Released almost exactly a year to the day from the Coronavirus outbreak being officially declared a global pandemic, Louisiana sludge merchants Eyehategod take the last twelve painful months and turn them into a forty-minute outburst of depressive rage and explosive nihilistic aggression.Continue reading →
There are many festivals naming themselves –stock, all of them trying to refer to the legendary summer festival Woodstock. Yellowstock keeps true to the vein of that legendary inspiration, with a line up filled with jazzy psych, 70s and 60s rock and trippy space projects. She is thankfully blessed with better weather than her famous inspiration though, and the sun stays on the grounds and playground of the youthcenter the fest is held at.
Crowd at Yellowstock 2015, photo by Susanne A. Maathuis
Yellowstock is a small-scale labor of love, and this is felt in nearly everything, the no-nonsense food trucks, the hard plastic cups that can be turned in for more drinks, and the poster beautiful art. There is however a small hitch getting in, as the first band already takes the stage it takes a surprisingly long time to scan everyone inside. It turns out people not printing their tickets but keeping them on their smartphones was the culprit, slowing the line down. This sadly meant that we missed almost the full set of Coogans Bluff, as we only heard them from the distance, and managed to catch their last two songs.
Crowd at Yellowstock 2015, photo by Susanne A. Maathuis
This minor hitch isn’t too bad though. Good beer and surprisingly decent white wine flows freely, and while wasps are a real nuisance, no-one is really bothered to the point of not enjoying the day. In true spirit of the hippies this festival caters to, many people are dancing barefoot or letting out their inner child on one of the many. Especially during Black Flower, a jazzy Belgian troupe, with flute and saxophone, and a vitriolic drummer that carries much of the show, people let their minds and limbs flow free to the music. The band members themselves have shunned shoes as well, as the connection to the earth is clearly sought by this jazzy ensemble.
Black Flower, by Susanne A. Maathuis
Because the weather is so lovely and the second stage inside rather small, we decide to take it easy and enjoy the company of some new made friends between bands on the outside stage, instead of trying to press into a small room that will undoubtedly be hot and sweaty. This meant we missed a number of interesting acts, some of which I have seen before and know give excellent live shows, including the final band on the fest, Radarmen From The Moon. Another band known for excellent live shows, are Yama, with their sludgy stoner-rock. Both I’ve seen many times before and decided to pass up for the rare enjoyment of sunshine and wine.
Terra Craft, by Susanne A. Maathuis
We’re taken to even hotter climes by the most diverse band on the billing, Terra Craft, whose middle psychy music make our lovely warm summer evening seem like a blessed relief. The mirage like effects layered into their music really managed to make you drift along on a journey to far away lands with them, and together with their vocalists impressive stage garb, world music is excellently represented.
Hawkwind, Susanne A. Maathuis
Hawkwind, by Susanne A Maathuis.
Expected and completely deserved highlight of the night for everyone present had to be Hawkwind, who played an incredibly strong set aided by visuals and lights, as the sun finally sank beneath the horizon. After this spectacular show we leave the find the buses to the campground, Radarmen From The Moon thumping hypnotically as a wine addled world flows by and the bus drives to the quiet of the campground. Quiet now, but in the deep of the night the party continues here, and many keep dancing until daybreak.
There must be something foul in the water of Nashville, Tennessee for whatever the three members of Yautja have been drinking seems to have done them all a nasty mischief. Featuring former members of Coliseum and Nameless Cults, Songs of Descent(Forcefield), the debut album concocted by this unholy trinity of musicians, is chock-full of nasty, punk aggro, fist-swinging grind fury and dissonant Melvins-indebted sludge heaviness. In short, it’s all over the place, tearing at the seams and seemingly ready to explode violently at any given moment. By and large, this works in the band’s favour.
Song lengths vary from the minute-long blasts of hatred such as ‘Concrete Tongue’ and ‘An Exit’ which sounds like a more ramshackle Nails playing with knives at their throats to the tortuous crawl through broken glass that is album-centrepiece ‘Faith Resigned’, a seven minute dirge that will have you reaching for the shotgun and pills in no time. Elsewhere, the sickeningly catchy groove of ‘Tar and Blindness’ upsets the apple cart with its juxtaposition of hip-shaking riffs and sheets of noise, made worse by some merciless and intrusive percussion courtesy of Tyler Coburn.
With all three members handling vocals and maintaining a tempo seemingly an afterthought, Songs of Descent is one of the most unpredictable and dangerous records committed to tape in a while. Living up to its title, this thirty-seven minute, multi-tentacled monstrosity is the soundtrack to a descent to hell and I still can’t decide if it should have been drowned at birth in the interest of public safety. So before Yautja are declared a health hazard it would be worthwhile to check out Songs of Descent although the intense bad vibes experienced may take some getting used to. Fuck it, embrace the hate.