Chris Hitchman Illustration – Monster Magnet Poster: Spine of God / Twentieth Anniversary Tour

Chris Hitchman first came to our attention back in July when he was commissioned by Levitation Records to produce artwork for the new Witches Drum EP Future Kings Of An Empty Throne. Chris had already produced some posters and album covers for local acts in the area (Culver, Zinc Bukowski) and had recently scored some work for the legendary band KARP on merchandise for their indispensable 2011 documentary Kill All Redneck Pricks: A Documentary Film About A Band Called KARP ( Off the back of his hard work and exceptional talent he was approached by the management team behind the US rock band Monster Magnet to produce a limited edition screen print for the Manchester date on their twentieth anniversary tour for their Spine of God album, and needed some help making it happen.

We stepped in to help Chris promote his work and arrange a schedule, effectively serving as a go-between to enable him time to finish his design and get paid for his efforts. Liaising with Jens Bornhoft, tour manager at Monster Magnet and Nigel Bowles at The Printhaus Workshops, Cardiff ( we helped Chris secure the commission and from the spec provided devised an affordable and effective way to print his original design in good time. The good folk at The Printhaus did a spectacular job in turning around 125 of these original A2 screen printed posters on black stock, hand signed and numbered by Chris…

With an order for 100 met we decided that instead of simply posting the prints we would take Chris to Manchester to deliver them in person. With all access passes to the show (thanks Jens!) we met with the team and band at the Manchester Academy where Chris’s work was quite rightly met with a lot of love, and his fantastic poster was sold on the merchandise stall alongside work by Malleus, and purchased by many fans and collectors…

A great experience for us personally and a memorable one for all involved we were massively proud to have helped him get his first set of prints produced and build what will no doubt be a long and fruitful working friendship with the guys at Monster Magnet and hopefully set Chris up with even more commissions. With 25 posters to sell after the show we set up and designed an online Big Cartel store for Chris to sell his poster, giving him an online presence and outlet to sell more work of his work in the future. And with bookings already made for 2013, and more work with even more legendary bands and artists just around the corner this year really is going to be a big one for Chris Hitchman. We look forward to working him again soon and in the meantime you can purchase one of these prints via his new online shop, Snap one up before they go. If they haven’t all gone already.

Spider Kitten – Cougar Club (Rugland Records, 14/01/12)

Spider Kitten

Spider Kitten
Cougar Club
Rugland Records
UK Release Date: 14 January 2013

“Fucking A-MAZING! Acid Bath playing Melvins and Nirvana Bleach-era covers.”
Andi Morris, Desecration

“Heavier than giving Satan a piggy back up a steep hill on a very, very hot day.”
Adam Walton, BBC Radio Wales

“Spider Kitten’s doomy rumblings shake the foundations, affirming their growing reverence.”
Noel Gardner, Buzz Magazine

“It’s dark, it’s eerie, the bass line is wonderfully low, it’s bordering industrial and it’s nothing like I’ve quite heard before from any Welsh band.”
Soundscape Magazine

There are some bands whose sound requires less of a description and more of a comprehensive lab test, and Newport’s influential Spider Kitten is most definitely one such band.

Originally formed as a duo (sans drummer) back in 2001 by founding members Chi Lameo (vocals, guitar) and Ptew (effects) it didn’t take long for the band to acquire an audience, and with it a cult reverence that over a decade on continues to stretch far beyond the South Wales doom scene.

Destroying PA systems and lysergically lacing drone metal with onstage visual projections in support of groups such as Taint, Firebird and Suns of Thunder, since their 2003 debut _LP (Underscore) Spider Kitten have put out a prolific number of recordings. From demos, EPs and split singles to full-length albums most have either been given away or shared around freely thanks to the band’s furious DIY ethic and an ethos that is as raw now as it’s ever been.

Through their frightening prolificacy they have amassed a back catalogue that swallows styles from proto-grunge and heavy psychedelia, to doom and industrial noise. All drowned in the influence of artists as diverse as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Leonard Cohen, Pink Floyd, The Melvins and the dirtiest miscellany of Sub Pop’s early output.

Spider Kitten have expanded their line-up in recent times to include respected noise merchants Chris West (ex-Taint) on drums, Rob Davies on guitar and Al White on bass, and their latest album Cougar Club is not just a product of their now veteran status but a culmination of eleven years of experimentation. From the opening eerie swell and crushing grind of ‘Twin Obscenities’ to the classic motoric rock groove of ‘Burdened’ and the doomy 70s progressive closer of its title track, this is without question Spider Kitten’s most complete and ambitious recording to date. A total blast for everyone who has waited for it, a reminder to those that might have forgotten, and the biggest kick in the head to those who are yet to hear how awesome they are and have been for a long time.

Spider Kitten:
Chi Lameo – Vocals, guitar,synth
Al White – Bass, vocals
Chris West – Drums, vocals
Rob Davies – Guitar

Track Listing:
1. Twin Obscenities
2. Burdened
3. Dark World
4. Time Takes it Toll
5. Cougar Club

Label: Rugland Records
Formats: CD, Download

Recorded at Whitehouse, Weston-Super-Mare and Das Ghetto, Cardiff
Engineered by Martin Nichols
Produced by Chi Lameo
Mastered by Latch
Artwork by Al

Live Dates:
1.12.12 – Loserpalooza Fest with Atomck, The Witches Drum, Thorun, Zinc Bukowski and Recluse at Buffalo Bar, CARDIFF

Toundra – (III) (Aloud Music Ltd, 22/10/12)

Aloud Music Ltd
UK Release Date: 22 October 2012

“Toundra staged one of the best shows of the first day. Their metallic post rock took attendees by surprise, and their decibel instrumental carousel literally hypnotized us.”

“Second assault of Toundra. They started with the post-metal instrumental standard (the footsteps of Isis, Pelican or Russian Circles are evident) and gave to these songs an enviable personality.”
Staff Magazine

“Their attacks are furious thunderstorms that open to clear up. More ruthless than Explosions in the Sky and more expeditious than Mogwai.”
El Pais

Two years on from the release of their critically acclaimed album II, Spain’s finest instrumental post-rock group Toundra return to the progressive fold with (III); an epic, brutal and beautiful new chapter in their career.

Their second release on Barcelona’s Aloud Music Ltd and third full-length album since their formation in 2007, over the past five years Toundra have released music on labels in their native Spain, as well as labels in France (Basement Apes Industries), Germany and Brazil (Criminal Attack Records). Recorded with Carlos Santos (Ictus, Adrift, Aathma, Another Kind of Death) at Sandman Studios in their hometown of Madrid over six complex and uncompromising tracks they create music to move mountains.

Opener ‘Ara Caeli’ sets out its stall and encapsulates exactly what the band has been about since day one. Pioneering grand and striking song structures with ideas behind each that explore issues surrounding life and death, they chip away at melodic post-rock landscapes instantly comparable to Mogwai or Pelican, but under the surface (III) incorporates elements of more traditional influence. Their appreciation of classic rock groups such as Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin shine through (check out the heavy folk and swirling string sections of ‘Requiem’) and can be heard all over (III), interwoven into the progressive post-metal of ‘Cielo Negro’ and ‘Marte’ this is Toundra at their most impressive. A total musical force.

To date the band has already appeared at festivals including BAM 2010, Primavera Sound, DCode, Resurrection Fest and Costa de Fuego (Benicassim) and this September they take to the road in support of (III) with a full European Tour.

Track Listing:
1. Ara Caeli
2. Cielo Negro
3. Requiem
4. Marte
5. Lilim
6. Espirita

Label: Aloud Music Ltd
Formats: CD, LP, Download

Tour Dates:
20.09.12 – Metz, Zikametz Festival, FRANCE
22.09.12 – Solingen, Pretty In Noise Festival, GERMANY
23.09.12 – Düsseldorf, Session, GERMANY
24.09.12 – Berlin, Schokoladen, GERMANY
25.09.12 – Chemnitz, AJZ, GERMANY
26.09.12 – Winterthur, Gaswerk, SWITZERLAND
28.09.12 – Thun, Mokka, SWITZERLAND
29.09.12 – Bordeaux, Les Lectures Aléatoires, FRANCE

Toundra European Tour 2012

Aloud Music Ltd have announced details of Toundra’s European Tour 2012 this week which will see the band hit the road throughout September to promote the release of their fantastic new album (III).

Live dates below:

19.09.12 – Tolosa, Bonberenea, SPAIN
20.09.12 – Metz, Zikametz Festival, FRANCE
22.09.12 – Solingen, Pretty In Noise Festival, GERMANY
23.09.12 – Düsseldorf, Session, GERMANY
24.09.12 – Berlin, Schokoladen, GERMANY
25.09.12 – Chemnitz, AJZ, GERMANY
26.09.12 – Winterthur, Gaswerk, SWITZERLAND
28.09.12 – Thun, Mokka, SWITZERLAND
29.09.12 – Bordeaux, Les Lectures Aléatoires, FRANCE