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April 14, 2014
MAMMOTH STORMPlodding, tar-lathered metal-fed groove doom from Sweden.
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April 8, 2014
LADY FLINT Explosive stoner blues rock duo from Marselle, France.
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April 7, 2014
KING DEAD Doomy psyche-tinged spaghetti western sludge from PA.
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April 2, 2014
GROGGYBlues-obsessed fuzzy garage rock duo from Omsk, Russia.
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March 31, 2014
THE SILENT LOWMelodic, hard-hitting, attitude-driven stoner rock from Denmark.
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March 25, 2014
GRAILPsychedelic punk with a southern demonic desert groove out of Texas.
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March 24, 2014
LORD OF GIANTSincere, lumbering, 70's influenced heavy rock from Germany.
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March 19, 2014
WOVOKA Intense yet melodic, brutal gut-twisting post-metal sludge from LA.
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March 16, 2014
HEAVY VOODOO
Torpedo riffs, hazy grooves and cosmic stoner sleaze from Portland.
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March 13, 2014
SPIRITUAL VOID
Toxic, heavy southern groove metal attitude from Brazil.
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March 11, 2014
SOUTHERN STATE
Somber, shoegazing post-metal sludge from Columbus, Ohio.
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March 10, 2014
HYPERGIANT
Cosmic, gravity-defying stoner fuzziness from Sydney, Australia
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March 6, 2014
KHEMMIS
Fuzz-filled, snail-paced riff-praising doom from Denver, CO.
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March 5, 2014
BITCHCRAFT
Polish doom band with female vocals is a fuzz worshippers dream
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March 4, 2014
DRUG MOTHER
Sleazy, fat and dirty stoner metal riffs from down under.
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March 2, 2014
SPIRAL GURU
Newly formed 70's inspired stoner doom band from Brazil.
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Feb. 27, 2014
TIMESTONE
Expansive psychedelics and dusty grooves from Austria.
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Feb. 25, 2014
RHINO
Fuzzed-out heavy desert grooves from Catania, Italy.
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Feb. 24, 2014
SOLAIRE
Get stuck in some sludgey stoner groove from South Carolina. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 20, 2014
HADDOCK
Heavy lightning in a bottle stoner boogie groove from Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 19, 2014
VALFADER
Stirring progressive ambient doom from Bath, UK
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Feb. 17, 2014
BRUNT
Intense instrumental sludgefuzz from these Guernsey blokes. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 15, 2014
MATUSHKA
Swirling hypnotic heavy psychedelic rock from St. Petersburg, Russia. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 10, 2014
MOPE
Sultry and somber jazz-laden ambient doom from Genoa, Italy.
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Feb. 8, 2014
LANDSKAP
Late 60's early 70's influenced heavy psychedelic rock from London.
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Feb. 5, 2014
TOMBSEALER
Death/Doom/Thrash from the mean streets of Adelaide, Australia.
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Feb. 4, 2014
SLUG SALT LAVA
Doomy apocalyptic instrumental Sludge from Istanbul, Turkey.
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Feb. 2, 2014
MIST
Spell-binding all-female occult doom from Ljubljana,Slovenia.
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Feb. 1, 2014
GRIT
Heavy heartfelt psychedelic jams from Heidelberg, Germany.
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Jan. 30, 2014
9OZ OF NOTHING
Riff Heavy Stoner Doom with Southern grit from Athens, Greece
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Jan. 27, 2014
BRILLIANT MACHINE
Chest collapsing progressive heaviness from Ventura, CA
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Jan. 25, 2014
OUTWAILED
Genre-defying atmospheric mood music from Tampere, Finland. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 23, 2014
YURI GAGARIN
Freaked-out psychedelic space rock from Gothenburg, Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 22, 2014
BLACK SNAKE
Swamp-infested grooves and fuzzy desert riffs from Portland,Oregon.
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Jan. 21, 2014
BORDEL INFERNO Gritty heavy rock, solid riffs from Rio de Janiero.
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Jan. 20, 2014
OVERLORD Melodic groove-oriented Heavy Rock from Oxford.
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Jan. 19, 2014
A DAY AS WOLVES Garage-rock inspired bluesy fuzz and roll from Alberta, Canada. Eh! facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 18,2014
NAKED BROWN Hard-hitting Polish heavy rock in the vein of Clutch and Motorhead.
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Jan. 17, 2014
OMEGA SUN
Smoke obsessed Stoner Doom from Slovenia. Free demo.
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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Album Review: Gandhi's Gunn - "The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound"





Gandhi’s Gunn is certainly the real deal. They are four Italian musicians that know how to bring it stoner style - soaked in diesel fuel, burning slowly, hotly, efficiently, with the constant deep rumbling rhythm of powerful, muscular instruments driving forward, onward, in an onrush of music and might.

Gandhi’s Gunn certainly bring the juice a second time on their full length LP, “The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound”, following on the heels of their highly acclaimed first album “Thirtyeahs”, which itself was nothing short of a stoner rock revelation, setting the foursome up with the mammoth millstone of a task to, if not top the sound of their first album, to at least match it in some way.    

“The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound” reveals and displays many strengths possessed by this stoner foursome that lend themselves readily and perfectly to a compilation bursting at the seams with delicious, toothsome tracks that are immediately recognizable as noteworthy and memorable, not only as stoner rock renditions, but as fine examples of great and prodigious rock n’ roll.     

Among the strong qualities of the band is a penchant for song writing, for structuring a song that is as enjoyable to play as it is to hear, filled with ear catching melodies, strong, rhythmic vocals, interspersed with guitar riffs, hooks, and solos that are truly the icing on the proverbial cake. They lay down such well crafted songs that you find it hard to point out a single track that is a favorite over another.

In addition to the tremendous song writing ability are the strong, dynamic instruments that create an atmosphere that pulls deeply at your imagination, immersing you into an abyss of sound where distortion and low tones surround your senses, obliterating the light of reality, and rendering upon your consciousness an enjoyment that seems to emanate from your heart while instantly connected through your aural canal, pulsating in time, radiating outward to a cervical genuflection of hair whipping frenzy, and downward to a metatarsal melee of piston pounding pleasure.



Gandhi's Gunn consist of:
Giacommo (Hobo) Boeddu on vocals
Massimo (Dale P) Perasso on bass
Francesco (Scazzi) Raimondi on guitars
Andrea Tabi de Bernardi on drums


The opening onslaught of stoner rock comes in the form of "Haywire", full of frenzy and wonderfully warped guitars driven inexorably forward by deep and powerful vocals, providing four full minutes of sweat inducing energy.


The guitar work displayed initially on the second track, "Under Siege" is both unusual and inspiring, experimental and playful in rendering a fun and unusual intro before launching into a full out stoner blitz of hard punching drums, heavy, muscular bass, and fuzz to the max guitar wrapped around full, throaty vocals of power and sinew.


The intro on "Breaking Balance" is the bass this time around, playfully setting up a stage of guitar sliding and bending perversion that seamlessly transitions into a classic stoner sound of deep, sinewy guitars, grinding and driving throughout a full and rich vocalization of melodic might, punctuated with a short but clear guitar solo.


"Flood" is a change of pace, demonstrating Gandhi's Gunn's willingness to play what they like and what sounds good to them, even if it is a departure from the norm of full and heavy instrumentation. Here we are treated to a single guitar and vocal refrain of simplicity that is powerful in its starkness before accompaniment kicks in with the slow measured additions of drums and bass, complementing the smoky, smoldering vocalization that serves as the focal point, punctuated by a louder, more forceful hook, giving way to guitar virtuosity that plays out for a pleasurable and lengthy conclusion.


A funkier rendition is executed on "Red (The Colour of God)", where the guitars play back and forth from low and fuzzy to high and playful, with an equally funky drum beat punching its way throughout, accentuated by a playful and funky bass delivery.


"Rest of the Sun" is a classic stoner track, playing out in a measured rhythm of down tuned and distorted guitars, peppered throughout with quick, staccato solos. This song is the epitome of classic stoner rock but with Gandhi's Gunn's unique take and superb delivery.


"Adrift" begins with a fun, unique guitar rendition and song structure that permeates throughout the refrain, leading into a chorus of similar structure and sound, pounding along in a slow, almost imperceptible rise toward a final delivery that is only briefly accented with an equally unique solo.


The closer is "Hypothesis", a 10 minute trippy, hippy trip of psychedelic overtones and nuances that floats along on a magic carpet of sound and wonderment, interspersing sitar-like guitar work with a fast, fun, staccato drumbeat and chanting vocalizations lending to the trippy atmosphere before merging into the signature sound of hard, heavy, muscular fuzz and distortion that floats along on the hippy winds of sound, gaining slight momentum that brings the song into a crescendo of dreamlike distortion.


Gandhi's Gunn have a quality and a knack for making music that full and rich, enjoyable and memorable, and resplendent with the best of what stoner rock offers us in a thoroughly enjoyable rock sound that is equalled by no other. "The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound" is full of quality stoner rock music and is a worthy addition to any stoner rock collection, or, for that matter, any rock n' roll collection, regardless of genre.



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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Zac's "Double Dose": Aquanaut / Romero



Aquanaut: Sunken Ark 


Aquanaut is a pschedelic doom "juggernaut" from the Pacific Northwest town of Vancouver, British Columbia. Their release Sunken Ark dropped at bandcamp this April (2012). The quartet use a combination of slow and mid paced-tempos, trippy keyboard frequencies, and and plenty of distorted thrash style guitar solos. The use of vocals are kept to a minimum, usually arriving late in the ten plus minutes tracks, but always intense. I would describe them as a mix of hardcore shouts and sludge growls. Sunken Ark runs approximately forty five minutes with seemless transitions between the sonic soundscapes to crushing sludge and back. I recommend checking out the second track Flying Fortress, below, during a thunderstorm (the ambience and energry fit quite well together). By the way, Aquanaut is offering this as a free download... why shouldn't you give them a closer listen?

 
Members: 
 Bloody Al - Drums 
David R - Guitars / Vocals 
Jamie Quast - Bass 
V.Vecker - Organ

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Romero: Couch Lock Single 


With a plodding pace and visceral shout Romero are off, dragging your bruised skull steadily through their mix of punk, doom, and sludge. Romero's latest release Couch Lock Single, is made up of two killer yet diverse tracks. The first, the title track, Couch Lock stays within the realm of doom meandering along a bassline for two plus minutes. At that point a fierce scream turns the depressive gloom into a sludge nightmare. Soon after we find ourselves riding a stoner riff like a wave. The almighty riffage continues to carry us, although at a groovier pace than previous, with In The Heather. The vocals are sung much cleaner here, with Baroness-esque shouts of "Whoaaaa-ooohhhh!". The rhythym steps the beat up and carries us through the remainder of Romero's single. Check out these two tracks at Romero's bandcamp and remember...
"ROMERO spreads like a weed."


Members: 
Ben Brooks - Drums / Vocals 
Jeffrey Mundt - Guitars / Vocals 
Steve Stanczyk - Bass

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: Foghound

Band Bio:

New project with former members of Sixty Watt Shaman, Junkrod, National Razor, Roscoe Stamford and The Expotentials. We like Gibson, Marshall, homemade guitars and amps, distortion and overdrive, fat bottom end, 26" kicks, chopped bikes-cycles-trucks, dirt tracks and all things rock n' roll. 

Stoner rock meets purple metal flake.

Foghound are from Baltimore, Maryland and include:

Bob Sipes (Roscoe Stamford, Circle 9, Mudwheel)
Chuckrock Dukehart III (The Expotentials, Sixty Watt Shaman)
Geoff Freeman IV (Roscoe Stamford)
Dee Settar (Down Goes Frazier, National Razor)


Our Take: 

This is a decidedly East Coast take on left coast stoner rock, only the muse of the Southern California desert has been replaced by the streets of Charm City.  Think Fu Manchu if you swapped the surfboards for Harley-Davidsons. There are only three cuts available at this time and they're about as raw sounding as if Kyuss were to pilot the dune right into your garage, but take my word for it, Foghound is a band worth keeping your eye on.  Check it. 





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Monday, May 28, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: Alice Tambourine Lover

Today's New Band To Burn One To hails from Bologna, Italia...

Bio:

Alice Tambourine Lover is the new project of singer Alice Albertazzi and bassist Gianfranco Romanelli of Alix (Italian psychedelic rock band).  Their first album, titled Naked Songs, was released in March of 2012 by Go Down Records (vinyl and CD); an album that contains nine visionary melodies, psych riffs of slide guitar, and sinuous bass grooves for lovers of desert sound in the best tradition of psychedelic / folk / blues.

Thoughts:

On Naked Songs, Alice Tambourine Lover take us on the most bare and basic of trips.  The Mazzy Star comparisons will try to detract from this sound, but the point would be missed.  These nine tracks are organic and stripped to the bone, complete with a feminine perspective not often enjoyed by desert-combers (but fans of PJ Harvey, like myself, just may collapse in awe).  I'm always up for a change of pace, and this disc was the perfect complement to a hazy, laid-back evening.  Romanelli's guitar warbles and fuzzes out without coughing, while Albertazzi's vocal is demanding, confident, and hauntingly sexy.  

Angels Gone would air perfectly at my backyard campfire, Naked Lady will spook the lonely soul in a half-filled lounge, and Pills of Fire sends us to bed with stolen thoughts and restless tosses.  Sometimes a woman's voice hits deeper (without necessarily hitting harder) than anything.  Pair the gorgeous siren with cool stoner slides and you've got a recipe for some cool jams.  If you don't immediately swoon, you're too busy waiting for the weed to take its course.  Hit play on Let Desires Come and drift into tomorrow; this is bliss.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Swarm of Spheres


Americans have managed to get along pretty well with Canadians.  I'm not sure how many canucks are enjoying a three-day weekend in remembrance of fallen heroes, but it's safe for me to say my holiday will be more pleasant because three chuds from Ottawa, Ontario have released a six-track EP that transcends genres and snaps necks with seemingly little effort.  Swarm of Spheres have crafted thirty minutes of psychedelic stoner-sludge mist that may end up on more than a few "Best Of" lists by year's end.

Sounds and atmospheres bend and shift throughout the EP.  Guitars sail and soar in every direction while rhythm moves from coiled humming to buried thickness.  Fuzz and grime merge perfectly on the opener, Thunder Chunky, a sweet and sticky excuse to be late for work.  The up-tempo rollick buzzes between hills, riding the back of stoner-sludge mastery until guitars catch fire and rhythm slows and slugs toward exhaustion.

Blistering pace shrouds Brokeass Mountain through screeches and waivers as Mark McGee's drums kick in your door and dent your head.  The romp hovers, the licks become unchecked lasers, and caked steel-toed boots can't hold down this sound.  Guitar is provided some space as the track progresses; rhythms slow, Andrew Rashotte's bass gets low and loose, and listeners are spurred on a slow burn toward a swollen hive.  And speaking of a swollen hive, HIV for Vendetta drops a hornets' nest as your feet with choppy swells of fuzz.  A hazy path is carved at breakneck speed on this mossy stoner slab.

All elements combine to kick up dust on the EP's best track, Ham Smuggler Vs. The Vegan.  Grooves are low and thick, rattling skulls with no chance for listeners to keep up.  The punishment relents, however, and Jay Chapman's guitar takes a prophetic journey toward psychedelia.  The track peeks into quicksand before entering its awesome, sludgy plod.  This is one to savor.

Swarm of Spheres are most accomplished where they manipulate their sounds to seamlessly transition, evident on every single track.  Thestor Basutus glues itself together with brick and mortar until the brakes are tapped and the cosmos is embraced.  Growing dirtier and sludgier as it plays out, Chapman explains "your message was lost, so nothin's different."  Well, everything's different about this sound, cheesy as that statement is.

The dirge roll-out gives way to the psychedelic bounce of Fear Is The Killer, thick with mist.  Reckless and thunderous, sounds move from slick and clean to shrouded and collapsed.  Guitars sputter as the track goes to its knees with churning rhythms spewing incredibly dense jams.  A sticky slugfest ensues, staying low to the earth and clobbering earholes with a gravity not even your uncle's fat-assed wife can boast.  These seven and a half minutes deliver everything promised by the first five tracks.

Swarm of Spheres have quite a sense of humor about themselves, but there's no denying they take a serious approach to their craft.  You won't find six songs so concise and diverse all at once; this trio has released a rock-solid effort that can't be shelved.  Their transitions are smooth, their influences aren't dishonored, and their amalgam of styles is refreshing and far-reaching enough to make a fan out of anyone.  So give this one a shot, eh?




Saturday, May 26, 2012

Album Review - Buffalo - "Los Dias Lentos"



Another quality stoner band has heretofore escaped my notice. Another superior purveyor of the stoner genre who has been around for a significant period of time and who has manufactured some sweetly sublime stoner sounds throughout, has simply not come to my laggard attention until quite recently. Just as with any rock band worth their salt, sooner or later they will be heard, their music will rise through the cracks and fissures of the ubiquitous swell of procurable music that is now ever present in all directions. Music such as this will always be found in due course by those ever vigilant souls that constantly scour the rock and roll and stoner universes for the best, the most interesting, and the new.

For many of you this band won’t be a new revelation, so kudos to you. You have been privy to some great stuff for nearly a decade. For me they are excitingly new, and with their May 2012 release of “Los Dias Lentos” (The Slow Days) I have found a great discovery point for what they have to offer. It has only 4 short tracks, but they are of the finest quality stoner music, so, for me, they are worthy of adding to that salty collection of worthwhile music.

Buffalo sounds a bit like Lot Natas for the oldest and most common of reasons. In 2002 Claudio Filadoro left Los Natas and struck out on his own, writing his own brand of stoner rock, and forming Buffalo as the vehicle in which to express his musical handiwork. From 2003 until now, Buffalo have recorded or have been involved in several albums, EPs, and compilations. Perhaps the most notable was the split album “Astroqueen vs Buffalo” in which they laid down five tracks to the Swedish stoner band’s six. This is notable because here you have two artists who have an enormous amount of potential, ability, talent, and quality, but who have not quite been given the recognition in mainstream rock that perhaps could have been tossed in their respective directions . . . just like a great many stoner rock bands.

Although this is part of the story, I digress. The focus today is “Los Dias Lentos”, four superb and sublime stoner tracks issued this month by the veteran band of the stoner rock genre, Buffalo, whose members are as follows:



Pastor: Vocals and Guitar
Xon: Bass and Vocals
Leandro: Drums and Percussion

As a whole “Los Dias Lentos” delivers a powerful and athletic sound, deftly rendered and skillfully conveyed, with large and loud guitars cranking away at the low riffs as well as the higher solos, a bass that is huge and booming, making itself heard and appreciated throughout, skillfull drums that punctuate and penetrate in superb fashion, and vocals that are adept and muscular, adding a flavor of Argentinian soul to superb sound of the music.

“sabia que iba a morir” (knew he was dying) kicks off the album with a bang, nary a whimper, rendering a toothsome sound that first utilizes twin acoustic, electric guitars and soulful, powerful, heartfelt vocals before the bombardment of bass and drums that lead the way into a classic stoner rock sound complete with head banging refrain and heart beating choruses of melodic bliss, intertwined by scintillating and scorching solos.

Fun, loud, and unique guitar work starts off the second track, “tropico”, where Pastor renders a unique and intriguing sound with the guitar work throughout. The beat is fierce and fast, with a head banging tempo of the highest caliber.

The Blood of the Wolf, or “sangre de lobos” defines the third track, another fine rendition of loud and insistent guitar work and a great stoner sound, flavored in places by unique and intriguing guitar work.



“el dia del peleador” (the day of the fighter) has a bit of a psychedelica feel to it in its beginning with trippy guitar work accentuating a sing song vocal telling of the tale that slowly grows and builds along with guitars, bass, and drums that gain in intensity along the way until the final cut away to silence and appreciation.

It’s short, but it’s more than sweet, more than delicious, it’s quite filling on its own because the songs contained therein are all superb, well rendered, well written, gems of stoner heaven. If, like me, this is your introduction to Buffalo then you are in for a treat as the rest of their music is out there just waiting to be played and enjoyed.



This is an update to the review of Buffalo’s “Los Dias Lentos”. The band had this month digitally released 4 songs on Bandcamp, but actually have 12 songs for the album, leaving my review quite incomplete. In fairness to this great band from Argentina I would like to complete the review by touching upon the remaining 8 songs.

The title track to the album, “los dias lentos”, or the slow days, plays like its title, with a slow, measured tempo that is steady, forceful, powerful, loud, and boiling over with heavy hitting guitars and heartfelt vocals, punctuated by a constant drum barrage and rumble of bass, with underlying guitar solos throughout.

“silencio neurotico” (neurotic silence), just as it predecessor, is another measured, down tempo onslaught of fuzz and fury, with drum hook punctuation through the opening third of the song. The song then moves into a changeup that is faster, more urgent, interesting and intriguing, adept in its formation of something sleek and powerful.

Buffalo are great at creating song structures that are fun, interesting, clever, and satisfying. A candidate for best song on the album could very well be “la ultima puerta” (the last door) with a terrific beat and tempo to open the song, sing along vocals, and catchy, fuzzy guitars that eventually make way for a unique and totally intriguing guitar solo to close out the song.

It is impossible to catch your breath when listening to this album. “unida” (unity) blasts off with more of the perfectly structured cadence and rhythms, guitars perfectly distorted and loud, drums punchy and perfect, and a rambunctious bass that drives the song along, all slowly building upon individual pieces that blend perfectly together, growing in intensity and pleasure until the solos deliver you to the end. Another candidate for best song of the album.

The tempo on “los ojos de dios” (the eyes of god) is faster, more upbeat than the previous tracks, with stringent strings accentuating the roll along attack of the opening stanza before moving into a ferocious downbeat of distortion and furor.

“los arboles” (the trees) opens clean and sweet before moving into the force and fuzz of the main verses. The vocals harmonize over the melodic tempo of huge, muscular guitars, moving along forcefully, full of interesting sound.

Acoustic guitar played with Buffalo’s characteristic heart and passion, along with a haunting, yearning vocal undercut by guitar that is itself harrowing and austere, striking deep into the soul, constitutes the passionate and powerful “mi despedida” (my goodbye).

“la ira” (the rage) closes out the album, with an all out onslaught and attack of up tempo, forceful, powerful, structured, and unyielding vocals and instrumentals. Nothing is held back here, as the energy served up is compelling and commanding, impelling the song along an offensive of pure distortion, fuzz, and relishment.

Buffalo have that unique blend of talent of melody, and talent of instrument, creating song after song that is memorable in structure and wonderful in execution. Any song on “los dias lentos” could replace the songs that play incessantly on your local ‘hard rock’ radio station. The album itself could easily replace any grammy winner from the past decade. This is a talented and dedicated group of musicians that thankfully enjoy creating, playing, and sharing their tremendous blend of stoner and rock.











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Friday, May 25, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: The Lone Crows


Heavy Planet presents . . . today’s “New Band To Burn One To”, The Lone Crows, from Minneapolis, MN. 


Bio: 


 "Formerly known as Heart of Bristol, with the release of our new Self-produced Demo CD we have changed the name to "The Lone Crows." We are a Blues Rock Band based in Minneapolis, MN. Our music draws upon many influences, chiefly Blues, Jazz, R&B, Classic Rock, as well as Grunge and Alternative Rock, all coming together for High energy stage performances and tasty riffs."

 


Thoughts: 


A big thanks to Andre up in Minnesota for bringing these blues crows to my attention.  That's right The Lone Crows are a blues band through and through, with tasteful additions of rock, jazz, and some stoner riffage, our favorite medicine.  The Lone Crows have a sick obsession 'soul', a 'soul' only the truest blues rock can deliver.  The band mixes a fair share of toe tapping and catchy with enigmatic and somber blues rock and memorable lyrics like that of the track Moonshine, "....Cause you got sunshine in your heart and moonshine in mine...".  The recording is available for streaming over at bandcamp, be sure to give them a listen.   If you dig contact the band for a physical copy.  


Members: 
Tim Barbeau - Lead Vox, Guitar 
Julian Manzara - Guitar 
Andy Battcher - Bass 
Joe Goff - Drums 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Album Review: The Pimps - "Fuck This Shit We're Outta Here"


I'm not sure I'm ready to take shots at the music industry.  Sure, the industry allows nine songs to rotate ad nauseam, finds the pretty men to make up for a lack of skill, and ignored artists like Nick Drake, Daniel Johnston, and the entire country of Poland.  I'll admit to ignorance on the ins-and-outs of how contracts and tours and royalties operate.  I couldn't even spend five minutes playing guitar without letting the most uncomfortable of blue-jean boners convince me I should spend my time scammin' squirrel.  All I do is listen, analyze, and spread the pollen.  But criticizing the dickheads in charge just ain't my place.

Some of you "Coast-ers" may not realize this, but it takes a heavy dose of sarcasm chased with burning, jaded disenchantment to tolerate living in America's Heartland.  When the Good Year Pimps faced legal action from, uh... Goodyear, they became The Pimps.  Since 1994, this Rockford, Illinois quintet has maintained a stable lineup and fed listeners a steady diet of witty, lightning-quick tunes that dismiss labels and defy categorization.  The band's latest toss, Fuck This Shit We're Outta Here, is a thirteen-track middle finger to a cafeteria's cool table, though the comedic veil will have those very same collar-poppers nodding in rhythm with the fat fuckin' larper who actually gets it.

The entire band tuck their tongues firmly into their cheeks, a fact evident from the onset with We Were Too Drunk To Be On The Roof Anyway, a gentle and chiming lullaby that almost parallels Elliott Smith's somber coos.  The stop-start tempo of Gun Says "Yes" is more radio-friendly than they'd like, complete with the whisper-to-a-scream that Frank Black turned into a career (luckily, The Pimps do it without any pretense).  Choppy and catchy, Stu's gruff delivery juxtaposes the hums and pauses and it's impossible to predict where this record might take us.

The band's versatility permeates the record's frame, from the percussive simplicity (and mastery) of Suckcess (the band seems wired to deliver industry-criticism, but it's never thankless or without merit) to the tippy-tap self-loathing of These Are The Things I Know I Know. A quick bass stumble through all the insecurities most people ignore is exactly what makes this sound so refreshing.  Staying thick through the breaks, audiences will have a hard-time finding something they can't identify with.

Dames at the Soiree is sheer harem-whore goodness until Stu enters all Southern-and-shit.  The track bounces and buzzes with the excitement of a fifteen year-old virgin who's had a few wine-coolers.  The dixie roll of A Good Mechanic Is Hard To Find, however, is thicker and dustier.  You'll hear echoes of Ween's 12 Golden Country Greats, but there's no mocking; these dudes understand and embrace their hill-rod influence and fan-base.

And let's talk about that lurid country embrace.  A westward trot is ribboned throughout the album; steady drum whisks, bass thumbings, and snickering guitar characterize Now Michael, It's Just T.V., as The Pimps attack media and religion.  I.M. 'Merica, on the other hand, is a brilliant Southern Comfort hymn loaded with a twang that can't steal the lyrics' thunder.  And who doesn't love a sideways stab at Nickelback (actually, it's blatant).

Break it down, and The Pimps have always been a snotty punk band.  They'll wipe their asses with your expectations, your judgments, and your scoffs. From the anthemic, Jello Biafra-vocal of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy & Delusions of God to the closing title track, the punk sneer relents only long enough for listeners to stop choking on their chuckle.  A telecaster laced through thick rhythms is choppy and stuttered until A Lotta People Say A Lotta Things About Hawaii pays homage (maybe) to Wild Cherry.  But the message is consistently critical of stupidity.

The Pimps do as much with their pauses as they do with their verse-chorus-verse.  Confidence shines in the form of self-deprecation, and listeners just know they'd be able to back up every word if they were tested.  Burning through as much substance as style, there aren't many bands who can pull this off without sounding either pretentious or derisive.  The Pimps clearly know what their doing, whether they want you to know it or not.  That blue collar sure gets some stink on it, but its honest, free of frills, and pretty inviting.



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Zac's "Double Dose": God's Speed / RIFFX


God's Speed: ...And This Will Soon Pass 


Mr. Jason Wright is at it again with his latest project God's Speed. You may remember Jason from his last venture Wizardrone, a down tempo experimental piece of doom covered as a NBTBOT this past September. This one-man massacre continues with God's Speed, although this season more potent. Here the listener finds themselves alone, surrounded by a psychedelic atmosphere charged by Jason's haunting lyrics. The riffs seem more electrified and aggressive than what was heard on Wizardrone and the shrill of cymbals and percussive distortion are sure to leave an uneasy feeling. God's Speed has plenty of meat to dig your teeth into, with fourteen tracks and some seventy minutes worth of lonely psychedelic doom. Check out 'Headtrip Queen' below. Copies of the album can be purchased at bandcamp and from our doom brothers at Doommantia.

 
Members: 


H. Jason Wright - Vocals / Guitars / Bass / Drums / Keyboards


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RIFFX: Search for a Better Day 


RIFFX are a full frontal female lead quintet out of Newcastle, UK. After much touring, gigging, and rockin' RIFFX deliver their second EP Search for a Better Day. Guitarists John [Arkle] and Richie [Gray]'s scorching licks and catchy hooks propel Searching for a Better Day while Jack [Redpath]'s drums and newcomer Danny [Piston]'s bass combine as the rhythmic core, booming in a way only anthem rock can. And what's anthem rock without a vivid set of vocal cords? Enter Brigitta [Balogh] and her 'grab you by the balls' rock attitude. If you're looking for a change of pace in your Heavy Planet playlist, check out RIFFX and their radio-friendly Search for a Better Day.

 
Members: 


Brigitta Balogh - Vocals 
Danny Pitson - Bass 
Jack Redpath - Drums 
John Arkle - Lead / Rhythm Guitar 
Richie Gray - Lead / Rhythm Guitar


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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New Band to Burn One To: Satellite Beaver





Heavy Planet presents . . . today’s “New Band To Burn One To”, Satellite Beaver, hailing from Warsaw, Poland.


Band Bio:

Satellite Beaver are a hard rocking Sludge/Stoner Metal Band from Poland.

The members are:

Simon the beaver – vocals, guitars
Tom the beaver – guitars
Mad the beaver - drums
[place your name here] – bass guitar (searching for new one at the moment)

Satellite Beaver play a hard hitting blend of Stoner, Sludge, Doom and Hard Rock to brilliant head-banging effect.

From the band (paraphrased):

"Have you ever tried to imagine yourself as a hairy space dozer furious enough to destroy planets? Not very likely, but now the time has come to confront one face to face.

Formed in Warsaw in 2008, Satellite Beaver search for their own style and they are more stubborn than Sisyphus himself. Inspired and influenced by traditional grunge and stoner rock genres, the band has come a long way to the point where now they are searching for the thickest guitar strings and biggest crash cymbals ever created. What’s more, they have dared to spread their “tune it lower” philosophy during live performances with local and foreign stoner bands such as Belzebong, Luna Negra / Tres Perros, Karma To Burn, and Mars Red Sky.

Satellite Beaver are preparing brand new material for their debut album release, but before that happens, some chapters have to be closed. That’s why “The Last Bow” EP has been released. It contains 4 tracks composed in 2010-2011, which provide a point of view at the direction the band now moves toward: from the catchy, rock’n’rollin’ ‘Way before’, through the classic stoner track ‘Pershing’ and the slower ‘Urania’ to the gloomy and massive ‘Roadtrip’ track, which is closest to the style the band’s digging at the moment."









Thoughts:

Satellite Beaver have distinguished themselves in more ways than one, not just with this EP, but by their presence as an up and coming rock n’ roll force, displaying an incredible imagination and a big blazing bazooka of a rock n’ roll heart. They seem to have found the sound they love, have embraced it whole-heartedly, and apparently have decided to launch a full bore, all out assault on the world at large, turning the tide of heavy music toward the purest of rock genres, using the weapons they know can turn the tide: the biggest, loudest, testosterone fueled, nitro burning guitars and drums the likes of which you’re not likely to hear anywhere else. Take a listen to the new EP “The Last Bow” and be prepared to be literally blown away by a quick, but complete onslaught of 4 of the finest stoner, doom, sludge rock songs compiled together in a single place. The band is proudest of the final track, “Roadtrip”, saying it represents the direction they’re headed, but all tracks are ass-kicking landmines of explosive stoner treasures. 






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Monday, May 21, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: Parasol Caravan


Heavy Planet presents...Parasol Caravan Today's "New Band To Burn One To" is from Linz, Austria.


Band Bio:


"Parasol Caravan crank their amps up to 11 and play heavy rock with stoner and psychedelic elements. They are a dirty soundbastard between Black Stone Cherry and Kyuss with never ending groove, fat guitar riffs that have no mercy with your neck and incredible whiskey soaked vocals that get under your skin. Since the end of 2009 the four piece is rocking as many stages as possible and honoring their idols of the past without losing touch with the modern rock scene."





Thoughts:


Parasol Caravan make an honest form of stoner rock. Their potent selection from recent split EP Use The Fuzz (shared with fellow-fuzzer's Cachimbo de Paz) offers an enhanced and memorable version of riff rock. I mean these Austrian's riffs are relentless. Each track welcomes head-banging grooves. The introductory track The Barbers Snake wastes no time bringing this our attention, with an onslaught of drums and rhythm... but the majesty of riffage is found on the final track Chinese Eyes and in my opinion is legendary. Be sure to check it out and, in the words of Parasol Caravan "may the fuzz be with you!".


Members: 
 Alexander Kriechbaum - Vocals / Bass 
Bertram Kolar - Guitar
Richard Reikersdorfer - Guitar
Vincent Böhm - Drums 

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Sludge: TWiNGiANT - "Mass Driver"


Put down the Bloody Mary mix, you're embarrassing yourself. Your head's buzzing because you overdid your Saturday night, grabbed a stranger's ass, and got punched in the jaw by her hawk-eyed boyfriend. There's no cure for today's hangover, so the only thing you can do is immerse yourself in raw, fuzzy Sunday Sludge.  Alternate cold- and warm-compresses on that shiner and fill your head with TWiNGiANT's self-produced, full-length debut, Mass Driver.

With an undeniably gigantic sound that buzzes from start to finish, Mass Driver is nine thick wedges of blazing, fur-coated stoner-sludge.  Varying tempos and adept instrumental marriages characterize countless bands' sounds.  But when the result is this chewy and delicious, listeners tune out all else and lose themselves in filthy, heady jams alive with sprawling moss and ham-radio static.

Hanging, drone-y guitar aches are accompanied by drum-tap whispers on the ominous, sort-of-introductory Abduction.  Spacey and a bit spooky, this opener lays a fuzz foundation that's steady to the album's final breaths on the title track.  Abduction's drums enter a somber march, a sort of Taps-ish patience under the hovering hum.  Awake in the Hull clouds every occupancy, peppering lo-fi sludge with repeated guitar jabs.  Fuzzy stoner grooves break up the mire, but no sticky net could contain the atmosphere on these licks. TWiNGiANT's brilliance is already looming.

Crunchy and thrown-back is the sinuous furrow of Burning Through. Whirring like an electric fence, the track's robot-sludge is hardly stiff.  Wild-current riffs soar in every direction without letting the rhythms cake their boots and weigh 'em down.  A stoner ribbon is spun and threaded through Eat the Alien, a steady drift through the fog of someone else's headspace.  Jarrod's vocals wrap your mind like a heat blanket, and the electrical storm-jam enters a breakneck pace that doesn't care whether or not you keep up.

The proficient guitar-tandem formed by Dave and Nikos is never more ambitious than on the rapid shifts of Adrift in Space.  How they manage to keep up with each other is only nearly as impressive as how they manage to contain the fuzz.  The sludge-stomp is still there, though its difficult to detect under the intermittent licks.  The track chokes and gives way to the immediately scattered, ultimately settled Concrete Home.  The abstract heaviness is never too abrasive, and dominance is easily established by the sludge-doom pendulum swings.  TWiNGiANT waiver and wallow, remaining filthy and sticky underneath flaming guitar projectiles before sputtering out.

The patient, lengthy bracket of H.I.S.M. and Pale Blue Dot highlight the band's greatest elements.  Each ticking beyond six minutes, the tracks form the heart of the album and provide listeners with more than a little dust to choke on.  Jeff's drums are monstrous on H.I.S.M., a stomping and grinding jam that ramps the riffage and burns that good burn, if you know what I mean. Guitars splinter and separate themselves, while Jarrod's vocals attack the song's quicksand.  You might just wonder if a Woolly Mammoth is making its way through your living room.  As for Pale Blue Dot, the slow pluck is a lonely roll through a dense, mossy garden.  Thick and deliberate, TWiNGiANT break away from their Sabbath-influence (and vocals echo Melvins) as guitar shrapnel rips at your skin.  The midpoint singalong enters a corridor, marching in-step between moons.  This is your intergalactic Sunday Stoner-Sludge.

The aforementioned title-track closes the disc with plenty to gnaw on.  Crusty and substantial, especially for a closer/outro of sorts, there's a buzz interruption that'll fool you.  Jeff's drums are primal, Chris Warmuth's bass is beautifully low and loose, and those sailing and soaring guitars exercise unexpected restraint and allow for some long-needed easy breaths (whether you knew you needed them or not).

There's no appetizer needed here.  From the onset, TWiNGiANT's debut is rife with girth, gravity, and goddamn electricity.  Your head's gonna rattle and your ears are gonna buzz, so maybe you should warn your neighbors.  Or you may have to say screw your city's noise ordinance and just pay the damn ticket.  Every track on Mass Driver is gargantuan and well-constructed, and every listen is gonna beg new questions.  Luckily, however, every screening will reveal new a new truth: TWiNGiANT will knock your ass flat.


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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Album Review: Sonic Titans Compilation from Stargun Music




To commemorate the launch of their new record label, Stargun Music has recenlty released the digital version of the compilation album “Sonic Titans” featuring twelve of the United Kingdom’s finest rock groups that may not have as yet become ‘known’ commodities. Actually, the fact they’re not yet ‘known’ or ‘discovered’ is a great indicator that the rock and roll contained within “Sonic Titans” will be, as Stargun
describes it on their Facebook page, kickass.


Taking a trip through “Sonic Titans” reveals one truth about the twelve not so disparate acts . . . they are all very talented and artistic, producing exactly the kind of rock and roll music we love to listen to, playing with style and grace, heart and muscle. All included here tend to stomp hard, punch true, and pulverize you with loud, heavy, blistering assaults of bone crushing, eardrum popping stoner metal music, leaving you drained and breathless, exhausted from the encounter, deep down wrung out from the experience, but willing, wanting, and ready for more.

So, brave knights of the realm, don your plates and mail, strap on your shield, hoist your claymore, and prepare to face Stargun Music’s round table champions of stoner metal mayhem from the United Kingdom.

The compilation begins with an up and coming band, XII Boar, and their track “Smokin’ Bones”, which comes from their latest release and kicks off “Sonic Titans” in grand fashion. Vocals deep and rich, loud and clear bass, pulse pounding drums, and a strenuous guitar playing the familiar riffs of stoner metal and blistering, ear bleeding solos. This is an up tempo tune that blows the door wide open for the selections to follow.

Grifter, another three piece band, lets loose with “Good Day For Bad News”, a southern rock tinged, rollicking good time where the vocals are crisp and clean, and the song’s hook is accompanied by loud, raunchy riffs that overlay a powerful  bass and a warm, punchy drum attack.

The next selection comes courtesy of Trippy Wicked & The Cosmic Children of the Knight, titled “Up the Stakes”, a track with an insistently cool riff that accompanies a . . .  well . . . trippy vocal styling that creates a guitar heavy psychedelic groove, layered with solos and change-ups, fuzzy in the corners, clean on the edges, and all around wicked and cool.

Goat Leaf has recently reformed after a long layoff and is back at it with renewed vigor and recharged batteries. On “Sonic Titans” they crank out “Sweet Sorrow”, a song that lays down a measured, powerhouse package of catchy guitar riffs that power the song along on an undercurrent topped off with the band’s equally powerful vocals, intersected by an exquisite interlude where vocals are whispered and the solo dexterously slices through to deliver the payoff. Goat Leaf has mined some of the best sounds of rock with equal parts Chuck Berry, Aerosmith, Buckcherry, and The Black Crowes but with a distinctive stoner sound all their own.

Next up is the excellent “Exelerator” by The Bad Channels, packing heavy, hard hitting fuzz and distortion with excellent vocals, distinctive driving drums, and huge powerful bass. A nugget of sludge is surrounded by the bone crunching guitars of this 4 piece band from Cornwall who pride themselves on their live performances while demonstrably delivering the goods in the studio as well.

Slabdragger throw down with a full frontal assault of sludge and doom on “Murky Fen”, banging, screeching, and wailing away on heavy, impenetrable riffs that lead into a quagmire of pure sludge to close out the song by this gifted three piece band from just south of London in Croydon.

Heavy Planet regulars may be familiar with the next artist, Stubb, who were featured on the site back in February for their wonderful album “S/T”. Stargun Music has included here their excellent track “Hard Hearted Woman”, an intricate and rich mixture of booming drums and big, fuzzy guitars, backed by a huge bass guitar that drives it all forward into a slow and powerful instrumental coda that glides and beckons with clean, clear, crisp renditions from each of the three members.

“Oceans Blue” comes up next, a bluesy, fuzzy number from The Neon Tigers, with a plaintive wailing on vocals and guitar, deliberate and full, driving through in a measured, commanding,  and powerful performance.

Distortion hits you square in the face at the beginning of “The Butcher”, before kicking into a mighty, meaty, full out fuzz assault from Steak, a London stoner band that play the full stoner sound on this track, reminiscent of Dozer, Freedom Hawk, Firestone, Truckfighters, and Cowboys & Aliens . . . not to mention the pearl of inspiration for the high desert sound, Kyuss. Steak brilliantly capture the Stoner sound and play it with exhilaration and brio.

On Steak’s heels come Enos, a stoner, psych band from Brighton, with the excellent “Transform”, a fast, furious, fire-breathing fuzz monster of a song with scorching stoner guitars that are instantly familiar in sound and new in delivery with original songs that run the gamut of stoner rock. Vocals are perfectly matched, drums are insistent and driving, and the bass big and monstrous, matching the gargantuan fuzz bombs from their guitars.

Leaving Stonerville behind and entering the metropolis of Sludgeville, governed here by Dopefight, a band straight out of Hell . . . according to their bio anyway . . . who deliver a sludge and doom filled brawl of a song called “Leviathan’s Burp”, where the guitars are deep, dark, and dreadful, spewing forth a cacophonous mixture of belching bass and raucous, staccato drums.

Topping off “Sonic Titans” are the Sons of Alpha Centauri with “31”, an instrumental song from an instrumental band who have been creating music for their own artistic endeavors since 2001. “31” renders almost nothing conventionally by using only conventional instruments, something difficult to achieve, much less master, but this song is interesting, varied, layered, well structured, and thoughtful throughout. The guitars are large without being overwhelming, the drums numerous and varied.

Stargun Music have an auspicious beginning with this amazing compilation in which they’ve compiled 12 outstanding musical representations of the very best of rock and roll that happens to come from the warrior islands of the United Kingdom, but could very well have been a collaboration of many of what the stoner, sludge, and doom world has to offer from all regions around the globe. All of these bands are still on the frontside of fame and recognition, but all are more than capable of delivering the highest quality rock from the highest quality genres of stoner, doom, and sludge rock and roll.

Enjoy.


Enos - "Transform"

Transform







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