MEGACHURCH Will Save Your Soul

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , , on March 1, 2012 by Ben

Studying? Sleeping? Who does that? Like really.

Today I’ve got Cleavland, Ohio’s Megachurch and their earth shaking blend of televangelism and meaty fucking riffs. Now don’t let the televangelism make you go running to the hills. This 3 piece stoner instrumental group replace the tradition of a lead singer with a collection of televangelist and other related samplings. The end result is equal parts refreshing and awesome.

I was a little skeptical when I read the musical description on Bandcamp, but as I heard the opening sample of “At 2:19am I heard my brother begin to stir in his coffin!” followed by a swarm of frantic bass and crashing drums, it did feel like the Thirteenth Resurrection was coming. The fury and venom that coat the words of each televangelist work in perfect tandem with the fury and venom that Megachurch pumps through the speakers.

Borrowing elements from sludge, stoner, metal and progressive and combining everything with a potent mix of fuzz, distortion and even a teensy bit of syncopation, Megachurch do more than match the religious fervor of their disembodied vocalists. At points the frenzied insanity of the screaming hordes of religious nutjobs build together with relentless musicianship of Megachurch and culminates into a crushing cacophony of sound.

It’s this combination of organ grinding weight, neck snapping grooves and earth scorching sampling that cements Megachurch into their own niche among the countless stoner genre varieties. They currently have 3 albums, 2 full length and 1 remix album. For the remix they took their entire first album and recreated it using NES generated sounds, not my thing but it’s still pretty damn cool.

All 3 three releases are up on Bandcamp for pittances, meaning you really have no excuses for picking one up. As Leonard Ravenhill said, “There’s nothing this generation needs more than a baptism and good old fashioned hellfire preaching”, Megachurch bring you a baptism with good old fashioned hellfire rock ‘n’ fucking roll.

Megachurch Bandcamp

Megachurch Facebook


Stonerider bring you Fountains Left To Wake

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , on February 29, 2012 by Ben

Welp, one midterm down, 4 more to go just gotta keep on chooglin’. In the meantime I’ve got some fresh new jams from Atlanta’s Stonerider, previously mentioned here.

“Fountains Left To Wake” is this rock ‘n’ roll trio’s second full length release, after 2008’s “Three Legs of Trouble”. “Three Legs of Trouble” was a solid collection of rowdy, foot stomping rock ‘n’ roll anthems that packed a whole lot of punch. “Fountains Left To Wake” sees a substantial but not unwelcome change of style and pacing. Decidedly a mellower album, everything from the guitar tones to the vocals sound much more organic and have a heavy vintage vibe.

While the beer drinking swagger of their first release is not gone, it has matured. It’s a two fingers of whiskey kind of vibe this time around. A certain amount of blues and even some boogie, has weaved it’s way into the record. Heavy tastes of cowbell, piano and the sweet taste of harmonica are just a few of the new vibes that shine through over the sixteen tracks. The addition of female backing vocals in the form of Ruby Velle are another welcome addition and help to define this new sound.

The entire album plays out at a much more relaxed place. Meandering jams and excellent solo’s take the spotlight this time around, showcasing a much larger musical diversity. I feel like there’s a lot more soul packed into this release and along with numerous other nuances make this a record worth spinning again and again. Tracks like “Red Moon” and “Hot Summer Nights” bring a tasty bluegrass flavor into the mix, with minimum riffs, simple drums and some delicious solo’s.

Even with the stylistic changes, this is still a swaggerin’ rock album at it’s core. You can pretty much keep your foot ‘a’ tapping throughout the entire release, between solid head nodding riffage and bluesy licks to keep everything interesting. You can even find slight hits of psycadellic ambience on “El Dorado” and the closing track, “The Sleeper”. “Fountains Left To Wake” sees Stonerider taking a big step forward and not loosing anything along the way.

You can pick up the album several ways. There’s regular quality and audiophile quality downloads from Bandcamp, as well as a CD/Vinyl/T-shirt available for order. If you really dig the tunes I highly suggest picking up a vinyl because that’s what this music was made for, the warm, fuzzy embrace of metal needles and vinyl discs.

Stonerider Facebook

Stonerider Bandcamp

Samsara Blues Experiment: Revelations & Mystery

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , on February 28, 2012 by Ben

Revelation & Mystery is the second album from this Berlin based band. I talked about their first album, “Long Distance Trip”, on Monday. There was more than enough musical diversity spread over these two albums to warrant two posts, so that’s what you get.

While “Long Distance trip” is firmly entrenched in the psychedelica and prog side of the spectrum, “Revelation & Mystery” sees a shift towards the groove laden stoner side of things. Almost a reverse engineering of things, the acid trip ambient stylings from their previous album have been traded in for a fatter guitar tone, loads more fuzz and a more straight out rock ‘n’ roll approach, while still keeping the staggering musicianship and soulful songwriting.

They still retain their distinctive psychedelic flavor, shown on the track “Thirsty Moon”, but everything is warmer, louder and fuzzy-er. As soon as the LSD trip is just ebbing away, the sweet tones of a marijuana haze envelope and distort their sound. Everything sounds bigger and meatier, the endless ambiance is trimmed away in order to fit in some truly ass kicking riffs. Everything is a touch more aggressive, as if you had jumped through the rabbit hole and it turned out to not be such a nice place after all. The smooth safety of your trip is gone, with a tribe of feral heshers lead by succulent solos charge in it’s wake.

Gone are the 10+ minute epics that made up the bulk of the last album. Where “Long Distance Trip” had epic and beautiful moments, “Revelation &  Mystery” is the hard drinking and hard smoking wayward cousin that left home and never returned calls. Keeping the best of their previous prog elements, the Sitar makes an excellent return on the track “Zwei Schatten Im Schatten” (Two Shadows in the Shadow). I highly recommend you give this a listen through with good headphones, to really get the most out of it.

“Revelation & Mystery” is my personal favorite out of the two, as some of the epic-length ambiance from the first album was a bit too much for my taste. This album on the other hand, hits all the right buttons in all the right ways and leaves me wondering where I could possibly find fault.

Released in October of last year, it’s up for 8 euro’s on Bandcamp. While I highly recommend both albums, if your going to pick just one up, it should be this one. Now go get some!

Samsara Blues Experiment Facebook

“Revelation & Mystery” Bandcamp

METAL MONDAY: Beneath the Massacre on Melting Faces

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , , on February 27, 2012 by Ben

Alright I’m just gonna out and out say it. If you like what I usually post on this blog, there’s a good chance your gonna hate this, but I really love tech-death so your getting exposed to it anyway.

Beneath the Massacre keep up the long standing tradition of kick ass bands that come from Montreal. “Incongruous” is their third full length release to date and they’re currently signed with Prosthetic Records.

If you could imagine for a second, having a stream of chainsaws and razor blades being thrown at your face as a man with a sledgehammer beats a staccato rhythm against your skull, to the vocal accompianment of what sounds like a man gargling napalm and dining on fetid corpses. That should give you a rough mental picture of the kind of absolutely destructive force these guys produce.

Bone shattering blast beats provide the backbone for a mouth watering combination of 8-string finger tapping and neck snapping breakdowns. If you’ve ever wondered what it felt like to have your head melted from the inside out, listen to this album. The pace is relentless, only letting up so an equally violent breakdown can come along and try and force your nose to the back of your skull by way of the table. Don’t let the breakdowns scare you though, this is tech-death at it’s heart, the small tastes of deathcore go a long way in keeping things fresh.

So if the above hasn’t sent you running in terror and you’ve got a craving for some ground splitting technical brutality, you can pick up “Incongruous” on iTunes and at all the major outlets. I’ve got the usual links and the video for “It”. Skull-fuckery away!

Beneath the Massacre Facebook

Samsara Blues Experiment take you on a Long Distance Trip

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , , on February 26, 2012 by Ben

*This will be a two part feature on Samsara Blues Experiment’s two full length albums. One post just isn’t enough.*

In the spirit of procrastination I started hounding around for some new music to distract me. Then I found Samsara Blues Experiment and lost track of pretty much everything.

Literally translated, Samsara means “continuous flow” and is the “is the cycle of birth, life, death, rebirth or reincarnation within Hinduism, Buddhism and other Indian religions” (Wikipedia). Samsara Blues Experiment are a 5 piece band from Berlin. They stay true to their name by crafting psychedelica fueled prog epics that gently meander and weave together into one giant musical tapestry.

They have two full length releases up on Bandcamp, “Long Distance Trip” and “Revelation & Mystery”. I’m going to be talking about each release separately, since they cover two different flavors of stoner ear candy. Released in May of 2010, “Long Distance Trip” is a progressively psychedelically epic of hour long what-the-hell-just-happened sessions. Gentle hooks, swirling solos and ambient samples draw you deeper and deeper into a mysterious world. Entire landscapes unfold before you as your carried along in a chariot of riffs.

With three tracks over 10 minutes and one clocking it at 22 minutes, this is the kind of album you get absolutely lost in. High or sober, it’s something that should be listened to end to end, with no sanity breaks in between. The trickling sounds of running water and the foreign twang of a sitar are among a few of the tools that SBE use to aid your slip into an unconscious state of zen. The equivalent of a massage for your mind, nothing is jarring or out of place. Everything is smooth, the fuzz and distortion kept at mellow levels so as to not disrupt the continuous flow.

If your looking to loose yourself for an extended period of time, “Long Distance Trip” is right near the top of my recommendations. Available for 8 euros on Bandcamp, it’s only one click away to jump through the rabbit hole.

Samsara Blues Experiment Facebook

“Long Distance Trip” Bandcamp

Sunday Sludge: Vagitarians

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , on February 26, 2012 by Ben

Well the vacations over and the warm fuzz has turned into a cold lump of stone in the form of consecutive midterms, time for some skull smashing sludge to pound yourself into oblivion with.

According to Urban Dictionary, a Vagitarian is a person “who’s diet consists of Hair Pie, Bearded Clams and Pink/Fish Tacos” or in more general terms, so one who really, really likes to eat vagina. Vagitarians is also a five peice hammer of a sludge band from Warsaw, Poland.

A knife edged medley of encrusted hardcore and blackened sludge, Vagitarians wield distortion like the mighty hammer of Thor and will waste no time in using it to make your skull a pulpy mass of bone and brains. Riffs that crawl like the undead all backed by suitably diseased moans and gutteral growls. These vagina eaters take many of the great southern doom elements to weave into their satanic worship. The track “Ruthless/Bezlitosne Mieso” starts of with some classic southern fried riffs that eventually bubble and boil into something black, crusty and entirely evil.

The songs are as long as they are crushing, dragging you kicking and screaming towards your doom, your nails scrabbling ineffectually at the black dirt. Even with the demonic length, Vagitarians do a excellent job at keeping things interesting and brutal. Off kilter time changes, headbanging, fuzz fueled riff sections and putrid solos will keep your ears in a constants state of skull-fuckery,

Vagitarians currently have three releases under their belt, the “Skibidibi EP”, a vinyl split, and the album I’ve been listening to, “Wood”. It’s up on Bandcamp for $5, which is a steal considering the quality evil these guys are pumping out.

Vagitarians Facebook

Vagitarians Bandcamp

Daves, Daves Everywhere!

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , , , on February 25, 2012 by Ben

Fuck studying, it’s time to go out drinking. In honor of blowing of work to get shitfaced here’s some punk rock made by a bunch of Dave’s which basically sums up my state of mind right now.

“Dawn of the Daves” the upcoming EP from these Tampa based hooligans. Comprised of Dave, Dave, Dave, Davey and Joe Dave, Too Many Daves have three rules everyone should live by.

1) Keep it short, stupid.

2) There’s no crying in Daves unless your pants are hanging around your ass and your name is Decker.

3) Don’t say no, say “maybe later”.

While number 2 may not be applicable to everyone (unless you have a friend named Decker), the first and third are words of truth folks. So if you haven’t guessed already the Daves play fast, filthy and beer soaked punk rock. Bar sized mosh pits kinda punk rock, wake up the next morning with your hand glued to your face by old beer kinda punk rock. Clocking in at around 20 minutes, you’ll be left spinning in circles as you wonder how your previously organized house turned into a dumpster dive, why a beer suddenly appeared in your hand and why you suddenly no longer really give a shit.

The EP is up for $5 on Bandcamp, so go give yourself a beer bottle to the face and start your Saturday night off right.

Too Many Daves Facebook

Too Many Daves Bandcamp


Free Freaking Friday: Whiskey Chief Bring The Funk

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , , , , on February 24, 2012 by Ben

I love procrastinating, it’s probably my favorite hobby of all time. Why would I bother reading about torsional strain in thin walled tubing when I could instead be bringing you some funky jams by Vancouver’s Whiskey Chief?

I have a very large soft spot for the glory days of prog rock. Meandering songs jam packed with a menagerie of instruments all covered in a bucketful of musicianship. Now take that previous formula and drop some funk chunks in, then add a little swirl of garage punk-esque riffage and you’ve got Whiskey Chief in a glass. Featuring trombone, trumpet, keyboards and guitars, Whiskey Chief keeps things upbeat and “warm” as the brass section plays a prominent role in crafting their sound.

The guitars dance around the fuzz from the brass, while the keyboards keep a smooth layer of funk running under all the ordered chaos. It’s not serious or pretentious, instead of being a musical river it’s more like a babbling brook filled with playful otters, who cheerfully try to flip your boat with a wink in their eye. These are the kinda jams that can get even the tightest ass on to the dance floor and doing ridiculous things, probably some of the most musical fun you can have with your clothes on (or off for that matter).

This seven track album plays out like a long night out at the bar/club/back alley. The first two songs are your first wind, a blast of alcohol fueled funk that keeps you on your feet. The interlude of “Half Buzz” is when you realize you drank and danced a whole lot, really fast, and should probably slow down before you projectile vomit over the band. Your second wind comes in the form of “Bonfire” which picks you up right back to where you started, the funk melodies careening around your head. The last three tracks slowly wind you down into a musical stupor, content to stare at the wall and nod your head with a blank smile on your face.

So if a whiskey fueled fusion of funk, prog, jazz and fun times sounds like something your interested in (and you should be), you can pick up their 7 track album for the all time low cost of FREE. So stop being a tightwad and smile already.

Whiskey Chief Facebook

Whiskey Chief Bandcamp

Trash Titan and Greasy Goodness

Posted in Riffs with tags , , , , on February 23, 2012 by Ben

Woooooooooo! Managed to make the day dissapear and accomplish abso-fucking-lutly nothing. Like it would have been more productive if I hadn’t even got out of bed, but I guess writing this post is somewhat productive. But not really.

Anyway. So Trash Titan are yet another band playing an excellent combination of straight cut rock and stoner grooves. This three piece from LA produce the kind of sound that brings to mind a beer stained bar, boot cut blue jeans and mustaches. Playing much more on the simple and straightforward side of the riff, their 5 song EP is sure to generate some good times.

Memorable riffs that flirt with the classic without ever becoming overly derivative, slightly sloppy drumming and the perfect amount of whiskey scarring on the vocals, it’s great drinking tunes. Add in a couple bluesy touches and you’ve got yourself another solid set of songs. It’s plain and simple rock ‘n’ roll anthems, the musical equivalent of a cheeseburger with fries. It’s not fancy, it’s not expensive but it’s still damn tasty.

You can purchase the EP for anywhere from $7 to $15 depending on edition (Read: Comes with a shirt). Links are below so you can make it a cheeseburger kinda day.

Trash Titan Bandcamp

Trash Titan Facebook