Austin-based power trio The Well redefine heavy rock by merging massive riffs with sophisticated melodies. Their progressive sound stems from a nostalgic desire to blend different musical styles as diversified as Joy Division to Blue Cheer. The group blossomed when guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham was fired from his previous band. Determined to redirect his musical focus, Graham hooked up with bassist Lisa Alley and the two began picking out riffs in their east-side garage. Rounding out their sound, they stole drummer Jason Sullivan from Graham’s old band in a tale of vengeance and karma. His solid groove and reckless tribal beat gave the three-piece their ideal primal attack. Due to their psychedelic doom edge, The Well reap comparisons to Black Sabbath, Sleep, Electric Wizard and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. As fans of cult horror films, they embrace the sinister, revel in dark themes and find inspiration in haunting echoes. The dual vocals of Graham and Alley evoke an ancient language that carries a mystic spell. Daunting rhythms and heavy guitars often accentuate their chilling chants. In the spring of 2012 The Well’s first studio experience was to record their debut 7″ at the Barbeque Shack with Tia Carrera’s Jason Morales. Limited to 300 copies, ‘Seven’ was pressed on mixed vinyl with several cover options featuring hand-drawn art that emulated a few of the band’s favorite album covers. Nicknamed the “rip-off” series, the single sold out quickly becoming a favorite among European collectors. By the fall of 2012, The Well were back in the studio again, this time at Ohm Recording Facility with Producer Mark Deutrom (Melvins, Sun O)))) and Engineer Chico Jones to record their debut album. However, an opportunity to record with Converse Rubber Tracks during SXSW 2013 resulted in the epic track “Eternal Well” and sparked the idea of an EP. ‘First Trip’ was pressed with a handful of songs from the Ohm sessions together with “Eternal Well” just in time for their West Coast Summer Tour. Due to the energy and excitement of their live shows, the disc sold out quickly. With each repressing, a different hand-screened cover was printed until all four limited editions sold out. One of their most rabid fans was Riding Easy Records label boss Daniel Hall who recently signed the band. Inspired by early ‘70s psych and proto-metal, The Well have created a sound that reflects doom, punk and horror all rolled together in a ghostly rock soundtrack. Their full-length debut, ‘Samsara’, is their strongest collection of songs to date. Produced by Mark Deutrom and released through Riding Easy Records, the masterwork is a stripped down, electric blues fuzzfest and begs to be heard live. After a steady touring schedule that’s seen the band share the stage with international acts such as: Kadavar, Orchid, Fu Manchu, High On Fire, NAAM, Orange Goblin, Pentagram and Dead Meadow guarantees The Well are street-tough contenders. “Writing dark, ominous music is how I deal with life,” admits Ian. “When we play live it’s like expelling the demons.” At a time when rock music is fading among the masses, The Well inject an intoxicating dose of raw adrenaline into a fatigued genre. Their nostalgic reverence, simple structure and modern expression put them at the forefront of today’s heavy rock. ©2014 TKSmith
You can wade through as many press quotes about “Texas-sized” as you want or see how many top-whatever lists Wo Fat have made since the Dallas trio got started in 2003, but none of that is going to be the same as staring down their swampadelic fuzz groove for yourself. If you want to know the monster, shake its hand.
In 2014, Wo Fat will release The Conjuring, their fifth full-length and second through Small Stone. Like their last two, 2012’s The Black Code and 2011’s Noche del Chupacabra, it’s a heavy-riff/heavy-jam blast of a time – the kind of record that turns the vaguely interested into converts and that makes the corners on squares look even sharper. Guitarist/vocalist Kent Stump, bassist Tim Wilson and drummer/backing vocalist Michael Walter are jazz-combo tight and their roll is easy and natural, like you remember Fu Manchu being, but bigger-sounding and in the case of The Conjuriing, darker as well.
There’s been a creature lurking in the woods since Wo Fat’s 2006 debut, The Gathering Dark – their second album, 2009’s Psychedelonaut, pulled back on the threat some to lighten the mood – but whether it’s the motor-driven rush of “Read the Omens” or the you’re-already-lost-in-it riff-exploration of 17-minute closer “Dreamwalker,” The Conjuring is indeed a backwoods ritual. Bluesmen have sold their souls for less.
Veterans of Roadburn, Desertfest and a prime slot at Freak Valley 2014, and self-sufficient with Stump handling the recording at his own Crystal Clear Sound in Dallas, Wo Fat push their jams farther than they’ve ever gone before on these five tracks. Topped off with a mastering job from Nolan Brett at Stump’s studio and an otherworldly cover courtesy of Alexander Von Wieding, the beast that Wo Fat’s tectonic riffage calls to earth has never seemed more real or more alive than it does on The Conjuring.
At a monumental time in musical history (where anything goes) Black Road takes full advantage by merging genres to create their unique sound of ROCK.. Inspired by all the greats which came before… we were simply born too late.
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