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High Tone Son of a Bitch Casts “Silhouette”s

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High Tone Son of a Bitch — now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. Initially relegated to a single EP in 2004 before folding due to an unfortunate passing, it would appear these rollicking stoner/doom metallurgists have been at it for the past year or so. Sometimes the past comes to haunt you. On their upcoming compilation The EPs of HTSOB, and armed with a mostly new lineup (see: Russ Kent from Noothgrush, bassist and producer extraordinaire Billy Anderson, and more), High Tone Son of a Bitch expands upon their recent EP releases and makes up for lost time. Watch an exclusive video premiere of the epic nine-minute “Silhouette” below.

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Epic in scope and sorrowful in character, “Silhouette” sets itself apart from other “stoner metal.” This song isn’t about emulating Black Sabbath at their most baked or stealing riffs from other bands — no, High Tone Son of a Bitch opts for the creative and interesting route here, fueling themselves with the weight of human emotion and the horrors of colonialism for a memorable, unique song. “Silhouette” won’t take you down the same roads as other stoner rock’s sun-baked sounds, rather, it will make you feel, a rarity among High Tone Son of a Bitch’s peers.

From the artist:

Silhouette is the 2nd song on the Wicked Threads EP, 3 newly recorded and previously unreleased songs that will be officially released by Tee Pee Records as part of the Lifecycles: EPs of HTSOB collection on 3/20/2020. Wicked Threads is a concept album that looks at the impact the emergence and adoption of hierarchies and systems of control such as deistic worship and organized religion, economic, religious, and political class systems have had on humanity. “Silhouette” is set in the midst of colonialism and genocide in North America. It was recorded at Sharkbite in Oakland, CA by our long-time producer and now also bass player, Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Sleep, Melvins, Pallbearer, etc). The board we used to track drums and guitars is the same board that was used to record the Pink Floyd album “The Wall”.

The first bones of “Silhouette” were the verse and bridge section, which I wrote the riffs, lyrics and vocal melody for back in 2018. Once that was in place, the other riffs flowed pretty quickly into place. I wanted to evoke the feelings of despair and loss that are at the other end of the mythology that European colonists in the Americas, especially in North America where I set the song, were “taming” a “barbaric” place and people. I wanted the imagery to be stark, to put people in a changed perspective in thinking about these events. It’s not easy for some people to use the word genocide, but we should really examine what happened here from a systems level, and think about why it was able to happen, why it has happened again so many times in so many places all over the world. Maybe then we can be honest with ourselves about why it will keep happening unless we decide to question why we do the things we do, and fundamentally change the way we live and what we believe.

Russ Kent really fucking shines on this EP. He’s just an incredible vocalist. We made some lineup changes between the last EP and this one, and at this point the band is just a really fucking awesome group of creative and accomplished players. Our producer, Billy Anderson (Melvins, Men of Porn, etc), and my old friend from Maine, Eric Rancourt (Clan of Dyad, Eastern Spell), joined prior to our last round of touring. This EP was the first time I had played with Pamela Ausejo (Cruevo, AC/DShe) since Cruevo, and it’s so fun to be able to rock with her again. She absolutely fucking shreds her part of the dual lead section on this tune with guest lead guitar player Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain, ex-The Skull). It’s awesome to have her with us full time now, she is such a joy to play music with and a great, long-time friend all the way around. I’m also really, really happy to have Bryce Shelton (Hawkwind, Brainticket, Bädr Vogu) join us on synth, organ, and keys. Bryce is a great musician, and he brings a cool perspective to what we are doing that really vibes with our overall direction and helps take it up to the next level of weird, psychedelic heaviness. The organ we used on the intro is an old Conn theater organ I got from Sunny Reinhardt, who had gotten it from Trey Spruance (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Secret Chiefs 3). Apparently it was used on a Mr. Bungle recording as well at some point.

— Paul Kott

Lifecycles: EPs of HTSOB releases March 20th via Tee Pee Records.

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