Toadies To Release ‘The Lower Side of Uptown’ on September 8th

Cross-Country Tour With Local H In The Fall

June 20th, 2017 Ft. Worth, TXToadies will release their next album The Lower Side Of Uptown September 8th via Kirtland Records. This will be the band’s seventh studio album and a ‘return to form’ as explained by frontman Vaden Todd Lewis: “This album is ‘roots Toadies”, full of riffs and time shifts.’ The Lower Side Of Uptown is the follow up to 2015’s Heretics which saw the band taking a change of pace with a stripped down sound and mostly acoustic. When they were preparing to enter the studio this time around there was no set idea for what was to come but, the process ultimately had the band going back to their signature sound: “I feel that subconsciously we thought that this record would have ended up incorporating some of that quieter sound, but that didn’t happen. When we got to the studio with nothing more than a pile of riffs, what came out of the band was really loud and heavy music. So not only is this album louder than Heretics, I think it’s louder and heavier than the last couple Toadies albums” guitarist Clark Vogeler said of the sessions, which were recorded Arlyn Studio, a favorite of the legendary Willie Nelson, and The Bubble in Austin.

Long time collaborators, producer Chris “Frenchie” Smith, along with mixer Rob Schnapf once again joined the band in the studio for the new set. Frenchie produced the last ‘loud rock’ album from the band: 2012’s Play. Rock. Music., and Rob produced Heretics and Feeler, and co-produced Rubberneck and Hell Below/Stars Above.  Vogeler adds: “Recording with Frenchie is always an interesting experience. He brings such enthusiasm to the process that it’s infectious. He’s got a great ear for what makes a good rock ‘n’ roll record, and as much as anyone else, he put his heart and soul into this record.”

The cover imagery for The Lower Side of Uptown was done by renowned comic artist Michael Lark, the artist of the critically-acclaimed, Eisner-nominated series LAZARUS from Image Comics. Since 1992, Lark has provided artwork for a variety of comics including DaredevilCaptain Americaand Winter Soldier and books for Marvel and DC/Vertigo. He collaborated on the critically acclaimed, multiple-award-winning Gotham Central with Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka at DC Comics. He is the recipient of two Eisner Awards, both for his  work with Greg Rucka. (A little info on how Toadies and Mark came to work together?)

Since reuniting in 2008, after disbanding in 2001 Toadies have released 4 albums, played hundreds of shows and festivals, released 4 signature craft beers, and have been featured in an X-Men comic. Last month they partnered with the Texas Rangers to release their own version of ‘Take Me To The Ballgame.’  This year, the band continues that busy streak with The Lower Side Of Uptown showcased on a cross-country tour over two months along with Chicago’s Local H. on the bill. The band are stoked to tour with an act they got to know at their own Dia De Los Toadies festival says drummer Mark ‘Rez’ Reznicek: “We’re super excited to be going on tour with Local H, a band we’ve long been fans of. We’ve wanted to tour with them for years, and it’s finally happening!” Toadies have also hosted and played nine Dia De Los Toadies festivals.This year’s Dia De Los Toadies 10 will be returning to Possum Hollow at Possum Kingdom Lake. More details to be announced soon.

The Lower Side Of Uptown Tracklisting:

  1. When I Die
  2. Take Me Alive
  3. Polly Jean
  4. You Know the Words
  5. Mama Take Me Home
  6. Keep Breathing
  7. Amen
  8. Human Cannonball
  9. Broke Down Stupid
  10.  I Put s Spell on You
  11. Echo
  12. Sentimental

Tour Dates:  More TBA


Sept. 6 – Denton, TX                 Rockin Rodeo
Sept. 7 – Oklahoma City            Diamond Ballroom
Sept. 8 – Kansas City, MO        KRBZ Beach Ball
Sept. 9 – St. Louis, MO             Delmar
Sept. 10 – Cincinnati                 Bogart’s
Sept. 12  – Knoxville, TN           The Concourse
Sept. 13 – Nashville, TN            Exit In
Sept. 14 – Memphis, TN            New Daisy

Sept. 16 – Possum Kingdom Lake, TX Possum Hollow
Sept. 19 – El Paso, TX              Tricky Falls
Sept. 20 – Tucson, AZ               Congress
Sept. 21 – Las Vegas, NV         Beauty Bar
Sept. 22 – Phoenix, AZ             Crescent
Sept. 23 – Solana Beach, CA    Belly Up
Sept. 24 – Los Angeles, CA      Troubadour
Sept. 26 – Anaheim, CA            House Of Blues
Sept. 27 – Berkeley, CA            UC Theater
Sept. 29 – Seattle, WA              The Crocodile
Sept. 30 – Portland, OR            Star Theater

Oct.  1 – Boise, ID                     Knitting Factory
Oct.  3 – Salt Lake City, UT       Metro Music Hall
Oct.  4 – Grand Junction, CO   Mesa Theatre
Oct.  5 – Denver, CO                Gothic
Oct.  6 – Omaha, NE                Waiting Room
Oct.  7 – Milwaukee, WI           Turner Hall
Oct.  8 – Minneapolis, MN        1st Ave.
Oct.  10 – Chicago, IL               Metro

Oct.  11 – Louisville, KY           Mercury
Oct.  12 – Indianapolis, IN        The Vogue
Oct.  13 – Detroit, MI                St. Andrews
Oct.  14 – Cleveland, OH         Grog Shop
Oct.  15 – Pittsburgh, PA          Rex
Oct.  17 – Washington DC        Black Cat
Oct.  18 – New York NY            Gramercy Theater
Oct.  19 – Philadelphia, PA       TLA
Oct.  20 – Boston, MA               Brighton
Oct.  21 – Asbury Park, NJ       Stone Pony
Oct.  22 – Norfolk, VA               Norva
Oct.  24 – Durham, NC             Motorco
Oct.  25 – Wilmington, NC        The Muse
Oct.  26 – Atlanta, GA               Masquerade Hell
Oct.  27 – Orlando, FL              Plaza Live
Oct.  28 – Ft. Lauderdale          Culture Room
Oct.  29 – Tampa/St. Pete         Ritz
Oct.  31 – New Orleans, LA      Tipitinas

Nov.  4 – Carrolton, TX              Carrollton Festival at the Switchyard
Nov. 10 – Austin, TX                  Stubbs BBQ



October 6th, 2017 – Clutch and Weathermaker Music have prepared three very special Clutch limited edition vinyl collector picture discs.  The first in the series, “Live At The Googolplex” will be available tomorrow.
Recorded in 2002 in Chicago, Montreal, Kansas City, and Columbus, OH.  “Live At The Googolplex”, like all three releases in the series will be the first time these releases will be available as a picture disc vinyl.
The next two releases in the series will be “Jam Room” (scheduled for release October 27th, 2017) and “Pitchfork & Lost Needles” (scheduled for release November 24th, 2017).
Weathermaker Music is releasing 3 limited edition picture discs” states frontman Neil Fallon.  “The first will be Live at the Googolplex.  That will be followed up by Jam Room and thenPitchfork and Lost Needles.  All feature art from the original releases.  For what it’s worth, I drew Medusa’s head for the Jam Room release.  With a pen.  And paper.  This is your chance to own a bit of art history”.
All 3 in the series will be available at all major vinyl outlets and is available to pre-order now at
Clutch is set to embark on another leg of the Psychic Warfare World Tour 2017starting November 29th, 2017 and running through December 31st, 2017. All tour and ticket info can be found at:
Clutch is currently in the throes of working on new material for a 2018 release.
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion
For more  information, check out the band’s website:

Record Review: Noah Gundersen – “Carry the Ghost”

Noah Gundersen – Carry the Ghost

Dualtone – 8/21/2015

I narrowly missed the 1-year anniversary of this release which reminded me to finally post my review of one of the best records of 2015. -Ed.

Critics strive for objectivity. Noah Gundersen’s 2015 heart-wrenching pain-fest Carry the Ghost makes me throw all objectivity out the window and I don’t even care. I would gladly mortgage my entire reviewing career [Editor’s Note: “Career.”] just as long as Noah keeps making records of this caliber.

I got into Noah Gundersen via an ex-girlfriend. She was 12 and a half years my junior. There was no way she could tell me anything about music. I’m Negadave. I have forgotten more life-changing records than she has had hot meals. Noah Gundersen? Pfft. This guy can’t hold a candle to my favorite folk singers. [Editor’s Note: Mark Kozelek and Malcolm Middleton, for the record.] I bet this guy sounds like Dave Matthews. [Editor’s Note: I secretly love DMB. Real fans call him “Dave.”] She played me Noah’s 2011 EP, Family. I thought to myself, “Where have I heard this guy before?” Then it hit me: Sons of Anarchy. You mean to tell me you like a guy who plays on the Sons of Anarchy soundtrack? *scoff*

. . .
. . .
. . .

Damn. His sadness tastes like mine.

Now this is something I can get behind. Way better than those bland Avett Brothers that she loves so much. [Editor’s Note: They aren’t that bad when they dial down the fucking banjo. Seriously. If you ever feel the need to put a banjo on your record, simply stop, put it down, and use a mandolin instead. You’re welcome.]

Fast forward to six months later. She’s long gone and I’m alone again, naturally. Left to my own devices, back to my baseline level of emptiness, the one I’ve been carrying around for 20+ years. It hurts, man. But I’m getting by. As long as I avoid Noah. Let’s hope he doesn’t show up on shuffle. The odds are in my favor that that I’ll hear at least 3 Bolt Thrower songs before I stumble across some Noah, right?

. . .
. . .
. . .

Shit. “San Antonio Fading.”

I can do this. I’m a grown-ass man. This ain’t my first rodeo. “I hope that you’re doing well. If this was necessary why does it still hurt like hell?” Fuck. He got me. I’ll be over here in the dark for the next year and a half, trying not to cry every time Noah sings, “And if I say I love you like you know I do, would you say you love me too?”

Oh, Noah’s dropping a new record? I guess I’ll check it out. I haven’t thought about him in a while. [Editor’s Note: Whatever. You listened to the Ledges LP 117 times.] I bet it won’t even be any good.

. . .
. . .
. . .

This is album of the year after the first listen. I’m back to drinking alone in the dark. It’s just me, right? I can’t be objective because his music is too personal for me. It hits me on a level that few artists can so it doesn’t count. It’s not empirically, objectively excellent.

It’s…it’s…goddamn it.

If the world were a just place, Noah would have won a Grammy for this one. If you want to have your wasted heart cut out with a spoon sans anesthesia and love every borderline unendurable second of it, this is the record for you. It doesn’t matter if Noah has a full band, an acoustic guitar, or is merely sitting alone behind a piano, every track hits you on a level that you know is there, all the time, but you try not to look directly at it for fear of letting those emotions out of the bottle. They are the kind that take root and don’t ever let go. But I honestly don’t even care anymore. It feels so good to feel anything this deeply that I’ll gladly let my heart break every single time I spin Carry the Ghost. I’ll still come back for more. It’s a sickness. Someone should probably try to save me, but I’ll just drive them away so that I can keep living the same day, over and over again. As long as the soundtrack is penned by Noah Gundersen.


5/5 stars = Excellent
“Settle down, head against the window
counting hours by the handful of plastic bottle shots
coming home, sleeping in my own bed
waking up to the silence
I’m no good at this at all”



Radiohead presents: A Moon Shaped Pool

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The best Radiohead offering in 15 years.

That will not be a popular statement among those whose faith in Radiohead was rekindled by “In Rainbows” but that record never did strike a major chord with me. It is obviously a good record, just not a great one. [Editor’s Note: They have never put out a “bad” one, and yes, that includes “Pablo Honey.” Haters be damned. Just because it isn’t as cerebral or “deep” as “Kid A” doesn’t mean it isn’t a good collection of traditional rock songs that are wholly indicative of the 90s alterna-rock sound.] Sandwiching “In Rainbows” were the two overall weakest Radiohead outputs, so it was no easy feat to bring me back into the fold, especially when I was so deeply rooted in the rock sound of their earlier work, but “A Moon Shaped Pool” has made me a believer again. [Editor’s Note: “The Bends” is still my favorite Radiohead record. Yeah, I’m old. Wanna fight about it?]

You couldn’t have been a sullen kid in the 90s without loving Radiohead. I cut my teeth on the videos for “High and Dry” and “Fake Plastic Trees” on late night MTV. [Editor’s Note: Is there a bigger tragedy in modern television history than MTV? I can honestly say that I haven’t tuned into that abortion of a network in over 15 years. It pains me to say such a thing because there was a time in my young life where immediately upon entering a room with a television, I would flip to MTV in the hopes of catching a Duran Duran video.] Then the landscape of popular rock music was changed forever by “OK Computer.” It was a great time to be alive (and melancholy). Next, Radiohead turned its collective fanbase upside down with the strikingly radical “Kid A.” The reason I ended up knowing that “Kid A” was destined to go down in history as one of (if not the) best albums of the 2000s was how easily I made the transition from “Let Down” to “Idioteque.” I was initially of the mindset that bloops and bleeps were not conducive to a “rock” record. Little did I know that Radiohead did not intend to make a rock record. They intended to transcend the genre.

It took me a little while to come to terms with the fact that Radiohead’s mid-period lull came into fruition after “Amnesiac.” They simply faded into the background while my musical tastes continued to develop in other areas. Then the hype train for LP9 left the station. r/Radiohead had already been prematurely whipping themselves into a frenzy based on speculation for an entire year but when Radiohead started deleting their social media footprint and began fading out their website, I couldn’t help but feel intrigued. Dropping two drastically different videos in a week solidified the deal. I was all in. So when the day finally came, I was counting down the minutes until 2pm Eastern. When I first saw the track list, I was shocked. “True Love Waits”?!?! That song is over 20 years old!! The way Radiohead re-imagined it into the context of AMSP not only revitalized a song older than most college sophomores who are just now discovering “OK Computer” but also turned it into the defining moment of AMSP. TLW is the unexpected payoff to a record that caught everyone by surprise.

As with most of Radiohead’s releases in the last decade plus, I could have used a bit more guitar out of Ed and Jonny, but AMSP has allowed the rhythm section to stand more firmly in the spotlight thanks to some outstanding bass work from Colin, as evidenced by “Ful Stop” and “Idenitkit”. The rest of AMSP is very desolate and orchestral in nature which revisited a darker, more brooding atmosphere that had not been as prevalent or well-defined over the last 3 or so releases. And it was just what the doctor ordered.

I wanted to wait as long as possible to write this review as I knew after the first handful of listens that I needed to go deeper, so I gave it an entire week. Even then, I am not sure if I did it justice. I think that the inherent depth of emotion and instrumentation is what separates AMSP from the more recent Radiohead releases. Fans and critics alike will be discovering new meaning in these 11 tracks for a long time to come. For me, this record is simply dark, gorgeous, and heart-wrenching. It made me realize that I am truly blessed to have grown alongside the greatest band of my generation.

4/5 stars = Great
“Broken hearts make it rain.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Check it out here!


Record Review: The Black Queen – “Fever Daydream”

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Self-released 1-29-2016[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I was pretty hyped for The Black Queen’s debut full-length after seeing the “Ice to Never” video a couple of months back. It was a straight-up banger. The rest of the album does not disappoint, skyrocketing “Fever Daydream” to my favorite release of 2016 thus far.

So dark, so sexual, so passionate, so cold. I have said for a long time that Greg Puciato (of Dillinger Escape Plan fame) was the best/most versatile frontman in metal. His transition to brooding synthwave front-god was seamless. Synthwave as a genre had been on my radar a bit more lately due to an unlikely weekly column from MetalSucks of all places, so “Fever Daydream” happened to catch me in the right place at the right time. [Editor’s Note: I don’t know if this actually can be classified as “synthwave” because quibbling over subgenres is a pointless circle jerk, but if you want to have a go, I’ll see you in the comments section.] As soon as my ass hits the seat of my office chair each morning at my soul-crushing office job, the first thing I do is start spinning “Fever Daydream” just so I can hear the drums come in at the beginning of “Ice to Never.”

I actually expected “Fever Daydream” to wear a bit thin by the end. Nothing against the record or the genre, but in my mind’s eye, I saw my interest waning by the back half due to my own personal tastes. I was mistaken. This is a wholly enthralling record, start to finish. My favorite parts sound like Terminator sex. Not copulating with the machines, mind you. [Editor’s Note: Has Futurama taught us nothing?] But rather the sound that Kyle Reese helped create by traveling back in time to make love to a beautiful woman in a 1980s cyborg action movie. If the premiere synth producers of that decade were to take a page from the digital book of a time traveler that has survived the techno-apocalypse, they could have crafted “Fever Daydream” for the night club scene at Tech Noir, giving the world the gift of such sweet tunes over 30 years earlier than The Black Queen did. [Editor’s Note: Nothing against Tahnee Cain & The Trianglz. You did what you could do back in ’84.]

Listeners of impeccable taste might liken “Fever Daydream” to some of the better Depeche Mode albums. The Black Queen has simply bottled the fire of early Depeche Mode and repackaged it for the modern setting, to unexpectedly great results. Grab your PowerGlove, put on your shutter shades, paint your nails black, and get ready to dance to the sexy sounds of the forthcoming techno-apocalypse.

5/5 stars = Excellent
I’ll see you in hell, Miles Dyson.

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Record Review: Slayer – “Repentless”


My heart still hurts from the loss of Jeff but I was ready to gingerly jump back on the Slayer train when they announced “Repentless” because, let’s face it: Slayer rules. Slayer has always ruled. [Editor’s Note: Yes, I totally count the “Diabolus in Musica” period of the late 90s where they experimented with groove. That record is underrated.]

Talking about Slayer with other fans can be a polarizing experience though. You have your pretentious O.G. contingency that will say the pre-“Reign in Blood” Metal Blade era was best. Then you have the most popular opinion that the time span of the first three records for American (circa 86-90) is the best era. [Editor’s Note: That is a hard one to dispute. It is nigh impossible to name a better 3 records in a row by ANY band. Put your votes in the comments.] The mid-to-late 90s Paul Bostaph era Slayer is the hardest to defend. Yes, Dave Lombardo is God-tier, but I think his legacy obfuscated the fact that Paul is a straight up beast on the skins so I don’t think the lineup change accounts for the slight drop off in the quality of those records. I chalk it up to how the times were a-changin’ in the metal scene of the late 90s. Slayer was not immune. We are now up to 2000s era Slayer, which I call the 2nd coming. “God Hates Us All” is easily my favorite Slayer record outside of the big 3 while a strong case can be made that “World Painted Blood” is the single-most underrated Slayer record of the bunch. This brings us up to the present, where we collectively still mourn the loss of arguably the greatest metal songwriter of the last 2 generations but we know that the metal world is still better with Slayer in it. We now have “Repentless.”

At this point in their career, Slayer has been put in a Kobayashi Maru situation. If they experiment with their sound, purists may rebel. (See the “Diabolus” backlash.) If they make the same record again, people will think they are getting stale. (See the sentiment of the records that came after “God Hates Us All.”) If they make a “bad” record, everyone will say they lost it when Jeff died. That is a remarkable amount of undue pressure to put on a fucking thrash band. Gladly, with “Repentless,” Slayer decided to simply kick the door in and say, “Remember us?” and just start shredding. Honestly, that is all I ever wanted. m/

3/5 = Good
Is “Repentless” going to change your life? No.
Does “Repentless” fucking shred? You’re goddamn right.
Is “Repentless” an actual word? No. No it is not.
Do only assholes care that the actual word is “Unrepentant?” Yes. [Editor’s Note: Sorry. I like grammar.]
Does it matter? No. Just turn it up and bang your fuckin’ head.