Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Heavy Rotation-Various Artists-"Cowbells and Cobwebs"
Now this is what I'm talking about, 28 tracks of pure fucking stoner rock. The thing that I like the most about this compilation is the consistancy amongst all the bands drawing their influences from the typical Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Fu Manchu, etc. Every song is just a complete riff heavy stoner rock jam with no filler albeit the occasional psych or southern rock homage. There may be a few familiar names here such as Propane Propane, Samsara Blues Experiment, and Keef, but for the most part the compilation is just a brilliant collection of relatively unknown and unsigned bands. It is very apparent that a lot of time and hard work went into the creation of this CD, from the awesome selection of bands to the badass packaging to the production, the guys over at PlanetFuzz are keeping the dream alive. THE FUZZ LIVES ON!! Buy this CD now!
What others are saying:
"In a time where CD sales are dwindling faster that the rainforests thanks to illegal downloading it takes a brave individual to decide to start a record label. It also, however, takes a savvy businessman to realise that, to sell a product you have to present a very attractive package to entice people to buy it. Planet Fuzz Records out of Australia are the latest in a long line of people to stick their dicks on the chopping board and put a product out there for mass consumption and thank whatever deity you choose to follow that they are!!! Fortunately these guys understand that if you want to compete with the wall eyed geeks that prefer to deal in freebie bytes you have to make the public want what you've got and this is indeed a very impressive package in every way. Let's start with the cosmetics. Immediately this hits you as more than a bunch of chancers chucking out a CD-R in the hope of making a fast buck. 28 bands over 2 CDs, Cowbells on the one hand and Cobwebs on the other, that comes in a beautiful digipak cover featuring quality artwork and enough information and web addresses for the bands to provide additional hours of research entertainment for the hardcore stoner fan. All that and stickers as well!!! Planet Fuzz have clearly thrown every ounce of passion and every last dollar into making this the most professional and attractive piece of work they can as it reeks of pure quality and conviction. Stick this in the CD player and it would be reasonable to assume that over the span of 28 bands there would be some fluctuations in quality and some real stinkers in there but here, as with the overall packaging, Planet Fuzz have come up trumps as each band shows a consistently high level of quality in every aspect from the production to the playing and the song writing abilities. This doesn't pretend to be anything other than a compilation of stoner bands; it doesn't throw us any titbits of death metal, hardcore or punk and is 100% smoking riffs all the way. Many of the bands such as Audio Dream Sister, Gate 9, Electric Cavemen and Cigmouth will be unfamiliar to most but they all stand shoulder to shoulder with the more well known names present here such as Samsara Blues Experiment, the Graviators, Honcho and The Grand Astoria. Admittedly all this fuzz can be a little hard to take in one sitting as all the bands do tend to draw from very similar origins...a dash of Sabbath, a mighty fuck off great big dose of Kyuss, a similarly large knob of Fu Manchu and a soupcon of Goatsnake for good measure, seasoned with some tasty touches of psychedelia and southern jams. As a result it is hard to pick out any real highlights, partly because everything is so damn good but also because of the inherent similarities between nearly all the bands involved. For the die hard stoner fan though this should be an essential...nay compulsory purchase as this one release acts as a gateway to a whole new underground world where the riff is king and fuzz is the new religion. It is admirable and indeed essential that Planet Fuzz exists. Just because the industry is in decline doesn't mean that people shouldn't keep trying and that people don't still want to buy a quality product. Word is that Planet Fuzz have now signed Propane Propane to record an album and work is due to start soon compiling the next instalment in the compilation series. If this album is an indication of the future for the label than Small Stone, Rise Above, Buzzville...etc should be getting worried and looking over their shoulders. Do yourselves a favour lovers of the smoking riff and buy this."-Ollie (The Sleeping Shamen)
"To be honest, only a handful of stoner/heavy rock compilations are particularly worth releasing. Up until now, there are only a few that have been put together with a wealth of ideas, especially those who include a lot of unknown bands and/or unknown songs from well-known bands. Compilations that come to my mind are 'Welcome To MeteorCity', 'Doom Capital', 'Judge Not...' or 'Sucking The 70's Vol.I & II', just to give a few examples. That is the way to do it! 'Cowbells & Cobwebs' offers the same level of quality, like the ones which I mentioned before. At the same time, it's also the first Planetfuzz Records release and perhaps you have noticed this name before, because these are the same guys who are running the PlanetFuzz webzine. It is good to see that there is still a vital community in Australia and I hope that their record label will continue to grow. But whatever happens, 'Cowbells & Cobwebs' is a pretty impressive start because it features 28 mostly unknown heavy rock bands from all over the world with a total of 28 tracks; most of them are previously unreleased. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of these discs, and actually quite blown away by a couple of songs in particular! Here, everything is about big fat riffs, heavy grooves, and insanely fuzzed-out guitars and bass.
Texas' ORTHODOX FUZZ lay down a fat southern rock groove with plenty of blues and metal while ARROWHEAD please my ears with 'Eagle Death Machine', a killer track with super heavy riffs reminiscent of Sir Lord Baltimore or Mountain. For heaven's sake, I need to hear more from this Australian band! Austria's SONS OF GIANTS also conjure the ghosts of the 1970's, but the Kyuss influence can still be felt strongly. Both have been successfully melted together, so that 'Mr. Woo' is the next highlight for me. MOAB represent with 'Morelore' the doomier end of the heavy rock/metal spectrum and offer great potential. It seems that these Californian guys are a sucker for Yob. Norway's HONCHO is the next positive surprise and I clearly remember when I wrote a review about their debut album 'Corporate Rock', released by Water Dragon Records in 2002. Back then I was not convinced by their standardized heavy fuzz rock. It, is therefore, all the more pleasing that their track 'Earth' is very different from the tunes on the album. Apparently, they have discovered their old Black Sabbath records, because 'Earth' is their doomiest and heaviest tune so far. Well done!
Another outstanding Scandinavian band on 'Cowbells & Cobwebs' is TOMBSTONES, who deliver a mighty blues-driven mid-tempo rocker. Here, too, 1970's heavy rock and metal have been closely intertwined and the result is superb. Netherland's FLOODSTAIN walk in Sixty Watt Shaman's footsteps and manage to set their own marks with 'Slumbering Titan Slayer'. This powerful tracks shows once more that the compilation offers an excellent opportunity for the listener to discover some truly impressive unknown heavy bands. Well ok, I could go and on because the number of killer tracks is simply breathtaking. PROPANE PROPANE from Sweden also belong to this category. 'It's Alright' combines Brant Bjork's coolness with Blue Cheer's mind-blowing heaviness and I can only hope that this band will release their first album as soon as possible. Ok, enough for today or this review will never end. In fact, 'Cowbells & Cobwebs' is a pulverizing killer compilation and if I had to buy it, I would do it immediately. Also worth mentioning is the demanding packaging that is just as tasteful as the included bands. So, if you're a fan of heavy fuzzrock in all facets then this should be on your upcoming shopping list."-KK (Cosmic Lava)
Planet Fuzz/CD Baby