Dead Heavens (Walter Schreifels of Quicksand, Rival Schools, Gorilla Biscuits)

Dead Heavens (Walter Schreifels of Quicksand, Rival Schools, Gorilla Biscuits)

Æges, Draag

Sat · July 15, 2017

6:00 pm

$8.00 - $10.00

This event is 21 and over

Dead Heavens (Walter Schreifels of Quicksand, Rival Schools, Gorilla Biscuits)
Dead Heavens (Walter Schreifels of Quicksand, Rival Schools, Gorilla Biscuits)
The first thing usually noted about Dead Heavens is the hardcore, punk and post-hardcore provenance of its members, from its revered frontman and guitarist Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Rival Schools, Vanishing Life, Quicksand) to guitarist Paul Kostabi (Youth Gone Mad, White Zombie, Psychotica), bassist Nathan Aguilar (of Cults), and drummer Drew Thomas (Youth of Today, Bold, Into Another). The next thing noticed is how fully and freely Dead Heavensstands apart from those earlier projects. Whatever Witch You Are, their first full-length, plays effortlessly as a new-classic blues rock album— a new-millennium Fresh Cream or Let it Bleed— only with sharp-angular sounds, noticeably psyche inflections, and melodies that seem wrought out of rebar: strong, pared down, and purposeful at every point. If anything, their musical origins have permitted Dead Heavens to approach blues and psyche rock unnostalgically, arriving at an audibly honest sound, stripped of any of the tassels or affectation. The drums hit heavy. The guitars hit heavy. Yet hovering above them both is always Schreifels’ sandier vocals, urging us on through life’s endless freakishness and frustrations. “Many of these songs are love songs,” Schreifels explains, “Basic Cable is about love but a modern love that’s lost its way— when couples are stuck at home, binge-watching or glued to their phones, absently doing the dishes, unsatisfied until they finally realize that what they really need is to just go outside. This song is for when they finally get out there.” The pent-energy of this opening single explodes and never lets up, fueling quasi-Krautrock stretches in Goldtooth or Bad Luck Child, coasters like Silver Sea or Experience, or the pounding rock of Adderall Highway and Away from the Speed. Following a burst of earlier singles like History in my Hands and Feel Low, this album is made for One Big Listen, and its lone rest stop, The Moon Will Listen (But Not the Sun), begins reflectively but shifts into full rollick by its second half. Dead Heavens first coalesced during a solo tour for Schreifels, in 2013, with Thomas and Aguilar as backing band. Swapping and trading music for road listening— Cream, My Bloody Valentine, White Fence— together the three distilled the musical mood that would soon characterize Dead Heavens. Upon returning to New York, Aguilar reacquainted Thomas and Schreifels with musician, painter, and sound engineer Paul Kostabi, who felicitously still owned the reel-to-reel on which Schreifels had recorded Gorilla Biscuits’ Start Today in 1989, and— in another claim to fame— had coined the title of Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion. Their sympathies obvious, then, they leapt into recording at Kostabi’s Thunderdome Studios, and welcomed on Kostabi as a second lead guitar. A shotgun home studio set in the marshes of Piermont, New York, Thunderdome also guarded a trove of 70’s recording reels from Black Sabbath, The James Gang, and Jimi Hendrix— reels that played between takes and liberally infused the cauldron with an inspiringly darker magic. But as the title tells you, Whatever Witch You Are enjoins us to radically accept this darker magic, “in the sense of accepting a strong, strange, powerful woman who freaks out people precisely for all her powers,” Schreifels says, “and not just in love, but acceptance in a modern world that can often isolate us, and make us feel like freaks. For the full 36 minutes of this record, we want people to be able to embrace this freakishness.” Even when our world’s havoc-tossed, and our heavens dead, the lifers out there will always shrug it off and ready themselves for the strange new era.
In ÆGES (pronounced “ages”), ambitious rock n’ roll soundscapes and melodies the size of mountains are the electrifying result of four men from diverse musical backgrounds united by their shared love of loud guitars, big drums and catchy songs. Since joining forces in Downtown Los Angeles, guitarists/vocalists Kemble Walters and Cory Clark, drummer Mike Land and bassist Tony Baumeister have concocted a thrilling sound that’s both nostalgic and forward thinking. ÆGES has made the improbable marriage of massive extremes their hallmark, steering beyond the simple combination of sonic crunch and melodic hooks into a hypnotizing and enchanting lane occupied by pioneering acts like Queens Of The Stone Age and Soundgarden.

The group has earned accolades from respected outlets like
BrooklynVegan, Decibel, Exclaim!, MetalSucks, Guitar World,
and Alternative Press; shared stages with Tool, Coheed & Cambria, Thrice, Buckcherry, FLOOR, and Local H; and joined tastemaker festivals like Fun Fun Fun Fest, Power Of The Riff, and South By Southwest. The interplay between Walters and Clark in particular is an absolute standout all over Weightless, the most fully realized work from ÆGES thus far. The duo’s separate screams, blending harmonies, jagged duels and unrelenting passion simply blow the doors down.

Weightless is as fierce and chaotic as it is earnest and atmospheric. For their first album with Another Century, ÆGES worked with veteran rock producer Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Shinedown, Rob Zombie, Seether) and mixer/Saosin guitarist Beau Burchell (The Bronx, Emery, Middle Class Rut), with additional production on a couple of the Weightless tracks handled by the band themselves. The Bridge (2012) was a guitar driven affair whose singular focus gave way to the even bigger sonic tapestry found onAbove & Down Below (2014), cementing ÆGES as four players with distinctive strengths that combine to make something virtually unrivaled today, as clearly evidenced by every single song on Weightless.

The new record from ÆGES takes listeners on a journey to a place
somewhere between The Green Albumby Baroness,Colour & The
Shape by Foo Fighters, and Superunknown by Soundgarden.
Weightless is fully charged by powerful guitars, pounding drums, rich melodies, and delays veering between dense and sometimes sparse. Massive sonic heft, magical melodies, odd - time signatures and raw power cohabitate with transcendent catchiness throughout, as various combinations of sonic strength and spacey noise build tension that is both organic and dramatic, earning each of the album’s biggest moments with authentic earnestness. ÆGES has mastered the slow psychedelic jam as well, intertwining all of these elements with desert rock, flashes of prog, and thick guitars that ebb and flow. ÆGES is prone to experiment with dissonant sounds without the pretensions of art - rock; they swing for the fences with unabashedly huge vocal hooks, without the vapidity of pop rock. This is a band with unstoppable potential, owing much to the fact that they can shake the earth with grandiose bombast without the boundaries and limitations of hard rock, hardcore - punk or any associated subculture. With nothing tying ÆGES down, their future is truly Weightless.
Draag is an independent collective based in Sylmar, California circa 2013 as the solo recording project of Adrian Acosta (guitar, programs, vocals), later incorporating Jessica Huang (guitar, keys, samples and vocals), Ray Montes (guitar), Nick Kelley (bass) and Shane Graham (drums). On July 24th 2014, Draag emerged for their first show at LOT 1 Cafe in Echo Park, described by Buzzbands as "a blissfully ear bleeding experience." Draag is preparing to release an EP and full length.
Venue Information:
428 S Hewitt Street
Los Angeles, CA, 90013