Posts Tagged ‘Svart records’

Album of the Day: The Golden Grass – The Golden Grass

Posted on Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: What sets  Brooklyn trio The Golden Grass apart from the hundreds of bands the world over who cull the bulk of their influence from the heavy rock of the early ’70s and / or the original psychedelic era is a relentlessly positive mindset.

Where the current retro rock movement — and because of the modern production on the three-piece’s self-titled Svart Records full-length debut, I’d hesitate to even call it “retro” — spearheaded by the likes of Graveyard and the first couple Witchcraft outings has resulted in a slew of acts pretending to worship both the Devil and Jinx Dawson with due candles, incense and pomp, The Golden Grass turn that formula on its head and delight in a boogie free from these thematic constraints and the inherent moodiness they bring to classic rock sound.

The Golden Grass

This was evident from their 2013 debut single, One More Time b/w Tornado, and the limited 456th Div.tape, and the upbeat vibes remain consistent throughout The Golden Grass‘ farthest-out, most wandering moments, which arrive in the 12:51 penultimate jammer ‘Wheels’, a side B standout on a 36-minute LP that in no way overstays its welcome. As they did for the prior single, guitarist / vocalist Michael Rafalowich (Strange Haze), bassist Joe Noval and drummer / vocalist Adam Kriney (La Otracina) recorded with Andrea Zavareei at Urban Spaceman Studio, and Jeff Berner mixed at Galuminum Foil, and it’s a collaboration whose dividends show themselves in the crisp but natural feel of the songs and the balance that highlights organic tones without sacrificing the clarity of the vocal arrangements.

Those arrangements are a big part of what gives The Golden GrassThe Golden Grass its personality. There’s laughter on the album, and though its songs are heavy and relatively extended — the shortest is opener ‘Please Man’ at 5:23 — it’s a friendly, inviting listen that even at its most driving, heading toward the finale of closer ‘Sugar ‘n’ Spice’, in the early verses of ‘Wheels’ or eliciting the riffy bounce of ‘One More Time’, the initial single which makes a reappearance here as the centerpiece of the tracklist, is never outwardly aggressive.

Rafalowich and Kriney trade off in the lead spot, but whoever’s out front, the other is never far off, and as ‘Please Man’ emerges with a drum fill from its build-up intro wash of psychedelic guitar, it’s not long before the two are working together to get the most out of their harmonic range. The balance of straightforward, catchy rock and psychedelia is something else that shifts fluidly throughout the proceedings, and when they want to, The Golden Grass are well capable of playing one side off the other.

‘Please Man’ does this in Rafalowich‘s opening and subsequent solo sections, as well as the slow, dreamy ending that gives way to the uptempo push of ‘Stuck on a Mountain’, the call and responses of which seem to be begging for a sing-along. There’s more engaging vocal interplay and Noval offers no shortage of texture in matching and side-stepping the riffs, but the real payoff in ‘Stuck on a Mountain’ is when a build opens up to the chorus and The Golden Grass still don’t get mad

Continue reading: REVIEW: The Golden Grass, The Golden Grass
(Courtesy of JJ Koczan / the Obelisk)

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Album of the Day: Opium Warlords – Taste My Sword Of Understanding

Posted on Friday, June 20th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: When I read that this was a release featuring a former member of Reverend Bizarre, one of my favourite doom bands ever, I thought I knew what to expect. Rollicking doom anthems mixing with a sardonic wit and riffs the size of icebergs. I […]

Album of the Day: Profetus – As All Seasons Die

Posted on Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Ave Noctum: Thergothon. Skepticism. Tyranny. All reasons why the mere description ‘Finnish funeral doom’ had me clamouring to hear this album. Profetus do not disappoint. Their style is utterly, crushingly leaden, yet at the same time delicate and airy, with penetrating church-organ-like synths shining through an endless […]

Album of the Day: Messenger – Illusory Blues

Posted on Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from ThisIsNotAScene: If music is the soundtrack to our lives, evoking memories of people and place then the debut album from UK progressive act Messenger, the enigmatically entitled Illusory Blues will, to these ears, forever be associated with the south eastern corner of Sicily where I first became […]

Album of the Day: Tusmørke – Riset Bak Speilet

Posted on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: If I were to tell you that Norwegian unusualists Tusmørke spun out from a psychedelic space-rock outfit called Captain Cumulonumbus And His Wondrous Cloudship and claim to be mainly influenced by the Bronze Age, that ought to give you an approximate idea of what […]

Album of the Day: Sabbath Assembly – Quaternity

Posted on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Sea of Tranquility: US Folk metal act Sabbath Assembly return with another set of religious themes on their third album Quaternity. This is mostly an acoustic album, with the band utilizing classical percussion and strings for some new sounds to help support vocalist Jamie Myers and percussionist […]

Goatess To Replace The Oath at Roadburn Festival 2014

Posted on Thursday, February 20th, 2014

We at Roadburn are very sorry to announce that The Oath have sadly had to cancel their appearance at Roadburn Festial 2014 due to personal circumstances. Hopefully, we’ll be able to welcome the band at Roadburn 2015. Luckily, we’re able to report that Sweden’s Goatess will replace The Oath on […]

Album of the Day: Kuolemanlaakso – Tulijoutsen

Posted on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: ‘Kuolemanlaakso’ is Finnish for ‘Death Valley’. That’s pretty metal to start us off. Kuolemanlaakso are also only onto their second record, which is more surprising considering the assuredness with which they ply their craft. ‘Tulijoutsen’, which translates to ‘The Fire Swan’, is a thunderous […]

Mantar To Bring The Fire To Roadburn 2014!

Posted on Friday, January 24th, 2014

You can’t keep a good festival down, and so no sooner have we announced the unfortunate cancellation of KEN Mode than we are overjoyed to be able to announce that the mighty Mantar will replace them! The heavier-than-a-concrete-elephant gruesome twosome from Hamburg dropped their killer ‘White Nights’ seven-inch not so […]

Album of the Day: Mantar – Death By Burning

Posted on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Lovingly pinched from ScratchtheSurface: Snapped by Svart Records greatly due to the strong reactions garnered by their 7” released last year, Mantar are a duo from Germany that plays a punishing, monolithically heavy doom that could easily soundtrack the coming of the apocalypse. Bolstered by an uncompromising and raw production, […]

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