Saturday, 31 December 2016

Outlaws Of The Sun Top Albums Of 2016

Here is the "official" Outlaws Of The Sun Top 25 Albums of 2016. The list has been compiled using a similar process The Doom Charts use on a monthly basis. Though I've collated the scores based on the lists that the entire Outlaws Of The Sun team provided last week.

So thanks to Simon, Håkan, Gavin, Bruno, Nick and Todd for their great lists and for the hard work the whole team have put in over the last twelve months. 

Outlaws Of The Sun Top Albums Of 2016

1 Neurosis – Fires Within Fires
2 Slomatics – Future Echo Returns
3 Elephant Tree – Elephant Tree
4 Sumac – What One Becomes
5 Cult Of Luna And Julie Christmas – Mariner
6 Cough – Still They Pray
7 40 Watt Sun – Wider Than The Sky
8 Conan – Revengeance
9 Year Of The Cobra – ...In The Shadows Below
10 Slabdragger – Rise Of The Dawncrusher
11 Subrosa – For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages
12 Big Business – Command Your Weather
13 Demonauta – Tierra del Fuego
14 Domkraft – The End Of Electricity
15 Opeth – Sorceress
16 Holy Serpent – Temples
17 Brant Bjork – Tao Of The Devil
18 Geezer – Geezer
19 Beelzefuzz – The Righteous Bloom
20 Wo Fat – Midnight Cometh
21 Red Fang – Only Ghosts
22 Russian Circles – Guidance
23 Truckfighters – V
24 Asteroid – III
25 Ortega – Sacred States

Larman Clamor - Beyonder (Album Review)

Release date: December 24th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format:DD

Beyonder – Tracklisting

1.Beyonder 03:39
2.And The Hand 02:56
3.Fo' What You Did 03:16
4.Pig Priest & The Motor Hag 03:59
5.Haunted, Hexed, Let Down 'n Torn 03:25
6.Tarnkappe 03:16
7.Swamp Healing 03:12
8.Somethin' Bitter To Do 03:10
9.The Draining 00:22
10.Soul Sane Juice 01:50
11.Come See... 00:35
12....Sighed The River Of Larvas 03:36
13.All Wrongs Are Right 01:27
14.In The Circus Of Night 07:29


Larman Clamor returns with another heavy slice of Blues Rock driven Southern/Stoner Rock where the emphasis is purely on fun. It's hard to believe Beyonder is their sixth album since their inception. If you don't know much about Larman Clamor then where have you been all this time. The band is the work of one highly talented individual.

Alexander von Wieding. who is also a hugely talented graphic artist in his own right. He's designed some fantastic album covers for some well known Doom/Stoner Metal bands over the years. He also designed the excellent cover for this record and it only gives you a brief glimpse on what to expect on the album. Beyonder is a bluesy/doomish take on all things Southern Rock. There are no harsh vocals. Just good old fashioned Stoner/Southern based Blues that will brighten up any bleak mood.

Opening track - Beyonder - is a southern boogie rock number with Alexander putting his own original spin on that genre. The lyrics are spiky, fun and fresh but it's the music will keep you entertained. Maybe I'm looking too much into this but I can hear a slight Dave Wyndorf influence on some of the lyrics especially on "Haunted, Hexed and Let Down 'n Torn. The riffs are played at a very cool pace with hazy sounds drifting in and out. The rest of the album follows the same path as the first track as Beyonder has quite an Acoustic vibe to it.

Tracks such as "And The Hand", "Haunted, Hexed and Let Down 'n Torn", "Swamp Healing" and the brilliantly epic "In The Circus Of Night" show that Alexander hasn't lost his touch after so many releases with Larman Clamor. The production of the album is superb as the atmosphere is electric throughout. The tone can be bleak at times but Alexander does add some great humour into his lyrics. The end result is a satisfying take on all things Semi-Acoustic Southern Rock.

The only downside is that the album is a tad too long with fourteen tracks. Maybe Alexander could have left out a few tracks. Though I don't know which as he has written a collection of great tracks. Beyonder is an album that has a lot to say and you will need to give this album a few listens to get the overall effect. As Alexander blends different sounds from a wide range of genres on the majority of the songs. The instrumental work is impressive indeed especially since Alexander played everything by himself on this album.

Beyonder is another stunning album from Larman Clamor. Check it out now.

Words by Steve Howe

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

An Interview With Frank Attard from FROZEN PLANET 1969

Do you remember that beautiful story H.P. Lovecraft once wrote about meteorite which landed somewhere in the country side? “The Colour out of Space”, right? “It was just a colour out of space - a frightful messenger from unformed realms of infinity beyond all Nature as we know it; from realms whose mere existence stuns the brain and numbs us with the black extra-cosmic gulfs it throws open before our frenzied eyes”.

The new album of Sydney-based instrumental psycho space outfit Frozen Planet… 1969 strongly reminds me about that story with their absolutely out of this world improvisations on the brink of sanity. Are they from Earth? Who are they?! Due to modern methods of communication we got in touch with one of Frozen Planet’s inhabitants.

Hi Fred! How are you? What's going on on Frozen Planet?

Hi Aleksey, It’s Actually Frank here! Facebook sometimes calls me Fred. There’s quite a lot going on, on Frozen Planet right now! We’re about to release our fourth full length album titled ‘Electric Smokehouse’ This particular album is our first release with Headspin Records and will be available in black and clear/purple mix Vinyl.

I heard of course about your band Mother Mars, but Frozen Planet is something new for me. What's the story of the band?

The story could go back as far as 1999 as that was when me and my brother Paul (who is Frozen Planet….1969’s guitarist) first started jamming together. Paul also plays bass and guitar in Mother Mars. Me and Paul would have spontaneous improvised jams back in those early days, so we developed our skills in improvisation and learned how to listen to each other. Frozen Planet….1969 is an Instrumental completely improvised jam band so naturally playing in such a band with your brother that you jammed with growing up is quite a natural thing.

The Actual Frozen Planet….1969 band grew from some spontaneous jams with Lachlan Paine who plays bass in Canberra(Australia’s Capital City) band Looking Glass. Looking Glass are with out a doubt one of the best in the business when it comes to heavy fuzzy riff driven music. I would go on to play drums in Looking Glass for a little while when they were in need of a drummer. Me and Lachlan developed a strong musical bond, he is also a great listener who can lock into anything you do and go wherever you want to go with ease! So me Paul and Lachlan had our first Jam in 2012 in my studio, it was recorded and that is our first album!

What attracted you to the “space” aspect of the band? Is it only music? Or movies?! Or sci-fi books?!! Or astronomy?!!!

I think everyone in the band has a slight interest in all those things but I'd have to say its mostly the music. Paul uses a range of vintage analog guitar pedals including phasers, delays etc. Paul has mastered the use of his pedals and knows how to manipulate sound to get those otherworldly sounds.

And the name… How did you pick it up? Frozen Planer… 1969 – sounds complicated, isn’t it?

Paul came up with the name. I guess it kind of describes our sound as there’s that trippy Space Rock element with that Vintage feel. 1969 was a great year for music!

Who's on board besides you? How long do you know the other members of the crew?

So its Paul Attard on guitar, I’ve known him since my birth. Lachlan Paine on bass. I’ve probably known Lachlan since 2007 when Mother Mars and Looking Glass first started playing shows together.

You have 4 albums in your discography, how do you see your development till the point you're now?

Every album is better than the last in my opinion. We are all constantly growing as musicians and when we go into record the next album everyone has a few new tricks up their sleeve technically, sonically and in creativity. It’s a natural thing to want to do better than the last thing you did. But in this improvised jam business it really depends on the day. We just capture the energy of that one day!

And what’s about style? Do your first records sound the same trippy crazy space way as “Electric Smokehouse”?

Yes, Our earlier records do have that same craziness about them. They’re just as experimental, the only difference you’ll hear is a slightly tighter sound on ‘Electric Smokehouse’ We’ve built a stronger musical unity over the past few years.

Well, this new record “Electric Smokehouse”, how long was your way to this album?

The journey has been long! We had the material recorded from a jam in 2015. We had another album out in 2015 from a jam recorded in 2014 so we had some time. We were set to release ‘Electric Smokehouse’ in 2016 but then we had the interest from Headspin Records to release it on 12 inch Vinyl. To coincide with other releases on Headspin’s roster and with the usual pressing plant delay’s the album will finally be available January 2017. We definitely are not complaining about the delays though! We are very happy with the outcome and being able to work with HeadSpin.

What’s your criterion of album's completeness? How do you know when to stop and leave the material as it is?

The Album is complete once we are happy with the flow of the tracks in the context of an album. The 40 minutes of material on ‘Electric Smokehouse’ are taken from a 3 hour jam. We pick the most interesting and exciting bits that work as complete songs. So we might use the 15 minute till the 23rd minute mark of the jam as our first track. There are no overdubs at all and everything is miked up live in the studio so i just have to mix what i have, drums , bass and guitars.

How did you record it? Do you have real studio not far away from you? Or do you have equipment at home that is enough to satisfy your needs?

I built a home studio back in 2010 so all four FP69 albums were recorded there, as with any Mother Mars stuff since then. I’ve picked up better gear to record with over the years and my production knowledge has grown and you can hear that in my recordings as I've progressed.

Didn’t you think to record some vocals for Frozen Planet? Or vocals an unnecessary thing in your case?

Vocals would be unnecessary for us. It’s all about our instruments and expressing as much as possible through them. It’s cool when songs are written with vocals in mind and vocals act like another instrument . But with our Instrumental jams our instruments do all the talking!

What kind of energy do you put in Frozen Planet? What's it about for you?

The energy is all spontaneous. How we feel at the time. We listen and play. I’m conscious of dynamics and we literally play for hours without break so there’s always those mellow moments to catch your breath before we take off again. For me it’s about jamming and expressing all the musical ideas i have without any musical genre boundaries. The end result is exactly what it is without any preconceived idea of what we want to sound like.

For hours?! Well, I can believe that! And how does it feel? Do you get in contact with space entities during such meditations?

We may very well do! I personally enter another place after I’ve been jamming for an hour. It’s kind of like your arms and legs work automatically. You disconnect from thought and everything you play comes from somewhere else. I’m sure other musicians could relate.

What’s about gigs? Is Frozen Planet only studio project or do you eagerly play live whenever you’re able?

Frozen Planet…1969 started out as a studio project but since then we have done gigs. Lachlan our bass player lives in Canberra which is 2 hours from Sydney where me and Paul live so we have to be selective about which gigs we play. When we do play live the audience gets a completely unique experience as our set is completely improvised, you wont hear anything off our albums but you will hear Frozen Planet….1969

What's current status of Mother Mars? Is there any news about that wonderful but delayed split release with The Grand Astoria?

We (Mother Mars) are currently recording our fourth album. Unlike Frozen Planet….1969 all the Mother Mars material is written and often has multiple parts with multiple layers of instrumentation. The 7 inch Split with The Grand Astoria is now in the hands of Garden Of Dreams Records in Greece. We’re just waiting on a release date.

Okay, thanks for your time Frank! That was my last question for today, how would you like to sum up our interview?

Thanks to you Aleksey for taking the time to ask cool and detailed questions. Thanks to everyone that has supported us by purchasing our records and coming to shows and of coarse the online reviews, interviews etc. It’s quite a niche market for the kind of Instrumental, experimental space psych jam music that we make so we a very grateful that we have found an audience of people that appreciate this music. Also a big thanks to Headspin Records in The Netherlands for releasing ‘Electric Smokehouse’ on Vinyl and helping us reach an even greater audience!

Words by Aleks Evdokimov and Frank Attard


CHILD - Blueside (Album Review)

Release date: December 02nd 2016. Label: Kozmik Artifactz. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Blueside – Tracklisting

1. Nailed To The Ceiling
2. It's Cruel To Be Kind
3. Blue Side Of The Collar
4. Dirty Woman
5. The Man

Band Members

Mathias Northway - guitar, vocals
Michael Lowe - drums, percussion
Danny Smith - bass guitar


Melbourne's Child shook my foundations back in 2014 when their self-titled debut came out. Heavily influenced by blues and heavy psych back then, the blues has been pushed to the front almost exclusively this time around. Fear not, there trippy moments here and there, but they are scarcely used compared to the debut. Instead, at least in my opinion, Child are going all out playing real blues the way it should sound. Low down and dirty and full of rejection, attempts at redemption and forgiveness and pure misery. Hey, it wouldn’t be blues if not. Best of all, what this trio is doing on ‘Blueside’ is absolutely fantastic!

The first two songs, ‘Nailed To The Ceiling’ and ‘It’s Cruel To Be Kind’ are slow and heavy build-up compositions. The tight and punishing rhythm section keeps you down and out while the vocals and guitar spills out all the anguish inside. And man, I love guitar solos, always have which both these songs have in abundance. Hey, I’m not complaining. ‘Blue Side Of The Collar’ starts off with only Mr. Northway singing and Mr. Smith thumping on the bass guitar. Eventually, Mr. Lowe joins in on some soft touches on the drums before Northway cranks up the guitar. Still, they keep it slow bringing out peoples struggles perfectly with the guitar crying out the pain.

What would blues be without a song about failed relationships or shady partners? Nothing, you’re right! And ‘Dirty Woman’ is that particular track. You want her and get her and your life goes down the drain cause she’s nothing but trouble. We’ve all had those relationships, so don’t try to deny it, friends. A beautiful slow guitar solo opens the last song, ‘The Man’ which follows along the guitar. It sets the moods throughout leading up to where Northway’s lamenting voice tells about the showdown when a man gets shot down. Again, the guitar solos, man!

Child are one of those rare bands that goes from strength to strength with each new release. Instead of resting on their laurels, they push the envelope making the music even better than before. Few can pull that off, but these Australians are of a different breed and stand miles ahead of the rest. So folks, get your hands on ‘Blueside’ because it’s the shit for sure!

Words by Håkan Nyman


Saturday, 24 December 2016

Steve Howe Top Albums Of 2016

Some of you may already know my Top 13 choices from my recent Podcast with Billy Goate over at Doomed & Stoned. Now it's time for my Top 25 Albums of 2016.

2016 has been another great year for music with too many bands releasing great albums. It's hard to pick every record that I've listened to and reviewed over the last 12 months or so. These are my favourite albums of 2016 in order.

I want to thank everyone for the support this year. As we couldn't do this without your support. 



  1. Geezer – Geezer
  2. Cough – Still They Prey
  3. Truckfighters – V
  4. Elephant Tree – Elephant Tree
  5. Brant Bjork – Tao Of The Devil
  6. Haast's Eagled – II: For Mankind
  7. Slomatics –Future Echo Returns
  8. Slow Green Thing – II
  9. Slabdragger – Rise Of The Dawncrusher
  10. Kvelertak – Nattesferd
  11. Holy Serpent – Temples
  12. House Of Lightning – House Of Lightning
  13. Comacozer – Astra Planeta
  14. Demonauta – Tierra Del Fuego
  15. Year Of The Cobra – In The Shadows Below
  16. Conan – Revengeance
  17. Mars Red Sky – Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul)
  18. Vokonis – Olde One Ascending
  19. High Fighter – Scars & Crosses
  20. Domkraft - The End Of Electricity
  21. Greenleaf – Meadow
  22. Borracho – Atacama
  23. Wo Fat – Midnight Cometh
  24. Sourvein – Aquatic Occult
  25. Megatherium – Superbeast
Words by Steve Howe

Bruno Bellisario Top Albums Of 2016

Christmas is coming and a new year is around the corner. 2016 was incredible for the heavy.psych/doom/stoner scene with plenty of crazy albums. 

First of all, I’d like to thank Steve, for giving me the opportunity to join the team and listening such a flood of incredible music.  Thank you, from the deep of my heart.

This is the (not exhaustive) list of my favorite ten albums of the year. There is no particular order, and too many other albums would have been included. These are simply the ones that, for one reason or another, were planted in my head.

Good listening and happy holidays!

See ya next year with crazy new music to listen and review!



Demonauta - Tierra Del Fuego
Asteroid - III
Suma - The Order Of Things
Gozu - Revival
Duel - Fears of The Dead
Sumac - What One Becomes
Neurosis - Fires Within Fires
Graves At Sea - The Curse That Is
Cambrian Explosion - The Moon EP
Cough - Still They Pray

Words by Bruno Bellisario

Håkan Nyman Top Albums Of 2016

1. Beelzefuzz - The Righteous Bloom
2. Wretch - Wretch
3. Zaum - Eidolon
4. Howling Giant - Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 1
5. Backwoods Payback - Fire Not Reason
6. Blues Funeral - The Search
7. Dee Calhoun - Rotgut
8. Wo Fat - Midnight Cometh
9. Geezer - Geezer
10. Devil To Pay - A Bend Through Space And Time

Words by Håkan Nyman

Gavin Brown Top Albums Of 2016

1- Cult Of Luna & Julie Christmas - Mariner
2- Neurosis - Fires Within Fires
3- Sumac - What One Becomes
4- Ortega - Sacred States
5 - True Widow - AVVOLGERE
6- Methadone Skies - Colosseus
7- Ommadon - Ommadon
8- UXO - UXO
9- Big Business - Command Your Weather
10- Atala - Shamans Path Of The Serpent
11- Holy Serpent - Temples
12- Wolf Counsel - Ironclad
13- Green Yeti - The Yeti Has Landed
14- Crowbar - The Serpent Only Lies
15-Russian Circles - Guidance
16- Greenleaf - The Meadow
17- Manatees - Helvellyn
18- Superjoint - Caught Up In The Gears Of Application
19- Brant Bjork - Tao Of The Devil
20- House Of Lightning - House Of Lightning
21- Domkraft - The End Of Electricity
22- Cardinals Folly - Holocaust Of Ecstasy & Freedom
23- Mondo Drag - The Occultation Of Light
24- Hexenjager - Black Titan
25- King Goblin - Cryptzoology

Words by Gavin Brown

Nick Palmisano Top Albums Of 2016

It is the season to give thanks, so I want to acknowledge all the gifted folks who dare to share their talents with us. Although this past year was a phenomenal time period of musical output, only those albums I had the privilege to hear can instruct my faithful review. A list should not interfere with one's own personal choice, so understand that these particular ends justified my particular means. I never wish to sound profane in editing a surplus of art or subjugate any particular musician belonging to any fine band, but I feel these chosen albums represent the most current wealth in my available treasure. 

These elected records offer a multitude of sound, including filthy clamor, ion beam sonic glow, the doom stench of carrion, audible utterances of man-things, atmospheric psychedelia in orchestration, distortion of the senses, variations of stoner rock, music for castle folk and veterans striding along their skull topped classic library, yet still offering newborn mysteries. The choices were hard, but these are my top 20 albums for this year, in no definite order.

- Witchcraft - Nucleus. This album is a daring flight towards new and darker horizons showcasing sounds of suffering, mental breakdown, black malady, seductive witches, neurotic poetry and the possible questions of being reborn with the knowledge that you may be sane in a world full of crazies. 

- Elephant Tree- Elephant Tree. This record is a verdant forest trance of enchantment in fuzz.

- Haast's Eagled - II:For Mankind. This release contains a heavy bipolar song architecture that is perfect for the rage and ache as you contemplate the words for the inscription on your tombstone.

- 40 Watt Sun - Wider Than The Sky. The album’s melodious shades streak to evoke emotion so often trapped within our commonplace intellectualism, constituted by a band as unique as a lonely road in an odd season.

- Subrosa - For This We Fight The Battle Of Ages. You will need to set aside some "mind time" for this huge, dark and vibrant compositional endeavour...a true intellectual beauty.

- Sumac - What One Becomes. This heavy album is sheer permafrost; a musical score of primal resources attracting morose interests.

- Cough - Still They Pray. This album is unpleasant and difficult, with no real comparisons; it is like an arrest warrant for your soul with bail to be set by a superior court judge presiding in hell.

- Sahg - Momento Mori. A display of metallic-progressive music, constructed in great songwriting with a hint of past hero influence as a tribute, resulting in the reason why people own every Sahg album.

- Anciients - Voice of the Void. These skilled songwriters have invented their own distorted formula of potent craftsmanship in metal hooks.

- Khemmis - Hunted. A pure slab of majestic doom...sharpen your blade, polish your shield, fasten your helmet and prepare to decorate them all in the blood of the enemy.

- Neurosis - Fires Within Fires. Neurosis are the Chessmen in a world of checkers; they never disappoint, buy the album.

- Conan – Revengeance. Heavy riffs of density; by Crom, they’ve done it again!

- Slomatics - Future Echo Returns. These guys are the purveyors of factory immense sludge.

- Wo Fat - Midnight Cometh. This outing is a prodigious stoner rock album that furrows along with riffage and jams.

- Domkraft -The End Of Electricity. This is a record of space doom hypnosis projected with heavy psych all within a room full of haze; get lost in the rift.

- Opeth – Sorceress. This album drips with the hot wax stamp of progressive excellence, a proof of sonic hard rock experience, the promise of musicianship, and the orchestration of yet another magnum opus.

- Nails -You Will Never Be One Of Us. This short stint sounds like a distorted, jackhammer wielding primate busting out of the zoo; its time to confess to the electric metal ape.

- Whores - Gold. This record is slanted with rebellion and sounds like it was recorded in Fort Knox; the embodiment of blistering punk attitude, covered in a solid gold knuckle sandwich.

- Graves At Sea - The Curse That Is. This album brought back memories of the first time I spun what is now considered old death metal, with all the clamoring instruments offering their collisions of distortion, feedback and chaotic time punctuation as well as groveling soiled vocals and accompanying morose lyrics, culminating in the overall grittiness of a desolate masterpiece of sonic achievement.

- Clutch - Psychic Warfare. This is a band whom exhibit generations of hard rock excellence and rare lyrical genius put to continuously spinning wax; A classic act of purity and a definite library mainstay.

Words Nick Palmisano

Todd Stealey Top Albums Of 2016

Greetings all,
I am psyched as I have never had a chance to write up an official best of list. First off, I would like to take a minute and thank Steve for giving the opportunity to check out all of this killer music and share my thoughts with everyone. With that said, 2016 was a huge fucking dumpster fire, but there was a ton of killer music. So without further ado, here is my top 13 list for 2016:
1. Make – Pilgrimage of Loathing - These Nort Carolina doom metal monsters released this killer in the midst of political firestorm in their homestate of North Carolina. This record, pissed off, angry and disonant, only started to ring more loudly when the political shitstorm took on a national face. This destroyer will only become more relevant over the next four years....
2. Dinosaur Jr – Give a glimpse of what yer not - The Dino Jr has been nothing short of spectacular. I swear to god they get better with each new album. This is the best record since the original line up go back together and is possibly one of the best Dinosaur Jr records ever.
3. Red Fang – Only Ghosts - The heavy rock ear worm record of the year. I still literally walk around with these songs stuck in my head.
4. Big Business – Command Your Weather - A return to form for this sludgy duo. In my opinion, their best record since Head for the Shallow.
5. Deftones - Gore - I've been a huge Deftones fan for years. They never disappoint. This is another ripper to add to their impressive catalog.
6. Neurosis – Fires within Fires - Not much can be said about Neurosis that hasnt been said before. This is a return to form. Heavy and dissonant. Classic.
7. Domkraft – The End of Electricity - Second Swedish Stoner rock entry. Huge and Sludgy. This is one intense masterpiece.
8. Year of the Cobra - ..In the Shadows Below - Huge and sludgy. Filled with killer riffs and some of the most captivating vocals around.
9. Salems Pot – Pronounce this! -Mysterious Swedish stoner/doom. Solid from beginning to end.
10. Gorguts – Pleiades Dust - Typically not a fan of technical metal, nut was intrigued by the 1 track album. It is a killer.
11. -(16)- The Lifespan of a Moth - An amazing blast of face melting sludge.
12. Khemmis - Hunted - This record has been in about every year end list, and rightfully so. A doom metal masterpiece.

13. Netherlands - Audobon - This was a suprising blast of noise rock with wild vocals that made for a most interesting record.
Cheers and here's to a face melting 2017!

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Simon Ross Williams Top Albums Of 2016

1 Cult Of Luna And Julie Christmas - Mariner
2 Opeth - Sorcerer 
3 Slabdragger - Rise Of The Dawncrusher
4 Slomatics - Future Echo Returns
5 Year Of The Cobra - In The Shadows Below
6 40 Watt Sun - Wider Than The Sun
7 The Bendal Interlude - Reign Of The Unblinking Eye
8 Neurosis - Fires Within Fires
9 Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Arc
10 Sub Rosa - For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages
11 Conan - Revengance
12 Cough - Still They Prey
13 Tides Of Sulfur - Extinction Curse
14 Victorian Whore Dogs - Afternoonified
15 Garganjua - A Voyage In Solitude
16 Russian Circles - Guidance
17 Inter Arma - Gallows Paradise
18 Abbath - Abbath
19 Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard - Y Proffwyd Dwyll
20 Cybernetic Witch Cult - Spaceous Creaceous
21 Elephant Tree - Elephant Tree
22 Swans - The Glowing Man
23 Mantar - Ode To The Flame
23 Kvelertak - Nattesferd
24 Red Fang - Only Ghosts
25 Bossk - Audio Noir

Chosen by Simon Ross Williams

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Interview with Tav Palumbo from HEAVY TRAFFIC

Heavy Traffic was born by the efforts of Ian Caddick (guitars) and Tav Palumbo (drums, vocals) a couple of years ago. The guys have were enthusiastic to create about 5 (or 6?!) records since then and in December 2016 Twin Earth Records released their new album “Plastic Surgery”.

This album was recorded with new members – Davud Grzedzinski (bass) and Dan Bradica (drums) who added their influences in Heavy Traffic sound. So what hides behind that title? A crazy combination of stoner, electric psychedelic rock and shoegazing stuff performed with punk-styled approach. I’ve trying to sort out how it works, and Tav Palumbo himself helps me with that.

Hi Tav! Let's start from the origin of Heavy Traffic - how did you meet each other?

Ian and I met each other in Santa Cruz and we were playing in band called Spanish Moss. That broke up and we went on to form this band. It started as a home recording project and we were mainly focusing on writing for about two years before moving to Brooklyn where we met Dan and Davey, our rhythm section. With them on-board we were able to put together a good live band and were able to adopt a tighter and heavier sound.

How did you elaborate your sound to the one we hear on your full-length "Plastic Surgery"?

Davey and Dan brought a lot of recording experience and insight to the table which was great. We recorded in a different space where we did live to tape as a full band with better isolation that allowed us to experiment with new recording techniques, whereas before the guitar and drums only composed the initial live base tracks and we mostly in the same room.

What influenced on your sound? Some of your songs sound lo-fi and chaotic, were these loose structures and raw production done consciously?

The fidelity and the structure of the tracks are mostly a result of working within our means on 80s Tascam tape machines.

Okay… Then let’s speak straight. What kind of bands influence on Heavy Traffic?

We really like Japanese psychedelic rock bands like Boris and High Rise. German krautrock artists like Holger Czukay and Amon Duul ii. Bands that can be aggressive are but also can embrace a sense of levity.

Heavy Traffic – See Right Through

Heavy Traffic’s bandcamp shows that you have seven albums; how did you manage to create these amount of records in such a brief period?

After the last project, Ian and I we really intent on doing as much as we possibly could ourselves and pushing our skills of home recording. Working with only another person and focusing solely on writing and recording probably had a lot to do with it.

How long did you compose the material for "Plastic Surgery"? What are the strongest sides of this record from your point of view?

Most of the material on this album with a few exceptions were tracks written by me and Ian while living in Santa Cruz. If the record is interesting its probably has to do with the many different influences coming together when we write and how easily we were able to mesh together as a four piece.

Which song on “Plastic Surgery” album represents the best of Heavy Traffic?

Acid Sweater” was our first song and we believe it represent a lot of what we are trying to do. That said the title track is representative of some of our more current influences.

Yes, “Acid Sweater” is a nice title, what are the lyrics about?

A few years ago one of our friends donated a nice robe with a dragon on it for us to use with a video we making. Around the same time we acquired a technicolor lined fur coat that we dubbed the acid sweater. Its lyrics are loosely about processing internal and external experience in times of purgatory or in between states.

What are your requirements to the sound your instruments?

We function on a lot of analog effects that we have picked up over some years. We really like Death by Audio effects. Ian uses his Fuzz War Overload and both of us use Echo Dreams.

Where did you record "Plastic Surgery"?

We recorded over a long weekend last February 2016 at my parents house outside Buffalo while they were out of town. It was nice to get out of the city a spend a few days fully focused, hopefully we didn’t bother the neighbors to much.

How do you share duties in the band? Do you have a main song-writer in the band or does everyone put their effort in equal measure?

It’s always been a shard process when we assemble the songs. This album and the next one we are working on continue that idea, if someone has a good song we play it.

What meaning did you put in “Plastic Surgery” title? Do you care much about lyrical content of your songs?

Ian would probably go on about how its representative of American values, but I always thought it was a good analog to our sound; carving and slicing through lots of juicy parts, rearranging things in unnatural ways. We like to use vocals more as another instrument, and there is usually more concern with the phonetics of a given phrase than any lyrical sense.

American values? Can you enlighten this poor Russian boy on that subject?

It seems sometimes that its easier to assimilate an identity here in the States that isn’t yours than developing the one you have.

Man, you live in Brooklyn, NY; how many opportunities does this city provide to such bands like Heavy Traffic?

A lot of our favorite venues have shut down in this last year; we really enjoyed playing at Palisades and the work Leeor and Ariel were doing. It can be difficult to plug into existing communities but we were fortunate enough to meet some great people who have helped us out. The King Pizza community is also something special happening locally. Greg and company have been really supportive and a lot of fun to work with.

By the way, why is Heavy Traffic?!

Our name comes from the 70s animated movie by Ralph Bakshi about a sexually frustrated virgin trying to get laid in NY.

Heavy Traffic “White & Green”

There's the bonus track "White & Green" in my promo, it sounds pretty refreshing. What’s the story behind this song?

It’s one of our oldest songs that has a few other recordings. Actually something won’t wrong with that recording with one of the tracks and we decided to leave it out for that reason and due to time limitations for the release.

What are your plans consider the next full-length album? And what would you like to change in your sound? Will you stay on this stoner doom way or will you turn to more sludgy sound?

We are hoping to record next with a higher fidelity. Our new songs are all new material and fold in more variety from our growth as a four piece over the last year. We are getting a bit more chaotic in some ways; Ian has been getting into more aggressive heavy styles of metal and punk and the next record will reflect that in the songs he writes.

Thanks for the thoughtful questions and for highlighting what we and other underground bands are up to. We are excited to get this release out there!

Words by Aleks Evdokimov and Tav Palumbo