"It think it all just boils down to Corey," says This Dark Reign owner John Geldbach, who was in talks with Fistula when the group disintegrated. "He's very much into his art. He likes recording. He likes writing. He's gung-ho. He does everything to keep his art going."
The sister label of garage-punk stalwart Devil Doll Records, This Dark Reign is distributed through the Lumberjack network. Specializing in death, doom, and stoner metal, the label has a catalog featuring reefer-rock favorites the Suplecs and Italian grind merchants Balatonizer. Geldbach expects to press 2000 copies of Ultralord's full-length debut, which is slated for an early 2006 release. Virginia's Vince Burke (Sourvein, Axehandle) recorded the disc. Ultralord also features Andy Strickland (ex-Rue, ex-Rune), Bahb Branca (ex-Fistula, also with Rue), and Scott Stearns (ex-Diehard).
"No one's made an album like this in a long time," says Bing, who drums in Ultralord and sang and played guitar in Fistula. "It's what we grew up listening to: Slayer, D.R.I., Ted Nugent, Sabbath. It's really raw."
Bing and Stearns also play in King Travolta, a sludge-metal project that has recorded 10 tracks. The band is recruiting a different all-star stoner-rock singer for each song, and so far has secured vocals from Alabama Thunderpussy's Erik Larson, Bongzilla's Pee Wee, and Meatjack's Brian Daniloski. The album is slated for release later next year, as a split effort between California's Heretic Records and Shifty, the Akron-based label that Bing is a partner in.
· Unified Culture, Jason Popson's pre-Mushroomhead funkcore band, will reunite for a show on Friday, October 14, at Peabody's (2083 East 21st Street). The lineup includes Popson's fellow Alter Boys Craig and Mike Martini, in addition to Tim Burris of the Billy Morris Band.
· The Jack Fords, featuring former Cowslingers guitarist Bob Latina, have added singer-songwriter Brent Kirby, filling the void left by frontman Joe Stumph's departure. Latina says that Kirby's addition steers the group from blues-based hard rock to a less jammy, more rootsy sound. Kirby also sings with Brent Kirby and the Flashing 12s. The lineup makes its live debut at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard, Cleveland Heights) on Friday, October 14.
· Christian-alt-rock band Jars of Clay will make an in-store appearance at the Word Christian Resource Center (1783 Brittain Road, Cuyahoga Falls) at 12:30 Sunday, October 16, meeting fans and signing autographs. Proceeds from that night's concert at Community of Believers Church (2543 State Road) will go to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
· Canton melodic post-emo breakout Lovedrug has signed on for a fall tour with Matchbook Romance and Armor for Sleep. The lineup will be hitting the House of Blues on Monday, October 31.
· The newly remodeled Hi-Fi Concert Club (11729 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood) will record participating bands on Saturday nights on a 24-channel mixing board. Contact the club for more information at 216-521-8878.