SONIC BOOM! MAGAZINE ISSUE 3

Page 1

ALTERNATIVE, PUNK, HEAVY METAL, ROCK N’ ROLL

Volume 1, Number 3, April, 2017

Green Gasoline Merkablah Morrison Road Bad Moon Lander Trance Farmers . . . and more


ATTENTION BANDS! WE WANT TO REVIEW YOUR MUSIC email us at SBPalz@outlook.com Subject line “SONIC SOUNDS!” for more information


Sonic Boom! Magazine, Issue #3, is finally here! In this issue we talked to five New Orleans area bands of various styles from punk to hard-rock and some weird stuff in-between. We offer you seventeen new reviews of music from New Orleans to Boston and around the world. We’ve covered all different styles of music in this issue, and you are definitely going to want to check this stuff out. I hope that you have been enjoying our attempt at providing a music magazine that dwells on the positive

side of music, and we hope that you are getting into some new bands while you’re at it. This magazine is created for the love of music, it is created for you by people who have very different likes and dislikes about the styles of music out there. We bring it all together in one package, so that you, the reader, can learn about new things and share the love we have found throughout this city and this crazy world. - Kevin P. Johnson

MERKABLAH-BLAH-BLAH by Hex Windham. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 4 MORRISON ROAD - From The Ashes by Kevin P. Johnson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 10 GREEN GASOLINE - ROCK IS NOT DEAD! by Kevin P. Johnson. . . . . . . page 16 BAD MOON LANDER by Melissa Crory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 24 A YEEHAW IN TIME WITH TRANCE FARMERS by Austen Krantz . .. . page 30 SONIC SOUNDS! - Reviews . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Page 39

SONIC BOOM! MAGAZINE, VOLUME 1, NUMBER 3, APRIL, 2017 - Published by Kevin P. Johnson. SONIC BOOM! MAGAZINE is Copyright ©2017 Kevin P. Johnson. All rights reserved, no part of this work may be reproduced without express written consent of Kevin P. Johnson. Published in the United States of America. This issue: Kevin P. Johnson - Publisher, all layout design, all photography unless otherwise noted, writer, reviews, Melissa Crory - Writer, reviews, Austen Krantz - Writer, editing, photography, reviews Hex Windham - Writer, Colby Foreman - Reviews.


“MerkablahBLAH-BLAH!” an Interview with Amelia Sloan of Merkablah

by Hex Windham


Over the last couple of years, show-goers in the New I didn’t even really know who Lemmy was until he died. Orleans punk scene who pay attention have noticed a girl/boy/drum/bass two-piece called Merkablah (nee Sonic Boom!: WHAT?!? Merkabah). Fronting this band is singer/bassist Amelia Amelia: Hey, I’m still learning! I just haven’t been Sloan, a Columbia, MS native who moved to New Orleans exposed to a lot of stuff. after falling in love with its DIY punk scene. Amelia takes some time off to chat with local punk Hex Windham. Sonic Boom!: Okay, I’m going to leave out the notknowing-Motorhead part when I type the interview. Sonic Boom!: Having grown up in a small town in Amelia: No! Leave it in! If somebody’s going to Mississippi, how did you get into punk in the first place? judge me for not knowing a band, that’s lame; that’s Amelia Sloan: I think the first punk band I got into not punk! I probably will be into Motorhead when I was the Dead Kennedys. I first got into punk because of listen to them more. the politics, but I honestly haven’t been listening to a lot of punk right now. Sonic Boom!: Alright, alright, what about Tina Weymouth from Talking Heads? Sonic Boom!: What have you been listening to instead? Amelia: They are a band that I have totally consumed… Amelia: Brian Eno is incredible… And I am fully their whole discography. Their first album, ’77? Oh man! [She influenced by David Bowie & every bassist he ever worked sings some bars.] DEVO is another band that had something with; Bowie was a great bandleader. For going on, and so many clever lyrics. all those years he only had a couple of dud albums… A lot of hip hop… Also, Sonic Boom!: And as a songwriter? Paul Simon’s first album is fucking great, Amelia: I’ve been writing poetry the one with “Me & Julio Down by the since forever. Lyrical content is Schoolyard”… something that is seriously lacking in most rock bands. But I saw Dummy Sonic Boom!: You prefer Paul Simon’s Dumpster years ago in Hattiesburg, solo work to Simon & Garfunkel? and it was so fucking weird; I was all Amelia: Oh, well Simon & Garfunkel about that and wanted to make that had some great songs… “The Boxer” is happen. genius… But realistically Garfunkel was just a puppet for Paul Simon; he was Paul Sonic Boom!: So what made you Simon’s voice puppet! want to move to New Orleans initially? Amelia: Playing local punk shows. [At this point, Hex tells Amelia about Art Garfunkel’s We played Jazz Café. beautiful contribution to the Watership Down soundtrack. Amelia finds it on YouTube for later watching.] Sonic Boom!: Ugh. Amelia: I know… It was terrible; I fucking loved it. I Sonic Boom!: What about your instrument? What got met Interior Decorating and loved them so much. Eric’s you into playing bass? lyrics are so great. Amelia: Guitars just didn’t speak to me. I like playing one note at a time, and the low end of the bass is more Sonic Boom!: I feel like Interior Decorating are one suited to what I’m trying to do. I hope one day to be of the most criminally overlooked local punk bands. a multi-instrumentalist, but bass was just easy for me to Amelia: They are! I used to hand out Interior Decorating pick up first. When I’m trying to work out a song I can CDs to everyone I knew, until I ran out of copies. I listen find it faster on the bass. to a lot of music, and I swear the only difference between some bands is exposure. I love local music, people that I Sonic Boom!: What are your influences as a bassist? can shake hands with. I’m all about pushing for my friends Do you like Lemmy? to be famous with everyone I know. Amelia: I’ve been listening to a lot of Hawkwind in the last year, but I haven’t ever listened to a lot of Motorhead. Sonic Boom!: What’s the punk scene like in Hattiesburg


these days? It seems like it’s grown a lot since I lived there for a couple of years after [Hurricane] Katrina. Amelia: I do feel like it’s different now. I’ve been going to shows there since I first started hanging out. There wasn’t much of a punk scene in Hattiesburg back then; it was more of just a DIY scene, a lot of house parties where just anyone could play. But I feel like there is a new punk scene blossoming now. The Thirsty Hippo is getting a little too classy now, though. The Tavern is cool, but the locals there really just want to play pool and drink. A lot of local shows don’t get much response unless the band has a ton of friends. I used to run a local punk night there before I moved here. Really, though, the main reason cool bands play there is that John Wayne Littlejohn is such an awesome dude; and the only reason there’s an underground scene at all in Hattiesburg is the kids from Baghead. Sonic Boom!: Do you feel that you experience sexism in the punk scene here in New Orleans? Amelia: I have experienced some, but I feel like a lot of it is just people generalizing. You know, “Oh… a girl bass player… It’s probably gonna be fucking shit…” But I do feel that after people hear me, they respect me as an artist, except for maybe a few who can’t even say “Good

performance,” as if it would be totally emasculating for them to tell me that. We’re segregated by gender since early in grade school and even in our families; you know, parents usually set aside and shield their daughters away from their sons. In our society women have been simultaneously coddled and held back for so long. I think women and men need to spend time together more often in different social situations and just start a dialogue about our gender issues. It’s not talking about it that causes resentment on both sides. I have to admit that I hang out with a lot of guys and don’t even know a lot of women here. Sonic Boom!: Your songs seem to exist mostly outside of the usual boy/girl, broken-hearted/bad-relationship subject matter. What motivates your songwriting? Amelia: Political stuff, for sure. I feel that the world NEEDS “light” music, but I don’t like that kind of stuff at all. I think that music should say something meaningful. I just don’t have that much self-importance. I’m just not inspired to write about that stuff, my personal life. A whole album because somebody dumped you? Please! The reason I do this is that somebody has to draw as much attention as possible to issues like corporate greed, not because I want to talk about myself.



Sonic Boom!: I grew up here & have been playing in bands since I was a teenager, so I literally have known some of the people in the local scene for decades. How do you go from being brand new in town to making friends to play shows with and play music with? Amelia: I know this guy Jeremy Scroggins (aka Sadhu Baba) and have been friends with him for years. I used to have this place where we’d put on house shows just about every weekend. [She pulls out a scrapbook.] The biggest one was this 10-band festival with Baghead, Stellatone, a bunch more. So these guys are all my friends. So I kind of got lucky that when I moved here I started out with a bunch of contacts. Then I came here and met Michael from U.S. Nero, Dave from AR-15, and I met you, and all of you guys book shows. I told everybody that I don’t want any money, and when you do that you start getting offered a lot of shows. People like you and Michael and Dave play shows and put on shows for other people just because you want to do it. In other towns, people play shows but then they leave town. You guys live here & build this shit. A music scene doesn’t stay alive unless people work on it. Want a cool scene? Gotta build it! Sonic Boom!: What are your goals for Merkablah? Amelia: My goal this year is to record every song I’ve written so far and to write 12 new songs, releasing at least a new song every month. I want to put out 2 new albums by the end of the year, and maybe put out a split with Interior Decorating. Sonic Boom!: What do you get out of playing music? Amelia: I hope to connect with people, and I think it’s a great way to meet and get to know people. I’m way better at socializing through a jam session; I just don’t know how to do it otherwise. It’s also a huge ego boost; you have to be confident to play live music. I had a lot of stage fright as a kid. The first show I ever played was at an open mic night. My knees were knocking so hard I thought they were going to break. Just to be able to conquer that, to express myself, and not be worried what people might think… It’s empowering. To show people your art & hope that they enjoy it, but to know that it’ll be okay if they don’t… I’m sorry if this is sounding pretty dorky. Sonic Boom!: Oh, I knew it was gonna be dorky. Amelia: Oh well… -Hex Windham


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MORRISON ROAD


FROM THE ASHES BY KEVIN P. JOHNSON


Not all stories start out the way you would want them to, sometimes there are stories laced in tragedy that leave survivors behind to carry the torch of the past into the future. Morrison Road a band that met a tragedy but it was not to be their downfall, it was not to be their end. It was to be the fuel that would drive them. Morrison Road in its current form is a three piece New Orleans area band that plays a style of rock music that’s a little different than the normal rock in the area, but that’s a good thing. The band is influenced by artists like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Sue Foley, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and also find themselves being inspired by a lot of genres of music that are present in what they play Blues, Psychedelic, Classic Rock, Garage, Jam Funk, Stoner Metal, Groove, and Punk. I asked guitarist “The Foot” a few questions about the band and its past, as well as its future. Sonic Boom: Morrison Road has been around several years and have put out several albums of material, can you tell us how the band got its start and what keeps you going? Morrison Road: We started Morrison Road in December,

2012. The Original lineup was Roddy Peters on Bass, Brandon Rome on Drums, Amanda Abadie on Vocals and The Foot on guitar. We had all been friends and played in other bands with each other long before we formed Morrison Road. We released our first album “Sail To Calm Water” in September, 2013. Shortly after Amanda quit the band, and it became a three piece with Roddy taking over on vocals. We recorded our second album: “The Paradox Shift” about a year later and put it out December, 2014. Little did we know that soon after that, Our lives along with everyone else’s that were around us, would change forever ...

Morrison Road with Brandon Rome Photo courtesy of Roddy Peters



2015. We spread some conversations captured from the recordings throughout the album. And at the end of track three you can hear Vic say: “If it wasn’t for you boys and the music I would be either dead or in an insane asylum. But as long as they give me my music in the insane asylum I will be alright.” About a week after we put Music Therapy Volume 1, I got another phone call. This time from Vic’s mom (who lives next door to him) telling me that Vic was unconscious on the floor. We went over there and called 911. He had been taking excess amounts of pills and drinking for days on end. His liver was failing and he was very close to death when we found him. The cops found a suicide note on his desk .which they then made him check into a mental asylum until they felt he was mentally stable enough to leave. I visited him a few times while he was in, and they would not let him have his music while he was there. But he did get out about a month later. The album cover for the first one I thought seemed fitting for that period of our lives. Even though all this happened after we released it.

Sonic Boom: Your original drummer passed away and your last release, Music Therapy Vol. 1 is about the band moving through that experience. How did the remaining members of the band decide to keep things together? Morrison Road: It was Sunday June 21, 2015. I was on my way back from the grocery when I had got a call from one of my friends telling me to go check on Brandon, because he was threatening to kill himself. I only lived right up the street from him. When I had gotten to his house the cops were already there trying to break in the house. I jumped out my truck and ran to the window that I knew they always kept unlocked. The cops would not let me go in. It didn’t take me long to see the looks on the faces of the ones who entered his room. To know what had happen next. Brandon was only 20 years old. I had always been good friends with Brandon’s family especially his dad Vic Rome. The man who still to this day struggles tremendously with the death of his only son. We felt it necessary to help him through this anyway we could. We started jamming soon after. And we all had immediately felt a weight lift from us. It was as if nothing had mattered in that moment. It was therapeutic. So we set up four room mic’s going through a mixer into a computer and we just started playing whatever had come to our heads. We took the best of these sessions and compiled them into tracks and then an album. We called it Music Therapy. We put out Volume 1 In December.

A lot of bands could not survive the death of a member much less the near death of a second member. Morrison Road however has risen from the ashes of the tragic past and are creating new and wonderful sounds. With Vic Rome playing the drums in his sons place the band is whole again and continues to record and play live shows. [I continued the conversation with “The Foot” by asking about the style of music Morrison Road plays and the future of the band.] Sonic Boom: Your music is hard for me to describe, it seems to be very jam oriented stoner rock and kind of out there, possibly even a bit weird (in a good way). I’ve seen you live a few times, and it’s always a good rock show but your recorded material ranges from acoustic, to rock, to strange noises and sounds. How would you describe your music to a new fan? Morrison Road: Yes every one of our albums are a little different in their own ways. And have their own individual story/concepts. The two Music Therapy albums are a bit different from the rest. There’s a bit of realness to them that we hadn’t been able to capture before in a studio. It may have been the room sound that we were able to capture in live recording opposed to multi-tracking like you hear on most albums . . . or that most of the songs are improvised on the spot creating a bit of natural flow throughout. It’s got its mess ups and the quality could be better. But you are hearing three instruments raw and unscripted in the moment, and I feel there’s a certain beauty to that.


Sonic Boom: You have a new album coming out what will it be called and what can you tell us about it? Morrison Road: Well we just put out Music Therapy Volume 2. A few weeks ago. Which you can hear for free at Morrisonroad.bandcamp.com along with all of our other albums. But As of now we are working on quite possibly the most meaningful thing we may ever write as a band. Which is an album that will be a tribute to Brandon. titled To Rome & Back We have been in the process of writing it for over a year now. It will only be three tracks but it will be a full length album. Which we will hopefully we able to put out this year. But anyway thanks to everyone out there who has ever listened to us, been to our shows, and supported us through these years. And a shout out to all the bands that have played with us including The Bad Misters, AR15, Green Gasoline, Baptizer, Stereo Fire Empire, K/I/B, US Nero, Interior Decorating and anyone else we ever played a show with. Thanks guys and always keep creating. You can check out Morrison Road on Facebook at www. facebook.com/morrisonroadnola and get all of their music for free at morrisonroad.bandcamp.com - Kevin P. Johnson


Green G

ROCK IS N


Gasoline

NOT DEAD! By Kevin P. Johnson


Back in the mid to late 1960’s hard rock music was formed and gained it’s popularity throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s with bands like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Van Halen and a whole slew of other bands that rocked arenas all over the world. Hard rock was the father of heavy metal and uncle of so many of the styles of music currently being played today. The music is based in the blues and features heavy distorted electric guitars, drums, bass, sometimes keybords and pianos and of course, a vocalist. The music was heavier, more aggressive and often darker than what had been popular in the past. Hard rock music had its high point in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s when radio featured what seemed to be as many hard rock bands as pop music acts. This lasted a for a number of years until the hard rock sound started to morph into the hair band/heavy metal/glam rock that would finish out the 1980’s. Some bands lived in both worlds pretty well having that hard rock sound sometimes, but then crossing over into the big hair metal sound when needed. A prime example of the crossover would be the band Whitesnake, who from 1978 to 1984 released six albums that were hard rock through and through. But in 1987 they released the classic hair metal album “Whitesnake,” and then the less commercially successful “Slip of The Tongue” in 1989. Whitesnake would return to their traditional hard rock sound years later but by 1991 hard rock and almost all heavy metal was dead and got very little radio play. Jump forward to New Orleans 2016. Hard rock bands still exist but generally are forty-something to fifty-something year old’s reliving or just hanging on to a glorious past. But there is one band whose members weren’t even alive when hard rock had it’s heyday. That one band is Green Gasoline. Green Gasoline consist’s of four young musicians hell bent on bringing back the hard rock sound, and they are doing it well. The band’s live show is a seemingly flawless rock show with big guitars, a rocking rhythm section and vocals that take you back to a simpler time when rock music didn’t sound like the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. I’ve seen the band live several times and have taken pictures of them on several occasions and have even sat in on one of their practice sessions. This band is for real, it’s not a nostalgia act, and it’s not just for kicks, these guys are bringing hard rock back full force, and you better be ready. They have currently released a three-song, selftitled E.P. and are working on a full-length album to be released in the near future.

Green Gasoline took some time to answer a few questions about the band and its history, their music, the New Orleans scene and hard rock music. Sonic Boom: Green Gasoline has been around for what seems like about a year now. The band started out as a three piece with Logan Leis on bass/vocals, Dylan Hemard on guitar and Jon Casteix on drums and played for a while as a trio. Eventually you added Deneil Alexis on guitar. What made you decide to add Deneil as a fourth member to the band? Jon Casteix: When Deneil was no longer in Royal T, it was only because he had moved to another state. So, he always had a spot in Green Gasoline waiting for him. Logan Leis: Also we liked the sound as a three piece, but we needed more gravy in the rhythm section. Deneil had played with Jon and Dylan before, so it worked out great. Sonic Boom: I was at the first show the band played as a four piece, and the sound was so much bigger. I thought that it was really what the band needed. Has this allowed the band to take different directions with song writing and freedom to add more to the songs? Logan Leis: We’re definitely on another path with writing songs. Basically whatever we can string together that feels and sounds good, we use it. Complicating that process would interrupt the fun. Dylan Hemard: Absolutely. Having an extra guitar player in the band adds a whole new dynamic which allows more freedom for us to venture and try different things. We’ve been adding more harmonies and the rhythm section of the band is a lot tighter now. We’ve even altered our songs we’ve wrote as a 3-piece and they sound more full/complete now. Sonic Boom: For people that don’t know, Green Gasoline is a hard rock band hugely influenced by 1970’s and 1980’s hard rock bands like AC/DC and Aerosmith. Logan sang in the Redemption Kings a ska/punk band, Jon and Dylan played on Royal T, a heavy almost hardcore style band, and I’m not sure where Deneil played previously but how did you come up with an old school hard rock band? Dylan Hemard: Well the funny thing is, it all started from a Facebook status. This was while I was in Royal T, I was sort of not feeling the music anymore, and I wanted to get back to my roots. So, I put a status on Facebook saying that I’m looking to start a rock/blues project; and Jon would already be the drummer. I get a text message



from Logan, whom at the time I’d only exchanged small talk with. It was something like, “I like that idea, would y’all wanna get together sometime?” From that first practice we knew we had something. And from there, we’ve just evolved into a hard rock band. Logan Leis: Originally we just wanted to kick back some old blues jams, since we all happen to like playing it. More energy came once we started writing more, and it’s reflected in our songs. Deneil Alexi: Well at first I was also previously playing in Royal T as the rhythm guitarist, but moved to Kentucky to be with the other side of my family. A year later I came back to Green Gasoline. The style we have is what I’d wanted from the start, so there was no questions asked when I came back. We wanted old school energy.

people like it or not, I’ll still be jamming this music and enjoying it. Jon Casteix: I wasn’t concerned because we always played what came naturally. We aren’t trying to emulate bands from the 70’s; we are influenced by their rhythms and stylings. Logan Leis: Sure. LOL. We want to do well no matter what genre of music we’re playing. Deneil Alexi: Aside from feeling the music in general I feel like that fact is even more of a drive for us. No concern at all because we aim to bring it back

Sonic Boom: What bands are you as a band influenced by? I mentioned AC/DC and Aerosmith earlier but are their others that really stand out as influences? Deneil Alexi: As a band I’d definitely have to throw Sonic Boom: The music you guys are playing had some Guns N’ Roses in there, Black Sabbath, The Rolling seen it’s height of popularity long before any of you were Stones, and Led Zeppelin are just a couple I think really born. Was this a concern for you or did you decide to do stand out. it and do it well no matter what anyone thinks? All: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink Floyd, Queen, Pantera, Aerosmith, GN’R, Sabbath, Zep, ACDC, Metallica, Hall Dylan Hemard: Not Necessarily. I’ve grown up and Oats, Mr Bungle, . . . Barbara Streisand enjoying the hell out of the music of the 70s/80s and knew that’s the music I’ve wanted to play. So whether [Did they really just say Barbara Streisand . . . they did]



Sonic Boom: Green Gasoline seems to play a lot of Jon Casteix: ehh, there’s not really a RN’R scene (at shows usually several a month around southern Louisiana. least that we’ve encountered) most shows have been a Are there any plans to expand your range and tour outside mix mash of different genres. of the state? Logan Leis: Absolutely. Whatever we can make outside Sonic Boom: In 2016 the band put out a three-song our jobs we put towards our goals to get out on the road. self-titled E.P. which was a really nice way to debut. You are now working on a full length album can you tell us anything Sonic Boom: How has the reception if Green about it? When will it be released? Will the songs from the Gasoline’s music been with fans and the bands you have E.P. be included or rerecorded versions? What is the title? shared the stage with? Give us the scoop on the new Green Gasoline album. Jon Casteix: Mostly positive, but even if we play a All: 8 tracks, EP songs aren’t on there. The album’s show to 9 people, there is at least one or two people who name will be: “UNLEADED.” No specific release date become fans. but we are shooting for sometime this summer. Dylan Hemard: I think people have been diggin’ it, Logan Leis: You can expect more rock carnage with but at the same time it’s something people aren’t used to. some progressive riffs and melodic choruses in the mix. The scene that we are in is mostly composed of hipsters and hardcore punks. Rock N’ Roll bands are few and Sonic Boom: When the album comes out how will far between these days. But I think we make music that it be available, CD? Cassette? iTunes? Bandcamp? Super anyone can jam/dance to. cool Green Vinyl? Logan Leis: Yeah. All the bands that we’ve played All: CD’s, and most major streaming or download with since the beginning have been super nice and easy to services. Green Vinyl is not a bad idea . . . work with, venues as well. Sonic Boom: Is their anything else that the world Sonic Boom: Has fitting into the New Orleans rock should know about Green Gasoline? scene been easy? All: ROCK IS NOT DEAD!


Rock is not dead indeed and is going to continue to grow stronger if Green Gasoline has anything to say about it. You can catch them playing in and around the New Orleans area quite often with the possibility of a bigger tour in the near future. Green Gasoline is a touch of the past with hope for the future. Be sure to go to go check out the self-titled debut E.P. from “Green Gasoline” at https://greengasolineband. bandcamp.com/album/green-gasoline-ep and get three rocking tunes that won’t be available on thier upcoming album “UNLEADED” these songs set the groundwork for the Green Gasoline sound. For further information, videos, photos and whatever else these guys have in store can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GreenGasolineBand/ - Kevin P. Johnson

Green Gasoline

Green Gasoline E.P., 2016 Independent 1. Mountain 2. On A String 3. Trash Talk


Demarsico, Dick, photographer. Man from Planet X / World Telegram photo by Dick DeMarsico. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress


BAD MOON

LANDER

BY MELISSA CRORY


Bad Moon Lander may be Louisiana’s biggest songwriting secret. Blending a mixture of Pop, Garage rock and PostPunk, the trio of TJ Reetz on Guitar, Erik Haley on Bass and Stone Wall on Drums (all contributing vocals) create not only a lively show that never fails to disappoint, but also a small, but impressive body of recorded work that is as eclectic as it is consistent in providing a hook in every song - though every song is unique and its own worthiness. I recently caught up with the trio as they personally are a bit of a mystery to me. I know their music better than I know them, so I wanted to find out a bit more.

Sonic Boom!: Your sound is so eclectic, but skillfully crafted in a way that transcends genres while sounding completely cohesive and natural. Do you all have eclectic tastes, or do you each bring a certain influence to the table? Bad Moon Lander: Our influences cover a wide range of music. Although you may not musically hear our different influences in our music it is still there. Sonic Boom: Do you listen to any type of music that people might find surprising? I find that bands with your songwriting ability and wide scope of influence listen to a little of everything, and they have a few “guilty pleasures” in their music library for lack of a better term. Bad Moon Lander: We aren’t guilty of any of our pleasures! Early 80’s music, Prince, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, The Smiths…

Sonic Boom!: A lot of us here at Sonic Boom! are curious about the origins of Bad Moon Lander. It’s kind of like you guys really did shuttle down on a spacecraft to bring us great Rock and Roll. How did you guys form, originally? Bad Moon Lander: We have known each other as teenagers and used to play in different bands together all Sonic Boom!: I know that you have at least two the way up to the early 2000’s. We moved apart after that releases out now. Tell us a little bit about both and how to Arizona and California. We eventually all moved back they evolved. to Louisiana after ten years and have reformed the band. Bad Moon Lander: The First EP was a reflection of


our reconnection after 10 years apart. The songs were experimental and represent the early staples of what our sound would eventually become. The second E.P. is a more focused vision of who we are now. Sonic Boom!: When you are in the practice room what do you discuss? I’m always curious to know if a band reviews past performances, what they want to get out of future shows, or just how they are going to proceed. Bad Moon Lander: Actually none of the above. We bust each other’s balls and get fucked up. Isn’t that what bands are supposed to do? There’s absolutely nothing productive about our band practices. It’s a toxic environment. Sonic Boom!: Do you write as a band or is there a motivator among you? A fire starter? Bad Moon Lander: We typically write as a band. Most of our songs



come from an improvisational riff or drum beat that one of us might be working on. Lyrically we write about subject matter that’s passive aggressive in nature. Sonic Boom!: Where do you see Bad Moon Lander going now? Bad Moon Lander: Nowhere fast.

Sonic Boom!: And what would be on a Bad Moon Lander tour rider? Bad Moon Lander: A brandy glass full of brown M&Ms.

Bad Moon Lander is currently playing the local Louisiana circuit, so make sure to check these guys out Sonic Boom!: Do you have plans to tour? and pick up a copy of their newest release, “All Over Bad Moon Lander: We thought about it - then we The Street.” It’s a true force of nature and joy. For more broke up. Then we got back together with the promise information on “All Over The Street” check out the review never to tour. in Issue 2 of Sonic Boom! It is available at their live shows or at https://bad-moon-lander.bandcamp.com. Sonic Boom!: Are there other avenues you are utilizing to broaden your listener base? - Melissa Crory Bad Moon Lander: No. We try not to broaden our fan base. Sonic Boom!: Let’s close with a fun, silly one – describe to me your dream show. Bad Moon Lander: Any show with more than 10 people is bad ass. Sonic Boom!: With who? Bad Moon Lander: Any band that can bring those 10 people.


A Yeehaw In Time With

Trance F


Farmers

by Austen Krantz

Trance Farmers Photos by Austen Krantz


Trance Farmers Trance Farmers manages to take listeners on a tripped-out journey through time by sampling a range of music from the most obscure corners of Reggae, Doo-wop, Soul, Rockabilly and Blues, and infusing these moments with a trance-inducing, ghoulish spirit. Dayve Samek, the band’s driving creative force, uses these familiar grooves to launch his music into uncharted, kaleidoscopic soundscapes, bringing in pervasive synths, hair-raising guitar solos, and a range of cartoonish personalities that he vocally embodies to create a mind-bending experience. In addition to this mesmerizing production, Trance Farmers lends an extra edge to their live performance with a uniquely raw, punk energy in the style of a three-ring circus. Taking the stage with ornate, vintage gear and the wardrobe of 1960s Beetle Juice, the band cracks out sludgy riffs and scales effect-riddled progressions. Through these performances and recordings, Trance Farmers has created its own distinct rock and roll experience that seems to mesh seamlessly with the soul of the crescent city. In our conversation with Dayve, Sonic Boom! gained

some insight into the visceral connection he shares with the old world through his art. Sonic Boom! talked with Dayve about what influenced Trance Farmers, how he started his longtime record label — Glue Moon Records — and how he landed in New Orleans. Sonic Boom!: So, How did you end up in New Orleans? Dayve Samek: Los Angeles is a big city and I had been there for almost a decade. It is where I established some of the most important friendships and connections of my life and did most of my growing up. There are so many artists and pockets and scenes and energy there that at a certain point, I wanted and felt the need to take some time away from everything around me and focus on and develop myself. This was during the making of “Dixie” and after [producer] Matthew David asked me to do a record. After my first song, “Purple Hay” came out for the Leaving Records + Stones Throw comp., Dual Form, I hit the road traveling. An older traveller buddy


of mine, Patrick Bottles N Cans took me on the road and we went together with his dog, Dixie Belle. Patrick was from New Orleans, and we travelled West and up the coast, then South and through New Mexico and Texas to New Orleans. When we looped back to Los Angeles, Patrick was in an accident and hit and killed on his bike by a drunk driver. I wanted to honor him and continue the trail. I made the move south, this time with all my gear and instruments with the intention to move somewhere. I was basically living out of my car and visiting friends for a couple months and then landed back in New Orleans. I liked the small, poetic nature of the city. I liked the southern vibe and felt it to be a proper place to chill down and continue building. So that’s what I did, and it’s been about four years now. Nowhere has ever felt like home to me quite like it does here.

soundtrack music like Ennio Morricone and Bebe + Louis Barron, and cult producers like Joe Meek and Bruce Haack. I am most influenced by that mad scientist, joker-on-time character, if you will. The charmingly demented. Buddy Holly and Nosferatu. Fats Domino, Rolling Stones, ’90s R&B and maple syrup. Sonic Boom!: Do you think that’s something that makes physical mediums special as opposed to finding music virally, online? Dayve Samek: Totally, but there’s always the rabbit hole of it all in front of you online. It’s all about the search.

Sonic Boom!: Trance Farmers has a few different music videos too. Why is that visual component of Trance Farmers so significant? Dayve Samek: The visual component brings the music Sonic Boom!: Your label to life y’know? It makes it a Glue Moon records was a multi-sensory experience, and conglomeration of folks you therefore impacts the viewer/ met remotely and through being listener on different levels. It on the road. Was that something is also the most direct way of you had envisioned or did it just today for people to experience fall into place? a work of art. My biggest Dayve Samek: I got started goal is to create a cinematic Inset photos courtesy Dayve Samek with that through Myspace in experience to accompany the high school. A lot of the artists I started curating and putting music, and really open up the world of the music to be out tapes for, I initially found through that. At that time, there visually stunning. Filmmakers holler. were a lot of blog writers for underground weirdo outsider music. That was before some of the bigger platforms like Sonic Boom!: I’ve seen you say before that “all music is VICE and Pitchfork and stuff were established. So it kind of folk music,” could you explain that? How does it relate to served as a connection to finding each other. Then that led Trance Farmers? to playing shows, and DIY tours and getting out there, and Dayve Samek: The phrase, “all music is folk music” is made it kind of just kept building from there. I feel very blessed to to honor the origin of where a song came from. It’s the have found the family that I have. idea that we all share the same roots and story. It’s like when the writer of an old folk song is untraceable because it was Sonic Boom!: What music would you say has originally sung in a field by someone and then reinterpreted influenced Trance Farmers? and recorded, like “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” It is an old Dayve Samek: What influences me most is the notion song that people may know from the Carter Family or of time. When you dig for 45s and find some treasure Spacemen 3 for example, but that no one is accredited to from time with the label scratched off. That’s what I love writing. It is the idea that it all comes from the same place. you know? The idea of all that forgotten stuff. That is Trance Farmers is meant to incorporate that idea with why I love a lot of cult stuff. Like old b-movie horror the intention of honoring music’s roots, while adding a films, Americana roots folk music, Hawaiian 78s records, future spin.


Trance Farmers


Sonic Boom!: What sets your upcoming record “Sugar Lemon Hogwhistle” apart from your previous material? Were your recording or creative processes particularly different for it? Dayve Samek: I’m pretty much always steady working and recording, and my process is kind of continually changing and evolving, but it’s mostly about getting an idea down. Often it will start with a sample or a progression. For the new record, “Sugar Lemon Hogwhistle,” there was a rather definitive approach for it, where the tune would be written and then the parts would be layed down

accordingly, as opposed to building and experimenting. It was also a very conceptual thing, an ode to the psychedelic era, so a lot of the material was approached to sound kind of classic and evoke something familiar for people. The new record is essentially crafted to let the song writing really shine. Be sure to catch one of Trance Farmers’ wild shows around town, and be on the look out for “Sugar Lemon Hogwhistle,” dropping on Leaving & Stones Throw Records this year. -Austen Krantz

Trance Farmers Trance Farmers


You were one of the first people to teach me what Rock N’ Roll is. Thank You! -Kevin P. Johnson Sonic Boom! Magazine


Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017



haunting yet countryfied sounding song with banjo taking over as lead guitar. This record isn’t heavy rock . . . maybe not even rock at all, but it is good, singer/songwriter style music that takes chances with styles and instruments around Jack’s voice that a lot of musicians wouldn’t attempt, and it works. Find all of Jak Locke’s music at www.jaklocke.com -Kevin P. Johnson

Jak Locke Over, 2016 Independent

Jak Locke returns with a darker sounding slower paced album in “Over.” This record isn’t big on loud fast and aggressive guitars as Jak is know to play. Instead it is a step back into softer sounds and lot’s of acoustic guitars. The tracks on this album are generally short, around two to three minutes, which is all they need to make their point. Some of these songs are haunting like “Midnight Was Always Too Early,” but are followed by a marching pace “Curtain Call” where Jak channels Elvis Presley into a wonderful song. “The Cold After The Spotlight” is interesting as a piano driven track that focuses on Jak’s voice, and you can feel a certain pain of loss throughout this song. “Doctrine” is the biggest surprise on this record as it is a

Dropkick Murphys

11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory, 2017 Born & Bred Records The Dropkick Murphys have been making Boston punk rockers proud since 1996, and the rest of Boston probably since 2001. Everybody else joined in around 2003. I found them in 2001, and it’s been a really great trip. The music has changed in a lot of directions over the years Oi!, Street Punk, Hardcore Punk, Pop Punk and Celtic Punk . . . and maybe more.


On their latest release “11 Stories of Pain & Glory” the music is not fast paced or heavy at all. This a slower paced Celtic Punk style that should bring in new fans and yet the lyrics content and feel are 100% Dropkick Murphys, so the old school fans should be happy as well. “The Lonesome Boatman” starts it off with a chant along of “Ohhhh Ohhhhh Ohhhh” in this instrumental. “Rebels With A Cause” is the rocker that channels the oldschool DKM sound, while “Blood” gives us more of the new style, it’s slow and yet big, and gives you something to chant out loud (this should work great live). The thing that makes DKM work is that they tell stories about real life in their songs (or at least they sound that way) and everyone can relate to them. “Sandlot,” “First Class Loser,” and “Kicked To The Curb” are prime examples of this. At first “11 Songs . . .” is a bit of a shock to the system, but by the third listen you’ll be into it and feel like this is your little band from Boston that you’ve loved since somewhere around 1996. The Pain and Glory that has always been Dropkick Murphys is here, it just sounds a little different.

or The Jesus and Mary Chain you might find where “Come To Find Out” belongs in your collection. Phantom Fiction provides a sold alternative pop effort on these seven tracks. “Nice Girls Don’t Explode” and “How Many Times Can You Make The Same Mistake” are radio friendly rock tracks that could have filled the dance scene of some great 1980’s high school movie where the loveable loser gets the girl, and all is right with the world. “Gemini” takes a darker turn into something that sounds like The Cure could have done. It’s a bit heavier rock but not out of line with the rest of this E.P. The next two tracks are two of my favorites on an E.P. that is full of favorites. “I’ve Learned Not To Ask” and “Decision Fatigue” the later having the chant “It Hurts To Be Alone” repeated over and over with big guitar solos and vocals that scream “this is the 1980’s damn it.” Saving the best for last “Sleep Through The Winter” is the song that would be the big hit if these guys could get in a time machine and land in 1985, It’s pop oriented sound with big guitar solo and sing-along lyrics make this the real gem on “Come To Find Out.”

For more information about Dropkick Murphys go to www.dropkickmurphys.com -Kevin P. Johnson

Find Phantom Fiction at phantomfiction.com -Kevin P. Johnson

MORRISON ROAD

A Road Less Travelled, 2015 Independent

Phantom Fiction

In “A Road Less Travelled,” Morrison Road manages to tell an atmospheric story with nothing but a guitar, a few Come To Find Out, E.P., 2016 Independent microphones, and some entrancing production. The album begins with a nine-minute-long opener that Phantom Fiction is like a blast from the past . . . the spans from ambient samplings of rain and the mellow 1980’s to be exact and every second of this E.P. says that creaking of the studio, to stoic guitar riffs and some it works. If you pulled out your old albums by The Cure intensely cleansing reverb.


The ambiance of this first track sets the tone for the rest of the record, but there are also some brooding, lyricdriven, guitar-focused songs that these more introspective moments seamlessly flow into. This smooth transition is a large part of what makes this album feel like a larger, fluid experience rather than a collection of songs. Tracks like “Lies of the Road” or “On My Way (again)” will strike traditional rock and roll listeners as more familiar, but their distant, echoing recordings and contemplative lyrics stick with the introspective theme of the more ambient tracks. While this album is stripped down to recordings of a guitar and some choice samples, its storydriven songs tackle modern themes about self-discovery in the face of the modern age, and the ultimate struggle of finding ones footing in their own reality. In a way, these songs are a more contemporary take on the themes of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken.

and at thirty-nine seconds a beautiful voice chimed in. Ruby Rendrag sings with a mellow sexy soulfullness that makes you forget that maybe your’re not listening to a rock record. The songs dare I say, are pretty yet meaningful, passionate while calming, thoughful and truthful. The music is acoustic guitar and vocal by Ruby, Cello by Suki Kuehn and Michael Ennis on Percussion. The sounds created are soft and nice and feel like they are bringing you home. “I’ll Be Around” “Red Sea” and “Too Many Things” stand out as my favorites, but it’s all so new and different than what I am used to. Each time I listen to it I start to like different things about other songs. I think “Ruby & the Rogues” is a trap and you can’t get out of it until you listen to the whole thing. Wonderful songs, great musicians and a beautiful voice singing to you.

Find Morrison Road’s music at morrisonroad.bandcamp.com Find Ruby & The Rogues at www.rubyandtherogues.com - Austen Krantz -Kevin P. Johnson

Ruby & The Rogues Ruby & The Rogues, 2014 Independent

So when I got this album in I had no idea what to expect. It didn’t look like a rock album (and it’s not really a rock album), but I thought “ok there’s two guys and a beautiful woman (I’m totally crushing on her at this point) it can’t be bad right?” I put the CD in, and this music came out that was different. It’s not rock, it’s not country, maybe it fits in with something like 1990’s Alternative bands like Frente, Mazzy Star or Belly. But no it was its own thing

The Ian Quiet Band Darby!, E.P., 2013 Independent

So you want to hear some weird stuff? Really weird stuff? Look no further than the Ian Quiet Band. Two bass players, a drummer, and Ian on vocals but that’s not the weird part. The sound is this fuzzy noise punk that has odd noises and crazy sounding vocals that you might not know what to do with, but then when you listen to the lyrics you will realize that it has become humorous and fun.


“Highland Lifestyle” talks about a guy in line at Kroger meeting a girl or maybe it’s about aliens in his back yard. Who knows, but I love it and that’s all that matters. I love “Highland Lifestyle” but not nearly as much as the greatest song on this E.P. (and many others) “Pumpkin Patch” is what feels like a “normal song” but not really. You will find yourself sitting on the toilet at work singing “You know what’s cuter than a pumpkin, is a pumpkin patch, you know what’s cuter than a pumpkin, is a pumpkin patch, you know what’s cuter than a pumpkin, is a pumpkin patch, you know what’s cuter than a pumpkin, is a pumpkin patch, PUMPKIN PATCH! PUMPKIN PATCH! PUMPKIN PATCH! PUMPKIN PATCH!” and you won’t even think that’s weird. This is such an odd little E.P. that you can’t resist it . . . PUMPKIN PATCH! Find out more about the Ian Quiet Band at www.facebook. com/theianquietband -Kevin P. Johnson

on “Piggies” an old school garage punk song that will stir the mosh pit any night. But let’s take a step back to the second song on Splittsville! a track by IQB called “Bananas” . . . now I don’t know if this is a cover or if someone covered them but you know that song that was on that episode of Tosh.0, the one with the weird video that goes “I’m A Bananna, I’m A Bananna,” yeah that’s on this, and it’s pretty fun. The quality of the Ian Quiet Band’s songs on this effort are a little better than on Darby! in that they are a little more complete sounding punk rock songs (well except that “Coconut Donut” song that is like a techno bastard that won’t get out of your head.) ADFF have a few fast paced songs on this that dabble in the hardcore punk style on “Your Distant Aunt” and “I’ve Got A Pill.” Take a chance on some eight tracks of odd punk rock and find Splittsville! Find out more about the Ian Quiet Band at www.facebook. com/theianquietband A Disco For Ferns can be found at adiscoforferns2.band camp.com or https://adiscoforferns.bandcamp.com/releases -Kevin P. Johnson

A Disco For Ferns/The Ian Quiet Band SPplittsville!, Split E.P., 2014 Basement Cat Records

The weirdness continues with this second submission from the Ian Quiet Band by way of a Split E.P. with A Disco For Ferns . . . this makes sense because I think these bands share the same brain and neither of them have time for a guitar player. If you already like IQB then A Disco For Ferns is for you as well. The vocal stylings and the raw sound are similar, and so is the humor. ADFF chants “OINK! OINK!”

The Ian Quiet Band Vladi!, E.P. 2015 Basement Cat Records

The last submission I got from the Ian Quiet Band is the reason I decided to review all three of their E.P.’s in the


same issue. Vladi! is what I think the band has been trying to become. The songs are full fledge songs that are a lot more accessible to a larger audience . . . it’s still weird and kind of odd, but this is the record that feels completely right. The art on the album is pretty hilarious. Vladimir Putin is all over this thing, and it’s just funny. They may have rigged the election, I’m not sure. The E.P. starts off with a great song that makes fun of hipsters called “The Adventures of Huck Fipster.” This song is fun and pretty much the anti-hipster song that I have a feeling hipster’s would like . . . ironically. “The Ian Quiet Band came and changed the game, busted out of femanoise and twice the bass, you bitch about on Facebook, can’t say it to our face, all the cool kids making noise, be yourself, just be brave.” I don’t know what femanoise is, but I think the lyrics kind of define the change in the bands sound and songwriting. “Naughty Vladi” is a fast paced old school punk song that I can only determine to be a gay love song to Vladimir Putin . . . “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” The song is fun and punky and that make it good in my book. “Doge” is a dancy feeling track that has a theremin in it, and I have no idea how that thing works, but I love the sounds it makes. “Whale Rock” closes the E.P. and it’s also a dance song with lyrics like those old songs from the 1950’s that told you to “Do The Mashed Potato” and explained how to do the dance in the song . . . the “Whale Rock” only has one move though . . . “Put your hand behind your head, lift it up, like the water coming out of the hole of a whale, if you don’t do it right I’m a tattletail” . . . that’s just genius.

I enjoyed how Louisiana’s environment was brought to life in some of these tracks. Whether that was intentional or not, the artists took me there. Joe Badon’s “The Id” definitely brought the swamps to life for me, while & Others’ grizzly track “Human Boudin” will never let me look at a link pork and rice the same ever again. Each artist also managed to tell a stand-alone story in this compilation, whether through using an innovative host of effects, or crafting a thematic tone in their songs. Franz Kafka’s “Repetition” created a shadowy world reminiscent of the deep sea, while Scare Crow Sonic Boombox created a droning, tremolo drenched song that was Find out more about the Ian Quiet Band at www.facebook. somehow soothing beneath its distortion. Another track com/theianquietband that really stuck out for me was Vore and Proud/Father’s -Kevin P. Johnson collaboration, “Circulation,” a track that shifted from an industrial groove to a bell-filled hall of echoing rings. This is only a sample of the diverse 21 tracks you find Louisiana Noise Comp on Flaccid Plastic’s Bandcamp for a pay-what-you-want Various Artist, 2016 Flaccid Plastic Records download. Check it out if you want to find the truly experimental capabilities of what Louisiana’s underground Want to get lost in an unfamiliar world of aural twists and artists have to offer! turns? Flaccid Plastic Records has you covered with 21 tracks of Louisiana’s finest sonic explorers. Download Louisiana Noise Comp at flaccidplastic.band This compilation of previously unreleased material is a camp.com/album/louisiana-noise-comp testament to the diverse array of innovative experimentation -Austen Krantz brewing in the depths of Louisiana’s artistic community, and demonstrates the boundless extent of these artists’ Forming The Void willingness to delve into the unknown. From pleasant Relic, 2017 droning passages to abrasive ones filled with gristle and Argonauta Records / Black Bow Records distortion, there’s a diversity of moods in these tracks that It seems strange to say about a doom metal album, but creates an overall journey through shifting soundscapes.


“Unto the Smoke” rounds out the album, showcasing the sheer mastery of their craft, wild and uninhibited, but executed proficiently and with exquisite taste. A true work of beautiful art. I don’t want to spoil much about the final track on the album, other than they do such a moving, heart-wrenching tribute to Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” that you just need to hear it for yourself. Like me, if you think there is no way you can hear this song with fresh ears, you’ll be absolutely blown away. It’s a triumph. What is remarkable about Lafayette’s Forming the Void is that their music has a heart, it’s authentic and introspective. Louisiana’s metal scene is definitely developing a soul. It’s becoming a vibrant time for all of us here in the south, and if Forming the Void is any indication, we have more promise to come. Forming The Void’s newest album, “Relic,” is nothing short of lovely. From the very first moment of “After Earth,” it is lush and sonically enveloping. The rhythm section drones a giant’s lumbering footfalls while guitar leads dance a faerie waltz-setting a truly magical terrain for the listener. James Marshall’s voice is clear and soaring, enhancing each track with an otherworldly quality, strong and full of purpose. “Bialozar” is more rollicking, but contains the same full layering of the previous tracks, progressing the album’s movement with a locomotion and boom that feels natural and authentic coming from the band. The title track, “Relic” is a burner. It evokes an urgency not heard on the previous songs, both within the music and in Marshall’s vocals. Till this point, it’s a lulling, atmospheric ride, but “Relic” pushes, and then evolves into a rattlesnake-shake, ultimately lifting off, unbridled and full of force. “The Witch” continues the ride, a rocker and body-shaker that recalls the exciting, early grungy experimentation that was precursory to the homogenization of the genre - that beautiful time when the fuzz really got under your skin. Guitarist, Shadi AlKhansa’s (who is also trained in classical and middle eastern music instruments like the Oud) work is nothing short of jaw dropping. This song absolutely shines. “Plumes” showcases a swaggering riff that manipulates movement seamlessly and flawlessly. Hesitant here, demanding there, the song manages to remain as listenable as it is interesting, and fluctuates with seemingly controlled caprices. Luke Baker and Jordan Boyd are flawless as a team, anchoring the fluctuations like master ship captains in a turbulent sea. If somehow not yet sold on the musicianship and creative capability of Forming The Void, this song solidifies the fact that they exist outside the realm of predictability.

For more on Forming the Void, see Issue #2 of Sonic Boom! for a review of their 2015 release, “Skyward.” -Melissa Crory

Various Artist

Doom Trip Mix Vol. 1, 2017 Doom Trip Records Los Angeles-based Doom Trip Records has been on a roll, championing some of the most interesting underground producers in the US, and this anniversary compilation is a testament to the extensive, musical ground Doom Trip has covered in just about a year. With a fog-like entrance from HOTT MT that swings the listener into the comp with a cloudy vocals


and mellow, uplifting guitar work, it’s apparent from the beginning that you will likely be in this for the long haul. What comes next is a particularly ordered, diverse range of music, from hazy pop grooves and lo-fi rock songwriting to atmospheric ambience and industrial electronic recordings. There are a variety of artists in these 18 tracks, but there is also an overlying DIY ethos that permeates the entire experience. This release also features recordings from widely respected producers like Vinyl Williams and R. Stevie Moore (who the label has worked with on past releases), but Doom Trip’s track selection/ordering does a great job of allowing each artist’s style to stand out while maintaining a unified flow from song to song. Tracks like TALsounds “Touch the Sky” and Unbloom’s “Sink into Skin” stick out with their apocalyptic ‘80s style synths for example, while Traps PS’ “Press Gang” emerges as a noticeably organic and heavier three-piece attack. Even listeners unfamiliar with noise recordings will get swept up in the vocal beauty of Alan Morse Davies’ “Indigo Carmine,” which flows into other beautiful, ambient tracks like SCRTS’ “Tails Tied Together.” And for those who like it harsh, there are grittier tracks like Heejin Jang’s “Introspection” and Missing Organs’ “Immortan Disco.” With songs that bring in other worldly sounds like these, it’s also impressive that Doom Trip manages to seamlessly plant a more familiar singer-songwriter piece like Wooden Wand’s acoustic demo, “Later On” into the mix. In the past year, Doom Trip has introduced me to projects from coast to coast who I continue to follow, like Skyjelly from Boston, MA, or Rangers from Dallas, TX. There’s even more incredible music to discover in this comp, and I’m sure it’s only a slice of the unique artists Doom Trip will be teaming up with in the future.

legends like The Pet Shop Boys and New Order, Control’s four song work is a welcome respite from often sonically oppressive darkwave releases (not that there’s anything wrong with that) by indulging our “nightclubby” natures with a completely listenable release complete with booming bass and electronic beats. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but rather gives it a fresh breath of air. Fun tunes that flirt with dark subculture such as “Knife Play” and the anthemic “Analog Flesh in a Digital World” are a great introduction to the earworms William Control crafts while the beautifully crooned “Velvet Rose” is the heart of the EP- showing a softer, musically soulful side of the artist.

William Control, for those not initiated, is the stage moniker and band name of Aiden’s William Francis. The project is a multi-media, fully immersive endeavor that involves not only music and video, but also utilizes For maximum impact, pick up the limited edition tape books to tell the story of the fictional Control. The of Doom Mix Vol. 1 from Doom Trip’s bandcamp page: prolific songwriter and producer has had songs featured https://doomtrip.bandcamp.com/album/doom-mix-vol-i in a number of movies as well as released several spoken word tracks. Check out Doom Trip’s other recent tapes and downloads “The Black EP” is part of a four part release of the as well: https://doomtrip.bandcamp.com/music “Revelations” collection which also includes, “The Pale,” -Austen Krantz The White,” “The Red” and this release – “The Black.” Following “The Pale” this release will be joined by the last two pieces of the collection to be announced at a William Control later date. Revelations: The Black EP, 2017 Control Records Find out more about William Control at www.facebook. I love dance music, so William Control’s newest release, com/williamcontrolofficial -Melissa Crory “The Black EP: Revelations” is a joy. Evoking 80s synth


Blakk Mantra

Save Me, E.P., 2014 Independent Big riffs. I mean, REALLY big. This is what you get with Blakk Mantra, on first listen. When I was given the assignment to review their newest effort, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Safe to say, I was pleasantly surprised. These guys categorize themselves as “sludge” on their Facebook page. Here’s the thing: they’re also from Denver, CO. You’d swear this was a New Orleans band, like a cross between EyeHateGod and Graveyard Rodeo, pioneers of the New Orleans sludge sound. The EP starts out with a down-tuned aggressive track, “New Vision,” sounding like a cross between Corrosion of Conformity with Stressball vocals. This pretty much sets the tone for the entire record, with titles like, “Lost in Time,” “Save Me” and “War Inside My Mind.” Lots of great time changes and dynamics with doom metal lyrics keep it very interesting. The jewel in this crown is a low-key song with a much slower tempo, “Take Me Away.” This is a throwback to some of the greater bands of a bygone era, like Alice In Chains or even Black Sabbath. It really shows off their versatility and ability to write good solid music. Check out these guys if you like Corrosion of Conformity, Black Sabbath -“Vol. 4”-era, and early Crowbar. Find out more about Blakk Mantra at www.facebook. com/officialMantra1/ -Colby Foreman

Wanton

Undead Artists Records 2017 I’d be completely remiss if I didn’t try to get Sonic Boom! listeners supporting some of the best and darkest of the independent music scene. Horror Punk and Psychobilly are my favorite treats, and Wanton’s new release, “Harmageddon Get-Together” from Undead Artists Records (a treasure trove of fangtastic new bands on the spooky side of rock n roll) is exactly what I was looking for. The band, hailing from Rauma, Finland, is really something special – it incorporates what you would expect from the genre, complete with percussive upright bass, raucous gang vocals and snappy snare-centric drums, but it also manages to create a collection where every song is a memorable sing-along. The first tracks barrel out of the gate and leave you grinning, but the album really gets cooking with “Bump in the Night” which is absolutely irresistible. I had to immediately go back and listen to it again. The opposite of somber, the track somehow makes grave-robbing sound like a lot of boisterous fun. That brings me to the next thing I love about Wanton. They are able to write great rock songs, but stray away from approaching the more tired or overused topics of horror rock like you would expect. They breathe new life into the genre. For example, “21st Century Ghost” attacks haunting for a new millennium and Santeri Kero’s voice has the perfect rasp and howl on each track while the backing vocals croon out boisterous “whoas” that are so hookdriven you can’t help but join in. Oskari Nieminen on


Guitar and harmonica, Santeri “Steady Beat” Toivonen on doublebass and Eetu Ritakorpi on drums along with Kero’s voice are a perfect team on this material and execute it flawlessly. “Cyanide and Arsenic” is a surprisingly touching and deadly duet between Kero and guest vocalist Emma Keskimaki. It’s full of western atmosphere and well - mutual destruction of a fated couple. “Scare Tactics and Human Frights” shake off the reverie of the previous track with scorching punk sneer and snarl. Again, this track wins for hook-driven melodies and addictive gang vocals. As a whole, Wanton delivers a fresh and masterful take on the genre that is to be commended. Other highlights on the album include the relentless, antehmic “Dystopia” the shuffling and rolling zombie rocker, “Second Coming” and opening track “Fun and Gore” which is a perfect intro to what you will experience when listening to “Harmageddon Get-Together.” Hurry up and get yourself a “Front Row Ticket” to the end of the world with Wanton. You won’t regret it. For more on Undead Artist Records check out this month’s review of Deadite and other upcoming reviews by Sonic Boom Magazine! -Melissa Crory

Deadite

The Damned, 2017 Undead Artists Records If you are looking for some great horror-infused rock ‘n’ roll, Belgium’s Deadite is quickly becoming my new favorite. They manage to master everything from

melodic Rockabilly-inspired tracks to full on sonic assaults that recall everything from Motorhead to the Misfits with a little White Zombie thrown in for good measure. Every track shines, and no two are alike. I love that it’s impossible to categorize this band or even pigeonhole them into a single genre. They just make really great music. “Age of Violence” practically drips with punk driven guitars and sneering vocal attacks. It’s surprisingly followed up by the jangly crooner and title track, “The Damned.” The song is simultaneously sparsely crafted, but with vocals so lush that you wish you could crawl inside the track and find a warm place to curl up in spite of the dangers lurking within. “Show Me Some Love” sears and burns, recalling Generation X with all fury and fire of a young Billy Idol - it’s a total rocker. “Show Me Some Love” is a standout playlist gem, and hopefully gets some serious rotation. It’s immediately accessible and rocks hard enough easily be an instant hit. Deadite’s rockabilly influence shines through on “Pussywhipped,” which is, again, a surprising but welcome departure from the previous tracks. It solidifies the fact that Deadite can control any genre they put their mark on. The album is a cohesive work that has their signature stamp on every offering, but certainly never feels forced. The range of work comes naturally and expertly to them. Case in point is “Damnation.” Though this has a Misfits feel in lyrical content, it’s delivery is more relaxed and retains that wistful, almost romantic yearning that is rare in the horror punk genre, but certainly refreshing. Deadite has complete control over their craft and it shows in their ability to let each track take its own time. Tempos, rhythms and attitude may change, but every one is executed just right. “The Taker” blisters with Danzig-y fury, excellent guitar work, and vocals crooning here and yowling there in yet another unique, listenable work. I highly suggest “The Damned” to fans of horror punk, rockabilly, ’70s and ’80s punk aficionados as well as anyone who just likes great rock music. And with names like Scarecrow, Wolfben, EvilOnly and Von Nekromance you know these guys are serious about having some spooky fun. Hopefully we will see some Deadite shows in the U.S. soon. I’ll certainly be front row. For more information on Undead Artist Records, please see our review of Finnish Psychobilly artists, Wanton, in this issue and other releases in upcoming installments of Sonic Boom! www.deadite.be/ - Melissa Crory


Download Many Waters: Baton Rouge Flood Relief 2017 on bandcamp for a good cause: https://thrilljockeyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/many-waters-baton-rougeflood-relief-2017 -Austen Krantz

Various Artist

Many Waters: Baton Rouge Flood Relief 2017 Thrill Jockey Records At first glance, this probably seems like a heavy metal compilation, but it really presents a diverse array of Louisiana’s alternative music, while benefiting the victims of last year’s floods. That being said, this huge comp is produced by members of Louisiana’s Thou and distributed via Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records, a titan of a label for heavy metal, punk, and experimental rock, so there are some iconic names from heavy music in here. With all proceeds going to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, this is really hard to pass up if you’re in to Louisiana’s heavy and experimental underground. There was really no holds barred on this thing either. With unexpected covers like Thou’s rendition of Neil Young’s “Don’t Let it Bring You Down,” or The Body/Full of Hell’s take on a Deevo classic, “Gates of Steel,” this release captured some unexpected tracks that you won’t find anywhere else (The most twisted of which was Christworm’s take on “Mad World”). In addition to featuring iconic metal stalwarts and hometown heroes, the compilation also showcased the diversity of music that’s currently brewing in our state, while bringing in interesting musical perspectives from abroad. With a whopping 33 tracks, there is really something here for everyone: electronic composers and noise producers (Proud/Father, A Living Soundtrack), Soul-drenched synth artists (Sharks’ Teeth), New Wave music (Ize), acoustic story tellers (Treadles, Mike Scheidt of Yob) and some good ‘ol New Orleans sludge rockers (Cikada).

Mary Bell

Mary Bell 7” E.P., 2015 Danger Records Sometimes you open up a website like bandcamp and they have a suggested artist of the day that they think you’ll like. It just so happens that when Bandcamp writer Amy Benfer suggested “Meet Mary Bell, A Parisian Punk Band Named After a Very Young Serial Killer,” and the band photo had three cute punk rock girls (and some guy) I thought “yeah I’ll need to check that out.” I didn’t know what to expect from Mary Bell on this debut release. I thought it would be sung in French and just be a fun E.P. to try out . . . but none of that was true. The voice coming out of the speakers sings in perfect English and this thing rocks. The 4 songs on this harken back to the 1990’s Riot Grrl style of punk that was being made outside of the mainstream. It sounds like they mixed garage rock, a little grunge, some punk and maybe a little bit of what the Pixies did too. The vocals are a light scream and kind of raspy and make you feel like the songs are being sung to you personally with emotion and intensity. “Vultures” starts the E.P. off with a guitar riff that just


repeats throughout almost the entire song and the same drum beat that makes this song infectious. The vocals got angrier towards the end, and when the backing vocals kicked in I was hooked. “Brian” is a faster paced song that will get the pit moving and won’t stop right into the next track “Plain Jane,” which is the fist pumper on this one and get’s that angry Riot Grrl energy out. I mentioned the Pixies earlier and on the final track “Full Moon” Mary Bell play with some different sounds, getting spacy and a bit out there in a good way (think “Where Is My Mind” style Pixies.) This E.P. took me by surprise and it was a happy find . . . the internet is good for something right? I checked out the rest of their page on bandcamp, and they also have a full-length album conveniently called “Mary Bell LP” which is just a continuation of this E.P. in sound and style, I will probably get to review that one in the next issue, but you can go get them now on their bndcamp page for any price you see fit. If this band ever makes it to New Orleans I want to be there to see them. Check out Mary Bell at https://marybellftw.bandcamp. com/album/mary-bell-7-ep -Kevin P. Johnson

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