Conan / Slomatics – Split (original release 2011 / to be reissued by Black Bow Records, September 2016)
Yesterday when we talked about Slomatics‘ first two albums, I mentioned that the band has signed with Black Bow Records, who has rereleased those two albums in advance of the band’s new record due later this year. But this partnership was not the first time they’ve dealt with that label OR its owner Jon Davis. Slomatics and Davis‘ band Conan — from Merseyside County, England, just across the Irish Sea from Belfast — had put together a split record back in 2011. After that limited-edition vinyl quickly sold out, Black Bow put out another pressing of the split in 2014, which also wasn’t around for very long.
And now, they’ve announced that there will be a new batch coming soon — only 200 copies will be made available this time, and each record will be pressed onto a full-color representation of that incredible cover art! An exact release date hasn’t been set yet, but pre-orders are on sale now, and they’re expected to begin shipping around early September.
Heathen Beast – Rise of the Saffron Empire (Transcending Obscurity Distribution, 25 April 2016)
MAKE – Pilgrimage of Loathing (Accident Prone Records, 15 July 2016)
It’s pretty much a universal truth that there are terrible people and terrible situations everywhere in the world, often when it comes to people who have power and influence over other people and the ability to make decisions about the laws and how the public is governed. This has been a societal problem for as long as society has existed, and people have always tried to find ways to protest or fight back. Back in olden times, folks like Woody Guthrie or Peter, Paul and Mary would sit around, holding hands, and singing about how the times were a-changin’. But since then, the times have a-changed; from MC5 to Public Enemy to Rage Against the Machine protest songs have increasingly shifted from blowin’ in the wind to fighting the powers that be.
To illustrate that concept, today we’re going to take a look at new or recent releases by two bands from different sides of the world, which nevertheless seem to share a similar ideology.
Cave of Swimmers – Cave of Swimmers (The Path Less Traveled Records, 15 April 2014)
Cave of Swimmers – Reflection (self-released, 4 May 2015)
Dear Friends, I am thoroughly confused about something. It’s been about two months since Cave of Swimmers, the Venezuelan-American guitar/moog/vocals/drums duo who live in Miami, released their second album Reflection. This is a collection of four songs that are sheer excellence — every bit as fantastic as the four songs on their self-titled debut which had been released about a year prior — unquestionably one of the most incredible things I heard in 2014, and quite a pleasant out-of-nowhere surprise. So what I can’t understand is, at this point, why is this band not just exploding, and being lauded with overwhelming international renown??
To a small extent, I accept and acknowledge my share of the blame: on both occasions I’ve let trivial things like “being too busy at work to get much writing done” keep me from publicly sharing my thoughts on the release of these two brilliant albums (with one minor exception). Well that all ends today. Get ready to fill your ears with this…
Iconic Seattle grunge/rock/metal band Soundgarden plans to release King Animal, their first new studio album in over 15 years, on November 13th, 2012!
The band had pretty much been on extended hiatus ever since I was in high school, during which time singer Chris Cornell put out a couple solo records (in addition to working with three-quarters of Rage Against the Machine as Audioslave), bassist Ben Shepherd and drummer Matt Cameron formed Wellwater Conspiracy (while Cameron also served as a member of Pearl Jam — by far the longest-tenured drummer in that band’s Spın̈al Tap-esque revolving door at that position), and guitarist Kim Thayil occasionally popped up with guest appearances but otherwise kept a generally low profile.
However, the quartet emerged from the woodwork a little over two years ago, playing various shows all over the world. And now they are announcing that their sixth full-length will be available in just about two months. I doubt there’s anyone reading this who isn’t already familiar with Soundgarden, but just in case your only exposure happens to be the small handful of maddeningly-overplayed singles (for example, “Black Hole Sun”) that constantly grace the airwaves, you really owe it to yourself to dig deeper into their discography — over the course of a decade or so, these guys put out some incredible albums that never faltered in quality. From their earliest singles like “Flower” or “Loud Love” up through the gems from the Down on the Upside album (“Pretty Noose” or “Ty Cobb”, to name a few) in the late ’90s, there really aren’t any weak spots or low points in the band’s career.