New Music Tuesday: High On Fire & The Ongoing Concept

Now that the Haulix blog has reached two years of existence we at HQ felt the time had come to add a few fresh ideas to the blog. We love helping writers, artists, and aspiring professionals, but we also love to talk about the amazing clients we work with and the incredible releases they put out week after week. Our Music Monday series has given us a chance to experiment with discussing the music we love to play around the office, and now we’re taking those efforts one step further with New Music Tuesday (soon to be New Music Friday). We know it would take far too long to highlight every client’s new release each week, so we’re going to choose a few select titles each week that we feel everyone should support. These are albums we will be buying ourselves, and we hope at the very least you give them a proper spin before deciding to purchase something else. James may write the column, but everyone at Haulix will have a say in who gets chosen.

High On Fire – Luminiferous (CD/LP, Digital, Stream)

With six solid or even great albums already under their belt, High On Fire have nothing left to prove with their new record, Luminiferous. Still, the California natives do their best to raise the bar for all modern heavy metal bands around the world with this nine-track opus. We have probably spent a month spinning the album on a near daily basis, and there are still times where we have to push back from our monitors, look to the stereo in disbelief, and quietly utter words like “wow” or “holy shit” while certain tracks play. “Carcosa,” for example, sounds like the soundtrack to a road trip through the same barren, war torn futuristic land where the latest Mad Max film took place. It pummels you into a state of metal-induced awe, and that’s before you realize it’s only the second track on the album. There’s nearly another hour to go, and it only gets better from there.

The Ongoing Concept – Handmade (CD, Digital, Stream)

If you listen to our podcast, Inside Music, then you already know that The Ongoing Concept went above and beyond the call of DIY rock when they decided to begin work on their new album Handmade. The band literally built their instruments from scratch, and by scratch I mean a tree they themselves cut down. They built their instruments, wrote an incredible follow-up to their critically-acclaimed debut, and then began making videos on their own to promote the record. One might think these added responsibilities distracted the group from focusing on the quality of their material, but that could not be further from the truth. Handmade swings from anthemic rock tracks, to emotionally-devastating moments of alternative beauty, and back again with seamless perfection. I have no idea why Saloon did not put them on everyone’s radar, but it seems hard to believe anyone will be able to ignore the awesome power of this record. Do not sleep on it.

James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also a professional entertainment critic, covering both film and music, as well as the co-founder of Antique Records. Feel free to tell him you love or hate the article above by connecting with him onTwitter. Bonus points if you introduce yourself by sharing your favorite Simpsons character.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.