The ever prolific Devin Townsend has announced a series of new releases that he says will be “interesting” but not necessarily something he’d want to present as “a major release”. The Devolution Series will give fans access to various live materials and more and begins with with an acoustic live set from 2019.
First impressions can be deceiving. Just one look at Black TarPoon and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d be about to experience an intensive stoner rock band, or maybe a massive riff-based juggernaut not too dissimilar to The Workhorse Movement. Nothing could be further from the truth. On their 2021 release ‘The Thad EP’ these Texan musicians go deep into a roots based sound where drawling vocals mesh with a country-blues groove. Their choice of band name – an anti-heroin reference – lends a certain sense of unease and Their cutting lyrics lend a further edge, but otherwise, their acoustic based sounds are surprisingly accessible. …And very retro in a 90s style.
The last few years have seen continued critical acclaim for Bruce Soord. The last couple of Pineapple Thief albums were largely well received by fans and critics alike, and his Wisdom of Crowds side project with Jonas Renkse cemented his popularity.
The Covid pandemic put an end to live performances, but Soord kept himself busy by performing acoustic sets from home during lockdown. Fans will finally get the opportunity to own all of these recordings in April when KScope Records issues The Pineapple Thief’s ‘The Soord Sessions, Vol 1-4’. Full details on the new box set can be found below.
As co-leader of Dinosaur Jr and a reluctant figurehead for the slacker movement, Joseph Donald Mascis, Jr. became a hero to a generation. In the early mid-90s his band became favourites of MTV’s 120 Minutes, were fixtures on the festival circuit and were even booked for a live in-studio performance for the BBC arts review, The Late Show. During the first part of their career, Dinosaur Jr were a vital part of the alternative music scene; in their reconvened state and with great albums like ‘I Bet On Sky’ (2012), they continued to provide a huge influence over many bands where the distortion pedal reigns.
Given how much love has been lavished upon Dinosaur Jr over the decades, it’s strange how J’s solo catalogue has barely been afforded such high praise. Far fewer people have taken time to appreciate his ‘Songs For Amma’, his albums with The Fog or the one man acoustic works that have previously circulated. His extra curricular output has been met with such an indifference (by comparison) that even his classic ‘Martin + Me’ live recording failed to get a full UK release back in 1996.
Back in 2019, singer songwriter Steve Hewitt released his debut album ‘Bigger Than Words’. With its blend of folk, pop and country influences, the album had a timeless feel, often reminiscent of the more stripped down Lowen & Navarro recordings. It was one of Real Gone’s top albums of 2019.