Okay, so maybe that title was semi-sarcastic. The grumpy old men/marketing geniuses from KISS, have released a new mobile app, allowing you to edit photos and add band members or emojis and send them to your friends. This is not the first time an app like this has existed. It’s basically FatBooth or any of those Walking Dead apps but more KISS. At first thought, I was like, “Wow this is really cool!” At second thought, I am probably the only person in the whole world who thinks that.
I’m not one of those people who gets all up in arms about musicians and bands releasing gimmick merchandise. On the contrary, I fucking love gimmick merchandise. I love stupid stuff, just as long as its tastefully stupid (or tastefully ass kicking). Make sense? No? Whatever. Point is, this is KISS, kings of dumb gimmicky merchandise (as well as fighting like bitter old, rich men) and thus we should enjoy it as such. Anyway, not much else to say here, just that y’all should know this exists and therefore, anyone who is friends with me will be experiencing a total overload of pictures of me and my guitar edited to make me look like Ace Frehley. It’ll only be sexier because it’s me so I’m super excited. For all we know, KISS may have just revolutionized sexting. Perhaps no one will ever send another nude selfie without adding some face paint to their genitalia, or photoshopping in one of the Gods of Thunder themselves in a compromising position…
If this is the future, god damn I am so ready. So. Ready. Don’t blow this for me people.
The last time Wolfmother released an album under the name “Wolfmother” was 2009 when they released Cosmic Egg. It was awesomely heavy, yet still had enough mainstream appeal for the masses. I saw them play a show at Terminal 5 in New York City and it was, at that point in my life, the heaviest show I’d ever been to. My friends and I played “New Moon Rising” in music class over and over again and were actually so excited about it we played it about double the tempo by accident. Wolfmother was awesome and everyone knew this. It was a fact.
Then Wolfmother went away for a while and everyone was sad. Andrew Stockdale, lead singer/guitarist/songwriter/basically the whole band released an album under his own name called Keep Moving in 2013. It was actually very good, some of the songs were not quite as heavy as the first two Wolfmother albums but overall it was the same vibe. It unfortunately flew under the radar, and I was starting to think that the glory days of Wolfmother and Co were over with. Accepting this, I was surprised to see THIS over the weekend.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THE RETURN OF WOLFMOTHER HAS COMMENCED AND WE MUST ALL REJOICE IN HEAVY RIFFS AND ANDREW STOCKDALE’S GODDAMN BADASS HAIR.
The album, titled New Crown, if you couldn’t tell from the album cover above, features these dudes Ian Peres on bass/keys and Vin Steele on drums. Never heard of either of them, but they fill the shoes quite well. This album is more of the stripped-down, classic Wolfmother sound from their debut, self-titled album. Not tons of keyboards here, mostly a classic power-trio vibe. The riffs are fuzzy and heavy, almost Sabbath-like in the slower songs, and Stockdale’s vocals are again perfectly in that Ozzy/Plant range that makes Wolfmother Wolfmother. Listen to the opening “How Many Times,” and tell me you aren’t hooked in approximately five seconds and I will rip out your ears because you don’t deserve to have any. Plenty of variety on the album too, up-tempo rocking tracks, brooding slow ones with down tuned guitar, and plenty of in-your-face punk drumming with fuzzed-out bass. I love it. You will love it. Listen to the stream via bandcamp below:
Our buddies over at North End Records our launching their online record store THIS Wednesday, March 19th. You’ve probably noticed us mention them before, as they were founded and are run by former WERW DJ’s, which is pretty damn cool. Y’all should go check them out at their site (click on North End Records two sentences ago) and explore some. They’ve got tons of badass records, new and old (and both new and used), including stuff by The Black Keys and Arcade Fire, but also The Beach Boys and Ray Charles! Badass.
In addition, they’re offering 15% off up until April 9th if you enter this code, “HS8SID0P9DXE6″ so you should do that so you can splurge on more awesome records. Also, follow our boys at the usual Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, to see the awesome new shit that they’re adding to their collection everyday. Rock on boys!
Also the discussion of vinyl calls for some High Fidelity so enjoy:
ASTR is a duo that lives, works and writes music in New York City. They played The Underground on March 5th as part of the first Bandersnatch Show of the 2014 spring semester. They were at CMJ 2013, recently released their first EP called Varsity, and now they are currently at SXSW. It was a pleasure to meet them and have them answer some questions! Take a listen to what they had to say about their music, the importance of radio, and future plans.
Below are the links for more information and their music video for the song “Operate”.
If you don’t know who Devin Townsend is, you’re not living your life correctly. Sounds like a strong statement, but I could not be more serious with you. The brainchild of Strapping Young Lad, who has gone on to create not only some of the heaviest jams, but some of the most hilarious (still heavy!) and beautiful (not so heavy!) as well. Needless to say, his songwriting his masterful and so is his guitar playing.
As a guitar player, I’m not too into looking up songs and figuring out how to play them. Occasionally, I hear a song and something just clicks so I go grab the good ol’ axe and see if I can do it. Normally, however, I’m more of a jam and see what I come up with guy. Devin’s jam, while with some pre-recorded and obviously planned out sections, is pretty much just that, and holy SHIT is this guy incredible. I’ve watched a lot of EMG.TV play through videos since I started playing, and this is the only one that I’ve watched over and over again, despite it being ten minutes long. It starts slow and quiet before building into some really heavy stuff, but it’s all amazing. And if this is interesting to you, check out Devin’s PledgeMusic for his new project, Casualties of Cool, which at the moment I’m writing this has raised 388% of its goal, so maybe kind of sort of successful perhaps? Anyway here’s the video, enjoy!