Before the ensuing sounds get you really excited to go out to a show to party with these stoner punks, we have to clarify one thing for you, Swedish band Omar are no longer a band, in fact they haven’t been a band since 2008, but yet here we have their debut record...let us explain. I Am Heavy Metal, Who Are You? Was recorded between 2006/07 and the band decided to call it a day the following year without ever having released their debut for anyone to hear, well except for a few people, one of those being Claus Wrang Michaelsen, owner of Danish label Accelerator Records, who has had the fire in his belly to get this record to see the light of day, and now in 2015, we all get to hear the fruits of his labour (more eventful circumstances surrounding this record include all the first pressings being stolen along with a van from the label’s offices: a big cost for a small label).
So after all of the effort, time, and expense, is Omar’s long long LONG awaited release worth it? Hell Yes! is the simplest way to put it. Opening with the frenetic ‘Rock Strongo’, Omar start fast and stay fast with their brand of stoner/punk/grunge coursing between your ears. It’s a fresh exciting sound, full of youthful urgency to burn out rather than fade away. There are influences from QOTSA and Monster Magnet apparent throughout the record with Erik Carling’s vocals venturing on the gentler side of the stoner spectrum. The chugging riffs and energetic atmosphere of the band’s playing echoes throughout as highlights of ‘Bring It On’, ‘Spawn Of Daybreak’, and ‘Night Of The Freaks’ make, well, would have made, Omar a band to get seriously excited about as they bring a much needed freshness to the stoner scene.
I Am Heavy Metal, Who Are You? Is a record which has been made available through a driving passion which only music lovers would ever really understand. The effort to get this record brought to the surface is commendable and needs respecting, but the credit ultimately belongs to the band who have created a fantastic cross-over record bringing in all of the right parts of stoner/punk/grunge (and even a theremin). As the final song fades out, a sadness does fall over you as you realise that you won’t get to see these guys on your local stage kicking ass, but if we enjoy what they’ve left behind, we can still have a hell of a good time.
I Am Heavy Metal, Who Are You? will be released on vinyl and download from Accelerator Records/Walden records.