I’ve been to Dayton, OH. Once. I don’t remember much about it and never had a reason to go back, but after listening to Neon Warship, I might plan a trip down Interstate 75 and try to catch this power trio in its natural habitat. These Ohioans ooze ragged fuzz and rock harder than all but one of the bands in my corner of Michigan. Here’s my take on their self-titled album.The first track, Carry Away is meat and potatoes stoner rock, a comfort tune cooked up by these audible masters of the riff. They’re serving up fuzzed guitars and the rhythm section is tougher than a wild turkey breast. You know the drill by now, far as the instruments go. But the vocals do the opposite of what you’d expect. For a change of pace, rather than dropping down a few octaves, as so many of the heavies are wont to do, they are driven UP. This put off a buddy of mine, but I don’t know about him. The vocals ain’t high enough to be distracting and they won’t shatter the bottle in your hand if you see ‘em live, so don’t fret. So there’s that. The next track, Weather Breeder, conjures the sound of Karma to Burn’s Waiting on the Western World and is just as solid as you’d want, doomy at times, but still A1 stoner rock. Next up is Paralyzed which clocks in at a little over 10 minutes and could be a ballad. Some of you who actually lived through the glorious era that influenced these stoner rock bands might have flashbacks to Maggot Brain when the solo rolls over you like a neon fog bank. Play like your mamma just died- groovy. Then, after this cut, you get In Waves which comes out of the gates like a trash metal tune but slows down and locks into a leaden groove half a minute in. Burn the Breeze is the last track and another slow number, but with enough changes and parts to never come across as dull. It’s full of solos and those wicked vocals that, by this point, if you were on the fence in the beginning, you’re into by now.
And that’s it. Five tracks, none under five minutes and twenty seconds, and the long songs don’t seem too long and the shorter ones don’t seem long enough. Enjoy and say I told you so.