Possession share graven images, The Mooks make a play, Ezox have mask appeal, Black Star Riders find grace and more in today’s Roundup. For some reason, today’s lineup is almost all metal and folk. So rock out — but, you know, gently.
1 I could tell you all sorts of stuff about the appropriately spooky and Satanic video for Possession’s Graven, a track from the death-metal kings’ recent album Revelations of Oblivion. But I’m just going to share one key fact: It stars the mighty Peter Stormare from Fargo and countless other killer roles. If that doesn’t make you want to watch it, I can’t help you. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: Jeff Becerra comments, “We are extremely excited to release our new music video for the song Graven. This is actually our very first cinematic music video. I want to say thank you to my good friend Peter Stormare for everything and for being such an amazing inspiration. Of course, thank you to my band mates.” Hail Stormare:
2 Toronto indie-rockers The Mooks came to play. In more ways than one. On the video for their power-poppy single Let It All Fall Down, the band not only deliver the standard performance footage, but also showcase their own weird brand of handball — which inspires some unique dance footage, perhaps tossed in just for shiggles. Either way, it’s clear they’re game. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Let It All Fall Down is a sunny, uptempo song that captures the feeling of newly discovered love and the desire for reciprocation. It’s a reminder not to sweat the small stuff of everyday life and to find happiness from love. This track is inspired by the feeling of a coalescing love and waiting for confirmation. Letting any reservations or doubts go and simply submitting oneself.” Just play along:
3 Some things that seem like good ideas in the moment turn out to be … well, not so good. For instance, I bet French metallions Ezox thought it would look way-cool to sport gas masks in the video for the song For Today, the melodic-yet-brutal single from their album One Last Breath. But I suspect that after they spent the day outside playing along with the track over and over while struggling to breathe, they thought differently. Rookie mistake. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Founded in 2013 in South-East of France, Ezox is a melodic metal four-piece which spend its first year as a band to write some songs and find its own musical path. Ezox‘s first effort official Crawl To Paradise compiling the works written between 2014 and 2018 is a bewitching journey through violence and melodies of an announced disaster that sounds like crushing waves…” Take a deep breath:
4 I love Thin Lizzy. You love Thin Lizzy. And the guys in Black Star Riders obviously love Thin Lizzy — most of them have played in the latest version of the band once led by the late Phil Lynott. So it’s no surprise that their latest song Another State of Grace — the title track to their Sept. 6 album — mines the same sort of Celtic-tinged boogie-rock as classic Lizzy. But it’s still a nice treat regardless. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Vocalist Ricky Warwick says “We wanted a video that was direct, straightforward and uncompromising. To portray the power and meaning behind the song!” Mission accomplished:
5 You can go home again. As long as your home is in Johnstown. And your name is Suzie Ungerleider, a.k.a. Oh Susanna. The veteran Canadian folksinger and songwriter recently remastered and reissued her 1999 debut disc for Record Store Day, and on June 14 it will be available online. But first, here’s an animated lyric video to go with the searingly grim title cut. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Johnstown is considered a contemporary folk-noir masterpiece brimming with ghostly songs of melancholic beauty and menace. Oh Susanna’s voice evokes a cinematic narration to simultaneously warm the heart and chill the blood.” Don’t you cry for her:
6 Countless artists have written songs about their ex. And I’m sure plenty of them secretly hope that the subject of the song hears it. But Toronto collective New West might be the first people to apparently ask that person to get in touch — as they do in their soulful track Call Me When You Hear This Song, the title cut to the June 7 EP. Hopefully they reach the right person. Cause that could be awkward. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “There are two uncertainties in life… love and the weather. And as far as break ups go, it’s safe to say that they are not the easiest of situations. A broken heart affects the body holistically and can lead to some extreme imbalances in the life of the beholder, as well as the lives of their peers. However break ups are responsible for major changes in perception and character and often influence the necessary detours that lead us to important realizations about people and life. Centred on this concept, Call Me When You Hear This Song was the catalyst and inspiration behind the EP.” Operators are standing by:
7+8 Any artist can share one new song from their upcoming album. So North Carolina folk-blues interpreter Jake Xerxes Fussell goes the extra mile by dropping two updated vintage cuts — the shuffling Oh Captain and the instrumental Three Ravens — from his June 7 release Out of Sight. Talk about seeing double. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s a very unusual recording,” Fussell says of Oh Captain, a song originally recorded by singer and composer Willis Laurence James in the 1920s for Paramount. “James spent much of his life collecting and interpreting and writing about African American worksongs, yet few have recognized his short, obscure stint as a recording artist.” Three Ravens in an instrumental track inspired by a copy of Carl Sandburg’s The American Songbag that Fussell found while browsing an estate sale in Oxford, Mississippi. Inside, he found an “If found, please return to” note written by banjo player and singer John Hartford, with his Tennessee address.” Two for two:
9 Eamon McGrath deserves a lot more attention than he gets. And here’s your chance to give him some. The Canadian singer-songwriter just shared In Like a Lion, a warmhearted acoustic ballad featuring Leah Fay and The Devastation Trio that will hopefully appear on his upcoming album Guts. Which should be followed by some commercial glory, if there’s any justice in this world. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The consummate author and songwriter has put the final touches on what is becoming a landmark outpouring of work from the 30-year-old Toronto-based musician. In an exploration that began with Tantramar, McGrath expands on that album’s dark, introspective and atmospheric musical landscape that many call Canadiana: Americana’s darker, colder, Northern cousin.” Listen up:
10 I can only presume that San Jose rockers Zed take their name from the Pulp Fiction character. Of course, they’re a long way from, you know, dead. In fact, they’re most definitely alive and kicking on The Other Kind, a blazing boogie-metal blast from their fittingly titled July 26 album Volume. Bring out the gimp. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Making their roaring presence felt in the Bay Area rock scene since 2007, with heavy footprints and sonically indelible marks are San Jose earth shakers ZED. With a sound based on the core principles of blues, heaviness and groove, this quartet is the genuine article. No bell bottoms, wizard sleeves or hip huggers for this crew. Instead, it’s a barrage of head-bobbing, air-guitaring, hip-shaking, blues-driven riffage as delivered by the true bastards of rock and roll.” What’s wrong with bell bottoms?