Posts Tagged ‘blood moon’

2015 is coming to a close, and I can’t believe it! This year sped by and was the most adventurous year for Rocker Stalker yet. Between presenting showcases at SXSW (3!) and CMJ (6!)  and attending Aftershock and VooDoo Fests, and hosting over a dozen shows throughout the year in NYC, I’ve had a pretty great time.  More importantly, though, there have been some incredible releases this year! Here are my top 5:

  1. Mister Asylum by Highly Suspect: I’ve had my ears on these guys for about four years and was privileged to have them on a few shows  in New York and SXSW before they burst from the Brooklyn “local” scene into the international spotlight. Their debut album that dropped in July is both a sultry, heavy alternative/bluesy rock delight and vulnerable record that  you can rock out and cozy up to. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a ROCK band making headway so quickly. And now, up for two Grammy nominations, Highly Suspect might just be the next, most highly prized music act of the 2000’s.  *Highlight tracks: “Lydia,” “Mom,” “23” 

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2. Blood Moon by Luna Sol: Back in the spring, I was lucky enough to interview Dave Angstrom, a name you may recognize from “stoner rock” staples, Hermano and Supafuzz, and main man behind Luna Sol.  The Denver-based group’s debut, released via Slush Fund Recordings,  is heavy, dark and gritty; three words that describe almost all of my favorite music.  And, to make things even MORE awesome, there are guest spots from Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age), Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses)  and John Garcia (Kyuss, Vista Chino), to name a few, lending to the already expertly-crafted, fiery and sludgy goodness. *Highlight tracks: ‘Your War,” “Operator,” “December” 

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3. High Country by The SwordAfter catching these gentleman a few years back at SXSW, I fell in love with Austin’s hometown rock heroes. Their 5th studio album is fraught with masterful, headbanging riffs mixed with some space-rock/psychedelic influences and some more up-to-date electro-effects.  Those who weren’t able to live through the glory of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and the 70’s in general (yours truly included), can bask in the The Sword’s modern take on vintage vibes.  I caught them recently at Webster Hall in New York City and once again, they blew my mind! *Highlight tracks: “Mist & Shadow,” “The Dreamthieves,” “Buzzards”

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4. We’ll Show You Where the Monsters Are by Fable Cry: These Nashville-based characters call themselves “theatrical scamp rock.” But, “what does that MEAN?” you may ask. A short and sweet answer is: vaudevillian, unique gypsy punk-infused rock. If you’re in search of the most out-of-the-box album of 2015, look no further. A combination of creepy, spooky, playful and creative, Fable Cry’s sophomore release is like having Halloween year-round.  It’s only a matter of time before Tim Burton finds these guys and has them score his next film. *Highlight tracks: “The Good Doctor,” “Fancy Dancing,” “You Ain’t My Baby No More”

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5.  Temporary Love by The Brinks: OK, so this might be the black sheep of the list upon first listen, but you may recognize Australian-born, LA-based vocalist/guitarist Scott Mellis from Rocker Stalker’s “highly stalked.” His new band, The Brinks, a duo comprised of Mellis and producer Matt Friedman, dropped their 6-song EP earlier this month. Executive produced by Pusha T and Salaam Remi and avidly supported by Pharrell Williams, Temporary Love showcases Mellis’ ethereal, spine-tingling vocals over bubbly dance-infused tracks.  *Highlight tracks: “Temporary Love,” “Hide Your Love,” “Stoned”

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Wishing everyone a happy 2016!

ROCKER STALKER

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Denver-based “stoner-rock” (or however you prefer to describe heavy, fuzzed out rock ‘n roll) band Luna Sol recently dropped their debut album Blood Moon via Slush Fund Recordings. Though it’s their first record in this formation, the band members are no strangers to the rock world. Fronted by veteran singer and lead guitarist Dave Angstrom (Hermano, Supafuzz), Luna Sol also features local Denver musicians: drummer Pat Gill (The Feds, ’76 Pinto), guitarist/vocalist Shanda Kolberg (The Swanks) and bassist/vocalist Shannon Fahnestock (The Swindlers).

Keeping everything local, the album was completed at Sierra Estates in Colorado and the artwork was designed by celebrated Denver tattoo artist, Christel Perkins, of Sol Tribe. Adding layers to the band’s already rich history, Luna Sol recruited several star members of the stoner and desert-rock communities: John Garcia (Kyuss, Hermano, Vista Chino) adds vocals on “December;” Dandy Brown (Hermano, Orquestra del Desierto) plays bass on “Death Mountain;” Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age) plays bass on “Pretty Rotten;” Greg Martin (The Kentucky Headhunters) contributes slide guitar on “Death Mountain;” Dean Smith (Supafuzz) plays bass on “Bridges;” Jason Groves (Supafuzz, Asylum on the Hill) plays bass on “In the Shadows;” and Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses) delivers a Hammond B3 performance on “Your War.”

Blood Moon is a pure headbanger’s delight. Growling vocals, driving bass lines, furious drumming and fierce riffs permeate the nine tracks, making the debut a must-have rock record. Highlight tracks include the fiery “December,” sludgy “Operator” and sultry “Your War.”

Enjoy the interview with Angstrom and stream Blood Moon below!

Rocker Stalker: How did Denver become home? How did it influence your writing and overall sound?

Dave Angstrom: My wife, Jen, is from Denver. I fell in love with the mountains when we were dating around 2007. We moved here in 2012, and I really dig it. The vibe of the city tucked under the mountains is amazing—there’s so much to do creatively.  Also, the folklore and the interesting stories of older times in the area really intrigues me. Colorado has definitely affected the stories in Luna Sol, but my Kentucky roots are alive an well in the riffs!

RS: How does Luna Sol differ from your previous projects and collaborations?

DA: When I moved to Colorado, I made a decision to start a project that had no boundaries musically—one that can float and change as time passes and I grow older. Luna Sol is my first evolving band. I’m stoked about that. Playing with Shannon, Pat and Shanda is such an honor. They are amazing people and musicians—and writers, too.  It’s a great vibe and we have all become close friends. We are really starting to become one, which rocks. My other band, Hermano, still exists and has its own thing. We are actually in the process of tracking a new Hermano album for this Summer, but Luna Sol is my main focus now and I dig it.

RSYou have several veteran players on various tracks of your new album, Blood Moon. How did you manage to get them on board? Did you write the songs with the guest appearances in mind?

DA: I wish I was that talented! No, I write what comes naturally. If it feels good, and it sounds great through a vintage plexi Marshall, I’m in. I had a short list of some friends that I really wanted to be a part of this album. I asked Pat, Shanda and Shannon if they were cool with it, and they all agreed it would rock. So I looked at the list and thought of what might work for various badasses and sent emails or made calls begging my friends to be on the album with us. It was very cool of everyone to play on Blood Moon with us. We’re grateful.

RS: What’s the story behind Blood Moon? What can new listeners expect?

DA: I grew up in Kentucky. The Bible belt. There was lots of stuff about sinners and going to hell. It always seemed so intense to me, so when I heard that there were real blood moons happening while we were making the album and that, historically, Christians thought blood moons were a sign of the end times, I thought, “Hey, that rocks—Blood Moon it is!” I love the visual of a real blood moon and the history is fun, too.

RS: Who are some other bands/artists we should be looking out for?

DA: Oh, man, in Denver there are a ton of great bands—Bronze, Throttlebomb, Chingaso, Horse, Black Lamb, Reno Divorce, Abrams, Smolder and Burn, Slim Cessna, also Greg Martin Band who are from Kentucky and amazing. Some others from California—Hookers and Blow, John Garcia, Dandy Brown… man, there are just too many to name or remember.

RS: If you did the scoring for a movie, what would the movie be about?

DA: Guitars. And vintage tube amps. And how they will someday save the world.

RS: In your years in the music arena, what has been the most rewarding? 

DA: The most rewarding thing has been playing music with real people who aren’t looking for any rockstar BS. My favorite moments musically are all over the place—from playing Spain in front of 20,000 people all the way to sitting in my backyard learning a Dylan song under my wishing tree. The real moments are what matters. I’m thankful for those.

RS: Any upcoming tour dates? I’m hoping for NYC!
DA: We’ll be staying close to Colorado for now, so unfortunately no New York shows, but we’re working on a Fall European tour that should be badass!

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