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Introducing Nomad Stones, the Hydrahead Supergroup You've Always Wanted

What happens when members of Cave In, Zozobra, and Doomriders start a new band? Rock'n'roll!

by Cat Jones
18 May 2016, 4:51pm

Whenever musicians with some notoriety get together and play their instruments in a new amalgamation, someone somewhere inevitably wants to slap the term “supergroup” on it and call it a day. But brace yourself for some life-altering truth: Musicians make music. If you’re a lifer, chances are, you’re never going to stop making music, and—shockingly—you might even like to spread your talents out over a few different genres. More interesting still is the fact that playing music for many years gets you familiar with lots of other musical instrument-playing humans of the world who might also want to make music with you! Call it what you want, but the breed of people who like to pluck strings and hit stuff to make loud noises tend to like to keep doing that with each other. The guys in the recently formed New England punk/noise rock group Nomad Stones are no stranger to having the “supergroup” label inserted into headlines and blurbs about their music, because the group includes two members of Cave In—Adam McGrath and John Robert Conners—who collectively have also been members of the cult-beloved metal bands Zozobra, Doomriders, and Goatsnake. Interest piqued? It should be, because they've got a self-titled debut album coming out on Brutal Panda on August 5 (preorder it here).

Now, if you’re not familiar with the bands on the family tree of late 90s hardcore/early 2000s sludge, many of whom were on Hydra Head Records at one point or another, do yourself a favor and Wikipedia that shit like the rest of us did as teenagers, but stock up on food and other supplies because you’re gonna be at it for hours (Did you know that Aaron Turner of Isis, camouflaged in many different hairstyles, has been in at least 11 bands? Did you know that a Zozobra is an Old Man Gloom? These are some of the many pieces of trivia with which you will be able to impress your old, curmudgeonly metal buds!). Long story short, and in all seriousness: There are a lot of musicians who have played with one another in multiple bands and have gone on to make heavy yet vastly different classic records that will be beloved by many for decades to come.

Now, back to Nomad Stones: Unlike the sludge, post-metal, and hardcore bands the members have formed in the past, Nomad Stones is straight-forward, no-nonsense rock ‘n’ roll. The songs are short, punked-up, noisy as hell, and straight to the point, making them the perfect soundtrack to a New England bar brawl on the muggiest, sweatiest day of summer (Think less Neurosis, more Wipers and Dinosaur Jr.). The new song, “The Frugal Yankee,” which we’re premiering today in this very article, is the first time this band’s music is seeing the light of day, save for a couple of shows with Mutoid Man (whose singer is also in Cave In!) and United Nations.

The debut album, Nomad Stones (complete with art by Jacob Bannon of Converge! Whose drummer is also in Mutoid Man! Are we seeing a trend here?), will be out in August on Brutal Panda Records, whose recent home runs have included records from noise-rock powerhouses like Whores, Fight Amp, and Cherubs, making Nomad Stones’ warm, buzzing guitar tones a perfect fit on their roster. The band plans to tour extensively starting in 2017, so you have plenty of time to stretch those aging-metalhead muscles before bouncing around.

Cat Jones is watching old episodes of Sex & the City on Twitter.

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