Primitive Man – Caustic (Relapse Records, 06 October 2017)
The world is an ugly, ugly place. Virtually everything and everyone in it is awful. At least, that’s often how it feels. And at such times, it can be helpful to have something pleasant and soothing to comfort you. But it can also be helpful to experience something every bit as ugly and awful, like a giant mirror that reflects the misery and vileness, and just drown yourself in it. Denver’s Primitive Man are pretty far from serving the former purpose, but boy do they ever make up for it as the latter.
That Relapse-relased record that dropped this past October is what we’re addressing today. Read about it, then watch a couple videos (but not at work, or at school, or near any small children, or in public, or around your parents, or in church…) and then finally, down at the bottom of this post you’ll find an extensive list of upcoming shows all over North America, the United Kingdom (with a one-off expedition over to Israel in the middle) and then all over North America again!
Huntsmen – American Scrap (Prosthetic Records, 23 February 2018)
“Storytelling is the great, albeit fading, American pastime. It predated writing and in many instances, was told in song. In modern times, many musicians have approached their music from a storytelling point of view: Dylan, Springsteen and Waits to name a few. Chicago’s Americana metal outfit, Huntsmen, are carrying the torch for heavy bands to be added to that list.”
So begins the press release for this band’s debut LP, which came out about a week ago. Bold words? Sure. A little presumptuous? Maybe. But the self-described Heavy Americana band caught my attention, and the fact that they were kicking off the Prosthetic Records release of American Scrap with a short excursion across the mid-west and mid-Atlantic with label-mates Livid (with whom our readers ought to already be familiar) especially got me to check out this album.
That tour actually wraps up tonight (Sunday, 4th March) — see the details listed way down below — but first let’s talk a little about the band and their songs …
Back in December we told you that this year Gilead Media + 20 Buck Spin‘s extravaganza Migration Fest would be coming to Pittsburgh in July. At that time the majority of the line-up had been announced. Well, within the past week, the remaining holes in the schedule have been filled in, and tickets have gone on sale! There are some names here we’ve written about before, and several more that we plan to sometime in the near future. Stay tuned for that. But in the meantime, check out the complete updated list down below, and then grab your tickets before they all sell out!
Fister / CHRCH – Split (Crown and Throne Ltd / Battleground Records, 17 November 2017)
New year, new review! Here we have a split record between a pair of bands: Saint Louisian ugly-sludge architects Fister and fellow slow-doom-ahaulics CHRCH from Sacramento. While the first of these has been written about quite often on this site, up until this record’s release about a month and a half ago, that second name was brand-new to us here in the Valley. As it turns out, the name is (relatively) new to the band as well: their 2015 debut album was released under the name Church, and today’s subject is their first official recording with the abbreviated, vowelless moniker. It won’t be quite so long to wait until their next one, though: as of last month, word on the street says the band has signed with Neurot Recordings to put out another album this spring. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we’re supposed to be talking about this split 12″, containing exactly one gargantuan track by each of the two contributing bands.
Following the success of Wisconsin’s Gilead Fest in 2012 and 2014, the organizers (Gilead Media) hooked up with west-coast label 20 Buck Spin to continue the biennial tradition, kicking off the new Migration Fest in Washington state in 2016. Naturally, the next edition of this festival would be slated for 2018, and the labels have jointly announced that it will be held at the highly-esteemed Mr. Smalls Theatre in Millvale, PA — immediately adjacent to Pittsburgh.
This is, of course, huge news for us at Valley of Steel, and anyone else who lives in the general vicinity. And the first wave of bands has recently been released, which can be found listed below; we’ll continue to bring you more news about this festival as information becomes available. There are many more announcements forthcoming, including the headliners (although just the part of the line-up we know about so far is more than enough to get pretty excited about!)
WVRM – Can You Hear the Wind Howl (To Live A Lie Records, 30 September 2017)
Okay, so one day last weekend I was running out to grab some food from a nearby pizza place. And as always seems to happen, especially around this time of year, I’ve found myself falling pretty far behind with checking out all the new releases that have been sent my way — and as a result I have been trying to take advantage of any spare moments I can find to listen to stuff. That includes times when I’ll be alone in the car, no matter how short the trip might be, figuring that I’ll at least get the chance to hear a song or two and possibly get a feel for whether I’ll want to write about something here or if it’s not really my cup of tea and I’d be better off moving on. Anyway, on this particular occasion the next thing queued up on my Walkman was a recent EP by a band called WVRM who I’d later learn (I usually try to go into things without any preconceived notions wherever possible) have been around for a few years now and are based in Greenville, South Carolina.
Well, the noise that emanated from my car speakers really grabbed my attention in a hurry; I felt battered, bruised, and tossed around the whole way — and just as quickly, it was over. In fact, the sixth and final song coincidentally had concluded just as I was pulling into a parking space, so I decided it would be appropriate to listen to the whole thing again (all nine minutes and seven seconds) on the trip back home.
Anicon / Forest of Tygers – Split 7″ EP (Acteon Records, 03 October 2017)
Hey folks! How’s your day going so far? Got another one here to toss your way: a quick one this time, two different bands with one song each, right around five or six minutes apiece. Both of these — Brooklyn’s Anicon crew, and husband-and-wife team Forest of Tygers from Nashville — have been discussed around here previously, and personally I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve heard from both groups. So naturally it was exciting news when I recently learned that Acteon Records (which is run by the Tygers folks) had put out this split release of brand-new material last month!