Mastiff – New Album Coming in 2019

Group Shot July 2017

Words by Andrew Field

On Saturday 30th June Mastiff went into the studio to commence work on the follow up to 2017’s “BORK” EP. I’d been given glimpses of the new material by the band in the form of phone recordings sent to me via WhatsApp, so already knew I was likely to be handed something fairly nasty to release once recording was done. There had also been talk about maybe taking a bit longer over this one. I was led to believe that the end-of-June weekend was just the start.

Mastiff entered the studios around 9.45am on that 30th June day. At 4.11pm I got a message from Jim Hodge saying “80% done boss man”. At 4.17pm Phil Johnson messaged saying “tracks pretty much overdubbed”.

On Monday 2nd July at 6.57am they sent me the fully mixed and mastered album. It sounded absolutely fucking incredible.

That’s Mastiff right there. A fully formed, prepped, focused, disciplined machine.

So how does it sound? Frankly, like the end of the world. Eight tracks of pure nihilistic rage. Everything is amplified (sic): the slower bits are gnarlier, the faster bits grind harder, Michael Shepherd’s blast beats hurt your bowels more, Dan Dolby’s bass is right there in your face, and Jim Hodge’s vocals go to another world – somewhere primal, beyond feral, way past animalistic. And as for the twin guitar attack of Jam Lee and Phil Johnson…… well, rarely have I heard amps and cabs punished quite so brutally. They make Eyehategod sound like A-ha.

There is a track on the album called Until I Weep No More. It is going to be the heaviest thing I have released on APF so far. It is skull-crushing.

The current plan is to drop this bombshell on you in early 2019. Trust me when I tell you, it will be worth the wait.

Mastiff forever.

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Summer 2018 Update

CDs year one

So we’ve been at this for just over a year now. Since APF Records first release – Under’s “Slick” album – hit the shelves on 31st May 2017 we’ve put out music by Diesel King, Blind Haze, Mastiff, Tronald, RedEye Revival, BongCauldron, Ba’al, The Wizards Of Delight, Desert Storm, The Hyena Kill, Pist, Trevor’s Head and Nomad. Not bad for 52 weeks eh?

For the first time in over 12 months we have a nice little pause before the release schedule cranks up again in the autumn. A time to recharge the batteries, reflect on that first year, and get the forthcoming new stuff manufactured and ready to batter your eardrums later in the year.

Next up from APF is a new Under album. Likely to hit the streets in late September it’s a 10 track beast which shows the Stockport trio taking a giant creative leap forward from “Slick”.

Under

The riff which opens the album is jaw dropping. Simon Mayo’s guitar work throughout is some next level shit: alternating between filthy, strings-hanging-off-the-fret-board nastiness to moments of sublime and beautiful melancholy (and all points in between). Matt Franklin’s bass is guttural, and his howl even more frightening than before. Andy Preece’s drumming is immense. And when all three blend their voices into that signature Under harmony, its pure goosebumps.

What is clear with Under is this: the ‘First Attempt’ EP and ‘Slick’ were just these boys warming up. The new one isn’t just in a different league, its a whole different sport. Prepare to be amazed.

Barbarian Hermit

Also this autumn we’ll be releasing the debut album by Barbarian Hermit. Recorded in May at Skyhammer Studio by Chris Fielding, its a great big fat widescreen monolith. I had the pleasure of visiting the studio when work was in progress, and on the last evening of recording got to hear rough mixes. All the things you loved about Hermit on their February 2016 EP ’01’ are there – groove, swagger, riffs that could frighten a herd of angry bulls. But there is so much that is new, and it’s all good – from Ed Campbell’s gravel-inflected vocals to Spadge Fafner’s thrills of bass fancy to Gaz Manning’s sheer brutal power. The way the songs ebb and flow is different and thrilling, but they still contain the majestic Robertshaw / Regan six string mindfucking riffs you’d expect and want. The closing track is the very definition of the word “epic”. It’s a massive sounding record. You’re gonna dig it.

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Before the end of the year APF will release a new Battalions album, their third after 2016’s “Nothing To Lose” and last year’s “Moonburn”. Over the last 12 months the Hullensian quartet have delivered some immense shows (including a UK tour with label mates Pist – which by some miracle they survived), whilst honing material for the new record.

One of the joys of owning a record label is getting WhatsApp messages from members of your bands ripping through the new songs in their rehearsal rooms. I’ve had several from Dennett and Mott of Battalions over the last few months so have watched the songs on the new record gestating. Fans will be pleased to know that Pete Cross continues to have a seemingly bottomless supply of swampy riffs which he can summon at ease – for The Fumb and Walker to pummel into submission. And Phil Wilkinson continues to be the only frontman who can look so cute yet make small children cry with his vocals. It’s all sounding ace. No babies have been thrown out with the bathwater. Its pure Battalions and it will make your arse move.

Several of our other bands are beavering away on new material. Pist have an album’s worth of songs written, and keep writing more. Their next release is gonna be a bit special. BongCauldron are recording something shortly – but I’m not saying what, or why yet (all will be revealed soon).

No one’s heard from Diesel King in a while. But that’s pretty usual.

This is just the beginning. Loads more coming from APF. Wish I had the time to tell you about it all. It’s all exciting.

See you at a show.

FIELDY

APF Records

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Trevor’s Head Sign to APF Records

 

“Trevor’s Head present chunky stoner riffage from the deepest darkest recesses of Redhill, Surrey. Every song has plenty of powerful grit and the pace picks up with punky, driving aggression, all wrapped up in warm desert-fuzz tone. ” – DESERTFEST

“The perfect mix of Stoner, Blues, Grunge, Desert Rock and Hard Rock with soulful vocals to match” – OUTLAWS OF THE SUN

“As their track record suggests, (Trevor’s Head) seem locked in a state of perpetual evolution and experimentation, and for that, they have to be lauded.” – THE SLUDGELORD

 “A band unwilling to stay confined within the boundaries of a specific genre or sound and who in making this stance have created their own genre…. Get inside Trevor’s Head – it’s a great place to be!” – PSYCHLIST

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A warm welcome to our latest signing, Redhill rockers Trevor’s Head. APF Records will be releasing their new album “Soma Holiday” on 30th April 2018, just in time for their performance at this year’s Desertfest London. “Soma Holiday” contains 13 genre defying (and genre defining) songs which, whilst rooted in stoner rock, take the listener on a journey through moments of grunge, punk, indie rock, hardcore, early Neil Young, ska, country, prog and much more besides. We caught up with drummer Matt Ainsworth before the campaign begins.

Welcome to the APF family. How you feeling?

Pretty damn good! We’re only two months into the year and some really cool stuff is happening for us as a band.

For those not in the know, tell us how Trevor’s Head got together and what you’ve achieved so far?

Trevor’s Head started up as a bunch of mates who met in college about 10 years ago, we’ve had a couple of lineup changes over time, but it settled nicely into the trio that it is now in 2014. So far, we’ve self released two albums, two EPs, played over four hundred gigs and grown as songwriters and performers. Now we’re on APF.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played and what made it special?

The launch party we had for the release of our last album, “Tricolossus”, was something pretty special. The place was rammed, there was toilet paper flying everywhere, there were stage invasions, crates of beer were being passed around, Roger ended up inside the ceiling after removing part of it… it was just a greasy, mental gig. The audience was awesome and so were the support bands, who are all good mates of ours… Cavalli, Junkyard Choir, and Danny Dangerously. Check ‘em all out!

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Tell us about the recording of Soma Holiday. Any tales from the sessions?

The recording itself was quite intensive. Foel Studio is in an extremely remote area in Wales, so there aren’t very many distractions! We laid down the basic tracks live, then overdubbed the vocals, some of the lead guitar parts and all the extra stuff like synths and fire extinguishers. We binged pretty hard one night and ended up doing our own take on country music till past dawn, but that hasn’t gotten on the record…

Which of the new songs are you most proud of, and why?

There’s a track called “Sleepstate” which is one of the most ambitious things we’ve done so far, there’s a lot of different layers in there, particularly the middle parts. “Ghost” is another one. Heavy, spacey and punky. We’re proud of the record as a whole, though.

You’re booked to play this year’s Desertfest London, which is quite a coup! Nervous? Which other bands on the lineup are you looking forward to seeing?

Nervous? Us? Haha, maybe a little! The reality’s kind of only just dawned on us! It’s going to be a right blast. Really looking forward to catching Black Moth, Church Of Misery, Zeke, Casual Nun, Graveyard, Tuskar, Pist, Morass Of Molasses, Hawkwind… Could just reel off the whole lineup, couldn’t we?

Reveal something about Trevor’s Head you’ve never talked about in public before?

 Nothing to say that hasn’t already been said, really. Apart from Aaron’s crippling dependency on fried chicken. But that’s pretty dark, man. You don’t want to hear about that.

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What’s your aspirations with this band? Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

Still gigging our arses off and having a great time of it! We’d also like to have made a few more records that we’re really proud of, too. The continuing development of us as a band as well as a bunch of mates is really rewarding.

What’s your favourite venue to play? And any places you’ve not gigged in but would like to?

The Bird’s Nest in Deptford seems to have become our spiritual home over the last couple of years, we’ve been putting on monthly stoner/doom/sludge/psych nights there and it’s always an awesome time. Great bar staff, sound man and audience. Totally run for the music. We’d like to get more shows up north… Sheffield, Leeds and Nottingham are some places we haven’t been to yet.

You’ve joined a label which now has 16 bands on the roster. Which is your favourite of the bands on APF Records and why?

Probably have to go with Under or Desert Storm. They’re both fucking class bands and really good guys to boot. We’re looking forward to being part of the family!

Finally, anything to declare?

We fucking love your label, mate.

Soma Holiday

BongCauldron Vinyl Update – 20.12.17

Sorry, no easy way to break this news: it’s been delayed again. Was due with us yesterday or today (19th or 20th). Just received the following email from our vinyl supplier:
“I have been trying to track the BongCauldron delivery all morning and I have been advised that the last truck to the UK from Czech Republic has been delayed and is not shipping until 3rd January. I am extremely sorry, I was assured the stock was shipping this week but due to issues with the courier service there are no trucks leaving for the UK. I have expressed my disappointment to the plant and am very sorry that you will not receive the stock until the new year”.
Gutted. Sorry everyone. Frankly I don’t believe what I’m being told, so am away to get right up a few people’s noses. 😡
Merry fucking Christmas
Fieldy

BongCauldron Vinyl Update

BongCauldron’s “Binge” was released on 30th November. It was available on that day through digital downloads, streaming sites, and on CD. Vinyl pre-orders were invited from early October with shipping of the records announced for the first week of December 2017.

Binge

On Friday afternoon (1st December) we were informed by our vinyl supplier that, due to an unspecified issue at the pressing plant, we won’t receive the records until 19th or 20th December. We are investigating with both the London-based vinyl supplier and (through them) the Czech Republic-based pressing plant why this delay has occurred. APF Records ordered and paid for the vinyl back in September with a promised delivery date to APF of 30th November.

We’re disappointed on so many levels, but mainly for those who pre-ordered the album as far back at 9th October. It’s embarrassing for us as a label, especially as APF prides itself on having items with pre-orderers in advance of the release date – and always ships orders for released products within a couple of days.

The only upside to this is we’ve been able to get some more of the green vinyl for you on accelerated delivery. It should be with us early in the new year.

Those who ordered the vinyl record through our Big Cartel store have already been sent a download code so they can at least download and enjoy the album digitally whilst they wait for their LP.  If you have bought the vinyl and not received your download code, please drop us an email (info@apfrecords.co.uk) so we can sort this for you.

When the vinyls arrive at APF HQ on 19th or 20th December we will have them posted out to buyers the same day. All things being equal UK-based buyers will have “Binge” in their hands before Christmas. I’m afraid oversees buyers are unlikely to receive them until early January.

Whilst the vinyl delay was not of our making, we are sorry for it. To go someway towards making this up you, there will be a BongCauldron merch item sent with the vinyls to anyone who has ordered one. This item will only be available to those who have ordered the vinyl.

Please accept our apologies for this delay. Feel free to get in touch should you wish to discuss your order further.

Cheers

Andrew Field

On behalf of APF Records