Peace Across The Wasteland Tour
Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats & Graveyard
Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats
You can probably feel it already. Amid the shimmering haze of dusk. In the marrow of your bones. The darkness is getting darker. Malevolent forces are on the prowl. The wasteland is beckoning. Uncle Acid is on his way home.
The brainchild of mercurial Cambridgeshire mystic Kevin Starrs, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats have been making extraordinary music since 2009. Always too bold and idiosyncratic to be easily pigeonholed, they emerged from an obscure corner of the labyrinthine English underground as shadowy purveyors of a new and overwhelmingly psychedelic take on the gruff and gritty rudiments of hard rock and turbo-blues, powered by the dark, lysergic heart of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and drenched in woozily macabre imagery. Steeped in both the wayward melodies and mischievous arrangements of psychedelic pop and the dissonant thunder of proto-metal and doom, Starrs’ greatest feat has been to create an entirely fresh sonic world from these most familiar of ingredients.
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats’ reputation was swiftly built on towering, riff-driven milestones like 2011’s breakthrough opus Blood Lust and its warped and wicked follow-up, Mind Control (2013); both released through Rise Above Records and subsequently showered with critical acclaim. By the time Starrs’ band created The Night Creeper in 2015, their mutation into heavy music’s most unmistakable eccentrics was complete, as their leader cranked up the melodic weirdness, rendering his monstrous ideas in something approaching three-dimensional Technicolor.
Firmly established as cult heroes, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats consolidated The Night Creeper’s triumph by touring the world extensively, including a string of sold out shows in the U.S., Europe and Australia. After sustaining that momentum with Starrs’ long-awaited remix of his band’s hard-to-find eponymous debut album from 2010, the singer/guitarist and his henchmen spent much of the last year immersed in the process of making a fifth full-length album. 47 minutes of vital, audacious and frequently bewildering heavy psychedelia, it bears the title Wasteland and is instantly recognisable as Starrs’ most immersive and evocative body of work yet.
“There’s not enough melody or harmony in new music for my liking,” says Starrs. “I wanted to go even further with all of that this time, and really force it down people’s throats! It’s important to me that someone keeps it going, especially in heavy music. I always write to my own tastes, so as long as it appeals to me, I don’t really think about it. But I would say that it’s all been an instinctive progression.”
A disorientating journey through Starrs’ wonkiest dreams, Wasteland glides majestically from punchy and direct psych-rock anthems like I See Through You and Shockwave City to the viscous, somnambulant ooze of the eight-minute No Return and the twinkly-eyed bad trip of the album’s mesmerising title track. Recorded at the legendary Sunset Sound studio in Los Angeles, Wasteland boasts the kind on irresistibly raw and exuberant sound that only the greatest bands can generate. Later completed at Starrs’ own studio, the new songs showcase a newly refreshed line-up, with Starrs once again joined by long-time bassist Vaughn Stokes (who will play rhythm guitar at future live shows, handing over bass duties to Jus Smith) and also latest recruit, drummer Jon Rice.
“We recorded the basic tracks the way we always do,” says Starrs. “Everyone in one room, live and straight to tape. We worked with a great engineer called Geoff Neal (NIN/Motorhead/Fuzz), who really understood what we were going for and how to capture it. Playing in the same room where so many classic albums were made definitely inspired us. Even small things like running the guitars through the same echo chamber that Van Halen used in the ‘70s, it all added to the overall experience.”
Yet more confirmation that Uncle Acid exist in their own musical universe, Wasteland is also a powerful cautionary tale: one rooted in the alien landscapes of Starrs’ imagination, but with a very clear connection to the deranged chaos of today’s political world. As humanity cheerfully circles the plughole, Dystopian visions and present-day horrors have become more-or-less interchangeable, making Wasteland’s ghoulish surrealism a lot more pertinent and disturbing in the process.
“The album is set in a land where people live in walled cities, under heavy surveillance, cut off and in fear of one another,” Starrs explains. “All their thoughts, knowledge and memories have been wiped clean, leaving them like the living dead, barely functioning and addicted to the glow of flickering propaganda screens.”
“In the underworld, there are program discs for the brain that can replace stolen thoughts and allow people to finally think for themselves,” he continues. “It gives them knowledge to escape the misery of the cities and to reach the freedom of the outer wastelands, but the wasteland, of course, is total hell on earth. The general idea seemed quite fitting with all the propaganda and misinformation that we’ve been bombarded with in recent years.”
While most musicians seem content to chase their own (or other people’s tails), Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats remain proud and resolute individualists and Wasteland is simply their most powerful and memorable spurge of creativity to date. Masterfully echoing the magical atmospheres of heavy music’s turbulent past while sounding entirely unlike anything else available to human ears, this is what happens when the shadows come to life and suffocating darkness, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats style, is the only show in town.
With their fifth album, »Peace«, GRAVEYARD guides the listener through an ever-changing musical landscape filled with their trademark take on classic rock. From the opening track’s blistering declaration that ‘It Ain’t Over Yet’ to the final note of heart beating bass on the epic and moody rocker ‘Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)’ the band manage to squeeze out every last creative drop of what there is to know, hear and love about GRAVEYARD in 2018.
To anyone who has followed GRAVEYARD throughout their career it comes as no surprise that »Peace« offers yet another passionate display from band that utilises a wide variety of styles and moods. But, if you were to pin-point the one thing that really sets »Peace« aside from the band’s previous albums, it would be that the production on »Peace« is the band’s heaviest and most solid to date.
“I wanted to capture the power and energy of the band that I’ve witnessed at their live shows. So we recorded the album the way that all the old classics were made; with no click tracks, triggered drums, autotune or “studio trickery”. The plan was to keep it simple and pure, with just the band and their music. Everything we added to a song had to be there for a reason and not just because we had empty tracks.” – Chips Kiesbye, producer
Following on from previous album »Innocence & Decadence«, you could be forgiven for assuming that GRAVEYARD would be taking a softer, more laid back approach to the songwriting for the follow-up. However, with »Peace«, GRAVEYARD have gone back to their roots, whilst also evolving and finding creative outlets to showcase the band’s softer side and influences.
On ‘It Ain’t Over Yet’ and ‘The Fox’, we hear Joakim Nilsson sing his heart out whilst Truls Mörck takes the reigns offering soothing contrast on ‘See The Day’ and the anthemic Neil Young-esque ‘Bird Of Paradise’. Throughout the album, GRAVEYARD continue to show their heavier side with hard-hitters ‘Please Don’t’, ‘Cold Love’ and ‘A Sign Of Peace’. The band offer a refreshing blend of BLACK SABBATH and THE STOOGES on ‘Walk On’, concluding with the epic jam of ‘Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)’. All of these elements combined create a record that showcases the experimental and heavier side of GRAVEYARD without forsaking the true essence of the band.
This revitalized sound is, in part, due to the introduction of new drummer Oskar Bergenheim, who joins GRAVEYARD following the band’s brief hiatus and departure of drummer Axel Sjöberg. Oskar comments: “When I first got the call to try out the vacant spot in GRAVEYARD I was honored. I’ve known Truls and played with him for many years and knew it could work out, but it wasn’t without feeling that I had to step up my game! Joining the band and recording »Peace« has been pure joy for me personally, from the first demo sessions to the final master.”
What ‘bout »Peace«? The album title could actually be considered to be the band’s first positive album title to date. For the cover art, the band called upon designer Ulf Lundén to create something that combined his and the band’s thoughts and views on the world around them. For ‘peace’ is not just any word – what you can say is, that no matter if you’re looking at the word ‘peace’ from the context of the current state of the world, the current state of the individual mind or the current state of a rock band – there should be no doubt that there sure is room and need for the use of PEACE in 2018.
“The world’s in a tangle. Maybe more so than ever before, and to be honest we have no idea what to do about it. What can a rock ‘n’ roll band do to improve the state of things? Maybe not much but maybe something. While we figure that out we are just gonna keep on doing what we do best. Play music, put those good vibrations out there and to all you people who listen to us. We just wanna say PEACE!” – GRAVEYARD
Alexandra and Zachary James are the high priests of Twin Temple, the Satanic doo-wop band hailing from the city of Angels.
The band was started on Halloween (a witch’s sabbath) in 2016 when a destruction ritual was performed, and Alexandra and Zachary stepped into their power as Twin Temple, energetically killing all their previous incarnations up until that point.
Although you may expect heavy guitar riffs and a thumping bass to accompany cries of “Hail Satan,” instead you’ll hear old-school, classic riffs and Alexandra’s crooning voice that sounds straight out of the ‘60s. While many confine Satan to the likes of black metal, the duo is breaking the notion that Satan has a type. After all, who says Satan wouldn’t get down to some classic Americana? Inspired by the golden era of rock ‘n’ roll, Twin Temple rejects conformity of any kind, whether it’s through their magick, performance, or sound.
And while a lot of “Satanic” metal bands begin and end their worship of Satan on stage, the same can’t be said for Twin Temple. Both their music and their practice of Satanism, on and off the stage, are rooted in the ideals of free will and giving space to those who are often not allowed any.
So no, Twin Temple doesn’t drink the blood of virgins or kill babies to sacrifice on the full moon. They are challenging notions about what it means to free the oppressed, fight back against dated and binary ways of thinking, and doing it all while hailing the dark lord himself.
If there’s anything to expect with Twin Temple, it’s the unexpected.