Archive for January, 2012

M3 Rock Festival – Lineup Announced

Posted in Stage on January 31, 2012 by heavyuberalles

One month of the year has already come and gone, and summertime will be here before we know it. That means the return of the summer package tours! One show that has become a fixture of the summer scene is the M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. While tours like Mayhem Fest and Uproar focus on the latest heavy bands of today, M3, now in its fourth year, lets us relive the rock of days’ past, in all its hairsprayed and spandexed glory.

M3 has really hit its stride with Friday night, May 11 being the “Kix-Off Party”, featuring local heroes Kix, with Night Ranger and Enuff Z’Nuff (a favorite of mine from way back when) joining them. The main M3 Festival on Saturday, May 12 will feature Queensryche, Cinderella, Dokken, Loudness and others – all in all a pretty solid lineup this year.

Below is the official poster and press release for the M3 Rock Festival. Check back soon to score a free pair of tickets to M3!

Click here to read the M3 Rock Festival Press Release.

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Tuesday Six – Rob Oswald of Karma to Burn – 1/31/2012

Posted in Tuesday Six on January 31, 2012 by heavyuberalles

Our Six this week comes from Rob Oswald, the drummer for instrumental stoner rock band Karma to Burn. Rob gave us a list of tunes he was listening to as he was touring through Europe recently. K2B come back to the U.S. in March – be sure to catch em live! If you haven’t heard Karma to Burn, I strongly suggest you do…soon.

1. Aerosmith – Write Me A Letter

Gritty production, bad ass riffs and killer vocals. Joey Kramer’s drums are perfect on this song. Grew up listening to this record and still consider it one of my favorites. Aerosmith at their finest.

 

2. Camper Van Beethoven- I Was Born In A Laundromat

The perfect song in my opinion. Simple, yet complex and heavy as fuck in its own way. Beautiful production as well.

 

3. Damned – Melody Lee

If I had to pick only one song to listen to for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Enough said.

 

4. Climax Blues Band – Couldn’t Get It Right

A hidden treasure of a song filed away in the AM airways. Hauntingly brilliant.

 

5. Dag Nasty – Simple Minds

Grew up with Discord Records and this song sums it all up for me. Brutal and killing guitar.

 

6. Dick Justice – Cocaine

My all time favorite drug song and it was written in 1929. Sums up the jealous mistress Cocaine quite nice.

 

Check out more Karma to burn at http://www.k2burn.com or on Facebook.

Tuesday Six – 1/24/2012

Posted in Tuesday Six on January 24, 2012 by heavyuberalles

Thought I’d forgot, huh? It’s literally the 11th hour, but still Tuesday. Mourning a Bruins loss with an iced tea and The Devils Rejects, all we need now is some good music to bring back the good vibes. Enough jibba jabba, on to the Six…

1. Joe Buck – Devil is on his Way

Gotta thank my buddy Floyd from King Giant for turning me on the amazing insanity that is Joe Buck. It’s amazing what one man with a guitar and a bass drum can do, unleashing more raw energy than many whole bands. The former Legendary Shack Shaker has a one of a kind punkabilly style that just rocks. I will not rest until I see him live.

2. Type O Negative – Dead Again

On January 4th, Peter Steele would have been 50 years old. It’s been almost 2 years since his passing, but I can never get tired of the dark heaviness of Type O Negative. The deep unmistakable bass of his voice, the contrasting higher-pitched Chris Cornell-ish singing of guitarist Kenny Hickey, and a twisted sense of humor in many of their songs continue to garner them new fans long after their premature end.

3. Hermano – Brother Bjork
 
 
After the disbanding of Kyuss, John Garcia had a number of musical projects, including Slo Burn and Unida. In 1998, Garcia hooked up with Kentucky rocker David Angstrom (formerly of Supa Fuzz, a KY college favorite of mine) to form Hermano. Stoner rock with more of a hard rock edge to it, these guys were very underrated (kinda like Kyuss), but should have been bigger (again, like Kyuss).

4. AC/DC – Have A Drink On Me
 
 
Watching AC/DC live last weekend with some friends led to a long discussion about AC/DC. I will still maintain that they are one of the best hard rock bands to ever walk the planet Earth. Off of the legendary Back in Black, not much needs to be said. Just raise your glass to rock and roll.
 

5. Aerosmith – Chip Away The Stone
 
 
While we’re on the subject of legendary rock bands, you have to bring up Aerosmith. I’m not talking about the National Anthem singing, American Idol judging, DOn’t Wanna Miss A Thing Aerosmith, I’m talking about the wild, crazy, drug-abusing, KILLER rock and roll making Aerosmith of yesteryear. 1978’s Chip Away… is one of my all-time favorites of theirs, just a great example of the bluesy rock they made famous.
 

6. The Allman Brothers – Midnight Rider
 
 
I didn’t have a 6th song picked out yet. Had a few in mind, until I sat down to type this Six and The Devil’s Rejects came on. After the grisly opening shootout, the opening credits roll, and this amazing classic comes on. I have loved this song since I was a young lad, always taken in by its hauntingly dark yet peaceful tone. Not gonna let em catch the Midnight Rider. Best Allmans song ever.
 

Review: King Giant – Dismal Hollow

Posted in Review on January 18, 2012 by heavyuberalles

 

In 2009, King Giant released Southern Darkness, a heavy, stoner-doom smothered album full of tales of whiskey, murder, guns and motorcycles. Live show after live show around the DC/MD/VA area saw the band picking up steam and the crowds growing larger and larger.

Fast-forward to 2012.

The quintet from Pimmit Hills, VA are back with their latest effort, Dismal Hollow. Rather than just picking up where they left off in 2009, KG has kept the core of its heavy sound and expanded on it, adding more complexity to their songs and exploring new areas, both vocally and musically.

Dismal Hollow opens with a sonic boom, the first single, Appomattox. A churning, powerful tale of the Civil War, (“If blood was money, the soil would be wealthy…”). The album continues with dark tales of murder, booze and the open road. Other standouts on the album are the groove-heavy Tale of Mathias, the story of a woman turning the tables on her abusive husband. The sludgy, chunky riff of 6 O’Clock Swill WILL be resonating in your head for hours, maybe even days after listening. The Fog takes us down deeper into the Dismal Hollow of Appalachia with an ode to moonshiners. The song rolls into your ears and pores just like a fog, then builds up to crescendo upon crescendo to a huge high-octane finish that stops on a dime.

Something worth noting is the length of the songs on Dismal Hollow. only 2 of the 8 songs are under the 5 minute mark, and rather than drone on, its gives life to the songs and allows them to spread their wings and tell the tale. The songwriting has continued in the KG tradition of musical storytelling rather than just a song for a song’s sake. King Giant have truly established themselves as modern-day metal bards, spinning southern yarns that paint a vivid picture of the story that they are telling, and using power and restraint equally to evoke the appropriate emotion to tell the tales.

This review would be incomplete without talking about the individual parts of the whole. The dual-guitars of Todd Ingram and David Kowalski perfectly compliment and contrast each other, zooming along in unison until breaking away for lead breaks and rhythm lines that work together like opposing gears of a Swiss watch.

Photo by Puck

The rhythm section of Floyd Walters III on bass and Brooks on drums give the low end the punch and girth to support the songs, and the production on the album highlights the low sound beautifully. Finally, Dave Hammerly’s vocals are the angry snarl he is known for, but reaching new powerful heights unheard before, being unleashed at just the right moments as if stomping on the gas pedal.

King Giant have reached a new level and really knocked one out of the park with Dismal Hollow. Do yourself a favor and get this one, especially on vinyl (you can order the album here). These songs were meant to be heard live. If they hit your town (or anywhere remotely close), do not miss them – you will regret it. It all begins with the album release show at Jaxx in Springfield, VA this Saturday, 1/21.

Here is the video for the first single from Dismal Hollow, Appomattox.

Band Site: www.kinggiant.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kinggiantband

Merch: http://www.kinggiant.bigcartel.com/

Tuesday Six – 1/17/2012

Posted in Tuesday Six on January 17, 2012 by heavyuberalles

 

 Another week gone by, and time for another Six. The year of Armageddon is in full swing, the temperatures are plummeting, and many resolutions are being joyously broken. This year is gonna be a fantastic one for heavy music, and it all begins in January.

1. King Giant – Appomattox

I know I may be going a little KG crazy as of late, but what can I say…these guys aren’t one of my favorite bands for no reason. KG rocks, pure and simple. Intricate storytelling, insanely heavy riffs, I just can’t say enough good about these guys. They have released Appomattox as the first single from Dismal Hollow, and you can feel the ghosts of Appalachia floating out of your speakers as you listen. The video was just released, and it will blow you away. Look for yours truly in the zombie horde at the end of the video. (Yes, that was my horn. Toot.)

2. Koffin Kats – The Way of the Road

The first single from the new album Our Way & The Highway, this one diverts slightly from their traditional psychobilly sound in favor of a harder, supercharged rock sound, with Vic Victor’s unmistakable voice and the slap of the double bass to keep things Koffin Kat familiar.

3. In Flames – Swim

Once upon a time I loved the band In Flames. I was sort of a latecomer, getting into them with the release of 2000’s Clayman. The album blew me away, introducing me to the sound of Swedish melodic death metal, or Gothenburg Metal as it came to be known. I immediately fell in love with the older album like Whoracle, The Jester Race, Colony, and Lunar Strain. Unfortunately, the love affair was not meant to last, as Reroute to Remain and subsequent albums went away from the clean, melodic guitar sound that I came to enjoy and it all turned into a muddled mess. Anyway, Swim has always been one of my favorite tracks from Clayman. Also check out the live version from Baltimore on 1/14/2012 that our pals at DCheavymetal posted here!

4. Band of Heathens – Shine a Light

One of my greatest joys in life is discovering new music, whether it’s live, through friends or on the radio. Sirius/XM has been wonderful in exposing me to new artists, and the latest one is Band of Heathens. Somehow sounding like Tom Petty meets the Grateful Dead and everything in between, these guys just make ya feel good. This song, from 2009’s One Foot in the Ether, swings along with a New Orleans, Dr. John kinda flavor.  I look forward to hearing more from these guys.

5. Johnny Cash – I Got Stripes

This past weekend, I was babysitting my young nephews, age 3 and 5. I was sitting on the couch with Joey, the 5 year old, flipping channels, and a documentary about Johnny Cash’s infamous concert, Live at Folsom Prison came on. He just started getting bored hearing a story from an inmate that was at the show, when the song I Got Stripes came on. I start singing along, and he suddenly was smiling, dancing his feet back and forth with the beat as Johnny sang of the woes of prison life. Proud uncle moment indeed when a 5 year old appreciates Cash.

6. Metallica – Just A Bullet Away

Metallica, not interested in slowing down at all after releasing Death Magnetic, doing multiple world tours, Big 4 tours, special shows for their 30th anniversary and more, have released an EP of songs from the Death Magnetic recording sessions, new stuff to tide us over until the release of the new album being recorded. This is my favorite of the new stuff, a powerful new song centered around a killer tight riff.

Tuesday Six – King Giant – 1/10/2012

Posted in Tuesday Six on January 10, 2012 by heavyuberalles

 Ok, so it’s actually a Tuesday Five this week. This week we get into the musical mind of the members of King Giant. January 2012 is looking to be a big month in the KG camp. A new music video on the way, the big CD Release show at Jaxx on 1/21, and finally, the release of Dismal Hollow, the long awaited follow-up to the heralded 2009 release Southern Darkness. The sound of Dismal Hollow is far and above anything KG has done yet, and…well, I won’t spoil it just yet. I will have a full review very soon, and you will get to hear the new tracks live for yourself in 1.5 weeks. In the meantime, check out some of the music that the guys in KG tick.

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Dave Hammerly (vocals): William Elliott Whitmore- Cold and Dead

My choice would be “Cold and Dead” by William Elliott Whitmore. It’s a hymn for the dead. Hence, the album title, “Hymns for the Hopeless”. It’s a fantastic piece of truly American music. This guys got the voice That makes you believe. Part hurt animal, part exhausted preacher. His songs are emotional without apology. As much as I love instruments, this is just his voice to get the point across. It’s heavy and powerful without volume.

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Brooks (drums): Red Fang- Prehistoric Dog

Liked these guys for quite awhile- saw them open for Mastodon recently and was really impressed by their live sound. Great band!

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Floyd (bass): Mastodon – The Creature Lives

Off the new record the Hunter. That song has stuck in my mind the most, since I purchased the record. Especially after the 930 club show, when Red Fang came up and sang on the Creature Lives. Red Fang is my new favorite band that I have been listening to.

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T.I.(lead guitar): Marilyn Manson – Coma White

It’s easy to write off Marilyn as the guy that sang “Beautiful People,” dressed outrageously and ripped up Bibles. But he really did much more than that. He actually brought ROCK back in many ways during the 90s.

The world of rock always needs a David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust spirit around and I see a lot of that in this particular Marilyn Manson album, Mechanical Animals. That’s why it’s one of my favorites. Marilyn really matured as a song writer on this one and laid down a real deal ROCK album.

I really dig the track Coma White because it does what any good rock song should do – evoke a deep emotional response using mood, dynamics, lyrics and a simple but effective song structure. Even the single note guitar work is choice. It’s not some blazing solo but it pushes the song forward and its creepy use of phasing really is effective in furthering the mood.

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David K (rhythm guitar): Bright Eyes – First Day of My Life

 …. Because it’s on my baby Sophie’s playlist and now it always reminds me of her.

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Dismal Hollow is out on January 31, and can be preordered here.

Don’t miss KG’s CD Release show at Jaxx in Springfield, VA on Saturday, 1/21. Joining them will be Borracho, The Crimson Electric, and Auroboros. You will also be able to purchase Dismal Hollow at the show, 10 days before the release date. Get your tickets here, and don’t miss this one!

Reaction: Van Halen – Tattoo

Posted in Reaction on January 10, 2012 by heavyuberalles

Well, it’s 2012, and the words many rock fans have been dying to say can be said: “Van Halen are back!” (again.) VH did a private gig on January 6th at NYC intimate Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village, playing a set of old and a couple of new for a lucky select audience of industry and celebrities.

As for myself, I have been a Van Halen fan since about age 5 or 6, enjoying the rock and roll runoff of my older sister, and her boyfriend and their friends that jammed to Sabbath, Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Steve Miller, Kiss, and of course Van Halen. I have been a fan ever since, even through the Hagar era. (This is a source of contention amongst VH fans. I personally love the music of both eras, and I will never be swayed otherwise).

When I heard that they were back together (again) with the (almost) original lineup, I was tentative but curious. Now a tour and an album have been announced, and the first single, “Tattoo”, has been released. I watched the YouTube-released video with an open mind, truly wanting to like it. What I heard was (at best) an outtake from a David Lee Roth solo album with an Eddie Van Halen solo in the middle. Tired, humdrum, and pretty much all-around uninspired are things that come into my head. There’s just not that Van Halen “fire” when you hear Tattoo. Another glaring missing link that I just can’t overlook is the distinct lack of Michael Anthony on this. Eddie’s son Wolfgang has taken over on bass, and it leaves a huge void, both in the bass and vocal department. Mike’s vocals were a key factor to the “Van Halen sound” throughout their entire career, and that is now gone. It’s like a Harley with quiet pipes. It just doesn’t seem right.

I will still give the full album a listen when it gets released, and as before, try to have an open mind. Unfortunately, if Tattoo is an indicator of the sound of the rest of the album, I won’t be listening to it 20 years from now like I have with Fair Warning  or 5150.

Give Tattoo a listen for yourself, and see what you think. Let me know – I am curious what other people think of it, and please try not to be biased just because “it’s Van Halen.”