*This is part of our “Aftershock Festival 2018 Spotlight” where we branch out and focus on some of the up-and-coming bands that fans can see at this year’s Aftershock Festival on October 13th & 14th. This week, we’re checking out ALL THEM WITCHES.*
Bringing their awesome brand of psychedelic/stoner rock to the stage at this year’s Aftershock Festival is Nashville’s own AllThemWitches. Since forming in 2012, the band has been quite prolific with recording. They have four full-length studio albums released – with their recently reviewed self-titled LP set to drop later this month – plus multiple EP’s, live albums, and singles for fans to check out. Their sound often has a retro quality and rawness that allows the music to breathe organically without the filter of flashy studio polish. The stony vibe will have you reaching to turn on your lava lamp and blacklight as you trip out to The Doors-esque, groovy keyboard jams on tracks such as “Fishbelly 86 Onions” from the band’s upcoming album. Continue reading →
Maryland stoner rock band Clutch are releasing a preorder for their upcoming record Book of Bad Decisions. This “Limited Edition Collectors Bundle” includes a rare picture disc LP, flask, flag, shirt, long sleeve and a hatchet with autograph box. That’s right, I said a mother fucking hatchet! These gnarly bundles will be delivered on or before the albums September 7th release date. This bundle can be found on the band’s site. Continue reading →
*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state*
This month’s state is Alabama!
Hey! It’s ‘State Of The Art’ day again, and it’s been a while I have been developing an affinity for stoner metal and rock music lately. Last month, I brought to you Louisiana’s absolute bonkers band MARSand today I continue my spree of stoner metal bands. This month we have Alabama as the SOTA state and I present to you STONED COBRA, arguably the best stoner metal/rock band from the Yellowhammer state. Emancipate yourself from all of the Monday blues stress, sit back, hit a joint and start medicating yourself with some good, heavy and raw STONED COBRA.
Formed in North Carolina in 2001, the riff-fueled, distortion-driven rockers ASG have re-emerged with their six-full length and first new album in five years, ‘Survive Sunrise‘. The album – which is out today on Relapse Records – further expands upon ASG’s trademark blend of heavy, southern-fried, alt-rock fury and infectious, hook-centric accessibility. With unabashedly hooky vocals, evocative lyrics and well-honed musical chops, ASG create soaring, melodic rock anthems with a sunny, colorful vibe that are reminiscent of the album’s electrifying cover art, designed by Malleus (Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, The Melvins). ‘Survive Sunrise‘ is the perfect summertime hard rock album, one that rocks with wild abandon and will burrow into your head for years to come.
Ain’t No Shame, the eagerly anticipated second full-length from Norwegian trio Friendship, should be classified as a mood-enhancing substance. The first time I heard it, it pulled me out of the kind of piss-poor headspace that can only come from five hours cooped up in a car with two cranky children and an more than exasperated spouse. I was actually a little nervous to hit play that first time, for fear that my mental and physical exhaustion might negatively color my feeling toward the material. But by the end of the Monkees-and-Cream-playing-Cheap Trick opener “Are You Ready,” I was grinning ear to ear. Somewhere in the middle of the jazzy delight “Harmony Turns to Sound,” my dopey grin turned to slack-jawed awe. And within three seconds of the stomping funk-rock romp “Fire,” I actually laughed out loud from the combination of amazement and joy. I went to bed that night with a smile on my face and a sense of contentment in my heart, and I have Fredrik Skalstad (drums & lead vocals), Martin Morland (bass), and Sander Eriksen Nordahl (guitar) (along with their litany of guest musicians) to thank for that. It brought me up when I was down, and there’s not too many higher accolades than that.
The surest way to stand out in a bleak and dour world? Be a beacon of light. With their matching white outfits, recurring rainbow motifs, and a fully-formed and realized rock band-as-hippie love sect mythos, Nottingham-based occult rock septet Church of the Cosmic Skull have done a more-than-admirable job setting themselves apart from the seemingly endless parade of monsters and demons and scowling young men in varying shades of black that populate today’s heavy rock scene. Their aesthetic is so refined and so well-structured, in fact, that at first glance some folks may be inclined to immediately dismiss the group out of hand as a mere novelty act or an elaborate joke. Those folks would being doing themselves a grave disservice, however, because here’s the thing: Church of the Cosmic Skull is one of the best bands in the world of retro-rock, and with their absolutely breathtaking six-part harmonies, they may be the most singular unit out there. Nobody else sounds like this. Their debut album, 2016’s Is Satan Real?, is one of the best records I’ve heard since I started writing for Metal Nexus last summer. Their newest, Science Fiction, is even better.
Ruben Romano has a rock and roll pedigree that can stand alongside the very best. As a founding member of both Fu ManchuandNebula (let that sink in for a second, why don’tcha?), Romano helped draw up the plans and build the framework that stoner rock hangs on to this very day. He’s spent the last decade-plus as frontman and guiding force for L.A. based psych-rockers The Freeks, piloting their trips-‘n’-riffs-fueled funny car further and further into the cosmic realm; their newest dispatch Crazy World (released via the ever-reliable Heavy Psych Sounds) is the sound of the band-in-residency at the Garage at the Edge of the Universe, a jubilantly strident “Fuck You” in the face of oblivion.
Belgian/Dutch power trio RRRags came together a mere eight months ago, but the songs on their self-titled debut sound like the work of a band that’s been at this rock and roll game for years and years. The band’s musical telepathy is remarkably refined, and the songs are both well-crafted and catchy as all hell. They hit hard without ever plodding, emphasizing groove and atmosphere over sheer brute strength and mixing their upbeat stoner vibe with flashes of soul, funk, southern rock, and power pop. RRRags are obviously true believers and lifelong devotees, my friends, and they’ve conjured up a slab of classic rock for the here and now.
The latest release from Cologne, Germany’s Mouth, the intoxicating Floating, marks the group as one of the most unique and singular in the wide world of retro rock. Like the very best of the genre, they take a pile of classic influences and combine them into something fresh and new and vital. A vibrantly kaleidoscopic blend of prog, pop, krautrock, and psych that pulses and throbs with a bright, crackling electricity, Floating clearly displays the musical telepathy the trio have developed in their near-twenty year existence. The eight songs here offer the full range of sonic experience, intricate structures and full, lush orchestration combining with joyful exuberance and rock-solid musicianship to make Floating one of the most rewarding listens you’ll have this year.
The third release from Norwegian quintet Kosmik Boogie Tribe, We’re Not Here to Fuck Spiders, is an incendiary slab of no-bullshit, gutbucket rock n’ roll. True to its title, it’s not here to fuck around, it’s here to get the job done, and that job just so happens to be whooping your ass. Eight songs in a shade over a half-hour, and it barely slows down to take a breath from sonically punching you repeatedly in the face and gut. No time is wasted on current events or social commentary, or hackneyed relationship analyses or sad-sack treatises on man’s inhumanity to man; instead, the primary themes here seem to be getting fucked up and fucking shit up. Raw-boned and roughly hewn, We’re Not Here to Fuck Spiders is the sound of a band for whom making a record and making a racket are the same damn thing.