality, I come to realize that it’s now track 8 and I’ve zoned out pretty hard. ‘Acid Wedding’ is a clever metaphor. I find the verbiage in the lyrics come to life as the music sets the scene. I imagine the events are taking place in the badlands mountainous region from the album cover. Assuming in the valley area but then who knows where a trip will take you? That butte looks incredibly interesting, after all. Slow Wander indeed.

The album closes out with ‘Returning,’ a Sabbath inspired track with the similar slow, hypnotic style that frames the album. I think by now you’re starting to get a clear picture of Red Mountains and “Slow Wander.” Normally I’m much wordier in my reviews but for whatever reason I’m now feeling kind of lazy and just want a Twinkie so I’m going to close it up here.

Links:
https://redmountains.bandcamp.com/album/slow-wander

https://www.facebook.com/redmountainsband


New Album Review – Alastor “Black Magic”

Alastor

Black Magic – CD / DD

Twin Earth Records – March 18th 2017

 

There’s a bit of mystery surrounding the “Southern Swedish” band Alastor.  They never actually specify where exactly in Southern Sweden they’re from, and they only list a single capital letter as credits for who is playing what.  That’s okay, I can roll with that.  I love a good mystery, and it’s rather indicative of their overall aesthetic.  With an album title like this and a sigillistic logo, you damn well better believe that they’re singing about the occult mysteries, for better or for worse.

Why do I say for better or for worse?  Well….everyone sings about and is steeped in occult imagery these days, especially in doom circles.  Sure, there are rumors and allegations that I myself dabble in or have extensive knowledge of the occult, though that’s not something that I talk about or flaunt much, is it?  I’ll just say this – I do believe that the more recurrent occult themes are utilized, the more ubiquitous they become, the more they lose their unique power.  With that in mind, let’s talk Black Magic.  Alastor’s cauldron is full to the brim with your typical brew: one part fuzz-splattered, feedback laden guitar, one part reverb-drenched, so wet they’re dripping female vocals, one part groovin’ subsonic bass that swings like a hangman’s noose, and one part thundering drums.  Add some psychedelic and atmospheric flourishes, tune down and turn up accordingly, and voila!! Simmer and serve.

 

Live Band Shot

 

I’m going to address what’s a bit atypical – the vocals are pretty buried, and this sounded a bit strange to me on first listen.  They’re coated in delay and caked with reverb, though otherwise they’re relatively clean.  Still, it’s hard to decipher the lyrics, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing given the band’s flair for the mysterious.  It works with their overall vibe, and once I’d fallen under the spell of their second song, it all seemed natural.  Black Magic clocks in at 34 minutes, and consists of just three epic length tracks.  That’s pretty good for a debut; they come in, cast their choral curses, then leave you begging for more.  I can appreciate that approach.  The songwriting is pretty straight forward; opener “Enemy” begins with a barrage of feedback and sub-bass, then breaks into a menacing, staggering riff as the guitars boil and bubble in your ears.  This isn’t just a metaphor, there’s a lot of undulation and overtones going on in the drawn these drawn out chords, which really adds to the aesthetic atmosphere.  Eventually the song picks up to a more mid tempo groove, and the vocals kick in.  Around the 8 minute mark, it breaks down into feedback and allows the rhythm section to shine through the glorious haze, eventually morphing into a barrage of minimalistic yet psychedelic lead guitars until the song’s conclusion.

“Nothing To Fear” fades in with feedback and then launches right into a barrage of blistering riffs.  It’s simplistic yet effective, like a doll poked full of pins and needles.  The vocals come in soon after, and the song alternates between some verse and chorus riffs. At around the five and a half minute mark, it switches things up from this straightforward power groove into a more shuffling swing, there’s a bit more singing, some wah drenched soloing, and then it ends just as it began, with a bi-tonal blast of dual guitar feedback fading into nothingness.  The title track, “Black Magic” also starts with some feedback before establishing its main theme, a slow burning, sinister melody that morphs into more active riffs between the vocals, which are noticeably more menacing throughout.  I like this song a lot, it’s like the perfect culmination of Electric Wizard and Acid King, with the vocals alternating between a lower pitched delivery over the main riff, then switching to a higher register over a more melodic chord progression.   Once again, the song breaks down around the 8 minute mark into simply a slow rolling bass line drifting between the wash of echoed noise and the iconic hum of a cranked tube amplifier.  This gives way to some subtle drum work before the album collapses and climaxes into a doomy ode to the dark arts, complete with harmonized vocals that seems to add more layers each time their barely decipherable spell.

 

Frontman_ Live Shot

 

Fans of Windhand should eat this up, it’s the same sort of sound with its own twists on the style.  Like I mentioned above, this is a great debut, as it’s short and to the point, a statement of intent that leaves plenty of room for a young band to grow and develop.  If they’re going to distinguish themselves within an over-saturated scene of Black Sabbath worshiping Weedians, they will need to do just that, as this is obviously not the most original sounding album in the world.  I’d like to see them take some more chances with their songwriting and incorporate other influences on future releases, and I’d also like to hear them put the vocals up a bit more at the forefront, as they’re a strong point when they’re allowed some breathing room.  For now though, this hits the spot on for me on a gloomy Sunday morning.  I was raised Catholic, and I still to this day firmly believe in keeping holy the Sabbath.

Reviewed By Andy “YUM Dinger” Beresky