Pelican Sign to Southern Lord, Reveal Tour With Tombs, Wolves in the Throne Room

[Photo by Ryan Russell]

In a move that’s left the crossover metal scene–okay, maybe just us–wondering about a potential turf war, Southern Lord has snagged Pelican for their fourth full-length and a soon-to-be-completed EP. That means the Chicago-based quartet  finally left their longtime label, Hydra Head. In some ways, the deal makes perfect sense (both imprints appeal to the curious hipster market; Pelican’s drummer, Larry Herweg, used to play in Lair of the Minotaur, another Southern Lord band), but it seems odd that one of Hydra Head’s flagship artists flew the coop just a year after shooting this video with their owner, a certain “Juan Perez.”

Um, awkward? Anyway, Pelican fans have several reasons to rejoice. One: They’re currently recording an as-yet-untitled EP at Red Room Studios in Seattle, WA. A “very special guitarist” will make a guest appearance on the record. (Considering Pelican’s newfound ties to Southern Lord, and they’re admitted adoration of Earth, s/t‘s hoping it’s Dylan Carlson.) We’re also told the material on it will be “heavier, darker and very riff-oriented.” Considering how riff-oriented all Pelican releases are–guitarists Trevor De Brauw and Laurent Schroeder-Lebec are the band’s undisputed beating heart–we’re not sure what that might mean outside of the group going all Dilllinger Escape Plan on us. We can dig it, though.

The other bit of Pelican news you need to know is their can’t-miss tour with two of self-titled‘s favorite metal bands, Tombs (who we caught earlier this week) and Wolves in the Throne Room. Both of these bands have albums coming out in 2009–stunning slabs of slightly psychedelic jams that’ll appeal to Decibel readers and that angry indie rock kid next door–so we’ll go out on a limb and say this is the most solid extreme music bill of 2009. At least for now.

Here are the details:

Pelican, Wolves in the Throne Room & Tombs (except for SxSW showcase):

3/19 Little Rock, AR – Vino’s
3/20 Austin, TX – Emo’s (Southern Lord showcase w/Black Cobra, Wolves In The Throne Room …)
3/22 Austin, TX – Red 7
3/25 Tempe, AZ – The Sets
3/26 San Diego, CA – The Casbah
3/27 West Hollywood, CA – The Troubadour
3/28 San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
3/29 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
3/30 Bellingham, WA – Nightlight
3/31 Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
4/2 Salt Lake City, UT – Club Vegas
4/3 Denver, CO – The Marquis Theatre
4/5 Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle

Pelican will resume work on their next LP once they’re back home in Chicago. (The band spent much of 2008 writing it, so we’re hoping for a fall 2009 release here.)