Archive for the ‘High On Fire’ Category

Two Minutes with Reaving

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Ahead of their spot supporting High On Fire at the Kings Arms in Auckland on February 23, we spend a couple of minutes with Reaving and find out what’s up…

Describe your music in five words or less.
Riff. Solo. Riff. Solo. Riff.

What’s going on in the world of Kyzer Soze?
Opening for one of our favourite bands High On Fire (fuck yeah!) which is huge for us — Matt Pike is a big reason why we started this band. We’re also playing at our favourite penis-themed festival WoodCock in Tauranga and then on to recording our first full length album and hitting the road to tour it later in the year.

What motivates you to make music?
Musical exploration and the lengths to which you can take an idea, hanging with your buddies and drinking lots of beers. Hey that rhymed! We should start writing lyrics.

What have been the high and low points of your musical experiences so far?
I guess the only low points we can think of are hitting creative road blocks but generally it’s just a passing thing and if you just keep your head down and bum up they are easy enough to get through. Also we’ve had a few run-ins with shifty people who have ripped us off and not met commitments but if you’ve played music long enough it seems par for the course. Having thick skin and learning from those experiences is the only way forward.

High points would be getting a last-minute call up to open for Red Fang and Beastwars! Along with the many long drives gigging around NZ and a collaboration project we did with artist Alex Bartlett at The Experiment, a multimedia arts festival that went off without a hitch even though it easily could not have. Taking risks and things miraculously working is what music is all about. Always take the risk.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
Bowie (sobs), Mastodon, Elder, Metz, Yob, Bespin, Ghostface Killah (with badbadnotgood), Between The Buried And Me, CONAN, Fuzz, and Mahavishnu Orchestra.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which member of the band would get eaten first? And why?
Our dear leader Winston in his communist wisdom would have us all chop an arm off and redistribute them evenly (i.e. mostly to himself).

Here’s an opportunity to bitch about something, whether music related or not. What really pisses you off?
We couldn’t come up with a general consensus of what pisses us off so individually:
Taman is pissed off so often he’s not sure specifically what he’s pissed off about.
Alex: When you have a shower and have to poo straight after. It can really ruin your day.
Winston: The exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie.

You’re putting together your perfect gig featuring NZ artists. Who would you get to play and where? Feel free to include acts/DJs/bands/venues that no longer exist.
It would be a summer festival at Tahaki Reserve which is a little natural amphitheatre at the bottom of Mt Eden. We’d play nice and early so we could drink beers and get wasted to see our favourite live bands and ones that are long gone. In no particular order:
Mountaineater, Black Science, The Mint Chicks, The 3Ds , Shoutin Preachin, Human Instinct, Greenfog, Ticket, The Ladedas, Triumphs, Into Orbit, Bespin, Dhdfds, Hiboux, Down The Hatch, Mason Clinic, Stonedogs, Husk, Bloodnut, God Bows To Math, Jakob, The Phoenix Foundation, Slavetrader, Parents, Shitripper, Gundry Blues, PCP Eagles, Bloodbags, Lost Rockets, His Masters Voice, Diving, Threat Meat Protocol, Connan Mockasin, Spook the Horses, X-Ray Fiends…Damn there has been and is a lot of good music to come out of this country. I could keep going but the festival would have to be a two-dayer.

Two Minutes with Kyzer Soze

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Ahead of their spot supporting High On Fire at Brisbane’s Crowbar on February 21, we spend a couple of minutes with Kyzer Soze and find out what’s up…

Describe your music in five words or less.
Death metal.

What’s going on in the world of Kyzer Soze?
Writing new material and playing shows.

What motivates you to make music?
Creating something that makes you feel, we all love music as listeners. The journey you take when you write a song, that gives you chills, it a great feeling. The adrenaline from playing live shows is a very strong drug. You can’t get enough of it.

What have been the high and low points of your musical experiences so far?
Highs would be supporting The Black Dahlia Murder and At The Gates last year; lows would be losing money, but that’s just about every band these days.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
Rivers Of Nihil’s new album Monarchy, Black Crown Initiate, the new Cattle Decapitation, Inferi, The Black Dahlia Murder, Blood Red Throne and always Behemoth.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which member of the band would get eaten first? And why?
Roine, he’s the only one with enough meat on him to make a decent roast.

Here’s an opportunity to bitch about something, whether music related or not. What really pisses you off?
When people say: “The scene is dead maaaaaaaaan.” Fuck off, go to a show and check out some new bands. We have some of the best new bands in the world, so stop being lazy you dickheads.

You’re putting together your perfect gig featuring Australian artists. Who would you get to play and where? Feel free to include acts/DJs/bands/venues that no longer exist.
I would love to see AC/DC play with Portal. Psycroptic can open and it will be at Lang Park. Bring some black metal to the masses.

Two Minutes With YLVA

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Ahead of their opening spot for High On Fire at Max Watt’s Melbourne on February 19, we spend a couple of minutes with YLVA and find out what’s up…

Describe your music in five words or less.
Heavy metal.

What’s going on in the world of YLVA?
We are currently working on material for our first album.

What motivates you to make music?
Collectively and personally, I would say the motivations are many and varied. We are all ‘lifers’ in playing music/being in bands. It would be a safe bet to say that the main motivations are the same as most people who spend their life dabbling in the arts long after the glory of their 20s is gone.

What have been the high and low points of your musical experiences so far?
YLVA has played one show so far. Our current track record is without flaw.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
As I type I’m listening to Earth. As I can’t speak for the other guys, this week (it is only Wednesday at the time of writing) I’ve had a pretty good diet of Judas Priest, Sunn O))), Kowloon Walled City, Fugazi, Songs:Ohia and a bunch of Muddy Waters.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which member of the band would get eaten first? And why?
Mike for sure. He is usually mildly sick or tired. There is not much meat on him though, he would be a shitty meal.

Here’s an opportunity to bitch about something, whether music related or not. What really pisses you off?
People. Generally speaking.

You’re putting together your perfect gig featuring New Zealand artists. Who would you get to play and where? Feel free to include acts/DJs/bands/venues that no longer exist.
It would be ChristBait, a young AC/DC, Further, SPOD, The Nation Blue, early 70s Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Damaged and Little Ugly Girls playing at The Punters Club.

And The Rest of the Best of 2015

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

We close out our 2015 end-of-year list-a-thon with contributions from LIFE IS NOISE friends and contributors Sally Townsend, Louis Dunstan, Liam Matthews and Gram the Son of Sam.

Sally Townsend, Perth-based music photographer
I am a lover of music first of all, and firmly believe in supporting live music and local artists. I will travel for the indescribable magic that is live performance, and am trying to capture it the best I can with my camera. I’m a riff-worshipping, doom-loving, dedicated listener and participant in both the local and international heavy music scenes. There was too much good stuff released this year, so it seemed fitting to do a top 15 for 2015. In no particular order…

Bell Witch – Four Phantoms

High On Fire — Luminiferous

Windhand — Grief’s Infernal Flower

Uncle Acid — The Night Creeper

With The Dead — With The Dead

Dopethrone — Hochelaga

Monolord — Vaenir

Elder — Lore

Blackout — Blackout

Watchtower — Radiant Moon EP

Chelsea Wolfe — Abyss

Cult Of Occult — Five Degrees Of Insanity

Space Bong — Deadwood To Worms

Holy Serpent — Holy Serpent

Deafheaven — New Bermuda

Louis Dunstan (EXTORTION/Big Bread)

1. Ghost — Meliora

2. High On Fire — Luminiferous

3. Drowning Horse — Sheltering Sky

4. Tame Impala — Currents

5. Napalm Death — Apex Predator/Easy Meat

6. John Carpenter — Lost Themes

7. Jaakko Eino Kalevi — Jaakko Eino Kalevi

8. Elder — Lore

9. Ufomammut — Ecate

10. Ahab — The Boats of Glen Craig

Liam Matthews (Fourteen Nights At Sea, Old Bar/Public Bar, Melbourne)

1. Godspeed You! Black Emperor — Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

2. Hope Drone — Cloak Of Ash

3. Self Defence Family — Heaven Is Earth

4. Deafheaven — New Bermuda

5. Nadia Reid — Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs

6. Luke Howard – Two & One

7. Mogwai — Central Belters

8. Mares — Mares

9. Closer — Heartache/Lifted

10. The Electric Guitars — The Electric Guitars

Gram the Son of Sam’s top Oz doom, occult and stoner of 2015

1. Witchskull – The Vast Electric Dark

2. Tarot – The Warrior’s Spell

3. Aver – Nadir

4. Hydromedusa – Hydromedusa

5. Space Bong – Deadwood to Worms

6. Seedy Jeezus – Seedy Jeezus

7. Watchtower – Radiant Moon

8. Roundtable – Dread Marches Under Bloodied Regalia

9. Drowning Horse – Sheltering Sky

10. Little Desert – Saeva (This could have been #1 but just not enough time to shine)

Jack Midalia’s Top 10 Albums of 2015

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

10. Sunn O))) — Kannon
Consider this a provisional tenth place for Sunn O))), as I still haven’t had the chance to listen to Kannon on a sound system large enough to do it justice. But I can tell already it’s got everything you’d want in a Sunn O))) album — a whole pile of dark, intense drone, with a sense of focus and purpose often missing from the genre. Kannon is a relatively short work, but it still feels like an epic journey from start to finish.

9. Fourteen Nights At Sea — Minor Light
Alternating between soaring noise and sparse, beautifully textured ambience, Minor Light is another staggeringly fine piece of work from Melbourne’s Fourteen Nights At Sea. I’ve frequently put this album on in the background while working, only to find myself just staring off into space, transfixed. As well as impeccable production, Minor Light’s real strength is the sense of restraint found throughout; everything on the album is essential. A brilliant recording.

8. Kurt Vile — b’lieve i’m goin down…
Kurt Vile’s sixth record, b’lieve i’m goin down…, doesn’t exactly reinvent the KV wheel. Having said that, the usual elements work together perfectly here to create a little gem of an album. The usual reverbed fingerpicking guitar is pretty constant throughout b’lieve, with the pace and intensity changing depending on the mood. Vile’s voice seems to be getting better with age, sounding fuller and richer, while maintaining its distinctive slacker drawl. A wonderful slow burning record to add to a rapidly growing catalogue of excellence.

7. Mount Eerie — Sauna
Despite being released in February, I still feel like there’s a world hidden within Sauna that I’m yet to discover (a song like “Turmoil”, for example, is a simple, straightforward song imbued through its instrumentation with a sense of uneasy depth). There’s the usual juxtaposition of traditional folk and almost-noise, and experimentation that works together to create a beautiful, haunting and mysterious world. One well worth exploring.

6. High On Fire — Luminiferous
A flat out awesome, conspiracy-filled riff-fest… what’s not to love about High On Fire’s latest record, Luminiferous? There’s been a lot of attention on the Icke-influenced lyrics that fill Luminiferous, but nowhere near enough attention on just how much of a brilliant, perfectly-produced album this is.

5. Elder — Lore
Elder’s brand of doom-tinged psych is on excellent display on Lore. From the sly nod to “Immigrant Song” of opening track “Compendium”, Lore expertly walks the fine line between hypnotic repetition and monotony. There’s a dynamic typical of heavy three-pieces that can sometimes prevent the emergence of depth and texture. Elder avoid this, imbuing their tracks with a sense of space at some times, as well as a sense of balls-out rock at others. Lore is an impressive record for such a young band — one that promises much in the future.

4. Low — Ones and Sixes
Forgive me if I don’t sound enthused about this record. It’s not that it isn’t great (it is), or that Low are just going through the motions (they’re not). It’s just that the band are such a reliable producer of ridiculously good records, that I always have a certain amount of an “oh, another masterpiece… yawn” attitude for Low releases. That being said, Ones and Sixes takes everything you’re used to from the Minnesotans (breathtaking sparsity, chilling harmonies), but with a focus, clarity and added intensity from their recent output.

3. Drowning Horse — Sheltering Sky
Another example of a band in 2015 that took a stunning live sound and perfectly translated this to record. I’m going to skip any attempt to describe Sheltering Sky, and just link to The Black Captain’s perfect review.

2. We Lost The Sea — Departure Songs
I’ve had the privilege of seeing We Lost The Sea a few times this year, and they’ve completely blown me away every time. There’s plenty of Australian acts, however, that can pull it off live but not lack something on record. No such problem here. With Departure Songs, We Lost The Sea have eschewed the usual tired post-rock tropes and created something uniquely brilliant and beautifully poignant.

1. Sufjan Stevens — Carrie and Lowell
I love pretty much everything Sufjan Stevens has done, but Carrie and Lowell might be his masterpiece. The record finds Sufjan in stripped-back mode and makes you realise what makes him such a great artist — it’s not the bold production choices or layering, it’s just simple, well written songs and an instantly recognisable, beautiful and stark voice.

Despite the fact that the world can be a dark place (and this record does go to numerous places lacking in any light), the fact that the darkness can spawn such incredible beauty as Carrie and Lowell is, at least, a small comfort.

Dave Cutbush’s Top 10 Albums of 2015

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

LIFE IS NOISE’s head honcho shares his favourite releases from 2015, with Elder, High On Fire and Shlohmo among the year’s best.

10. Sunn O))) – Kannon
The drone giants Sunn O))) return in 2015 with another crushing display in the form of Kannon. It is heavy, it is slow, it is fearful and it is imposing. My only criticism is that it is a little short. I wanted more than just the three songs. Who knows, perhaps this is just a tease for another Sunn O))) album in 2016. After all, six years is too long to wait for such epic majesty.

9. Echoes of Yul – The Healing
The Black Captain introduced me to Polish act Echoes of Yul. Ever since I have loved their work. You can read The Black Captain’s review here. I love the dreamy dark quality of this record. It is a melancholic masterpiece.

8. Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower
Windhand return with the their third record Grief’s Infernal Flower. As heavy as ever and featuring the hauntingly beautiful vocals of Dorthia Cottrell, Windhand have a great balance between the depth and crushing on one had and the ethereal and haunting on the other. Grief’s Infernal Flower is a consistently good album and confirms Windhand’s pre-eminence in the worldwide doom revival.

7. Church – Unanswered Hymns
My favourite debut album of the year came out of the blue from Church (or Chrch as they are now known). Unanswered Hymns has a musical bed of depravity and destruction with vocals that sound like a demon sacrificing a virgin on a satanic altar on top. An occult masterpiece from these Californian natives.

6. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
Sufjan returns to his folk roots on record number seven. He gets to me when he is super sad, and on this album he is at times at his most serenely melancholic. ‘Should Have Known Better’ is my favourite in this respect. It is what folk music should be and most often isn’t. Stripped away from the overburdening production of previous work, Carrie and Lowell gets down to basics. It has beautiful melodies and thought provoking lyrics. Dare I say it — a return to form for Stevens.

5. Ahab – The Boats of Glen Carrig
Funeral doom/nautical doom/progressive rock/post-rock whatever. The Boats of Glen Carrig may be an interesting fusion of styles packaged in their ever expanding worlds of boats and krakens and wrecks but when you boil it down it is just a great heavy record. Super riffs aplenty, great clean vocals and brutal growls. Super catchy in a destructive way.

4. Drowning Horse – Sheltering Sky
The latest Drowning Horse album is totally crushing. Read The Black Captain’s review here. No other words need be spoken.

3. Shlohmo – Dark Red
Shlohmo is a consistently amazing electronic producer. His latest album Dark Red is no exception to this. He inhabits a dark and weird world most of today’s beatmakers dare not inhabit. But the final word on this should come from the press release for the album, where we are told Dark Red would sound like “if Electric Wizard tried to make an R&B record, or if Boards of Canada met Burzum by the River Styx” – maybe not true but certainly an interesting concept.

2. High On Fire – Luminiferous

Lyrically mind-altering and musically earth-shattering, the latest effort from High on Fire is another pummelling journey from the metal three-piece and a great addition to their great catalogue. All members are in great form. Des Kensel’s drumming is relentless, Jeff Matz’ bass work is as always without fault and team leader Matt Pike’s vocals and guitar work have reached a new pinnacle. But with all the Motorhead-style fast fury, it is the slower tracks that stand out for me. ‘The Falconist’ has a sneering menace, while ‘The Cave’ is the standout for me. High on Fire have developed as a band with Luminiferous. There is power aplenty but listen further and you can reach other dimensions.

1. Elder – Lore
In 2015 nothing beat the power riffs and melodic mastery of Lore from Massachusetts band Elder. It is a tip of the hat to the iconic rock legends of the 70s but Lore is a furious modern stoner take on all things psych and doom. I love how Elder meld various passages in their songs so seamlessly. At times monolithic and bludgeoning and at others beautiful and delicate, Lore is impressive from first to last listen. It’s an album I have punished but continues to give me great joy every time I put it on. Thanks Elder – you just keep getting better.

Honourable Mentions
Vhol – Deeper Than Sky
Glowsun – Beyond the Wall of Time
Hope Drone – Cloak of Ash
Sumac – The Deal
Dungen – Allas Sak
Bell Witch – Four Phantoms
Tangled Thoughts of Leaving – Yield to Despair
Kowloon Walled City — Grievances
We Lost The Sea – Departure Songs
Ecstatic Vision – Sonic Praise
Built to Spill – Untethered Moon
Fourteen Nights at Sea – Minor Light
Joanna Newsom – Divers
Wrekmeister Harmonies – Night of Your Ascension

Alex Gillies’ Top 10 Albums of 2015

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

The next instalment in our end-of-year wrap-up comes from Alex Gillies, of No Anchor, Grieg and A Savage God.

1. Baroness – Purple
Very few bands in the world that can make heavy and beautiful mix seamlessly. The newly rebuilt Baroness have done that refining the melodrama and further defining the possibilities of their brand of metal.

2. Sumac – The Deal
Old Man Gloom/Russian Circles/Baptists all rolled into one lumbering mental-case of musical gristle.

3. High On Fire – Luminiferous
Returning with an even better dosage of the riff-filled metal that brought them this far.

4. Deafheaven – New Bermuda
A stronger, tighter and more ferocious blend of blasts and atmospherics. The old guard still hate it but this sounds like the future.

5. Drowning Horse – Sheltering Sky
Doom metal done right. Bleak and barren songs pushing you along like a slow march to hell.

6. Hope Drone – Cloak Of Ash
Like Deafheaven, a new generation pushing the boundaries of metal’s blackness and sophistication.

7. Built To Spill – Untethered Moon
The indie stalwarts’ latest incarnation of Neil Young-styled guitar squall. Made more so by singer Doug Marsh’s unique cathartic philosophical meanderings.

8. Torche – Restarter
Metal that makes you feel a million bucks! Crushing riffs, caustic melodies and a beautiful taste for the absurd.

9. Last Chaos – Only Fit For Ghosts
Raging Japanese-style hardcore punk from Brisbane that’s kicking teeth in left right and centre.

10. Yukon Dreams – Little Worlds
Dark twilight songs from Pall of Black Heart Procession, filled with musical saw and sung from the bottom of a whisky glass.

Noiseweek: Dave Hill on High on Fire, Dumbsaint, Mess + Noise, Battles and more

Friday, August 7th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


Steel for Brains is closing at the end of the year.
In a Facebook post earlier this week, music critic Jonathan K. Dick revealed that he’ll be shuttung down the amazing metal publication he started three years ago. Dick — whose writing credits include NPR, Pitchfork and SPIN — suffered a setback with his work earlier this year following the health problems of a family member, slowing down Steel for Brains’ production schedule in the process. There’s also a Steel for Brains book in the work, combining interviews from the website as well as unpublished material. In the meantime, if you’re looking for some heavy weekend reading, head on over.


Dave Hill Talks High on Fire and Keeping It Goddamn Heavy | The Talkhouse

“For the uninitiated/fucking stupid, High on Fire has been a 100% reliable resource for Viking-worthy heavy metal Armageddon played by goddamn men since 1998, when main High on Fire dude Matt Pike rose up from the ashes of his other awesome band Sleep like some sort of shirt-hating phoenix to form yet another one of the greatest bands of all time. Ever since then, I and a lot of other people have turned to them for our recommended daily allowance of face-melting heavy music that makes you want get on the back of a horse with a torch in one hand and the reins in the other and give everyone in the nearest Burger King parking lot a fucking night that will haunt them for weeks. In short, they are the best.”

What Went Wrong at Mess + Noise? | The Daily Review

“Mess + Noise covered all the music that the rest wouldn’t touch. Along the way, it provided an important early platform for some of Australia’s best music writers — including Kate Hennessy of Fairfax and The Guardian Australia, and former M+N editor Doug Wallen, who has more bylines than you can poke a stick at. Anwen Crawford, pop music columnist at The New Yorker and The Monthly, once wrote for Mess + Noise under the pseudonym “Emmy Hennings”.
Moreover, the magazine (Mess + Noise began life in 2005 as a bimonthly print publication) nurtured a vibrant grassroots community — one that most Australians are probably unaware of, but which is celebrated the world over.
That’s probably the most staggering thing about the website’s sudden halt: Australian music has never been so healthy, nor so popular — from the DIY and punk scene in the nation’s capital to Sydney garage, Perth psych pop and the extraordinary energy coming out of Brisbane and Melbourne. Our underground artists feature on some of the most forward-thinking music websites across the net. Perhaps a savvy, homegrown, youth-focused publisher could find a way to exploit that kind of cultural capital …”

It’s Time to Put our Cameras Away | Pitchfork

“Sadly, memory-making as visual bootlegging is now wholly a part of the live music experience and it has been since the advent of smartphones. Watching people not watch, or watch through their screens, or simply hit record and clumsily loft the phone above them—what’s the purpose? To remember for all time? To share the experience? What friend is going to be impressed or even have the patience to watch a barely focused video shot from hundreds of feet away, the audio blown out, the shouted-along chorus of the superfan in seat 78JJ muting the band itself?
It’s time we stopped being so tolerant of these serial snappists.”


Black Wing — Death Sentences

Black Wing is all bombast and cascading synths on the second cut from …Is Doomed. Dan Barrett opts to let his voice sit low in the mix largely untouched by effects in the track’s earlier moments as he deadpans about heartbreak and words unsaid, before reverb consumes everything as the song climaxes. Black Wing Is Doomed is out through The Flenser on September 25.

Dumbsaint — Panorama, in ten pieces.

The new Dumbsaint is out today and is now streaming in full on Bandcamp. As with their past releases, the album features an accompanying full-length film component, a portion of which is also viewable on their Bandcamp page. Dumbsaint sound more confident on Panorama, embracing the anthemic and imbuing their sound with more cathartic, explosive post-metal tendencies than their past releases. It’s a kinetic and frenetic record that progresses from movement to movement without warning, and sure to be a hell of a trip live.


Fridey at the Hydey

The 2013 documentary on the grimy North Perth haunt the Hyde Park Hotel is now available online. Now a swanky restaurant-and-bar, the Hydey was a rock ‘n’ roll institution for grimy punk and rock ‘n’ roll up until it closed for renovations and a rebranding in early 2010. Fridey at the Hydey interviews the people behind the venue and the scenes in a eulogy to one of Perth’s most beloved live music spaces.

Battles — The Yabba (live)

Battles continue their hype for record #3 La Di Da Di with a live performance of The Yabba, a nervous and jaunty cut from the new record. This panoramic video is excerpted from a larger performance the trio recorded and broadcast on YouTube for 24 hours earlier this week. La Di Da Di is out September 18 through Warp.

Noiseweek: We Lost the Sea, Sunn O)), High on Fire and more

Friday, June 12th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


Sunn O)) have launched a new Bandcamp page to document their live recordings. The collection spans from 2002 up to their most recent UK run last month, with each show going for $5 a pop.


Buzz Osborne tore into the latest contribution to the Kurt Cobain mythos at The Talkhouse last week, calling Montage of Heck “90%” bullshit. Now Osborne has elaborated on his critique in an interview with Riff You, questioning why people would ever believe Courtney Love and claiming people’s incredulity towards his position stems from his lack of wealth: “One of the biggest problems I’ve had with this scenario is that I am not really rich. If I was really rich, the respect with that would come…people would believe me more. Because I’m not, they don’t believe me. So be it. That’s 100% the truth. If people think I am gaining something from this, they’re out of their minds.”


High on Fire Talk Aliens, Acid and Why New Album ‘Doesn’t Suck’ | Rolling Stone

“I read a David Icke book, and it kind of woke me up a little bit. It doesn’t mean that I believe everything David Icke has to say, but I definitely don’t disagree with the guy when it comes to certain esoteric aspects of how I perceive the world. There’s too many credible people who have been abducted by aliens. There’s too many things that have been written in ancient scrolls and ancient tablets, things that Zecharia Sitchin brought to light. I’ve been to Peru, I’ve been to Egypt… a civilization builds ziggurats and pyramids that we couldn’t build today, and you’re going to tell me that they used stone-age building materials? It doesn’t make any sense. There’s a lost history of mankind; I find it fascinating, and I tend to sing about it.”

Mark Kozelek and Feminist Guilt: Why I Won’t Boycott Sun Kil Moon | SPIN

“So, what do I do now that Kozelek has directed his infamous ire at a peer? Am I supposed to be surprised? I’m not. I didn’t need a chauvinistic email to reveal it. But are the events of the last week — year, even — supposed to make me cut ties with Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon indefinitely? Is it my duty to embargo his music as a woman?”

Music Festivals in Your Thirties | The New Yorker

“St. Vincent opens her show with an announcement read by a Siri-like computer voice stating, “Please refrain from capturing your digital experience.”
Twenty-year-old me thinks, “Boo! How am I supposed to enjoy this show if I can’t hold up my phone to record it, thereby blocking everyone’s view, and then never watch it again?!”
Thirty-year-old me thinks, “Sensible and pragmatic. I approve.””


We Lost the Sea — A Gallant Gentleman

The first track from We Lost the Sea’s third album opens like the beginning of a eulogy — somber, reflective and reverent, with gentle guitars that ripple like breaks in still water. But what emerges as the track unfurls is triumphant, as choral harmonies breathe vitality into the song’s earnest tones, and before long this is not a eulogy but a celebration of life and triumph and, quite simply, one of the most moving pieces of post-rock I’ve ever heard. A naive reading would suggest this is a tribute to the band’s late frontman, Chris Torpy — in any case, it’s a remarkable deployment of post-rock’s sensibilities and an exciting preview of what’s to come. Departure Songs is out July 23 through Art as Catharsis.

Goatsound Studios cover Black Flag’s Damaged

Last month, Jason PC Fuller of Melbourne’s Goatsound Studios / The Ruiner gathered together 15 artists to reinterpret Black Flag’s Damaged to benefit Sea Shepherd. That collection is now available on Bandcamp under pay-what-you-want pricing, though aficionados are encouraged to donate as all proceeds go to Sea Shepherd. The collection includes a rare vocal performance from Hotel Wrecking City Traders on “Thirsty and Miserable,” a plodding sludge cover of “Police Story” from The Ruiner, a ball-busting rendition of “Gimmie Gimme Gimmie” thanks to Acid Vain and contributions from The Kill, The Sure Fire Midnights, Watchtower and more.


Jerusalem In My Heart — If He Dies, If If If If If If

The next release from Constellation Records is the second record from Jerusalem In My Heart, a transcontinental, multi-lingual collaboration between Radwan Ghazi Moumneh and Charles-André Coderre. Much of the Constellation Records catalogue remains mysterious to me, owing to the diversity and multi-disciplinarian tendencies of its various artists, but there’s a beauty in that mystery in this age of knowledge. The above teaser is unsettling but fascinating and ties into Coddere’s visual art practise, which involves re-photographing images and chemically treating them. If He Dies… is out through Constellation on September 4.

FÓRN — Suffering in the Eternal Void

In an act of ultimate doom, funeral sludge outfit FÓRN played a show in a cave, and yesterday, they released their entombed performance as the official video for Suffering in the Eternal Void. Unsurprisingly, the acoustics in a cave are awful, but the visual document is compelling — how many people can say they’ve played in a fucking cave?

Noiseweek: 13th Floor Elevators, High on Fire, Methyl Ethyl and Todd Tobias

Friday, May 15th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


The Bakery held its final show on Saturday, celebrating its last day with a ridiculously stacked 14-hour extravaganza. (How fucking good were The Wednesday Society? My god.) It’s a huge loss for Perth music and it’ll be a long time before another space emerges to fill the void, but there’s some good venue news on the Western front (for once). Plans are in motion for a new music space in Wolf Lane in a room that formerly housed a manufacturing base for fashion retailer Pierucci. You can follow updates on The Sewing Room — which has just lodged its plans with the City of Perth — on Facebook.


Pitchfork and others are reporting that prolific D.C. noise rock duo Royal Trux are set to return for LA festival Berserkertown in August. So far it’s the only date for the two-piece who broke up in 2001


In yet more reunion news, Blabbermouth is reporting that Phil Anselmo’s Superjoint Ritual are set to tour the US, according to a recent interview from drummer José Manuel Gonzales. The thrash outfit broke up in 2004 before reuniting for a one-off performance at Housecore Horror Film Festival in October last year. Anselmo had previously insisted that the show would be the band’s only time sharing the stage together — despite insisting years prior that a reunion was an impossibility — adding further proof that every single goddamn band in the world members who are breathing and at least half a dozen fans will reunite at some point. Superjoint Ritual are set to play Hellfest in June.


Ask Andrew W.K.: ‘How Do I Become A Successful Musician?’ | The Village Voice

“The traditional modern concept of success — being the measurement of monetary income as the primary indicator of effort and mastery in a certain field — is essentially a scam, a con, and a lie. To equate success with an amount of money earned, or an amount of fame achieved, is at best an unfortunate miscomprehension of the very nature of success. At worst, it’s a malicious distortion.”

Saluting Ronnie James Dio, metal’s uncool godfather | The A.V. Club

“The album that finally resulted from the lineup turmoil—Butler also left during the sessions, though he returned before recording finished—was Heaven & Hell. Dio’s presence as a lyricist and driving songwriting force revitalized the rest of Black Sabbath. Iommi’s riffs and solos, previously rooted almost entirely in the blues, began to incorporate the neoclassicism that Dio learned from Blackmore in Rainbow. The songs began to shift between high-tempo (for Sabbath) blasts and moody, atmospheric passages. And, of course, Dio’s fantasy lyrics were a departure from Butler’s tales of war, women, and drugs. Despite the album’s commercial success, the change in direction led to an exodus of old fans. The Dio era is still a point of contention among Sabbath fans, though a string of successful reunion tours from 2007 to 2009 under the name Heaven & Hell renewed interest in his records with the band.”

How to take a picture of rock ‘n’ roll | i-D

“Back in the pre-Instagram days, folks were in it for the love (not the likes). Iconic music photographers such as Glen E Friedman, Henry Diltz, and London DJ/punk documentarian Don Letts — whose 1978 The Punk Rock Movie shot on Super 8 footage featured all the key players in the UK punk movement (The Clash, The Slits, The Sex Pistols) — were capturing a piece of history. In LA, the show From Pop to the Pit is currently showing electric, rarely seen archival portraits of the bands that shaped the city’s music scene from 1978–1989 shot for the now defunct Herald-Examiner. These camera-wielding renegades were in pursuit of those vulnerable and fuck-all moments that happen backstage, in the pit, and in an infested alley behind a venue. From hazy-days with Diltz, Woodstock’s official photographer who spent the 60s with Joni Mitchell and the Laurel Canyon Folk Scene, to stage-diving with Edward Colver, the gritty punk photog who chronicled the birth of American hardcore and snapped early portraits of Bad Religion and Minor Threat, nostalgic images have shaped our understanding of a formative time.”


High on Fire — The Black Plot

The new High on Fire sounds just like High on Fire, which is just fine, because High on Fire sounding like High on Fire is better than most other things. Pike makes his guitar sound like an actual screaming banshee at the beginning of the bridge. Honestly, listen to that moment around 3:53 and tell me that doesn’t sound like the horrid scream of some harbinger. The cut is from their forthcoming 7th LP, Luminiferous, a concept record about the social engineering of the nebulous Elite, which is out June 23.

Methyl Ethyl — Twilight Driving

On every song, Methyl Ethyl exist on some kind of utopian celestial plane where the sun never sets and the the whole world is a coastline. Twilight Driving harbours an ever-so-slight sinister undercurrent in its verses, as if the whole veneer could shatter at any moment.

Todd Tobias — Suvarnabhumi

Something lurks beneath the lush melancholia of this first track from Todd Tobias’ forthcoming Tristes Tropiques. The imagery in my head is organic yet machinic, like a Vangelis-scored nature documentary. Tristes Tropiques is out June 9.


The 13th Floor Elevators — You’re Gonna Miss Me (Live at Austin Psych Fest Levitation)

The last time this band played together, LBJ was president, the Stooges had existed for only a year and Matt Pike wasn’t even born. The psychadelic stalwarts’ first show since 1968 closed Austin Psych Fest Levitation marked 50 years since their formation in the Texas capitol and closed the proceedings of the ridiculously stacked festival that boasted Earth, Lightning Bolt, Primal Scream, Thee Oh Sees, Nothing, A Place to Bury Strangers and Chelsea Wolfe. 47 years between shows. Think about that.