Archive for doom

Speedealer’s Choice

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2016 by backstabbath

Speedealer flyerThose of you that were into the heavy rock scene in the 90s and early 00s may remember the aggressively pummeling and relentlessly driving musical muscle of Speedealer. The band that originally formed in Lubbock, Texas under the moniker, REO Speedealer, only to be later forced to shorten it due to a cease-and-desist order served to them by REO Speedwagon, toured and played continuously during that time, logging in dates with Motorhead, Gwar, Neurosis, Fu Manchu, Zeke, Voivod, Fear, Morbid Angel, and Corrosion of Conformity, to name a few. The first incarnation of the band consisted of Jeff Hirshberg on vocals, Chris Brown on drums, Rodney Skelton on bass, and James Follis on guitar. The group went through numerous line-up changes throughout the followSpeedealer-Bleeding years until 1997 when they finally settled on a solidified roster of Jeff Hirshberg on vocals/guitar, Eric Alan Schmidt on guitar, and Harden Harrison on drums, although, as far as I can tell, there seemed to be quite the revolving door of bassists even then.

Mala Suerte was initially asked to play this show many months back when North Carolina’s Irata asked us to join them on the bill. As a matter of fact, it was so long ago that I’d forgotten that we’d even agreed to do it until I was reminded by The Lost Well owner, Marcello Murphy. He informed me that Speedealer had also been added to the bill which, of course, piqued my interest immediately. “How many years has it been since they’ve actually even played live, and who is still in the band?” I wondered. I couldn’t find much information regarding the matter on their Facebook page or anywhere else online so I decided to send a message to Eric Alan Schmidt and see if he could enlighten me a little bit. He immediately responded. Apparently, Jeff Hirshberg opted out of further speed dealings in favor of more “intellectual pursuits”. TheDealer's Choice remaining members of the last functioning line-up, augmented by a vocal battery courtesy of  Daniel Barron of The Swingin’ Dicks, have been performing live as “Dealer’s Choice” and this is basically what we’ll be getting on Friday night. As Eric put it, in a nutshell, “Our plan and hopes are to share and celebrate the  ass-kickin’, shit down your throat music and show that was Speedealer”. And celebrate we will, this Friday, July 15th, though, I’m still not entirely sure why they’re billed as Speedealer now as opposed to Dealer’s Choice. It’s a minor quibble, I know, and I’m looking forward to a vastly entertaining show and evening.

For our part, Mala Suerte, is certainly looking forward to this show as well, as we haven’t played live since our last show in March during SXSW. This will also be our first show with John Petri back behind the drum kit since late January. Local doom destroyers, Destroyer of Light, will be opening the show after just returning from a month-long tour of the West Coast, while North Carolina’s volume abusers, Irata, will be filling out the bill directly after us and just before Speedealer. We hope you all decide to join in on the festive madness.

Advertisements

Heavy Comes To Free Week

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2013 by backstabbath

free week We’re currently in the middle of recording the follow up to “The Shadow Tradition” but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have time to bring our brand of beatific bludgeoning to local aficionados of heavy music as we take part in this year’s Free Week festivities. This year Red 7 will be hosting a showcase which in all probability will be Free Week’s heaviest bill, as we join Skycrawler, The Well, and Sex Chamber in purveying perpetual poundings of powerfully ponderous proportions. And did I mention that this is free? So now all you thrifty thrill-seekers (i.e. cheap bastards) have no excuse. In lieu of paying a cover charge, you’ll now have some extra cash to spend on a few extra PBR tallboys or to buy that poodle-haired girl at the bar an extra drink or two…or, hell, maybe even spend some money on merchandise and show us how much you really love us. Or not. We’ll love you all anyway.

No, thank you.

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2013 by backstabbath

No thank you.While many, if not most of you, will be stuffed to the point of being comatose while celebrating this yearly day of thanks (or as I like to call it, the day of acknowledging the  genocide of indigenous people), rather than being thankful and full of turkey and dressing, we’ll be spiteful and full of piss and vinegar as we prepare for a post-Hatesgiving onslaught of sonic rage and thrashing violence. We’ll be joined by our bitter brethren in The Blood Royale in lambasting this bloated and rotting corpse of liberty. Newcomers, Terminal Voltage, which features ex-members of Black Spr11-29-13 alternate flyering, Blunt Force Trauma, and Condemned Unit will be bringing their freshly fashioned ire to the stage with their first-ever live detonation, and local miscreants, Prions, ignite the sparks of indignation.

So after you’ve reveled in the spirit of gluttony and followed that up with the ultimate in capitalist consumerism on Black Friday, come join us later in the evening at Beerland and burn off some of that excess fat and release some of the inner rage you’ve accumulated from fighting over creature comforts and electronic playthings at your local big box store. For this we will be thankful.

Rivers To Ruin (or just another heavy metal Saturday night in the River City).

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2013 by backstabbath

mala suerte flyer

As I set out to write a little something about our next show in San Antonio I couldn’t help but reflect back on some of previous gigs we’ve played there in the Alamo City. From all night illicit and intoxicated shenanigans with the gents from Las Cruces, Pillcrusher, and Slo’ Poke, to almost landing myself in the slammer on felony charges after a gig with Eyehategod and Phobia, San Antonio has proved to be a place of many vivid memories for me, fond or otherwise. Many people will tell you, especially those who reside in the area, that San Antonio is without a doubt the metal mecca of Texas, a sentiment that can be evidenced by those “Keep San Antonio Metal” bumper stickers that I saw emblazoned on more than a few truck bumpers a few years ago. Now while I may agree that pound for pound San Antonio probably has more metal per capita than anywhere else in the state ,which could also possibly be attributed to it’s even more superb tradition of absolutely delicious Mexican cuisine, I must say that it currently fails to live up to it’s lofty reputation. It’s legendary status of being a metal oasis is still supported by the memories of a scene that once was really thriving and vital, but unfortunately, rose colored glasses and the occasional backyard barbeque with a bit of Slayer and King Diamond does not a scene make. I remember hearing about all the unforgettable shows that took place there in the 80s and early 90s but the viability of the scene seems to have fallen away quite a bit since then. Nowadays it seems that many metal fans there seem less concerned with supporting their local scene and can only muster up the energy to attend shows featuring more established national acts, and in all fairness, this is probably the case in many others scenes as well, Austin included. Now before I get all my San Antonio friends and associates upset and ready to string me up and burn my corpse in offer to the metal gods, I will say that there are great bands, musicians, and fans there that are very much involved in the scene and because of their continued dedication and support we do continue to play there.  With mainstays like Las Cruces continuing to carry the torch and current frontrunners, Hod, spreading the gospel, San Antonio metal could be poised to experience a new renaissance, and I for one welcome it.

On Saturday, October 5th we’ll be returning to SA and Nightrocker Live once again for a bill that features a collection of bands that all do decidedly different takes on the riff-based sound that Sabbath created. For our part we’ve been taking the miserably morose doom-laden foundation that we’ve been known for over the past several years and incorporating a lot more velocity and chunky riffing to add an even more vicious level to our morbid miasma of sound. Fellow Austinites, The Well harken back even further and much closer to the initial source of inspiration by eschewing modern sounds in favor of a more heady concoction of psychotropic freakscapes, Iommi-induced guitar-gasms, and an almost poppy sensibility that all but belies the enveloping heaviness on display. San Antonio’s sons of feedback and fuzz, Slo’ Poke, bring the good vibes and buzz and are probably the band most likely to be a hit with the heavy metal parking lot set. I’ve yet to hear Mount Sherpa but from what I’ve gathered from the postings I’ve seen, they do the whole doom/drone thing and should add another varied element to the evening. Don’t forget your qualudes.

And by the way, to all of my San Antonio friends who may have gotten up in arms about the comments above, they should in no way be deemed as an indictment against the city or those in the scene.  Maybe I’m completely off base or maybe I’m just a cranky old bastard, but believe me I could go on an even longer rant about the Austin scene. Huzzah!

Mala Suerte: Mach 8 (Yes, we are truly becoming more and more like Spinal Tap!)

Posted in Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2013 by backstabbath

How many drummers did Spinal Tap have? Well, I know we’re getting close. Prior to playing a show back on January 18th our drummer, Tony, announced to us that he was quitting the band. I must admit that we were all rather surprised by his decision as we were getting close to wrapping up the writing process for the next full length. We didn’t really press him about his reasons for leaving and we parted ways on completely amiable terms. He even agreed to play the remaining few shows that we had already booked. I immediately started thinking about who I knew that would be an ideal fit and my thoughts kept going back to one person. After a few days I sent my old friend, Chris Chapa, a message through Facebook and he immediately responded very enthusiastically.

Several years ago Dave and I briefly jammed with Chris and our old friends, John Alaniz, Tony Degon, and Mike Fuentes in a post-Curse The Heavens metal project but due to the time-consuming nature of being in more than one band, Dave and I stepped down to concentrate solely on Mala Suerte. We had a great time jamming with those guys and I still hold them in the highest esteem. Mike, John, and Chris went on to form metal/hardcore unit, Sluggard and afterwards Chris played in local heavy rock outfit, More Fire. I used to check out both those bands on a fairly consistent basis and was always impressed by Chris’s ability, frenetic energy and absolutely heavy-handed style of battery. Shit, Chris even played on the very first Angkor Wat demo when he was but a wee lad. How’s that for some Texas Metal history?

Fast forward to present day: I knew Chris had moved back to town and had briefly spoken to him about possibly playing for a thrash side-project that Vincent and I have been planning with our old guitarist, Jeff Nettles, and he did seem interested. Though before we really had time to get that underway, Tony decided to leave the band. After that initial Facebook conversation Chris and I decided to get together and talk, and soon after we had our first full band rehearsal. Everything clicked and after just a few short weeks we played our first three shows with Chris – a three day Texas jaunt with Maligno and Las Cruces. Despite a few technical difficulties and miscues those shows proved to be pretty successful. I think we bonded with Chris fairly quickly and the audience reaction was extremely favorable.

We had less than a month to prepare ourselves and refine our set for our SXSW dates and Chris’s enthusiasm and work ethic proved to be critical. He worked very hard to nail down all his parts really well and I think it showed in all of our performances. We had a great time during the fest and we are thankful for all the praise and support that we received. The new material we are working on with Chris is sounding absolutely monstrous and powerful and it’s great to hear him finally be able to put his own unique stamp on the Mala Suerte sound. Check out our next shows on May 10th at Beerland and May 11th at The Dirty Dog and see for yourself. Huzzah!

Too much Doom for one room.

Posted in flyers, Mala Suerte with tags , , , , , , , on May 24, 2012 by backstabbath

Thursday, June 7th fast approaches  and I look forward to this date with much anticipation, for we will be sharing the stage with one of my current favorite up-and-coming doom ensembles, Uzala. Much like fellow acts Blood Ceremony and Jex Thoth,  this Boise, ID. gloom troupe traffics in the same sort of Sabbathian riff-magick, albeit with a much more somber and crusty vibe. Where, with the aforementioned groups, their more throwback sounds conjure up images of pagan hippies dancing sky-clad under an autumn moon as the smell of incense fills the night air, Uzala’s brand of musical misanthropy brings to mind things less fanciful and more tangibly corrupted and profane. While the hippies dance the night away in a secluded glen, not far away in the midst of  cold giant monoliths of concrete and steel, the city dwellers go about their daily rituals of misery, dejection, despair, and death. Filth and misfortune reign supreme. One thing that really sets Uzala apart from those two slightly more established acts is the dichotomy between vocalist/guitarist Darcy Nutt’s melodically morose, siren of despair doom wailings and the old-school death metal, straight from the grave and fresh from the tomb gravel gurglings  of vocalist/guitarist Chad Remains. Just when you think you have them figured out, they’ll change gears on you and send you reeling down another crooked path or spiralling out of control and headlong into more psychotic soundscapes of psychedelic sludge. Uzala will be on tour starting today (May 24th) and will be out on the road until June 13th. Come out and help make their Austin stop a memorable one.

Also on this bill is local combo, Communion, which features within their ranks, ex-The Roller drummer, Jeremy Jenkins. I caught them live last weekend and they delivered a short set of very ambient, yet minimalist drone/psych. I look forward to seeing further shows as their sound continues to progress and evolve.

Mala Suerte is teaming up with Uzala for an upcoming split 7″ which is set to be released on King Of The Monsters Records really soon. The Mala Suerte track is a song we recorded quite some time ago with our previous drummer, John Petri, entitled “The Veil Of Secrecy“. Those of you that saw us live before Dave rejoined the band may remember the song as we did perform it a few times. The Uzala track is for a song called “Burned” which I just recently heard the mastered version of, and it sounds absolutely crushing! As a matter of fact, I should be finishing up the artwork for our side of this split rather than sitting in front of this computer so I am out of here. I’ll post more information regarding this release really soon.

The ever-evolving world of Mala Suerte.

Posted in Mala Suerte with tags , , on January 5, 2012 by backstabbath

What can I say? At this point, I might as well proclaim that this band has become somewhat like Spinal Tap with regards to line-up shifts. It has been almost two years since my last post and a lot has changed here at the MS camp, for sure. After the departure of founding guitarist, David Guerrero, and the recruitment of new axe-man, Jeff Nettles, we got busy with the seemingly difficult work of writing new material. We did manage to actually write one entire new song before things came to a head, or hit a wall, and after a gig with Eyehategod in San Antonio in December of 2010 we parted ways with long-time drummer and friend, John Petri. Incidentally, for those of you who are interested, John is doing well and keeping busy with one of Austin’s finest metal acts, The Blood Royale. Do yourself a favor and check them out here in town, as they play locally quite often.

Not long after John’s departure I remember calling Dave up to see how he was doing and to catch up a bit. Upon mentioning the current state of band affairs I remember him saying something like, “So, do you want me to write some riffs, or what?”

Soon after, I met up with Dave at a local watering hole and he gave me a CD with several new tracks that he’d been working on. Upon leaving, I popped it into the CD player of my truck and almost immediately after hearing the very first track of dark, acoustic, psych/folk I was almost brought to tears. This piece basically summed up all the negativity and sadness that had been consuming me and was exactly where my mind was at musically and emotionally. That pretty much sealed the deal and Dave was back in the band. Much excitement and creativity quickly ensued and writing music with two guitarists for the first time proved to be very exciting and fruitful, and allowed us to reinforce our sonic arsenal. Before we were even ready to start playing live again we were asked to play the opening slot for Saint Vitus here in Austin at Red 7 on Dec. 11th 2011. We didn’t have a drummer at this point but I damn sure didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of opening up for one of my all-time favorite bands. After asking everyone that I thought would be a suitable fit, to no avail, I had almost given up hope. Then at the last-minute, one of my old friends, Tony Brownlow, offered his services and as it turned out ended being the perfect addition to the band. After intensive rehearsals we had a sufficient set complete with mostly new material which we even complemented with one of our old thrash blasts that we hadn’t played live in several years. The show with Vitus was a resounding success, yet before the night was over, Jeff informed me that he was going to be taking a sabbatical in Mississippi for an undetermined amount of time, and so, once again, after only one show, we were left as a four piece unit.

We were determined to keep going and we really liked the sound of the two guitar format but didn’t have anyone in mind as a replacement for Jeff. Not long after, on a drunken night, one of my oldest and dearest friends, Vincent Pina, offered to step in on rhythm guitar until Jeff’s return. I didn’t really put much weight in his offer, as is so often the case with inebriated conversations at 4 AM, I figured it may have been just the alcohol talking, but he mentioned it to me again soon after and the all-crushing boulder of doom was rolling once again. Vincent hadn’t played guitar for quite a number of years (local heshers may recall his contributions in local bands, Evilution and Debauchery) but it didn’t take him long to get his chops back. His groovier rhythmic style of writing was quickly put to use in one of our newest songs which runs the gamut stylistically, incorporating everything from doom, psych, thrash and death. Currently, we are hard at work on a variety of new material and hope to have a new EP out in the very near future. In the meantime, you can catch the latest incarnation of Mala Suerte live at The Dirty Dog here in Austin on January 21st.