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Aqualamb Party w/ Lo-Pan, Frayle
Presented by Aqualamb and Orange
Featuring Aqualamb Artists:
Plus guest performances by Black Black Black, The Space Merchants, Bowery Boy Blue, and Nathaniel Shannon & the Vanishing Twin
Inspired by the lack of album art in the age of invisible music, Brooklyn-based record label AQUALAMB publishes 100+ page printed books of artwork and writings as physical accompaniments to its releases. Essentially, each album's art and liner notes (traditionally confined to an LP gatefold, a CD booklet, or the screen of some music-playing device) are reconfigured into an expanded book form.
$10 TIX - $12 DOS
Respected hard rock band Lo-Pan has a new LP, 'Subtle', via Aqualamb Records. The Ohio group, known for its dichotomic sound which merges sturm und drang heaviness with relentlessly catchy, AOR laden melody, recorded the new album at both NYC's Reservoir and The Union studios with Grammy Award winning producer James Brown (Foo Fighters, Ghost, NIN). Lo-Pan's fourth record, 'Subtle' was mastered by famed engineer Ted Jensen (Alice in Chains, Guns 'N' Roses, Mastodon) and is the highly anticipated follow-up to the unit's 2017 release, 'In Tensions', a record hailed as "rock more akin for a day at the beach than a nightmarish, post-apocalyptic dungeon lair" (Last Rites).
It’s hardly a secret that some of the most potent hard rock ever rocked comes from the American midwest; places like Detroit and Cleveland, after all, have proven to serve as perfect inspiration for first-rate heavy music. Formed in 2005 and forged from the fire of more than 1,000 white hot live performances alongside peers such as High on Fire, Torche, KENmode and more, Lo-Pan's "secret" is its unfuckwithable ability to create immersive rock music born of dynamic dazzle, progressive pummel and emotional energy. Silky, yet punishing.
With their fourth full-length, bassist Skot Thompson, drummer Jesse Bartz, guitarist Chris Thompson and singer Jeff Martin have pushed Lo-Pan's already high ceiling straight through its proverbial roof. 'Subtle' opening track "10 Days" begins with the unmistakable static of a guitar being plugged in; an entryway to a beautifully gnarly riff that heralds an album built on heavy walls of sound and feeling, underpinned by the familiar collision of Bartz’s heavy hitting and Thompson’s sleek basslines, all in service to Martin’s transcendent vocal performances.
And as regards those vocal performances, the next cut, “Savage Heart” contains one of Martin’s most exceptional. The LP continues its flow with “Ascension Day,” a title that can’t help but recall post-rock progenitors Talk Talk at their most opaquely experimental, but Lo-Pan’s song of the same name is in an altogether different zone, moving forward on the strength of an unyielding groove while Martin’s frictionless vocal floats above it all. Things take a turn for the doomier on “Everything Burns,” a long slow-burner that relentlessly advances at a pace that makes every note hit HARD.
Frayle makes music for the night sky. The group was formed in 2017 by guitarist Sean Bilovecky (formerly of now-defunct Man's Ruin recording artists Disengage) and vocalist Gwyn Strang, a singer with an alluring voice and an equally compelling flair for imagery. Frayle’s “lullabies over chaos” approach to songwriting allows the group the freedom to explore what is possible with heavy music; its gorgeously ominous sound a result of complex layering and tone stacking while simultaneously overseeing the perfectly delicate balance between heaving, heavy riffs and haunting vocal melodies. With its full-length debut, '1692', Frayle pushes the immense intensity and gorgeous ache of its unique sound and style through to uncompromising new plateaus. While there is much darkness on the record, it’s also contrasted superbly with beauty, both fragile and fierce, in a way that feels weightless rather than plummeting, as if release truly is a possibility. Frayle release their debut LP "1692" on & Aqualamb Records (North America) Laybare Recordings (Europe). The record is an immediate success with both fans and critics alike. In addition to vocalist Gwyn Strang and guitarist Sean Bilovecky, Frayle features drummer Pat Ginley, bassist Eric Mzik and guitarist Ellliot Rosen.
Kerrang! debuted the new Frayle song and video, "Godless", saying, "It doesn’t seem like Frayle are trying to be scary, but it’s undeniable that something about them sends a shiver up your spine...like a ghost singing a nursery rhyme over the rumbling of the haunted house around you."
Metal Injection premiered the new Frayle track "Darker Than Black", noting, "If you're in the mood for thunderous doom with Portishead-esque vocals overtop, you're going to need Frayle in your life." The song debuts via a lyric video filmed live in Brooklyn this past December when Frayle performed at Saint Vitus Bar.
Revolver debuted a video for the new Frayle song "Gods of No Faith", with the magazine describing the group's sound as a "haunting, hypnotic mix of crushing Sleep-style doom and cooing ethereal vocals à la Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser."
Frayle released its debut EP, 'The White Witch', in 2018 on Laybare Recordings (Europe) & Seeing Red Records (North America) to warm reception; the four track effort leading to a recording deal and spotlight live festival appearances at Desertfest Belgium (w/ High on Fire, Yob) and The Netherland's Soulcrusher Fest (w/ Deafheaven, Inter Arma) in short order. In its premiere of Frayle's video "Let the Darkness In", Decibel exclaimed, "Frayle‘s take on doom is hypnotic", while Ohio entertainment tome PressureLife forecasted, "Keep your eyes peeled for Frayle. The band can help change the way young people get into heavy music. In fact, we could have a doomy Nirvana situation on our hands."
“Let the Darkness In” trades in dark psychedelics and heavy, dripping drums that punctuate the riffing that plays in and around vocalist Gwyn Strang’s superb voice. Sean Bilovecky’s command of how to let a riff inhale and exhale instead of thundering into the next musical idea recalls Sleep in their best moments." - Nine Circles
"It may be hard to believe that Cleveland, Ohio’s FRAYLE only formed a short two years ago in 2017, yet in that time they have made one hell of an impression on a countless number of souls. A haunting aural experience." - Riff Relevant
LINKS TO ALL THINGS FRAYLE:
Frayle Bandcamp : https://frayle.bandcamp.com
Frayle Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/frayleband/
Frayle Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/frayle_band/
Frayle Website : http://frayleband.com/
THE SPACE MERCHANTS
Somewhere between the astral plane and the sticky floors of a biker bar—that’s the sonic zone inhabited by Kiss the Dirt. At once heavy and propulsive, blissed out and Southern fried, the highly anticipated sophomore
release from Brooklyn’s The Space Merchants sits in constant tension between grit and transcendence. Grammy-winning engineer James Brown (Foo Fighters, Spoon, Kings of Leon) produced and mixed the record,
building on the promise of the band’s acclaimed 2015 debut. That record’s sunny psych vibes earned raves from the likes of Magnet and scored a KEXP song of the day.
The Space Merchants, though, took their name from a ‘50s sci-fi novel. And on Kiss the Dirt they set their controls for the ends of infinity, with a thematic sweep that explores notions of mortality, rebirth and chaos.
Brown’s production adds muscle and finesse, recalling Black Mountain in joining Sabbath-weight power moves and T. Rexian swagger to the earthy groove of The Band and Bobbie Gentry’s crossover twang. But it’s Mike
Guggino and Ani Monteleone’s lazer-guided harmonies that, coupled with a layer of atmospheric psych/space tones, launch these ten songs into the cosmos.
On the title track drummer Carter Logan (also one half of Jim Jarmusch’s musical vehicle, Sqürl) and bassist Aileen Brophy lay down supple slabs of rhythm for Guggino’s slithery riffs and Monteleone’s organ pads. Guggino and Monteleone trade vocals, toggling between her pure-as-light clarity and his silky crooner’s rock as they interrogate cosmic forces (“I named a lot of stars/but I never named the sun/so do you think it knows like I know?”). A Fleetwood Mac-worthy harmony, supported by Brophy on backing vocals, sets up an ascendant and (as usual) ripping Guggino solo.
Another standout, “Not Tonight” punctuates its revved up last-dance-in-a-cosmic-honkytonk groove with explosive tremolo bursts that would make Jason Pierce proud. While “All the Love” struts in low and slow, slinking toward an epic jam that crescendos with crashing drums and taught, twined guitar lines before drifting back to Earth and summoning an even bigger wave of sound in the coda. A Stone Roses–style Brit pop jangler, side 2 opener “The Edge of the World” adds another, brighter hue to the aural palette.
Kiss the Dirt features cover art by internationally renowned artist and designer Braulio Amado (who has worked on design projects for Beck). And it’s accompanied by a 100-page psychedelic sci-fi graphic novel
illustrated by Joshua Ray Stevens (creator of album art for Sub Pop’s hip hop supergroup Shabazz Palaces). Inspired in part by a Donovan interview, the novel explores notions of mortality, entropy, chaos and control. In it, the band transcends time and space to drink with Alexander the Great from his victory chalice only moments before his death and the collapse of his empire. “The songs on the record are all about being painfully aware of the limitations of mortality,” Guggino says. “We are set adrift in a sea of chaos that is the universe, so the graphic novel envisions the opposite—a universe where we are in control, but only for a
Elsewhere Guggino’s “limitations of mortality” manifest as world-weary laments (“I’ve done too much living for this world/I know that it hurts”) and country-style narratives. “Not Tonight”, for example, is a story of
star-crossed dance floor romance while “City Lights” tells the tale of a sordid breakup (“Leave your coat on ‘cause you ain’t gonna come inside”). But on Kiss the Dirt, everything rooted in the ways of the world is just a
means for transcending it. So it’s no surprise when you hear the record’s last lyric: “In that fire I’ll be reborn/And I wanna help it burn”.
"A unique brand of lo-fi psych rock... their huge-yet minimal sound, mixing psych with blues and country-style riffs to make something great." –Magnet
"Like some proverbial psychedelic mish mash of The B-52s... It's a curious mix of the psychedelic, country, shoegaze and college rock but works so well due to its almost carefree attitude... You can't help fall for the wonderful charm inherent here. Timeless and fun... Hitch a ride with these merchants, they'll look after you and take you on a hell of a terrific trip." –Echoes and Dust
BOWERY BOY BLUE
IA: Instrumental Analysis: Sometimes you hear music that is so heartbreakingly beautiful that you can't help being drawn to it. That is definitely the case with NYC's Bowery Boy Blue. Their CD, Stalk That Myth, plays like a lo-fi Americana orchestra. Touching vocals delivered in a way that you can't get out of your head, layered instrumentation... it's all there.
Icanthropy: Comparable to Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers and Rolf Klausener of The Acorn, Bowery Boy Blue’s Zeb Gould has one of those gorgeously soft and delicate voices. Likewise, much like The Acorn’s Glory Hope Mountain, Zeb Gould’s magnificent vocal is backed by the equally brilliant instrumentations by the rest of the band on Stalk That Myth (the violin on "Come Closer Sisters", "Eye For Love" and "Ghost Of The Blues" is especially beautiful!). Bowery Boy Blue’s debut full-length is a fantastic folk rock album; it is wonderfully breathtaking and genuinely passionate.
9 Bullets: New York’s, Bowery Boy Blue are set to release their debut cd, Stalk That Myth on July 29. I’ve been listening to on repeat it all weekend working on the house and haven’t grown tired of it. Over the course of three years Bowery Boy Blue has grown from the solo efforts of Zeb Gould releasing EP’s to a quartet featuring Sam Crawford on lap slide and lead guitar, Christian Rutledge on drums, and Michael Trepagnier on Bass. Stalk The Myth is a lo-fi americana experience that should be considered must listen for any fans of Neil Young or Magnolia Elec. Co.
3Hive: If it's possible to have a father figure whom you've never actually met, Neil Young is mine. Ever since I can remember, he's taught me some valuable lessons just by picking (or swinging) at his guitar, blowing into his harmonica, and singing in that sweet, cracked falsetto. You get the sense that Bowery Boy Blue has learned a lot as well. Zeb Gould (who, with his wife Megan, also makes music as Stereofan) certainly borrows from Young's catalog for both his quieter moments and for his way with guitar fuzz. But he's equally enamored, as with Will Oldham and many of his kind, with the gothic roots of Americana. The result is songs that are somber, heartfelt, and sublime.
The Deli Music Magazine (NYC): It's wet and sad, soaring and intensely intimate, and has tunes that after hearing them only twice were running through my sleepy bed-head every morning for a week. Bowery Boy Blue is a master of lo-fi orchestration and uses limited means but exceptional ingenuity and craftsmanship to create these 5 haunted moments...The first track, 'Give em' what they want (Okay!),' will be added to every mix tape I make for the rest of my life - lyrics like pastoral paintings of stolen moments and subtly anthemic chorus.
NATHANIEL SHANNON & THE VANISHING TWIN
Trespasses is the startling full-length debut from the Brooklyn-via-Detroit artist NATHANIEL SHANNON AND THE VANISHING TWIN. Released on Aqualamb Records, the record features fifteen truly haunting tracks, the accumulation of nearly a decade of bedroom recordings by singer and multi-instrumentalist NATHANIEL SHANNON.
Never intended for the public, the hymns that make up Trespasses present an uninhibited glimpse into the murky corners of SHANNON‘s life-long fascination with the psychology of lurid sounds and visual arts. SHANNON describes the album as “a fantastical exploration into the mind of a person trying to hold his composure, and not let his inner demons loose.
These songs are inspired by true situations I have read about, experienced, or created as an exercise in living out the life of characters who aren’t real, but could be. This is the soundtrack for a horror film that doesn’t exist.”
The perfect manifestation of SHANNON‘s vision comes in the form of Trespasses‘ lead off track “Debutantes.” Based loosely on Japan’s cannibal turned pop-culture figure Issei Sagawa, the song unfolds from his point of view — lust turning deadly not out of evil, but out of a blissful yearning to be one with his object of desire.
The rest of Trespasses continues the exploration of damaged relationships in varying forms physical and emotional dependency, superficial connections, volatile love, masochism, loss, religion and night time bloodlust, all told through SHANNON‘s vivid lyrical style and vocal delivery an unreliable narrator just on the teetering edge of breakdown. As a true solo endeavor, Trespasses finds SHANNON writing and performing nearly all of the album’s music —a cinematic array of layered textures including organ, ambient guitar and saxophone — orienting the music somewhere between Badalementi’s Twin Peaks score and Springsteen’s stripped down Nebraska.
Originally thought lost in the chaos of several breakups and subsequent moves throughout Brooklyn, Trespasses is an album that almost never was. Multi-track sessions for the songs were eventually unearthed and revisited, taking shape with the mixing and mastering assistance of Today Is the Day’s sonic mastermind Steve Austin. The songs’ dark themes are reinforced in the album’s accompanying artwork, also created by SHANNON who is an accomplished photographer and multimedia artist.
Said Austin, “I am super excited about the new album from NATHANIEL SHANNON AND THE VANISHING TWIN. Multi-dimensional songwriting takes you down a dark ally. You’re in a smoke filled room surrounded by thieves and hustlers. Every song on this record is true. It picks up and slams you down emotionally. NATHANIEL‘s no rules approach to putting these songs together pits it as the alternate version of the Taxi Driver soundtrack. In other words, it’s honest. It’s real.”
484 Union ave.
Brooklyn, NY, 11211