Category Archives: Uncategorized

29.9. BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE / LeVENT


The ever-evolving musical vehicle for notorious psych-rock brain trust Anton Newcombe, the Brian Jonestown Massacre has endured numerous phases and iterations since arriving in the mid-’90s, becoming something of an independent institution in the process. Early highlights like 1996’s Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request showed Newcombe’s propensity for melding late-’60s psychedelia with textured shoegaze, while later standouts like 2015’s imaginary soundtrack Musique de Film Imaginé took a more cerebral and experimental approach. 

Undoubtedly, their most visible period followed the release of the 2004 documentary film DIG!, which focused on the contentious relationship between Newcombe and Dandy Warhols frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor. With the film criticized by members from both bands for what they considered to be an unfair portrayal, the Brian Jonestown Massacre nonetheless survived the media attention and moved into a particularly fertile period of creativity that continued well into the 2010s.

Named in tribute to the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist and his influence in introducing Eastern culture and music into the world of Western rock & roll, the Brian Jonestown Massacre formed in San Francisco, California in 1990. Some 40 different members passed through the group’s ranks over the next half-decade, but the focal point always remained singer/guitarist Anton Newcombe, who, along with bassist Matt Hollywood, guitarist Dean Taylor, organist Mara Regal, accordionist Dawn Thomas, drummer Brian Glaze, and percussionist Joel Gion, recorded the band’s 1995 shoegaze-influenced debut LP, Methodrone. 

A collection of early recordings, Spacegirl and Other Favorites, followed on the band’s own Tangible label in early 1996, and was the first of four Brian Jonestown Massacre LPs to appear that year; next up was the brilliant Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request, a full-blown homage to the Stones’ glorious psychedelic-era excesses. Recorded live in the studio, the grittier Take It from the Man! found the band exploring even broader territory. Finally, the year ended with the release of Thank God for Mental Illness, a showcase for their strong country and blues leanings.

In 1997, the BJM — now consisting of Newcombe, Hollywood, Gion, Taylor, guitarists Jeff Davies and Peter Hayes, and drummer Brad Artley — resurfaced with Give It Back! After signing to TVT, they released Strung Out in Heaven the following year, but the band and Newcombe’s own eccentricities kept them from staying on the label. After a few scattered EPs, they resurfaced in 2001 with Bravery Repetition and Noise, distributed by Bomp. And This Is Our Music followed in 2003. Despite a continued lack of major distribution, the Brian Jonestown Massacre earned the largest profile of their career in 2004, when the band became the unlikely focus of an award-winning documentary, DIG!, which charted the trials of Newcombe and those of his former friend and perceived rival, Courtney Taylor-Taylor, leader of the Dandy Warhols. The We Are the Radio EP followed in August 2005. Three years later, the band reinvented itself with My Bloody Underground, featuring yet another lineup and a hint of shoegaze and noise pop, and marking the first release for Newcombe’s own A Records label. The noisy experimentalism continued on 2010’s Who Killed Sgt Pepper?, which Newcombe recorded partly in Iceland and Berlin.

In 2012, Newcombe and Matt Hollywood teamed up again to record what he considered his most cinematic record, Aufheben. In 2014, the project’s 14th full-length album, Revelation, materialized, featuring tracks toiled over in Newcombe’s Berlin studio between 2012 and 2014. In 2015, Newcombe returned to the themes of Aufheben with Musique de Film Imaginé, a collection of soundtrack cues for a nonexistent movie, inspired by his love of classic French cinema.


A seven-song collection of new, more rock-based material arrived later that year under the amusing title of Mini Album Thingy Wingy. Ever prolific, Newcombe and his collaborators returned first in October 2016 with the lush psych-shogaze LP Third World Pyramid, followed four months later by Don’t Get Lost, their 16th album overall. Something Else, the first of two albums released in 2018, found the BJM eschewing some of the experimentalism of their later period in favor of a more straightforward rock approach akin to their early releases.

www.brianjonestownmassacre.com

Berlin based trio LeVent got stoned, forgot to replace their guitarist, and then kept his name anyway.

2017 saw the release of their self titled debut album on A Recordings.

levent.bandcamp.com

Arena Vienna / Big Hall / adv 26 € / doors 34 € / 19.00h

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25.9. GRAVEYARD / BOMBUS

„When we started the band we did so without a plan ever to come this far – but with that said we started Graveyard with the ambition and intention to take it as far as we could. Graveyard as a band wasn’t gonna be about mocking around in the rehearsal room, cos we knew what we wanted to do and that we also had the musical skills and the dedication to write and record great songs that could and would take us places.“


In the past 5-6 years Graveyard recorded 3 full length albums, toured the world extensively, made fans wherever they happened to play and were met by the music press with overflowing joy and superlatives.
2015 Graveyard called it quits and disbanded.

2018 marked their surprising comeback and release of their 5th full length album, and definite return to form, „Peace“.
Needless to say fans all over the world were delighted, if not in pure ecstasy.


Unsurprisingly Graveyard picked up right where they left. Incorporating all of their refined musical influences (folk, prog, heavy metal, stoner) into an artfully crafted, timeless rock album.

www.facebook.com/graveyardofficial


Bombus were formed in Gothenburg in around 2008 as a two piece and in 2009 they expanded to a four piece. Shortly afterwards they released their eponymous debut album. Bombus toured extensively through Scandinavia and Europe and in 2013 released their second album, “The Poet And The Parrot”. An appearance at this year’s [2015] Download festival has introduced Bombus to a wider UK audience and if there’s any logic and reason in the world this will kick them on to another level.

Bombus are a superb band and a fantastic live act. They are certainly deserving of your attention.

Singer and guitarist Feffe would like to add:

“Some people believe in hard work and artistic suffering. Others believe that if you know you got it you can just kick back and let the good things come to you. We believe in both. We worked hard (really hard), suffered artistically (don´t really know what that means), but also kicked back and just let this monster of an album take a form of its own. We went into the studio and came out with a bunch of the strongest tracks we’ve ever made. We have shamelessly stolen the best of the best from the best and then made it better. We have polished turds, dug too deep and climbed too high. Call it Metal, call it Rock, call it whatever, but don´t call us – we´ll call you! This album is our third and is by far the best we’ve ever made. Its name is REPEAT UNTIL DEATH. And that´s a fact.”

www.bombusmusic.com

Arena Vienna / Big Hall / 29 € / 19.00h

 

19.9. STONED JESUS / MOTHERSHIP / ELEPHANT TREE


Melting faces since 2009 – Stoned Jesus wouldn`t dare to show up at your party without a solid slab of stoner rock! 

But make no mistake with this Ukrainian trio: this ain`t your average desert session! Fourth album „Pilgrims“ is a rather multi-faceted affair mixing groove with noise rock elements and lots of proggy infusions.

If Stoned Jesus keep releasing music and expanding their fanbase like they did over the past few years, they will slowly but surely be among the top of the crop of contemporary, forward thinking metal giants such as Mastodon or Deftones.

stonedjesus.bandcamp.com


Supersonic intergalactic heavy rock trio Mothership based out of Dallas, Texas give a real sense of hope that all is well in the universe, and that pure honest rock and roll has once again returned to this planet on a mission to unite true believers. Consisting of brothers Kyle Juett on bass/lead vocals, Kelley Juett on guitar/vocals, and Judge Smith on drums, these guys have created a unique sound that satisfies like a steaming hot stew of UFO and Iron Maiden, blended with the southern swagger of Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top, paired with a deadly chalice of Black Sabbath.

2017 saw the release of “High Strangeness”, their most accomplished work up until now.

Mothership’s goal from the beginning has been to carry on the tradition of the classic rock style of the ’70′s, updated and amped up for the modern day. The band has been non-stop road warriors since the release of their debut album in February 2013 on Ripple Music successfully invading the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe playing either on festival stages, night clubs, or outdoors under the sun at motorcycle parties.


mothershipusa.com


Rock/Blues/Doom/Stoner band Elephant Tree was founded in London, GB, in January 2014.

Elephant Tree are a relatively new band who, after cutting their teeth in the London metal scene, have established a place within the current growing Stoner Metal genre. While the style is difficult to class under any one particular sub-genre of Metal it has been most likened to Doom Metal and Stoner Rock however many people have their own classifications ranging from Blues to Prog.

elephanttreeband.bandcamp.com

Arena Vienna / Big Hall / adv 20 € / doors 24 € / 19.00h

10.9. MARS RED SKY / MAIDAVALE


Mars Red Sky establish themselves as a cornerstone band of the heavy psych scene, garnering praise from major international critics. Hypnotic, massive, charismatic, psychedelic, are some of the tags used to define the prolific trio’s brand of sound, floating atop the stoner rock constellation and 70’s psych-pop nebula.

www.marsredsky.net

MaidaVale is a rock band that met and formed in Fårösund on Gotland, Sweden, in 2012. With influences ranging over decades, they have created a sound based in the late 60’s/early 70’s music scene. With a modern take on blues rock the band have captured many audiences with their heavy and psychedelic vibes, and developed into a highly acclaimed live act with the ability to spellbind and enthrall audiences.


2018 saw the release of their second full length “Madness Is Too Pure”.

maidavaleofficial.bandcamp.com

Arena Vienna / Dreiraum /  adv 16 € / doors 20 € / 20.00h

 

8.5. JEX THOTH / DEMON HEAD



One of current rock’s most captivating figures and a devilishly talented musician in her own right, Jex Thoth is a quiet enigma floating airily through a thicket of oversharers. There isn’t a ton of information about her out there, and this willful silence has led many to style her as one that likes to keep people guessing.

The band that would come to bear her name first materialized in 2007 under the Totem moniker and released one EP before switching over to Jex Thoth. So far, the band’s discography features six statements (including a split with the legendary Pagan Altar), culminating in 2013´s mesmerizing full-length Blood Moon Rise which was produced by Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))), Black Mountain).




Embracing all that is good from the past and shuttling it defiantly into the future, Jex Thoth ‘s alchemical sound reveals a reverence for bands like Pink Floyd, Amon Duul 2, Jefferson Airplane, and Black Sabbath, while still managing to conjure a unique sound style that is very much their own.


jexthoth.bandcamp.com


Original artwork for the Vienna show by aplacefortom.com.


Long winters and short glimpses of the sun gave life to Demon Head in 2012 in the city of Copenhagen. It quickly became clear that what the five demon brothers had awoken could not be buried again.

The sound of old amplifiers, tape recording and raw power shows the inspirations from the first really heavy bands, blues and gloomy music in all its forms. A sinister kind of doom-tinged, heavy rock saw its first live appearance in late 2013 and since then Demon Head hasn’t seem to be able to stop. Live shows have become notorious for their spell-like intensity and loud, dark grooviness.

After a demo tape that quickly sold out, the Winterland 7” came shortly after the bands’ first tour in Scandinavia with the witches of Körp, and just in time for their appearance at the Heavy Days in Doom Town festival. In the early days of spring 2014, Demon Head travelled to a small house in the country side near the infamous Heather Hills and recorded eight songs for their debut album Ride the Wilderness. The record was released a year later and the first press sold out in a matter of months. The acclaim of the underground was significant and the album was praised for its skilled songwriting, warm production and a certain sinister catchiness.

With their latest album „Thunder On The Fields“ in tow, and an eagerness to shred stages all over the Western Hemisphere, there is indeed lightning on the horizon and thunder on the fields.
„Imagine the tour bus of Judas Priest had crashed into a whiskey bar where The Doors and Neil Young throw dice with the devil, while The Stooges cover Big Mama Thornton on the decrepit corner stage.“


www.demonhead.org

 

Arena Vienna / Dreiraum / adv 16 € / 20.00h

2.5. NEBULA / DIAMOND SKULL


L.A. power trio Nebula, whose cosmic cocktail of heavy riffs, electric blues and psychedelic space rock has earned the band international (and, dare we say, universal) acclaim have returned.


The great swirling, electrical ball of dynamism and potential known as Nebula formed in the mythical abyss of Los Angeles in 1997. In its current incarnation the band is comprised of Eddie Glass (Guitar/Vocals), Rob Oswald (Drums) and Tom Davies (Bass/Vocals).

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.


Combining the combustibility of the sun with the mysticism of the moon, no matter your preferred definition,  Nebula’s reputation as one of rock’s brightest stars – in this galaxy or any other- is a force to be reckoned with.


atomicritual.com


Diamond Skull formed in Vienna, Austria, takes inspiration from Classic Rock, Stoner and Psychedelic, crafting a sound that is equally straight forward, dark and hypnotic.

Their debut single „Cocaine“ was released  on the 14th of February 2018, followed by their first full length album „Sleepless“, which comes out on April 15th 2018 on Electric Fire Records.



diamondskull.bandcamp.com
electricfirerecords.bandcamp.com

Arena Vienna / small hall / adv 18 € / doors 22 € / 20.00h

 

30.04. HORISONT / DEAD LORD


Formed in 2006, HORISONT have spent the last decade establishing themselves within the Scandinavian retro-rock revival scene, along with peers such as Witchcraft, Graveyard etc, thus creating a sound that takes the foundations of the movement while injecting hearty doses of boogie blues, infusing prog complexities and finishing it all off with that good ole NWOBHM swagger!


After releasing their fourth full length album entitled Odyssey in late 2015, HORISONT completed a 6 week tour across Europe with Kadavar along with their new label mates The Shrine, which helped gain further attention from their new label Century Media.

The band comments: “We are super excited to be signing with the mighty and highly acclaimed Century Media and look very much forward to be working together. Right now we are in the most creative era of this bands existence and this will spill right over into the new album we are currently working on. The first taster off the new stuff will hit the streets by the fall and we’re pretty sure it will electrocute your soul. In the meantime – see you on the road!”


Fast forward a couple months and HORISONT´s most refined work, their fifth full length album “About Time”, a tour de force of prog dynamics, psychedelia and twin lead assaults all led by a vocal performance of masterful proportions, is praised by rockers, headbangers and metalheads all over the globe.

Jens Prueter, head of A&R Century Media Europe, comments: “I first saw HORISONT at the Rock Hard Festival in 2013 where they turned the amphitheater into a sea of head banging and beer raising. Seeing them again last year, I was impressed how they took their retro influences and progressed into a league of their own. These guys are as tight as their trousers. Looking forward to join their journey! Thanks to all of the guys and the equally amazing Peter from Crusher Records who discovered them first and is still the captain of the ship!”


www.horisontmusic.com


Swedish hard rockers Dead Lord were clearly born too late. Formed in 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden, members Hakim Krim (vocals/guitars), Olle Hedenström (guitars), Martin Nordin (bass) and Adam Lindmark (drums) are clearly more at home with 1976 (the year Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak hit stores) than they are with 2017. As time machines don’t exist, however, the members are stuck in the present, where they decided to form the hardest working, hardest sounding rock band since The Hellacopters took off with Grande Rock at the turn of the millennium. With three albums to the wind—the band’s newest In Ignorance We Trust hits stores worldwide in late August—Dead Lord aren’t hoping you’ll join them, they’re demanding you join them. Riff by riff. Hook by hook. Just don’t call their brand of rock retro.

“It’s timeless, not retro,” Dead Lord’s Hakim Krim asserts. “Instead, it is pretty much all the modern rock bands that sound dated. I guess something happened during the ‘80s and onward. People had all sorts of recording tricks at hand, which led much music to sound very dated. Different effects and tricks are usually a lot of fun when they’re new, but tend to sound very dated after a decade or two. Not applying any of the modern mega compressors, expanders or other macky mack, make things sound more—I hate to use the word but here we go—true. More honest, I would say. Not retro. It just sounds more like the way it actually sounds live. The modern way of glazing everything in stupidity is not really what we’re after. Same way man buns are stupid, so is the modern rock sound.”

As with man buns and murses so too with ultra-slick studio tricks and obscenely-expensive mastering jobs. They’re just not in the cards for Dead Lord. The Swedes prefer to rock hard the honest way, where riffs hook, vocal lines stick, and steady rhythms pound the floor. There is no pretense in Dead Lord’s denim ‘n’ leather swagger. There are no parlor tricks to Dead Lord’s sound. Like Zeppelin, Metallica, and, of course, ABBA—all influences to the Swedes—the music does the talking. It’s raw, unbridled, and ready for action. No wonder Krim had little trouble describing Dead Lord’s sound.

“[Our sound is a] mind-blowing, face-melting, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, twin-guitar infused smart-rock extravaganza,” laughs the frontman.

Their new album, In Ignorance We Trust, naturally picks up where 2015’s lauded Heads Held High left off.

“We went a bit broader music-wise,” Krim reveals. “Part from some of our heaviest tunes, this album also has some of our softest and weirdest tunes so far. That’s what you do on the third album, right? [So, we] bring out the harmonica and jaw harp.”


Unlike Heads Held High, which was recorded locally in Sweden between David Castillo’s Studio Gröndahl and Nicke Andersson’s The Honk Palace, In Ignorance We Trust thrust the Swedes into the heart of Madrid, Spain, where they were enlodged for 10 days at Cuervo Recording Service. As a fully analog or digital studio, it’s pretty obvious which option Dead Lord and long-time producer Ola Ersfjord picked. They wanted the hiss of tape, the warmth of a manual edit, and all the hassle that comes with it.

www.deadlord.com

Arena Vienna / Dreiraum / adv 14 € / 20.00h