Purveyors of the Finest Stoner Rock/Doom/Psychedelic/Sludge Since 2008

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

LP Review: Let It Burn by REZN

Now this is just what we needed! It's been a pretty slow start to the beginning of 2017 for us guys at HP, we needed a bit of a wake up call to get our arses into gear, and it turns out that an almighty heavy slab of cosmic doom will do just the trick! Enter Chicago's REZN.

Coming across like a psychedelic Electric Wizard, REZN are making a huge noise on their debut full-length record; the guitars are tuned to their fuzzy maximum while the drums echo from the gut and the vocals drone into a tripped out phenomena. Opening track 'Relax' doesn't fuck about, and begins to pummel your senses from the start with its chugging stoner/doom riffs creating a wall of sound that will crush weaker individuals. Everything about REZN's sound is massive, the drum kit must need replacing after each set the way Patrick Dunn pounds away, but then at the flick of a switch they create delicate tripped out moments of hazy clarity, before you fall out of the sky and hit the ground with the massive riffs.

'Wake' creeps along like a Black Sabbath song that was dropped for being a bit too heavy, with lots of trippy vocals and bass lines that'll make you not even need those drugs to reach your astral plain of consciousness. But even in their quieter moments they can't stop themselves from being heavy as hell as the riffs and cymbals come crashing down once again. 'Dread' is the calm amongst the ongoing storm, a short instrumental moment of reflection on the havoc that has been caused so far. 'Rezurrection' comes across with elements of a Far Eastern space trip, standing the hairs on your neck on high as the band take you under their spell.

Let It Burn is an hour's worth of extraordinarily heavy cosmic doom that dips its toes into a lot of stoner and psychedelic elements with spectacular results. It crushes your soul, and that's all we can really ask for.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

7" Review: Aboleth - EP-I



Feast your eyes on that simple, beautiful album cover above. It's a bellwether for what is packaged inside. Los Angeles trio Aboleth have kicked off their career with a sweet three song 7" record simply titled EP-1, packed with explosive stoner rock magic that runs the gamut of tripping all the right triggers of outstanding stoner/desert/retro/blues rock.

The hard rocking trio include:

Brigitte Roka on vocals
Dan Joeright on drums
Collyn McCoy on baguitar

Baguitar? What the......? McCoy, stoner rock royalty from both Trash Titan and Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, has devised a new hybrid instrument that allows him to riff both ultra high and mega low. The sound of this beautiful invention is a runaway blitzkrieg thunder vortex, which McCoy unleashes from the jump on the first track, "No Good".

"No Good" is a tremendous introduction to Aboleth's sound as Joeright's skinskinning comes in alongside McCoy's baguitar monsoon licks to create a clean, athletic sound that stretches the boundaries of blues rock riffing. It pulls you in quickly with its brilliance before the door squeaks open for Roka's raspberry sweet and smoky bourbon vocals to ooze seamlessly into the mix, making a triumvirate of indigo crisp and mesmerizing stoner bliss. This song is raucous and well crafted, a whipsaw of thick multidimensional fuzz, a deluge of intriguing sound and melody.

Next up is "Corpsehunter", another onslaught of sound and craft, weaving melody with those unique baguitar riffs and Roka's pitch perfect vocals, vocals that simultaneously haunt and exhilarate. Closing out the thrill ride is "Captain Cheese", a nearly 7 minute psychedelic turn on a measured metal journey, impeccable in detail and nuance, and brilliant in deeply heartfelt exertion.

The sound Aboleth has crafted is simply exquisite. It's fine stoner/desert rock, but doesn't rest there on any laurels. The sound of the baguitar is equally exquisite, magnifying the energy and amplitude of standard fuzz riffage, which makes for a deeper than usual intrigue for the listener. Roka's vocals are unique. They contain both the sharp cutting edge of the finest of female vocals while tempering that keenness with an underlying ragged snarl that magnifies the appeal of the whole. And then there are the clean, clear, muscular rhythms of Joeright's drumwork, who manages to pull off the difficult task of making the underlying rhythm significant enough to be enjoyed without ever stepping on the magnificence of his cohorts' contributions. The three pillars upon which Aboleth are founded and upon which it stands are formidable in function, breathtaking in form, and a fantastically thrilling encounter.

Aboleth are in the studio cranking out their next wide spectrum stoner sojourn. Once this initial triple jam foray gets a bit of notoriety the anticipation for future releases will likely skyrocket. This first stage booster is powerful and magnificent and should pave the way for the explosive stages of future releases.

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