From The Desk Of Strand Of Oaks: Ice Dragon

Tim Showalter’s hellishly abrupt near-demise late last year via a car accident was hardly the sole inspiration for Strand Of Oaks’ disarming new release. There was plenty of real-life drama before the accident to form the angst-ridden basis for what is easily Showalter’s most cathartic musical statement to date. Really, it was the culmination of a series of mini-mental breakdowns that began quite out of the blue, when Showalter was touring overseas for 2012’s Dark Shores, an album he wasn’t particularly proud of. On the road nonstop for two years, he was witnessing his marriage unravel from afar, and pretty much hating what he saw in the mirror. Emotionally spent and creatively unbound, he churned out 30 songs in three weeks. Ten of those made HEAL, an LP as off-putting as it is invigorating, and one that abandons the folky trappings of previous Strand Of Oaks releases—perhaps for good. Showalter will be guest editing all week. Read our new feature on him.


Showalter: My favorite band for the past two or three years. More bad ass than any band you can imagine. Aggressively underground, and they seem to have an endless supply of music to offer. I think they’ve put out eight or nine hours of music in the past two years. That’s not including their unknown amount of side projects (including my personal favorite, the Mangled Dead—check out their single “I Hate Humans”). Ice Dragon is the reason why Bandcamp exists. This band has no gods or rulers. They are the wizards of their own creation. Don’t be stupid; fucking listen to these dudes. I personally buy all of their pay-what-you-want records for $6.66.

Video after the jump.