Lo-Pan channel a 96-foot tall statue on latest album Colossus

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If Torche and Roadsaw had a baby, the resulting bouncing baby boy would be Ohio’s Lo-Pan. Take those sludgy riffs and clean vox that bring to mind Roadsaw’s Craig Riggs and you have the recipe for something great. On Colossus, their fourth, Lo-Pan continually defy expectations to craft a monumentally monolithic masterpiece from start to finish.

“Regulus” instantly sets the tone for an album that’s filled with melody undercut by bone crushingly heavy riffs making for an interesting dichotomy throughout. “Black Top Revelation” shares some DNA with Small Stone labelmates Gozu while “Marathon Man” is a riffercise and a half.

The title track sounds exactly as you’d expect: either like the 96-foot tall statue for which the album was named or for a certain X-Man covered in organic steel. Yep, it’s that heavy. Meanwhile, “Vox” is a sonic eargasm and features Colossus cover artist Jason Alexander Byers (He, of Disengage and Black Black Black also) pitching in on the mic.

“Eastern Seas”shows off drummer J. Bartz as he crashes and churns like the waves of a mighty ocean while Jeff Martin’s vocals soar above swooping in to save listeners from the murky depths. Colossus finishes up with the rollicking “Relo” and “The Duke” which gives listeners a few more chances to appreciate the majesty of Skot Thompson’s bass and Brian Fristoe’s guitar wizardry.

Is this an album you need to own in 2014? Definitely! Colossus is out on October 7th through Small Stone Records. Yours can be pre-ordered right here. You can also catch Lo-Pan on tour now with Black Cobra. For dates and more, head on over here.

Jimmy Glitschy brings the desert rawk to Germany on selftitled!

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Jena rawk strikes again as another Bostonregina find makes their way to the RNRF office stereo. This time we’re checking out Jimmy Gltschy der einarmige Karussellbremser (Or just “Jimmy Glitschy” for short). If you’re a fan of Josh Homme’s Desert Sessions, Eagles Of Death Metal or the fuzzed out sounds that come from the fabled “generator parties” in Palm Springs then you might want to pay attention.

Great music is the kind that moves you somehow. Whether it’s physically or emotionally, great music needs to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, pull on your heartstrings or compel you to jump, bang your head, dance….whatever. It’s just gotta move you, okay! The beauty of Jimmy Glitschy’s selftitled is that it does all that and more.

From the opening laid back riffage of “Motorpsycho”, it’s apparent that Jimmy Glitschy isn’t your typical desert/stoner rock band. That’s even more apparent when “Dance! Or! Die!” kicks into high gear next and causes your booty to move involuntarily.  Later on, “Long Gone Dead” injects some country-fied twang into the musical repertoire while “Ma Baby” is, quite simply, a guitar party.

The songs that really stand out on selftitled are also the ones that’ll be stuck with you for days/weeks/years so buyer/downloader beware: if you don’t want the overwhelming power of Jimmy Glitschy to take hold of your body and soul, turn back now! I’m of course talking about “Fuzzmatazz” which leads the charge of the final wave of Glitschy greats on selftitled. If ever a song was deserving to stand in the upper echelon of desert rock anthems for the 21st Century, it’s “Fuzzmatazz” with a monolithic wall of guitars, some gruff vox, and a drum beat that’ll keep your head bobbing until the end. “We need more disko (do we?)” keeps the dancing alive and ups the riff factor, complete with an outro vocal refrain that’s sure to get you in trouble if you blast it in the office. Elsewhere, the lords of Kyuss shine down on “Killswitch” while bluesy closer “Slowrider” ends the album like the morning after a raucous night out on the town.

I’m not one to tell you what to do, I’m just here to provide an opinion with which you can make your own decisions. However, if you like any of the above mentioned bands, are a fan of desert rock, and have a pulse, then you should probably pick this one up.

selftitled is available now. You can get yours here and find out more about Jummy Glitschy here.

Welcome to Slab City, courtesy of Steak.

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“I do like Steak. They’re the real deal. They’re mean. They’re lifers.”

If that quote from Mr. John Fucking Garcia doesn’t pique your interest in the UK’s Steak then I don’t know what will. On their first full-length following up some impressive EP’s (We reviewed the latest, Corned Beef Colossus, earlier this year), Steak  deliver in spades.

From the opening fuzzed out twangs of “Coma” through to the final pings of chaotic closer “Old Timer D.W.” (A modern day Southern-fried “Mondo Generator”, if you will), Slab City is a veritable stoner rock tour-de-force. To ease old fans into the new material there’s even an updated version of “Liquid Gold” with a different mix but still just as meaningful as the day it was birthed on the Corned Beef Colossus EP.

Elsewhere, the Kyuss references are bound to pop up again when the title track really gets into the groove with a riff that would make a 19-year old Josh Homme jealous. But if you’re looking to further those comparisons then try out “Pisser” when the man himself, John Garcia, pops up and drops some lines of knowledge during a massive riff-laden breakdown.

“Quaaludes and Interludes” provides a short and sweet, ahem, interlude for SC until “Roadhead” explodes from your speakers to turn it up once again. Then “Machine” and “Hanoid” provide a one-two punch that’s pure rawk ecstasy. If Kippa’s smooth delivery or Reece’s blistering solos and riffs don’t sway you, especially on that latter track, then you might want to check your pulse.

From the desert wasteland of England: it’s Steak! I know, right? They make sounds not of their country and not of this Earth because great music transcends area codes.

Slab City is out in North America on September 9th through Napalm Records. You can order yours here.

Grandfather’s latest offering, The Wolf, has fangs!

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Bostonregina’s job sometimes causes her to travel the world which is a great thing for me sometimes because it exposes our little site to even more great bands that the interwebs doesn’t necessarily provide right away. One such band is Jena, Germany’s Grandfather. Who absolutely rock.

Ever wonder what it would sound like if Neil Fallon handled all vocal duties for Mastodon? That’s “The Wolf”, the opening track off Grandfather’s latest release of the same name. Crushing grooves, bestial drums, and a singer whose got both the gravitas and the growls to front this quartet? Sign me up!

“Crisis” begins with a solemn bass line and some spacey riffs to shake up the intensity of “The Wolf” but soon builds to en epic finale complete with vocal chants. The aptly titled “Instrumental” brings to mind West Virginian vocal-less greats Karma To Burn while “Borders” combines elements of “Freedom Run” and “Supa Scoopa & Mighty Scoop”, the latter especially during the start-stop finale. Closing with “Superloader”, which  ends the mini-album with a  balls out rocker that shares more heritage with AC/DC than with Kyuss, Grandfather provide enough diversity on The Wolf that will surely keep new fans interested in what’s to come.

The Wolf is available now. Right here. You should buy it and then go here for more on Grandfather. Because they rawk.

Hank & Cupcakes set to conquer the world on sophomore album, CA$H 4 GOLD!

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Trust me when I say that if you thought you knew what was coming after Hank & Cupcakes fabulous debut, NAKED!, then you have absolutely no idea what’s actually in store for you. On their sophomore release, CA$H 4 GOLD, the duo you love to love have not necessarily reinvented themselves insomuch as they’ve completely expanded their sound.

“Bat Your Eyelids” is a futuristic funk-filled phenomenon fused with enough fuzzy bass lines and warm feelings to instantly put a smile on your face. It’s the perfect opener for this opus and instantly indicative of what’s to come. Previous tease “Relax” follows up and enhances the vibe with a powerful electro stomp that really shows off Cupcakes massive vocal range which goes from a spoken word sing-song to a screech in a second. It’s also sure to be a huge crowd pleaser when presented in a live setting.  And while we’re on the topic, you can head here for the latest tour dates for Hank & Cupcakes upcoming fall tour!

“Romeo” lets Hank’s grooves shine with Cupcakes’ sonic percussion adding more depth while “Cocaina” is a gospel-fueled Southern blues romp that’s probably about the most unpredictable and fierce song H&C have ever laid down. If NAKED! gave you impressions of Duran Duran mixed with Yeah Yeah Yeah’s (Like it did for me) then CA$H 4 GOLD is Berlin, The Vapors, and Wang Chung in a modern setting.

Hank & Cupcakes is truly one of those groups that I can’t praise enough. They do their own thing and they do it really well defying modern Pop expectations with each and every release. Whether it’s the swirling synth bounce on “I Don’t Want To See”, Cupcakes soulful croon on “Spin”, Hank’s bass bravado on the epic “Go Slow” or the lush strings on “Money Is King”, CA$H 4 GOLD has something for every music fan. And if you were already a fan of H&C prior to this release, prepare to be pleasantly blown away.

CA$H 4 GOLD will be available for mass consumption on September 5th. For the latest on Hank & Cupcakes you can head on over here or here. But more importantly, head on over to Itunes or Amazon to get your copy of CA$H 4 GOLD!

What’s In A Name? Mr. Kitty releases the latest “Self-Destructive Synthpop” masterpiece.

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Don’t let the name throw you, Mr. Kitty is not the cute and cuddly Pop you might’ve expected when you tuned in. Far from it, Mr. Kitty is, quite simply, the saviors of dance-pop synthetic goth what have you. It’s great dance music. It’s great music if you’re a vampire or great if you’re a fan of mood films like To Live And Die In L.A. or Manhunter. Modern noir, if you will.

In regards to Time, Mr. Kitty’s fourth (!) album, let’s put it this way: Have you ever wanted an album that perfectly encapsulates a night in the club, filled with those mindless throbbing beats and mid-tempo numbers that sporadically break up the dance floor sweatiness? That’s Time.

“XIII” storms the gates of Time with subtle, droning beats building into an indescribable crescendo of screams and electronics that will move you to no end. “Rats” breaks up the intensity with some nice Pop-infused mid-tempo awesome and “Glow” continues that trend with some beats destined for the Fright Night soundtrack. Circa 1985, obviously.

Like I said, if you’re itching to dance then a Mr. Kitty track to suit your needs is never too far away as “Hollow” follows to beef up the foot stomping quotient. “Devour” delivers even more so as does “Laceration” which brings back “XIII”‘s urgency. “Pathogen” keeps the pace alive  while “Shadow Dancer” is that song you heard in every moody ’80’s flick, being equal parts New Order and Depeche Mode.

Not only one of the greatest synth albums of 2014 but one of the best albums, period. Like me, you’ll be wondering how Mr. Kitty passed you by for so long (Seriously, this is the FOURTH album!!!!!). Now I just need to insure I get all of Time played at my next local goth night.

Time, the latest and greatest, from Mr. Kitty is out now. Head over to bandcamp to stream and buy.

Life On Planet 9 return with The Theory Of Everything

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I randomly discovered Ultraspank when they were featured on Ozzfest back in 1998 and instantly fell in love with Pete Murray’s voice. The range, the emotion, the intensity….just everything about it was such a step above what the other bands on the bill offered. This was a bill that gave some great exposure to the Serj Tankian’s and Brandon Boyd’s mind you! But Pete Murray stood out. Yeah, he had that snarl but there was something else. One listen to “Wrapped” off their self-titled debut and it was obvious that this guy had “the voice”. Those sweeping choruses that echoed Maynard James Keenan that went to vicious Phil Anselmo-style attacks in no time were incomparable.

Over time, that voice has only grown as has the musicianship with the riff-machine Neil Godfrey who accompanied Murray from Ultraspank into Lo-Pro and the band of the hour, Life On Planet 9.

Bittersweet, the 2011 debut from Life On Planet 9, may have spawned from a desire to create a studio version of “Lo-Pro unplugged” but on The Theory Of Everything the band go for new extremes and finally find themselves. The minute the programmed beats of “Carry On” hit along with Godfrey’s gorgeous riffs and Murray’s uncanny voice it’s as if “Line Stepper” off Bittersweet never ended. “So we’re picking up where we left off” adds Murray around the 3-minute mark but it’s so much more than that.

The Theory Of Everything as a whole is bigger, better, and badder. “Everything” is just massive as is “Here We Are” which follows next, abruptly stopping for Godfrey’s lush acoustics and Murray’s echoed cries until opening up again into a gargantuan chorus. And that’s just the first three songs, people! “Home” is even greater than that and more epic, “Now” follows and ups the tempo slightly with Murray hitting those soprano notes just right while “Ordinary” picks up the pace with Godfrey’s guitars screaming along with Murray’s voice. And I haven’t even gotten to single “Rainy Days” or the the game-changing seven minute monstrosity “Stay” that hits in the middle!

Jeebus, I don’t want to say that this is the best album of the Murray/Godfrey collaboration era but hot damn if it isn’t close. “The Sky” adds to that argument along with the piano-driven “What Would You Say” and its’ record scratch beats. As an outsider, I don’t pretend to know what Murray and Godfrey’s musical vision might be but I imagine that this record is the closest accomplishment towards that.

If you love that voice and that guitar and have followed these gentlemen from Ultraspank to Lo-Pro to this then this is an essential part of your collection. If you’re a fan of music in general then it’d be highly illogical if you don’t pick this up.

The Theory Of Everything is out on August 26th. We really think you should buy it here.

 

Ravioli Me Away release The Inevitable Album!

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Like Devo fronted by Kathleen Hanna, Ravioli Me Away brings something different to the music table. This post-punk trio are about to make waves on their debut, The Inevitable Album, with a sound that is so out there it’ll make even the naysayers perk up and pay attention.

“Good Team Player” is as good an introduction as any into the world of Ravioli Me Away with synth horns and steady beats. Lead single “Cat Call” is just as strange as the video that accompanies it with a strong message (Don’t be an asshole when ladies are walking down the street, fellas!). “One Kiss” has a ’50’s feel to it as does “Romance Amnesia” with shared vocals, one spoken word and one providing the melody, and a simple yet effective snare and bass line.

That’s one of the great things about Ravioli Me Away, though, is that the concept is so basic (Bass, drums, keys) but the layers that Sian Dorrer, Rosie Ridgeway, and Alice Theobald bring to each song catapults The Inevitable Album above the rest.

Other highlights include “Estrogen” (Pronounced “eeeeee-stroh-gen” here) with  its funkified bass that continues into the spoken wordiness of “Imagination” which synths up the proceedings while later “Euro Breakdown” makes a bid for “Best instrumental score from a Miami Vice montage scene”.

The Inevitable Album is out on August 18th through Good Job Records. Head on over to Raviolimeaway.co.uk and their Facebook page for the deets!

 

Untitled Metal Column: Volume 9 (Nachtmystium, The World We Left Behind)

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Is this the end of Nachtmystium or isn’t it? According to a recent interview with Blake Judd the end isn’t exactly nigh for the Chicgao black metal luminaries.

Regardless, if The World We Left Behind is, in fact, the last Nachtmystium album then listening to this opus is a bittersweet experience. From beginning to end it’s a reminder of not only how important and vital Nachtmystium is to the black metal scene but also the need for the scene to sometimes morph and change over time.

Assassins: Black Meddle Part I started the trend by adding elements of psychedelia and classic rock (Think Kyuss does Satyricon), Addicts: Black Meddle Part II in 2010 continued along the path while 2012’s Silencing Machine went back to basics almost erasing what had been built.

On The World That We Left Behind, however, Nachtmystium brings their sound full circle and lay everything bare. Those Assassins-style experimentations are back on not only the epic introspective lumbering beast that is “Voyager” but scattered throughout. Speaking of “introspective”, that word is a theme that runs rampant throughout The World We Left Behind touching on the tumultuous year that band leader Blake Judd experienced on almost every track.

But back to the music.

The first proper song here (“Fireheart”) is more of a rocker and less a metal affair with, dare I say, danceable drum beats? Experimentation indeed.  On the other spectrum, “Into The Endless Abyss” is the blackest of black metal fusing spaced out electronics with a slamming blast beat by Sam Shroyer as Judd just fucking roars. The title track builds for a solid minute and a half to a chaotic peak and then just explodes as Judd screeches the chorus and you bang your head in solidarity. Elsewhere, the gorgeous (Yes, I used the word “gorgeous” to describe a Nachtmystium song) “Epitaph For A Dying Star” closes TWWLB with Judd’s howls of “No More Pain” set against Karla Murphy’s lush vocals amidst a sonic maelstrom of screaming guitars.

The World We Left Behind crash landed on Planet Earth today via Century Media Records. You can still get some pretty sweet package deals at CMdistro or for instant gratification, check the album out on Itunes.

 

 

What’s In A Name? Sex Hands release Pleh!

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“Sex Hands are not a garage pop band, they have never practiced in a garage. They never practice.”

And that statement from the press release of Pleh, the masterful debut from Sex Hands, about sums up the ride you’re about to embark on. From the onset, it’s loose and fun but expertly administered to your ears. But don’t try to pigeonhole their sound, though, because after just one listen it’s pretty obvious what Sex Hands is all about: Rockin’ and a rollin’!

“Space Song” is an instrumental jam fest that opens Pleh and could substitute as an updated theme for The Young Ones (RIP Rik Mayall) but it’s “Flat Mate” up next that ultimately sets the tone for the rest of the album piling on jangly guitars in the vein of Caesars with airy vox like The Raveonettes and nods to The Animals.

First single “Pivot” rocks even more in context with the rest of Pleh while “Gay Marriage” is a nostalgia-fest soaked in ’50’s dream Pop. Elsewhere on their debut Sex Hands delve into more quirky territory on “Hairdo”, straight up Pop on “Hot Cheddar” or full on rockers with “On A Break”.

Pleh is out now through Faux Discx/Negative Space. Buy/stream yours here.