San Francisco’s Lowcaster have arisen from their own ashes to produce a complex and emotionally mature sophomore effort, Flames Arise. A quantum leap above their rollicking 2016 debut, Flames Arise is born from “two years of tragedy and loss”, according to the band.
Susie McMullan from Brume supplies background vocals on one of the featured tracks, Shore up the Ashes, adding another layer of harmony and emotion to an already amazing song. Flames Arise is already a contender for one of my favorite albums of 2019.
Standout tracks: Flames Bemoan the Tide, Shore up the Ashes
If you’re in the area, catch Lowcaster at their album debut show at SF’s Thee Parkside with Brume on November 9, 2019! In the meantime, buy or stream Flames Arise at the usual outlets.
A staple of the San Francisco Bay Area underground heavy rock scene since 2007, ZED hits a new level of musical maturity and fires on all cylinders like a badass band who knows what the fuck they’re about on their newest full-length, “Volume”.
Released on Ripple Music in July, this tour de force of solid riffs and heavy grooves is easily one of my favorite albums of 2019. Vocalist/guitarist Pete Sattari’s gravelly vocals have never sounded better, guitarist Greg Lopez’ octane-fuled Sabbathy riffs sound bigger and badder than ever, and the battery of bassist Mark Aceves and skin-beater Sean Boyles is tight and punishing in the best way.
Standout tracks: Wings of the Angel, Chingus, Time and Space. Check out this amazing LEGO based video by multitalented bassist Mark Aceves featuring their single “Chingus”.
Fans of Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, and Shinedown will dig this hard rocking album, available on Bandcamp and Spotify for instant listening. ZED is currently touring the west coast with the likes of La Chinga, Horseburner, and Age of Truth. Catch them if you can!
Fantastic Negrito is the stage name of Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, an Oakland-based singer songwriter who just dropped a new album Please Don’t Be Dead in June 2018. From his Facebook page, and I couldn’t have said it better than this, “Fantastic Negrito is black roots music for everyone, Blues with a punk attitude from Oakland”.
It is the best kind of dirty, soulful blues rock and man, if I hadn’t just missed seeing him on tour here, I wouldn’t have even heard of this cat. And now I’m kicking myself for missing out. Don’t make the same mistake, catch him on tour and pick up Please Don’t Be Dead, it will reinvigorate your soul.