*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Wisconsin.*
Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, HighGallows brings bluesy stoner rock with a guitar tone filthier than month-old bong water. Consisting of Shawn (vocals), Tim (guitar), Louie (guitar), Josh (bass), and Jon (drums), the underground quintet just finished up their stint on the BlackMagicFlowerPower tour with BlackPussy and released their debut album, ‘Hymns in the House of Son’ earlier this year. The album takes the listener on a sonic trip through the murky swamps of the psyche while channeling a similar doom and smoke-filled haze of BlackSabbath and ElectricWizard. It’s mostly a slow to mid-tempo, riff-heavy ride with vocals reminiscent of a more soulful, grittier Buzz Osbourne (Melvins). Continue reading →
Since forming in 2012, AllThemWitches has been bringing their awesome brand of psychedelic/stoner rock via prolific studio time and live performances. They have four full-length studio albums available – with their recently reviewed self-titled LP just released – 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. Continue reading →
Stoner rock fans across North America will have reason to rejoice in March 2019, when English horror-psych mavens Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats join forces with Swedish retro-rockers Graveyard for a co-headlining jaunt dubbed the “Peace Across the Wasteland” tour. Ticket pre-sales for the nineteen-date tour, which kicks off at Philadelphia’s Union Transfer on March 6 and runs through March 30 at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, begin October 24, with the general on-sale beginning two days later.
In addition to having a keenly honed knack for riff-driven/pop-tinged sugar-and-sludge psychedelia, Kevin Starrs does atmosphere better than anybody working in heavy music today. As creative force and sole constant member of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, his albums play like 70mm cult horror classics bootlegged onto well-worn VHS cassettes, casting their cathode ray glow over otherwise darkened bedrooms. The colors are vibrant but washed-out, it’s warbly and more than a little distorted, the on-screen movements leave tracers, and the whole thing has just enough fuzz and static on it to seem genuinely creepy. Acid-steeped, with a heavy dose of psychopaths, brainwashers, and a ready steady flow of that red red kroovy, the Uncle Acid canon is a grindhouse marathon for the mind’s eye. The latest opus from Starrs and Co., Wasteland, brings the “post-apocalyptic dystopia” genre into the oeuvre, a tale of walled cities, mindless masses, piped-in propaganda, and hidden computer discs filled with long-forgotten memories and perhaps the keys to freedom. The premise may sound prog, but the execution is blessedly pure classic rock hesh.
*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.