viernes, enero 20

Witchcraft's "You Bury Your Head"

It's a damn shame that I haven't had a moment of clarity in this life to tell you about Sweden's Witchcraft.
Ah, screw it - I don't usually do this, (post a bio) but I really can't say it any better - for lack of knowledge really. All I know is that apart from Battles, this band is my favorite band that is still active. That's top 2, for those of you keeping tabs.

It’s fair to say that Witchcraft are not of this time & space. In fact it’s safe to say that they were born at least 30 years too late. It’s also safe to say that Witchcraft play dark rock music the way it’s supposed to be played - effortlessly heavy yet relaxed: with these guys, it just comes naturally without ever sounding forced.
The four evil gypsies who combine to form the Witchcraft magic are seemingly unaffected by today’s technology and tired excuse for rock music, where “new for nu’s sake” equals boring and fake. And, with the album ‘Witchcraft’, they have come together to create something as close to pure as you can get in modern rock music. Witchcraft mastermind, Magnus Pelander has been an active member of the Swedish Doom scene for some time now despite his youthful age, and initially started the band as a tribute to former 13th Floor Elevators legend Roky Erickson and vintage Doom rocker Bobby Liebling of cult legends Pentagram. In 2002 Witchcraft (essentially Magnus aided by friends from the local music scene in Örebro) released a limited 7” pressing of the insistent Sabbath meets Stones strut of “No Angel or Demon” on the Swedish underground label Primitive Art. Rise Above Records were so amazed by what they heard that they signed the band immediately on the strength of this slab of wax alone and even begged for the song’s inclusion, in it’s original form, on the bands debut album.
In early 2003 the band, now completed by Jonas Arnesén - Drums, John Hoyles – Guitar & Ola Henriksson – Bass (the later two also having appeared on the 7” release), began assembling vintage 60’s & 70’s recording equipment in a basement and started work, with producer Jens Henriksson, on their debut album.
That album, ‘Witchcraft’, is a record which conjures up the macabre essence of vintage Pentagram and, of course Black Sabbath whilst incorporating influences as wide apart as the Jethro Tullesque folky prog of “Her Sisters They Were Weak”, and the bludgen riffing style of early 70’s Bang in “I Want You to Know”. Elsewhere, “Schyssta Lögner” evokes memories of Sweden’s original hard rocking progsters Novembre and the inclusion of the cover “Please Don’t Forget Me” from Bobby Leibling’s 1970 pre-Pentagram outfit Stone Bunny pays further homage to his criminally overlooked genius.
While many of their, more generic, contemporaries are more conservative in their approach, Witchcraft are a band that can swing effortlessly from orthodox doom to blues, folk and jazz whilst always remaining shrouded in the cloak of influence from some of the more obscure moments of the 70’s cult rock underground. Yet somehow, despite not adhering to any blueprint, the Witchcraft sound is purer then any other act in the doom scene today.

This is their 7" single - No Angel or Demon b/w You Bury Your Head* Put out on Primitive Art Records in 2003
*This is my personal favorite track.
Self-titled debut full length on Rise Above Records in 2004
Second full-length album called "Firewood" again on Rise Above Records in 2005.

Yeah those are the dudes in Witchcraft on the cover of the latest record, I realize that they might look a little too "MTV metal" but do yourself a favor and overlook that. My friend said that she likes this band because they remind her of Queens of the Stone Age, but more specifically Kyuss. So chew on that, and if that's your thing - seek these Swedes out. I think they do sound like Black Sabbath, like the bio above hints to... Whatever about the comparisons - I'm into it regardless.

jueves, enero 19

Ride's "Like A Daydream"

I’m sitting at the restaurant in the hotel we’re staying in, everyone in the room is asleep. I couldn’t sleep very well. Brian and The Bear were taking turns at a snoring contest (that resembled dueling banjos – except it was snoring, I think Brian might have even said a whole audible word once too); looks like I’m a light sleeper this week. We haven’t moved into the cabin/chateau/townhouse we’ve got for Sundance – but we’re supposed to move in there for the next four days today. (We check out at 2p.)
It snowed about 6-8 inches here according to the nice waitres named Diane who is bottle blonde and looks as if she has probably worked here (or some similar dineresque job) for her entire adult life, holy fuck it’s pretty. I mean, okay – obviously I’ve lived in Minneapolis and Chicago so snow isn’t a new thing but snow + wilderness + mountains = holy fuck. I almost want to go skiing, and if I lose my mind at some point in my next 6 days here in Park City, Utah – I probably will. Cross-countrying at least.

So I’ve eaten my breakfast, probably the worst eggs I’ve ever had – but I’ve also never woken up early enough for the complimentary breakfast when I’ve been staying at a hotel before. It’s like pounds of food that you have to pick through. For myself, it was eggs, bacon, and a pancake. Now that I think about it, I wish all places were like this... Because usually I want a tiny little bit of everything, and then I’m forced into choosing some dish I only half want.

This Ride song is probably the best I’ve got in my collection to accompany this super early morning. (it’s like 10:19a Mountain time, but really – I woke up at 8a, after spending an hour awake from 5-6, having only gone to bed at 3a to The Bear & Parag watching Ocean’s Twelve.) While it’s still dreampoppy, it’s more upbeat and has this driving urgency to it that parallels how I feel today. Achingly tired, and yet totally awake.

© 2009-2010 celeste tabora