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Psych





VIDEO: “Holy Roller” Finds DEATHCHANT Doing Very Bad Things

image courtesy artist's bandcamp page

L.A.-based heavy metal / stoner rock quartet DEATHCHANT have released their sophomore album, Waste, on label Riding Easy Records, and you can watch the music video for track “Holy Roller” below.

The first thing to remark on is how the album was recorded: in a rented cabin up in secluded Big Bear, CA. According to T.J. Lemieux, singer and guitarist, “we packed a big-ass van and set up in the living room and kitchen, tracked it live, with overdubs after.” Despite the humble setup, the album has both a professional clarity and a hard-hitting brutality, especially on the vinyl version, which the author of this review was able to enjoy at maximum volume at a recent evening at Permanent Records Roadhouse in Cypress Park.

Track “Holy Roller” opens with cutting, rusty distorted slices of rhythm guitar at battle with dissonant feedback howls to arrive at your ears first, before both are shoved out of the way by a pummeling bass/drum combo. Soon, the vocals enter, sounding like a platoon of demented monks yelling unholy, apocalyptic incantations from inside a cave. Meanwhile, start-stop doubled guitar lines bring the chaos to a temporary halt, before cranking back up to break-neck speed, until the half-time bridge that offers somewhat of a breather before the song transforms into an ultra-sludgy, Hawkwind-style chug. It’s part sludge metal, part grunge, part Thin Lizzy in its dual lead guitar lines, but at all points it’s compelling. Which is all the more impressive when you discover that most of the band’s music is improvised (!).

Finally, extra points to the band for connecting all the tracks on Waste together with droning, abstract interludes, giving the whole thing a sense of oneness and cohesion. DEATHCHANT work hard to create a complete atmosphere and populate it with heavy riffs, hypnotic grooves, and dark sludge. Where they’ll take us next is anyone’s guess, but one can be sure it’ll be somewhere worth heading. Gabe Hernandez





Tobacco City

Tobacco City recently announced that their debut full-length album, Tobacco City, USA, will be released via Scissor Tail Records on July 30th. The album, which will be available on vinyl and digitally, will include the group's two most recent singles, "Never On My Mind" and "Blue Raspberry".

Psych Folk of Lexi Goddard (Guitar/Vocals), Chris Coleslaw (Guitar/Vocals), Nick Usalis (Pedal Steel), Eliza Weber (Bass/Vocals), and Josh Condon (Drums).

You can catch Tobacco City at Empty Bottle on November 26th with Rookie and Brbra Bush.

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Supergroup Sighting at Far Out: Bowlice Play The Boleys

 A special evening at the Far Out Lounge presents a unique superband moment and premiere of BOWLICE, featuring members of The Boleys (@smokeaboleys) and Mug Dog (@mugdog_atx). These two bands have previously played together at various venues in town from Far Out to Kick Butt, but this is their first joint performance. Mug Dog’s heaviness and subliminal funk complement the psychedelic playfulness of the Boleys when they come together as BOWLICE. 

On the eve of the solar eclipse, multi-colored lights dance on the ceiling as the evening’s bands play for an intimate crowd of fans, friends, birthday girls, and music lovers who are out on a Tuesday night. As BOWLICE plays Boley’s songs and engages the growing audience with a spirited, crowdsourced game of “Who can scream the loudest?”, the evening is full of shirtless men aplenty and long hair a-flowing. There is a love fest of shooting hearts and gesticulated glee to one another before the superband moves into the Boley’s song, “Fuck You.” 

 

The band’s synergy is palpable when the guitarist of the Boleys and the bassist of Mug Dog straight up rub their instruments together, strings kissing and bending. The sensuality of the music bangs through the PA system. A kind stranger from the crowd helps restore a cymbal gone askew, and then receives the microphone to howl along with Ethan Boley, lead vocalist and guitarist. All members of the superband contribute to an incredibly memorable live performance. 

 

Far Out Lounge has a massive outside seating area covered by a large tent. The thundering bass and drums, and dancing magentas and yellows make the tent feel like a rock music revival. It was a fun, festive show to see musicians be playful with each other as well as feel free to be themselves authentically, as they should! Take this as your sign to go out on a weeknight and participate in the immaculate return of live music. This might have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness BOWLICE but both bands have several upcoming shows you can catch this summer.

 

-- Mel Green


 

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Woongi "Fruits of the Midi"

Woongi are preparing to release their latest album, Fruits of the Midi, this Friday, June 25th.

The album will include the group's last two singles, "Slow Reaction" and "Yield". The latter was released back in April and was accompanied by the video below.

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Cookie Tongue bequeath a "Soggy Miracle"

I can't claim to know why Cookie Tongue are called Cookie Tongue. But in my imagination they took it from the title to an ancient fable, or a long lost Grimms' Fairy Tale, about a child granted three wishes with her first wish being for her tongue to be turned into a cookie because how great would that be. Except her wish backfires horribly because having a cookie in your mouth that you can’t swallow would be torture. Needless to say the girl nearly goes mad and ends up biting off her own tongue off to end the torment. So she can't communicate her next wish (“I’d like to have my old tongue back”) which is a pretty harsh way to learn a basic lesson like “be careful what you wish for.”

This is no doubt completely off base but much like a Grimms' fairy tales the Brooklyn-based combo are made up of equal parts playful/fanciful and twisted/demented. And it’s not an easy balancing act to pull off which is why not many people write good fairy tales and not many people are in Cookie Tongue. Another parallel is that Cookie Tongue clearly appeals to children and adults alike, a fact I can verify first-hand having just seen them perform live on the opening date of their upcoming (now ongoing tour) summer tour—SEE HERE for dates—because the adults at the show were rapt and the kids were losing their minds they were so into it.

The show was held outdoors on a perfect equinox evening with plenty of little rug rats running amok as their parents drank beer and cocktails no doubt happy to be given a break thanks to the Cookie Tonguers and their exquisitely ramshackle songs playing on a Ren Faire style stage decked out with flowers and mannequins and an array of glockenspiels and puppets and Casio keyboards and other implements of their trade. Rest assured Cookie Tongue know how to put the “freak” in freak folk with an extra helping of dollop of freak on top while providing suitable entertainment for the whole family.

A Cookie Tongue performance feels like if the roustabouts tied up the clowns and took over the circus; and then went on an afternoon-long drinking binge and raided the wardrobe/makeup cabinet and put on a crazy pastiche of stuff; and then went on stage and performed a surprisingly coherent set of calliope-inspired music with bizarrely poetic lyrics sung by a male-female combo in warbling, breathy tones that you're not sure if it's funny or disturbing or just different. But really that’s too easy an explanation, better to just go listen to their music like their last full length, Dream Seed Ceremony (2020), on which Omer Gal and Jacquelyn Marie Shannon inhabit a rogue’s gallery of vocal personas. So you can see why these two would be into puppetry with all the voices they clearly have trapped inside.

On their new EP from earlier this month, Soggy Miracle, Cookie Tongue continue to refine their quaint yet ornate junk store aesthetic forming a bed a sonic fertilizer for the lyrics and their sinuous twisty trains of thought and mantra-like repetitions--like the one sung from the perspective of a ten-year-old child tempted to eat his own baby teeth out of a cereal bowl with milk on them along with his friend but they don't know if they'll be soggy or crunchy.

Soggy Miracle closes with “Orange Sky” which is centered around a rousing yet doom-laden melody that'll make you wanna raise your mug in the air and toast the impending end--a song about taking “the back road out of here / away from the orange sky” which certainly sounds more than a little apocalyptic--especially at the end when the song turns into a swirling miasma of breathy vocalizing and megaphone man ranting and rat-a-tat snare drumming before concluding with a dramatic almost a cappella epigram or epitaph take your pick. (Jason Lee)

n.b. Credit must be given to Michele With One 'L' whose weekly Tuesday afternoon WFMU radio show called "Feelings" first turned this writer on to Cookie Tongue and to several other artists featured on this blog.

 

 

 

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