U.S. CHRISTMAS – Run Thick in the Night

Simply put, Marion, North Carolina’s U.S. CHRISTMAS have created another underground classic in Run Thick in the Night. This time, the band’s sound has less embellishments in the theremin, synth, and guitar effects departments. Instead, there is a hearty helping of acoustic guitars. However, the core of U.S. CHRISTMAS’ psychedelic/atmospheric/progressive rock remains intact. As a result, the songs sound a little more naked and exposed compared to predecessors found on Eat the Low Dogs.

As far as the tone of Run Thick in the Night, it’s the perfect kind of music to listen to on a pitch black night with only the stars out. Melancholy and haunting somberness permeate every note on the album, but perhaps there is less of a feeling of desperation and sadness than on Eat the Low Dogs. Some may even hear parallels to European folk/dark metal bands of the early 2000’s in terms of atmosphere and some riffing.

There are no throwaway tracks here nor are there lulls in quality. After a good number of listens, it’ll be crystal clear that U.S. CHRISTMAS are one of the underground’s best. (Neurot Recordings)

U.S. CHRISTMAS: Run Thick in the Night Drops September 20th

Neurot Recording artists U.S. CHRISTMAS are set to release their fifth album, Run Thick in the Night on September 20th. The album was recorded by Sanford Parker at Fahrenheit Studio in Johnson City, Tennessee, mixed by Parker and U.S. CHRISTMAS members Nate Hall, Matt Johnson and Josh Holt at Semaphore Studios in Chicago, IL and mastered by Collin Jordan.

The Appalachian rockers just played some shows with the reactivated CORROSION OF CONFORMITY (Animosity line-up). They have a few other shows scheduled as of this writing:

9/05/2010 Static Age Records – Asheville, NC w/ BODY, ENOCH
9/11/2010 Hopscotch Music Fest – Raleigh NC
9/16/2010 Legitimate Business – Greensboro, NC w/ CALTROP
9/17/2010 The Milestone – Charlotte, NC w/ CALTROP

Rare STEVE VON TILL/HARVESTMAN Appearance and New Releases Announced

Steve Von Till (NEUROSIS, HARVESTMAN) will be performing a rare set in his home region in Moscow, Idaho this February. This set will feature the lone artist performing both HARVESTMAN and SVT solo material. The appearance is to take place at the Prichard Art Gallery in downtown Moscow at 8:00 PM on the 13th of February, as part of a week-long show about KUOI, the University of Idaho’s radio station.

As previously announced, HARVESTMAN is also confirmed as direct support for SHRINEBUILDER on three Bay Area shows this March, as part of the Neurot Recordings West Coast Tour featuring A STORM OF LIGHT in addition to SHRINEBUILDER.

2/13/2010 Prichard Art Gallery – Moscow, ID
3/05/2010 The Voodoo Lounge – San Jose, CA w/ SHRINEBUILDER, A STORM OF LIGHT, BRAIN OIL
3/06/2010 Oakland Metro – Oakland, CA w/ SHRINEBUILDER, A STORM OF LIGHT, LAUDANUM
3/07/2010 The Independent – San Francisco, CA w/ SHRINEBUILDER, A STORM OF LIGHT

This March, Neurot will release a limited edition release from HARVESTMAN, entitled Trinity. This release showcases the material actually used as the soundtrack for Italian horror film H2Odio [the English title is Hate 2 O], the album has been renamed for its Neurot Recordings release. Neurot will also then release the HARVESTMAN / MINSK / U.S. CHRISTMAS 3-way split entitled Hawkwind Triad; the split obviously featuring all three artists unleashing their takes on classic HAWKWIND covers! More info on both of these releases will be made available soon.

WEEDEATER “Nine Toe” Tour Announced

North Carolina’s WEEDEATERin light of the recent loss of frontman Dave “Dixie” Collins‘ toe due to a self-inflicted gun-cleaning wound–have announced the routing for their upcoming US tour, now officially dubbed the “Nine Toe” Tour. The month long tour kicks off a week before this year’s SXSW, where WEEDEATER will headline the Tone Deaf Touring showcase on March 20th. Support bands for the tour include BLACK COBRA, ASG, BLACK TUSK, THE GATES OF SLUMBER, US CHRISTMAS, and STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

The band will also enter with Steve Albini at Electrical Audio Studios in April to record their new release entitled Jason… The Dragon, to be released later this year again on Southern Lord.

Check out a full statement from the band regarding the tour and recording on the band’s Myspace page:

WEEDEATER 2010 “Nine Toe” Tour
3/12/2010 The Jinx – Savannah, GA
3/13/2010 The Back Booth – Orlando, FL
3/14/2010 Crazy Marlins – Panama City Beach, FL
3/15/2010 Lenny’s – Atlanta, GA
3/16/2010 Bottletree – Birmingham, AL
3/17/2010 Hi Tone – Memphis, TN
3/18/2010 The Channel @ Meridian – Houston, TX
3/19/2010 Skillman Street Bar – Dallas, TX
3/20/2010 Encore – Austin, TX @ Tone Deaf SXSW Showcase
3/21/2010 Zombie’s – San Antonio, TX
3/23/2010 Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
3/24/2010 Chasers – Scottsdale, AZ
3/26/2010 Ultra Violet – Los Angeles, CA
3/27/2010 Elbo Room – San Francisco, CA
3/28/2010 Rotture – Portland, OR
3/29/2010 Funhouse – Seattle, WA
3/31/2010 Club Vegas – Salt Lake City, UT
4/01/2010 Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
4/02/2010 The Record Bar – Kansas City, MO
4/03/2010 Triple Rock – Minneapolis, MN
4/04/2010 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
4/05/2010 Mac’s – Lansing, MI
4/06/2010 The Southgate House – Newport, KY
4/07/2010 The Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH
4/08/2010 Wreck Room – Toronto, ON
4/09/2010 Bug Jar – Rochester, NY
4/10/2010 Webster Hall (Studio) – New York, NY
4/11/2010 Khyber – Philadelphia, PA
4/12/2010 DC9 – Washington, DC
4/13/2010 Krug’s – Frederick, MD
4/14/2010 The Triple – Richmond, VA

U.S. CHRISTMAS: Tour Dates, Including Scion Rock Fest

U.S. CHRISTMAS are kicking off a handful of shows beginning tonight in their home state of North Carolina. Along the way, the band will be making a stop in Atlanta for the Scion Rock Fest (which also features heavyweights, MASTODON, NEUROSIS, CONVERGE, and more). Here are the dates:

Jan. 30, 2009 New French Bar Asheville, North Carolina w/ ENOCH and AMPS FOR SATAN
Jan. 31, 2009 The Pilot Light/Knoxville Knoxville, Tennessee w/ ACROSS TUNDRAS & GOV
Feb. 13, 2009 Drips Hickory, North Carolina w/ ZOROASTER and HATEMONGER
Feb. 18, 2009 New French Bar Asheville, North Carolina w/ PONTIAK
Feb. 28, 2009 Atlanta Metal Fest/Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia w/ NEUROSIS, MASTODON and more
Mar. 6, 2009 The Hideaway, Johnson City, Tennessee
Mar. 13, 2009 MACA, Marion, North Carolina
Apr. 25, 2009 Beyond the Pale/Roadburn Fest, Tilburg, Zuid-Holland w/ NEUROSIS, OM, EARTH, GRAILS, and more

Check out our review of U.S. CHRISTMAS‘ excellent album, Eat the Low Dogs.

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2008

We finally got off our asses and did it.  It’s already the year 2009, but we’ve complied a list of our top albums of 2008.  Compiling such a list is never easy, and 2008 was no exception.  Maybe it was a lack of albums that really stood out, or maybe we just weren’t paying enough attention.  Regardless, we took a quick look back on the metal albums we felt were notable in 2008.
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U.S. CHRISTMAS – Eat the Low Dogs

When an album like Eat the Low Dogs comes into your life, it’s a godsend. It breaks the cycle of repetitive boredom that often comes with listening to so much music. U.S. CHRISTMAS are truly their own band with a unique style that is atmospheric, emotional, brooding, and powerful. Thankfully, their sound isn’t as simple as cutting and pasting riffs from different genres together. Eat the Low Dogs is a journey that encompasses plenty of sweeping guitars in progressive, psychedelic, and atmospheric fashion. There’s a great implementation of theremin and synthesizers that really adds to the overall feel of things. In many (positive) ways, U.S. CHRISTMAS are reminiscent of the legendary IN THE WOODS… Nate Hall really leads the band as his tortured and emotional vocals really hit deep and make a strong impression. The album should be considered as one piece of music as listening to just one individual song really doesn’t convey what it’s all about. It really is powerfully cohesive. It’s is all about “feel.” The mood of Eat the Low Dogs is truly depressing and desolate, and is perfect for those lonely late night listening sessions during a cold night. Without a doubt one of the best albums of 2008. (Neurot Recordings)

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