Smokebath – Smokebath
This New York three-piece have come to kick some serious ass with their superb self-titled EP, full of deep heavy riffs, doom-esqe stoner jams, driving pounding drums, and vocals full of whiskey fuelled bitterness; it’s almost a perfect combination. Smokebath opens with the stoner onslaught on ‘Mystic Lady’ with its throbbing rhythm section, guitar solos, and drummer/vocalist Ben Wessels’ raw-throat vocals perfectly encompassing a full and accomplished musicianship by a band that have perfected their sound. The band delve straight into long drawn out doom jams before pulling your head back up out of the swamp for more headbanging riffs, as the slow swaying jams of ‘Blue Sunrise’ become faster until they reach their joyous crescendo, building into a seven-minute epic teetering on the edge of metal, without going too far over.
After the 10 minute stoner/doom meltdown of the glorious ‘Stone Age Daydream’, the guys finish things off with a cover of Pink Fairies’ ‘The Snake’, allowing us to revel in the sheer power and scope of where these guys could go next with a full length, but even if they were to just leave us with this short taster of their awesome sound, Smokebath is a record to play loud and repeatedly.
Black Sheep Limbo - Return of The Wizard
A lot of stoner metal records tend to follow the same pattern of tinnier sounding stoner, a bit too clean cut at times, but Black Sheep Limbo are trying things a little different on the EP Return of The Wizard, as things are played at a frenetic pace, with riffs associating with heavy metal soloing, vocals born on the Blues side of the tracks, all the while maintaining its core stoner route; these Portuguese lads have given themselves a lot of work to do.
As ‘Wild Train’ opens the record with strobe-like guitar riffing, the band don’t ease you into anything, it’s straight in your face, no messing, youthful stoner, put on twice the speed, which is seen throughout ‘Devil Soul’ continues the 100mph sound with no signs of stopping to smoke a fat one. The band are almost in a hurry to finish their songs, but they evolve into short bursts of frantic stoner joy that couldn’t be contained in its purest form over a longer time. You just about catch your breath as the record comes to all too short an end, but with this much energy, only great things can come from Black Sheep Limbo.
Mount Hush - Low and Behold!
Groovy, psychedelic, stoner blues are the main sound of choice coming from the at times gentle, at times deeply heavy, German band Mount Hush with their debut EP full of dark, mysterious undertones of an unsettling blues that becomes an addictive listen, always making you want to know where the next smoky riff of their guitars will take you.
It’s with the track ‘King Beyond’ that the band show their true bluesy genius, as heavy driving stoner riffs mask over a blues roots at the band’s core, with vocals steeped in a lifetime of troubles with a tale to be told, along with some gentle psychedelic influences mixed in for good measure. The delicately crushing ‘The Day She Stole The Sun’ shows the band’s devastating range of groove-laden blues, and just how heavy they can actually be with a genre that is more often than not seen as music which never really shakes the ground beneath you, well, that was until Mount Hush released their apocalyptic style pounding riffs on the top. These guys are a band to keep a very close eye on, they are going to create a masterpiece one day (well, they're not far off that here!).