Architects Of Delirium: Pinkish Black Stun Glendale

Review by Andrew Bansal, photos by Matt Nielson

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August 31st 2016, Complex, Glendale CA: Fort Worth, Texas experimental duo Pinkish Black recently concluded a two-week headline run, bringing their synth-heavy prog psych madness to stages across the US West Coast. Formed in 2010, the band has delivered three compelling studio full-length albums each on different labels, the latest release ‘Bottom Of The Morning’ having surfaced in 2015 via Relapse Records. They opened for Italian prog masters Goblin on a run of dates in 2014 and gained attention from a lot of people that were unfamiliar with them, and have been playing their own shows this year, drawing a good segment of that Goblin crowd to see them headline. Last Wednesday August 31st 2016, they arrived in the Los Angeles area for a gig at Complex in Glendale put together by Church Of The 8th Day and featuring openers Upsilon Acrux, Spirit Collector and Jason Christoper Watkins. Many had been eagerly awaiting this show in the weeks leading up to it, while some had ventured in on strong recommendations of their friends. Regardless, both sets of folks were in for quite a treat. Continue reading

Stranded In Psychedelia: Mars Red Sky Casts Spell On Viper Room

By Andrew Bansal

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August 30th 2016, The Viper Room, West Hollywood CA: Their third full-length LP ‘Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul)’ has been one of the finest releases of the year 2016, and since the February 2016 unveiling of the album via Listenable Records, French psych rock trio Mars Red Sky has been actively touring through Europe and beyond to present their newest material. Revolving around their appearance on the Psycho Las Vegas festival, they booked a two-week US headline tour and landed in Los Angeles last Tuesday August 30th for an event at the Viper Room, put together by Church Of The 8th Day and featuring Family and All Souls as support acts. Mars Red Sky have been around for nearly a decade and started gaining a fanbase in the underground with their 2011 self-titled debut, which was released independently and discovered by Metal Assault by somewhat of a happy accident, on an exploratory BandCamp session. This isn’t a band that tours the United States often, so this was a rare opportunity to experience them live, and they put on a show that exceeded all expectations quite overwhelmingly. Continue reading

Monday Psych Magic: Mondo Drag Ends Echoplex Residency

By Andrew Bansal

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August 29th 2016, Echoplex, Los Angeles CA: Oakland CA psych rock quintet Mondo Drag took over the Echoplex for three residency shows in the second half of August 2016, bringing their trippy jams to a locality in the Los Angeles most appropriate for their music. They opened for The Sword at the Glass House in Pomona last year and created a great first impression with a spellbinding performance, and the prospect of seeing them as a headline act made for an even more tempting prospect. Even amidst a plethora of other shows taking place in LA in August, many of similar or related musical styles, Mondo Drag’s residency drew good turnouts to the Echoplex, and they closed it out with the final show last Monday August 29th, with support acts Jesus Sons and Slow Season, a no-cover event. Despite the aftermath of the prior weekend’s Psycho Las Vegas festival affecting turnouts at stoner rock shows in LA during the first half of this week, Mondo Drag and company pulled a decent crowd and put on quite a show. Continue reading

Riffs & Roulette: World Of Stoner Rock Unites At Psycho Las Vegas

By Lisa Burke

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August 25-28 2016, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas NV: Metal festivals in America are few and far between and in comparison to large European festivals such as Wacken, Download, and Hellfest, to name a few, they hardly measure up in size, days, and quality of line-ups. Psycho Fest has proved to stand tall as the best we have in America and is primarily a stoner doom metal festival that has manifested itself in California the last three years. This year, however, from Thursday August 25th to Sunday August 28th, Psycho Fest made its way along with somewhere around 5,000 metalheads from all over the world to Las Vegas, where over 90 bands graced three stages all located in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. These three stages were namely The Joint which is the largest size but not too large to see the stage even from the comfort of the balcony seats, and next door to it the Vinyl stage is the smallest stage and most intimate experience, while the pool stage serves as the only outdoor stage where often times you’d find oddities such as metalheads in a pool tossing a beach ball to black metal. Continue reading

Heavy Meets Finesse: Boris & Earth Mesmerize Los Angeles

Review by Andrew Bansal, photos by Jay Valena

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August 26th 2016, The Regent, Los Angeles CA: Since their ’92 inception, Japanese avant-garde group Boris have been nothing less than a phenomenon, hugely admired amongst fans and constantly winning over first-timers with every album and show. Over their 24-year history they’ve experimented with everything from dream pop to noise rock to doom metal, but unlike every other so-called experimental band, Boris have done so with such brilliance and mastery that they could very well have played any one of these particular styles for their whole career. The consistency with which they continue to change from one album to the next is unmatchable, and the captivating live performances are next to none. Every Los Angeles appearance of theirs is awaited eagerly, as was the case this summer. Performing their 2005 ‘Pink’ album in its entirety, Boris brought their headline tour with support act Earth to downtown LA for a show at the Regent last Friday August 26th, and a capacity crowd greeted their arrival. Continue reading

Three For All: Heart, Joan Jett & Cheap Trick Bring Summer Tour To The Forum

By Lisa Burke

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August 23rd 2016, The Forum, Inglewood CA: The early seventies brought about some wonderful new flavors of rock n’ roll that we now refer to as classic rock with memorable and significant bands of the female and male fronted variety. Over forty years later, these bands are still alive, kicking and busting ass on and off the stage to keep the rock n’ roll legend fresh in this modern age. On Tuesday August 23rd 2016, the Forum presented the ‘Rock Hall Three For All’ tour of three early seventies era bands with headliners Heart featuring support from Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, and Cheap Trick. Continue reading