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Monday, June 3, 2013

Nuclear Dog's Atomic Split: Deaf Proof - "Beyond the Orange Door Demo" / Steak - "Corned Beef Colossus"

Heavy Planet. Purveyors of the finest stoner rock . . . that's what we claim, that's what I love listening to the most, as do a gazillion of you guys, and that's what I love posting on Heavy Planet on those occasions a pure stoner album is available for our listening pleasure. Today is such a day, ladies and gents, as I present, not one, but two albums, one that has been lying around for a short while, apparently a victim of the cracks through which it had fallen, and, two, a hot, fresh slice of succulent distortion, hot off the bricks of the stoner rock kitchens.


Deaf Proof are a band struggling to maintain a consistent line up, and until they do an official studio release may never be forthcoming. The band members who have been steadfast from the band's inception in 2006 have remained locked in  on their goal and their mission of making and playing that sweet stoner sound. Through a significant number of lineup changes they have managed to release 2 demo EPs, the second of which was released just this past April after having been recorded between 2009 and 2012. Some might look at that and see a lack of coordination and coherency from the band located in Freiburg, Germany. I disagree. I see a core membership that hasn't wavered in their love and devotion for the music they create, pushing forward through trials and tribulations until what we have before us is a six track EP of a superior sonic quality, belying the disjointed process taken in its development.

The current lineup for Deaf Proof is:

J. Fredo - Vocals and Guitar
JP - Bass
Pedro - Drums

The sound is big, bold, heavy, low, and classic. Crisp and colorful psychedelic overtones are employed throughout the album blending perfectly with the vibrant distortion of Deaf Proof's recognizable yet singular sound. Guitars are ferocious and mighty in an all out onslaught of sound, with forays into masterful strokes of precision and guile. Drums prove to be nimble and adept at providing massive undertones along with delicate accompaniment. The bass matches the gargantuan six string sound with underpinnings of massive layers of concrete and stone pilings, electrically charged and pulsing in mammoth rhythms of unparalleled athleticism. Vocals round out the sound with an edgy rasp of power and focus, nimble in execution as it provides the perfect colossal complement to the driving riffage of towering stoner rock guitars.

This is the type of album, although only six songs in length, that provides quality on each song. It is a difficult task to single out any as best in show as each delivers a memorable, indelible experience for the starving adherents of stoner and psychedelic metal who partake of its heavy, fuzzy goodness. "Hellride" kicks off the journey with a song that provides a signature for that wonderful stoner rock sound as well as for this incredible agent for that sound. "Girls'n'Guns" has a riff hook that will sear itself into your permanent memory stores, unlocking primal satisfaction while "My Reflection" closes out the EP with an unrelenting, explosive demolition of a deep, dense stoner rock quarry.

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2012's "Disastronaut" brought the fuzz in a big way and set up a lot of anticipation for Steak's follow up, "Corned Beef Colossus", released just over a week ago. As with the earlier album, the new one is an EP, consisting of 5 songs, so no full length album just yet. It doesn't matter because they make it count on those they do create and share, and for that I am thankful. The tone on "Corned Beef Colossus" is massive, dark, utterly serious, telling of pain, suffering, and strife. This dark alley quartet from London wrap you up in a smothering, heavy blanket of sodden wool, dripping with pungent juices and visceral secretions before laying waste with the razor sharp weaponry employed by the wild-eyed, enthusiastic members of the band, who include:

Kippa - Vocals
Cam - 3 String Bass
Reece - Guitar
Sammy - Drums

The primary sound from Steak is the guitar, as it is with all great bands that make their way onto Heavy Planet. Steak do not disappoint with the sheer volume and mass of six string distortion throughout "Corned Beef Colossus", ramming it straight ahead, relentless in intent, devoted in effort, constantly expanding, invariably collapsing, alive in its neverending cycles of growth and decay, accompanied by brightness and clarity on solos and riff snippets of emphasis and accentuation, carried along on psychedelic chariots of brilliance and moxie, the whole tended by an overseer of vocal preeminence and prodigious power, manifest in providing a jagged razor's edge of forbidden pleasure and fleeting ecstasy.

The EP flows seamlessly from "Black Milk" through to "Acid Dave", the technical opener and closer, but could easily be placed on a neverending loop where there would be no beginning, and certainly no end, only the primal satisfaction of exquisite reverberation feeding the constantly starving stoner nodes of your musical desires.

Steak have grown considerably from "Disastronaut" to "Corned Beef Colossus". The latter is dense and deep, intelligent and aesthetic, tightly woven from frazzled fibers of well worn resonance, presenting a pattern of brilliance while simultaneously providing a deep, intense, sustained warmth and fulfillment.

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