Argonauta Records’ DRIVE BY WIRE Stream ‘The Whole Shebang’

From the heart of Deventer, Netherlands comes the latest studio offering from the hazily fuzzened foursome Drive By Wire, ‘The Whole Shebang‘. Issued just yesterday (May 19th) through Argonauta Records comes this heady, wholesome opus of psychedelia-laden Desert/Stoner Rock. It’s one that is made that much more the powerful thanks to the full-on sultriness of singer Simone Holsbeek. Her vocals, merged with the magnificent musicality provided by Alwin Wubben, Jerome Miedendorp de Bie, Marcel Zerb and Rene Rutten, make this a record that is impossible to ignore.

DBW

Drive By Wire manages to distill their inspirations and influences into a warmly organic sound, but one with the urgency and dynamics of 90′s grunge (Soundgarden, Alice in Chains), the sensuality of PJ Harvey and the deliciously heavy psychedelic fuzz grooves of all the great 70′s bands. I am pretty confident in saying that once you start this album to playing, you won’t be able to turn itoff until the last song wraps up…and even then you will probably be inclined to hit Repeat again.

See if what I’m saying is true by giving Drive By Wire‘s ‘The Whole Shebang‘ a precursory spin via the Soundcloud embed below. In the meantime, don’t forget, the album is out right now from Argonauta Records!

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


HIGHER POWER ‘Soul Structure’ Review & Stream; Tour Dates

HIGHER POWER
Soul Structure – LP
Flatspot Records & Venn Records – Release Date: May 19th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Leeds, UK-based band Higher Power have just released their debut LP, Soul Structure, through a cooperative release between Flatspot Records and Venn Records this past Friday, May 19th. The album was recorded by Misha Hering at Holy Mountain, with vocals recorded by James Atkinson at Mutiny Studios. The album was mixed by Arthur Rizk at Salomons Gate (Power Trip, Mizery, War Hungry) and mastered by Joel Grind (Toxic Holocaust). It features artwork by Sam Bailey but it is the music that I am here to talk about.

Many of you that are here reading this will probably be too young to have experienced much of the great music of the Nineties. Both the Hardcore and Alternative Rock scenes of that decade were thriving hotbeds of fantastic music, ones that pretty much had a sound and style all their own at the time. Let’s be honest, not many modern or current bands can successfully capture that era’s somewhat “signature” aural calling card..well, that is ’til now. Meet vocalist J Town (Jimmy Wizard), drummer Alex, guitarists Louis and Max and bassist Pete who together collectively are Higher Power. Before you listen to them via the full stream of Soul Structure below, let me ask you something: Were you around in those aforementioned 90’s?

If you were then surely you recall great bands like Leeway, Ignorance, Helmet or perhaps the more obscure Stick? If you do and you liked those bands then this is something you are going to love. If you weren’t there but you can still appreciate unique sounding, energized, ass-kicking heavy music then you too are in luck, my friends. Higher Power bring the noise and a whole hell of a lot more on their stellar debut full-length outing here. With chunky guitars, rapid rhythmic pulses, and super tight, in the pocket drumming, their music will uplift you. Real life lyrical tales are woven into the sonic fabric and told with agression-tinged vocals that would make the mighty Cro-Mags themselves proud.

There’s no getting around it and why would you want to? Higher Power have been powerfully blessed with the skills needed to bring Soul Structure to life.  From the energetic chug-along of intro cut ‘Can’t Relate‘ and its beefy guitars, ones that stop and start on a dime while keeping the energy levels high, things don’t let up. Other highlights include ‘Hole‘, ‘Four Walls Black‘ and the fantastic album-closing ‘You Ain’t Got Much‘ but truth is, there is not a bad track here. But don’t just take my word for it, do yourself a favor and go stream the Higher Power debut, Soul Structure, below now and I believe that you will discover that you too are a baller at the altar of groove.

FYI: My favorite track is ‘Reflect‘. – Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Catch Higher Power at the following live dates:

6/16/2017 Woody’s – Schleiz, DE w/ Trapped Under Ice
6/17/2017 Essigfabrik – Cologne, DE w/ Trapped Under Ice
8/13/2017 Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, UK w/ Turnstile, Insist

 


IAMFIRE ‘From Ashes’ Review & Stream

IAMFIRE
From Ashes – CD//DD//Vinyl
Released April 14th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Let me start by saying that I am a huge Peter Dolving fan..from Mary Beats Jane to his time in The Haunted, solo efforts and even his short stint in the recent Dress The Dead project. Peter always provides intense vocals to whatever he’s contributing to and I was excited to learn awhile back there was a new endeavor claiming his presence. That is IAMFIRE of course and where earlier bands explored punk and alternative rock, as well as metal and such, it is safe to say that IAMFIRE is a stoner rock band in about every sense of the words. Joining Dolving in the band are guitarist Peter Ahlers Olsen, bassist/vocalist Mikael Ehlert and drummer Ulf Scott and I make that previous claim based on the variety of styles explored here.

“Here” is the IAMFIRE debut full-length ‘From Ashes‘ of course and what we have here is a potent blend of all the stoner sub-genres from desert to fuzz, doom, psychedelia, sludge and much more. But I almost hesitate to share that labeling due to the possibility that more close-minded types will immediately refuse to give the record a chance. If so then that is their loss, a great, grand loss at that because aside from Peter’s usual falsettos and somewhat wailing vocalizations there is the music. The oh-so fantastic music in this case, music that alternates from densely heavy rock that’s propelled by the power of the riff to the hypnotically melodic tunes administered with a slightly lysergic lull.

It is the former that provides our introduction to the album with ‘Magpies And Crows‘, a cut that unfurls with a riff so huge that it results in opiate-like head nodding. The rhythms are as equally monstrous while the drums detonate about you like bursts of hand grenades. The heavy side of IAMFIRE is on fine display in other superb selections such as ‘Burn Your Halo‘, ‘For What It’s Worth‘ and ‘Compliments‘. Inevitably, there are going to be comparisons made to Tool and perhaps Alice In Chains, derived from nuances within the music and vocals both here. To be honest, those comparisons may be considered absolutely valid too because there are moments where the vocals and progressive elements of the music itself do remind one of Tool.

Did You Find Your Name‘ is one of those songs, one where the box is obliterated and experimental applications govern the track. Dolving himself is the primary source for many of it on this particular cut as he alternates between three differing vocal approaches. Much like flipping an invisible switch with ease, Peter runs across the spectrum from a sedate, light and airy voice to a wailing howl and eventually an aggro-intensified bellow. As for the more proggy styled songs, just give ones like ‘Eyes Wide Open‘ or ‘Beamer‘ a spin and you’ll find yourself outside the norm as well.

That leaves us with my two favorite songs, the one-two impact of the back to back ‘My Mistake‘ and ‘Inside‘. The former is a full-on face down dive into trippy, Kyuss-ian desert rock where sound effects pepper a super fucking cool, fluid track. Hazy, atmospheric hooks sink into your ear canals and embed themselves ever deeper with each note while massive riffs rumble and reverberate. ‘Inside‘ keeps the desert rock vibe alive as it rolls out with a robust, rippling riff ‘n rhythm road map. Tightly-wound, in the pocket drumming and navigating bass lines drive the track ever onward, inviting you deep inside its inner machinations.

Overall, the entire IAMFIRE debut, ‘From Ashes‘, is an album that you can immerse yourself within. An alluring, captivating aural experience that deserves ones undivided listening attention because it is so multifaceted and layered. One misstep on your part and you will quite likely miss an incredible moment taking place on the record so do yourself a favor, stream it below. Ignore the tags, labels, and pigeonholing, my own or anyone else’s and come listen to an amazing album, pure and simple.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


RED FANG Debut ‘Cut It Short’ Official Video; Set Euro. Tour & Fest Plans

Pacific Northwest rockers Red Fang, who are playing at Rock On The Range today coincidentally, are debuting their latest Official Video, ‘Cut It Short‘. Yet another visually comedic clip as par for the course from the band, the song hails from Red Fang‘s latest release, 2016’s Only Ghosts. The Relapse Records-issued band’s fourth album was produced by the famed Ross Robinson (Sepultura, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot) and reached #143 on the US Billboard 200. Whitey McConnaughy directed the clip, continuing the partnership that birthed previous videos for “Wires”, “Prehistoric Dog”, “Hank Is Dead” and most recently “Shadows”.

Alongside Red Fang‘s ROTR date today, the band plays one more additional North American date (May 26th at the Modified Ghost Festival II) before heading to Europe for a month of shows. Then they’ll resurface in the US for September’s Bumbershoot and Crucial Fest dates, here’s all of their planned upcoming appearances:

Tour dates:

May
19 – Columbus, OH – Rock on the Range
26 – Vancouver, BC – Modified Ghost Festival II

June
10 – Guilford, UK – Boileroom
11 – Donnington, UK – Download Festival
12 – Lille, France – L’Aeronef
14 – Orleans, France – Astrolabe
15 – Lyon, France – Epicerie Moderne
16 – Clisson, France – Hellfest
17 – Dessel, Belgium – Graspop
19 – Berlin, Germany – Lido
20 – Vienna, Austria – Flex
21 – Orfu, Hungary – Fishing on Orfu
23 – Saarwellingen, Germany – Saarmageddon Festival
24 – Scheessel, Germany – Hurricane Festival
25 – Neuhausen, Germany – Southside Festival
28 – Roskilde, Denmark – Roskilde
29 – Nimjegen, Netherlands – Doornroosje

July
1 – Pratteln, Switzerland – Fuzz Jam Festival
5 – Biarritz, France – Atabel
6 – Viverio, Spain – Resurrection Festival
8 – Barcelona, Spain – Razzamatazz 2
9 – Ile du Gaou, France – Pointu Festival

September
1 – Seattle, WA – Bumbershoot
2 – Salt Lake City, UT – Crucial Fest

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Red Fang


LOSS ‘Horizonless’ Review; Select Track Stream

LOSS
Horizonless – CD//2xLP//Digital
Profound Lore – May 19, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

We are now just a day away from what is expected to be one of the most crushingly depressive releases of the year being set loose upon all. That’s right, the long awaited and oft-doubted return of the Nashville, Tennessee-based Loss is finally at hand. The unholy event would provide ample cause for celebration were it not for the sullen, bleakly depressive hopelessness the unit is so well known for providing. The lividly aural obtuseness that is brought to life, then near death, in the music of Loss is of the utmost cause for alarm. Not is it merely a semi-hellish soundtrack of bereaved emanations but it may very well be the actual house music within a damnable Hades itself.

Six years since the debut ‘Despond‘ was unleashed upon the denizens of the Earth, Loss return with the Billy Anderson-produced Horizonless via Profound Lore on May 19th. All of the prerequisite attachments are still here, ones ranging from atmospheric to funeral doom and more. But there is also a palpable, overwhelming sense of despondency reverberating through every note, Drawn out, sustained death marches into the deepest chasms of soulless emptiness, where each forcible step is one nearer to the point of no return.

Haunting, harrowing and truly horizonless for there is no light at the end of this tunnel’s descent, no momentary glimpse of anything to inspire hope. Much like a Death Row inmate’s last moments, you feel surreally out of body as your physical husk moves slowly toward its inevitable end. And this is the music most ideally meant to accompany you on that journey, on both planes as your last steps on Earth become your first taken into Eternity. The title track’s last few spoken moments perhaps put it best, put it all into perspective: “Something Is Lost..Nothing Is Gained“.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker



 

 


FOTOCRIME ‘Always Hell’ EP Review & Stream; Official Video & Tour Dates

FOTOCRIME
Always Hell – Vinyl 7″//DD
Self Release – Released May 12, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Once upon a time there was a man named Ryan Patterson from Louisville, Kentucky that played in a sludge-ish, albeit punk-infused, post-hardcore band named Coliseum. As an integral component of Coliseum, he participated in the release of five studio albums and numerous EPs and Splits with the band. In 2015, that project would release their final studio record, the critically acclaimed Anxiety’s Kiss, and from there eventually disband. In the months and eventual years since then, Ryan would adopt a pseudonym, R. Pattern, and undergo an intriguing musical metamorphosis.

In more recent times, Pattern has resurfaced with a new musical endeavor named Fotocrime, one where he alone has been the sole member thus far. The story goes that he holed himself up within a home studio and went to work on giving Fotocrime its very own aural identity. Now be forewarned, if you are seeking sonic output similar to that of this man’s previous project then you may as well turn around and leave as quietly as you came in. I bequeath that advice to you based upon the reality that Fotocrime is nothing like Coliseum in any way of substance or similitude. Inspired by more minimalist musings and armed with a seemingly stripped down arsenal of riffs, synths, and drum machines, Fotocrime emanates a fatalistic fever of darkly gothic music. It’s a staunchly haunting, musical menagerie of stark, shadowy overtones and post-apocalyptic new wave.

Captured in conjunction with longtime collaborator and producer J. Robbins at Robbins’ Magpie Cage Studio, Fotocrime‘s 3-song EP debut, ‘Always Hell‘, was just released on May 12th. It contains the ‘Always Hell’ title track (and official video below) along with ‘Plate Glass Eyes‘ and ‘Tectonic Shift‘, a trio of hellishly deep cloak and dagger cuts. Spellbinding and all-consuming, the tracks are a refreshing lungful of enthralling, atmospheric-laden opposition to the stagnant norm of moden music. If it is different you seek, that you want and ultimately must have, then Fotocrime has come to deliver you from the mundane sameness that assaults us daily.

Alongside R. Pattern in the live version of Fotocrime are Shelley Anderson and Nick Thieneman. The trio have a series of live performances scheduled to begin in late June and they are listed below.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

FOTOCRIME On Tour:

Jun. 27 — Chicago, IL @ Gman Tavern
Jun. 29 — Toronto, ON @ Baby G
Jun. 30 — Ottawa, ON @ Pressed
Jul. 1 — Montreal, QC @ Turbohaus
Jul. 2 — Boston, MA @ O’Briens Pub
Jul. 3 — Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
Jul. 6 — Philadelphia, PA @ Boot and Saddle
Jul. 8 — Columbus, OH @ Café Bourbon Street

 


W.A.S.P. To Celebrate 25th Anniversary Of ‘The Crimson Idol’ With Re-Issue To Include Original, Unreleased Film; Video Teaser + World Tour

W.A.S.P...one of the biggest, most iconic acts in the history of heavy metal and hard rock. In 1992, the band released their hugely ambitious conceptual album ‘The Crimson Idol‘, an acclaimed release revered to this day in fact. The story behind the album’s theme was the tale of the neglected, abused child Aaron Steele whose hunger for love and acceptance leads him to music eventually. In a tale that all too many musicians know as their own realities, Aaron gains international fame and stardom. That superficial love is accompanied by all the excesses of the rock and roll life i.e. abundant sex, drugs and so much more and of course, Aaron is destined for a catastrophic fall.

2017 is the 25th anniversary of The Crimson Idol and something that many fans either don’t know or may have forgotten is that there’s much more to the story. The Crimson Idol was also intended to be developed into a cinematic feature, a movie to accompany the album’s release. There was actually several hundred hours of film that was shot to create approximately 50 minutes of movie footage…and this film has never been released – Until now!

Napalm Records proudly announces “Re-Idolized, the 25th anniversary of the iconic hit album plus the original “The Crimson Idol” movie on DVD and Blu-ray! For the first time EVER as originally intended – film and soundtrack united – released as one product! While the actual release date has yet to be finalized, “Re-Idolized” will be available on Blu-ray, DVD, CD, and vinyl later this year!

Check out the video teaser for the upcoming Napalm Records release below along with the itinerary of W.A.S.P.‘s upcoming World Tour to accompany this historic series of events.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

W.A.S.P. live:
“Re-Idolized: The 25th Anniversary of
The Crimson Idol” World Tour:

08.11.2017 IT – Bologna, Estragon
09.11.2017 IT – Milan, Live Club
10.11.2017 CH – Lausanne, Docks
11.11.2017 CH – Pratteln, Z7
14.11.2017 DE – Hamburg, Markthalle
15.11.2017 DE – Hannover, Capitol
16.11.2017 DE – Saarbrücken, Garage
17.11.2017 DE – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle
18.11.2017 DE – Geiselwind, Music Hall
20.11.2017 DE – Frankfurt, Batschkapp
21.11.2017 DE – Stuttgart, LKA Longhorn
22.11.2017 DE – Munich, Backstage
24.11.2017 CZ – Hluk, Sportshall
25.11.2017 PL – Warsaw, Progresja
26.11.2017 AT – Vienna, Arena

WASP Promo

MERCHANT ‘Beneath’ EP Review & Stream

MERCHANT
Beneath – CD//DD
Black Bow Records – Released May 12, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Black Bow Records is the label started by Conan’s Jon Paul Davis and it just released the 2-song ‘Beneath‘ from Australia’s Merchant last Friday, May 12th. It was just little over a year ago that Merchant came crashing on to the heavy music scene with their four-song debut, Suzerain. Now, vocalist Mirgy, guitarist Ben, bassist/vox Wilson and drummer Nick are back with another brutish boulder of harrowing heaviness.

The slowly unfolding first moments of ‘Guile As A Vice‘ are somewhat sedate as a fuzzy riff reverberates and plodding drums render periodic, perfectly timed strikes. Soon a pattern begins to form and from that pattern, a rhythmic roadmap comes into sight..and sound. Equally melodic and epic, things build and circulate, almost reaching a drone like point before gravelly vocals finely enter the mix. Harshly acidic, they herald a tale told from what sounds like pure vocal chord shredding severity amid semi-psyche infused atmospherics of utter dread. At over fourteen and a half minutes running time, there is a lot of transcendental sludge to be explored here for sure.

Second cut ‘Succumbing‘ is instantly more uptempo yet no less savagely brutal and battering. Taking a cue from peers like Neurosis and Yob, the track’s flurry of circulatory rhythmic pulses pull you under. The vocals undergo a turn toward a much more sinister state than the previous track while the hellish audio bog beats you into submission. Another long-player, the song maintains a constant, fevered inferno of activity on varied levels and refuses to let up for the most part. A bit of haziness seeps forth at one point as things begin to pull back in intensity, gradually getting a bit more and more minimalist. That throttling down continues and soon gives way to a cacophony of feedback and dissonance before relinquishing its hold upon your throat.

What strides Merchant has made since their critically acclaimed release last year are more than evident on the new EP, ‘Beneath‘. The sludgier vibes are prevalent and punishing of course with one of the most noticeable differences here is the change in the vocals. I am sure this newly released beatdown of blackened bereavement shall leave no listener unscathed. You can now stream it for yourself via the Soundcloud embed below if you dare.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


FORBIDDEN NOISE ‘Distances’ EP Review, Stream & Official Video

FORBIDDEN NOISE
Distances EP – Digital Download/Stream
Self-Released Apil 11th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Metal…the forbidden noise. Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? Well that is quite fitting then because we are here to spotlight the unquestionable metal presence that is Szeged, Hungary’s Forbidden Noise. The band just recently issued their five-song (and an intro) ‘Distances‘ EP and the PR for it states that it is: “Five songs about the physical, mental and emotional distances within and between people.” Now, while it may be all of that and more, it is also something else…Metal. Part death metal, part power-violence, part metalcore, part Post-Hardcore and all of it is downtuned D-Beat and damaging.

After the brief intro piece of ‘Foghorn‘ sets the stage, things explode with the bruising rhythmic pulses of ‘Crowing‘. Driving pulsations pump like pistons while constant guitar manipulations are presented, all while dizzying drum work is delivered too. A multitude of vocal styles alternate back and forth from guttural bellows to piercing shriek-styled ones. Thrashing cuts like ‘From Under The Grindstone‘ (official video below), ‘Mass Production Line Of Fear‘ and ‘Release‘ send you reeling one after another. The music remains energetic and intense at all times and once again I must draw attention to the fact that the diversified vocal approach keeps things interesting. If you need a comparison, think Lamb Of God-meets-a-much-heavier-Between The Buried And Me.

My personal favorite track is ‘Amit ott találsz‘ and while I have no inkling what that means or translates to, I do know that it is a fantastic song. Melding all of the heaviness of the music with a bit more melodic elements and more importantly, abundant measures of progressive nuances. That experimentation infects all the components here as schizophrenic-like vocals unfurl one after another and the melodic, exploratory tint of the music grows more epic. The song, and Forbidden Noise‘s ‘Distances‘ EP itself must be heard to be fully appreciated and you have the ability to do so below via the Bandcamp embed.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


BASK Bring ‘A Graceful Shuffle’ In New Official Video; Announces Series Of Record Release Shows & Starkfest 2017 Set

Asheville, North Carolina’s Bask are proudly premiering their brand new Official Video for ‘A Graceful Shuffle‘. The track hails from the southern-infused alternative rock band’s latest effort, Ramble Beyond, and offers some solidly enthusiastic rock music. Ramble Beyond was released on CD and Digital formats on March 24th but Bask are gearing up for the vinyl edition’s release on May 19th via Self Aware Records.

To celebrate the imminent availability of that vinyl format, Bask will embark upon a handful of live dates to serve as their official Record Release events. You can find those planned live excursions listed below along with their just announced inclusion on this year’s Starkfest 2017. That two-day event will be held in Greenville, South Carolina and will see Bask join other amazing bands like Waft, All Hell, Swallow The Sky, Midmourner, Come To Grief, Crawl and many others.

You can find details, information and line ups for Starkfest 2017 here and order Bask‘s Ramble Beyond at this location.

Upcoming Bask record release shows:
May 17th – Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
May 18th – Savannah, GA @ The Jinx
May 19th – Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor
May 20th – Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Bask LP