Wednesday, February 3, 2016

BLACK BLACK BLACK - Altered States of Death and Grace


"Black Black Black traffic in the kind of good-natured misanthropy of bands like Whores or KEN mode, but the musical gestures beneath the noisy exterior are all forward-charging, Kyuss-worshipping sludge n' roll. It's basically underground metal's version of a radio banger."
–BrooklynVegan


Brooklyn "doom pop" rockers Black Black Black are set to release new, sophomore album Altered States of Death and Grace on March 25th via Aqualamb Records.


Stripped-down, psyched-out desert rock meets big-city darkness, in Altered States of Death and Grace's ten perfect gems of driving rock n' roll. Hip-shaking stomps and soaring hooks propel morbidly poetic songs about pills, decay, self-mutilation, Satanism, and other horror-flick delights, bearing titles like "Let's Bloodlet" and "Exorcist Everything." It is a clash of desert and city, light and dark, sweet and bitter – while the music radiates color, the lyrics are as black as the band name.

"Zoloft Manual" kicks off the album, showcasing the rich singing voice of 
frontman Jason Alexander Byers – Byers is formerly the vocalist of '90s Cleveland band Disengage (releases on Man's Ruin Records and other labels) and on Altered States of Death and Grace he croons, howls, and screams with a veteran's conviction. Second track "I Got Scabies" begins as a hellbound highway rocker and ends with clanging Daydream Nation strums. "Lloyd Needs Meds" follows, slowing things down to heavy, transcendent White Album bliss, the sounds of eerie voices and sharpening knives buried in the haze. 

From start to finish, Altered States of Death and Grace is a supremely rocking album that traverses the whole spectrum but always keeps a foot in black.


Stream "Let's Bloodlet," featuring guest vocals by Dave Curran of Unsane, here:
http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2016/02/stream_black_bl.html


The album was recorded at Terminus Recording Studios and mixed at 28th Street Sound by Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Mutoid Man), and mastered by Carl Saff (Fu Manchu, Sannhet).

The tracklist is as follows:


1) Zoloft Manual 
2) I Got Scabies 
3) Lloyd Needs Meds
4) Let's Bloodlet 
5) Exorcist Everything
6) Let's Scare Death to Death
7) Jessup Jessup Jessup
8) Every Dentist Does
9) Slowly Severed
10) When Dying's Done

Aqualamb, the Brooklyn label of which Black Black Black bassist Johnathan Swafford is co-owner, will release Altered States of Death and Grace on March 25th in its signature format: the label has made a name for releasing music in the form of pristinely-designed, 100-page, softbound books. In Aqualamb's book series, each album's art and liner notes, traditionally confined to an LP gatefold, a CD booklet, or the screen of a music-playing device, is given an expanded space in which to shine. A download code for the music is included within each book. Altered States of Death and Grace's cover art was created by frontman Byers, with Aqualamb handling the book design.

Altered States of Death and Grace follows Black Black Black's self-titled debut album, released on Aqualamb in 2013.

Black Black Black has played shows with Torche, Weedeater, Doomriders, and more. The band joins Craw and STATS for a Craw reunion show at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn on March 12th. 

Jason Alexander Byers - vocals

Jacob Cox - guitar
Johnathan Swafford - bass
Jeff Ottenbacher - drums

Dave Curran - guest vocals on "Zoloft Manual" and "Let's Bloodlet"

Jesse Quattro - guest vocals on "Slowly Severed"

Photo by Evan Sung