Archive for the ‘2011’ Category

Album of the day: Nate Hall – A Great River

Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Praise for Nate Hall‘s A Great River from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: It doesn’t always work out that when frontmen from heavy bands begin to fancy themselves troubadours, ditching all the distortion and metallic bombast and laying everything bare, it’s the sort of thing that in the worst case can reveal all the shortcomings that are disguised by all that volume, and all those other instruments.

We’ve seen plenty of ultra painful unplugged sets, that were just begging to be plugged back in. But in the best cases, like this, the solo debut from Nate Hall, frontman for psychedelic heavies US Christmas, it can demonstrate just why the heavy stuff is so compelling, cuz there are actual songs lurking underneath, and a vocalist who can actually sing, and has a knack for classic songsmithery.

To be fair, it’s not like the singer from Cannibal Corpse making a psych folk record (oh how we want to hear that now!), since US Christmas is essentially just a supercharged cranked up more metallic version of a psych folk band anyway. And plenty of the songs here actually sound like they could easily have been retooled into proper US Christmas jams, but that doesn’t take away from how good they sound.

Hall‘s voice is a slightly raspy croon that reminds us a bit of Nikki Sudden, ragged and rough around the edges, but it’s perfect for USX and perfect for these songs here. Rooted around simple strummed acoustic guitar, but wreathed in thick swaths of distorted effected psych guitars, theremin here and there, a bit of slide guitar, plenty of echo and reverb, the songs droned out and a little druggy, there’s even a killer cover of Townes Van Zandt‘s ‘Kathleen’ , and Hall definitely makes it his own, adding some cavernous reverb, but for the most part playing it straight.
Helps that it’s such a great song, and Hall‘s got the kind of voice that can do justice to a song that was basically already perfect (not sure why Hall wasn’t included on the recent three way Townes Van Zandt tribute with Scott Kelly, Steve Von Till and Wino).

But not all the tracks are so psychedelic, a handful of the songs here are even more stripped down, no electric guitars, just straight up Appalachia, steel string guitar and banjo, and those tracks kill as well. Folks into other psych folk should check this out for sure, and heck who knows, this might be the gateway that gets you into US Christmas that gets you into other heavy stuff, it’s a slippery slope, but we’re all waiting for you down here at the bottom!

At 40 years old, Aquarius is the oldest independent record store in San Francisco. We try to only carry music we love, and we’re always searching for more new, cool, weird and wonderful music. All of which we then share with you, our loyal customers.


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Album of the day: The 11th Hour – Lacrima Mortis

Posted on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Lovingly pinched from Metal Review: Ed Warby is an astonishingly talented multi-instrumentalist whose credits include Gorefest, Ayreon, and Hail of Bullets. The 11th Hour is his doom metal project, and he performs all of the instruments and clean vocals (with guest growls by Pim Blankenstein) on Lacrima Mortis. The two […]

Album of the day: Mount Moriah – Mount Moriah

Posted on Saturday, December 24th, 2011

As we move towards the end of 2011, here’s a worthy record that we overlooked the first time around earlier this year. Lovingly pinched from Pitchfork: In a 2006 interview with Pitchfork, the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle explained why he chose Bellafea as an opening act: “I took out good bands […]

Album of the day: Hateful Abandon – Move

Posted on Friday, December 23rd, 2011

As we move towards the end of 2011, here’s a worthy record that we overlooked the first time around earlier this year. Lovingly pinched from Lurker: Our daily lives are awash in seas of egoistic, materialistic, ideologic-less whisperings. We are slowly but surely destroying the earth. Religious fundamentalists are sharpening […]

Give Us Your Favorite Albums of 2011!

Posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Roadburn’s Album of the Day has become a tradition. Now that the year is drawing to a close, we here at Roadburn HQ want to invite our loyal readers, friends, associates and anyone who might have wandered in to help us compile a list of favorite records released in 2011. […]

Album of the day: Roadburn HQ Favorite Albums of 2011

Posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Many excellent records came out in 2011. We don’t pretend to be arbiters of taste, we just think it’s fun to share which albums rocked our worlds, soothed our souls, lifted our spirits or otherwise burrowed into our systems this year. Of course, in addition to occupying our turntables, many […]

Album of the day: The Men – Leave Home

Posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

As we move towards the end of 2011, here’s a worthy record that we overlooked the first time around earlier this year. Lovingly pinched from Pitchfork: Nothing is sacred to the Men. For one, this Brooklyn quartet’s name is pretty much identical to that of fellow New Yorker JD Samson’s […]

Roadburn Festival 2012: The Artwork of Costin Chioreanu

Posted on Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

We have invited Romanian visual artist Costin Chioreanu to be the official artist for Roadburn 2012. Chioreanu will set the visual tone for the festival together with Voivod’s Michel Langevin and a new, as of yet unnamed, Dutch artist. NY-based music scribe and fellow countryman Stefan Raduta from Transylvanian Hungerrr […]

Album of the day: Samsara Blues Experiment – Revelation And Mystery

Posted on Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: When I reviewed Samsara Blues Experiment’s previous album, Long Distance Trip in 2010 I wasn’t fully convinced I have to admit. I could sense that here was a band with genuine talent but had yet to fully harness their skills. It was a decent […]

Album of the day: Uzala – Uzala

Posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Lovingly pinched from The Inarguable: Nothing beats a solid doom metal album. Remember that time you listened to Born Too Late? Of course you do; the classics are untouchable, but one needs to remember just how ambitious bands like St. Vitus, Pentagram, Trouble, and Black Sabbath were (fuck it, are). […]