2020 Sucked, But the music didn’t

It was a wild ride for me in 2020. Some may have read I was one of the unlucky ones who contracted COVID-19 and got hit hard. I’m still on the road to recovery but am looking at life differently these days. After not being able to breath on my own, being in a medical induced coma and having strokes from the labor on my heart I have learned to focus more on presences in this thing called life. As always music was a salvation and a motivator. So Here is to a better 2021 folks. Just keep breathing.

So… My list

10) Kind – Mental Nudge  (Ripple Music)

This album took a bit to grow on me. It kinda slipped through the cracks. I discovered it again on a spotify playlist and it really hit me. Killer grooves and badass tones. The track “Trigger Happy” is a highlight.

Kind Bandcamp link

9) Mountain Tamer – Psychosis Ritual (Heavy Psych Sounds)

These dudes have been on my radar since the Santa Cruz days. I also got lucky and caught them on tour with Mondo Generator and Doors To No Where at Loaded in Hollywood a week after I moved there years back. It was a fantastic show and the Tamer boys slayed.  “Psychosis Ritual” smashes big time. Its doom psych and groovy with all the right feels. The boys in Mountain Tamer are on the rise! Highlight track is “Death In The Woods”

Mountain Tamer Bandcamp Link

8) Mondo Generator – Fuck It (Heavy Psych Sounds) 

It really is a shame for Mondo on the timing of the release of this album. It really is one of the best records they have put out. No doubt front man Nick Oliveri is an absolute legend and “Fuck It” only adds to his legacy. Mondo right now has an incredibly strong line up and I hope when the dust settles Nick keeps this lineup and gives us another album. Highlight track is “Kyuss Dies!”

Mondo Generator Bandcamp

7) Brant Bjork – Self Titled (Heavy Psych Sounds)

Like Nick and Mondo, Brant was really hurt by this album coming out during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a really rad and groove driven album that is simple and tasteful. The solo effort shows what Brant does best. Just hits a mellow groove that is styled and jives. Brant is definitely an ambassador of stoner rock and he may just also be an ambassador of cool. I really enjoyed this album. Highlight track is “Duke Of Dynamite” 

Brany Bjork Bandcamp Link

6) King Buffalo – Dead Star 

King Buffalo’s 6 song EP Dead Star blew me away. In fact the last thing I was working on before I got sick was an interview with frontman Sean McVay. I hope to revisit that soon. Dead Star is a beautiful and adventurous record. The King Buffalo dudes should be very proud of Dead Star. Great tones, great production and amazing use of dynamics and tension. I highly suggest you listen to this album top to bottom and enjoy the ride. Highlight track is “Eta Carinae”

King Buffalo Bandcamp link

5) Slift – Ummon (Stolen Body Records)

This 3 piece from France went full on beast mode on this record. It is a masterpiece full of magic and skill. The craft of the musicianship is unreal. It rocks hard with bits of pysch and jazz mixed in. The guitar has a bit of that old surf guitar vibe going on and I dig that. Put this record on. Crank it and get lost in it. So much going on. Highlight track is “Citadel On A Satellite”

Slift Bandcamp Link

4) Elephant Tree – Habits (Sheep Tooth Records)

Everything about this record is amazing. These dudes crushed and have become one of my favorite bands. Habits really helped me get through the grind of Covid recovery and push myself in rehab. It was a very pleasant escape from reality and I hope one day to see Elephant Tree live. I also hope this record gets more recognition and the credit it deserves. It’s heavy with depth and great melodies.   Highlight track is “Bird”   

Elephant Tree Bandcamp link

3) Big Scenic Nowhere – Vision Beyond Horizon (Heavy Psych Sounds)

This was actually my most played record of the year. The guitar tones move me. This music speaks to my soul. The super group led by Bob Balch (Fu Manchu) and Gary Arce (Yawning Man) are onto something very special. What I really love about Big Scenic Nowhere is that they push the boundaries of their sound. You can hear the desert roots but they don’t hold back. They play with soundscapes and don’t limit themselves into a cookie cutter stoner rock format. The songs are beautiful and timeless. I hope we get more and more music from Big Scenic Nowhere. They also just released a 3 song EP titled “Lavender Blues” that is great. Highlight track is “Shadows From The Alter”

Big Scenic Bandcamp link

2) All Them Witches – Nothing As The Ideal (New West Records) 

Love that All Them Witches went heavy on this one without losing that woody blues vibe. This record has a great feel and amazing tones. The vocals and the lyrics also shine. All Them Witches seem to get better and better and I love how diverse they are album to album without losing that All Them Witches vibe. This band is truly inspiring. I can’t wait to hear what they do next. Highlight track is “Enemy Of My Enemy”

All Them Witches Bandcamp Link

  1. Lowrider – Refractions (Blues Funeral Recordings)

I waited 20 years for this band to surface with new music. The wait was more than worth it. Holy shit this album thumps. Killer riffs, grooves and arrangements. Even though Lowrider only had one full length and a split under their belt I put them up near the top of the stoner rock mountain. Refractions only solidified this for me. I have a feeling Lowrider made the top of a lot of 2020 best album lists. As they should have! Highlight track – “Sernanders Krog”  

Lowrider’s Bandcamp link

So that is my list for 2020. Hope you all have wonderful holidays and take health and peace into 2020. Below is My 2020 playlist that includes bands from my top ten along with some other tracks I dug.

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Albums of 2019

Another year in the books. While I wanted to have a more detailed list out sooner I’ve been dealing with some health issues. But all is good and it is what it is. I hope everyone one has a wonderful 2020!! Let’s get to my list!!

1. John Garcia & The Band Of Gold – self titled

2. Year Of The Cobra Ash & Dust

3. Big Scenic Nowhere Dying On The Mountain

4. Nebula Holy Shit!

5. ToolFear Inoculum

6. Monolord – NoComfort

7. Planet Of Zeus – Faith In Physics

8. Russian Circles Blood Year

9. Yawning ManMacedonian Lines

10. Brume – Rabbits

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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All Souls Brilliant Debut!

So….. All Souls is a band that you absolutely need to check out! I mean it!!! The LA based band that features: Antonio Aguilar (Totimoshi)  on guitar/vocals,  Meg Castellanos (Totimoshi) on Bass/Vocals, Erik Trammell(Black Elk) on guitar and Tony Tornay (Fatso Jetson/ Deep Dark Robot/ Brant Bjork) on drums is set to releasee their debut self titled album and its a masterpiece. The album is driving, colorful and chalk full of hooks. You can see that All Souls knows a thing or 2 about rock n roll just by looking at their members resume.  You could even say All Souls is a super group. But…. All Souls is much more then just that. Their music and style is something familiar and comforting while be new and exciting at the same time. That folks, is not an easy thing to do!

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All Souls 9 track album starts strong from the very get with “The Ghost Is Flying Home.” The song starts with a strong punchy cadience that would make Jack White jealous. The guitars paint over beautifully with a dark and mysterious riff that lead into some nifty lead work in the same realm of early QOTSA. All Souls use tempo changes and a killer hook during the chorus to drive this puppy home. The guitar riffs after the songs breakdown deliver the knockout blow.

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The track “Never Know” features another strong vocal performance and killer guitar work. Antonio has little hints of Jello Biafra in his voice that lay over All Souls musical canvas perfectly. He has the perfect voice and style to lay over what the band is doing. The mix and production on this album are great! You can really hear what each member and instrument are bringing to the table. Meg and Tony hold down a solid rhythm section that also keeps your interest with subtle but powerful tweaks. Both are amazing musicians that deliver the goods with such taste.

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“Rename The Room” may just be my favorite track on the album. I love how it builds itself up with plenty of tension and beautiful Melodys that all play off each other. The raunchy guitar solo over the bad ass bass line gets me. The first half has a bit of ZZ Top thing going but leads into a massive Pink Floyd kinda thing. Like I said All Souls have hints of something familiar in their sound but deliver it a very unique and intriguing way. This song seems to grow and grow and gets better with each listen.

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“Sadist Servant” is an instant epic war march! That song makes me wanna battle robots or do something crazy like real life exercise. Tony T crushes it on the drums with a little help from some dude named Danny Carey (Tool) on percussion.  Antonio and Erik’s combined guitar work seems to make for a perfect chemistry.  Haunting guitar solos glide right over the battle rhythms creating the perfect soundtrack for dropping into barrel of a big wave feeling the oceans strength and the surreal feeling of harnessing something so powerful.

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I could honestly go on and on about this album. All Souls crushed on this one and I guarantee this will be in rotation for me for a long long time. There is just so much interesting musicianship on this record. What I love about All Souls is on the surface it sounds so clean and simple. The formula is a killer riff, strong rhythm section and the vocals deliver the unmistakable hook. But if you really listen you can pick up all the little nuances All Souls craft into their. That my friends is not an accident. Its very calculated, its very thought out, and it takes skill to pull off.  Antonio, Erik, Meg and Tony have something special together and they know how to write a complex song that is still easily digested. You can hear and feel punk, desert, grunge and even epic Iron Maiden vibes all mixed  into a exquisite creature.

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ALL SOULS debut and self titled record will be available worldwide 2-9-18 trough Sunyata Records. For those of you who are vinyl collectors you best act fast. The super cool folks at RUNIED VIBES RECORDS are doing something very Special. There will be 2 versions of All Souls debut album. One will be only available on tour through the band. The other is original screen printed piece of art by Kat Von D. Both will be limited to 100. Both will feature different artwork than the CD. I suggest you get over to Ruined Vibes now because these puppies will sell out. In the meantime check All Souls on….

(FaceBook, IG, Twitter, Bandcamp, Web)

CD RELEASE SHOW

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Chris Hale (Brave Black Sea & Slo Burn)

Chris Hale is the guitarist for both Brave Black Sea and Slo Burn and he is currently a very busy man when it come to music. Brave Black Sea is currently workin on the follow up to their debut record “Fragments” and hourly  it will be dropping sometime in 2018. Chris  is also  in the final stages of writing for the forthcoming and highly anticipated Slo Burn album. We all thank you in advance Chris for the riffle! Mr. Hale was kind enough to take the time to be a part of our random question segment!!

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

HALE: I don’t really have any guilty pleasure bands because I don’t feel guilty listening to anything. Music is made to be enjoyed. I’ll sing along to some Taylor Swift with my daughter with zero fucks to give!

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

HALE: Elvis Presley. His records are what made me fall in love with music as a kid.

WH: Favorite genre of music besides your own?

HALE: Besides heavy music and rock & roll I listen to a lot of hip hop and really old blues and soul records.

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WH: Favorite tour food/snack?

HALE: Depends where I’m at. In Germany, I like me some good gas station bratwurst and bread though!

WH: Besides music name one hobby you enjoy?

HALE: Building things with my hands. Working with wood and metal.

WH: What was the last gift you gave someone?

HALE: I just gave my wife a divorce.

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

HALE: “Ya” from Kyuss, Blues for the Red Sun.

WH: What song best describes you?

HALE: Simple Man, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

WH: What nickname would you give yourself?

HALE: Oh man, I don’t know. I’ve never had a nickname.

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

HALE: Whatever song made the most amount of money.

WH: What inspirational quote have you used for motivation?

HALE: What you see is what you get.

WH: Give your bandmates nicknames?

HALE: I got too many band mates haha.

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

HALE: Neurosis

 

Ruben Romano

I have zero doubts that Ruben Romano is stoner and psych rock royalty.  Romano is best known for is skills behind the drum kit. Look no further then is work on the first three Fu Manchu records and then with the mighty Nebula. He is a founding member of both bands and his unique style played a tremendous role in their success.  Currently Ruben is fronting the fuzzed out psychedelic rock’n’roll band The Freeks. Romano stepped out from the kit and is playing guitar and singing with The Freeks but you can still detect his signature sound. Since 2007 The Freeks have been doing their thing and they do it very well!! I highly recommend you check them out. Their last album “Shattered” is killer and come spring 2018 they will be dropping a new one on us! The Freeks got an aggressive approach to dropping a laid back good ole fashion ass kicking  groove.  Ruben was kind enough to take part in our random question segment.

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

Romana – I got quite a few really, and in the end I don’t feel so guilty any more, John Denver, K.C. & the Sunshine Band can qualify under this. I used to say, Rod Stewart 78 era but given his time prior with Ronnie Lane and Small Faces still keeps him cool in my book no matter how much pink satin there was.

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

Romana – Hard one, but I would have to choose one of these two bands, either The Incredible Bongo Band or Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar band. Why? both those bands influence me as a kid due to the heavy percussions going off. I’m first a drummer and those were some awesome drum records due to all the hand drums involved

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WH – Favorite genre of music besides your own?

Romana – An other one hard to pin point to just one, Um, we can revert back to my answer in question # 2, There is a certain era of fuzz wha funk instrumental bands that I enjoy, I welcome all genres really, My Mom was a disco queen so there might be some of that in there to, hence the guilty pleasure of K.C & Sunshine band, (again due to some funky percussions there), although her all time favorite tune was Hang On Sloopy by the McCoys so bubble gum pop of the 60’s hits me good, like the Archies. I guess I can say that “Music” is my favorite genre, how bout that?

WH – Favorite tour food/snack?

Romana –  Maybe not my favorite snack but what I used to survive on tour with was a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter, That alone could last me a week, so I always had to make sure to grab plastic knives from the truck stop joints.

WH – Besides music name one hobby you enjoy?

Romana – Um, maybe stitching, not necessarily quilting but I can make a pair of jeans last a good long time with a needle and thread. Not really a hobby but more a survival tactic.

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WH – What was the last gift you gave someone?

Romana – One pocket coffee, it’s a small chocolate with liquid espresso inside it.

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

Romana –  “Do ya think I’m sexy” by Rod Stewart or “Fire Poem” by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

WH – What song best describes you?

Romana –  Easy Like Sunday Morning or Comfortably Numb

WH – What nickname would you give yourself?

Pacing Tiger, because there is always something else to get done, but as a kid it was always something like Roobie doobie-do, and yes i did, so I had to learn how to roll a good doobie for my brothers! Right?

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

Romana –  Always giving my self the choice so either “Magic Potion” by The Open Mind or “Tractor” by Monster Magnet, because I love those songs

WH – What inspirational quote have you used for motivation?

Romana –  “Love is the Secret Password”. or just plain and simple, “I’ll do it myself”

WH – Give your bandmates nicknames?

Romana –

Jonathan Hall- The Bear

Bob Lee- Blind Owl

(but both those have already been taken by Canned Heat)

Esteban Chavez- Dr. Patient

Ray Piller- The Pile driver

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

Romano – Live- Slow Season- there Drummer is awesome! and of course my band The Freeks!! haha! duh!

THANKS AGAIN RUBEN! Like I said earlier, this dude is rock n roll royalty. I’m really looking forward to checking out what The Freeks put out this spring! In the meantime you can check out The Freeks at:

Wormhounds Albums Of 2017

So let’s put 2017 in the books shall we. Despite all the shity stuff that happened in the world this year we still had some good Rock and Roll to keep us sane. I have to admit my list this year was really hard to put together. I struggled with the letdown that some of the album’s I was really looking forward to turned out to be a let down. For example “Villains” by Queens of the Stone Age was garbage in my opinion. I just couldn’t get into it. What happened to me this year though, was that a lot of albums grew on me and once I gave multiple listens I find little nuances that hit me. My list is going to be different from others and I’m sure some of you will disagree and possibly even give me shit. But that’s what’s great about rock and roll it speaks to us in many different ways. so why don’t we just get to the list already.

1. ALL THEM WITCHES “Sleeping Through The War”

Number one for me this year without a doubt was “Sleeping Through The War” by All Them Witches. These guys continue to impress me with a mix of unique Sounds that no other band comes close to. I really can’t get into cookie cutter bands who put out records that sound like a watered-down version of their influences. I love bands who take chances and create something that is unique to them and them only. Alll Them Witches are the quintessential band who really gives no shits on what you think they should sound like. They are heavy without slamming it down your face and their grooves are infectious. “Sleeping Through War” takes the listener on a journey through many different soundscapes that are tasteful and full of twist and turns. Like their albums in the past All Them Witches continue to bring a seriously devastating guitar tone and show great song craft. “Don’t Bring Me My Coffee” is a classic all them Witches song. it’s a mix of heavy with a creepy folk like vibe that is haunting. “Alabaster” is a bit of a psychedelic trip with killer uses of temp change. The vocals are trance like.

This song rips!

All Them Witches “Bruce Lee”

2. BLOODCLOT! “Up In Arms”

The number 2 record for me this year was the badass hard core punk album “Up In Arms” by Bloodclot! Now bloodclot is not your ordinary Band, it is a punk rock supergroup. The band features John Joseph from the cro-mags on vocals along with former Danzig guitar Slinger Todd youth. Bloodclot also features Joey Castillo (Queens Of The Stone Age) who is one of the greatest drummers in the world. Another QOTSA alum and rock n roll legend Nick Oliveri holds down the four strings and give this quartet an element of danger. “Up In Arms” is a hardcore masterpiece and was the best punk rock record to come out in 2017 by far. I had the privilege of seeing boys slay it in San Francisco and they did not disappoint! if you love hard core punk rock in any way, get this album now!!

Bloodclot! “Up In Arms”

3. Sasquatch “Maneuvers”

Maneuvers by Sasquatch was an excellent album from start to finish. Sasquatch always knows how to utilize killer riffs and “Maneuvers” is no different. This album is full of badass heavy riffs that stick in your head. This album also features a very strong vocal performance by Keith Gibbs. I highly suggest this record for anyone who is into the stoner Rock genre.

SASQUATCHDestroyer

4. MONOLORDRust

MonoLord’s heavy and sludgy “Rust” is number 4 on my list. “Rust” is an ominous and heavy record that does not compromise. Monolord always sounds massive and “Rust” continues this trend. The album is a perfect mix of Sabbath style doom, Electric Wizard and even a hint of Fu Manchu. Love this band and love this record!!

MONOLORDWhere Death Meets The Sea”

5. MELVINSWalk Through Love & Death

Number 5 on my list is the legendary Melvins. their 2017 release titled a “Walk Through Love and Death, deserves a lot more credit than it got. It is actually a double album. The “Love” side of the album is a soundtrack to a short film while the “Death” side is a 9 song standard album. I think people got tripped up on the love side of the record. it’s a far out there bizarre soundscape that The Melvins have become masters of over the years. As far as standard rock songs go the “Love” side is not what you’re gonna get. The “Death” side of the record however is classic Melvin’s featuring trippy riffs and drum rhythms that only the melvins can get away with. King Buzzo still sounds amazing on vocals and his guitar work never disappoints.

MELVINSFlaming Creature

6. FOO FIGHTERS “Concrete & Gold”

So this is where I’ll probably start getting some shit. Number 6 for me was “Concrete And Gold” by the Foo Fighters. As much as I try not to like a Foo Fighters records every time they come out I end up really liking them! Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl are like having a Monday off work. It just feels good! at this point Dave Grohl can do whatever the hell he wants and nobody can give him shit for it. He has earned all the leeway he wants. “Concrete And gold” is a solid record that features those classic Foo Fighter hooks that always get stuck in your brain and refuse to leave. I mean, Dave Grohl even got Justin Timberlake to sound kind of heavy. I will admit, at first I didn’t understand this record. This Foo Fighter record took a couple listens to really gel for me. I know a lot of fans of heavy music don’t want to give Foo Fighters a chance but, you really should. I suggest you start off with the heavy riff slammer of the track “Run.” I don’t care what you all think about me, I dig me some Foo Fighters!

FOO FIGHTERS “Run

7. YEAR OF THE COBRA “Burn Your Dead

The Seattle Duo Year Of The Cobra continued their rapid rise on the underground rock scene with the release of “Burn Your Dead.” It’s definitely a must have for fans of heavy or doom. Year Of The Cobra is a band all should be checking out in 2018. I’m a big believer in this duo!! “Burn Your Dead” is an expansion of what YOTC do best!

YEAR OF THE COBRA “Burn Your Dead”

8. ELDERReflections Of A Floating World

Elder’s “Reflections Of A Floating World” comes in at 8 for me. This album takes you back in time to a world full of warlocks, goblins and magic. This is a great album to get lost in and forget about all your worries!! It’s progish but not with a pompous kinda vibe that leaves feeling cheap and empty. Elder rips it up but still has a soul!

ELDERBlind

9. PRIMUSThe Desaturating Seven

For number 9 I went outside the box. I went with Primus and their album “The Desaturating Seven.” Listening To Primus makes me feel good. It makes me feel young. They remind me of my childhood. The Desaturating Seven” is a very solid Primus record. I will admit I was not a fan of much Primus after “Tales Of The Punch Bowl” and didn’t expect much from this record. I was pleasantly surprised though, a lot of classic Primus sounds going on! It’s the bizarre sounds that have always made Primus great but also has songs and melodies you can grip. I’ve since revisited a lot of The later Primus Records and have found some gems. I hope this band never stops making Records!

PRIMUSThe Seven

10. ATOMIC BITCHWAXForce Field

A rock n roll feel good record ends my 2017 list with “Force Field” by The Atomic Bitchwax. This record is a party ready to happen. Love the riffs and the rhythms on this bad boy! Spent a lot of time driving using this album has my soundtrack. If you never have, you should definitely check out Atomic Bitchwax!

ATOMIC BITCHWAX “Force Field”

SO……….

There it is! My list!!

I gotta give a shout out and honorable mention to:

BRUME (Rooster)

Lo Pan. (In Tensions)

Mastodon (Emperor Of Sand)

Nick Oliveri (No Hits At All)

The Obsessed (Sacred)

Royal Blood (How Did We Get So Dark)

I also absolutely have to mention the remaster Of Stone Temple Pilots “Core.” In celebration of its 25th anniversary. Holy shit time flies!!! I swear I just bought this album brand new on cassette! “Core” was a big album for me and truly made an impact on my life!

I also can’t close out 2017 with out…

Giving love and respect for some of my fallen idols!

First off RIP Chris Cornell. One of the greatest rock voices of all time!

I also can’t believe Tom Petty is gone. He was one of the all time great song writers and the definition of cool.

Off Course we can’t leave this year without a tribute to greatest rhythm guitar player ever Malcom Young!

The Heavy & Groovy Time Machine That Is Supernaut.

I first came aware of Supernaut in 2016 when I caught them live at the Blue Lagoon. I remember being pumped for the show because along with Supernaut, Mountain Tamer & Doors To No Where were on the same bill. I’m always pumped to check out new bands and the boys from D2N spoke highly of both bands. I was not disappointed in either and overall that show kicked ass. It is one of the best I have been to at the Blue. I made note to keep an eye out for Supernaut because of their unique sound and talent. They have built quite the name from themselves and have constantly been hard at it pushing forward.  Supernaut is like a groovy time machine that takes you back to the 70’s for a doom infuesed bluesy psyched out journey.

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So….. Lets fast forward to 2017!  They boys from Supernaut just dropped their debut album on us and its a very very solid effort. First off, I love the underground kinda garage band production they got going. It fits them like a glove. Think Wolfmother’s “New Crown album.” mixed with that classic warm but dirty 70’s sound.  Supernaut’s self titled disc gives us 9 tracks that are all worth a listen and the disc grows on you with each listen.

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Track 5 titled “Mad Prophet” is a stand out track for me. Its dripping with a Sabbath vibe and Will Lermini drops some serious groove on the bass. The vocals keep the Sabbath vibe going while Oliver Niemann paints some tasteful but creepy blues guitar over it. “Mad Prophet”  shows the chemistry this bands plays with along with their ability to push a heavy groove. Supernaut does not like skill on their instruments but they don’t step on each others toes either to show off individual chops. “Mad Prophet” is a perfect balance of skill and great song writing.

“Mind Control” also stood out to me. Its another track I could see being written in the 70’s heyday of rock. Once again Oliver’s guitar work stands out. He plays in such a tasteful way without over playing anything. The vocalist and drummer Sean Niemann’s vocal performance is strong on this one. I say this in a good way, he brings a kinda Moody Blues thing to this track.  Like I said, these boys take you on a time machine. They are also not afraid to step out of the box and push their sound.

The boys in Supernaut should be very proud of their work. I love their throwback sound and the fact that they are not just another cookie cutter rock band. They have a knack for being heavy without jamming it down your throat. I love that shit!! Supernaut lets their riffs breath and has no fear of using dynamics to take you on a journey. Reminds a bit of Cream, All Them Witches and some Deep Purple mixed in. Of coarse you can hear The Sabbath influence  but I also hear some Fleetwood Mac but with the heavy turned way up. I’m not talking about the Fleetwood Mac that became a mainstream band. I’m talking about the early blues heavy Fleetwood Mac fronted by Peter Green or the sound and style from the “Future Games” album. Again, I mean this in a good way! Supernaut is doing nothing but good things and in my opinion  is worth your attention. Get yourself a copy of the album here

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Supernaut will be celebrating the release of their album tonight with a hometown show in Santa Cruz before they head out on a winter tour. Make sure you get yourself to a show and check them out for your selves. You will not be disappointed.

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Tony Reed of Mos Generator

If you don’t know who Tony Reed is you better do your homework and found out! You can thanks us later! Mr. Reed is the leader of rock giants Mos Generator and his a beast on the guitar! Tony was kind enough to be our first ever installment of our random Q’s segment!

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

REED – Gino Vanelli

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

REED-  David Bowie. He was not afraid to try anything musically and I admire that very much. He pulled off completely changing his sound many times in his career. Not many artists can say that.

WH- Favorite genre of music besides your own?

REED-  70’s Soft Rock

WH- Favorite tour food/snack?

REED- Mr Toms peanut bars

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WH-Besides music name one hobby you enjoy?

REED- I have no hobbies

WH-What was the last gift you gave someone?

REED- Some cassettes I recorded for someone because they only have a tape player in their car

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

REED- 2112 overture by RUSH

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WH- What song best describes you?

REED- You’re so vain

WH- What nickname would you give yourself?

REED- Bonehenge

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

REED- “Killing Yourself to Live” by Black Sabbath. Because it’s the best heavy rock song ever written.

WH- Give your bandmates nicknames?  

REED- The Bear and Conway

WH- What is one band you suggest people checkout?

REED- Golden Pig Electric Blues Band

 

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THANKS AGAIN TO TONY REED! BE SURE TO BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR NEW MOS GENERATOR SOON!! THEY NEVER DISAPPOINT! IN THE MEANTIME ENJOY THE TRACK “LONELY ONE KENOBI” BELOW. ALSO MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW MOS GENERATOR ON FACEBOOK HERE!