Archive for May, 2014

Album of the Day: Dwellers – Pagan Fruit

Posted on Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: A guitar line echoes, swells, is met with a quick wash of cymbal, and almost before you realize it, Dwellers have eased you into the pulsing ‘Creature Comfort’, the opener of their second album for Small Stone, Pagan Fruit. The Salt Lake City, Utah, three-piece have refined the stylistic ideas put forth on their 2012 debut, Good Morning Harakiri, and the result is a molten nine tracks / 48 minutes of graceful, patient, heavy psychedelic blues.

Front to back, it is neither haphazard nor overly constructed feeling, guitarist / vocalist Joey Toscano (ex-Iota) leading the sway with the rhythm section of bassist Dave Jones and drummer Zach Hatsis (both also of SubRosa) helping to steer the material as much as ground it. Songs like the cello-infused ‘Spirit of the Staircase’ drive into exploratory vibes, spaced out and ethereal, but there’s a melancholy at work underneath that, in combination with a more confident vocal and instrumental approach, gives Pagan Fruit a genuine sense of consciousness.

dwellers - pagan fruit

It holds to these even in its most swaggering moments, say ‘Rare Eagle’ on side A, ‘Devoured by Lions’ or the penultimate ‘Waiting on Winter’, and finds its most vivid emotional ground in its moments of pleading, as on the rolling second cut, ‘Totem Crawler’, with its chorus, “Oh, my queen/To whom I crawl,” or the CD centerpiece ‘Son of Raven’, which begs, ‘Come home’, in repeated fashion. These songs are a far cry from any sort of toughguy mentality or dudely let’s-get-drunk-on-beer-and-write-songs-about-whiskey posturing, and ultimately it’s that sincere vibe paired with the memorable songwriting itself that makes Pagan Fruit such a satisfying, engaging experience.

It has its raucous stretches, and a steady flourish of organ from Jones and synth, vibraphone and Rhodes from Hatsis adds depth to the arrangements, and while its songs hit with no shortage of impact – recorded by Toscano‘s former Iota bandmate Andy Patterson, Hatsis‘ kick feels like it’s coming from inside your brain — Pagan Fruit is not a bombastic album. In pacing and execution it is patient and carefully done, a song like ‘Return to the Sky’ finding its soul as much in the raindrop melody of its keys as in Toscano‘s lyrics.

Continue reading: THE OBELISK – REVIEW: Dwellers, Pagan Fruit
(Courtesy of JJ Koczan / The Obelisk)

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Album of the Day: Floor – Oblation

Posted on Friday, May 30th, 2014

Praise for Floor‘s Oblation from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: It’s been ten years since the last full length from these sludge pop legends, but mainman Steve Brooks has most definitely been keeping that sludge pop legacy alive with his new band Torche, and really if you dig Torche, you’re gonna […]

Album of the Day: Swans – To Be Kind

Posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Pitchfork: Swans were hardly the first 1980s underground-rock fixtures to resurface in the new millennium, and they’re not the only ones who’ve resisted the nostalgic trappings of reunion tours to make a respectable showing as a rebooted recording act. But they are the rare band of their […]

Album of the Day: Crowbar – Symmetry In Black

Posted on Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Crowbar are a band that need absolutely no introductions; Symmetry In Black is their tenth studio album – a huge milestone for them and this opus is particularly special, as it’s the first release since Kirk Windstein’s departure from Down and the first time […]

Album of the Day: Oren Ambarchi, Stephen O’Malley and Randall Dunn – Shade Themes From Kairos

Posted on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Pitchfork: Yes, indeed, Shade Themes from Kairos includes a gorgeous metal-plated drone, the sort of 21-minute electric yogic saga you might expect from the triumvirate responsible for this five-track album. Though Stephen O’ Malley, Randall Dunn, and Oren Ambarchi have exhausting rosters of collaborations and contributions, their […]

Album of the Day: EyeHateGod – S/T

Posted on Monday, May 26th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Heavy Metal: In the annals of “pissed off” metal, few come close to EyeHateGod. And, they’ve good reason to be. Never you mind all of the travails that this band and its various members have gone through over the years: the endless battles with addiction, personal […]

Album of the Day: Fu Manchu – Gigantoid

Posted on Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: It’s been a long five years since SoCal fuzz rock progenitors Fu Manchu released their last album. Like its 2007 predecessor, We Must Obey, 2009′s Signs of Infinite Power had a huge, encompassing sound, the trademark heft in Scott Hill and Bob Balch‘s guitars and […]

Album of the Day: Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell – Check ‘Em Before You Wreck ‘Em

Posted on Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: The old adage “never judge a book by it’s cover” could just as easily apply to albums, and yet the artwork for Check ‘Em Before You Wreck ‘Em, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s second full length effort, seems to perfectly belie its musical content. The […]

Album of the Day: Wovenhand – Refractory Obdurate

Posted on Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Heavy Blog Is Heavy: Typically groups that are identified as “alternative country” or “American folk” have no business being featured alongside bands such as Converge or Cult Leader. That didn’t stop Jacob Bannon from taking special interest in prolific musician David Eugene Edwards‘ project Wovenhand and signing […]

Album of the Day: Triptykon – Melana Chasmata

Posted on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Metalsucks: Thomas Gabriel Fischer, formerly Tom G. Warrior, knows darkness. The mastermind behind Hellhammer and Celtic Frost, arguably the best bands of the first wave of black metal, Fischer has proven time and time again that his knowledge of the esoteric, arcane, menacing, and depressive is genuine. […]