first the premiere, the leadoff epic from Hivelords‘ new album Tapered Limbs of a Human Star, which is out now on Anthropic.
second, hot tour diary action!
7/31 Binghamton, NY – Fitzie’s Pub
The last show to get booked for this tour, weirdly, was this first one in Binghamton, and it couldn’t have worked out better. As soon as we pulled in, someone recognized the graffiti “artists” on our van, Potato and Cheetah (Cheeto). We dubbed them the “Snack Pack.” Local hardcore studs Dream Team rekindled the glory of ’90s basketball with throwback jerseys and all-star mosh moves in the paint. All the bands ripped and insisted that we do the same. We’re not the type of band to deny the whims of our hosts.
8/1 Boston, MA – O’Brien’s
We arrived at O’Brien’s with axes to grind. Bodies and souls shrivel to gaunt when Plagues strike. Then we were miraculously reunited with our Lunglust brothers separated from us at birth. We play, you lay. Down. Hard. Where from there? To Whiskey Werewolf’s Den. You’ll party young man… you’ll party and you’ll like it! There were extensive talks about developing and marketing Lars Ulrich Barbie dolls. Say it out loud: “Lars Barbie.” See what we mean? The porch people saw things… wicked things… until the sun came up. Spoiler alert: homegrown hot peppers resting in vodka for a few weeks. Huge thanks to everyone in the house for being awesome hosts and better friends.
8/2 Portland, ME – Castle Black
Rolled up to Castle Black, and the Wildlings were already about in full force. The crew in Portland always shows us a good time, and this was no exception. Screamin’ Demon Steve was up to his usual antics, molesting the good vibes of all those around him. It’s not really his fault; our music does strange things to some people, and we’re fond of his fervor. Steve: We acknowledge you and we share your agony. Lunglust assaulted us in a flesh-packed basement and all was well with the world.
8/3 Burlington, VT – Nectar’s
Hey, have you guys heard about this band called Phish? Weirdly enough, it’s spelled with a “Ph” instead of an “F.” Apparently, they are are up-and-coming, and making big waves in small circles. Keep an eye out for those guys, will ya? Goblet overflowed with tales of Forced Blunt Trauma and Dinobots destroying everything you know and love. Amadis was sent here from a specifically NWOBHM planet to collect DNA samples of weaklings in order to genetically engineer the perfect toys for their world. Impromptu forced Viking fashion show at 3 a.m. occurred. Myq Kaplan, have you heard of him? Weirdly enough, his name is pronounced “Mike” but is spelled “M-Y-Q” instead of “M-I-K-” Apparently, he is up-and-coming, and making big waves in small circles. Keep an eye out for that guy, will ya?
8/4 Rochester, NY – The Bug Jar
What a fitting venue for us. Bug Jar? Hivelords? Get it? BUG JAR? Because we prefer drinking out of jars as opposed to cups? And we piss in them, too? Should probably pay more attenton to those jars. And definitely more attention to Enthauptung and the Highest Leviathan. They’re awesome and you don’t really have a choice in that matter. Eric played perfect host and we got the best sleep of the whole trip so far. He also took us to Record Archive, which rained vintage cassettes and VHS tapes down on us like sweet sweet ’80s and ’90s rain.
8/5 Buffalo, NY – Northrup
Henry Rawrins, lead vocalist of Bark Flag. Look him up. Nero the Cat. Look him up. Look up Nero the Guy while you’re at it; you’ll find out that he most likely killed his pregnant wife by kicking her during an argument, and was so grief-stricken that he found a slave boy with her exact facial features and had him eunuched and married him and only called him by his dead wife’s name. We, Bootlap and Bastard Lord blazed and barrelled through basement beholders’ bruised bodies and burrowed beneath their battered brains. Buffalo balls, bitches.
8/6 Detroit, MI – The Sanctuary
We had to tunnel under Canada to get to this show. This was our first of a three-show installment with Minneapolis black metal beasts False, and the lineup was stacked with Fell Ruin, Isenblast and Cloud Rat. We and False agree that “Roundball Rock” by John Tesh is the greatest piece of composed music of all time… official load-in/load-out music forever. It took place in a converted church, and what I mean by that is it is still a church, only this time sermons were impassioned with proof of life instead of a promise of another beyond. Also, this church had a free vegan taco buffet eucharist. When all was said and done, our new friend Brian sheltered us, clothed us with a cat and a dog and fed us Conan the Barbarian and Batman: The Animated Series, and shit, was it delicious.
8/7 Chicago, IL – The 1240
In no way will we be referencing “Da Bears” or “Da-Bulls” in this entry. We promise, no mention of the wildly hilarious and popular SNL skit where all the characters pretend to be Chi-Townies and sports aficionados and say “Da Bulls Da Bulls Da Bulls” and “Da Bears Da Bears Da Bears” in their trumped-up Chicago accents. It’s too tropey and cliche to draw attention to those skits that featured Chris Farley, Norm MacDonald, Mike Myers and special guests such as Michael Jordan. No need at all to mention their acolytic worship of Coach Ditka, or the classic ponderance “Who would win in a fight: Coach Ditka or a Hurricane?” “Ditka.” “AH! The hurricane’s name is Hurricane Ditka!” Glad we didn’t waste your time with any painfully unoriginal mentions of that satirical interpretation of the denizens of the Windy City. When we arrived the backyard BBQ was burning away and the basement was hallowed and haunting. We paddled our Cracked Vessel through a Sea of Shit and witnessed the flight of an Immortal Bird. Great lineup, great crowd and great times for all.
8/8 Milwaukee, WI – Quarters
WOW. Milwaukee really loves their beer. They love it so much, they’re practically giving it away! But seriously, they really are giving it away. Jason from Subjugation really upped the ante by supplying us with endless vegan tacos of his own creation, endless beers and endless shred when he and Subjugation played! Triple-fucking-threat. John (Cannabinol Synapse) was also a most benevolent creature indeed: not only did he provide an original ’80s horror-synth soundtrack to a projection of John Carpenter’s gore masterpiece The Thing, he provided his theremin virtuosity alongside our set, and the combination was really something special that we will never forget. Oh, and he also put us up after the show! It was sadly our last endeavor with False, who really are on another tangent and deserve your full and godless attention… they certainly have ours. “Roundball Rock” still lives on. The crowd also deserves mention for making it a memorable, engaging and interactive experience for all parties involved. Apparently acts of kindness and awesomeness flow as freely as Milwaukee’s subterranean beer rivers.
8/9 Minneapolis, MN – The Hexagon
Sunday night show that starts at 10 p.m. I know what you’re thinking: “Awesome! Can’t wait! Behold the Sabbath by day, party by night!” Only that’s exactly what happened. Morality Crisis played their set to a cop siren and was fucking brutal. Lungs can sing you to Heaven and throw you back down to Hell where you belong, you silly blog-readers, you. Who are you, anyway? Do we know you, have we met? Let us know. Do you know Mark Ambrose? We sure do; he puts us up and treats us like demigods every time we come to the Minnie (maybe that horrible nickname will stick? Nah. Never.) He has only cool things. Betty, his bulldog, is the sweetest girl who we played with all day. He has EVERY good graphic novel in print, EVERY cool movie you’ve never heard of and EVERY cool book you’ve never read and EVERY cool video game you played when you were a kid. He made two (not one) TWO crockpots full of pulled pork, and even took care of the vegetarian’s needs without hesitation. And glorious AC and couchspace. He also saw us off with Crooked Little Vein, several graphic novels and Scanners on DVD. Heavenly. Unearthly. Unbelievable. These are words we routinely use to describe our description of how much Mark has done for us, and we couldn’t be more grateful.
8/10 Minneapolis, MN – Memory Lanes
Show at a bowling alley? Not exactly. Show in a bowling alley? Kind of. Show near the lanes of the bowling alley? Almost. Show with a stage erected on the actual lanes of the bowling alley while people bowl around us?! Nailed it right on the crown of the dome. Never played a show like that before, and it was really an awesome and fun experience for everyone. The Lebowski quotes reigned between each set of excellent live music. What more can you ask for? “Roundball Rock” through the house PA? Check and mate.
8/11 Fargo, ND – The New Direction
Gotta point this out: The New Direction is doing EVERYTHING RIGHT for DIY music. Their layout is unbelievably accomodating for showgoers and bands alike, complete with lounge, records, games, fixed merch setups, huge green room, etc. Straight up pro, and I wouldn’t doubt if more places like it start to follow the example. It’s not a new example either, but it is expertly executed at TND. We were really into the bands that we played with, especially Benefactor. The crowd was relatively small in number (according to showgoers we spoke to after our set), but huge in support and stature. Drove through the night to get to Billings. When the sun came up, the mercury sneered and bore 102 red teeth in our sweat-laden eyes. No AC and air that makes dog breath seem like your face in a freezer. The only relief came when we arrived in Billings in perfect time for load-in. Not the first time and won’t be the last, and I don’t know what they told you, but nothing is free.
8/12 Billings, MT – The Railyard
This show was our first installment of a three-show run with Montana black metallers Nequiter and Arkheron Thodol. We were humbled by the talent and dedication to their craft these MT monsters possessed. A great show and a great time had by all. It was an apt premonition of things to come under the Big Sky. Our new bud Josh and his heavy pals put us up for the night in a glorious abode made for touring bands the likes of us don’t really deserve and appreciate wholeheartedly. Showered and shitted, never shaved, we left our hosts with best wishes and promises of hasty returns. Now we’re off to Boze, man.
8/13 Bozeman, MT – The Eagle
“E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!!!” was not chanted once in reference to the venue’s name. Although I had to use much restraint. After loading in one cab up an impossibly steep, rusty and old fire escape, we decided long-ways was right-ways and got the gear through the house and up the main steps like the dumb dirge of speakers we are. Well worth it in every way. Arkheron incited a mosh involving girls in club dresses, thin-haired spike-hawked punx, skateboarders and heshers alike. Glory. We and Nequiter followed suit, harkening dark and drek spirits that too oft leave grinning mouths and bold laughter at such arcane screams from aeons being so much fun to revel in. After long loads and long goodbyes, Lieu and Nathan held our girth at their fine home in the hills. Their hospitality will not be forgotten. Nor their chickens and ducks, who we were fortunate enough to frolic with. What? Frolicking with fowl ain’t easy, they’re quicker and cooler than you.
8/14 Missoula, MT – The Palace Lounge
Last one with Arkheron and Nequiter, but definitely not the least. Great space, great atmosphere and great sound. After an intriguing and engaging performance from Zebulon Kostel, we three made blood rain down from the skies. Dark blood. You couldn’t see it, but it was there and it got all over you if you were there. And it will never come off. Ever. Some crucial bonds were branded in our collective flesh, and now Montana is in us and, like the invisible black spirit blood, will never leave. Premonitions, perhaps. Some old and familiar faces. Nick and Sam came, and a reunion of sorts was had, ending at Logan, Lucas and Bandit’s house, where we were received like royalty and did our best to be as humble in return.
Here are the remaining dates of Hivelords’ North American tour:
8/19 – ASHLAND, OR
8/20 – OAKLAND, CA
8/21 – PROVO, UT
8/22 – LARAMIE, WY
8/23 – COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
8/24 – DENVER, CO
8/25 – WICHITA, KS
8/26 – KANSAS CITY, MO
8/27 – LEXINGTON, KY
8/28 – CHARLESTON, WV
8/29 – PITTSBURGH, PA
9/5 – PHILADELPHIA, PA