Evolution Of A Shad by knockabiller

This one kind of blows my mind, it is an extraordinary set of mutations, both inventive and brutal. I almost find it difficult to look at the ones in the middle; such extreme bodily changes must be greatly painful to go through. I feel greater poignancy of Shadow’s combined genetics now then I did after playing his game.

I like the start the most, the symbol on the egg, Shadow as a Death Leech, infant looking like Black Doom combined with Dark Run Speed (also known as Shadow Chao). The Eclipse feet are also a nice touch.

The thought of Shadow’s biological parents giving him up to be experimented on is also very cruel in a sad but compelling way, oh the feels…

man sonic boom as a whole just feels like, soulless as a move?  how do i put it.  like if eel like it’s not being made to expand the roster of games in the franchise and increase quality but more like “yo yo dolla dolla bill” and that bums me out.  it’ll probably be good, at least the game but.  eh.  plus the live action movie.  i feel more uneasy about the future of the series then i did back when Shadow was new.


Kung Foo Grip - Sonic Doom

Live @ Neumos 

Human Flight Tour 


“That New Show” - Gorilla Tango Theatre’s ensemble improv showcase (by SHPTV)

D&S Reviews

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth

By Ben Edwards

This atmospheric doom release from former grunge icon Tad Doyle is smothered in his newest influences from his friends in Yob and his label boss Neurosis. For those who don’t know, Tad was a 90’s grunge band from Seattle that influenced the flannel from the heavier side of things like Skin Yard, Soundgarden, the Melvins and Alice in Chains. Tad Doyle’s vocals were never as melodic and catchy as his peers but his guitar riffs and tone are legendary in the Pacific Northwest. He is a huge mountain man who plays riffs that are as big as he is and has his wife Peggy playing bass in Brothers of the Sonic Cloth (BOTSC). Using a giant arsenal of amplifier and cabinet combinations, the guitar riffs in a live setting wash over you in waves of sonic grandeur. BOTSC released a limited edition split 10" with Mico de Noche in 2009 before taking the time to create this grand debut album.

The album opens with the medium tempo riff burner “Lava”, setting the mood for the album with an uncommon brevity for BOTSC. Right away the tones are huge and burly, snarling balls of molten rock with a magnificent kick drum sound and layered screams and growls. Even though Tad is a mixing engineer and producer he decided to have it mixed by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Acid King, the Melvins). When I met Tad at a BOTSC show last year I asked him why he had Billy Anderson mix and he said “Because he’s a wizard.” So there you go.

Next up is the slow doom laden black metal sounding sludge of “Empires of Dust”. This epic tone painting is for fans of post-metal in all its bleakness, disparity, and continental drift feeling riffage. Slow creeping guitar layers unfold in the dystopian vision which might be one reason Tad has decided to add a 2nd guitarist to BOTSC. This song sounds like buildings crumbling in slow motion, the erosion of landscapes and nightmares. “Only suffering can uncover” lyrically shifts the song into a drum fill stuttering close.

“Unnamed” starts out with a delayed chiming guitar melody and noise layering which creates a cinematic mood, delicately pulling you in until a monstrous guitar riff slams you in the face. The best is still yet to come as it finally rolls into an black metal sludge-o-rama similar to older Opeth. Scream layers, guitar harmonies and all around mix definition are enormous like a giant cavern in the middle of a mountain. Over halfway through it drops into a melodic vocal bridge that steamrolls over and over until the badass thrash/grunge ending. “When I pass, make it slow, so I can live in the light of a thousand moons.”

One of the first BOTSC songs I ever heard on their now defunct Bandcamp page was an early demo of “La Mano Poderosa” which is my favorite BOTSC song so I’m glad they re-recorded it so Billy Anderson could mix this completely new version. I think Dave French’s drumming on this song really shines and showcases his heavy doom groove style well. Halfway through the guitars sustain and a new beat leads the way to some of the best BOTSC arrangement on the album. Instead of ending after the bridge they jump right back to the main riff, pushing this song to the longest on the album at 11 minutes.

Another early BOTSC demo that made it onto the album “I Am” is also another favorite of mine. This song opens with a nice psychedelic tribal feel with heavily effected vocal phrases. “Dying is easy, it takes strength to breathe, for the spark to go on, sometimes we’ve got to bleed,” opens the first phase of the song before exploding into space doom. Very unique vocal layering techniques give all of these songs a special mood and flavor that only Tad Doyle can deliver. A hypnotic chord progression leads the song on to the end.

CD bonus track “The Immutable Path” is like the Melvins collaboration with Lustmord (Pigs of the Roman Empire) a kind of tribal/trance/noise song with some great drum layering and keyboards and loops (Tad uses a Boss looper live). This is much different than the rest of the album and I can see why it wasn’t used on the vinyl (which sold out in 2 days!!!) as it is much more of an experimental piece but fits well with the apocalyptic doom of “Empires of Dust.”

Another CD bonus track simply titled “Outro” is a creepy and beautiful piano composition bathed in reverb and sustain pedal harmonics. This track is short and minimal, giving you a glimpse into the mood shifting phases of BOTSC.

This album is a great addition to many threads of metal including the heavier side of grunge history, doom, sludge, post-metal, noise, experimental and cinematic influenced subgenres of post-thrash. Anyone who likes Neurosis, Yob, Isis, Tad and Shrinebuilder should probably take note that one of the Pacific Northwest’s greatest riff slingers is back in business with an even heavier vision and sound. The cover art is a stunning molten lava symmetry creation by artist Sean Schock that has also been printed on T-shirts.

Get the record via Neurot Recordings here

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth will perform this Saturday, April 18th, at Columbia City Theater, for their official album release party. They will be supported by Lesbian and Grenades.

r-botnik asked:

Am I the only one who thinks that the Sonic fanbase is the cancer destroying the Sonic franchise?

I don’t know. But I for one do not agree with this assessment.

The Sonic franchise would destroy itself without the “assistance” of fans since the fans do not have any true authority over the franchise or at least nowhere near enough influence to cause that level of destruction. That’s SEGA’s part. 

It’s SEGA’s decisions, SEGA’s asininity, SEGA’s fumbling of the ball and their unwise running of the company that’d doom the Sonic franchise. Not anything the fans could possibly do. If the fans suddenly started abandoning the franchise in their absolute masses then perhaps that’d leave a dent in the franchise’s profits but what would cause that mass fan abandonment?

Oh yeah, SEGA.

If the franchise went off the deep end and was killed, it’s primarily SEGA’s fault because they’re the ones pulling the strings. Scapegoating the fans is ridiculous and just screams of me of just pissing on the chewtoy fandom instead of delegating culpability, blame where it’s truly deserved.

D&S Interviews

Tad Doyle of Brothers of the Sonic Cloth

By BillyGoat (Editor-in-Chief)

Phone rings

I’m suddenly conscious of my heart beating. I’m about to talk to the man, the legend, the fearsome singer of the band TAD, chainsaw in hand, garbed in plaid jacket, dark beard, and a scowl, as though to say, “You’re NEXT!” That, of course, was 90’s hype, but it was the hype I came of age with as a teenager in the Northwest during the Grunge Era. Seattle was the Kingdom and Tad was its Wood Goblin, protector of The Heavy!

“Hello?” a friendly voice answers on the other end.

“Is this Tad?” I ask, conscious that the question was entirely unnecessary, as I immediately recognize the voice on the other end.

“Hey, buddy,” Tad answers warmly. I told several friends and colleagues beforehand that I was going to interview Tad Doyle. Universally, the answer was “Oh, you’ll love him. Tad’s a great guy. Salt of the earth.” As it turned out, I found Tad very approachable, quite relatable, and a great conversationalist. I was his first interview of the day and he ended up giving me well beyond the 20 minutes allotted. Incidentally, I noticed that I’d written “Dad” in the place of Tad in my notes the day of the call. Freudian slip?

After exchanging a few pleasantries, I give a short introduction, and jump excitedly into the interview.

Today we’re vising with Tad Doyle, the legendary singer and guitarist of 90’s band Tad and most recently Brothers of the Sonic Cloth. The Seattle band is rounded out by Peggy Doyle on bass and Dave French on drums. The trio released their eponymous debut on Neurot Recordings in February 17th and will be holding the official record release party on April 18th at the Columbia City Theater in Seattle.

Did you record the album in Witch Ape Studios?

This is where I do this majority of my work, which is great because it’s built into our home. No commuting anymore and battling traffic! Parts of it were recorded here. We did drums over at Robert Lang Studio in Seattle. We wanted the big sound with the huge stone room he has there. It just sounds amazing.

For the mixing you worked with Billy Anderson. I’m guessing you’ve done your fair share of mixing through your work with other bands at Witch Ape Studio, so what was it like to release your baby into the hands of another sound engineer?

Well, I’ve always wanted to work with Billy, especially after I heard what he did recently with SUMA. I really like that band a lot. We did the majority of the guitars, some of the bass, and all of the vocals here at Witch Ape. Dave French, our drummer, is also an engineer, himself. So he was tracking me, and vice versa. Working with Billy Anderson was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made. The guy is hyper-intelligent. He has a really great ear for making things sound even bigger than they were to start with. So we went down to his place in Portland and mixed it with him. It was a blast, the guy is really funny. It was a good experience.

                                           Album art by Sean Schock 

So I was reading about your past up and downs with big record labels in the past. What has your experience been working with a record label again, this time Neurot Recordings, which has been a great catalyst for releasing so many amazing artists in the underground? How is working with a record label different now than in the past?

It’s really a privilege and we’re excited to be a part of it. The band Tad used to play shows with Neurosis way back when and I’ve always been a big fan of the band. I’m really excited to be a part of [Scott Kelly’s] label. They put out some really, really great stuff and have been really coming into their own as a really fierce, great sounding label in the indie world. I think I’m done working with major labels and would rather be working with someone who understands us, like Neurot. I’ve just had bad experiences with major labels as a whole. They’re just kind of like whores, essentially. They put out a lot of fluff just to see if will stick and then put muscle behind it if it does. They weren’t really into any artist development, as far as I could tell when I was working with them. Being back home in the indie world, which is always where I’ve felt I’ve belonged anyway, is only compounded with the experience I’ve had with Neurot as a whole. They’re great. I love working with them.

Maybe you can talk to us about the content of the album. Tell us a little bit about the first single you released, ‘Lava.’ Is that kind of setting the tone for the rest of the album, establishing a theme that is expounded upon later?

The song is called ‘Lava’ and it is about a volcano. It’s kind of a continuation of the split we did with Mico de Noche, with the song ‘Fires Burn Dim in the Shadows of the Mountain,’ which was a precursor to ‘Lava.’ We actually play them together live. It is about the Cascade Mountain Range and Mount Saint Helens and Mount Rainier. It is an active volcanic region, and Mt. Reiner is long overdue for an eruption. The song is basically through the eyes of the life that would witness such an immense event, much like the scale of what happened with St. Helens. I was alive when it erupted, living in Boise at the time, and even there we were getting ash in that region from the eruption. That will give you an indication of how old I am!

One of my earliest memories from first grade is having to wear the masks whenever we went out and seeing ash everywhere, in the streets, parking lots, trees, shopping centers

We were wearing bandanas around our nose and face, as well, for at least a couple two or three weeks.

So is that kind of establishing a theme for the album or should we be thinking of each track as independent from one another?

Both views are applicable. It’s not really a themed record, as much as it may seem obvious. To me, it’s about the impermanence of life and being aware of it. I’m an older dude and completely acquainted with my days being numbered. It’s just about a lot of realizations about self and who I am as an individual. I used to really have an idea that, well, “My identity is a guitar player, I play in a rock band. I’m a singer.” That has been completely crushed and set aside for me to be open to the true nature of myself, which is as a being who is connected to all beings.

The song ‘Empires of Dust’ is really about the impermanence of life and realizing in the last moments what it might be like to see the end.

‘Unnamed’ is about putting labels on yourself versus being open to who you are and being open to that. Many of us never know what that really is, you know, throughout life. That’s one the hardest questions a person can ask themselves truthfully is, ‘Who am I?’ You know? And it kind of hearkens back to our origin: What are we? What is our purpose?

‘La mano poderosa’ is self-explanatory in the lyrics, but I want to leave the interpretation of them up to the listener, too. Some of the best songs I liked as a kid, I completely thought the lyrics were different than they were saying and it really meant something different to me, inspired me in ways, you know?

The last two, ‘I Am’ and ‘The Immutable Path,’ are these entering more of a religious or spiritual territory?

I try to stay away from religion as a whole. You start to call yourself a certain thing and it just becomes ridiculous and dogmatic. I definitely try to live my life spiritually, and I’m a flawed individual trying to get through life just like everyone else. I mean, certainly there are spiritual overtones to it, but certainly not of any one religion or any dogmatic practice or writings. I think the human condition by its very nature, on its own, is a very spiritual path that we all experience, both through suffering and goodness—the goodness that we give to each other and that we witness from one another.

Is that you playing piano on the closing track?

No, actually that’s Peggy. She will be the first person to say that she’s not a pianist, but I think she’s an amazing writer and has a lot of soul and heart. That was, interesting enough, one of the things I remember Billy Anderson saying to me, when we were mixing that particular song (“Outro”) he turns to me and says, “Your wife is very dark!” And he meant that in a really good way. I took that as a compliment, and I think she does, too. She’s really talented.

I’d love to talk to her about piano sometime. I was raised in a classical music tradition and still play piano quite a bit. I’m curious about her influences, because it does have that dark quality that hearken back to the composers I adore.

Yeah, she’s here, I’d be happy to put you on if I can find her.

                                   Photograph courtesy of Invisible Hour

Towards the end of the interview, Tad let me speak to his wife, Peggy about her role in the new album, the eponymously titled Brothers of the Sonic Cloth (receiving its formal album release party in Seattle this Saturday). Peggy had contributed a lovely and haunting piece to the album, which got my attention because of my own interest in the piano. I was curious about her influences and how she became so intimately acquainted with the instrument. Peggy, like Tad, was very amiable and down-to-earth. A real joy to talk to, like getting acquainted with a family member I never knew I had.

Hey, Peggy, this is Billy from Doomed & Stoned. I was just talking to Tad about that final track and really curious about what influences your piano playing?

Wow, what influences it is if I’m in a house where a piano is. And that’s it, because I’ve never been trained in music at all, but I grew up with a piano in the house and nobody ever played it, so I just kinda sat around and tinkered with it. There was 11 of us kids and nobody really took an interest in it, so I tinkered with it and never really learned anybody else’s music, I would just make up my own songs.

My parents would never really go for music lessons, so we just kind of winged it. We moved into this beautiful old house in Seattle and there was a piano, the piano was probably one-hundred-and-some years old, and I just sat down there and just started making shit up, basically.

How long did it take you to put together the final track? Tell me the evolution of it, I’m curious how you see it fitting with the album as a whole.

Well, we wanted something that was the complete opposite of the heavy. I love that, when you go from something heavy to something really, really dark. I love when that happens in film scores, too. I love soundtracks for film, actually more than I like the films themselves, usually. I just sit down there and start playing, I don’t even write anything down. I just play something and add to that and add to that, and then I practice it so I don’t forget it, since I don’t write musical notation. Tad will come out with his recorder, sometimes I don't’ even know he’s there. He sneaks in the recorder on me. He’s good with me like that.

That’s funny, because the moment I know anyone is listening to me or a recorder is on, my entire dynamic changes. I get stiff, I get awkward, I get nervous.

So when we went into Robert Lang Studio, there’s a big grand piano there and I just kind of sat down at the end of the day and just started playing some things, and that’s what came out.

Oh lucky. There’s nothing like playing on a grand. That in itself will inspire compositions.

As a bass player, you have to be really, really right on with tempo. As piano, don’t you find that you have the freedom to speed up and slow down as you want? I love that.

Yes, yes. In the 19th century they have a word for that: rubato. The music of Chopin was famous for that. It’s part of the aesthetic of that instrument.

Oh that’s cool. Rubato? I thought you were going to say it was called ‘Insanity’! (laughs)

After Peggy and I say our goodbyes, I have one final question to ask Tad, about the future of the band moving forward.

I guess the last question is you have the album release show happening on April 18th. You’re going to bring another guitarist into the live line-up, which is to be announced. Will you have the flexibility as a band to tour in support of the album?

Yes, we will be doing some touring. Coming up in May, we’ll be adding some West Coast dates. We also have plans to be going to Europe to do some big summer festivals, in June and July, then a few sporadic shows here and there. Other than that, Peggy’s got a career, Dave does bass tech for Soundgarden, so he’s out on the road with his career, and I do recording here at Witch Ape most of the time, so it’s not like the old days when I didn’t have much going on and could spend nine months on the road. We’re going to be a little bit more selective about what we do and where we go, but we do want to do some touring and make it to as many places as we can.

Right on, well thank you so much for taking the time.

Alright, thanks, Billy. We really appreciate it.

Today's Video Games vs Yesterday's Video Games

    Video games have come a very long way since their origins. As time went on, they have gotten more complex and advanced. There are several games now that would never have been dreamed of years ago. Advances in technology have allowed for video games to have new dynamics and graphics that make the games seem real. With all of this new technology one question remains: Are today’s video games better than the video games of the past?

    It’s hard to say which era of gaming is the best. Each person has their own opinion on the subject. With a lack of high tech graphics and minimal technology, the games of the past were simpler in design and in play. Games like Wolfenstein, Doom, and Tetris had basic mechanics. Games tried to simulate being in 3D even if they really weren’t.

    As games progressed, they became more realistic, interactive, and new dynamics were added. Cars can now look destroyed and the glass looks shattered, realistic blood comes out of people when they are shot, creatures look scary and realistic. In terms of graphics and game play, it’s a completely different ball park  .

    Although realistic looking games are impressive, the games that were more puzzle-like were a better quality. Currently, with so many first person shooter and open world games, people tend to forget that older games were harder. Why play Sonic the Hedgehog or Donkey Kong when you can play games like Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare?

    The answer is simple. Younger kids grew up with these high quality games while many of us grew up in a time where games had cheap graphics and complex levels. It becomes a case of nostalgia among the older gamers. Some gamers forget about the games they grew up with until they see someone playing them. Once they do, it brings them back to being a kid again and a flood of memories rush in. Even though we can try to compare older games to newer games, it’s almost impossible to do because they are so vastly different.