|Cover artwork by Tony Roberts.|
|Please note: this is not the cover art.|
|Please note: this is not the cover art|
SNAIL - Veteran Portland doom trio Snail are busy finishing up a new record called 'Feral' which they hope to have out "early next year". This is great news for eardrums and gastropods everywhere. The band's 2012 opus 'Terminus' was an addictive experience. Tone, melody and fuzz spilled slickly from the album like mollusc slime. This will be the band's third album since re-forming in 2008, only wasn't 'Terminus' meant to be their swan song? Am I confused here because I could have sworn the band was kissing off at the end of 2012. Did I only imagine that? Maybe the band was hedging their bets that the world was coming to an end and as a band, wanted to go out on their own terms. Either way, they have been hard at it for much of this year, writing and recording, parting ways with guitarist Eric Clausen and moving forward. It would seem the life of a Snail never slows down.
THE SOCKS - This one is up right now on bandcamp, all ready and waiting, over on the Small Stone Records page like a giant tease because only one of the nine tracks is currently streaming, that being the garage boogie jam "Some Kind of Sorcery". I thought The Socks were a surprise signing by Small Stone Records in the first place. I'd heard the band's 'Bedrock' E.P. and I liked it, but there was nothing about the psychedelically tinged hard rock record that suggested Small Stone material to me. This song changes all that, sounding like something of a French answer to the Scandinavian Retro Rock bands by way of Dozer. Usually, the case with Small Stone records is that they will be made available for download well before the projected release date so I half expect this one to be downloading into this laptop sometime within the next couple weeks. Otherwise CD's will be shipping out on March 18.
TRUCKFIGHTERS - Another imminent release, this time from Örebro fuzz legends Truckfighter. 'Universe' was crowdfunded into existence and will be released by the band's own label Fuzzorama Records. The band released 'The Chairman' EP in advance of the full-length on October 4, the title track from which (and only original / non-live of the 4 songs on the E.P.) stands as track #2 on 'Universe'. If the aforementioned song and its immediate follow-up "Prophet" (watch the video here) are anything to go on (and they ought to be as they comprise a hefty 2/7ths of the album), the band have taken things in a slightly different direction. The focus now is on melody rather than tone. Keep in mind I said the focus is on so there's still plenty of heft to Truckfighters's by-now famous fuzz tone, but let's just say the two songs I've heard from the album are a bit more colorful than on previous efforts. The change reminds me of the one Witchcraft undertook on their most recent album 'Legend'. 'Universe' will be released February 4 and will kick off a sizable touring schedule which will see Truckfighters cross paths with the throngs at SXSW. You can pre-order the album in nearly any format you'd like right here.
WO FAT - Keep in mind that I only just heard this news so I'm still getting my bearings here. Details are non-existent at this point. Small Stone Records is promising a new album from the band in early 2014. I'd hate to accuse them of lying, and I'd hate even more for the band to prove them to be liars, but I chose to remain hopefully skeptical that this will be the case. What I mean by that is I want to not believe that it will happen sooner rather than later because a new Wo Fat album is large news indeed, fat, fuzzy, thick, elephantine news indeed, and the waiting around for it to "drop" would kill me. Therefore I chose to believe that it just ain't going to happen, no sir, it will not be. But just to reiterate, Small Stone Records announced over a month ago that a new Wo Fat album will be released in "the first half of 2014". But I'm telling you, don't believe the hype, because the waiting for it will kill you! ... But wait. What's this? Pictures of the band playing instruments and sitting at mixing boards in their own brand new studio? Dated recently (November 29-30 / December 4)? Could it be? Oh my Lord, it is! It's coming! A new Wo Fat album is coming! Aaaarrrrrghh, oh no, the waiting is going to kill me!!
HONORABLE MENTIONS - I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fresh as steaming hot cakes news of a new Roadsaw album coming the world's way in 2014. If you're an asshole like I was just before last night, and you'd never actually heard a full Roadsaw album before, well I think you should know that this is fuzzing fantastic news.
In other news Rhode Island mega-doomanoids Balam have been busy in studio, recording, but for what (an album, E.P., single, split, compilation, etc.?) is currently unknown so that notable band warrants an honorable mention as we're excited to hear the band sneezing on record, they're that good.
I missed this the first time around, but it appears Dwellers have a new album on the horizon for Small Stone Records. The last album 'Good Morning Harakiri' went somewhat under the radar as it seemed to be overshadowed somewhat by the other albums put forth by the label in 2012, but make no mistake, it was terrific.
One other thing that NEEDS to be mentioned is that up-and-coming Milwaukee doom titans Moon Curse will have their debut E.P. released by Kozmik Artifactz with a "new" old song that was recorded with the others but was left unfinished until now. I've been lucky enough to hear it, it's called "Seminary Woods" and it's at least the equal of anything else on the record that was originally released on bandcamp. That new vinyl release is coming soon, look for it
Other bands talking new material in 2014: Destroyer of Light, From Beyond, Maligno.
There are others as well. This could really go on forever.