Nap “Villa” Album Review + Stream…

In Case You Missed It Series – Episode 7

Nap

Villa – CD // DD // Vinyl

Released July 28, 2016 and re-released February 2017

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

Lineup:
Ruphus,
Hemme,
Pi

Other Releases:
August 28, 2017 – Nap Split E.P. with Black Lung Nap vs. Black Lung Split

Tracklist:
A1/1     Donnerwetter  05:12
A2/2     Sabacia            07:58
A3/3     Duna                05:49
A4/4     Larva               03:41
B1/5     Xurf                 04:48
B2/6     Shitzo             05:25
B3/7     Ungeheuer    05:05
B4/8     Autobahn      05:06

Review:

NAP are a Stoner/Progressive Rock band from Oldenburg, Germany. Here is how they describe themselves; “Nap plays as a classical 3-piece rock-formation, mostly instrumental with rather rare vocal parts. Psychedelic sounds, up-tempo beats, grooving Doom and Stoner-riffage plus some Noise and Surf influences with strong tendencies reminiscing the sound of the Hippie-Era and the origin of Metal. A combined musical paradox, of highs and lows, all to end into an excessive nightmare.”

Album Art:
Depending on which version of the album you get you either get a melt-y dreamscape (in black and white) or a cloudy sky at sunset.

Track-by-track Breakdown:

A1/1     Donnerwetter
Translates into Thunderstorm. This track goes in between a somewhat clean solo and a fuzzy riff. It is almost book-ended by drum fills. At some points it almost gives me the feeling that the end of “Side A” (Black Bombaim – Saturdays Space Travels) gives off.

A2/2     Sabacia          

It starts off very 1970’s Black Sabbath sounding but becomes less so as the song continues, until it gets to about six minutes into it then we get our first glimpse at vocals on this album. (Almost sounding The Atomic Bitchwax-y)

A3/3     Duna 
Duna is a preview is what is to come in Xurf. Here we have, for the most part, Clean guitar tones and an almost repetitive beat. Duna might be in reference to Duna Jam which is a “a mix between a picnic and a pilgrimage” in Italy that has been going since 2006.

A4/4     Larva   (favorite track)
This track is clearly a jam and it’s fuzzy guitar and strained vocals (once again at the end of the track) keep the track interesting. It is definitely an almost Karma to Burn like in its structure and amount of guitar.

 

Pro Band Pic

 

B1/5     Xurf
Is what the title of the song suggests, It is a Surfer Rock style song. (But with distortion) A reference would be Dick Dale. This would not be out of place basting on the beaches of California in the sixties.

B2/6     Shitzo 
Starts off slow, like a Sleep song but gains speed toward 3:54 and gains its speed again. It is almost a Sludge Metal song; if it wasn’t for the speed it gains toward the end. I could not find a translation for this word but it could be a clean mononym for for shit-show because it sounds like a mash-up of all of the references in the rest of the album.

B3/7     Ungeheuer      (Should be a single)
Translation: Monster. And, oh, is it one. The music stays loud throughout the whole track. This is the last track that has vocals, and it also has the most. “Shallow phrases come out of their mouths, With their shallow hearts they try to occupy your mind, Confusion spreads like the flu, Some day they may come over you, It all ends up in the eternal void anywhere you go.”

 

 

B4/8     Autobahn
Translation: Highway. This song stays constant and almost repetitive structure (like a highway) and in the end (4:15) it begins to differ from the beginning of the song. It is almost like a crash starting to happen, it slows, it gets faster and faster until it becomes an almost screech and then it ends.

—————————————————–

In Conclusion:

Nap are reminiscent of another Stoner band, Sleep, but faster, which is ironically what a nap is compared to sleep. The music, as well as being them jamming, it is like a journey. A journey like the ones most stoner albums give are best experienced on vinyl (Which sadly are sold out (unless you look at Discogs) or you can buy a CD directly from the band’s Bandcamp Page (link below or above).

The vocals remind me of Brocas Helm or The Atomic Bitchwax (Except they are used less in Nap’s songs). The instrumentals are similar to Black Sabbath in the 1970’s, especially during the “Vol. 4” & “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” years. The music is also very close to the jamming in some of Karma to Burn’s music. The songs that do have a little bit of organ have almost a Cheap Wine feel; the organ is just barely there but it is present. When the music gets faster and more distorted there is a clear relation to Black Bombaim.

You will not be disappointed with this album if you enjoy a good Stoner jam band (or a if you are a fan of Black Sabbath).

Stream the album HERE and buy the CD or DD

Additional Links:
https://napofficial.bandcamp.com/album/villa

https://www.discogs.com/Nap-Villa/release/9888070

https://www.discogs.com/Nap-Villa/release/9893932

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

https://napofficial.bandcamp.com/album/nap-vs-black-lung-split-12-white-vinyl-strictly-limited

http://dunajam.net/


Enhailer “Grisaille” Album Review + Stream…

In Case You Missed It Series – Episode 4

Enhailer

Grisaille – CD // DD

Blackseed Records – Released June 2, 2016

Reviewed by Andy “Dinger” Beresky

 

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the Akron, Ohio band Mockingbird. I’m fairly familiar with them, as I was privileged enough to be able to share the stage with them on multiple occasions.  Their sound was a progressive and melodic take on sludge/doom metal, in the vein of early Mastodon and Baroness, yet there was something so PURE about them.  They were completely removed from any of the mainstream trappings that the aforementioned bands eventually came to embrace.

I don’t typically like to define artists in terms of their former bands or other projects.  All the same, it’s hard to talk about High On Fire or Om if we don’t also talk about Sleep, isn’t it??  Drummer Chad Beverlin from Enhailer also plays with the criminally underrated Mockingbird, and there are enough similarities in their sound that it’s worth bringing them into the conversation.

 

Enhailer have a slightly goofy name, which is both endearing and problematic for me personally.  I like the name, though I know how using puny names can sometimes come with a stigma or turn people off unnecessarily.  Yes, I play in a band called Palace In Thunderland.  People tend to either love it or hate it. It’s goofy, and funny, and fun….we hope.  That’s really up to you, not us.  It’s also meant to be a bit artsy, and that’s the same vibe I get from Enhailer.  They’re instrumental, so we know that they’re artsy.  However, this is not the more stripped down minimalism incorporated by fellow instrumentalists Karma To Burn, nor is it the hip neo-melodicism of Pelican. This is something far darker and dirtier, like if we truly pushed Mogwai into the depths of despair that they’ve always mildly flirted with.

There’s nothing demure about Enhailer.   They encompass everything that I love about the American Midwest.  If you’ve never been, I’d highly suggest that you spend some time there.

While Mockingbird tended to write more songs with a more traditional vocal-driven structure, the lack of vocals allows Enhailer to work more with a classical, theme and variation motif.  The six songs tend to build, evolve, and intensify organically, which is what prompts me to compare them to Mogwai. The major difference is in the atmosphere itself, which is bleak, heavy and haunting, due largely in part to the guest keyboards, which loom and pulse in the background.  Technically Enhailer are a trio, though it’s hard to talk about this album without bringing in the keyboards, as they truly add a nice touch.  It’s also worth noting that their seem to be some form of growls in the background of a couple songs, though I think this is just for effect, and to add to the atmosphere.  I don’t think there are any discernible lyrics.

 

Band Logo

 

I really dig the production, which manages to sound both full and never excessive.  The songs themselves usually lurk at a comfortable, mid-paced tempo, and combine quieter, more introspective sections with full on dirgy doom riffs.  It’s a nice blend with a unique take that firmly separates them from the rest of the post-metal pack.  I get the feeling that this is really just a sampling of what Enhailer have to offer.  These six songs clock in at just over 30 minutes.  I’m thinking that they’ve got a lot more to say, in their typical manner of not speaking or singing a single word.


Brock Davisson “Outtakes From The Soul” Album Review + Live Video…

“In Case You Missed It Series” – Episode 3

BROCK DAVISSON

Outtakes From The Soul – CD (sold out) // DD – CD Baby

Self Released – 2015

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Location – Marietta, Ohio

Released in 2015, BROCK DAVISSON has poured his soul into each of these 9 tracks that offer insight into the man himself and over these 33+ minutes, we are given the chance to ‘see with his eyes’ through his fingers. When asked to describe himself, he stated “I’m 4’4″ tall in a wheelchair from club foot and dwarfism and my entire life purpose is music. Without it, I don’t exist.” He has won 3 ‘CA HOUSE MUSIC’ guitar competitions so far in Parkersburg, West Virginia, came in 2nd in few others, and has won a few online guitar/music contests as well.

Mixing dirty blues into out-right rock-n-roll and then shifting into flat-out instrumental-bliss, all mixing perfectly together in flow from the first notes of title track ‘Outtakes From The Soul’ to the closing section of closer ‘If Only’ with a pinnache and attention to detail that makes this album a must have. No two songs sound alike on this but the ‘touch’ on each is the same, from the core of his being and that shines with every note.

brock-davisson-lge

Two songs in particular stand out to ME, the first being instrumental ‘Vagrant’ with it’s slow blues fire smoldering with the clean-tone leads that permeate this heart-string-puller.  Then there is ‘Tremors’ where we are reminded that “God is a safe-place to hide, ready to help when needed.” over a mid-tempo pace that allows Brock to demonstrate his mastery of his ‘over-the-neck’ technique that has been his method of playing all along. I have been blown away by how incredible each offering Brock puts out via his Facebook page and his YouTube channel is in originality and prowess. He has done things that are heavy as all get out to as soft as a kitten’s fur, ALL showing just what can be accomplished with dedication and love and his heart is open and poured deep into every crevice of every measure played.

WELL worth a revisit if you are already a fan, a MUST-HAVE for the rest of the world!! Get it NOW if you don’t already have it and share it with the rest of YOUR world and KEEP IT LOUD!!

Links:
https://www.discogs.com/Brock-Davisson-And-Friends-Outtakes-From-The-Soul/release/7400856
https://www.facebook.com/Brokstar

MUSICIANS ON THIS ALBUM:
Brock Davisson “all tracks except track 9, only lyrics”
Andy Holbrook “track 2,3,4,5,6,7,8”
Courtney Holbrook “track 8”
Michael Francis “track 2,7”
Todd Schexnider “track 4,6”
Jeremy Harmon “track 2,4,5,6,7”
Daniel Everson “track 5”
Jeremy Mayle “track 9”
Robert Lawson “track 3”
Greg Lester “track 8”

The Brockstar Empire Has Begun…


The Hong Kong Sleepover “Bolshevik Firecrackers” Review + Stream + In Case…Series Episode 2

“In Case You Missed It” Series – Episode 2

THE HONG KONG SLEEPOVER

Bolshevik Firecrackers – CD // DD

Self Released – December 7th 2013

Album Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Formed – 2007

From – Macomb, ILLINOIS USA

Current Lineup – Ted Renner – Lead Vox // Pete Thompson – Guitar & Vox // Mike Kump – Drums & Vox // Waylon Brown – Bass Guitar

Previous Releases – “Mustard” (2009) // “The Swedish Teaser” EP (2011) // “Bolshevik Firecrackers” (2013) // “Hey Santa” Single (2015)

These four guys from the Midwest have been slowly releasing tracks since shortly after they came together and state that, quote “If you put the over-produced bands of today and their mindless drones into a room and lit it on fire, the members of THE HONG KONG SLEEPOVER would be the ones standing outside drinking Miller High Life, shooting off automatic weapons and roastin’ marshmallows over those open flames. The more distorted and deranged you think we are, the closer you are to what drives us”, enquote. Quite the descriptor and citing MOTORHEAD, ANTHRAX and old school METALLICA as influences for what they do.  Combine all elements and the desired result for their live sets is to deliver that stripped-down, balls out, tour de force, honest approach to their craft and this, their latest release, “Bolshevik Firecrackers” is the result of that passion and drive.

 

Band Pic

 

Eleven songs and 44 minutes of raw, from-the-gut hard rock/metal is what lies in wait, from the loping bass intro of ‘Taste The Chain’ to the staggered drum intro to ‘Die Another Day.’  We are given all the trappings, from that ultra heavy bass line, the time-shifts from Hell, tempos and ultra-distorted guitars supporting a vocal style that tips its hat heavy to Lemmy in phrasing, tone and delivery, keeping that pure party-metal vibe running throughout. Tracks like ‘Hangman’, ‘Big John’, ‘The Ballad Of Malcom Reynolds’ and ‘Bleed To Win’ are faster romps that deliver with lyrics dripping with attitude and sneer, telling each tale with a fist gripped tight on your pulse and pulling for more.

‘356’ is even quicker with an almost DIMEBAG tone to the melody, while ‘Draw The Line’ is a good mid-tempo race across the flesh. ‘Boomstick’ is a story about the 1992 movie and Cult Classic Army of Darkness and the main character Ash Williams.  The track is a bit slower than the rest included here, but is filled with power-chords galore and a tempo that is like a freight train in how unrelenting it is for the duration, and ‘Not Enough Whiskey’ could very well have been lifted out of some old THIN LIZZY vault somewhere as the structure of the intro sounds very Irish in tone and progression, and is the quintessential drinking song.  It makes you want to raise a shot glass along with the boys, loudly singing along “Stagger, stagger, crawl, stagger, crawl, stagger drink… crawl, crawl, stagger, stagger, crawl, stagger drink!!”

 

The real standout track on this one for ME, is ‘In Nine Seconds’ for several reasons. The guitar line is unpretentious and gritty as fuck.  The tempo is nice and even, the bass line flows perfectly alongside, keeping things nice and plush in a heaviness that makes your head move involuntarily while the vocal line sounds NOTHING like the other 10 songs, so much so, I had to check for a guest vocalist in the credits. This song in particular shows that The Hong Kong Sleepover has more tricks up their collective sleeves than you might have guessed and in my opinion, shows a direction and possibility for any future releases that would serve them quite well.  Especially in a world saturated with those very cookie-cutter bands they talk about in their own description and shows that they do indeed have their OWN voice to add to the rock annals. In Case You Missed It…Get this one IMMEDIATELY, share it out and about and keep it LOUD!!


Fetal Pig “Autopia” Album Review + Stream + “In Case…Episode 2”

“In Case You Missed It” Series – Episode 2

FETAL PIG 

Autopia – Vinyl // DD

Sump Pump Records – released October 14, 2011

Album Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

FORMED1991

LocationDes Moines, Iowa

Spring 1991 found brothers Dan Hutchison (g/v) and Jeff Hutchison (d) forming the band and after gigging around trying to find the right line-up and they released a 4-track EP in 1995 on cassette, before disbanding. Fast forward 15 years to July 2010 wherein the brothers returned , ready to go with Charles Hoffman (b/v) in tow to round out the lineup and they headed into the studio soon after to record their first full length release “Autopia”.

Consisting of 10 tracks making up this 45 minute slab of prog-punk that the band tries to underplay, describing themselves as quote “a pathologically eclectic old-school punk sort of power trio, or alternately, just 3 more kinda yelly white dudes, if a little on the middle-aged side, and FETAL PIG’s music (and lyrics) are fun, sarcastic and paranoid, combining the ferocity of punk with the angular guitar dissonance of post-hardcore noise rock, and the compositional ambition of prog rock” enquote.

Pro Band Pic

What is actually delivered is a slab of attitude and angst reflecting all of the vocal tendencies of punk heavyweights like JELLO BIAFRA and The DEAD KENNEDYS, the time-shift madness of THE MINUTEMEN basslines hammered hard-enough to knock you down and drumlines that seem perfectly accentuated by the twisted guitar meanderings that surround these tracks with all of the precision and seeming madness.  There is no denying that these guys have their mission and this is it.

Tracks like ‘Meaningless’ / ‘Concerns’ / ‘Identity Crisis’ and ‘Inside The Pyramid’ all have that punk-ish edge and a vocal line screaming of rage, discordant misplacement and anger while not giving a fuck that comes with the territory of our post-hardcore world, where ‘Power Slide’ shows an even more aggro-fast side.

‘The Piano Movers’ opens with this ultra precise bass line that kicks in with the rest and takes you on this almost dizzying ride of stop/start/shift tempo that pulls you along with an urgency to take it all in for the just over two minutes of mastery of their craft, not like the “middle-aged, yelly” guys they portray themselves to be and this proves it, while ‘New Apostles’ is as fast and frenetic as could be with dual-vocals and all, screams intact as the guitar-bee zips and zigs and zags all around, showing that progressive flavored-post-punk tag is indeed suiting.

Two tracks in particular stand out to ME on this and those are opener ‘The Dawning Of Autopia’ and closer ‘FP Vs. Mecha-Godzilla’ and if I get the chance to see these guys onstage, it would be utter perfection for them to play these two one after the other as the ultimate prog-punk jam song and would melt the crowd’s collective consciousness by the end of the combination. Each member shows off their individual musicianship and integrity during EACH of these instrumental offerings as well as a combined unit working in complete syncopation.

This album still sounds ‘new’ with each listen and is one you need to add to your library and share with ALL, if you haven’t done so already. Let’s hope the “NEXT” is in the works, to be released sooner than later… keep it LOUD!!

Live Band Pic