Founding Screaming Trees bassist Van Conner has died. He was just 55. No cause of death has been revealed. The news of his passing was announced in a Facebook post by Van’s brother, Screaming Trees guitarist Gary Lee Conner. You can see Gary Lee’s post below. Screaming Trees was the second band from the Connor brothers, who started as punks and lovers of Psychedelic Rock in the early 1980s, before co-founding Screaming Trees with singer Mark Lanegan and drummer Mark Pickerel. Lanegan died last February at age 57. The band would later become a breakout band from Seattle, in the “Grunge” explosion, along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Melvins, and more. Screaming Trees album Sweet Oblivion catapulted the band with three hit singles, including “Nearly Lost You” – which was also on the Singles soundtrack, and led to the band touring the world and performing on Lollapalooza. RIP.
Here’s to genuinely hoping that 2023 would be a decent year for stoner rock releases – with the existence of records like The Lord Knows (Ripple Music) by the Swedish newcomers Tidal Wave. The Swedish stoner scene has always been all-around fascinating to me, with big names I admire such as Besvärjelsen and Skraeckoedlan, or even the all-time legendary Truckfighters. It’s always refreshing to see up-and-coming names coming right in, too.
Gaupa burst onto their native Sweden scene with their self-titled EP in 2018, and quickly built up a fine reputation and steady following in their home country. They released their full-length debut album Feberdrom in 2020 which caught the attention of Nuclear Blast Records, who added them to their roster of Swedish bands. But Gaupa certainly doesn’t fall into the typical “Metal” category that you might expect when looking at their label mates. In fact their roots sit firmly in the stoner rock genre, but on Myriad, their second LP and debut for their new label, they far exceed being pigeonholed into just one sound and have created a record befitting of its title, with a plethora of intriguing styles to be found within.
Rock royalty band 3rd Secret, featuring Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and Soundgarden and Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, has shared a new music video for “Rhythm Of The Ride”. The song was recorded by Erik Friend and mixed by longtime Seattle producer Jack Endino. The band, surprise-released its self-titled debut album, recorded and mixed by Endino, on April 11th, 2022, and also includes whose lineup is rounded out by Bubba Dupree, guitarist for D.C. hardcore outfit Void and alt-metal supergroup Hater, and vocalists Jennifer Johnson and Jillian Raye (Giants In The Trees). Watch the video for “Rhythm Of The Ride” now! Continue reading
Chris Cornell passed away five years ago today. Gifted with an incredible voice, songwriting talent, guitar-ability, and charisma; he helped define an an entire generation of artists who followed him and his bands. Few have had the ability and success music world, with both a solo project and acclaim with three different iconic bands such as Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog as Chris did. If you are having mental health and emotional issues, know that you are loved and valued. Please, don’t be afraid to seek help. Continue reading
Released some twenty-five years into a career that saw them burst out of the east-coast hardcore scene in the mid nineties, Heavy Pendulum (Relapse Records) is Cave In’s seventh album, and is a landmark release for the band who sadly lost their bass player Caleb Schofield to a car accident in 2018. Schofield also provided many of Cave In’s heavier vocals, and his role in the band is assumed by close friend Nate Newton (Converge, Deathriders), and who also has a mean voice himself.
Ritual’s Enigma (Self-Released) is an insanely tight EP that boats some of the best names in the music business; all of whom are renowned composers and songwriters. Joining Mike Lewin, Terry Knight, Franco Necros, and James Marinos are Devin Townsend, soprano Dianne van Giersbergen, and jazz harpist Amanda Whiting. The result is a strong release is Enigma that puts a smile on the face of the listener.
Melvins recently released a new covers EP – Lord of the Flies EP from Amphetamine Reptile Records. You can buy the CD (vinyl TBD) from AmRep’s website. Check out the band covering fellow Seattle brothers Soundgarden’s classic 1990s hit “Spoonman” featuring drummer Matt Cameron of Soundgarden/Pearl Jam. Cameron plays “double drums” along with Dale Crover, Steven McDonald on bass, and King Buzzo on guitars and vocals. The track was recorded by Toshi Kasai at Sound of Sirens studios and the video was directed / edited by Jesse Nieminen. Watch it now! Continue reading
Do you like music that will make you happy? Do you want to head bang and pogo and raise a glass to your mates? Do you like singing at the top of your lungs in sheer unadulterated glee? Then Toxpack’s offering of Zwanzig. Tausend Volt (Napalm Records) is the album you have been waiting for. Zwanzig. Tousend Volt is fun, light-hearted, fast paced and utterly engaging.
Considering the progressive nature of Atlanta genre dodgers Mastodon, the only real surprise regarding the band’s choice to record an eighty-eight minute double album is that it’s taken them this long to do it in the first place.