Finally making my way down to Milwaukee…

You gotta love a city whose major concert hall changed its name to match the fictional venue where Spinal Tap performed in the legendary mockumentary. Alas, beer is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think Milwaukee–or maybe zoo animals, if you’re into that–but it does have a bit of metal history as well…

This Small Stone showcase is tonite! (It’s also in Boston…)

You gotta give it up for Small Stone, one of the few labels out there still specializing in stoner rock on these shores. Tonite, some of their finest wares are on display at the Radio club in Somerville, MA, with names like Gozu, Lo-Pan, Roadsaw and Freedom Hawk on the bill. Mind you, a last-minute flight from Toronto to Boston will set ya back about $620…

Oskoreien – s/t

Main musician Jay Valena has crafted a powerful full-length record with many strengths even as it doesn’t often stray far from the sub-genre’s tried-and-true clichés. Its organic, earnest, and perhaps even retro sound lifts its five lengthy tracks above some of the contemporaneous releases of even seasoned veterans of the genre. What it lacks in polish and originality it more than makes up for in terms of epic grandeur. That this self-titled debut is mostly the product of a single individual makes it all the more impressive.

Another lazy doom Sunday… with TOTIMOSHI!

Sundays are somewhat of a strange day for a metal gig. Typically, it’s when you wind down from the weekend and get ready for the work week ahead. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s another gig this Sunday, as desert rockers Totimoshi take their strange sounds to Toronto on their tour for their latest, Avenger.

Manilla Road – After Midnight Live

How significant a release is Manilla Road’s After Midnight Live? Imagine if Judas Priest or Iron Maiden suddenly went, “Whoops, look what we found lying around, a live recording from the early days featuring songs none of our fans have ever heard before.”

Ratt – Infestation

I wasn’t expecting much from this album but am mildly impressed with a lot of the songwriting – full of huge hooks, great guitar work and of course Pearcy’s voice. Ratt brings back the classic sound of the 80s with great songwriting and great guitar solos but still for the most part inject some modern toughness to it. Now if they could just lose some of those cheeseball songs this would of been an absolute monster of an album.