John Garcia & The Band Of Gold

John Garcia long ago cemented his legacy as one of the most recognizable and powerful voices  in the rock music. If his career only consisted of his work with Kyuss he would still be a legend. But when thinking of John Garcia’s career you have to mention his vocal performances with his other bands, Slo Burn, Unida, Hermano and Vista Chino as well. The dudes voice is literally a stoner rock soundtrack and is all over some great songs. His unique style and grit are a stoner rock signature that over the years many have tried but can never duplicate.

johngarciandthebandofgoldpromooct2018_638

In recent years Garcia has embarked on a solo career and in 2014 dropped a very nice debut self titled record.  The album featured a ton of guest appearances by high caliber musicians including former band members like Nick Oliveri (Kyuss)  and Robby Krieger from the Doors just to name a few. Next Garcia  took an acoustic trip with versions of songs from his  solo stuff  along with some fresh arrangements of Kyuss classics on the Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues. This album also features Ehren Groban (Guitar), Mike Pygmie (bass) and Greg Saenz (percussion) who of course are now known as the band of gold. 

NPR_Gatefold_Template

So let us now look at the latest release from Mr. Garcia. Dropped on January 4th 2019 through Napalm Records the third installment of the Garcia solo run is an absolutely beautiful record. The album which is simply titled John Garcia and The Band Of Gold was produced by the one and only Chris Goss and features 11 tracks. First off, Garcia has put together an amazing band whos chemistry and style gel perfectly. Look no further than the albums opening track Space Vato for direct evidence of this. The 2:45 instrumental track sets the tone with a slow swelling intro before it kicks into overdrive with Mike Pygme killing it on some tasty and ripping bass runs. Greg Saenz drumming style pushes the song forward dropping snare hits like shotgun blasts. Riff master Ehren Groban plays with a very fluid and smooth style. The three together make a heavy monster beautiful.

13962675_776728825803300_1761989998612141127_n.jpg

The album then drops into a swanky little groove called Jim’s Whiskers that features some killer riffs and solo work by Ehren Groban on guitar. It doesn’t take long to hear those classic Garica vocal pipes and he sounds as strong as ever. He has such a great natural tone that was made for stoner rock rock grooves.  The next track Chicken Delight has such a great feel and groove to it. Vocally Garcia creates a really cool dynamic that creates some killer tension over the music.  He uses his voice like an instrument that helps shape the over all feel. I love how aggressive Saenz drumming attacks the groove on this track but still manages to stay laid back while punching the riffs home.

       

This album is full of killer riffs and plenty of heavy. My Everything is another strong track that has the band of gold laying out the perfect foundation for Garcia to paint over. The songs breakdown has some real nice guitar work by Groban. Don’t Even Think About it is another track that has The Band Of Gold laying fire while Garcia does his thing. The main riff has a serious hook to it while Pygme and Seanz hold down a heavy gut punching groove. The vocals have that classic Garcia tone but also sound fresh and energetic. Again, Garcia creates very interesting dynamics that had to the already strong melodies. What Garcia does vocally amazes me. The way he uses is range and natural tone add so much depth to the music. What he does is very subtle, but it takes true skill and craftsmanship.

By far my favorite track on the record is Apache Junction. This little chem is a chugging masterpiece. I love the feel of this tune. The Band Of Gold shine on this track while Garcia belts out over the top with grit and an amazing vocal tone. The guitar tone sounds tits and I love the really subtle and intricate parts of the riffs. Seanz holds it down while Pygme and Groban drive it home. Again, The Band Of Gold just have that special magic. They just capture a certain feel and attitude that sounds so natural. 

I’m a big fan of this record and can easily see it being on a lot of best of lists at the end of the year. I think Garcia sounds great and has put together an amazing band that is clicking on all cylinders.  I also have to say these are just great songs. I’m a huge fan of what I call the feel. It is hard to put in words but you know it when you hear it, or should I say feel it. This record has it. It sounds so natural and pure. Nothing is forced or fake.  There is something so magical when a band can have such strong chemistry and connection. In my opinion Garcia, Groban, Pygmie and Seanz together have that magic. My hope is that we will get more new music from Garcia and The Band Of Gold in the future.

n88043   

Advertisements

Top Albums Of 2018

So another year is in the books and once again I lagged on getting my top ten album list out. Maybe next year I will be on time but I  doubt it! 2018 brought some goods to us in rock music loving world and the return of some of my all time favorite bands. This year I also struggled with the order of which I put my top ten. My top four were locks for me and could easily each be number 1 on my list. Five through 10  really gave me fits and I finally after debating came up with my list. Anyways, enough with my rant. Lets get this started.

  1. Monster Magnet – Mindfucker

This was one of the releases I was most excited for in 2018. In my opinion Monster Magnet is one of the most underrated bands in rock and never really gets the credit they deserve. Mindfucker didn’t fully jive with me at first but after a couple spins I woke the fuck up. The album is full of classic Monster Magnet riffs and melodies that front man Dave Wyndorf  is a master of. Speaking of Wyndorf, he still sounds great. 

  1. Black Rainbows – Pandaemonium

The trio from Rome Italy killed it on this psychedelic stoner doom trip. I love the tones and dark edge to this album. And let us not forget how badass the album art was! Since seeing Black Rainbows in Santa Cruz California they have become one of my favorite active bands. Front man Gabriele Fiori is a ripping guitar player. Pandaemonium is one of many great albums of Black Rainbows. 

   8. Corrosion Of Conformity – No cross No Crown

This was another album I couldn’t wait for. I love the COC line up that features Pepper Keenan on vocals and I was pumped he was back in the fold for this album. The album features that heavy pan fried southern rock that COC do better then anyone. It sure felt good to hear how Woody Weatherman and Pepper Keenan work together on guitar. That twin solo thing they do is always fire! 

7. Greenleaf – Hear The Rivers

The Swedish rockers crushed it on this one. Founding guitarist Tommi Holappa is a factory for bad ass riffs. I love the tones and production on Hear The Rivers. vocalist Arvid Hällagård paints over Holappa’s riffs masterfully. I also got to say Greenleaf came out with a killer music video as well.

  1. Yawning Man – The Revolt Against Tired Noises

This album is absolutely beautiful and blew my mind. It truly is a musical journey that colors the soul. I listened to this record on a road trip this year and escaped the daily grinds of life and truly felt lifted into a state of bliss. Gary Arce guitar work on this thing is amazing. Mario Lalli the desert legend himself lays down serious grooves on bass. I really can not say enough about how beautiful this album is. 

  1. Clutch – Book Of Bad Decisions

Clutch is so consistent it isn’t even funny. They got the formula down pat and just keep putting out insanely cool records. Book Of Bad Decisions is another great clutch album driven by great riffs and catchy and unique vocal melodies. The production is once again great and its exactly what you expect a Clutch album to sound like. If it aint broke, don’t fix it. 

  1. Sleep – The Sciences

This is a heavy ass masterpiece that hits hard!  This riff driven sonic ass whooping  is so ugly it’s beautiful. The boys in Sleep live up to their legend on The Sciences and once again show why they are in a class of their own. The doom pioneers are so good at creating tension and pounding you over and over into submission while slowly building up to a cosmic ass whooping.   

  1. All Souls – Self Titled

This debut record hit all the feels and blew my mind from the get! Top to bottom this record rips and is a must have! It’s got a haunting familiarity while being very unique. The overall production on this album is next level and the guitar tones are perfect. All Souls put them selves on the map with this record and I can’t wait to hear what they do next. 

  1. Brant Bjork – Mankind Woman

The king Of cool Brant Bjork gave us another groovy little masterpiece in 2018 . Mankind Women is a hot groove booty shaking machine. Bjork really hit his stride on this record vocally and sounds great. Brant has always put out solid records but Mankind Woman captures the essence of what Bjork and his band do live. I love the feels on this record. It literary sounds like they are playing in your living room. 

  1. Fu Manchu – Clone Of The Universe

Another great album from the mighty Fu Manchu! So many great riffs and hooks. The band is truly on fire and bringing the gold. Clone Of The Universe sounds huge and explosive. So many classic FU style riffs postmarked by the trademark vocal style of Scott Hill. These dudes are the kings of tones and making it sound so smooth and simple. 

So…. Thats my list! I would also like to give honorable mentions to Alice In Chains, Orange Goblin and the Chris Cornell record. The Alice In Chains album was sneaky good and is still growing on me. The Cornell record had a lot of cool older live stuff on it. Anyways… Happy New Years!!

 

  1. Fu Manchu – Clone Of The Universe
  2. Brant Bjork – Mankind Women
  3. All Souls – Self Titled
  4. Sleep – The Sciences
  5. Clutch – Book Of Bad Decisions
  6. Yawning man – The Revolt Against Tired Noises
  7. Greenleaf – Hear The Rivers
  8. Corrosion Of Conformity – No Cross No Crown
  9. Black Rainbows – Pandaemonium
  10. Monster Magnet – Mindfucker

 

 

 

Erik Trammell From All Souls

WH –  How did All Souls come together as a band? 

Erik – Antonio and I had been talking about playing some music together for years but we were always busy, we were both tour managing bands and touring with our own bands and there was never time. I moved to Austin, TX for a few years and when I moved back we just got the ball rolling. We played around with some ideas on acoustics and Meg and Tornay liked them so we started to discuss what we all wanted to do. We had some dinners/meetings and then jammed on some ideas and that was it, All Souls was a reality.

WH – Can you tells us how you guys came up with the name All Souls?

Erik – We sat down before ever playing a note and came up with a concise idea of how we wanted to approach this band. We were interested in our content having deep meaning and being inclusive and the words All Souls fit that idea.

WH – You have been playing with some amazing bands recently, who has been the most fun to watch?

Erik – For me it’s been The Jesus Lizard. Each guy is a force of nature on their own and when you combine the precise instrumental machine with Mr Yow, it’s truly amazing.

42044987_1996176827112308_9154644245062090752_o

WH – What are you most looking forward to about hitting the Bay Area?

Erik – The shows! I grew up in Moss Beach, CA and used to surf Pleasure Point and Capitola a bunch in high school so it’ll be pretty cool to visit those areas again.

WH – How did you link up with Marc and Doors To No Where and any chance you all will play more shows together down the line?

Erik – We connected with Marc via our drum player Tony Tornay, Fatso Jetson has played a million shows, I think they met through the band. We’re definitely hoping to come back to Santa Cruz or Capitola soon and it’d be great to play with Doors To No Where again.

IMG_7754

WH – Does your live set consist of songs from the album only?

Erik – We play most of the first record live but there are some new songs in there too.

WH –  Will those new songs in the set make the next album?

Erik – Absolutely, we have been playing one of the new ones since the Melvins tour but we might sprinkle in a few others on this west coast trip.

WH – Speaking of the album, it’s absolutely brilliant, did you know right away you guys had something special?   

Erik – Thanks, stoked you like it! We definitely had some goose bumps when we listened to it, we all had our own favorite moments but for me Time Bomb has always stood out. I like the interlude part a bunch and I love the outro bass/guitar harmony with the slide solo.

WH – The production on the album sounds so freaking good. Who did you work with and at what studio?

Erik – Thanks, we were specific about the structures and effects and Toshi Kasai has killer input. Toshi is well known for being an amazing producer/engineer and giver of rad ideas. He’s also a great musician and has been a friend for many years. That kind of a relationship makes it very easy to create. His studio is called Sound of Sirens

WH – Everything I’ve heard from All Souls has killer tones. I’m talking studio and live. Can you tell us a little about how you approach your tones?

Erik – That’s really cool of you to mention because the tones are pretty different. The record was mostly done with a 1976 Sunn Model-T and live I use an Orange Crush Pro 120 but I’ll be using the Orange in the studio next time. My main focus is to use any tools (effects, pick, e-bow, chicken pickin/fingerstyle, harmonics, volume,  etc.) to do something textural and complimentary to the song but sometimes a direct approach is best.

WH –  How do you guys approach writing songs?

Erik –  That’s a secret!

WH – Who are some of you biggest influences on guitar?

Erik – Dang, there are many amazing payers out there but for me it started with East Bay Ray and moved onto Johnny Marr, Tony Iommi, Robert Smith, David Gilmour, Chet Atkins, Robin Guthrie, Brian May, Billy Gibbons, Marc Bolan, Duane Denison, Daniel Ash, Poison Ivy, Prince etc.

41403491_1988411571222167_8223599793188896768_o

WH – You guys have been touring a lot recently, what does Erik and All Souls listen to in the van?

Erik – We usually listen to Howard Stern on the longer drives but I totally love this show called Knif Files on Mixcloud, it’s rock & roll and obscure music from the 60’s. I also play tons of Boards of Canada and kraut rock.

WH – What’s next for All Souls?

Erik – After we finish these dates with The Jesus Lizard we’re going to get into the studio as soon as possible. We have been able to write some killer songs between the Melvins and Jesus Lizard tours and we wanna get them on tape and into your ears ASAP!

 I would like to thank Erik for taking the time to do this for us at WormHound. All Souls is  an amazing band with  an amazing debut record. You can see Wormhound’s review here.  I can not wait to see these guys live and for their future releases. They have this magic about them that makes them sound so familiar and its all the feels while still being fresh and unique.  

ALL SOULS – FACEBOOK

WORMHOUND – FACEBOOK

41930095_1997409230322401_7877188969706815488_o

MOUNTAIN TAMER’S DAVE TEGET & 12 RANDOM QUESTIONS!

So just who is Dave Teget?? He is the bass player from the up  and coming band Mountain Tamer and he is one cool dude. Mountain Tamer recently just dropped a killer new album titled “Good Fortune, Dark Matters” on us and it’s a gem! (see my review here) Mr. Teget’s bass work on that record is really really good. I’m gonna put this out there right now on record!! Mr. Teget is one of the best bass guitarist in the scene right now! Let’s get to know this cat a little better with….. WORMHOUNDS RANDOM QUSTIONS!!!

WH – What is your go to guilty pleasure band/ artist?  –

TEGET – Call me Bill Clinton, because I got a soft spot for Ariana Grande.

WH –  If you could make an album with one band/artist dead or alive who is it and why?  

TEGET –  So many answers to this question! I guess it would be nice to play with someone who could push me out of my comfort zone. I’ve been diggin these crossover world/psych albums so maybe someone like Fela Kuti.

36531157_1772442312837639_827528395645517824_o

WH –  Favorite genre of music besides your own?

TEGET –  Lately, its been country. Not kidding. Hank sr., Buck Owens, Blaze Foley etc.

WH – Favorite tour food/snack?

TEGET –  discovered this little gem on our last tour: peanut butter and jalapeno sandwich. You can add cilantro, onion, tomato, whatever you have on hand, but you gotta have pb and jalapeno. It’s kinda like Thai peanut sauce, so it’s not that weird.

40089051_1858485274233342_6248591998752653312_o

WH –  Besides music name one hobby you enjoy?

TEGET –  plotting the ‘accidental’ demise of my bandmates. It’s the one ray of hope in the miserable darkness that is my life.

WH  Why do you play music?

TEGET – if i don’t, mountain tamer will kill my family.

40037142_1858483267566876_1320621221393465344_o

WH – What was the last gift you gave someone?

TEGET –  I’ll tell ya the next gift I’m giving… 2 cyanide pills crushed up in some Denver omelettes for my ‘friends’

WH –  If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?

TEGET –  karma chameleon. Next question.

20286801_1425475140867693_6693858311873972781_o

WH –  What song best describes you?

TEGET –  I’m walking on sunshine or anything by flipper. No in between.

WH –  What nickname would you give yourself?

TEGET –  the sexinator.

WH –  If you could steal one song from anyone which one would it be and why?

13266018_1026011614147383_2527431184029054502_n

TEGET –  something from Greta von fleet so I could steal from a band who stole from a band who stole from a band…

WH – Favorite movie quote?

TEGET – life’s a garden, dig it…. if you know, you know…

WH – Give your bandmates nicknames?  

TEGET –  the loud one and the short one

WH –  What is one band you would suggest people check out?

TEGET –  lot of good music coming out right now. Hard to just pick one. I’ve seen deathchant 2 or 3 times this summer, looking forward to their debut album. Ladykiller out of Austin. Salem’s Bend… stay tuned to mountain tamer, we usually s/O our favorites.

THANKS DAVE TEGET FOR TAKING THE TIME TO DO THIS!! MAKE SURE YOU ALL CHECK OUT MOUNTAIN TAMER!! YOU WILL BE STOKED!!

MOUNTAIN TAMER = FACEBOOK PAGE

WORMHOUND = FACEBOOK PAGE

 

 

 

Brant Bjork & “Saving Mankind”

So lets get real for a quick minute! They don’t make them much cooler than Brant Bjork. I mean honestly, the dude just gives off the ultimate chill and cool vibe. He’s like the desert Jesus or some shit.  OK! RANT OVER!!

Brant_Bjork 2 Aija_Svensson HIGH RES

So why am I talking Brant Bjork right now you ask? Well… Mr. Bjork will be releasing his 13th solo record titled “Mankind Woman” through Heavy Psych Sounds on September 14th 2018. From start to finish this is 100% with out a doubt A Brant Bjork record. “Making Woman” however is a result of  solely collaborating with producer, Co-writer and guitarist Bubba Dupree(LowDesertPunkBand). Bass duties were handled by guest appearances by Armand Secco Sabal and the legendary  Nick Oliveri. Another desert legend Sean Wheeler, who happens to be another LowDesertPunkBand vet, also makes a guest appearance on vocals. This album takes all the traits I’ve loved best about Bjork’s solo stuff and cranked them to 11!

38867408_2072269479463439_4490792674843951104_o

“Mankind Woman” is 11 super groovy, tasty and blissful desert sunsets morphed into music. No joke, this just may be my favorite Bjork record to boot. Everything about this record is rad and comes through the speakers so naturally. I love the tones and the vibe on this record so much. The production is clean, smooth and very well balanced. It gives off a very old school vibe with sounding dated. It literally  feels like Bjork and company are set up in my living room playing. Brant also delivers his best vocal performance of any of his records while diving into deeper lyrical content then records before. The albums title track “Mankind Woman” features that classic laid back Bjork vocal style that he does better than anyone else. “Chocolatize” opens up the album with a quirky little groove and killer vocal hook from Bjork that sinks deep into your brain and rattles around for hours.

37582439_2034503899906664_8752390385646436352_o

Sean Wheelers guest vocal performance on the track “Pretty Hairy” is absolutely amazing. The dude has such a great nature tone in his voice and it paints over Brants guitar rhythms perfectly. “Pretty Hairy also has a killer little guitar solo and bass breakdown in it. This track is defiantly a high point on the record for me.

22450065_1704113272945730_5290080263758114618_n

“1968” is another stand out track pushed by a swanky little riff and a super cool feel on the drums. It also has a really rad guitar lead in it. “Nation Of Indica” finishes off the album with no remorse. Marching forward with a killer baseline while Wheeler delivers another bad ass vocal performance. The song builds tension while also creating a trance like experience. The lyrical contents touch on mental health and hit home. “Pisces” is yet another track with a tasty guitar riff and great vocal performance by Bjork.

38764103_2066769870013400_2471068541369974784_n

This album gets better and better after each lesson and gets stuck in my head. I could defiantly see “Mankind Woman” making it onto my top ten albums of the year list. Longtime fans of Brant will not be disappointed. Musically this album has that magic chemistry that is hard to explain. Lucky for us Bjork, Dupree, Oliveri and Sabal captured that magic on tape. Lets just hope we can get more music out of this combination in the near future. You best head over to Heavy Psych Sounds and pick this bad boy up!

40670106_2109080539115666_9100840730183598080_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Tamer

So… I’m back bitches! Life has been crazy to say the least but I’m starting to get a foundation under me again and I’m ready to roll.

22042250_1483734168375123_2852106019744348927_o

Mountain Tamer has been a band on my radar for some time now. In fact, since they were still located in Santa Cruz I’ve kept tabs on them.  I caught them on tour with Mondo Generator and Doors To No Where and was instantly a lifelong fan and have been looking forward to hearing new music from them since. Well… Andru Hall(Guitar/vocals), Casey Garcia(drums) & Dave Teget(Bass/Vocals) who’s powers combined create Mountain Tamer have unleashed a brand spanking new album titled “Good Fortune, Dark Matters” on us and its very impressive.

40089051_1858485274233342_6248591998752653312_o

So.. the boys of Mountain Tamer dropped their sophomore record on us August 24th via Magnetic Eye Records and it takes no time at all to take off into a fury of rock wizardry.  The track “Faith Peddler” opens up the 11 track album with a bad ass bass groove laid down by Teget that sets the tone for the rest of the album. Teget and Garcia make up a very strong and powerful rhythm section. One of the tings that make Mountain Tamer great is the unique and little settle things they do. “Faith Peddler” also has a very Dexter like video along with it that unless your a vegetarian is must watch TV.

The boys in Mountain Tamer have a killer chemistry playing together and it comes through the speakers loud and clear. Their songs come of very natural and in sink versus forced or cookie cutter. The track “People Problems” is a prime example of this. They lock in together and Andru Hall delivers his strongest vocal performance on the record. He also drops a killer Primus style guitar solo on this one. Hall has a basic approach to the vocals that are the perfect match for what the instruments got going on. I get a kinda Nebula meets Dozer vibe at times.

The track “Wretched” is nothing short of epic. Its by far my favorite song of “Good Fortune, Dark Matters.” Its laced with a doom type riff that sludges along pounding your face in while Hall hooks you with some killer guitar work. I love me some doom but sometimes its gets to receptive and boring to say the least. “Wretched” is a prime example on how not to fall in that repeat it over and over doom metal trap. Mountain Tamer keep it interesting by utilizing those settle changes I was talking about earlier. This song builds you up has if your getting ready to march off to battle.

Overall “Good Fortune, Dark Matters” is a very solid record from a very solid up and coming band. Mountain Tamer is the real thing and I suggest you check them out. Go see them live and buy “Good Fortune, Dark Matters.” Good news is that the boys will be hitting the road and hitting it hard!

40037142_1858483267566876_1320621221393465344_o.jpg

 

 

Fu Manchu Does It Again

So at this point Fu Manchu has the Fu Manchu formula down to a science. Put out a killer record, tour and repeat. I have honestly never been disappointed with one Fu Manchu record. Sure, some I like more then others, but they are all freaking good. The thing is, they all sound like Fu Manchu. Killer riffs, simple and laid back approach to the vocals and serious grooves. Well…. Their latest album “Clone Of The Universe” came out today and its another darn good one.

27788623_10155396296883862_431586241979371929_o

“Clone Of  The Universe” starts off strong with the the track “Intelligent Worship” in which Fu front man Scott Hill (guitar/vocals) drops that classic singing style of his. He has always had such a unique and cool approach to his phrasing. There is no mistaking him for anyone else.  Of course the song also features a killer riff that rocks hard and gets the head banging. Guitarist Bob Bach also drops a fantastic guitar solo on this one.

24313432_10155162364583862_3577134287699814423_o

The album then takes a turn into circus like groove with the song “(I’ve Been) Hexed.” The guitar vibe is really cool on this one and gives lots of space for bass player Brad Davis to show his chops. The next track “Don’t Panic” reminds a bit of Bl’ast!, but with cleaner and tighter execution. Drummer Scott Reeders performance on this one is top notch.

23795875_10155122361128862_5777959926122212402_n

“Slower Than Light” is a classic Fu Manchu groove that ends up punching you in the face. Scott’s vocals put you in trance while the bass line is pure silk gold. Its the perfect song to lead into “Nowhere Left To Hide.” which is yet another track built around a killer riff. Fu Manchu really let the groove sit in on this one. The slightly sludgy riff pulls back to earth.

25550104_10155218788293862_5077370915865815833_n

The title track is probably my favorite of the album. Its got all of the Fu Manchu elements I love. The vocals work hand and hand with the guitar and you can’t  help but digging the hook. Scott Hill is a very underrated when it comes to his lyrics and the hook type melodies he comes up with. Fu Manchu songs always seem to get stuck in my tiny little pea brain.

23722444_10155122360553862_6774463265907874194_n

The album closes out with “ll Mostro Atomico” which is an 18 minute epic monster of a Jam. The band sounds enormous on the long drawn out intro as they pound the riff home. The guitar solo work is killer! Oh by the way… Fu Manchu had a little help from Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson on this one so…. Thats a thing.  “ll Mostro Atomico” also features some pretty cool soundscapes.

27021564_10155353619413862_604016488316093397_o

So yet again Fu Manchu does what Fu Manchu always does. They stick to being bad ass and as consistent as consistent gets. All four members are stealer players and good dudes to boot. The only complaint I have is I wish there was more!! Seven songs just wasn’t enough. I will say the band sounds very powerful and energetic. You can hear the energy come through their playing on every note. I will be in attendance for the big release show tonight and look forward to seeing these new tracks live.