SUNN O))) to Follow Midwest Tour with West Coast Dates

SUNN O))), who recently announced a handful of Midwest shows, just revealed dates for a West Coast tour. The tour kicks off in Seattle where SUNN O))) will headline two Southern Lord label showcase events. The first night will be as a duo performing the the Shoshin/GrimmRobe Demos in its entirety. They will be joined by labelmates THE ACCÜSED. An encore Seattle performance follows the next night alongside Southern Lord brethren EARTH, PELICAN and EAGLE TWIN. Support along the rest of the tour will come from EAGLE TWIN and THE ACCÜSED.

Dates are as follows:
8/05/2009 Neumo’s – Seattle, WA w/ THE ACCÜSED (record release show), TRAP THEM, BLACK BREATH
8/06/2009 Neumo’s – Seattle, WA w/ EARTH, PELICAN, EAGLE TWIN
8/08/2009 Independent – San Francisco, CA w/ THE ACCÜSED, EAGLE TWIN
8/09/2009 Historic Brookdale Lodge – Brookdale, CA w/ THE ACCÜSED, EAGLE TWIN
8/11/2009 Center for Arts, Eagle Rock – Los Angeles, CA w/ THE ACCÜSEDEAGLE TWIN
8/13/2009 Bluebird Theatre – Denver, CO w/ THE ACCÜSEDEAGLE TWIN
8/14/2009 Avalon Theatre – Salt Lake City, UT w/ THE ACCÜSEDEAGLE TWIN

New SUNN O))) to Drop in May

SUNN O))) are set to release their seventh studio album, entitled Monoliths & Dimensions. The album features guest musicians, enigmatic Hungarian vocalist Attila Csihar (MAYHEM, TORMENTOR, etc.), and slow music godfather Dylan Carlson (EARTH), as well as Julian Priester (who worked with SUN RA in the 50s, John Coltrane‘s African Brass band, and Herbie Hancock‘s Sextant band) and new-music horn player Stuart Dempster. There’s also an upright bass trio, French and English horns, harp and flute duo, piano, brass, reed & strings ensembles, and a Viennese woman’s choir led by Persian vocal savant Jessika Kenney.

The band took an approach concentrating on more of allusion toward the timbre of feedback and the instruments involved, so the piece is really illusory, beautiful and not entirely linear. They stated that the end product is “the most musical piece we’ve done, and also the heaviest, powerful and most abstract set of chords we’ve laid to tape.”

The album was recorded and mixed by Randall Dunn and Mell Dettmer at various points over the last two years, and will be released late May 2008. Monoliths & Dimensions is practice in density, gravity and momentum.

Monoliths & Dimensions track listing:
Aghartha” (17:34)
Big Church [megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért]” (09:43)
Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia)” (10:02)
Alice” (16:21)

BORIS – Smile

Japanese sound-shapers BORIS have been twisting evil waveforms since the early nineties. Each body of work yields an unpredictable yet always artful musical outing. Smile, the band’s latest offers a range of sounds from their high-voltage, psychedelic rock ‘n roll to their spaced-out, ambient, drone rock.  The album has been released in two versions differing primarily in mix (but also song titles, track order, and artwork).  The U.S. version (which will be the focus of this review) was mixed by the band themselves, while the Japanese version was mixed by You Ishihara (THE STARS, ex-WHITE HEAVEN), which the band entrusted with creative freedom in the mix-down process.  To note, the U.S. version’s mix showcases a relatively more straight-ahead sound, whereas the Japanese version is more experimental.  Smile kicks off with an excellent cover of PYG‘s “Flower Sun Rain,” a ballad-esque track with a remarkably memorable verse melody.  The following three tracks smoke with hefty, driving rock ‘n roll akin to work on their albums, Pink and Heavy Rock.  Characterized by mega distortion and super-high gain guitars, these tracks are nestled in the “most accessible” category.  The rest of the album transitions to spacier, drone-friendly territory.  “My Neighbor Satan” is a winning shoegazer track, though it’s not devoid of heavy guitars and noise.  “KA RE HA TE TA SA KI-No Ones Grieve” (a reprise of the track originally released on The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked 2), “You Were Holding an Umbrella,” and the untitled closing track are lengthy drone jams that are somewhat difficult to evaluate due to their sometimes aimless “whatever goes” approach.  For a band who pride themselves on steering clear of stylistic expectations, BORIS have, for the first time, assembled an album of various styles on a single album.  Past recordings all showcased a very focus and cohesive approach, be it rock versus drone or intense versus mellow.  This time, BORIS have given everyone something to smile about. (Southern Lord)

EARTH to Embark on Short U.S. Tour

Seattle’s masters of Americana-style drone Earth are set to play some U.S. dates following their recent jaunt across Europe. Beginning this month they’ll hit the Midwest and South a bit then travel up the East Coast. More waves of dates will be announced over the coming months as the band confirms more regional touring.

04/25/2008 Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL w/ HELEN MONEY
04/26/2008 Wexner Center for the Arts – Columbus, OH w/ SWORD HEAVEN
04/27/2008 The Dame – Lexington, KY
04/28/2008 *TBA – Nashville, TN
04/29/2008 Bottletree – Birmingham, AL w/ FUR ELISE, LIZ DURRETT
04/30/2008 The Earl – Atlanta, GA w/ FUR ELISE, LIZ DURRETT
05/01/2008 Calendonia – Athens, GA w/ FUR ELISE, LIZ DURRETT
05/02/2008 Rocket Club – Asheville, NC
05/03/2008 Downtown Events Center – Raleigh, NC
05/04/2008 Rock and Roll Hotel – Washington, DC w/ KAYO DOT
05/05/2008 Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA w/ KAYO DOT
05/06/2008 Knitting Factory – New York, NY w/ KAYO DOT