Wednesday, June 28, 2017
As a great big fat choking smoke cloud descends upon you, filling your lungs with a dense clogging clawing, commanding every gap and hole it finds, becoming one with you, you manage to exhale within the last gasping inch of breath you've got left, right before the next fuzzed-up doom riff smothers you again. It's as glorious as it is suffocating, and Void Commander pummel you in droves with one dense heavy riff after the next. It's not a record for the faint-hearted.
Hailing from "the dark forests" of Sweden, the trio of Bobby K, Linus O, and Jimmy J have released their debut full-length record of heavy HEAVY stoner doom distorted psychedelic riffs in the mammoth Shrooming Widow, and it's fits perfectly between Sleep and Spaceslug on the drifting-alone-in-outer-space-high-as-fuck-being-pulled-apart-by-a-black-hole noise spectrum: so you can see why we love it.
With tracks like, well, every damn track here, but in particular '2061' reaching such earthly decimals to rupture your eardrums, and make you nauseas from the pounding drumming and doom-chainsaw guitar work, you find yourself constantly caught between banging your head 'til death and riding that magical carpet into the higher plains of your existential mind. When one mind mulching track ends, another starts up right where they left off, 'Acid Queen' continues the powerful dooming riffs setting the stoner tempo as high as they dare to go. The instrumental bass heavy 'Tongue Whip of the Alien Mothership' is the marker that separates the pretenders from the real lovers of all that is HEAVY as the record continues for another ten songs of the same smothering riffs in glorious succession.
'Days Will Pass and Years Will Die' is our standout track on Shrooming Widow, with Bobby K's haunting vocals tripping over the top of some of the sharpest riffs the band have to offer. The song encompasses everything the band are about, with their psychedelic tinged astral riffs, crushing doom-laden bass riffs and drumming, and droning, continuous drug-fuelled riffs (they have a lot of riffs) all within the same glorious 8-minute wonder.
Shrooming Widow is an excellent debut record from a band that we're certain to hear a lot more from for years to come, if our eardrums can honestly handle it.
Steady, subterranean, and filthy clean, Green Druid duskily flows with the drone of a thousand rusty amps through the cracks and pores of forgotten, ancient crypts. This sophomore EP from the Denver quartet is a darkly addictive monster of shadow riffs and deep earthen tones of sacred blood. This is doom, and it is mighty.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Mega-Fuzz rockers Ruff Majik have quite quickly returned with a new release....of sorts. It's only been two months since they issued the brilliant "The Swan", but Ruff Majik have something quite new, yet quite familiar, up their fretboards with what is apparently the initial three tracks of an eventual full-length album that will span a wondrous tale of fantasy. Their plan is to release a fourth of the album in time with each of the changing seasons of the southern hemisphere from which they dwell. This is exciting news, both for its creativity and its anticipation. The three songs that have burst forth through the ragged fissures of this threesome's psyche are earth devouring melodies of titanic proportions, ragged in riff, raging in solo, and gargantuan in rhythmic explosions. More to come is only welcome news for fans of their obsidian assaults.
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Monday, June 26, 2017
STEAK have assiduously become a staple of underground fuzz, having previously released quintessential stoner/psychedelic hard rock albums in 2012, '13, and '15. Now, having signed with Ripple Music, they have released another full length album of ten thundering, riotous rock melodies that once again showcase the musical brilliance and deep-tuned craftsmanship of this Warrior Island battery of four preeminent metal artisans. "NO GOD TO SAVE" has allowed STEAK to bring to the fans of stoner rock, of fuzz-fueled, low-tuned loudness, a collection of songs that completely appease the most hooked addicts with hooks of amplified fervor.
STEAK are a brilliant group of metalheads, rendering songs that do much more than relay a particular sound quality. They certainly are adept at creating and playing extraordinary hard rock music that is rich in low tones and euphoric amplified distortion, music that combines clean, razor-sharp riffs with serrated edge keenness and a mammoth aural presence. But they are also adept at doing so over melodies of near genius, crafting songs that instantly excite while embedding snares of long term memory that will haunt its victims for years to come, songs such as "Overthrow", "Clones" "Living Like a Rat", and "Mountain".
"NO GOD TO SAVE" not only showcases their variety of fuzzy metal music, but does so in perfect harmony of their extraordinary vocalist, Kip, who is impeccably matched to their brand of heavy with his deep, mellifluous vocal tones that easily scale the highest peaks the music requires without ever resorting to any sort of rebel yell, guttural utterance, or falsetto flippancy, as well as complementing the band's six-string slinger Reece's samurai brilliance, or without ever overpowering the mighty drubbing of Cam's bass magnificence, or never overshadowing the wielder of wood, slayer of skin, drummer Sammy's stickwork.
When you look at the legacy STEAK have begun to build you can see this London clan possesses something as special as any metal band around, regardless of attempts at genre identification. They struggle like everyone else in the underground world of heavy rock, but have managed to advance their music, and hence, their careers, when doing so is never ordained. They now are part of Ripple Records, which in itself is a mark of accomplishment, and they have already given us an unerring library of amplified addiction. With "NO GOD TO SAVE" they have bestowed upon us one of 2017's preeminent heavy metal, hard rock, stoner rock albums, proving they are poised to become the legends their burgeoning legacy reveals them to be.
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Thursday, June 22, 2017
Alright! The fifth album from one of rock's unsung practitioners has been released. Any spin through any one of the, now five, albums put out by the Los Angeles retro/stoner rock trio Sasquatch will provide opioid level euphoria through a delivery system of dense metal and decibel distension, packaged in razor sharp hooks and monumental melodies. This is the case with the first song on the first album through to the last song on the latest album, the freshly available "MANEUVERS".
The musicians that recorded "MANEUVERS" include:
Keith Gibbs - guitar, vocals
Jason Casanova - bass
Craig Riggs - drums
Where's Rick Ferrante, the longtime drummer for the band, you ask? He's very much still a part of Sasquatch. How could he not be? He's been there from the inception, providing a quality of rhythm drumwork rarely matched this side of Ginger Baker. Craig Riggs, himself an accomplished drummer, as well as vocalist, for the stoner rock legends Roadsaw and supergroup Kind, has been tasked with the skin-thumping duties on #5 as Sasquatch launch their campaign through Europe in support of the new album. Many, if not most, of the gifted musicians that ply their wares in the underground world of stoner/fuzz rock, do so outside of their regular job work schedules, so making extended forays away from those jobs isn't always possible. Rick, though, has other venues lined up for his phenomenal skills, both as a full-time member of The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic and playing live venues with the up and coming underground superstars Aboleth (is that an oxymoron - underground superstar?)
"MANEUVERS" consist of 8 intensely amplified tracks of thick, syrupy mega-fuzz in which Keith Gibbs' wonderfully mellifluous vocals match perfectly his sledge hammer heavy riffs and ozone searing solos, where Jason Casanova's bass is forcefully wielded, relentless in muscular ferocity, and Craig Riggs' steady rhythms sting and pound in incessant brilliance. The overall tone is a soulful resonance, somber, edgy, and nostalgic, unyielding in its sheer power.
"Rational Woman" kicks off the show with gargantuan raggedness, beautifully laid down in primal tempo, showcasing Gibbs' rich, powerfully melancholy vocals. "More Than You'll Ever Be" is steady and relentless, advancing in magnetic forcefulness. "Destroyer" demonstrates the raw might of haunting tonality. "Bringing Me Down" is reminiscent of early Sasquatch songs in sentiment and style, a welcome memory for some, a fresh introduction into past glory for others. Funky and on fire, "Just Couldn't Stand the Weather" brandishes a unique melody and style, a departure that doesn't stray too far from the path marked 'Sasquatch', but is populated by some intriguing mutations, riff creatures at once familiar and uncanny. "Drown All the Evidence" is Americana, magnified, amplified, and wracked through with distortions of flagrant pleasure, punctuated by elegantly ragged, bruising solos. "Anyway" is a psychedelic charmer, a brightly colored panacea, recharging batteries in color and brilliance. The closer is the massive and melancholy "Window Pain". The blue pain and gray fog atmosphere of this song is punctuated by the rare use of keyboards, highlighting the feeling of loss and a damaged soul. Solos reminiscent of Ernie Isley rip through the gray morass in sharp, keen doses.
Overall this album delivers a massive load of essential feels. The music is nostalgic and new, familiar because it's crafted by masters of more than a decade of accomplishment, as well as fresh in a package of nascent material that expounds on a proven formula without a hint of staleness. It's a sound that hearkens back to the last decade when stoner rock was still new and Sasquatch were new kids on the block. The guitars come in every satisfying form, distorting the edges, and burning the center, tapping into those primal cords that run central to us all. Gibbs' vocals are solid, full of heft and strength, and forging soulful connections over and again. Fierceness and joy, the hallmarks of those who love the weapons they wield, are on perfect display through Casanova's masterful, subterranean riffs. And Riggs steps into what would normally be a massive void, shouldering expectations and delivering brilliance with his consummate rhythmic execution.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017
In June of 2014 Attalla released their self-titled first album which quickly garnered acclaim from consumer and critic alike. It was the type of album that, by the time you'd taken in all it's ragged riff glory you began craving the next release. It's taken nearly three years for them to issue a sophomore production, time, one must presume, they took in creating and mastering the contents of the doomrunner-up. It was time well and perfectly spent as "Glacial Rule" fairly detonates in controlled eruption on each track, delivering dense fuzz in dark doom licks, a more controlled assault, more measured in pace, than on the first album, deeper, thicker, but still melodic and hookish. It's perhaps evidence of growth that this foursome didn't rest on the laurels garnered by their initial release, but instead put in the time and work to craft something more, something still of themselves but delving into the gloom, down uncharted tunnels of thick atmosphere and impenetrable doom.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Clan are a stoner rock band from Norwich, UK that exemplify the sound of the genre as well as any band of this century or the last. The mix of sound and style they are able to seamlessly incorporate into their music makes for something exciting, something quite fresh and new within perfectly executed familiar sounds. The fuzz packed riffs on every song are thickly sweet and mesmerizing. The vocals from front-man and lead guitarist Matt Pearce are singular, powerful, compelling, exotic, and provocative. Yes, they are that good and that unique.
Clan consist of:
Matt Pearce - vocals/guitar
Matt Rabong - bass
Ben Giller - drums
There are 9 songs and an intro on this full length album, so the achievement is commendable in that each track is an intricate, hooky, and memorable display of the band's tapestry of skill and endeavor. The melodies are fun and addictive, whether letting the power of Giller's stickwork course through the inner pathways of your neural system, or allowing the immense horsepower of Rabong's deep bass rhythm overwhelm your sensory presence, or thrilling to the double onslaught of Pearce's vocals and masterful riff-bringer guitar.
Clan bring a lot of old school mentality to their brand of hard rock by focusing first on melody before overlaying their well-crafted ditties with powerful, familiar stoner fuzz, which makes for great excitement on the first spin through the nine tracks, and immense enjoyment on each subsequent spin.
"Carnivore" comes out of the gate with a scorching intensity on the first full song, "Burning Bodies", setting the stage beautifully for what's to follow. The title track is an immense mammoth of sound and splendor as is it's follow on, "Jackal". "Haunt Your Ghost" and "Wolves" pummel through with relentless power and heft. "True Believer" is perhaps the bellwether track, the one that ignites immediate interest and excitement, leaving an indelible bruise of sweet darkness. "Sleep in Salt" showcases the brilliance of the rhythm duo of Rabong and Giller throughout the slightly melancholy and memorable melody. "White Spider" rivals "True Believer" as a signature track, one that radiates with special sweet, ebon melody brimming with dark fire and subterranean power. "Blood of the Father" closes out this darkly shining gem of an album with the most haunting, slow burn song of the bunch, a viscous and succulent morsel that leaves you yearning for more before you're even done listening.
It's been three years since Clan have released an album, but the wait has been well worth it with this wonderful, witty, and addictive collection of great melodies and powerful stoner metal music.
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Monday, June 19, 2017
I'm always amazed when just two musicians are able to pull off the sound of four. This duo from Wiesbsden, Germany lay down some raunchy, ebon tar, paving a road of grim shadows, black cowled fear, and ancient ability while conjuring their magics of amplified, gargantuan doom, thickly clabberous, and darkly spellbinding.
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Friday, June 16, 2017
MegaStonerRetroPunkFuzz has been quite brilliantly captured on this raw, garage rock of an album from a threesome of young and imaginative musicians out of Phoenix. It's a simple sound, yet for all the novice hallmarks of this album it manages to bestow an elegance in that simplicity as well as near genius in its melodic composition. The magnitude of the riffs is towering, brutal, and primordial while the dexterity displayed in the hooks and simple interludes is addicting. The drummers display a magnificent proficiency of timing, power, and heart. The bass is savage, ruthless, and unyielding in its driving rhythms.
These young musicians seem to be ramping up for a career in the low, dark arts of stoner/doom style music. Their inaugural oblations indicate more brilliance to come if they can manage enough notoriety. Here's to hoping that is indeed their fate, and ours.
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Smallstone Records has been a 'go-to' place for great fuzzy music since their inception back in 1995. There is north of 80 rock bands in the annals of Smallstone, many of them pioneers of underground stoner rock, including Sasquatch, Dozer, Lo-Pan, Gozu, and Wo Fat, as well as many up and coming finds that have chosen the venerable label to ply their fuzzy wares, such as the focus of today's Quick Hit, Långfinger.
Gritty, imaginative, hard, and loaded with heavy, pulse-pounding riffs of an old school style, "Crossyears" is a rock solid and laudable Smallstone debut for this Swedish threesome out of Göteborg, who already had two 10" and two 7" productions in their canon before making their way to the notoriety of Detroit's Smallstone Records. Their music crackles with burning, searing, unfiltered energy, engulfing the listener in thick metal smoke of a euphoric atmosphere, carried brilliantly throughout by perfectly matched rawk vocals.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Cold Dezert are another in a burgeoning line of established and emerging Grecian stoner/doom bands, and just like so many of them, they have developed a hefty, gargantuan sound. But they've done more than that. They've managed to take a set of recognizable sounds and riffs and forge something all their own, something colossal, impenetrable, made of the densest stone boulders unearthed from the darkest of doom quarries. The music is dense and intricate, imaginative and primal, raw, fierce, and massive. It's what we hope for when we spin something new.
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Monday, June 12, 2017
Jukebox Monkey have created a wonderful mix of contradictions with "Grey Skies Red Planet", delivering a clean sound via a wonderfully nasty disposition, a southern rock style of frankness without any direct homage...in fact, in foregoing anyone else's sound or style they are somehow reminiscent in doses of almost everyone, a mean feat from this mean foursome of warrior isle brawlers, who in doing so have developed their own unique style that is an upfront, in your face, stoner rock bruiser of a record, inexorable and steadfast in its mammoth assault of sound, ornery in its temperament, and euphoric in its deeply fuzzy experience.
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Friday, June 9, 2017
I think perhaps I need to place a permanent office in the midst of the fertile stoner/psych/doom/retro rock country of Belgium. Many of the bands and albums I've highlighted in the past few months have come from that rich rock n' roll province. Today we add one more to the burgeoning list with Moaning Cities, a quartet of interesting blueprint. Operating with both guitar and sitar, backed magnificently by a female rhythm section, Moaning Cities manage to pack plenty of bite and ferocity around ragged edges and furious riffs, co-mingling with otherwise smooth, milky psychedelic power sojourns.
Moaning Cities have been around for 5 years, and have managed to release 3 albums, the first of which is showcased here today. This is because the first album has a more ragged stoner vibe, as does the second album, "Pathways Through the Sail", while the latest release, "D. Klein" is more soporific and spell-binding. The matchless melodies and mammoth music of Moaning Cities can catch one occasionally reminiscing in brief spurts on the fine desert rock of Kyuss. There is nothing direct, no homage, just a recognition that what you are listening to combines power, heart, and musical athleticism, the very best of what rock has to offer.
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Thursday, June 8, 2017
Something a bit different today. The 'New Band To Burn One To' feature is meant to showcase bands that haven't gotten much attention and perhaps are just starting out in the underground world of the greatest music ever made. Today's band, The Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk, doesn't have much of a presence online yet, but they do have the above delectable trio. This little bit, though, will likely make a sizeable impression when you give it a spin. These three island warriors have demonstrated a knack for making big, loud, and fun stoner rock music, combining the mammoth guitar that is the hallmark, of course, of stoner rock with a keen imagination for instant hooks and memorable melodies. They have more songs in the bag and are working their way toward an official album release, so, here is what they have so far, something mighty tasty when enjoyed with a large glass of ice cold powdered milk......or something...., and hopefully piquing your interest enough to keep you on the lookout for that eventual album sure to make a large splash when it arrives.
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Every now and then I come across a band whose music I've not yet heard but who have been around for a fair amount of time, with more than one release to their credit. Today's Band Spotlight focuses on one such outfit out of Berlin, Germany - The Operators. I'm sure many folks have discovered their high octane brand of stoner rock, but for those like me who haven't, this one's for you.
An incredible feature of The Operators is the inclusion of organ music. A lot of great rock from past eras has included organ music, such as Deep Purple, Procol Harum, ELP, Yes, and the Doors, but in the underground railway of stoner rock music it is scarce. The Operators' inclusion of the organ blends very well with their boulder wall of massive guitars, assertive ass-whipping drums, and those rich, powerful vocals.
The Operators have been around since 2009, having released 3 full albums, the latest of which, "Revelers" opens this post while the initial and subsequent releases are below. All three albums are chock full of lip smacking retro rock of a heavy stoner bent. Dig in and enjoy!
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Tuesday, June 6, 2017
A potent sound of high energy, agile vocals, bruising drums, brawling bass, and riffs galore are the hallmarks of this threesome from the north of France. They have mastered the art of combining great melodies with a massive sound, full of razor sharp hooks, skull stomping drums, bone crushing guitar from bass and six string, and dusky, ragged vocals. The music is stonerish and grungy, but uniquely their own as they play with relish and ferocity.
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Monday, June 5, 2017
From that little ol' band from New York comes yet another exceptional release of guitar-racked brilliance in the form of "Psychoriffadelia", Geezer's latest foray into heavy hitting blues rock, this time with cosmic encounters of bright, burning riffs and mind melting incursions of euphoric frenzy. Adding psychedelics to their résumé, Geezer have become a top staple of the stoner/blues rock genre, eliciting ragged anticipation from the junkies of great guitar anthems.
The album opens with the cover of Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog", a staple of 70s rock standards. Geezer make it theirs without trying to emulate the sound of the originators and do a superb job of injecting their own signature sound of massive riffs and searing solos overlaid with ragged vocal brilliance. "Stressknots" is a standard blues rock jam, the kind that Geezer are known for - fun and infectious. The title track sits in the middle of the tracklist and is their first foray into colorful runs and trippy rolls, cruising through a full ten minutes of mind-melting musical munchies. The odyssey continues on "Red Hook", a long slow burn of intoxication and escape. The closer is the incredible, massive "Dirty Penny", a thirteen minute excursion into bright explosions and cosmic detonations. It, too, burns slowly, but powerfully, as it wraps you in warmth and euphoria on its musical journey of magic and satisfaction.
Pat Harrington - guitar/vocals
Richie Touseull - bass
Charles Ruggerio - drums
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Thursday, June 1, 2017
Sautrus are a traditional 4 piece band consisting of one guitar, one bass, one drummer, and one vocalist. But that's where the traditional ends. They managed deserved notoriety in 2014 with the release of their second album "Reed", a magnificent blend of controlled stoner, doom, and psychedelic dynamite woven into their own signature sound. Now Sautrus are back with a new release, "Anthony Hill", and as with any follow up to success there is obvious pressure to match or surpass past accomplishments. Sautrus absolutely manages to deliver freshness with familiarity and boldness in this 7 track romp through soaring psychedelic brightness, subterranean doom rumblings, agile desert melodies, and stoner riffs of raw power, blending those traditional sounds into something lustrous, thick, and adamantian, every facet inducing carnal appetites for the syrupy black sweetness of their fuzzy machinations.
Hailing from Tricity of the Pomeranian region of northern Poland, Sautrus are perhaps on the brink of renown having now released three solid stoner/desert/doom/psychedelic rock albums of substantial heft, the latest of which is unsurpassed in quality, excitement, and potency.
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