donderdag 13 mei 2021

Atomic Vulture – Moving Through Silence

 

 

Atomic Vulture – Moving Through Silence
Polderrecords – 2021
Stoner, Instrumental, Space, Psych
Rated: *****

I’ve just ordered the Atomic Vulture album Moving Through Silence on vinyl through the Polderrecords shop. We’re unfortunately too late for the Die Hard version, but we still managed to get our grubby little hands on that Intergalactic Orange edition. It had to be done, we could not miss out. For the three amigo’s from Brugge, Belgium have produced an amazing instrumental stoner rock album. And yes, here it comes, it will be one of the very best of the instrumental stoner rock albums you will hear in 2021. With overtones of space rock and psych, the eight tracks meander through all of the stoner related universes. Eclips serves as a proper lift-off track, destined for the outer reaches of space. Follow-up Mashika Deathride will put set you down on a distant planet and ground it all into submission; with a spooky, eerie middle part that slowly picks up speed again and then pounds it all to dirt. Amazing track! And then Coaxium starts its motif, and you cannot help but immediately fall in love with it. Three tracks in and you are shocked and awed by the three that is Atomic Vulture. Another five tracks to go on Moving Through Silence and each and every one of them is a righteous instrumental stoner rock adventure of majestic proportions. And we’re not even gonna mention that cathedral track, the closing, twelve minutes long, Astral Dream, we will just let that one transport you into whatever dimension you are needed…


(Written by JK)


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Monster Magnet – A Better Dystopia

 

 

Monster Magnet – A Better Dystopia
Napalm Records – 2021
Rock, Metal, Stoner, Space
Rated: ****

There’ve been two cover albums released recently that have been spinning ever since at the HiVe HQ. One is the Cloud Covered album by the awesome Clouds Taste Satanic, an album we will definitely mention in the very near future. O’ and we noticed Hugo just posted a write-up on his awesome Orange Maze blog, so head on over and grab an earful over there! The other one, is of course the new album A Better Dystopia by the legendary Monster Magnet. Even though we already assumed it would probably be a good one; there was a moment there that we felt a small pang of disappointment. We just really would have loved new Monster Magnet material. As we do every day. Every day. But that momentary feeling was incinerated by the thirteen amazing versions brought to you by Dave Wyndorf and his cronies. It’s loud, its filthy and it’s awesome. The thirteen tracks are all pulled out of the oubliette cesspit of psych, acid and proto-metal and indeed, not all of them are that well known. Most famous might be the Born To Go track from Hawkwind, and that one turns into one of the most fantastic tracks every to grace you ears. With a release to intense it will definitely bring you every sort of satisfaction! And after that intense closer Welcome To The Void leaves you all alone out there, at the bottom of the rabbit hole, where you will be waiting for the next Monster Magnet rocket ship to blast through the infinite space, the fourth dimension or the twilight zone with. You will realize that this is the kind of cover album the world needs right now, rough, raw and nuclear!


(Written by JK)


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zondag 9 mei 2021

GlöD - GlöD

 

 

GlöD - GlöD
Self released - April 2021
Stoner, desert, psych
Rated: ****

New Stockholm trio GlöD (Swedish for "glow") hail from both Sweden and New York, bringing a bevy of experience from different genres to create a rocking stoner outfit. Heaving with a filthy bass tone and ripping guitarwork, their debut self-titled EP is gathering well-earned acclaim. Opener "Cyanide Nights" chugs forth with a groovy desert riff and growling bass, bringing to mind Kyuss and Dozer with a savage edge added by rough vocals. Some tasty psychedelia is heard as well with blaring wahs and a classy, soaring solo. The audio comedown of the track's end is gently ushered along by the bright, creeping intro of "Reign of Fear", though  followed soon enough by the return of crushing low end and massive crashing drums. The nod is irresistible as GlöD stomps through thick and gravelly riffs between cleaner, keening desert licks, a contrast that works like a charm through the album. Third cut "Vintern 1867" brings a more laid-back vibe, gently bouncing along with warm guitar before roaring vocals take the track into a thunderous, crunching nosedive. Light, mystical guitar eventually returns with keys in tow to ease the tune into a colorful psychedelic finish. Closing and highlight cut "Creatures of Doom" brings the EP to an epic close with gothic synths leading into one of the grooviest slabs of fuzz yet. A swirling, ringing collection of strings and keys takes the tune for a brief dip into dreamier waters, before surfacing for a final push of weighted noise. With such a strong and inventive debut out of the gates, GlöD are fast-rising heavy hitters in the stoner psych arena, and are already working on new material that's hotly anticipated here at the HiVe.


(Written by Shasta Beast)


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donderdag 6 mei 2021

The Lance Vance Vengeance - Soups, Rum and Rock'n Roll


The Lance Vance Vengeance
 
'Soups, Rum and Rock'n Roll'
(Not necessarily in that order...)

Stoner HiVe got the chance recently to sit down with singer/guitarist Olivier and drummer Quentin, two of the three members of The Lance Vance Vengeance from Paris, France. A Zoom chat was fired up from across the pond to dig into their fantastic new LP “Broglie”, a mix of grunge, stoner, doom, and more, and we ended up going far beyond Zoom’s measly initial 40 minutes. We’ll spare you our collective and lengthy fanboying over King Gizzard’s double drumming and Rage Against The Machine, but after comparing notes on the COVID crisis in the US and France, we got to the meat of it. Dig in!


Stoner HiVe: How did The Lance Vance Vengeance start?

Olivier: Quentin was coming back from his studies abroad, and we moved to a home studio, located in a warehouse and played there 24/7.

Quentin: We got loads of amps and thought: we’re gonna crank this shit to fucking 10! Drinking twenty beers, and just play blues and punk. But at some point we were blocked, we needed someone else to bring more sound and melody.

Olivier: I sing and play the guitar live, so I was fucked up in my brain. I find it pretty hard doing all of that. You know, the pedals, the music, the singing, I’m not gonna make it. But the trio was later. We recorded our first EP DIY, in the home studio, over a year, just the two of us.




SH: So, what was the biggest difference recording Broglie?

O: We didn’t record it live like the EP, but with our friend Antoine, a sound engineer, at studio Vimondière.

Q: We had a schedule for the first time, 7 days to record 8 tracks.

O: We called the LP “Broglie”, the name of the city where it was recorded, because it’s really about that time in that studio. We recorded a lot of different instruments. For the song “Fog”, we have hand drums, Quentin plays a solo. It’s more of us being a studio band, not live. But for this summer, we have new songs for something more live, more punchy and more us.




SH: The record sounds super clean, and when you need to crank out the fuzz, that really hits, too. What drink and food were you living off?

Q: Haha, rum! Lots of rum. In France we have Rum Arrangè, it’s like pure rum with fruits. We actually have photographs of all the booze we drank for a week! A lot of wine too, c’mon we’re French, red wine. I’m gonna let Olivier tell about the food, cause it was complicated, haha.

O: Yeah it was funny, I had just turned vegetarian! We were stewing soups, doing heavy rock music and drinking rum!





SH: So, what was the most euphoric or exciting moment for you about the new album?

O: For me, it’s when Andre brought the cello into the studio for the song “Hooked”. Most of the songs were written for the bass guitar with six strings. For “Hooked” I wrote the guitar parts and Quentin wrote the lyrics. Andre’s cello adds a dark Alice In Chains feeling, I think it sounds marvelous.




Q: To me, it was when Olivier started to sing… Olivier was never really at ease with his own voice and singing *Olivier shakes head*. We had a difficult time with vocals, from the start. I always told Olivier “you gotta sing, I can’t sing”. It took two and a half years, and in the studio was the first time that I saw Olivier like almost at ease with the singing thing. We went to a café to not disturb him, and we came back with some berries and shit like that, and I remember vividly I came in and was like... “Shit! What is he doing right now?” I mean, the voice, really! I’m not fucking around with Olivier; it was like another person singing. I never, never, never heard Olivier sing like this before. That fucking guy! Just sang and sang and sang at home on his own, I don’t know, in the car. He didn’t tell me that he was working on his voice, he just did it! It was really something to hear him singing like this.

O: Yeah I think I’m not a natural born singer, I don’t have a really good voice. I just have the ear, so I know if I’m wrong or right, but I don’t really like my voice that much. Recording our first EP really helped me, because it was the first time I could focus on singing. It was the same in the studio. I think when you came back I just recorded “J.L.S”, which is a really heavy song, and I just spit my guts out on it. And it’s cool.

Q: The second take, I remember Andre told you “Just go with it, dude! Do your shit and we’ll see you after”, and it worked. I have tapes from the first rehearsal three years ago. Hearing those three years and the way he now sings, it’s really nice.





SH: I love how you transition on Océan and a few songs, from the clean, almost delicate guitar, and then the punch comes in. An awesome dynamic.

O: To Antoine, the sound engineer, I was like, “Turn it down”. He was like “No, no, no”. “Turn the clean guitar down, turn it down!” We get that punch in your face when it hits you.

SH: Boom! And “Fog” was a little more subdued, and then you brought the heavy in.

O: Yeah, “Fog” is where we wanted a new wave sound. There’s not really a bass because I’m playing through a guitar amp, like The Cure. We want to focus on the vocal harmonies more, me and Andre.

Q: And the funny thing with “Fog”, it was the intro of our live shows. But the first time we played it, we realized that the people were really in the zone and the “Fog” atmosphere. We said to ourselves, “Nah, that’s not an intro, that’s a song!”

O: We conceived “Broglie” as a two-sided vinyl. There’s a progression from mellow to heavy, and the opening tracks of each side had to be “Hooked” and “Océan”. “Once More” is kind of a power ballad. And we wanted to finish with “Doom”, heavy Black Sabbath. If a metalhead listens to the album, he would listen to the first two tracks and say, “Fuck this, these guys do pop music”. But if you play the whole album, it’s like ok, they’re heavy…





SH: Speaking of playing live, what are you looking forward to most when you finally get to play live again?

O: We decided in January: we’re going to playing two guitars and no bass. Andre and I are both guitarists, and we’re just sticking to one setup. If you play a song and stop, it’s different than if you can hold the stage for 25 minutes.

Q: When we go see King Gizzard, Idles, Fu Manchu, they never stop playing! And I want the live energy again. When you go out to concerts in Paris, you always meet new people and get drunk with them, that’s what I’m looking forward to. And to live my life! I miss my life. Getting back to playing gigs, that’s our life.





SH: Well, hey, before we wrap it up, is there anything you guys want to put out there for folks to know?

Q: We feel grateful to have our music out there. It’s the first time our music traveled. I mean, you’re from the US. To us, that’s, like, fucking crazy. We’ve listened to US music since we were kids! We just sent 5 vinyl records to the US last week, and to Germany, and to us that’s mind-blowing. And we are talking with you right now. We feel grateful that our music is speaking to people all over the world, that people are listening to our music. That’s all we want.


(Written by Shasta Beast)



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Hot Breath – Rubbery Lips

 

Hot Breath – Rubbery Lips
The Sign Records – 2021
Rock
Rated: ****

It was one of the three releases featured on the April Doom Charts that we had not yet heard. And when we read Eric ‘The General’ Varasifsky ‘s blurb about the new Hot Breath album, we knew we had to quickly remedy that! And after that initial track Right Time we knew that Rubbery Lips, as the album is called, would be the perfect cure for our sickness that is us missing Juliette And The Licks so incredibly hard. Cause Rubbery Lips have produced this amazing smash ‘n grab rock ‘n roller that takes you back to the seventies just as easily as to that ballsy hardrock from the eighties. It’s got proto metal vibes, fast paced garage sensations and every possible hard rocking element that you might need to get your groove on and send you all-nite jukin’! The music stands so incredibly tall, so huge, so enormous, that it will undoubtedly make you go crazy, but it’s the hellcat vocals that will make you go wild! It has a certain vibrating presence. And it will touch you with the kind of madness that drives a shark insane in a blood-stained sea…


(Written by JK)


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dinsdag 4 mei 2021

Hippie Death Cult – Circle Of Days

 

Hippie Death Cult – Circle Of Days
Heavy Psych Sounds – 2021
Rock, Garage, Psych, Stoner
Rated: *****

We’re been on a gigantic Portland trip that we did not even realize until Anthony Gaglia from LáGoon and The Crooked Whispers mentioned that both Robots Of The Ancient World and Hippie Death Cult were also from his town. And even though we were a bit late to join the cult back when those Hippies started, once 111 dropped, back in 2019, we immediately joined up and dreamed about getting their band name tattooed on one of our extremities. You guess which one. The freaks delivered that amazing album through Cursed Tongue Records and their new one Circle Of Days will soon be out on Heavy Psych Sounds. Delivering almost forty minutes of heavy goodness the five tracks move distinctly more towards the psychedelic garage, fuzzed out rock and stoner atmospheres than that world shocking earlier album, which had more doom and a more monolithic approach. This opts to weave more intricate tapestries and they transition to that form by way of opener Red Meat Tricks, which is the doomiest of the five. It’s also the track that immediately shows how the new album operates, making all the different instruments and vocals take their separate spotlight before coming all together in a dazzling spectacle of colors. Circle Of Days is the perfect follow-up to 111


(Written by JK)


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Dunerider – Ruins

 

 

Dunerider – Ruins
Self released - 2021
Doom, Sludge, Stoner
Rated: *****

It was one of the first releases we jotted down when the time came to send our list for the April edition of the Doom Charts. We had been grooving so freaking hard the past weeks to this rough and brutal little diamond! And we jumped at the opportunity to write that little blurb for this months edition; but did wonder what to write… Should we talk about the entire seven-track album that is Ruins by French outfit Dunerider? And in the process perhaps ruin some of the mammoth surprise that it might be? Or should we just mention that massive opening track Warlords? And promise that the rest of the album is just as good… For Warlords will not just shatter and crush your immediate surroundings, it aims to destroy your very being, the universe and the fabric of time. Indeed. It is that heavy! Pure doom sludge and ominous stoner… A sound that crept out of the bog to wreak havoc, rampage and lay waste to all that might stand in its way…


(Written by JK)


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maandag 3 mei 2021

Robots Of The Ancient World - Mystic Goddess

 

 

Robots Of The Ancient World – Mystic Goddess
SmallStone Records – 2021
Rock, Hard, Stoner
Rated: *****

The intro starts with a rock noir sound that reminds of The Gun Club and Madrugada before shifting gear and turning into some blissful seventies inspired rock, heavenly fuzzed, bass heavy and with those twin guitars weaving, dancing and riffing. It’s the new Mystic Goddess record by Portland quintet Robots Of The Ancient World. Recorded in the notorious Seattle Soundhouse Studios with the aid of the grunge godfather Jack Endino himself, as well as his longtime protégé Mikel Perkins, the eight tracks all have their very own identity. As we mentioned, that opening title-track has those two faces that blend wonderfully into each other. Follow-up Wasteland keeps its cards close to its chest; slow burning its soul into your heart with those passionate vocals and intensely pronounced guitars. The album turns atavistic stoner, in the very Kyuss sense of the word with that third chugging track Agua Caliente. Powerful riffs, devastating the landscape, pulverizing the dunes. Sure, there’s that widened middle part to contend with, which can be seen as the moments you stand there on top of those dunes, enjoying the view of the desert landscape. Out Of The Gallows contains in that vein and will have you howling along with the refrain without any doubt or hesitation. Colossal in every sense of the word! Which you can state about the entire record in fact, a record that shows off the many faces of Robots Of The Ancient World. And we haven’t even mentioned that cathedral, almost eleven minutes long, track called Lucifyre; which ends with quotes from a David Icke interview, if we’re not mistaken… There is no possible universe in which you will not dig this record. There is simply no way. Who do you think you are?


(Written by JK)


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Birmani – Birmani

 

 

Birmani – Birmani
Cuchabata Records – 2021
Stoner, Fuzz, Sludge, Psych
Rated: *****

These three Canadian crazies made the Doom Charts of April, and we were so glad they did. Cause we had already listened to the album and enjoyed the hell out of it. But seeing it appear on the final list and knowing that many of the Doom Charts Contributors voted for it, made me dive deeper into it. Making me fall head over heals with this album! It definitely left a mark! From Montréal, Quebec comes three-piece Birmani. On their self-titled, full-sized debut they show off their French tongue and their love for massive fuzz with loads of psychedelic influences and sludge overtones. They manage to make it all feel like old faves and new raves, from atavistic grunge to intense stoner; just as the godfathers intended. And it’s that masterful psych edge they add to most of the composition that will definitely turn you on. It’s that psych edge that also made us all fall in love with All Them Witches. And that will happen with Birmani as well. Birmani is good, Birmani is great, Birmani is the latin name for a sort of snail. And just like that slimy sucker, this three piece will definitely leave a mark…


(Written by JK)


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Stoner HiVe’s Top 10 Most Listened Albums Last Week…

 

Stoner HiVe’s 

Top 10 Most Listened Albums Last Week…


Karma To Burn  

Robots Of The Ancient World

Skraeckoedlan

Bad Absalom 

Superlynx 

  Madhouse

Atomic Vulture

Stonus

Hippie Death Cult

 Prins Svart

zondag 2 mei 2021

The Doom Chart for April 2021

 


Doom Charts

    “As from the smoke is freed the blaze,
    So let our faith burn bright!
    And if they crush our golden ways,
    Who e’er can crush Thy light?”

~ The First Walpurgis-Night, Goethe

We end the month of April with a folklorically traditionally time, an ancient holiday of sorts. That which is known as The Witches Sabbath or Beltane, where Midsommer and Walpurghis Nacht is celebrated in some parts of the world and has been for millennia. In ancient times these celebrations heralded the season of light and bonfire celebrations and displayed hope for renewal and rebirth as we head into May with longer days and summer approaching. And how fitting, as no summer in recent memory holds greater anticipation or need for that light or hope and renewal for us music fans, artists, and industry folk as the one ahead, while we await with bated breath a possible return to normalcy for live music and events, creative livelihoods and entire cultural sectors.


Will summer bear live musical fruit for us? What day is it anymore? Does time even matter? It remains to be seen, but the hope that comes with longer days and more vitamin D is a damn good start as well as April having brought with it a bounty of stunning releases for us all to enjoy. And without futher ado, as your faithful contributors of the Doom Charts are wont once again as every month dear reader, we coalesce to provide you with a listing of the finest new releases the world over from within our stylistic proclivities for Doom, stoner, sludge, heavy psych and fuzz centric musical offerings. Be safe and keep the faith, the light of our underground community shines bright.

That lovely intro was provided by the newest member of the Doom Charts Contributors group, long time Doomed & Stoned contributor: Doom Oracle. And let us indeed hope that this summer will bring forth the air we all desperately need to breathe and to be that air filled with lovely heavy musical notes that float along the warm breeze. Making the ember inside glow once more and make us not just remember, but experience and enjoy… Thousandfold! This positive, do good and we will surely make it happen! For now, we have the April edition of the Doom Charts which once again brings us so much great and heavy music to listen to! Personal votes went out to: LáGoon, Motorpsycho, Greenleaf, 1968, Yawning Sons, The Vintage Caravan, Draken, Dunerider & Dust Mice ! And today, we will listen to those, the ones we could just as easily have voted for and those few we hadn’t even heard… Like Iron Rider, Hot Breath & The Watcher… And knowing the fellow contributors, we will dig the hell out of ‘m and probably vote for them next month! Check ‘m out! Check ‘m all out!

Welcome to Doom Charts, representing some of the finest bloggers, journalists, radio, podcasters and album reviewers from the heavy underground around the globe.  Each month, our critics submit their picks for the best new doom, sludge metal, stoner-psychedelic and heavy rock albums.  The results are compiled and tabulated into the chart below.  This is a one-stop shop for the best new albums in the world…


The Doom Chart for April 2021

vrijdag 30 april 2021

LáGoon – Instinctive, fast and not so serious…

 

  

LáGoon – Instinctive, fast and not so serious…

The first band, where I do not take everything so serious, is the first band that starts to get a vague bit of notoriety…


We sat down last week, wrote out some questions we felt right about, fired up ZOOM, and waited for the good man to join the meeting. Anthony Gaglia, the man with the Italian roots. One of the original two LáGoon members, one of the The Crooked Whispers crazies and a solo artist who released his debut album last fall called Voodoo Heartbeat. A multi-instrumentalist, a multi-band kind of guy and a prolific artist, who might just become even more prolific in the near future. “It’s actually the main subject of Skullactic Visions. I have realized I’ve probably been in a bit too big a haze the past decade or so. Me and the missus went to Hawaii and I took my laptop with me to work on the record. And that’s when I also started this kick, you know. Cut back on substances. Not completely. Just not as habitually as before. I found out that the world is different when you are more clearheaded. And I reckon I might have done more…”

Here’s a man with a mission. His mission is music. Music has always been around him, as far back as he can remember there’s music. Even while being driven to pre-school, his parents had the tapes spinning loudly in the car. It is where his love for music was born… As well as his love for vans. Which shines through in his self-designed band logo. “My dad had a big work van and he used to pick me up from school, and we would cruise around a bit, with an Alice Cooper cassette at full volume, you know.” He smiles broadly as he remembers those late afternoon drives across the city. And that smile does not fade when we discuss the covid-situation. “Don’t get me wrong, I miss playing live, I miss it so much. But on other levels it has not been a bad situation for me. We have been putting out a lot of music the past year. And for my personal psyche it has not been a bad deal either. You know, dipping out of the day-to-day hustle and bustle of the world for a bit. It know it has been much worse for almost everybody else around the globe. Took a new job, been able to work a lot from home and had my music to concentrate on. I feel like I managed to take advantage of it.”




Re-evaluating his situation, his music and his direction. It shows us that this covid-situation indeed has not been all bad for everyone. And even though he was lost in a bit of a haze for a pretty long time, he always took his music seriously. And he still does, but with a fun attitude. Indeed, his perspective has changed since a few years. He’s been in bands before and has taken, not just the music, but those bands so seriously. “I still take LáGoon serious in terms of that I want to play and want to devote a lot of time to it. As I do with all my music. But on other fronts I don’t give that much of a fuck. Not everything has to be perfect you know. And it’s weird to have to conclude that the first band I’m in, where I do not take everything so serious anymore, is starting to at least get a vague bit of notoriety…”

And that’s definitely the case, not just with LáGoon, of which the albums are getting ever better and the reviews of those even more raving. But also with The Crooked Whispers, a band that was even nominated for Best New Band on this year’s first edition of The Doomies. But it all started earlier and it all started with a, errr, difficult edge. “Yeah, I’ve been in couple of bands before. The Bent Bones for instance, we were still in college, but we managed to put out a decent amount of music. The problem was, for me at least, that it was a five-piece. That’s a lot of people and a lot of opinions. A huge learning experience. It was one of the reasons LáGoon was started as a duo and stayed a duo for as long as it did. I just wanted a band that was the easiest possible version of a band. A good buddy and me. Brady (Maurer, drummer) got the bad end of that deal, he's stuck with me! Haha.” And so, they found a van, with two seats and started rolling into every other town for a gig…

“You know, the coolest parts on a rock ‘n roll record are often the little nuances, little mess-ups or imperfections.”


But of course, everything can and will change. “It was actually part of the covid-situation I guess. One of the bonusses for us. When I started writing Father Of Death, we were already working on The Crooked Whispers stuff. And so, talking to Ignacio (De Tommaso, bass player, The Crooked Whispers, Luciferia) and listening back to everything we were doing with Crooked Whispers, I really wanted to have LáGoon sound a bit more like that, a bit more low-end. And at the time, that was all it was gonna be I guess. You know, the White Stripes approach, where you add bass on the records, but play everything live as a duo. But after hearing the finished album, I really thought, shit, I want to be able to play this live! This sounds like the LáGoon it should be. Luckily, we’re really good friends with the band Ash Eater and Kenny (Combs) their bass player. He’s a super talented dude and I knew he would pick up the songs from the Father Of Death record quickly and make bass parts for our previous catalogue. And since we already hung out with those guys so much, it seemed like a perfect fit. And it does, cause even though we moved from being a two piece to a trio, it has not changed the dynamic much. Or at all even… Which was the goal and is the most important thing I learned from earlier bands. You know, when I was younger, whenever there was an idea, you searched around town looking for the best musicians, cause you wanted to be the best. But that does not really work, you are trying to force it. And the best musicians aren’t necessarily the best people to hang around with. So, my one rule going forward, only be in bands you’re friends with. Cause it does make things pretty awkward when you go on tour and you don’t have anything in common apart from the songs you are going to play that night…”
 
The two friends turned into the three amigos and the recording of the next record went brilliantly. Also, in part thanks to the solo album Voodoo Heartbeat he recorded before it. “It was much harder than I expected it to be. Cause with the acoustic stuff it is all much more nuanced. And it makes a big difference if you’re just recording your part with a foundation already there or all the parts. It was a big learning curve and even though it was frustrating at times, in the end my confidence grew and I am now definitely more daring to add all kinds of different instrumentation. Hence, the synth parts on Skullactic Visions. It also made me appreciate the way we bounce ideas off each other even more. Simple things about where a ‘break’ should go, but also about whatever idea pops into your head. And for the solo album I was perhaps a bit too much in my own world. You know, cause whenever we go work on an idea with the rest of the band, by the time the song is finished, the idea has completely morphed into something else. For the solo record it was just me and the idea and I went with it. It was different, frustrating sometimes, but fun too.”


It also showed him a bit about how to manage his time a bit more. Cause even though his wife is a trooper about his musical obsession, he did realize that the claimed statement: ‘I only need ten minutes to work on this little idea.’ Turns into three hours every time again. And it also lifted the veil a bit on what he might possibly be able to do with his vocals. Cause there is a small hint of his natural voice on Voodoo Heartbeat. “I’m weird about my voice. I’ve told myself my entire life I can’t sing. In previous bands I always just played guitar. And playing some acoustic guitar and doing covers around the house, I started thinking, I can make it through this. And with some effects and reverb on it, it’s much more forgiving and I guess that fits LáGoon and with added effects The Crooked Whispers. But for future solo projects I am leaning to move more into southern rock territory. I’m reluctant to say country, cause that freaks people out. But yeah, using my natural voice, would lend well on the next record. But for LáGoon and The Crooked Whispers it will always be heavily curved by effects. I love effects man…”

“It’s something that separates us. These sporadic, instinctive decisions. Nobody knows what’s coming next.”



We riff some more about how his solo album came to be and how he normally works out the idea into a song. “I’ve become ever more instinctive. You can kill yourself thinking too much about how a certain guitar solo or lyric should go. Maybe I should go higher here? Or put that part there? But my instinctive work ethic has been ever evolving into, this is the idea, this is how we are going to try it, let’s press record. And after that, we listen back and almost always say: sweet, that works!” And then we turn to Skullactic Visions and the first thing that instinctively pops into his mind when he thinks of the period recording that album. “All of us in Kenny’s basement! Where we practice. Sweating our asses off because it is so ridiculously hot down there. And then immediately writing Cold Smoke, the first track on the record. It came from a jam we were playing one day and turned into this thing that set the pace for the entire record. And due to that we did something that never did before on a record, cause the order the tracks are in, is the order in which we wrote and recorded them. We’re lucky we record all our own stuff and have all the gear to do so. And we knew we weren’t going to be able to play live any time soon. So, we just got everything set up and worked on one song at a time. Coming up with parts, practicing it and finishing it before moving on to the next one. Never looking back to the one that was already finished. Until I went in and did the final mix for the entire album. And during that period, I often heard a part where I thought, shit, we could have gone in and re-recorded that. But on the other hand, that goes back to what I said about instinct and stuff. You know, the coolest parts on a rock ‘n roll record are often the little nuances, little mess-ups or imperfections.”


The smell of beer, weed and BO permeating the entire process of the album it only felt right to flee Portland and go to Hawaii with the missus. Yes, everybody goes to Hawaii to surf and trek around the islands, but not Anthony Gaglia, he brings his laptop and works on the final mix for the record. “It was actually a pretty quick process, so, it wasn’t like I was on it all of the time. As fast and instinctive as the recoding went, so did the mixing. In part because we have a little bit of a lo-fi sound. We just like to keep that skate-rat-mentality of fuck-it, let’s just do it. We wrote it quickly, we recorded it quickly, let’s also mix it quickly and put it out to the people quickly. I guess that’s where LáGoon also differs from other bands. Usually, most bands, wait till they have the clean package, all the vinyl and merch ready to go and be sold and shipped. We’re not like that. I mean, the vinyl for Maa Kali Trip arrived two weeks before we released the next record. We don’t really follow the normal route. It’s something that separates us. These sporadic, instinctive decisions. Nobody knows what’s coming next from LáGoon.”

Fast and instinctive, might also be viewed as slacker and lazy, but this isn’t necessarily the case. “No, not at all. Cause what we did was we kept playing those songs over and over while we were working on them. We did not sit down in physical form to write them out and ponder over them. We just kept playing them so they could come to life all on their own. And we moved forward when they were finished. It’s something I guess we will continue to do, to not sit with them too long. Cause there is a track or two where we did stumble a bit in that process. And no, I’m not gonna name the tracks, cause then people will go and try and find out what I don’t like about them. And don’t get me wrong, I like the entire album now. We found our sound. It’s exactly as LáGoon should sound.”

“We’re like the Stooges playing covers songs of doom bands…”


He has also found out that the best music is just laying around the house. “I’ve been playing the riff for the title track of Skullactic Visions for ages. At home on an acoustic. It’s just a quaint and simple little warm up thing I do. And then I played it for the first time warming up for a practice. You know, in the tuning and setting I was using for that electric guitar. It turned into this much heavier thing, with a late eighties, Misfits kind of vibe. It’s probably my favorite track on the record and probably my favorite song LáGoon has at the moment. I think it’s because of the simplicity where it comes from and also because the riff has been lingering in my house for the past five years and I have never thought anything else of it. And then all of a sudden it turns into my favorite song.” Skullactic Visions being the drug reference you already might be thinking it is and we already mentioned in the beginning. Anthony is now kicking the habit, enjoying a little less of the haze on a daily basis, and crawling out of his skull a little bit. And letting other influences creep in slowly; which turned LáGoon ever more doom. “With The Crooked Whispers we’re always working on new music as well. So, it definitely influenced the heading of LáGoon. I mean I almost sent Beyond The Trees to Ignacio to work on it for The Crooked Whispers. And yeah, I guess Skullactic Visions is all over the place, it has that doom element, but we’re also able to bring in that Stooges effect. Which is by the way my favorite way of explaining what our band sounds like to people who don’t know us. We’re like the Stooges playing covers songs of doom bands, like Windhand or something.”



The Stooges were always about energy and intensity and that indeed fits the bill when you’re talking about LáGoon. “On our earlier albums there might be a moment or two where the energy isn’t on par with the rest, so you might end up skipping that song. Which is something that happens often with new bands. You know. You’ve got three or four songs that are really bitchin and you really want to get a record out. So, you just pump out those extra four or five songs to fill it up. We don’t do that anymore; we’ve gotten stronger in songwriting and most importantly we’ve fallen more and more into our sound. So, we often got a song that isn’t bad, but doesn’t fit our sound and more importantly does not fit the energy on the record. So, we now toss those tracks out pretty quickly. It started with Father of Death and is something we did really well for Skullactic Visions. We are nitpicking more and on the new album you can feel the energy grow higher as the record plays through. It starts well and it ends well…”
 
The album ends with Final Ride, but it’s all just starting to take off and there is no mistaking the goal for Anthony and LáGoon. “I hope to achieve a Motorhead sized catalogue of music. I hope we never slow down putting out our music. Sure, it might slow down a bit in comparison to last year, when Covid is gone. Simply because shows and playing live will become a bigger part again. And we love playing live shows, we always consider us to be a live band first. We hope to be one of those bands that can consistently put out a decent album every year. And with over a thousand albums released every day, just to be able to float high enough so you’re able to keep people’s attention on you for an extended amount of time. And most importantly, still be great buddies, and with other subjects to talk about…”

(Written by JK)