Upcoming releases and tours of THE BIBLE OF THE DEVIL, ZEKE, GRAFTON and BASSHOLES!

Created by Klaus Kleinowski |

NEW AND UP-COMING RELEASES:

BASSHOLES - "Bassholes" - Dead Canary Records

GRAFTON - "Blind Horse Campaign" - Dead Canary Records

THE BIBLE OF THE DEVIL - "Tight Empire" - Dead Teenager Records

 

TOURS:

ZEKE

BASSHOLES

BASSHOLES - "The Bassholes" - Dead Canary Records

The Bassholes, released on the utterly independent Dead Canary label, is the first full-length by the band of the same name since 1998's Long Way Blues on Matador and When My Blue Moon Turns Red Again on In the Red.

 

While the two-piece band, comprised of singer/guitarist Don Howland and drummer Lamont "Bim" Thomas, has been active in the years since - touring the Midwest, West Coast and Europe in the interval - recording has been problematic since Howland's move to North Carolina and Thomas' to Cleveland around the time of Long Way Blues' release.

 

Howland recorded a solo album for Birdman called The Land Beyond The Mountains in 2001 that would've been a Bassholes album if Thomas had been around, but time and distance were a problem.

 

Up to this point, the Bassholes, reflecting Howland's bi-polar nature, had a sort of rhythm going with their long-players:  the first, third and fifth albums were recorded in deep, deep lo-fi, while the second and fourth were big studio productions.  The former batch (Blue Roots, Deaf Mix 3 and Long Way Blues) were considered by listeners to be weird to the extent that "experimental" often turned up in reviews, while the latter batch, considerably more listenable and likable to an audience that preferred rock to wondering whether their speakers had blown, were more straight-ahead, owing largely to the rushed nature of $40-$100 an hour recording sessions.

 

The good guys at Dead Canary, after releasing an EP of lo-fi weird stuff recorded in a broom closet in Asheville, offered the band a chance to do something new - record some of the weird stuff in a hi-fi setting.  Howland and Thomas met up in their old hometown of Columbus, Ohio and fed off the mostly but not entirely positive vibes of familiarity, working in a comfortable and well-appointed studio (Workbook) with a master engineer in Jon Chinn.  The result is The Bassholes, which is far and away Howland's favourite record in the chain.  (But then, it ought to be.)

 

The Bassholes began as a two-piece in 1992 in Columbus, Ohio. The 2-piece format was not so much an aesthetic decision as a practical one.  (It was certainly not a trendy decision; there were no other two-piece bands going then until the Flat Duo Jets canned their bass player.)  Gibson Brothers singer/guitarist Don Howland, a father and an inner-city middle school teacher, realized he had a lot of songs he still wanted to try but was too stress-fried to deal with organizing a 3- or 4-piece band.

 

A country blues fanatic, Howland was fond of those impromptu Lightning Hopkins recordings from the '50s when Spider Kilpatrick or Connie Kroll happened by to play drums, and the Bassholes, but for a three month or so period when they tried adding a bass player, has remained a guitar-drums duo from the get-go.   A series of 45s on various labels (compiled along with unreleased stuff from the period on an upcoming release on N.Y.C.'s Secret Keeper) and an LP on In The Red (Blue Roots, the label's first full-length, later reissued on John Fahey's Revenant label) were recorded in the converted stable house behind an operating funeral home with ex-Gibson Brothers' drummer Rich Lillash manning the tubs.  They moved inside the home, down the hall and past the draining room, to work on material for second and third LP 's, and the band (with Thomas subbing for Lillash at a Cleveland gig and sticking on ever since) has cantered along and accepting, finally, its cult status.

 

Hooking up with Grafton's Lou Poster, who drove the band on a Midwest jaunt in his fur-lined ex-CIA conversion van, the Bassholes recognized a kindred spirit.  The two bands did some gigs together, Grafton's meat-and-spuds-and-suds Midwest power rock and the Bassholes' how-do-two-guys-make-all-that-noise? din complementing one another nicely. When Poster said he was starting Dead Canary (the name harkens to Poster's roots in the coal country of West Virginia), the Bassholes, who only work with friends, said they'd be happy to do an EP for the fledging label. The idea for doing a full-length album on Dead Canary naturally followed.

 

Howland, who continues to teach middle school history and English because it is meaningful work, has a tough time describing the band's sound to people who ask, but it is a sound that reflects the sensibilities of a man who is first and foremost a music lover, and has been since his dad would bring home Top 40 hits - Animals and Sam the Sham and Gentrys and Castaways - on 45, every payday back in the mid-'60s.  A list of the covers the band has undertaken over the years might say as much about where the Bassholes are coming from as any critic blurb; it includes both widely influential and remotely obscure tracks alike but they all share a certain surreal if wanton bleakness and they are all songs Howland loves passionately:  "Broke Down Engine" by Blind Willie McTell (a live staple presented here in high fidelity), the Avantes' "Baby Go" Joy Division's "Interzone", the Fugs' "Coming Down", the Ramones' "Havana Affair", ESG's "Moody", the Stooges' "Raw Power", the Frogs' "Jesus Book" Bob Dylan and the Band's "Yea! Heavy and a Bottle of Bread", the Who's "Tattoo" and "Heaven and Hell" (the latter included in this set), Alan Vega's "Love Cry", Skip James' "Evil Devil Blues", the Germs' "Lion's Share", and pub-rocker Lew Lewis' classic Stiff B-side "Caravan Man"  (also in this set, with guitar augmentation by the Derek DiCenzo and harp by local (Columbus) harp legend Pete Remenyi.). Maybe that'll help. Or maybe not. If you want the answer Howland usually resorts to, it's "sort of like punk rock."

 

Click or paste this link into your browser to hear "Blackbird": http://www.evilbitch666.com/streaming/Bassholes_Blackbird.m3u

Bassholes will be touring Europe in February and March alongside Monsieur Jeffrey Evans! Check out the dates here!!!

 

GRAFTON - "Blind Horse Campaign" - Dead Canary Records

"With touring, your job is actually to drive for eight hours. The pay is you get to play." Or so says Lou Poster, singer/guitar slinger for Columbus, Ohio chug rockers Grafton. Talk about "getting it." No, not getting it like broad-bedding or some lost 80s flick on 3am USA. Actually, flip to USA at 3am these days and it's mostly infomercials. The whole dank landscape of info-getting and entertainment "options" has mind-melded most into automatons lookin' to get their oil fix and just keep creaking along. Whereas these Grafton boys avoid American idolization, and intrinsically understand the life force equation of making music: gather pals, swallow beer, write songs, tour lots, nurse hangover, repeat when necessary.

 

Like let's face it -- you can point your index digit at downloading, evil corporate labels, video games, etc. But the situation is the whole old rock band career tract is a mess o' dashed dreams, bad contracts, and icky egos. So as usual, the best idea is to play, work up a fan base, and numero einz -- have a ball with your pals cuz the Grim Reaper's getting antsy and gives fuck all about matching red and white outfits, Vans sponsorships, or industry "buzz".

 

Yup, death fear, abyss-avoiding -- that dirty lil' secret of nigh on five decades of R'n'R "fun" -- stumbles around Grafton's noise just as sure as the bruised boogie riffs, smashing drums, and punk rock fury of their growing indie infamy. Since their '96 inception as a chopped folk duo through to their bass-adding, foot-stomping '99 engorgement, they've toured throughout the Midwest and east coast. And recently they survived their fourth west coast swing, y'know that area of the country where they pretend to dismiss us heartlanders' hops-swiggin' hard rockin' ways, but nonetheless gave Grafton their best reception yet.

 

Though it does point up a large chunk of Grafton's raison d'rock: having fun. No doubt their vibe is loaded with coal town sludge, hometown boredom, relationship bitching, and general dark clouds with a chance of shit-kicking. But notice that most of the time the boys are laughing as they fuck up the song endings. They genuinely appreciate those 2 guys that returned from the last Morgantown show. And on their latest and greatest CD, BLIND HORSE CAMPAIGN (after 2 singles and a long player), you can separate yourself from the pummelling live blast via a raw but explosive recording that exposes the sturdy hooks in the rocky depths, plus some weird rhythms you didn't expect, did you?

 

Grafton is smarter than your average flannelled alt rockers, harder workers too. So quit missing them, ditch the sitcom world, and groove to the "getting it" sound of Grafton.

 

Click or paste this link into your browser to hear "I've Been Lookin'": http://www.evilbitch666.com/streaming/Grafton_I'veBeenLookin'.m3u

Grafton are planning a European tour this Spring so keep your eyes peeled for updates!

 

ZEKE - Confirmed European tour!

"Ride With Zeke" has quickly become the mantra for music fans who have accepted the invitation brought by on Heckler Magazine when they said, "Welcome the new monsters of rock." And believe me, West Coast punk / thrashers ZEKE are monsters. Ever since their very first gig at the Rock City in Seattle in 1993, people have had no choice but to pay attention. Their records will assault you, and their live show will batter you.

 

ZEKE established a nasty disposition while cutting teeth on their own brash hardcore punk. ZEKE formed in 1993 with an original lineup of Blind Marky Felchtone, Donny Paycheck, Mark Pierce, and Dizzy Lee Roth. The band's first release was 1993's 'West Seattle Acid Party' single on Wrecking Ball Records, followed by the 'Holley 750' single on IFA Records. ZEKE then set out to bring their energetic recordings to the stage and established a more than formidable reputation as "the live band to beat" via concentrated regional touring.

 

The self titled single 'Zeke' was then released on Scooch Pooch Records and was followed by the 1995 release 'Super Sound Racing.' ZEKE then hit the road again, unveiling a devastatingly high-octane live assault. The band was heralded as "Rock and Roll outlaws," playing every conceivable venue that would have them. The release of the next full-length, 'Flat Tracker' a year later ensured ZEKE had enough audio ammo to stay on the road for months on end. And tour they would...

 

In 1997 Man's Ruin Records issued the live album 'PIG' to a rousing response. ZEKE then signed to Epitaph Records in 1998, releasing, 'Kicked In The Teeth.' 'Kicked In The Teeth' was mixed and engineered by Jack Endino and the album's increased distribution and availability found the band legions of white-knuckled new followers.

 

ZEKE recorded the follow up to 'Kicked in the Teeth' -- 'Dirty Sanchez' -- with Kurt Bloch of THE FASTBACKS. 'Dirty Sanchez' was released in early 2000. ZEKE's second Epitaph release, 'Dirty Sanchez' rocked like a motherfucker. From the beginning quote of "Hey, he's acting weird, it must be drugs!" to the last roar of the FLEETWOOD MAC's "Rhiannon," 'Dirty Sanchez' bludgeoned with tireless energy. Following 'Dirty Sanchez's' release, bassist Mark Pierce left the band and was replaced by Jeff "The Kid" Matz.

 

Throughout the time that ZEKE called Epitaph home, they toured relentlessly. The band paired up with anyone and everyone who would have them, hitting the road with the likes of JERRY CANTRELL (ALICE IN CHAINS), ALL, THE VOODOO GLOW SKULLS, DOA, THE SUPERSUCKERS and even a few dates with PEARL JAM. The band toured the U.S., Europe, Japan and Australia, spreading their rock while breaking all the rules. ZEKE played everything from stadiums with 50,000 people, to bars with 10 people, but the spirit remained the same; rock like this might be the last show ever.

 

The band's fifth full-length, 'Death Alley' was released in 2001. Even after a solid stretch of similarly themed and arranged albums, ZEKE's 'Death Alley' began with the premise that "fast is just not fast enough." 'Death Alley' continued the band's full-throttle approach, utilizing ZEKE's essential formula -- a manic, methamphetamine lab distillation of early American hardcore and classic rock -- to full effect.

 

When you're a punk band that is eternally touring, strange things are bound to happen that will have as much of an influence on the band as the music that got them started. KISS, BLACK FLAG, THE RAMONES and BLACK SABBATH all get a run for the money when it comes to ZEKE antics. When asked about some specifics, vocalist / guitarist Marky Felchtone rattled off a brief list: "Drum sticks in eyes, broken bones, incidents involving cake, drugs and under-aged females, Black Metal homicides, etc...you name it" Felchtone went on to note that the reason he and ZEKE love touring so much is that it's "it's the best reason to avoid real responsibility."

 

After leaving Epitaph and releasing 2003's 'Live and Uncensored,' ZEKE began writing new material and set out looking for a suitable label that they could not only feel at home with, but one that could handle their "balls to the wall" rock and roll and enjoy the band as fans first. A contract with Relapse was inked in October, 2003 and saw the band join an artist stable (MASTODON, HIGH ON FIRE, ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY, BONGZILLA, etc) that are at once musically mated and touring compatible. ZEKE found their new home.

 

ZEKE set the cruise control to "white hot" on their Relapse debut, ''Til the Livin' End.' A relentless ride of rock and roll abandon, ZEKE's ''Til the Livin' End' mixes punk nihilism with a hard hitting metal extravagance. ''Til the Livin' End' burns from start to finish, as super-charged guitars, electrifying leads and a raucous punk attitude race full-throttle down a highway to Hell.

 

Thank the gods of rock and roll, you've just met your new favorite band. Check out the tour-dates here!

 

BIBLE OF THE DEVIL - "Tight Empire" - Dead Teenager Records

Since playing their first show on New Year's Eve, 1999, Bible Of The Devil have made a niche for themselves playing dirty, brutal, liquor-soaked rock n' roll inspired by the roots metal and garage thrash of a bygone era when rock was exciting, sinister, and dangerous. Flaunting influences such as Turbonegro, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, and countless more, BOTD have forged quite a unique sound for themselves throughout their four-year existence, a sound not at all common in the ranks of Chicago rock 'n' roll.

 

Bible of the Devil have toured extensively throughout the United States in the past few years, rapidly approaching 300 shows played on both coasts and countless destinations in-between. Their latest offering, "TIGHT EMPIRE" serves as the triumphant follow-up to 2002's "FIREWATER AT MY COMMAND", which vaulted the band into its current incarnation as an anthemic four-piece twin-guitar assault rock ensemble.

 

European release date for "Tight Empire" is planned for March 2005 while a tour alongside italian The Nerds is being worked on for September/October 2005. Stay tuned for more info!

 

 

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