Recent posts: SSR HQ
IOTA: Salt Lake City Cult Psychedelic Rock Trio To Release Pentasomnia Full-Length March 22nd On Small Stone Recordings; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available
Photo by Rachel W. Rawle
Cult heavy rock trio IOTA will release their long-awaited Pentasomnia full-length on March 22nd via Small Stone Recordings.
It’s been nearly sixteen years since Salt Lake City’s IOTA carved a place for themselves in the heavy underground with their debut album, Tales. Released by Small Stone Recordings, it was recorded by drummer Andy Patterson (The Otolith, ex-SubRosa), with founding guitarist/vocalist Joey Toscano (who’d form Dwellers later), and bassist Oz Inglorious (ex-Bird Eater, Suffocater) and drew heavy rock impulses across space in a way that was innovative and engrossing. Marked by the twenty-minute “Dimensional Orbiter” that was the first song the band ever wrote, it showed huge potential for IOTA, who moved onto other outfits while the cult of those in the know steadily grew.
Pentasomnia, an album of five dreams, marks a return for a project begun by Toscano circa 2001, a band that has been intermittently lived with, shelved, pushed, pulled, stretched, and twisted, but whose sound shimmers with atmosphere and the resonant, bluesy emotionalism of Toscano’s vocals. Rather than some slapdash decade-and-a-half-later follow-up to a record on its way to being a niche-classic, Pentasomnia is cohesive, and as much an unexpected step forward as an unexpected return. IOTA — Toscano, Inglorious, Patterson — revel in the groove and sway of these five songs, from the boozy head-hang of opener “The Intruder” into the ambient push of “The Returner,” which feels like a manifestation of the meld between cosmic and desert rocks that was so much the heart of the band during their first run; the very essence of what they do, given new life and perspective.
“Pentasomnia is an amalgamation,” says Toscano, “roughly translating to ‘five dreams’. Each song is told from the perspective of a different mental state. Challenging the ideas of traditional norms about identity and our place within the world; questioning the very idea of a self. A cathartic acknowledgement of our infinitesimally small place in a vast musical landscape. Live shows will unveil the album’s essence, offering glimpses into our musical journey’s dark comedy and complexity. Enjoy these songs as snapshots of a fever dream.”
IOTA‘s sophomore full-length was written and recorded live over a series of sessions between 2018 and 2019 and completed in the tumultuous years after with family health emergencies, other projects and recordings, the pandemic, work, and all the stuff of life happening all at once. And yet somehow, in and perhaps from all of that, the three-piece have managed to come back together, find each other and renew their sound, and to let the intervening time underscore how crucial their collaboration genuinely is. There are going to be a lot of heavy rock records released in 2024. You sleep on IOTA at your own risk.
In advance of the release, today the band debuts first single, “The Returner.” Toscano further notes, “Pentasomnia, is centered around dreams. With each song narrating a first-person account of an acute mind state, ‘The Returner’ — the album’s third track — attempts to describe the character’s experience of waking from the dream of life, encountering their now unrestrained hallucinations in the in-between, and then returning to yet another dream. Interpretation, divine.”
Stream IOTA’s “The Returner” at THIS LOCATION.
Pentasomnia will be released on CD, LP, and limited-edition vinyl. Find preorders at the Small Stone Bandamp page HERE.
Pentasomnia Track Listing:
- The Intruder
- The Witness
- The Returner
- The Timekeeper
- The Great Dissolver
Joey Toscano – guitars, synths, vocals
Oz Inglorious – bass
Andy Patterson – drums
SUNDRIFTER: Boston-Based Desert Rock Trio To Release An Earlier Time Full-Length February 16th Via Small Stone Recordings; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available
Photo by Matt Darcy
Boston-based desert rock trio SUNDRIFTER will release their long-awaited new full-length, An Earlier Time, on February 16th via Small Stone Recordings, today unveiling the album’s cover art, track listing, and first single.
SUNDRIFTER’s sound is bigger and broader on An Earlier Time. From the appropriate beginning of “Limitless” onward, the New England three-piece answers the potential of their 2019 sophomore album, Visitations, and their 2016 debut, Not Coming Back, with a collection that is likewise huge and intimate, bringing together expansive atmospheres a la Hum’s heavy post-rock vision with Soundgarden’s unmitigated heavy revelry and melodic command and the contemplative expressivism of Radiohead. The offering features eight songs, each one of them a world to get lost in.
With the returning trio of guitarist/vocalist Craig Peura, bassist Paul Gaughran, and drummer Patrick Queenan, SUNDRIFTER calls to mind the expansive atmospheric heavy rock of outfits like Forming The Void or Small Stone veterans Abrahma, but Peura’s vocals cull influence from ’90s alt rock in a way that emphasizes the individual now more than ever. The band’s third album realizations come complemented by the return of producer/mixer Dan Schwartz, mastering by Chris Goosman, and cover art by Branca Studio, furthering the “complete package” sensibility fostered in no small part by the weighted complexity and breadth of the tracks themselves. It’s not so much heavy rock as is, but as it could be.
In advance of the official release of An Earlier Time, today the band reveals the record’s first single, “Begin Again.” With Peura elaborating, “‘Begin Again’ is a constant battle to overcome negative self-talk and the pain that it can bring telling you of your failures, and the excitement that comes when you decide to acknowledge them and begin again.”
“I’d say the name says everything,” Gaughran continues. “It’s a statement of intention from the band. It’s taken far longer than we’d have liked to make this record, but time has its upsides. I’d like to think we’ve used it to hone in on a sound that better reflects our collective influences as a band, both musical and non-musical. ‘Begin Again’ tonally evokes all those influences, whether it be space and the desert or any of the spiritual concepts expressed lyrically, all while retaining the signature characteristics of our brand of heavy psychedelic rock.”
Queenan adds, “As the ancients had to rebuild humanity and societies after cataclysmic events so are we emerging from the ash and beginning yet again.”
Stream SUNDRIFTER’s “Begin Again” at THIS LOCATION.
An Earlier Time will be released on CD, limited edition LP, and digitally. Find preorders at the official Small Stone Recordings Bandcamp page HERE.
An Earlier Time Track Listing:
- Space Exploration
- Nuclear Sacrifice
- Prehistoric Liftoff
- Begin Again
- Want You Home
- Final Chance
- Last Transmission
Craig Peura – vocals, guitar
Paul Gaughran – bass
Patrick Queenan – drums
ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: Portland Psychedelic Stoner Doom Outfit To Release 3737 Full-Length Via Small Stone Recordings November 17th; New Single Now Playing + Preorders Available
Portland psychedelic stoner doom outfit ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD will release their 3737 full-length via Small Stone Recordings on November 17th, today unveiling the record’s cover art, first single, and preorders!
ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD released their Mystic Goddess full-length in 2021. The high-octane recording offered up a hallucinatory sound excursion through a wide range of styles that kept listeners engaged while never losing focus or sacrificing flow. The Sleeping Shaman noted, “This record touches on all aspects of stoner/doom/riff rock, blending them all together, in eyebrow-raising fashion. Desert rock, cosmic swirling psyche, Swedish-style stoner rock, as well as some grungy riffage…” Modern Free press hailed, “a fun ride through a smokey haze,” while Brooklyn Vegan wrote, “It’s heavy, riffy, and catchy, and if your taste veers towards this corner of guitar-based music, you should definitely check this band out.”
Two years later, the band is back and more potent than ever. With the assistance of renowned engineer, Billy Anderson, ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD delivers a relentless rock ‘n’ roll album spanning thirty-seven minutes and thirty-seven seconds. But the title is more than just the duration of the recording, and the band took notice of the number’s significance. There exists a theory in numerology that guardian angels attempt to communicate through divine numbers – specifically the repetition in numbers, and this one specifically is to remind us that, “magic and manifestation are knocking at your door,” and that, “you are about to attract your inner most desires.” Emerging from the pandemic and coping with the loss of loved ones, heartache, and mental anguish, the band decided to harness this energy and pour it into 3737.
As a result, we are left with an album rich with additively heavy riffing complimented by pummeling drums, groovy bass lines, and Caleb Weidenbach’s raw and commanding vocals. ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD intended to deliver something meaningful, not only to the band but to the world. 3737 is the answer.
In advance of the record’s official release, today the band unveils first single, “Hindu Kush” noting bluntly, “We got high and wrote a song about getting high. Turn this one way up, spark a joint and enjoy.”
Stream “Hindu Kush” at THIS LOCATION.
3737 was written and recorded by the band, mastered Justin Weis, and comes wrapped in the cover art of Zaiusart. The record will be released on CD and digital formats via Small Stone Recordings and on limited edition vinyl by Kozmik Artifactz. For preorders, visit THIS LOCATION.
3737 Track Listing:
1. Hindu Kush
3. Holy Ghost
6. Silver Cloud
ROBOTS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD:
Caleb Weidenbach – vocals
Nico Schmutz – guitar
Justin Laubscher – guitar
Trevor Berecek – bass
Harry Silvers – drums
HAURUN: California Heavy Psych Collective To Release Wilting Within Debut September 22nd Via Small Stone Recordings; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available
Oakland, California-based heavy psych collective HAURUN will release their spellbinding debut full-length, Wilting Within, September 22nd via Small Stone Recordings.
HAURUN is the product of five musicians with a love of dark tones and psychedelia. Through the mysterious world of Craig’s List, guitarist Joel Panton and drummer Eliot Rennie began writing music in 2018 with shared influences of Black Sabbath, Earth, and Kyuss. After a long and challenging search to find the right musicians, they banded together with vocalist Lyra Cruz, guitarist Daniel Schwiderski, and bassist Joel Lacey to deliver a sound that’s heavy whilst deeply emotive.
The band’s stunning debut, Wilting Within, is a journey through layers of slow burning verses and expansive choruses, infused with the enchanting power of Cruz’s vocals. HAURUN blends the hypnotic riffs of doom metal and the gritty essence of grunge to deliver a fresh sound, casting psychedelic spells on the listener.
In advance of the record’s official unveiling, HAURUN reveals first single, “Lunar,” a sonic voyage through hypnotic melodies, heavy distortion, and psychedelia. Lyra’s ethereal vocals intertwine with layers of sludgy guitar riffs, transcendent soundscapes, and mystique that is signature to HAURUN’s style.
Stream HAURUN’s “Lunar” at THIS LOCATION.
Wilting Within was recorded and engineered with the mighty Phil Becker at El Studio in San Francisco, California who captured the intensity and melodic soundscape of HAURUN’s live performance. Eric Hoegemeyer at the Tree Laboratory in Brooklyn, New York and Chris Goosman at Baseline Audio in Ann Arbor, Michigan worked their alchemical magic in mixing and mastering.
Wilting Within will be released on CD and digitally via Small Stone Recordings and on limited vinyl via Kozmik Artifactz. For preorders, visit THIS LOCATION.
Fans of Acid King, Windhand, YOB, King Buffalo, and Emma Ruth Rundle pay heed.
Wilting Within Track Listing:
2. Lost & Found
4. Flying Low
Lyra Cruz – vocals
Joel Paul Lacey – bass
Daniel Schwiderski – guitar
Joel Panton – guitar
Eliot Rennie – drums
For HAURUN coverage contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABRAMS: Metal Injection Premieres “In The Clouds” Video From Denver Rock Unit; In The Dark Full-Length To See Release Next Month Via Small Stone Recordings
Denver rock unit ABRAMS is pleased to reveal their new video for “In The Clouds.” Now playing at Metal Injection, the track comes off the band’s In The Dark full-length, set for release on September 9th via Small Stone Recordings.
Comments the band, “At 2:59, ‘In The Clouds’ turned out to be one of our most to-the-point songs to date. The thunderous bass tone paired with the pounding drums are some of the tastiest and heaviest sounds on this record. There are hints of Soundgarden blended with the fuzziness of major key titans Torche. The climactic drop at the end of the song is probably my favorite moment on this record guaranteeing a headbang from the listener.”
Adds Metal Injection, “The band nails this perfectly grungy, sludgy sound with just the right amount of atmosphere and it works so well. Especially toward the end of ‘In The Clouds’ when they bring it all down into a crushing finale.”
Watch ABRAMS’ “In The Clouds” video at Metal Injection HERE.
Initially seeking to fuse melodic hooks with dissonance, ABRAMS began in 2013 in Denver, Colorado, with guitarist/vocalist Zach Amster and bassist/vocalist Taylor Iversen. Later joined by drummer Ryan DeWitt, ABRAMS has released an EP and three studio albums, all to critical acclaim. With each release the listener can hear the band evolving and maturing to what it has become today. A band dedicated to compelling songwriting, and energetic live performances, ABRAMS ups the ante with the moody, heavy, psychedelic rock venture of their forthcoming LP, In The Dark.
Adding Patrick Alberts (Call Of The Void) to the lineup, In The Dark serves as ABRAMS’ first release as a four-piece, following behind 2020’s Modern Ways. With the pandemic cancelling all touring plans for Modern Ways, ABRAMS immediately got to work demoing more than twenty-five plus songs for their next release. Given the world was in lockdown, Amster took a deep dive to learn the ins and outs of home recording to refine song structure, with a hyperfocus put on vocal hooks. There was a goal set to have as complete and polished songs as possible prior to entering the studio in Summer of 2021 with producer, engineer, and collaborator Dave Otero (Khemmis, Cattle Decapitation) at Flatline Audio who was the last piece in shaping the final soundscape.
The new collection is a fine-tuned, forty-five-minute sonic journey detailing the angers, fears, frustrations, and joys inherent in living in a world gone mad. With cinematic guitar riffs, brooding leads, and addictive vocal hooks, ABRAMS conjures a mature, polished, and intensely passionate craft, urgent but not at all rushed. There are hints of early AmRep mixed in with the larger sounds of ‘90s alt heroes Failure, Quicksand, and Hum. Combine that with the heaviness of recent Mastodon and stoner psychedelia of All Them Witches and you get In The Dark.
In The Dark features cover art by Robin Gnista and will be available on CD, LP, and digitally. Find preorders at THIS LOCATION where first single, “Like Hell” can be streamed.
Zachary Amster – guitar, vocals
Taylor Iversen – bass, vocals
Ryan DeWitt – drums
Patrick Alberts – guitar