Today I'm doing something I've not done before. I am taking inspiration from my Heavy Planet compatriot Zac, who was already the inspiration for the Atomic Split with his excellent weekly feature Zac's Double Dose. Both 'Double Dose' and 'Atomic Split' bring to you 2 albums in one review because quite frankly and quite awesomely there is a LOT of great new music out there which compels us to give our best shot in bringing it all to you. Today's Atomic Split features bands that were originally featured on Double Dose, bands that have now released full length albums of music that fulfill the promise Zac uncovered in his original reviews. And by fulfilling promise I ain't just whistlin' dixie, as my grandmother used to say, these bands are kick ass quality, delivering noteworthy and memorable music beyond typical stoner or metal fare. So, if you recall your first go around via Zac's Double Dose of either or both of these fine bands, you are now primed to experience sensory overload, and who doesn't love that!
JAW HORSE - "CANCER CREEK"
Originally featured on Heavy Planet nearly a year ago in March, 2012 with a 3 song demo, Jaw Horse have now delivered a full 12 track album, "Cancer Creek", that is without a doubt a righteous dozen of fine rock and roll revelations. Jaw Horse employ a frenetic, energetic tempo to a blues fueled, swamp gas blend of nitro and blissful exertion. You might just end up sweating at the end of a song, and certainly by the end of the album, after romping through the paces set by the energy and power demonstrated all around, by all the members working like a well oiled, top fuel dragster spinning powerfully, resoundingly, inexorably toward a place that simply marks the end of the fun.
Jaw Horse are -
Kramer on guitar
Adam on guitar
Pugh on drums
Jovi on vocals
While they hail from central Pennsylvania their sound is more closely associated with southern climes given their penchant for blues infused heavy rock and vocals as deep fried and resonant as a fast moving thunder storm unleashing fury and might unexpectedly, horribly, and pitilessly across an unsuspecting landscape. Guitars are simply incredible on these songs, beyond comprehension. They seem to have taken the very best of blues rock, electrified, fuzzified, and amplified and kicked it all up a level, perhaps not breaking the paradigm, but managing to add to its definition.
There is only pleasure in listening to any of the twelve tracks on "Cancer Creek". The second track, "Don't Call it Holy" is memorable in a stoner blues foray of power and pleasure as Jovi's vocals provide the focal point upon which the song's excellent melody is played out in power and passion where guitars scorch and burn and drums are vigorous and unyielding in execution.
"Go Man Go" draws immediately upon early boogie rock while embellishing it with updated amplification and well placed distortion, making for a fun and memorable turn of nostalgic rock with a powerful modern imprint.
"Hang in There", while not quite as melodic as "Don't Call it Holy" instead provides a platform for a powerful, memorable romp just beyond the opening stanzas in which the engine of Jaw Creek's top fuel dragster guitars gets kick started, pumped full of nitro, and unleashed in an unfettered onslaught of guitar brutality.
Perhaps the signature song is "Mother Mary", a pacy, heart pounding tale that moves through different tempos while relaying a tale presumably of whoa which is accentuated perfectly by Jovi's ability to present a powerful, in your face presence without ever detracting from the equally powerful guitars.
A beautifully rendered and haunting blues romp, "Wrong Side of the River", closes out the album, with deep fuzzy guitars, bright insistent guitars, and chained lightning guitars of brilliance and joy.
All in all this is an album of pure enjoyment, where elements of stoner rock, blues rock, retro rock, and southern rock are combined with an exceptional amount of talent and a fierceness in the joy they take in playing their music.
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ENCHANTRESS - "VISUALIZE"
Enchantress was featured on Double Dose back in November of 2011 when they had released an EP entitled "Volume 1: The First Few". Today we are featuring their first full length endeavor, "Visualize", seven songs that can quite confidently be classified as unique among stoner/doom/psych music.
Hailing from Toronto this trio play a stripped and bare brand of rock, exposing all the wonderful and jagged edges of their music that gets smoothed over by razor sharp vocals of exquisite clarity and range.
The guitars are a total fuzzfest of distortion and tribal rhythm, fun and endearing in tempo and delivery.
The opening for the album is "Blue Moon Rise(Visualize)" where we are introduced immediately to beautiful stoner guitars that set the tone for the type of ride "Visualize" as an album will be. Once the vocals come in the setting is complete as we get initiated to the unique vocal execution of Enchantress' lead singer, something quite rare and enjoyable.
"Rain Maker" picks up the tempo a bit, but is quite similar to the opening track, which in this case is not a detriment but a further chance to be immersed fully into a trancelike state sparked by the unique vocal/fuzz combination Enchantress deliver.
"Elder Tree" is a slowly boiling volcano of white hot guitar magma, tempered by the tempo, and the strategically placed vocals.
"Locomotive" is the crown jewel of a stellar album, one with no weak points, but with a definite and shiny example of Enchantress' potential in this song. The melody is deliberate and steady, again punctuated by the strategic vocal delivery, pushing beyond heretofore established boundaries, mesmerizing in its eloquence and uniqueness, while cleverly offsetting the main thrust of the song.
"Frozen Sky" kicks up the wattage a bit from its predecessors, demonstrating a snappier tempo, an increase in distortion and power, and utilizing a falsetto like vocal delivery wrapped tightly in fuzzy riffs and white hot solos.
Just as power increased on the penultimate song, it once again ratchets up a degree on the closer, "Buck Thorn Queen", with falsetto once again claiming a stake in execution and delivery, but not exclusively, as a duet unfolds, tempering the vocals, and enriching the overall quality.
"Visualize" is quite unique, compelling, and mesmerizing, blending a raw and fuzzy stoner sound with singular vocals not typically associated with this style of doom or psychedelic rock, all of which makes for a rich tapestry of sound and quality.
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