Electric Orange “EOXXV” Double Album Review + Stream + Video…

Electric Orange

EOXXV – Triple Vinyl // Double CD // DD

Self Released – September 18, 2017

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

Electric Orange is:
Dirk Jan Müller
Tom Rückwald
Georg Monheim
Dirk Bittner

Tracklist:
CD #1
Continuum (22:59)
Under The Nun (16:01)
Gnosis (20:02)

CD #2
Misophonia IV (20:05)
Misophonia V (16:36)
Faint (22:01)
Residuum (16:51)

 

CD package

 

Review:
There’s an old adage that insists that patience is a virtue. Such a sentiment can seem laughable – after all, isn’t instant gratification almost always preferable? However, every now and then, that adage proves itself true: retaining one’s sanity whilst waiting in line at the secretary of state, not crumbling under the pressure of waiting to hear the results of a medical test, and most recently reaping the rewards of listening to an album like Electric Orange’s EOXXV.

 

 

Review:
If the above paragraph didn’t make it clear enough, EOXXV is a tough nut to crack! It is a 135-minute leviathan of relentless sonic experimentation, and such a beast could very easily prove insurmountable to the common listener. Many may find it meandering or even aimless, but those with a tremendous degree of musical patience will eventually come to a metaphorical clearing….one where everything opens up and even almost makes sense.

This is obviously not a very concise experience, but it is without question a fulfilling one. There is a point that one reaches when listening to this album at which the listener and the album achieve a sense of spiritual resonance and the listener enters a groove when you finally reach the point that you not only enjoy the music, but you are prepared to hear more: I reached this point during the gargantuan two-parter of “Misophonia IV” and “Misophonia V”.

It would be an out-and-out lie to say this release is for everyone though. I cannot recommend this album to listeners looking for an emotional experience – this is more an album of vibes and atmosphere than one of emotional release. This album simply doesn’t trifle very much in the realm of emotional release or scenarios one can relate to. That said, this is my experience.  You may have a completely different experience as this is the beauty of MUSIC…..Right??  With 25  years of blowing minds under their belt, Electric Orange once again serves up a platter of Sonic Sensations that transcend words.

Human nature seems foreign in the land of EOXXV. It is a totally alien experience, one that can’t be felt or heard anywhere else. To put it simply, if Michael Gira’s equally experimental work with Swans is the soundtrack to an indie horror film taking place in a cabin in the forest of the Pacific Northwest, than the catalog of Electric Orange is the soundtrack to a Science Fiction film taking place onboard an otherwise uninhabited space station, on which the only life forms are you and a hostile extraterrestrial.

It is expansive, yet isolated. You feel alone, yet somehow watched. Most importantly, you feel paranoid and perhaps even frightened, but you inexplicably want to continue. Maybe it’s out of curiosity, maybe it’s just longing for a sense of completion, but this bizarre and unique experience just begs to be finished, and you are more than happy to do so. Just make sure you are equipped with a preparedness to experience something new and plenty of patience.  Here’s to 25 years Electric Orange!!

Band Logo


Ethereal Riffian – “Afterlight” Live DVD Review + Stream + Video…

Ethereal Riffian

Afterlight – Limited DVD Packaging // CD // DD

Self Released – released August 17, 2017

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

Tracklist:
Whispering of the Ancients (1:39)
Beyond (7:04)
Transoma (9:05)
Wakan Tanka (12:02)
Thugdam (8:52)
March of Spiritu (10:55)
Anatman (12:24)
Drum of the Deathless (7:29)
Sword of the Deathless (9:29)
Light of Self (7:28)

Ethereal Riffian is:
Val Korniev – guitar/vocal/didgeridoo
Olexander Korniev – bass
Max Yuhimenko – lead guitar
Nikita Shipovskoi – drums

Guest Musicians: 
Makha Tretyakova – djembe
Sergey «Bookvarique» – djembe
Yaroslaw Kaminskiy – didgeridoo

 

 

Live albums are a risky endeavor: If a band has not yet achieved worldwide success, then releasing such material is a gamble on its potential success, and essentially risking a good deal of money on the production, recording, and packaging of a single concert with the hopes that enough people will want to experience that singular show. Thankfully, Ethereal Riffian is not a band that seems to care about gambling.

Ethereal Riffian are a Rock band from Kiev, Ukraine. I simply say “Rock” in such a sub genre-obsessed genre because Ethereal Riffian is sort of their own thing- Somewhere between Progressive Rock, Doom Rock, Spiritual Rock, Stoner and Psychedelic Rock. It might paint a clearer picture to call them something along the lines of “Meditative Rock”. Their drum-based composition and vocals reminiscent of Gregorian or Tibetan Chanting are extremely conducive to sitting down on the floor, crossing legs, entering a groove (which there are many), and just listening and enjoying.

“Since 2013 I wanted to have a single release that can give a versatile overview of the band’s creative work – its music, philosophy, approach to limited editions and live potential. And now we have it,” says Val Kornev, the frontman of the band. “With this release we, on one hand, aim to crystallize all our work and ideas since the inception of the band, and on the other hand, we want to show the quintessential component which unites all spiritual paths. For the band this release marks the end of the first chapter in its history and the beginning of the new one.”

Afterlight Packaging

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that this is a live album. This was indeed recorded live, and I wouldn’t believe it had it not been accompanied by the occasional applause of the probably all too small audience. Ethereal Riffian does an excellent job of bringing their intricate and lengthy compositions to the stage, to the point of getting the listener to almost smell burning incense and experience visions of what must be the most intense temple experience one could ever feel.

One thing that must be emphasized is that if you can afford their unbelievably extravagant limited edition packages, certainly do. Almost all of Ethereal Riffian’s releases have an absolutely beautiful package that is hand-crafted with a degree of dedication and love for the craft that is practically never seen elsewhere, and naturally, the best way to ensure that these packages to continue to be made is by buying them. The band’s many releases are worth buying for the package alone. For example, their album “Æonian” is packaged with a full-length original hardcover novel.

Artifactz

All in all, “Afterlight” is a fantastic release by a band that obviously has an unparalleled passion for all things artistic and this passion reflects in all aspects of the release- composition, performance, and packaging. If you are not averse to live albums, I would highly recommend you purchase this album. Finally, if you do: please, please get the limited edition version. You won’t regret it.

Additional Links:
https://etherealriffian.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/etherealriffian/
https://www.instagram.com/etherealriffian/
https://twitter.com/EtherealRiffian
https://vk.com/etherealriffian


A Comprehensive Look into How Ethereal Riffian Packages their releases…


Egypt “Cracks and Lines” Album Review + Stream…

EGYPT

Cracks And Lines – Digital Download

Self Released – June 20, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

FormedAround 2005

LocationFargo, North Dakota

Band Members:
Aaron Esterby – Bass/Vocals
Chad Heille – Drums
Ryan Grahn – Guitar (MK I)
Neal Stein – Guitar (MK II)

Previous Releases –

“S/T” EP (2009) / “Become The Sun” (2013) / “Cyclopeans Riffs” single (2013) / “Elsupremo” (2013) / “Endless Flight” EP (2015)

The story of EGYPT, as told by the band is as follows…

Quote “Back in 2005, an unknown heavy rock trio from Fargo, North Dakota, released a self-titled demo on a CD-R, and it turned out to be a record that just wouldn’t go away. Egypt’s “Egypt” smoldered for the next several years on the basis of underground word-of-mouth, to the point that Lyderhorn Records put it out on vinyl in 2007 and cult stoner imprint MeteorCity picked it up for a CD release in 2009. By then, it had outlasted the band – bassist/vocalist Aaron Esterby, guitarist Ryan Grahn and drummer Chad Heille – who called it quits in 2006. They reunited for a one-off hometown gig in May 2010, and it wasn’t long after that rumors started circulating of new material in the works. Grahn would leave the band before “Become the Sun” was finished and be replaced by Neal Stein, who also recorded the album. When they were done, ten years and one breakup later, they finally had a proper full-length debut, selling out initial pressings of both formats, CD and vinyl. Later 2013 brought the “Cyclopean Riffs” single, and in 2014, Doomentia repressed “Become the Sun” on vinyl. The “Self-Titled” also got yet another reissue, this time on vinyl and in time for Egypt to embark on a Midwest tour with a slot at Wisconsin’s ‘Days of the Doomed’ fest at its center. More than a decade after starting out, Egypt were more active and more widely known than they’d ever been. There’s nothing happenstance about it, in an age where word can travel faster than it ever has, Egypt have slow-burned their way to the fore of the American stoner rock… for a band who regrouped by popular demand, and have only gathered momentum since, Egypt are just beginning to shape their empire.” enquote.

 

Pro Band Pic

 

With this latest Album, “Cracks and Lines,” there is no question that this power trio is ready to take their place in the hierarchy of doom/stoner metal elite and have delivered the heaviest, most cohesive record to date. Five tracks and 39+ minutes of sonic bass lines supported by a drumline that could blow your speakers with the brutality of attack and a guitar line that is slathered on with abandon covered with vocals that is the quintessential ‘gravy on the potatoes’ for this masterpiece.

From opener ‘Final Heist’ with the lone guitar opening, to title track ‘Cracks And Lines’ with the full-on band rolling over a snare blast to ‘Dirge’ with the slow-fade intro that stays ‘slow and low’ throughout, there is no wonder why Egypt is still gathering momentum with such precisely executed compositions that show they are still true to their roots, especially as demonstrated by the updated KISS classic ‘Watching You’ that is an absolute salute in delivery and are yet able to spread their wings even further than before with the closing track and any stoner’s ‘wet-dream’, ‘What Lights This Ocean’.  Opening with a guitar line that could be from any Robin Trower session complete with spaced out soloing and an almost whispered vocal delivery to guest  Andrew Steinberg‘s Hammond organ giving even more body to this thirteen minute tome of absolute satiation, that is still not enough…

 

 

An absolute MUST-HAVE, go get it RIGHT NOW if you haven’t already, make SURE to see them in a live-setting if given the chance and share it with anyone and everyone as music of this caliber DESERVES the be heard, and as always, keep it LOUD!!

 

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WhiteNails “First Trip” – Album Review & Stream

WhiteNails

First Trip – CD // DD

Magnetic Eye Records – Releases May 26, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

 

Formed – 2016

Location – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Members – Darcy – Vocal, Danahé – Guitar, Taylor – Guitar, JP – Bass, Vince – Keys, Maxx – Drums

Self described as “Six dudes with an appetite for LOUD, HEAVY rock-n-roll” that were brought together by a mutual love for BLACK SABBATH. Labeled as a stoner rock band, they list as influenced by the sounds of PENTAGRAM, Black Sabbath and KYUSS, WhiteNails add an edge of a psychedelic visual touch to their performances and we end up with the first offering in the form of the EP  ‘First Trip’.

 

Pro Band Pic

 

Citing an evening of “…a few beers and shots of whiskey”,  they decided they needed to throw on the guitars and see what kind of noise would come forth. End result is eight songs clocking in just over 41 minutes and is filled with all of the trappings and then some of the kind of music that you HAVE to crank up and raise your ‘favorite beverage’ to and just MOVE. Twin guitars, thick-sliced bass line, heavy-handed drummer with enough splash to soak you through and a vocal range from punk-screams to heart-ripped vibrato, WhiteNails has brought it all to the table with this release. From the first pick slide of ‘Shanghaied’, the tone is set and the pace is rolling as you are the “Next in line…” The air gets darker as the guitar gets even thicker, screaming tortured wails and screams over hyper fuzzed chords catching in the sudden fade that runs straight into a VERY Sabbath sounding progression of palm-muting accented by that hauntingly smoked-up and hazy soloing that makes up the first minute and a half of ‘Done And Gone’ that chugs along like a train. ‘Dead In Time’ is full-on power-sludge glory featuring guest Gab Shonk and has that triple-roll tempo that forces you to keep up and then gets as smoke-filled just past midpoint again and for the last section, back to full slam…

Live Pic 3

‘In My Blood’ comes out faster and has that KYUSS vibe for real giving a nod to their mentioned influences where ‘Damn Judas’ is more of a power anthem hitting with full presence of attitude and staggered guitar notes in your face. ‘Silver Linings’ is slower in entry but there is zero shortage of power chords here. ‘Brazen Bull’ begins with a fast drum roll and jumps into more of the tortured guitar lines that take hold and don’t let go. This gets us to my personal favorite ‘The Crooked Lake’ . This track is different from the rest yet shows a complete summation of the first seven tracks brought into this over seven-minute opus. Slow fade in, each musician’s presence viable in the aggregate perfection that is this entire composition. One of those that grabbed me in my chest and I didn’t want it to let go, even as the end hit. I would hope this is one of their live signature songs and could EASILY end up being one of those 20 minute encore songs… and not ONE person would want it any other way.

For a first outing, all I can say is HOLY SHIT!! If this is any kind of signification of what is to come from these guys, HELL yes, bring it!! Get this one when out comes out and support them live if you get the chance and especially keep this one LOUD!!


L’IRA DEL BACCANO “PARADOX – HOURGLASS” Album Review & Stream…

L’IRA DEL BACCANO

PARADOX – HOURGLASS – Vinyl // CD // DD

Subsound Records – Released March 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

Hello all!! I’m back from one of my many epic quests through cyberspace in search of all that rocks ‘n’ rolls. Recently I’ve been listening to allot of  Greek, Spanish and Italian rock which seems to come in many varieties from a bustling underground rock scene which I will write an article about at some later date. Right now I’d like to tell you about: Alessandro “Drughito” Santori,  Roberto Malerba, Sandro “fred” Salvi, and Ivan Contini Bacchisio – a self described Doomdelic Instrumental Rock Quartet from Rome called L’ira Del Baccano.

 

Live Band Shot

 

Formed in 1998 as LOOSIN’o’FREQUENCIES, the band decided to reform itself as a purely instrumental act in 2007 as L’ira Del Baccano. The change in name and what they chose to play turned out to be a real shot in the arm band. In a conversation with  Alessandro the bands guitarist I learned the band was not even thinking actively touring and had no idea how big of an influence the internet would be for them until they recorded their first gig in 3 years and put it up as a free download and found they had generated a buzz.

 

 

After releasing two albums, and a split album with Watermelon Time, L’ira Del Baccano has released a third album Paradox – Hourglass on Subsound Records. I’ve listened to this album both actively and inactively and what I enjoy most about it is the musics mercurial nature. Opening with “Paradox Hourglass-Part I” the album begins simply enough with a rolling guitar riff that transforms into an 11-minute psychedelic jam then again transforms into something that sounds not like but akin to Carlos Santana jamming with Geezer in ‘Paradox Hourglass-Part II’.

After getting me hooked with the 1st two songs comes a bluesy heavy psych song called ‘Abilene’, followed by my favorite track with it’s Doomaphonic sound ‘Blind Phoenix Rising’. In just four songs Paradox – Hourglass takes you on a journey outside of space and time and into the spirit realm with L’ira Del Baccano’s blend of heavy, psychedelic, and progressive music.  If L’ira Del Baccano continues making albums like Paradox-Hourglass I can easily see them developing a cult following like the Grateful Dead and playing for years.

L’ira Del Baccano is:

Alessandro “Drughito” Santori – guitar/direction and architecture of Baccano
Roberto Malerba – guitar/synth
Sandro “fred” Salvi – drums
Ivan Contini Bacchisio – bass

L’ira Del Baccano Live at the Stoned Hand Of Doom Fest 2009

 

 


GEEZER “Psychoriffadelia” Album Review, Track Stream & Tour Schedule…

GEEZER

Psychoriffadelia – Vinyl // CD // DD

Kozmik Artifactz Records (Europe) and STB Records (US) on June 9th – Vinyl // CD

DD – releases May 19, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

Formed – Fall of 2010

Hometown – Kingston, NY

Current Lineup – Richie (b) / Charles (d) / Pat (g+v)

Previous Releases –

“Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues” (2013) / “Live Full Tilt Boogie” (July 2014) / “Gage” (Sept 2014) / “Long Dull Knife” – digital single (2015) / “S/T” (2016)

REVIEW:   Self described as “Cosmic Stoner Blues” comprised of “Heavy Psychedelic Riff Rock”, this three piece powerhouse is about to blow your mind and speakers in one fell swoop with this latest release of five separate compositions that stand alone and even better as a complete package. For the next 39 minutes of smoke filled vocal lamentations with a guitar slide so smooth, you can hear the blue in the glass as the bottom end rumble gives you that ‘body’ to close your eyes and roll along with each moment, taken along with all of the leading pace of this heavy-hit drumline that has enough perfectly timed fills to satiate the most veracious headbanger.

Jumping out of the gate with a SLAMMING cover of NAZARETH favorite ‘Hair Of The Dog’, GEEZER let us know they are in fine form and ready to kill with this record. Even the lead break is done in true GEEZER fashion foregoing the talk-box for more subtle phrasing and phase shifting to traverse the even darker zone to the anthemic end chorus with a full on power chord finish before the soft, slow fade into ‘Stressknots’ with a low end rumble packed with power punch until a pause…”Big apple sky dreams, make way for lesser things…” and the tone is set for the remainder of what represents the finest work so far with a sense of power and precision brought to the table to delight the faithful and pummel the unknowing with a mastery that has been gained by time spent perfecting their craft.

geezer psycho alt cover

The slow spaced-out fade in of title track ‘Psychoriffadelia’ belies the crushing intent that hits HARD at just under two minutes when the slow-flow tempo takes hold over the SIK-solo laden body of this song.

For 10+ minutes the most delectable notes cascade over each other in the languishing flow of stoner bliss, all the way through the ending that slides effortlessly into ‘Red Hook’ with that smooth as glass transitional repeating note that lends itself right into the melody before that beautiful slide comes back accenting the flavors melting together in your mind. Soft, plush and warming in delivery, this is sand as the summation of a lifetime, in that haunting, delay strewn delivery “I don’t wanna leave, the time ain’t right, got nothing left to put up a fight…”, you feel that grip in your chest and it is perfection. From the endless fade out to the power-keyed fade in of ‘Dirty Penny’ the final shifting of gears is here and there is so much fuzzed-out wah-pedaled thickness in your face as that blues-body is filled with the might of power that these three slather on from head to toe and beyond as “Dirty Penny gets it right every time…”

The production of this in arrangements, clarity of each mix, stepped up production values and even the running order is amazing and allows ‘Psychoriffadelia’ to shine as the diamond in GEEZER’s catalog to this point. BUY THIS RECORD the second you can, share it with everybody and go out and support them LIVE if you get the chance…and keep it LOUD!!

Tour Schedule


Samsara Blues Experiment “One With The Universe” Review & Stream…

Samsara Blues Experiment

One With The Universe – LP // CD // DD

Electric Magic Records in Cooperation with World in Sound Records

Release Date:  Digital Download – April 10th, 2017 // LP & CD Release Date – Mid May 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

Founded: 2007

Band Members:

Christian Peters (guitar, vocal, synth etc.), Hans Eiselt (bass), Thomas Vedder (drums)

Hailing from Germany, or Akasha (Third stone from the Sun) per their FB page, SAMSARA BLUES EXPERIMENT is a three piece band that incorporates a mixture of varying types of musical forms  from stoner rock to psychedelic blues, Indian raga to folk, using this swirling format to create something individual and unique in a world of music that seems littered with so many bands regurgitating so much drivel. SBE has chosen the be the exception and they do not disappoint based on the countless festivals / tours they have undertaken in their almost 10-year history as an entity as well as a plethora of releases that continue to expand on the visions that SBE put forth. Be it studio or live, there is a feeling of ethereal consciousness that begins with the first note and does not waiver until the last note. Spending their time on extensive touring from early in their career, they first hit American shores as early as 2009 and have no plans on changing that edict any time soon. By 2013, SBE released their third album and did it in a big way; their OWN label, Electric Magic. This pending May 2017 release will be offered through this same outlet and the anticipation is staggering with the buzz and sharing around of their previous releases letting more and more know what is looming near for the new fans and dedicated fans alike around the world.

 

Pro Band Pic_B&W

 

Comprised of five new songs with an average run time of just under 10 minutes, not a second seems wasted here from the opening notes of ‘Vipassana’ with all of the cascading notes, the swelling and full bass line to the endless fills and flow of tempo that these three combine in a manner that can only be described as ‘hypnotic and mesmerizing’ at the same time. ‘Sad Guru Returns’ is a track that lets Samsara Blues Experiment build to the pummeling pace that is the body of this track up to just after three minutes in when there is a pause of soft until the pick slides back down Chris’ guitar neck and the pummeling power-chords are back in your face and it is perfection in arrangement for this instrumental offering, the only voices being the inserted excerpts speaking of this generation at the beginning and meditation at the end of… again, perfect in the context of this composition. ‘Glorious Daze’ comes in with a slow fade of a single guitar note followed by Hans’s bassline and a soft-wash cymbal edge from Thomas’ hands continuing with that feel of esoteric awakening as Chris’ voice comes in, describing in his signature timbre this tale of not knowing “What I miss the most about you…” to the muse behind the lyrics that are better heard with your own ears than described further here for the full-effect and immersion into your own perception.

 

Samsara Blues Experiment_Banner

 

Title track, and personal favorite from this album ‘One With The Universe’ clocks in at just over 15 minutes and stands out as the jewel on the crown that this record represents for SBE. A lone guitar and more cymbal washes cascade down the sides of my face as so much mist in a breeze and the urge to close your eyes and float along with the soloing is overpowering as you allow your mind’s eye to truly ‘see’ every word not spoken with a clarity not imagined as possible. The first appearance of any vocal comes at nine minutes in as Chris echoes his guitar progression in a call-and-response manner until Chris’ voice tells us ” I said I want to see you everyday…” and we traverse across time and space in this tale of “All the promises you made…”. The time shift at 10 minutes shifts the pace to a more ‘jazz-filled’ segment complete with what could very well be a mellotron keyboard further filling the lush tapestry as a solo winds out and around as so many branches growing and wrapping around you as the musicianship allows this trio to flex their ever-powerful muscle of mastery that keeps building in intensity to the drum rolling end.

 

 

Closing track ‘Eastern Sun & Western Moon’ is the absolute epitome of what SBE represents themselves to be in that while slower in tempo than the majority of this record, there is still that inherent ‘HEAVY” with the languishing pace that allows for us to breathe deeply and savor each second of the staggering loopy melody that makes up the body of this song. The running order and stellar production values make this truly the BEST offering SO FAR from SAMSARA BLUES EXPERIMENT and helps to further solidify this band as one of the MUST-SEE acts out there and you need to do yourself the favor of diving DEEP into this ‘experiment’ with all of their previous releases as we wait the official release.  Buy the record ASAP and support them live if you get the chance to witness this mastery of sound and story combined!!


Brume – “Rooster” Album Review & Stream…

Brume

Rooster – CD // Cassette // DD

DHU Records & Doom Stew Records – Released April 20, 2017

Reviewed by Santiago “Chags” Gutierrez

 

San Francisco based doom/sludge/psych outfit Brume make a very impressive return with Rooster, a six track monster of an album all but guaranteed to change your perception on how this genre can still be playfully inventive. The band consists of Jamie (ex-Gurt) on guitar, Susie on bass/vocals, and Jordan on drums. Their cohesiveness has grown rather exponentially since their last effort, Donkey, which was already a rather impressive release. This time around, the band chose to work with producer, Billy Anderson. Jaime says he “brought a lot to the table, not just capturing a great sound, but helping us work out vocal melodies and layering.”

Band Pic

 

The album consists of six tracks, all but one clocking in at over seven minutes long. However, the songs on offer here are dynamic and diverse. The kind of songs that do not feel like seven-plus minute songs upon listening. ‘Tradewind’, the final track, being the strongest example of this. There is much depth and contrast encircling this album. The guitar tone on Jamie’s Gibson guitar fits the mood of the record perfectly. Vocally, Susie provides enough personality and heart in these tunes, it is hard not to take notice of her thaumaturgic delivery.

Highlights of the album include the slow burning opener, ‘Grit and Pearls’, which provides a satisfying sludgy introduction to the proceedings that follows along with a strong doom base. ‘Harold’ and ‘Reckon’ continue the magic with a more morose and surreal feel. Mesmerizing to say the least. Have I mentioned Susie’s vocals? Because they are certainly a high point on those tracks. The album closes strong with the much varied and absorbing “Tradewind” which brings all the elements from the previous tracks and encapsulates them all in one epic sounding dirge.

Live Band Shot

If I were to choose one phrase to describe this record, it would be “leaps and bounds”. Cohesiveness, chemistry, songwriting, production…it’s all there. Looking forward to what these guys have in store in the future. In the meantime, I’ll keep enjoying this Rooster ride.


New Album Review – Bask “Ramble Beyond”

BASK

Ramble Beyond – Vinyl // CD // DD // Merch

Self Aware Records – America

This Charming Man Records – UK/EU – Release Date: March 24th, 2017

 

“Letter to the listener:

Progressive; heavy; psychedelic; Americana, have all been used to describe Bask. The truth, we are four musicians based in Asheville, North Carolina who love making music. We want rhythm heard for miles, melodies remembered for weeks and an honesty and sincerity felt to your bones. Most of all we want you to listen without concern for what you are hearing. To listen only for the sake of hearing. Esse Quam Vid”

Pro Band Pic

 

And so was my introduction to BASK a four piece group of individuals that keep to the two guitar / bass/drums formula for pure rock and roll, complete with two part vocals, yet they prefer to refuse any labeling, asking us each to listen for the pleasure of what we are taking in is giving as they weave each of these six compositions together with an ease that makes this second release a gem in and of itself. Scott Middleton , Jesse Van Note , Ray Worth and Zeb Camp make up what is BASK and this six-song offering of 39 minutes of some of the most sonic interlaced meanderings of four energies twisting through time and sound be it the quick fade in of winds stirring skies underneath the trees of ‘Asleep In The Orchard’ before the power chords enter and take you back to the almost dreamy texture as that voice enters describing the fruit hanging around as you close your eyes to see the picture this quartet is painting with lush, lingering strokes that keep you entranced and moving at the same time. ‘A Graceless Shuffle’ comes out with a staggered gallop pace and upbeat yet still rolling along the road type of jaunt with “The paths all closing in” as the tempo shifts to a faster cadence as the shuffle goes on, up until “…the strychnine in my blood.” closes out. ‘In The Black Fir’ begins with that haunting slide that makes your hands grab an air guitar and comes on with that heavy-handed thick chording that drives forward taking you with willingly for the entire seven minute plus opus of our traveler. So many musical textures are contained in this track alone to garner every rock-tag out there and shows exactly why BASK ask you to listen for the sake of the listening itself as they let you savor each flavor as one and a whole, all at once. The dark ominous fade-out is perfection. ‘Kindled Green’ opens cleanly and before you are 30 seconds in, bone-crunching chords are all over you as the clean notes continue in that lofty manner we have come to expect from the first half of this album and then a vocal harmony enters and shows another flavor not expected but full of the savory just the same that washes your palette with a warmth of remembrance and the heavy comes right back to compliment as the vocals echo along in the confines and you grasp each repeat.

 

SelfAwareVinylPromo_original

 

The slowing pace belies the end and then… slow fade in of swirling notes that slip around your feet and slightly bending clear notes take you to ‘The Lonesome Sound’ as the words of life describe us all one at a time and all at once together as one and none at the same time. Slower-paced but ever so heavy and plush and just plain complex that there is no denying this band their own request to listen for the pure joy that listening to this WILL give you regardless of musical preferences. Most bands write the greatest record in their arsenal with the first one, and then they try to recapture whatever they think that one had and a lot really do fail miserably. BASK has done the seeming impossible and come out swinging as a band that appears to have grown and matured to become 300% of what they were with the first release. Closer ‘Mush! Carry Me Home’ perfectly wraps this record with another tale that shows the lyrical majesty that has permeated this one from the front and allows each member to shine as this song brings back around each ingredient that has made this meal so satisfying and wanting even more as the last drops off. If they come anywhere close, you GOTTA GO and support them. I have a feeling it will be one to talk about for years to come if this release is any indication. Get the record and go support!!

 

Words by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr