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Preview: The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect

The best music you're not listening to.™ Reviews of lost classics and obscure titles. Unheralded bands and songwriters. New bands deserving of greater attention. The site for the music omnivore. It's all here, on the Ripple Effe

Updated: 2018-01-18T04:17:27.078-08:00




Stoner metal band MR. PLOW have signed with Ripple Music. The influential music label will release the band's new album Maintain Radio Silence on vinyl, CD and digital formats this summer.

Label founder Todd Severin commented  "I've been a huge fan of Mr Plow since their early days and I personally have all their albums in my collection, so it was a no-brainer to ask the lads to join the Ripple family. The new album is better than anything I've ever heard from them before and will definitely open up new ears and eyes in the stoner/doom community."

Bassist Greg Green also commented "I think I can speak for the entire band when I say that we're super pumped about signing with Ripple. Ripple is the only label that we ever talked about working with once we decided that this album needs more exposure than we could ever hope to give it releasing it on our own. And we're in good company--the entire Ripple roster rocks."

About Mr. Plow:

Mr. Plow formed in 1997 when Kyuss and Fu Manchu were blowing out speakers in car systems across the land. When the term “stonerrock” was joining the lexicon for music writers who needed a category for riff-based rock that was tuned down and turned up.

The band were influenced heavily by the times, but sought a different direction lyrically--instead of dark and evil, they went for pop-culture references and hooky riffs. Mr. Plow was way less about skulls and satanic imagery, and way more about good times that would be the soundtrack for summer trips to the beach or skatepark.

Mr. Plow is:

Justin Waggoner: guitar/vocals
Jeremy Stone: guitar/vocals
Greg Green: bass
Cory Cousins: drums

The Xroadie Files


Pale Grey Lore – Self-TitledMichael Miller – Guitar/Vocals, Adam Miller – Drums, Donovan Johnson – Bass, Xander Roseberry - GuitarThe Conjuration strange ethereal guitars heavy beats and driving riffs along with some searing lead guitar and good vocals.  Life in The Hive a catchy heavy riff excellent beat and rumbling bass with some psychedelic vocals get ready to trip along.  Black Sun Rise lean back and slide into space and time with some excellent Sabbath style lead guitar and slow driving rhythms.  Spiders guitar feedback that just rumbles thru your body along with a very strong bass and drums beat.  She Radiates starts with a tribal beat and grinding guitars that just slowly pull you down into the abyss.  Ruins has a catchy riff and some 60 late 70s style of psychedelic music and vocals.  Woe Betide Us slow plodding heavy metal to just take your mind off your troubles for a few minutes.  Tell The Masters has a slight offbeat tempo and strange sounds of wind blowing and excellent lead.  Grave Future fist pumping hard rock to just jam away to.  seamless="" src="" style="border: 0; height: 42px; width: 100%;">PALE GREY LORE by PALE GREY LORE The Re-Stoned -  ChronoclasmLLya Lipkin - Guitar/Samples/Bass, Vladimir Kislykov- BassThe Sirens Of Titan a strong heavy melodic beat and guitar riff with some excellent lead work.  Human Without Body lots of feeling with a blues based style and some great slide work.  Save Me Under The Emerald Grass heartfelt acoustic guitar with some excellent foot tapping music to just drift along with.  Psychedelic Soya Barbeque fist pumping head banging slow and driving get ready to rumble.  Oc44 great acoustic guitar that just grabs ahold of your very soul then a lead that just pierces you.  Chronoclasm swirling synths great beats and a slid riff that just takes you on a h=journey far away.  Quartz Crystals more guitar that just garbs ahold of you sit back close your eyes and trip away.          allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="480" src="" width="854">Sinoptik – Standalone SyndromeDmitriy Afanasiev – Guitar/Keyboards/Vocals, Dmitriy Sakir – Bass, Victor Gerchev – DrumsStandalone Syndrome is a prog rock metal song with lots of different textures it has a great riff and vocals that are influenced by Geddy Lee. allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="480" src="" width="854">Stunted – FaultAlex Petralia  - Vocals/Guitar/Drum Machine/Bass, Eagret Hansen – Guitar, Gabe Simmons – Drums, Marisela Guizar – SaxophoneDisplays(Pride) weird strange sounds surround you with a punk new wave psychedelia feel.  Crave(Lust) has more of an industrial feel with lots of machinery sounds.  Loaded(Gluttony) machine style beats rumbling bass and weird sounds and overdriven vocals make up this song.  Green(Greed) rumbling bass and a click track that slowly builds with the rest of the instruments.  Evil Eye(Envy) drum machines weird keys overdriven guitar and bass for a cacophony of sounds.  Wrath more of a punk industrial feel with lots of overdriven everything.  Slug(Sloth) slow plodding and evil trying to take you down to the abyss.  The Pocket Gods – 100X30 The Future Of MusicMark Lee , Noel Story, Simon Herries, Scott Ottawat, Bill Johnson and GuestsAll of the songs on here are 30 seconds long and there are one hundred songs in all.  A strange almost improvised jazz meets improvised prog style this is very eclectic and not for most people. allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="480" src="[...]

On the Ripple Desk: Featuring Dirt Eater and Deville


Dirt Eater - S/TSee, I totally love this.  Forget spending a ton of money on meaningless expensive crap, Dirt Eater just want to get their scuzzy punk diatribes out there.  A plain brown genric cover with some nicely placed stickers of band logo (front cover) and band photos (back cover) are all that's needed.  Toss in some copied insert and we're set.  That's DIY to the nth degree and massive respect.Fortunately, the songs make even this amount of effort worthwhile. A brand of desert scuzzy, cactus fuzz punk and roll.  Kinda reminds me of the dry and crusty rock of John Wilkes Booth (wonder if they're still around? )  Each song is a quasi-hardcore burst of pure adrenaline, bare melodies, a chaos of drums and scuzz, lots of scuzz.  But what else would you expect from a band named Dirt Eater. Looks like the vinyl is a compilation of the two ep's available on their bandcamp, which is a cool sampling of their dusty grooves.  Particularly dig their dried-to-the-bone version of UFO's "Prince Kajuku".  Nicely done.The best thing I've ever heard?   No, of course not, but fun and real.  Definitely one to help support. seamless="" src="" style="border: 0; height: 120px; width: 100%;">dirt eater by dirt eater seamless="" src="" style="border: 0; height: 120px; width: 100%;">No Way Back by dirt eaterDeville - HydraDeville are not new, having been on the scene for some time now, but they are new to me.  And from now on, I can say, they're well known and shall forever be known to me. Originally released back in 2013, Scott was kind enough to drop this into my package when I stopped by to pick up the Lord Fowl album.  Since I'd heard of the band, but couldn't remember actually ever hearing them, I wasted no time in diving right in.What we got here is some pure, kick-ass rawk and roll, with simply killer riffs, driving rhythm and melodies meaty enough to really sink your teeth into.  Combine all that goodness with some fierce guitar work and vocals that are clean, but throaty enough to hold muscle and we got all the makings of a power rock record.  Won't go into the individual tracks here, but they're all simply corkers.  I won't call this stoner rock, even though there is enough fuzz on the songs to make a thousand bed comforters.  It's simply high-octane, guitar mad rock.  Some people will throw out names like Kyuss or the Foo Fighters.  I'll simply turn the album over and spin it again.Do yourself a favor, stop over at Small Stone Records and check em out for yourself. seamless="" src="" style="border: 0; height: 120px; width: 100%;">Hydra by Deville[...]

Sinoptik - Standalone Syndrome


Self-released first formed in Donetsk, Ukraine in 2011, and almost three years ago, they were forced to leave their home city by the war and venture forth in search of a new home. They state that, “it's a new page in our music. It's a new vision of our band.” I don’t know what vision it is that they have, but I like where they are going with it. The mix of psych/stoner rock just grabs you as soon as you hit play. The swirling sounds, the pounding drums, the thick, but intricate bass, the excellent guitar playing and the blistering vocals made this a song that you will want to hear again and again. The song is catchy, a glorious morass that will engulf your ears and fill them with the glory of a band that is at the top of their game. With just one song to go on, this is a fantastic journey for the band that the listener can’t help but get pulled along for the ride, and what a ride it is. Grab a bag of your fav snack food and let them take you away. -Rick Ecker allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="480" src="" width="854"> [...]

Portland Doom Rockers Holy Grove Sign to Ripple Music!


"...Holy Grove are heavier than a plutonium whale but much friskier. Think Grand Funk, think Sabbath, think Blue Cheer, think great big riffs that stomp and thunder and terrify the pets." -Classic Rock MagazineAtmospheric doom rockers, Holy Grove has signed with Ripple Music for the North American release of their debut album and a follow-up album due later in 2018.The Portland-based group, released their debut via Heavy Psych Sounds, which hit the European fans in 2016 full of right-on riffs, belted-out hooks and weighted nodding groove.  They then hit the road with massive West Coast and East Coast tours, took over Europe alongside future Ripple labelmates Gozu and stormed the stage in the company of Uli Jon Roth, The Obsessed, Jucifer, Lord Dying, Yob, Witch Mountain, as well as festivals like Psycho Las Vegas, Hoverfest I and II, Ceremony of Sludge, PDXPOPNOW, and California's inaugural EPICENTER festival (w/ High on Fire, Big Business, and moreNow, Ripple Music is thrilled to offer the first North American Edition of the debut album, bringing their thick tones and masterful vocals to an eager American audience.  The Ripple edition of the album will be available on exclusive, limited edition multicolored vinyl, black vinyl, CD and digital.  Further, the band is back and hard at work on their follow up album to be released by Ripple later in 2018.  About the debut album, The Obelisk raved, "Portland, Oregonian four-piece Holy Grove have been one of their home city’s most eagerly anticipated bands for the last couple years, managing to stand themselves out from a crowded scene even before they really got around to putting out music. To wit, their self-titled debut arrives with stunning cover artwork by Adam Burke and rolls out massive, Billy Anderson-tracked grooves." A uniquely gifted band with a singular, solitary sound, Holy Grove plays doom with all its passion and might.  Holy Grove want it heavy -- gravitationally, crushingly heavy – but big and warm, never coldly metallic. Holy Grove songs are heavy with feeling, heavy with conquering power, and beautifully heavy of heart. Actual songs too, woven through with hooks and choruses and crafted with equal inspiration from fantasy and reality in the tradition of the great anthemic riff rockers of yore. Above all, the band has the ability to stun first-time listeners with the utter power of its massive groove, with it's masterful vocals, intense riffing, and powerful rhythm section.More info on Holy Grove and the as-yet-untitled follow-up LP will be announced soon. Stay tuned to Ripple Music Website for breaking news or the Ripple Music Facebook and Bandcamp."Onstage energy is not a problem for locals Holy Grove. Vocalist Andrea Vidal grabs the microphone and steals the crowd’s collective heart with her enthusiasm and total commitment to the moment. With rich, deep tones oozing off the stage and hair flying, the band flays the crowd wide open, exposing their riff-rock-loving guts. Songs like “Huntress” and “Hanged Man” are terrific examples of Holy Grove’s sound, which is a stew of riffs and rhythms that would fit well on a shelf next to some old Man’s Ruin label releases. Vidal seems born to rouse the crowd, and her vocals are belted out in the same fashion, while bassist Gregg and guitarist Trent splash sweat, wah, and fuzz all over the audience. Holy Grove end their set with “Nix”, leaving the growing crowd cheering." --Invisible Oranges"Holy Grove’s first doomy foray is an undeniably solid and considered effort. The enigmatic lyrics of leading enchantress combined with the persistence of the power trio prove equally deadly as they are absorbing. It wouldn’t be imprudent to expect the band's songwriting skill to take them to great places, becasue this debut undoubtedly holds its own, but they are more than capable of translating their stirring vision even further still."--The Sludgelord [...]

The Huntsman – Favorite Records 2017


This year was sort of a big shift for me music review wise compared to years past. I took a break from doing full on reviews for bands and focused more on covering more material with shorter more condensed blurb style reviews. Part of that had to do with my view of the scene right now and how to most effectively get the point across about which bands deserve your attention with the least amount of effort. Let’s be honest, nobody on here is doing this for their own benefit or because they’re getting paid to do it. We are here because we are passionate about the music and feel we have our finger on the pulse enough to make a difference to the bands wanting to get heard and the other fans wanting to hear good bands. Like last year, I hesitated compiling a list early in December as I knew I was going to keep discovering new bands and buying records right up until the last day. Below is a representation of my favorite records on vinyl purchased and added to my collection released in 2017. I am sure I forgot some, but all are records that I either had a strong connection with musically, emotional and even physically. No, I did not make love to these records, but the physical package characteristics of collecting vinyl is something all us vinyl junkies know about and there is value to it. Here is what I was digging this year both musically and artistically. 1.         Spidergawd – IVSpidergawd is a band that I was relatively late to the game in really getting into. Part of me believes it’s the simple fact that they have resisted putting their material on bandcamp which makes it inconvenient to listen to frequently. The latest album and 4th for the band is arguably their strongest effort to date. They have always been able to be distinguish themselves from the pack by clever usage of the saxophone and they absolutely blew my mind with the latest album. With heavy punk rock hooks, stoner fueled blues, and a psychedelic balladry through and through, IV kept the hairs on end up my neck each and every listen. Combine that with the trippy artwork and thick vinyl package available via the Stickman Records shop and you have yourself a winner. allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="" width="560">2.         Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – Sidelong seamless="" src="" style="border: 0; height: 470px; width: 350px;">Sidelong by Sarah Shook & the DisarmersThis album won me over immediately after seeing the Bloodshot records had signed the and were releasing their debut album on vinyl early in 2017. The band self-released the album digitally in 2016, but I am voting for it as it was officially released by Bloodshot in 2017 and didn’t really make as big of impact until then. I played this album more than any other album this year. Both on the turntable and in the car. My kids loved the album, my 8 year old daughter made special requests for the album and so on and so forth. Its country music, but its also punk rock. The band are outlaw as it gets and the songwriting is witty and unforgiving. I love music that incorporates a solid one-liner type mentality that both speaks the truth as well as hits the melody and groove of the music. I fell hard for this album and rank it right up there fighting against the heavy rock and metal releases. I can’t wait to see what she does in 2018. Rumor is already out that they have new stuff early in the year. 3.         Orango – Mules of Nana seamless="" src="" style="border: 0; height: 470px; width: 35[...]

WHITE WIZZARD release new video for “Infernal Overdrive” in advance of album release this week


This Friday, January 12th, marks the release of the new album by White Wizzard. Today the band is pleased to premiere the lyric video to the album’s heavy metal title track, Infernal Overdrive.Fans have long anticipated the return full-length from traditional metal heroes White Wizzard, who revamped their lineup last year to include the return of their strongest players to date, vocalist Wyatt “Screaming Demon” Anderson and guitarist James J. LaRue. Reviews have been overly positive and critics are recognizing the band firing on all cylinders by not only bringing back all of their expected true metal ingredients but flavoring this hour-plus ride with an expanded repertoire of moods and influences citing comparisons to Rush, Led Zeppelin and Metallica on certain tracks, all highlighted by the group’s seasoned musicianship and proper album production, courtesy of Ralph Patlan (Megadeth, UFO).“We’re very excited to release yet another song from our new album via this lyric video created by LaRue. The lyrics are a bit of a sarcastic comment on modern times... as we watch technology and idiocy fuse together for one entertaining ride as humanity circles the drain into the abyss!” explains Jon Leon. “We bring it a bit heavier here and Wyatt sings his ass off on this one. We are really proud of the new album and super excited to finally share it with the fans. We’re doing a special run of shows starting Wednesday and are super excited to announce that Devil’s Cut axe grinder Will Willner will be joining us on second guitar live. He complements LaRue perfectly and it’s a very strong tandem!"Next up, White Wizzard just shot a proper promo video for a more epic track, Chasing Dragons, so keep an eye out for that. Infernal Overdrive, the band’s fourth full-length, will be released on all digital platforms, as well as CD and gatefold double colored vinyl (orange haze retail version or white exclusive from the band & label). Order now at Wizzard will play a handful of special shows in the Southwest to kick off Infernal Overdrive’s release, as well as a showcase in London March 31st. January 10 - The Whisky - W. Hollywood, CAJanuary 11 - Brick By Brick - San Diego, CA*January 12 - The Beauty Bar - Las Vegas, NV*January 13 - Karman Bar - Laguna Niguel, CA*January 14 - Club Red - Mesa, AZ*with Novareign as supportMarch 31 - Underworld - London, UK allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" src="" width="854"> [...]

It Came from the Bargain Basement - featuring, Tommy James and the Shondells, Blues Image and It's a Beautiful Day


Today's installment of this randomly occurring column digs into the bargain basement at Record City in Las Vegas.  I was in Sin City visiting family over the Christmas holiday, like I do every year, and this year decided to pass on my normal visit to Zia Records and take in a new place.  On the far side of the strip, in a non-descript section of town, in a non-descript building, Record City proved to be a very cool vinyl haunt with a friendly staff and a wide and varied selection of vinyl. There also was a large CD section and vinyl 7" section that I didn't have time to delve into.  I didn't find anything in the true $1 bin, although there were some good finds, I had them already.  But in the back was an area of "just better than $1" bins.  I think they were 3 for $10, but decrease as you bought more to maybe ending up at 10 for $20.The regular bins also provided some cool surprises, a European live Led Zeppelin BBC album from 1969, the RSD live Chelsea album, the compilation of first ever Talking Heads demos, and The Warriors soundtrack.  Cool finds.But today is about the bargain bins.  All of these albums were unknown by me, although I knew of the artists, but that's half the fun of dumpster diving.  Taking a chance and seeing what you get.  Dropping that needle down, listening, and deciding if it's a keep or a tosser.Here's what I pulled out :Tommy James and the Shondells - Travelin'While not heralded as one of his classic works, and lacking any of his biggest hits (Crimson and Clover, Draggin' the Line, Mony Mony, I Think We're Alone Now) Travelin' is laden with the same hit-making sensibility and psychedelic, neo-bubblegum flavors that made Tommy James and the Shondells one of the biggest hit-making machines and radio-dominant forces of the 70's.  "Candy Maker" is a damn fine, down-tuned heavy psych pop number that shows how Tommy James could stretch well beyond the bubblegum label he got stuck with.  "Red Rover" is a tasty slice of psychedelic pop ear candy with an infectious chorus and charm.  "She" is a classic sounding Tommy James ballad, reminiscent of "I Think We're Alone Now" showcasing James's more AM pop sensibilities, laden with strings and a gentle falsetto vocal.  "Talkin' & Signifyin'" even finds James stretching out into some fuzzed out jamming leading into the direction that his solo career would follow.  The title track, "Travelin'" is a serious psychedelic pop exercise with a galloping riff more in line with Iron Butterfly, than what you'd expect from Mr Bubblegum, while "Gotta Get Back To You" is a psych blues blitz that is simply perfect, and show that the band we're actually much more than the hits suggested with a serious rock n roll heart.Tommy James and the Shondells would break up after this album, leading to Tommy's solo work and some of the Shondells forming their own country-rock unit, Hog Heaven.  As a swan song, Travelin' showcases much of the fine craftsmanship and chops that held strong throughout the band's career.  Not a classic, but tasty nonetheless.  Definitely worth finding in a bargain bin near you.Verdict: Keeper allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="" width="560"> allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="" width="560">Blues Image - OpenBest known for their massive hit single "Ride Captain Ride" Blues Image are actually much more than just that one song.  Mixing a kinda-Latin vibe underneath their tones of blues and psychedelia, highlighted by a two-drummer line-up including Joe Lala and the steaming guitar work of Michael Pinera (soon to be of Iron Butterfly fame) Blue Image were a powerful, heavy blues outfit,[...]

Gregg Analla: 2/10/1965 – 1/4/2018


Vocalist for Seventh Sign, Slavior, Tribe of Gypsies and George Lynch's Shadow TrainIt is with a heavy heart that I write this memorial.  I met Gregg and the band Seventh Sign way back in the early 90s when they were opening up for Dee Snider's Widowmaker in a small club in Amarillo, Texas.  Due to a freak accident where the drummer hurt his hand Widowmaker was not able to play.  Gregg and the guys took over and did a double show always interacting with the crowd and also taking time to meet everyone there.  We became friends over the years.  I saw Gregg and his bands several times.  No matter who he was with he was always the same down to earth nice guy and he always took time to meet anyone at the shows.  Gregg also had one amazing voice.  It was very melodic, but also very powerful.  Gregg passed away on January 4th, 2018 when he lost control of his motorcycle and was killed in the crash.  Gregg was wearing a helmet.  It was just a freak thing.  To his family, friends and fans I offer my condolences.  I will miss him greatly.  Gregg will always live on thru his music and the warm feelings his fans and friends have for him.  Gregg was also an artist, sculptor, and speaker at the time of his death.  He was a Curator at the Indian Pueblo Center in Albuquerque, NM. RIP my friend.  You will be greatly missed but never forgotten.-Xroadie Gregg when I met him in the early 90s   Gregg as he was when he passed[...]

Metal Legend Geof O'Keefe (Pentagram/Bedemon) Joins with Blackwulf for Special Guest Appearances on the Upcoming Ripple Music release "Sinister Sides" and Ripple SXSW Showcase


Metal Legend Geof O'Keefe (Pentagram/Bedemon)  joins with Blackwulf for special guest appearances on the upcoming Ripple Music release "Sinister Sides" and takes the stage with the band at the upcoming Ripple Music Official SXSW Showcase this March!The sold-out successes of 2015’s “Oblivion Cycle” (Ripple Music) and 2014’s “Mind Traveler” (Wickerman) releases prompted metal luminaries as mighty as Lars Ulrich (Metallica) and Geof O’Keefe (original Pentagram) to pick up on copies of the albums and publicly name check the band.Combining vintage ‘70s head banging riffs with doom-cloaked soundscapes and vintage heavy metal and hard rock, Blackwulf is bracing for even greater heights of heaviness with their upcoming Ripple Music follow-up, “Sinister Sides”. The eight-song album finds the ‘Wulf ambitiously venturing farther afield, deep into extended vintage hard rock sonic jams and dark breakdowns, all the while keeping one matted paw within their established heavy headbanging riff songwriting approach.The band, unchanged from its original lineup since 2012, features singer Alex Cunningham, guitarist Pete Holmes, bassist Scott Peterson, and drummer Dave Pankenier.  Joining Blackwulf on “Sinister Sides” as a special guest lead guitarist is doom legend Geof O’Keefe, one of the founding members of Pentagram and Bedemon.O’Keefe’s trademark doom vibrato and vintage guitar heaviness is featured on three tracks on the album: “Dead to the World”, “Sinister Sides” and a blistering cover of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love”.Additionally, O’Keefe will be storming the stage alongside the band at the official Ripple Music showcase at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin Texas on March 16, 2018.Blackwulf’s “Sinister Sides” will be officially released at the Ripple Music Showcase and you can get a first peak at the gorgeous art for the gatefold album cover below.  Blackwulf will support the new album by taking to the road, with gigs across the US and jumping across to the UK for a short run anchored by an appearance at Desertfest London in May [...]

NYDTyson - If You're So Smart, Why Are You So Sad?


Self-released group from Los Angeles, CA has just released their debut EP containing five songs, and their name stands for Neil Young deGrasse Tyson. The duo takes an irreverent stab at indie and never gets bogged down in anything too heavy-handed.“Egg” reminds me of stuff that I heard on the radio back in the mid ‘90s when alternative was the big thing and weird and wacky would get attention on the video shows and airwaves. Very quirky and so much going on in it that you have to give it a few listens to drink it all in. “Neanderthal” and “What Did You Say?” are two of the songs that were heavy and more all out garage rock and I loved them. “Who Cares” has the feel of floating and just drifting into the ether, kind of like a China Crisis song. “I Think We Both Know” is another slow song that continues the light and airy feel of the previous song and gives us a bit of a Pink Floyd sound…very cool.If you are out to listen to something that doesn’t sound like everything else out there, you hit the jackpot here! A very interesting and delightful EP that will keep you coming back for more and wanting them to hurry up and get more music out.  -Rick Ecker allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="480" src="" width="854"> [...]

Riffcaster’s 2017 Top 11 List


Well, unlike in years past when I sat down several weeks before Yule-time to draft up my little top 11 list of the best rock and metal albums of the year, I found myself scrambling to cobble together this year’s list.  The blame can be laid squarely on the interference of life, in particular a certain nasty 4-letter word that begins with the letter ‘W’ which I shall not utter in this sacred space.  Suffice to say, with a few days left of my holiday release from those chains of bondage I can finally get back to more important things like my healthy obsession with all things rock ‘n’ roll!  So I bid you welcome to the 2017 installment of Riffcaster’s Top 11 List!  Come on in, grab a virtual beer from the fridge here at Riff Manor and get cozy for the next 5 minutes!1)       Brume - RoosterIf there’s one album that just stayed with me throughout the year this year it’s Brume’s Rooster.  When I was asked by guitarist Jamie McCathie after their set at one of the local Bay Area venues if I’d be interested in hearing a promo of the album before its’ release date and perhaps do a review of it for The Ripple Effect I jumped at the chance. But even having heard a couple of the tracks beforehand live couldn’t prepare me for what happened when I sat down and listened for the first time.  This was plainly and simply a giant leap forward from their excellent debut EP Donkey in production and songwriting.  This is doom with soul, even labeling it “doom metal’ does it a disservice, as there is emotion and soul and sheer beauty mixed in amongst the thunder and fuzz.  That’s not to say that there’s not still head banging riffs aplenty, there are in spades.  This was quite simply the best album this year by a landslide in my opinion.2)      KOOK - KOOKAnother of my favorite Bay Area bands, San Jose’s KOOK dropped their spaced-out vision upon an unsuspecting planet Earth with their self-titled debut.  Perhaps one of the most unique sounding bands to be found, KOOK is impossible to pigeonholed, but their self-styled genre of “Elvis Doom” comes as close as anything.  Whatever you call it, it’s definitely one-of-a-kind and it’s damned good.  3)      Elder – Reflections Of A Floating WorldElder returned this year with the follow-up to their phenomenal 2015 album Lore which is still ear-worming me on a regular basis to this day.  Reflections of a Floating World is just as hauntingly beautiful, this is a phenomenal band on the very top of their game and I just wish they’d get out here to Northern California already!!!4)      Bloodnut – St. RangaNew Zealand’s Bloodnut make being of the auburn-haired persuasion much more fun, but don’t let the “band-of-gingers” shtick fool you, these guys are for real, they’re heavy, and they’re here to spawn a new race of fire-bearded warriors to conquer the world…I only hope they’ll need some minions when the Redhead World Order begins, I’m good at schlepping amps and stuff, and occasionally I write something witty.5)      War Cloud – War Cloud     If you are a fan of old school guitar driven shredding hard rock and heavy metal, look no further than Bay Area juggernaut War Cloud.  Fueled by the greats from Kiss and Thin Lizzy, to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, War Cloud’s self-titled first album is the kind of rock ‘n’ roll you put on in your ’78 Z28 Camaro and drive fast enough to get about 50 tickets to.6)      Swamphammer - LaudanumSwitching gears a little bit, bluesy rockers Swamphammer’s first f[...]

Bandcamp Bonanza – Best Of Bonanza 2017


It’s that time of year where all us music junkies scramble together what we perceive to be our favorite albums of the year. Call it the “best” our “favorite” or “top albums” but in the end, each and every one of us has a unique twist and combination of tastes that the real intent of these lists is to keep spreading the word about great music. The hard part lately is there is so much access to music these days with platforms such as Bandcamp, Spotify, Amazon, etc…. that it’s up to the individual to decide how deep down the rabbit hole they want to go. As you will see with this list here, the rabbit hole is a tunnel protruding beyond the core of the earth and into space for eternity. This is a representation of albums I found on Bandcamp that either did not have a physical option or I just didn’t have the funding at the time to purchase on vinyl or CD. I typically only buy vinyl but nonetheless, my these are all fantastic and worthy of your attention. I did rank them. Keep in mind after the first 25 or so they are all pretty equal on my chart lists, but its more fun to assign numbers if you ask me. Not a competition, but kind of a competition. 1.FIRE IN THE FIELD - WAR BONNETNot only does War Bonnet extinguish the flames set by the scorching debut Gypsy Tea Room, it retains the rock n roll fury with another layer of banging guitar licks, catchy grooves, and stage commanding vocals. Those guitar freak outs buried within seal the deal rather nonchalantly. Favorite track: Duke of the Valley. 2.RED SCALP - LIKE GHOSTSThe head bangin’ riffs hypnotize you with their spiritualistic groove but the god damn horn solos smoke out like a big chief torching greens off the peace pipe. A big, fat holy fuck alert!!!!Favorite track: Lost Ghost. 3.RED STONE SOULS - MOTHER SKYVivid fuzz electrifies with a bar room brawl full of energy and hard driving rhythm and groove. Don’t fill out your year end favorites list until you grab a hold of this ripper. This is NWODHM: New Wave of Detroit Heavy Metal. Nuff said. 4.CATAPULT THE SMOKE - BORN AGAINCatapult the Smoke have birthed a first-class assault of massive riffs, crushing, yet melodic, vocals and progressive layers of intense groove on ‘Born Again’. This is how it’s done folks. Ripple Rock of the highest caliber. 5.BALEFUL CREED - SEISMIC SHIFTER'Seismic Shifter' picks up right where the debut left off amassing a 10 on the "riff"ter scale. The strapping vocals tremble with a mountain splitting groove as catchy as "A-fuckingmen" closing a beer bong prayer in church. Highly addictive album. Favorite track: Baleful Creed - Lose Religion. 6.HOWLING GIANT - BLACK HOLE SPACE WIZARD Part 2Howling Giant return with Part 2 of the BHSW saga launching rocket fueled riffs beyond the atmospheric boundary of standard hard rock fare. Astronautical fuzz echoes over metallic solos as the progressive harmonies consume by way of gravitational force. Part 2 is a gorgeous and monolithic slab of stoner metal that'll have you begging for more. Keep your eyes on these guys. They're going places. Favorite track: Visions. 7.PORNO WOLVES - RENEGADESZeppelin esque harmonies rock the stage with the poppy and soulful punch of Wolfmother all while maintaining a fresh, unique twist on modern, heavy, and progressive blues rock. This is big folks. Grab it while you can! 8.SANHEDRIN – A FUNERAL FOR THE WORLDA Funeral For The World celebrates all things heavy metal with a scorching metallic fuzz overlain by Maiden esque vocal chops and a groove factor off the charts. For any fan of metal, stoner, doom, or hard rock. This will go down as one of the strongest debut metal albums of 2017. Mark my words. 9.OPERATORS - REVELORSThe Operators operate the airwaves with retro driv[...]

Woodhawk - Beyond The Sun


"Penfold, I've got the best idea!""'Bout what?""How everything can be fixed!""Fixed?  What do you mean?  What's being fixed?""Everything, man!""Yeah, you said that already.  What...specifically...are you going to fix?""How about the human race for starters?""Okay, I'll bite.  What aspect of the human race do you intend to tweak?""Dude.  Right now, right this very minute, people are living in the sand.""Sand?  Explain.""Imagine you are an interstellar traveler from a galaxy far, far away.  You monitor the newsfeeds bouncing around our satellites.  What do you think your impression of humanity will be?""For the purpose of this experiment we're assuming that I can understand all of the languages spoken on Earth?""No.  You're limited to interpreting images and video only.""Alright.  Under those conditions I imagine I'd see humans as rather lawless creatures.""Exactly!""But how does that relate to sand, or living in sand, or whatever it was you said?""Stay with me bro.  Humanity is essentially stuck in a giant sandstorm, plodding along aimlessly.  What we need is someone like me.  I'll act as the new high priest who can foresee the future.  I'll preach about my quest for clarity which in turn allows me to believe in and be filled with a new hope for everyone!  Following my guidance we, the people of Earth, will begin living beyond the sun!""Stop.  I don't know what kind of recreational drugs you're currently indulging in, but as far as I can tell the rails of logic you're travelling down just abruptly ended and you drove your mental locomotive directly off a cliff.""That's just plain hurtful Penfold.""I call 'em like I see 'em."Howdy waveriders.  Recently I was surveying music which caught my interest in 2017 and much to my dismay I discovered that I had failed to write anything about Woodhawk's altogether excellent album Beyond The Sun.  Shame on me!  It's high time I rectify this gross miscarriage of music reviewing justice!  So, without further ado...Hey friends!  Do you like stoner rock?  Do colossal guitar riffs cause involuntary spikes in your blood pressure?  Do you yearn for clean vocals?  Do you appreciate when a collection of songs fit neatly inside the classic, vinyl-established, forty minute window?  If the answer to those questions is yes (and how can it not be?!?!) then you'll flip your lid over this album!Woodhawk is a power trio from Calgary.  Near as I can tell they formed back in 2013.  Beyond The Sun is their first full length release, preceded only by an EP back in 2014.  I am flabbergasted at how polished this band sounds on their maiden full length voyage.  From the opening notes of title track "Beyond The Sun" to the final moments of "Chrononaut", there is not an ounce of musical fat to be found.  Everything is lean and mean.  Speaking of the title track it does a fine job setting the mood, sounding at times like early material from The Sword, but the album really takes off for me with the second track, "High Priest".  Later on the sauntering "Magnetic North" effortlessly gets my foot stomping and my head banging.  My two favorite songs on BTS are "Living In The Sand" and "Chrononaut".  Oh, did I mention that this album also contains a Star Wars song?  It's true.  "A New Hope" is all about using the force and wouldn't you know it?  It's quite good.Waveriders if you have yet to hear Beyond The Sun by Woodhawktreat yourself to a belated Christmas gift from me, your buddy Penfold.  Click on the embedded bandcamp player below, go to youtube, or visit whatever service you [...]

The Watchers Announce New Album, SXSW Tour and Reveal New Album Art


2018 is lining up to be a big year for The Watchers.Comprised of members of Sprial Arms, Orchid and the Venting Machine, The Watchers took the heavy underground by storm with 2017's Ripple Music release of their debut EP, Sabbath Highway.  The end of the year saw the band hunkering down in the studio to record their masterful follow-up full-length LP, Black Abyss, which was mixed by the legendary mixer/producer, Max Norman of Ozzy Osbourne/Megadeth fame.  With the new album due to hit streets March 9, The Watchers plan on hitting the road for a massive SXSW 2018 Tour, starting at RippleFest II in San Francisco on Feb 3rd, and anchored by their performance at the first ever, Ripple Music Official SXSW Showcase on March 16th, where they'll play along with labelmates Mothership, Wo Fat, Freedom Hawk, Blackwulf (with special guest Geof O'Keef (Pentagram, Bedemon) and Steak. Album art provided by the amazing Kiren Bagchee, and Ripple Music is proud to release the first glimpse of it below. New single and video to be released soon.  Stay tuned, as 2018 lines up to be the year of The Watchers.  [...]

The Xroadie Files


Black Space Riders – Amoretum Vol. 1J.E. – Vocals/Guitar/Keyboards/, SEB – Vocals/Keyboards, C Rip – Drums/Percussion/ Didgerdoo, SLI – Guitar, Saq-Bass, MEI – BassLovely Lovelie a solid blues based hard rock riff weird sounds and almost punk like vocals make this song catch your attention.  Another Sort Of Homecoming a psychedelic sound and some interesting vocals with a riff that just grabs you.  Soul Shelter (Inside Of Me) take a trip back to the space rock of the 70s mixed with some new wave and just trip along.  Movements a nice mellow song to just close your eyes and float to the music.  Come And Follow more heavy space rock style stuff to trip along with if that’s your preference.  Friends are Falling eerie keyboards and synths then a heavy guitar riff kicks in and the song builds from there.  Fire Fire (Death Of A Giant) great melodic guitar which envelopes you that builds and slow to different tempos and just rocks out till it goes back to the mellow guitar at the end.  Fellow Peacemakers strange melancholy that trips along with a 60s style of feel. allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="480" src="" width="854">Blight – The Teachings/Death RebornG McCaughry, Pascal Pelletier, Cedric Deschamps, Rob LapalmeFor The Pact To Be Writ grinding heavy riffs pounding drums rumbling bass and dark demonic vocals worming its way into your being.  Sovereign(Suffering) Gestalt fast heavy pounding grinding in your face death metal.  Cernuous grabs you by the throat and proceeds to just pummel you into submission.  Magna Arcana stuck on a fireball speeding thru hell never to get off.   Voidlight pounding in your brain evil and dark with malicious intent.  Death Reborn grab on and hold on for the death metal speed riff of your life if you let go you will be devoured.  Gnostic Dirge dark heavy and grinding you to dust. allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="480" src="" width="854">The Dirty Earth – AuroraTenille – Vocals, Raff – Guitar, Leon – Drums, Darren – BassBlack Hole great female vocals pounding drums and bass and an excellent guitar riff reminds me of a heavy Jefferson Airplane with Grace Slick.  Cheating Heart some excellent blues based psychedelia guitar that just takes you to a different time and place.  Shout get ready to play air guitar and groove to one excellent tune.  Coming Home is a mellow semi acoustic song with lots of emotion that gets slight heavier then back to mellow.  She imagine Stevie Ray Vaughn on guitar with young Grace Slick on vocals this has so much soul and emotion.  Mother Asteroid a great hard rock blues psychedelic song that will have you rocking till the last note.  Take Your Time grooving to the beat playing along with the awesome lead just get ready to sit back and enjoy.  Get Out another fast blues based hard rock song that will have your entire body grooving.  Itch a smooth guitar that just rocks a solid rhythm section and amazing vocals this is what music is supposed to sound like.  One Last Kiss moving acoustic guitar powerful vocals that just fill the air and a solid beat searing lead guitar a great way to end this excellent album.     allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="480" src="" width="854">Frost Giant – The Harlot StarMatti Frost – Vocals/Guitar, Scott Breustedt [...]

New Foghound Song Released to Benefit the Family of Rev Jim Forrester


All proceeds from downloads of this song will go directly to benefit the family.

Rev. Jim Forrester was murdered, as you may know, leaving behind a grieving widow just before Christmas. This is the newest Foghound song, tracked with Frank Marchand while working on the new full length album, and was to be used as a special split 7" project. Instead, we're releasing it now to benefit the family of Rev Jim.

About this track, Chuck Dukehart III, Rev's good friend and band mate in Foghound, had this to say. "It's funny, because I actually wrote the lyrics to this song about perseverance in the face of adversity, specifically with him in mind after his first big health scare, but it's kind of a universal truth.

Keeping on keeping on, no matter the odds and the bullshit thrown in your way....

Head down, keep on Shoveling...."
Head down, keep on Shoveling...."

"Keep on Shoveling" is available as a name your price download at the Ripple Music Bandcamp page,

lease support the family of our slain brother, and enjoy some heaviness.

SIXES: California Blackened Doom Quartet Announce Debut Album Methistopheles


LA-based doom unit SIXES is proud to announce the impending release of their aggressively heavy debut album, Methistopheles, due out March 2018 via Black Bow Records.Recorded by Brent Wisdom at 13 O'Clock Studios in what was one of the harshest winters to hit California in decades, Methistopheles was mastered by Brad Boatright and contains over an hour of seriously depressing and angry sludge. Doomed & Stoned says "... the approach to their core focus, even in this day and age, is taboo, violent, and abrasive." With riffs aplenty and a grim blend of black metal and stoner doom, SIXES is carving out their own niche within an already vast subgenre. With cover artwork designed by Ryan Bartlett, Methistopheles will see additional releases on multiple formats via Poisoned Mind Records, Forbidden Place Records, and Medusa Crush Recordings."The writing and recording process for this album was an exorcism of sorts, we put it all out there. I don't think it took," says vocalist and guitarist Stephen Cummings. "It's heavy, it's dark, and it's miserable."SIXES is a blackened doom/sludge unit based out of Southern California, whose mantra is "Worship Amps. Not Gods." Formed in early 2016, the band released its first single, "A Cross To Burn," which was met with wide acclaim from various music press. After releasing this single, SIXES dominated shows in SoCal, showcasing their talents by performing sonic rituals in support of Conan, North, Young and In The Way, Goya, In The Company of Serpents, Year of the Cobra, and many more.Track listing:1. Acid God2. A Cross To Burn3. Voidkiller4. Motherless5. Fogbreather6. MethistophelesSIXES is:Stephen Cummings - Vocals, GuitarHannes Bogacs - GuitarZander Reddis - BassDustin Daniels - DrumsLinks:"Like all good sludge bands, SIXES know their way around menacing feedback that will probably give you an irregular heartbeat..." - Metal Injection"A barrage of vibrating distortion..." - Doomed & Stoned"It'll make your sunny day dark." - The Obelisk[...]

Heavy Psych Sounds Records & Booking is proud to unveil the previously unreleased bonus tracks of ***NEBULA***


We are really stoked to announce the previously unreleased bonus tracks of the upcoming NEBULA reissues:Let It Burn, To The Center and Dos Ep's !!!LET IT BURN Let It BurnLive at Roskilde Festival 30 June, 2000Devil's Liquid (Demo Version) Recorded by Eddie Glass 1997, on 8 Track PortastudioTO THE CENTERSo Low (Live at Knaack, Berlin, Germany May 17, 1999)To The Center (Live at The Emty Botle, Chicago IL, June 9, 2000)DOS EP'S Anything From You (Recorded October 20, 1999 by Jack Endino, Crocodile Seattle - Mixed Novemember 11, 2017 By Jack Endino)Rollin' My Way To Freedom(Recorded October 20, 1999 by Jack Endino, Crocodile Seattle - Mixed Novemember 11, 2017 By Jack Endino)RELEASE DATES:LET IT BURN - 26.01.2018TO THE CENTER - 16.02.2018DOS EP'S - 02.03.2018All the albums will be available in:CD (3 Panels Digipack)LP (Black Single Vinyl-Gatefold Sleeve)LTD LP (Coloured Splatter Single Vinyl-Gatefold Sleeve)(Digital available the release date of each title)Grab your copy here: Eddie Glass and drummer Ruben Romano formed Nebula in 1997 after breaking away from desert rock pioneers Fu Manchu, eventually recruiting bassist Mark Abshire. This power trio specializes in feedback-drenched heavy rock, incorporating liberal doses of Black Sabbath riffery, psychedelia, and space rock. The band released a number of EPs before moving onto full-length albums like 1999's To the Center and 2001's Charged. They've mainly distinguished themselves as a very hard-working live unit. Nebula creates pure guitar-driven, conscious expanding rock for the 21st century. They are a culmination of their rock forbearers such as Jimi Hendrix, MC5, The Stooges and Mudhoney turned up a notch, taken to the next level and blasting through space. Nebula spread their gospel through their music and what they are preaching will leave the congregation on the floor.In 2017 the band decided to reissue three of their crucial early works via Heavy Psych Sounds Records: 1998’s Let it Burn, 1999’s To the Center and 2002’s Dos EPs, which includes the material originally released on 1999’s Sun Creature and the Nebula/Lowrider split. The reissues are being done to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band, and will be staggered as they come out in Jan., Feb. and March 2018.Heavy Psych Sounds Records&[...]

Sean Morales premieres first single from forthcoming solo debut on Super Secret Records


"A wild 8-song collection that's all over the map musically: power pop, proto-punk, garbled Krautrock, indie rock, Fat Possum blues, and more." -- Big TakeoverAustin songwriter  Sean Morales premieres the first single from his forthcoming solo debut today courtesy of The Spill Magazine and Big Takeover. Morales, who also plays in James Arthur's Manhunt, enlisted the help of several local scene luminaries to complete the project, a frenetic 8-song album that explores a variety of styles. Hear the lead single, a cover of '70s British musician/producer Chris Spedding's "Video Life" via The Spill, Big Takeover and Soundcloud. Sean Morales is a family man from Austin by way Norfolk, VA. He began writing the songs for Call it In while living alone in Houston, then started shaping the songs with wife and drummer, Erica Barton (also of Super Secret artists Faceless Werewolves), after moving back to Austin. Sean then reached out to Jonathan Horne, a brilliant Jazz-bent guitarist known for his work with Young Mothers, Ichi Ni San Shi, and Knest and other heavy friends from the Austin rock'n'roll underground like Orville Neely from OBN IIIs, Bryan Schmitz from the Golden Boys, and James Arthur from the band Sean regularly plays bass in, the blistering psych damaged James Arthur's Manhunt, to bring whatever they had on them at the time; be it laughter, Clubtails, or scorching guitar. The recording was expertly helmed by Stuart Sikes who's recorded cornerstone works by The White Stripes, Cat Power, and Loretta Lynn.Call It In is an occasion to celebrate the ease of life. It's an inviting debut that calls you over for a sundown evening of bourbon on the porch and unfolds into unexpected conversational turns. There is an alien familiarity in this record that resembles a solo night drive through blabber and smoke to arrive at a familiar room to find that Alex Chilton, Wreckless Eric, and the members of Amon Duul are already in the house, waiting for Junior Kimbrough to play. It's something that could have conceivably happened at some point, but it's still a dream.Sean made his first record with more mission than vision, by that we mean that this record is a comfort to those of us who think about records almost as friends we like to catch up with. Call It In will tell you the lowdown and take you to some unexpected places.Call It In will be available on LP, CD and download on January 12th, 2018 via Super Secret Records. Pre-orders are available HERE. Artist: Sean MoralesAlbum: Call It InLabel: Super Secret RecordsRelease Date: January 12, 201801. Video Life02. Call It In03. Bring Me Home04. Whispertime05. Problems06. Slummertime07. We've Been Apart08. Party 1On The[...]

Mastodon - Cold Dark Place EP


Greetings once again waveriders.  As this review is publishing shortly after Christmas I hope all of you have had a wonderful holiday season full of good tidings and cheer!  Thanks to a crowded schedule I needed something short and sweet to quickly write up in between family/social engagements.  Enter the latest release from Mastodon, the excellent Cold Dark Place EP.I realize that I'm late to the party when it comes to discussing this EP.  Released in late September, I was aware of and listened to the Cold Dark Place EP when it initially hit the market but failed to actually purchase it until mid-December.  Why the delay?  I don't know.  What I do know for a fact is that in my time at The Ripple Effect I've become a rather large fan of the guitar work and vocals of Brent Hinds.  His work with Mastodon is exceptional to my ears, but the songs that make up Cold Dark Placebetter reflect the sounds I associate with his side projects Fiend Without A Face and West End Motel.  Something else I know for a fact is that all four songs on this EP are phenomenal!  The heaviness associated with Mastodon is present, but it merely lurks menacingly in the background for the most part.  Taking center stage in place of said heaviness are beautiful, mysterious melody lines coupled with increasingly ornate guitar playing and magnificent, extended guitar solos.  Mr Hinds has outdone himself with the performances captured here.Waveriders, this one is pretty easy.  If you're a fan of Mastodon you likely already know about the Cold Dark Place EP.  In the event you did not however, I'm happy to report you have another worthy release to add to your collection.  On the other hand maybe you're not a fan of Mastodon?  May I recommend that you put aside any preconceived notions about what these songs will sound like and take a chance?  You will likely be pleasantly surprised!-Penfold allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="480" src="" width="854">[...]

Houston punk rock band THE COPS to release debut album, First Offense | Stream ‘Repeat Offender’ via Artificial Head Records


Following a recent confession given under duress, Artificial Head Records is hereby legally obliged to inform you that this February will see the official release of First Offense, the debut album from Houston-based protectors of punk rock and inhuman decency, The COPS.Formed in the Fall of 2016 by members of bands from Houston’s thriving punk rock scene, straight off the night stick it’s worth observing that not only do The COPS dress like police officers when performing live, they actually sing about the system. As tracks like ‘Homicide’ channel the speed freak punk guitar play of The Briefs and Electric Frankenstein and ‘Life On The Beat' proving to be a mean municipal anthem in-waiting which sits perversely amidst a throng of Minor Threat, Hot Snakes and Pissed Jeans-loving reprobates.Freeing their tongues from their collective cheeks to knock out some of the catchiest and most infectious jams you’re likely to hear from anyone/anywhere, having opened shows for the likes of JFA, NOBUNNY and Reagan Youth it seemed only logical that they would eventually team up with local legends Artificial Head Records. Having served the Houston music community loyally over the years the label has released albums from the likes of Funeral Horse, Jody Seabody & The Whirls and Cursus, not to mention some releases from further afield by bands such as Mountain God and Terminal Cheesecake.“I'm glad that Artificial Head saw us for what we are,” explains front man and singer Tony Fulco. “I've been in bands and have recorded plenty of songs, put our own CDs and all that. But we’ve never done vinyl. The COPS is the best, hardest working, and funnest band I've ever been in. So, for them to come along and say ‘Hey, we gotta press some records!’ just makes it that much funner.”First Offense by The COPS is released worldwide on 16th February 2018 on Artificial Head RecordsStream and share ‘Repeat Offender’ by The COPS here – COPS:Tony Fulco – VocalsJeff Smith – BassBrandon Barger – GuitarHalston Luna – GuitarCasey Kemp – Drums Cover art by Peter Lee – www.petrinetx.com1. Homicide2. Life on the Beat3. Street Hooker Love4. Police Brutality5. Night Stick6. Paraphernalia7. Repeat Offender8. Downtown9. Hot Pursuit10. Protect and Serve11. Riot TonightArtist: The COPSAlbum: First OffenseLabel: Artificial Head RecordsRelease Date: 16/02/2017Format: Vinyl/DigitalSocials:Bandcamp – www.artificialheadrecords.bandcamp.comFacebook (Artificial Head Records) – (The COPS) – (Artificial Head Records) – (The COPS) –[...]

Wishbone Ash's Twin Barrels Burning and Raw To The Bone Given First Official and Remastered Definitive Edition Re-release!


Each album is available on 2CD and Picture Disc LP with extensive bonus materials, just in time for Christmas!These are the FIRST OFFICIAL re-releases of Twin Barrels Burning from 1982 and Raw to the Bone from 1985 in decades and DEFINITIVE EDITIONS with all new 2017 REMASTERS.Both albums feature new liner notes by rock journalist Dave Ling, including new interviews with all the surviving members and archive quotes from the late Trevor Bolder.Twin Barrels Burning - This smoking hot 21 TRACK 2CD set includes the American Remixes of the album on a second disc, which have NEVER BEEN ON CD BEFORE.Raw To The Bone - This mammoth 23 TRACK 2CD set has bonus tracks including a HOLY GRAIL for Wishbone Ash fans – ALL FOUR UNRELEASED SONGS from the post-album 1986 SESSIONS. The bonus CD also includes The Friday Rock Show BBC Sessions, which are often described as better than the album versions, plus four live tracks from Hammersmith.These re-issues are FULLY APPROVED by Steve Upton, Laurie Wisefield, Andy Powell, Merv Spence, and the estate of Trevor Bolder.These 2CD sets and Picture Disc LPs are IN STOCK NOW with PledgeMusic orders being sent out in time for Christmas – ahead of being released by Cherry Red on 2nd February 2018.The second disc of bonus tracks accompanying each CD will not be available with any other product or box set. The editions are IN STOCK NOW and can be ordered from: Barrels Burning 2CD Track ListDISC ONE:1. Engine Overheat2. Can’t Fight Love3. Genevieve4. Me and My Guitar5. Hold On6. Streets of Shame7. No More Lonely Nights8. Angels Have Mercy9. Wind UpBonus Tracks:10. Cat and Dog Fight11. Go for the Gold12. Night HawkerDISC TWO – The American Remixes1. Engine Overheat2. Can’t Fight Love3. No More Lonely Nights4. Wind Up5. Streets Of Shame6. My Guitar7. Hold On8. Genevieve9. Angels Have MercyRaw To The Bone 2CD Track ListDISC ONE:1. Cell of Fame2. People in Motion3. Don’t Cry4. Love in Blue5. Long live the Night6. Rocket in my Pocket7. It’s Only Love8. Don’t You Mess9. Dreams (Searching for an Answer)10. Perfect TimingBonus Tracks:11. She’s Still AliveThe 1986 Sessions12. Apocalypso13. Valley of Tears14. Nkomo15. Talk To MeDISC 2:The Friday Rock Show1. Long Live the Night2. Cell of Fame3. Love in Blue4. People in MotionLive at Hammersmith on BBC local radio5. Living Proof6. Cell of Fame7. The King Will Come8. Blowin’ FreeAvailable for order:Twin Barrels Burning 2 CDRaw To The Bone 2 CDTwin Barrels Burning Picture Disc LPRaw To The Bone Picture Disc LPCD BundlePicture Disc BundleAll Formats Bundle[...]

The Xroadie Files


Sar Isatum – ShurpuSar Isatum tribal beats and grinding guitars that then kicks into overdrive of evil intent.  Chenoo kicks you in the teeth from the very first note and drags you down the road to nothingness.  Black Gate starts slow melodic and melancholy then it’s like the pits of hell are opening up.  Gormandizer deep plodding bass that rumbles your very inside then something from the pit is arising to take you with it.  Celestial Diaspora has more of a gothic classical intro then the blast beats and deep growling vocals come in to eat you alive.  Vanaspati in your face demonic death metal from Hades.  Halls of Pestilence melancholy intro music then the depths of hell open up to drag you down. seamless="" src="" style="border: 0; height: 42px; width: 100%;">Shurpu by Sar IsatumSigno Rojo – SvarfoddJonas- Vocals/Bass, Elias – Guitar, Ola – Guitar, Pontus – DrumsThey Sell Conflict punk meets death meets stoner in this song.  Dead Horse is more of a thrash melds with death style of song with some interesting guitar work.  Holyman is almost thrash with a unique style of riff that has a few twists.  Underminer is more like old Sabbath with the growling vocals of stoner rock.  Cock Will Burn has a mid-eastern feel to the guitar and some excellent drum bass work a great song to head bang to.  Under The Wheels Of The Juggernaut has the feeling of being stuck in the ground and a steamroller coming your way to run you over and you can’t move.  Lockjaw is closer to classic metal reminds me of Rage from Germany but with deeper vocals.  Fractal and Shapeless ends the album with spoken words which builds into a really strange song. allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="480" src="" width="854">Staring Into Nothing – Power Steve Rogers – Keyboards/Vocals, Savannah Rogers – Guitar/Vocals, Kurt Barabas – Bass/Guitar, Matt Chamberlain – Drums, David Levita – Guitar, Jamie Muhoberac- Keyboards, Pop Levi – BG Vocals, Andrea Meli – BG VocalsPuritans is excellent prog rock that takes you back to the early days of the prog rock style lots of emotion and melody Pink Floyd meets Genesis.  School Daze has sort of a prog rock meets Beatles feel to just sit back and enjoy.  Obey excellent melodies with lots of great musicianship and an older Rush feel to it.  The Program continues the saga of the excellent concept album mixing Rush, Asia, Yes and Genesis.  Heads or Tails great keyboard work has sort of a saga meets Prog rush mellow sound.  Information Crime is a slow melodic lots of excellent vocals and musicianship that takes you on a trip to yesteryear then slowly builds to a great riff and story with some amazing lead guitar.  Towers is Tangerine Dream mixed with Pink Floyd and early Genesis a great nod to the old school prog rock 18 minutes of excellence.  Big Brother great piano work and heartfelt vocals that melds its way into a mid-tempo rock song.  Freedom is another excellent prog song that takes you on a trip to younger times with some excellent guitar work and an excellent rhythm.  The Gates Of Hell starts with chorus vocals and a great message over 6 minutes of prog rock excellence. allo[...]



Sonic soundscapes of uncommon beauty and depth. 

Really, there are very few other words I could use to describe the atmospheric post-rock of STAHV.  A one man band, STAHV cut his teeth as a musician in the same California music scene that birthed Sleep, Neurosis, and Noothgrush. And you can get a feeling of that here.  While not like any of the bands mentioned, STAHV shares their patience, their gift of allowing a song to breath, to progress in an unhurried way without ever losing sight of the final destination.  STAHV is also much brighter than those bands mentioned.  While his aural atmospheres does trip upon everything from doom to shoegaze to psychedelia, overall the music never loses it's heart of inherent brightness.  Even during some of the heavier passages, (like midway through "The Test" the heavy riff that bubbles up from beneath the cinematic soundscape is one of power and muscle, not necessarily death and despair. 

Don't get me wrong, the album is plenty dark, but somehow, it seems as if STAHV can always see the light that lurks within the darkness.   Synths, gentle acoustic guitar, distorted riffs and other instrumentation (is that a sitar I hear during Djinn Rumi) fill the space with a musical density, but always allow enough space for that light to surface.

My personal favorite is the damp acoustic romp of  "Forest Dweller," which is so thick and lively you can almost feel the moisture of the dangling moss from the tree branches on your skin.  Don't know what species of mystical animal this Forest Dweller is, but he seems to be mischievous and even dangerous, while still being playful at heart.

Quite beautiful at times, darkly dysphoric at others, STAHV is a perfect soundtrack for the troubles of our time.  Angst, anger and betrayal seem to live amongst these musical brushstrokes, but hope lives on.   Well worth exploring.  --Racer

seamless="" src="" style="border: 0; height: 120px; width: 100%;">STAHV by STAHV