Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Ripple Conversation With Gregg Emley Of Holy Grove

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

I have really distinct memories of hearing Master of Puppets for the first time in 88/89 or so, followed shortly after by hearing Paranoid for the first time. I already loved music at that time, but I was more into U2, The Cure, R.E.M....more "college radio" type stuff like that. I remember hearing Battery and thinking it was the heaviest thing I'd ever heard. I had never heard a palm muted guitar, aggressive sounding vocals, double was definitely transformative. Of course after that I couldn't go back to my U2 records. My memory of hearing the song Paranoid is also similar...My cousin called me and was like "you have to hear this band!" and he held the phone up to the speaker and played it to me over the phone. I begged my mom to take me to buy the tape the next day.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

For us, it's usually a riff or two that will get the ball rolling. Trent (guitar) or I will come with an idea or two, and we'll talk about what we're envisioning the song to be a little bit, and bring it to practice. Once the song gets to closer to having a solid structure, Andrea starts working on melodies and lyrics. It's a pretty constant process of collaboration across the whole band before we feel like a song is ready.

Who has influenced you the most?

For me personally as a musician I'd say Cliff Burton. He made me want to play heavy rock bass on a Rickenbacker with a fuzz pedal. I'm still not sure there is much better than Anesthesia turned up really loud. If I had to pick a band, I'd say Rush. Not that they influence our sound necessarily, but the way they have stuck to their vision, they aren't afraid to try new things with their music, and they've maintained a friendship and sense of humor for 40 years. That's tough to do.
We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

We're from Portland, OR. I don't know if that necessarily reflects in our music so much as I am hesitant to say that there is a specific "Portland" sound. I think the biggest way the city seeps in to our music is through the supportive community of artists and musicians we're surrounded by. There is very little competition between bands, everyone is happy to see everyone, and the city is small enough that you know everyone in the scene and give em all hugs and high fives when you see them at shows.

Where'd the band name come from?

Our name was chosen after a long deliberation process. We didn't have a name for the first few months of a band. I think we really wanted to find something that was unique, was appropriately heavy sounding and would look good on a flier. It was definitely one of those things that when it was suggested we all instantly said "that's it!" Total agreement across the board after all having different opinions and suggestions for months.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

Good one! I'm a huge comic/sci-fi fan so....let's say the Swamp Thing movie they'll end up re-making someday, or perhaps if they ever re-make Dune. Those would probably be the top 2. Maybe if they ever make a movie out of Samuel Delany's Dhalgren. That would be fun.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

Hmmm...that's a tough one. My first instinct is to say a Rush song, because those guys always have interesting ideas in the music and the lyrics, so there would be plenty of material to work with and write about....How about By-Tor and The Snow Dog. Definitely my favorite of their pre-2112 stuff. You can really hear them pushing themselves and their sound and I think it's the first glimpse of what they would eventually turn in to.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

I'm probably going to jinx myself, but I haven't had too many of those, thankfully. One that kind of sticks out is when we toured Europe last year, the 2nd or 3rd show of the tour was on a beautiful beach somewhere in Italy. They served us this amazing 3 course meal,  bottles of wine, etc and they put us up in an amazing bed and breakfast type place. We were all talking that night about how great Europe treated bands, how great being on tour night we slept in a punk squat and I woke up in the morning with kitty litter stuck to my face and in my hair...

You're just about to hit the road, tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

The live show for us is the most important thing. We all love seeing live music, and being blown away by a good live band is one of the more rewarding experiences I feel like you can have with music. We strive to bring energy and urgency to our live show, and do our best to put on a good show. I think it's important for fans to see you working up there. No one likes a band that just stands there looking bored.

What makes a great song?

Hmmm...that's hard to say...I'm inclined to say it's a "you know when you hear it" type thing. Of course, for me, I love good riffs, good feel, powerful vocals, big drums... but I feel there is something undefinable to a "great" song.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

My first band basically consisted of us playing Ramones and Minor Threat songs really poorly, and I'm not sure we even knew a whole song from beginning to end, so we'd basically only play the parts we could figure out. We had an one or two originals that were along those same lines...basically re-written versions of Blitzkrieg Bop.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

I am extremely proud of all of our new songs, and that's not just a phoned in answer. We've put in a tremendous amount of work in on them, and tried our best to really take our writing to a new level. It's hasn't always been an easy process, but it's been very rewarding for all of us, I think.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

I gotta go with Yob. They just keep getting better and better. I love how they progress a little with each record, but still have that unmistakable Yob sound. No one better, in my opinion. For more singer/songwriter stuff, Joanna Newsom. Her record Ys is truly a masterpiece. Music, lyrics, arrangement, clarity of's all there.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

I'm a vinyl guy. Nothing compares to holding the cover in your hand while listening, looking at big full size artwork, reading along with the lyrics.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice.

Both! Two great tastes that taste great together. I think Bob Dylan said that.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

We're based out of Portland, OR. My two most frequented shops in town are Crossroads, which is great for back-filling your collection and finding all the older records you need to complete and add to it, and for newer stuff I go to 2nd Avenue Records. Great shop for metal/punk records!

What's next for the band?

We're headed out on a West Coast tour from 3/15-3/26. We'll be playing a bunch of new songs before we head in to the studio to record them in April. After it comes out we hope to hit the east coast and then make our way back to Europe.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Thanks for reading! Come see us on tour and we'll give you high fives. Cheers!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Bandcamp Bonanza – Keeping The Fire Stoked

The weather outside has been either unseasonably warm, or brutally cold depending on what part of the northern hemisphere you reside. Out west, its finally getting cold and the music is keeping us warm. This week we feature some cream of the crop albums available right now at bandcamp.

Merlin – The Wizard
Merlin are a band who isn't afraid to mix it up. Each album brings a new twist of jazzy occult doom. The latest, out on vinyl via The Company, is a spellbinding listen that successfully incorporates the saxophone into the potent elixir of molten stone.

Flying Hair – Night Fight
This one grabs you by the psych and drags you through the SoCal slums, rattling punk rock anthems like vintage Rannalli trucks scaping an empty pool. The bass tones tweak like methamphetamine on a Friday afternoon as the guitar tones echo against demented vocal swoonage. Must have. Grab the cassette tape, it’s the same price as just digital including shipping. I think Riding Easy Records has the vinyl as well.

Wicked Wizzard – Wicked Wizzard
When you play a new album on bandcamp nonstop for the good part of the morning, there must be something special. Exactly what happened when the recommendation for this new album came across the feed. The artwork screams for a listen and by golly the tunes are wicked as hell. Piercing riffs impode with engaging vocals, and proto-tinged doom metal harmonies. It’s albums like these that keep me excited about the underground heavy rock scene. Dive in.

Naxatras – III
I predict this one will go down in many listener’s books as top albums released this year. Naxatras has released a monster of an album, potentially their best yet. Vocals on half the tracks where the other half take you on a space guitar odyssey across the galaxy.

Last of the Easy Riders – Unto the Earth
These guys are great. The new album sounds a little more country than their last one, with no less 60’s hippy psych effect and classic rock twang. Keep your ears on these lads, as Unto the Earth combines a mean steel guitar with a hippy harmony and a cosmic Americana twist.

Sleeping Village – Among the Gods
This one hung out in my wishlist for far too long. At only $3, its cheaper than that overpriced latte that is gone in 60 seconds. Sleeping Village is here to slumber with its dazzling vocals and thundering riffs. Short but mighy release. Don’t sleep on this one.

King Chiefs – Blue Sonnet
Formerly just plain old Chiefs, King Chiefs are back with a brand new album. Known for their catchy groove and toe tapping stoner rock vocals, Blue Sonnet have taken their reputable riffs to a new level. Not reinventing the wheel by any means, but King Chiefs just know how to write a catchy groove. Undeniably catchy through and through.

Painted Doll – Painted Doll
You really only have to look at the cover and see that this is being put out by Tee Pee Records to have confidence that this is quality. Just read the intro on their page. Don’t be scared, this is far from death metal, but the band members include Comedian / guitar shredder Dave Hill (Valley Lodge, Cobra Verde) and heavy metal legend Chris Reifert (Autopsy, Death). I for one found this to be very much enjoyable.

H.C. McEntire – Lionheart
Why wouldn’t I end this thread with a pure and honest country western album of the highest caliber? Some of you might know H.C. McEntire for her involvement in the indie rock band Mount Mariah on Merge Records. She decided being cool wasn’t cool enough and put out one of the best country albums I’ve heard all year. Not many in the underground country circles is talking about this yet, so be one of the first to tell your friends and gain that street cred that you deserve.

-The Huntsman

Friday, March 16, 2018


(All photos courtesy of Shane Gardner - Rock N' Roll Socialite)

Foghound (left to right in photo):

Chuck Dukeheart, III - Drums, Voals
Dee Settar - Guitar, Vocals
Bob Sipes - Guitar, Vocals
Adam Heinzmann - Bass

Maryland Doom & Stoner Rock stalwarts Foghound have recently put the finishing touches on their third full-length offering, entitled "Awaken To Destroy".  Their new album is set for a September release via Ripple Music.  With delays due to health scares and the tragic murder of bassist Rev. Jim Forrester in December 2017, the band has chosen to honor Rev.'s wishes and will "Keep On Shoveling".


    Artist Name: Foghound
    Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    Album Title: Awaken To Destroy
    Official Release: September 2018
    Label: Ripple Music
    Genre/Style: Heavy Rock, Stoner Rock, Doom Metal
    Previous Releases: Quick, Dirty, & High (2014);  The World Unseen (2016)

Maryland Doom & Stoner Rock stalwarts Foghound have recently put the finishing touches on their third full-length offering, entitled "Awaken To Destroy".  Their new album is set for a September 2018 release via Ripple Music.

Work began on the album in November 2016, with producer Frank Marchand (The Obsessed / Borracho) at the helm.  Numerous delays along the way sidelined production due to health issues, professional and personal commitments, and then the tragic murder of bassist Rev. Jim Forrester in December 2017, just days after completing recording of the basic tracking.

"After seeing Jim claw and fight his way back after a major health scare and being in a coma last summer, only to be senselessly taken away from us all in this way, it really hit everyone like a ton of bricks", says drummer / vocalist Chuck Dukeheart.

"The outpouring of love and support from everyone, and especially our friends and family in the Maryland Doom scene, was overwhelming.  We can't thank everyone enough for helping us, Jim's wife Tina, and family to get through this terrible time."

Reverend Jim Forrester, 1974 - 2017.

Among the multiple benefit events and fundraisers for the family, Ripple Music released as a benefit single the new Foghound track "Keep On Shoveling" on January 1st, via Bandcamp as a "Name Your Price" download purchase.

Written with a theme of perseverance in the face of adversity, the song features a spoken word portion from Rev. Jim. The song has taken on a new meaning for the band after his untimely passing.

Another new track, "Return To Dragontooth", will appear on an upcoming benefit compilation, due out from Salt Of the Earth Records.

Foghound emphasizes, "One thing that became apparent was that we all knew, and Jim said as much when he was laid up in the hospital last summer, was that he wouldn't want us to stop.  In his words - 'We still have shit to do.'"

After taking time to regroup, this February saw Foghound back in the studio to wrap up tracking of vocals, guitars, and keyboards.  They have finally been able to complete mixing to get it ready for release.

Along with wrapping up the album, the band got themselves back in their rehearsal space, and have recruited long time friend of the band, bassist Adam Heinzmann (Internal Void, Pentagram), into the fold.
The band stated, "It was a very heavy, emotional time for us, to be back in the jamroom without Jim, but Adam really stepped up in a big way.  His enthusiasm, preparedness, and love for the music really helped us get back to why we all play music.  We were able to have fun again."

Foghound is set to return to the stage with notable upcoming appearances at the New England Stoner and Doom Fest at Altone's in Jewett City, Connecticut on April 21st, and The Maryland Doom Fest at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland on June 23rd.

"We are looking forward to being a part of these stellar lineups and to play these new songs live.  We can't wait for this monster of an album to be unleashed at the end of the summer!"

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The First Ever Official Ripple Music SXSW Showcase Happens Tomorrow!!!!


No Badge needed!  $7 at the Door

Date: 16th March 2018

Valhalla (710 Red River Street, Austin TX)

Featuring: Mothership, Wo Fat, The Watchers, Blackwulf (with special guest), Steak, and Salem's Bend

► Play / Embed – Ripple Official SXSW ‘Spotify Playlist

Ripple Music is thrilled to announce our first ever, official SXSW Showcase! This year’s event is presented in association with Boss Tweed Backline. Six bands will fill the stage at Valhalla on Red River, bringing on some of the very best heavy psych, stoner and doom on the planet.  And be sure not to miss our very special guest, Geof O'Keefe, founding member of Pentagram and Bedemon, who'll storm the stage with Blackwulf, where he'll bring his searing lead guitar to songs off the band's just released new album. 

S C H E D U L E:

Doors open 7:30 pm

Salems' Bend


Blackwulf (with Geof O'Keefe)

The Watchers

Wo Fat



Facebook Event:

Download Event Sampler:

Ripple Music is widely considered one of the world's leading purveyors of heavy psych, stoner, doom and heavy rock.  You can stay up to date with all the happenings at the Ripple Music Facebook page and website or bandcamp.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Xroadie Files

Rabitrup – SWVMPS II
Locks has lots of weird spacey tripping industrial beats and sounds.  Phantoms slow building synths and sounds that turns into industrial dissonance.  Walls takes you into the abyss and swirls around your very essence.

Sarah Schonert – Penguin Party
Sarah Schonert – Vocals/Keyboards

Astound Me very popish with lots of melodies and poppy vocals.  Tree With Feet keys that are just poppy and melodic with some excellent vocals.  Queen of Panels get ready to just relax and drift with the music and soaring vocals.  Queen Of Panels Outro has lots of almost new age style melodies.  Penguin Party strange synth sounds that melds with an almost jazz influence that takes you on a strange trip.  Listen Soak Repeat weird percussion spoken word and strange melodies takes you on a very weird trip.  I Can’t Think Straight synths that worm their way into your brain and do bizarre things.  Glacier Drive get ready to sit back relax and just trip away to the melodies.  Irrelevant weird moving melodic keys and synths and poppy vocals with some strange percussion.  NonCrystalline an almost Jazz meets lounge music with some emotional vocals.  Overdriving Headlights keys and melodies that just trip away.  You Still Awake takes you away to a simpler time and place.  Get Thee To A Nunnery Kick back and slowly trip away the time with strange melodies.


Shambles – Primitive Death Trance
Daemon dark plodding dreary death metal that just worms its way up your spine and into your brain crushing as it goes.  Dismal Pantheons full force in your face brutal death metal that just annihilates.  Illusion Of The Void grinding pounding ripping and tearing at your very soul death metal.  Primitive Death Trance chainsaw guitars deep growling vocals and demonic overtones from hell. 

Snowchild – Age of Change
Larry Donaldson – Bass/Vocals, Dustin Roberts – Guitar, Chad Duncan – Drums

Age of Change slightly over 9 minutes of slow stoner rock that just plows its way thru time and space with a very Sabbath feel to it.  Born in Flames almost 10 minutes for strange melodic sounds and a very strange trip thru your mind with some searing guitar.  Kings of Koch great Sabbath style Geezer Bass tones that slowly moves it way to almost mid–tempo and back with great Ozzy style vocals and screaming lead guitar.  Boudica pounding drums and heavy riffs that just grab you and take you away on a trip thru the heyday of stoner rock and Sabbath.

Sonic Prophecy – Savage Gods
Shane Provstgaard – Vocals, Darrin Goodman – Guitar, Sebastian Martin – Guitar, Ron Zemanek – Bass, Matt Lefevre – Drums

Savage Gods slow building metal riffs then a driving power metal riff and screaming guitars with very powerful vocals.  Night Terror eerie melodic guitars pounding drums rumbling bass and soaring vocals that just make you wanna scream along.  Unholy Blood speed power metal with screaming leads and vocals that reach the heavens.  Dreaming Of The Storm a fist pumping foot tapping metal riff that will have the entire crowd head banging along to it.  Man The Guns has a great riff that just has you getting fully into the metal riff awesome bass pounding drums and screaming vocals.  Walk Through The Fire starts with some excellent mellow guitars and bass then a soaring guitar lead that is full of emotions and drums that will have you playing along.  A Prayer Before Battle has the battle horns blaring then a fist pumping metal riff with some excellent lead guitar add the power metal vocals and its one great song to jam to.  Iron Clad Heart speed power metal at its finest lots of speed aggression and melody to take you away and feel as if you can take on the world and win.  Man And Machine slowly building then a fist pumping song that would be great to listen to while driving down the open road.  Chasing The Horizon guitars getting louder drums and bass melding in fist pumping rhythms and soaring vocals a metal head dream song.  


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

H+ - Hidden Dimension


H+ is the performance name of Malcolm Brian Swan, a music teacher with a Bachelors Degree in performing the double bass and a Masters in Music Composition. He lives in Bermuda, creates IDM/glitch and adds the twist of funk, jazz, dub reggae, and deep dub step. Malcolm has been writing music under the name of H+ since the end of 2016.

Sounding like a mixture of your computer freezing while playing music, a video game and a sci-fi movie, the music actually has a more warmth then you would think. Adding female vocals from Nicola Swan really helps to give more feeling to the music. “Error In The Standard Model” has a bit of a funky/jazz sound that made it a real stand out. “Dimensiones Ocultas” is another track that really stands out, kind of flamenco and really peppy, it will get your foot tapping and make you hit repeat. The album also has a great flow to it that I enjoyed because it didn’t just sound like random songs; it felt like a complete idea.

While not usually a genre that I would go for, this is an album that will get the replay from me and will be in the car with the windows rolled down and turned up loud.  I will be interested to hear what comes next and hope the quality stays as high as it is on this album.

-Rick Ecker

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