Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Messy Mars, Unkempt Uranus, and...

The Dirty Earth ~ Autonomic (2014)

Another fine group of musicians from the land down under, The Dirty Earth have come out swinging on their first full length. With chugging riffs and a cool 1970's swagger about them, they lay down track after track of foot tapping, swinging rock music, from fuzzed out Stoner Rock jams to bluesy Hard Rock songs, they do it all and do it well. The singer's voice is smooth as silk and can be just as commanding, but she's just as capable of getting a bit gruff and adding a little of that raspy edge in there when the need arises. The guitar is always clean and tight, even when the tone is distorted and fuzzed out, and the guitarist is able to switch from groovin' 70's styled power riff to a supremely fuzzy Stoner Rock riff at the drop of a hat, this creates ample opportunity to burn his own brand into the song's skin. As with any band really, the rhythm section is the foundation of the group, they put down what everyone else in the band has to build on top of. With that being said, The Dirty Earth's rhythm section lays down an Acropolis proportioned foundation for the guitar and singer to build their auditory shrine on. On each and every song you have a rumbling bass line that thunders and rolls like a hurricane, while you have the drummer punching out notes like the bastard offspring of Mike Tyson and Keith Moon, when you put the two together you have an unstoppable low end force. Even with being towards the end of the album, my pick of the litter would have to be "D'n A Blues", opening up with a solitary, bluesy guitar line it's not long before the band joins in on the slowest song on the album, their own version of a classic sounding Blues track, the drums pounding out their part, each transient cutting through the mix perfectly, from the kick and snare drums to crash and ride cymbals. The vocals start up mellow and bewitching, but it's not long before that changes, and the huge voice she possesses comes roaring through, complete with a passionate Blues grittiness that shines through at the high points. This group is sure to please anyone that digs that timeless '70s sound, and probably won't upset anyone in the Stoner Rock crowd either. You can pick up the digital or CD versions of both this album and their debut EP over on their bandcamp.

For Fans Of; Radio Moscow, Pura Muerte, Fuzz Manta

Monday, September 01, 2014

A Voyage Through Space

Frozen Planet....1969 ~ Lost Traveller Chronicles: Volume 1 (2014)

From the fine Australian label that brought us Mother Mars "Steam Machine Museum", Pepper Shaker Records have reached out to us once again, this time with fellow Aussies, Frozen Planet....1969's latest album "Lost Traveller Chronicles: Volume One". From the title alone you can make some assumptions as to what sort of sonic adventure we're dealing with here. The album is a psychedelic, fuzz and riff fueled voyage through space, from the opening moments you're swept up in a current of spacey guitar sounds and hypnotic drum rhythms. The albums acts as a instrumental concept album, with the concept being that it should play like you're reading a cosmic explorer's journal, with each track acting as an entry. Sounds like a pretty unique concept, but it's one of those things where it all depends on the execution. I'm here to let you know, the execution is perfect. You don't need vocals to get lost in this, or the message they deliver, it's all done with instruments and excellent musicianship. My favorite off the album, even if it is one of the shorter ones at just a minute and fifteen seconds, "This Sure Ain't Utopia" gives the impression of a creepy expedition onto the surface of an unknown planet. Opening up with lots of atmosphere and spacey guitar work, you can almost imagine descending the spacecraft's ramp onto a dark and misty swamp covered planet, not very well knowing what's lurking in the darkness for you.The guitars are spacey from the start, long and droning notes with lots of reverb, the bass has a nice, fat tone that really fills out the bottom end while the drums roll and crash like waves of a dark ocean. I have to say though, I would like to see a remixed or maybe re-edited version of this one that's a bit longer. At just a little over a minute it seems like it has such huge possibilities going for it, only to fade off into another track. Even if the next track, "Deliberate Sporadic Magic", is chock full of shredding solos, some real 70's style guitar lines, roaring drums, and a swinging bass groove, and is a very good song in its own right. If nothing else, this is an excellent album to listen to while having a smoke session then literally spacing out for about thirty minutes. You can give it a few spins and find all the purchasing details over on Pepper Shaker Records bandcamp.

For Fans Of; Earthless, Serpent Throne, Hawkwind

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dying To Fight...

Repellers / Dead Hand - split 7 in. (2014)

This split, issued by Divine Mother Recordings in vinyl variations of a translucent bottle-green, translucent green with black and white splatter (already sold out!), and standard black, brings together Pennsylvania's crusty metal-punks Repellers with Georgia's more overtly-doomy Dead Hand.  The Repellers sport some sick bass licks, raw vocals, inspired drumming, and buzzed-out guitar over the course of their two songs, “Blood, Bone & Soul” and “The Riddle Of Steel”, putting in a strong showing for themselves over 7 minutes or so of gnarly, nasty venom, as they rail out and drive themselves forward
Dead Hand's side consists of a single track, “Apex Parasite”, and flipping over to it is something along the lines of stepping out of a basement thrash party and into a hard-blasting storm with some dangerous hail swirling about.  The vocals and strings roar, the drums ring out like thunder, and there's even a relatively calm eye of the storm, filled with sharp tones of feedback, before being caught back up in the body-tumbling force of the song's conclusion.
It's a release that does right by everyone involved, and each band brings a strong, inventive approach to their music, which will grab you and shake you by the throat if you let it.  There are plans for a second pressing, with some design elements adjusted, so if you want a copy of the original, now's the time to act.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Halo Of Flies, Funeral Horse, Trees, Eibon, Contagium


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fuzz On Your Face...

Dot Legacy - Dot Legacy (2014)

Dot Legacy have debuted with this self-titled collection of twitchy energy and sweet-tooth-tingling melodic hooks, and through the album's nine songs, the twisting, curling rampages of rock in which they engage would be enough to make any well-established band proud of the result.  While I haven't heard too much fuzz rock out of France recently (I probably just haven't been looking in the right places), the flair shown off by Dot Legacy makes me feel as though those in the area who do keep it alive are throwing themselves fully into the effort.  With a classic-sounding array of FX on the strings, vocals contributed by all of the band-members, and drums with an always-effective range of impacts, the band's debut sets a high bar for their work in the future.
While I have to admit to not always following along with the lyrics (the filters they occasionally applied made that a little tricky), the grinning liveliness of the tracks gets the feelings behind the writing across just fine.  And it's not always rip-snorting can't-stop-moving wildness, either; there's several times in which the band slows it all down, getting almost sweet with the melodies, and it's nice to hear them stretch in the way, though they keep the lighter stuff in moderation.  A personal highlight was the incorporation of some post-rocky spoken word sampling over some electronic effects towards the middle of the album, which I hadn't expected in the slightest, but which worked well with the material before and behind it.  The album makes use of some great, well-executed experimentation in approaching their songs, and I suspect Dot Legacy will be one of those bands where even the B-sides are worth checking out.  Start here, and if you happen to be able to catch one of their shows during their September tour of France, Germany, and Belgium, do your best not to miss out, yeah?
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Acid Elephant, Powered Wig Machine, Acid Kola Turbo, The Casual Pleasures, Ginsu Wives


Friday, August 29, 2014

Spreading The Flames...

Toke - High Friends In Low Places EP (2014)

Following up the pair of tracks from their first demo, North Carolina's stoner metal band Toke present two more tracks from their new EP. The first, “Into The Light”, mixes reverb-heavy riffage with thumping drums, while the vocals emerge in a rough howl. They continue to occupy a very satisfying space in the stoner doom spectrum, moving slowly enough to savor each crushing tone-wave, but not so slow as to make you forget how they got their; they keep those riffs moving, and when they do launch into the higher speeds, it's coated with enough tarry buzz to stay true.
“Great Awakening” is the other half of the digital release (there's 8 more minutes of material on the CD copies, though those seem to be available only at live shows), and it keeps the tone low and doomed out, though there is more energy pushing it forward, especially in the increased wildness of the vocals. Both tracks should be make any fan of traditional stoner doom metal more than happy, and luckily there's plans in the works for vinyl/cassette copies of the EP, so keep your ears tuned this way for more news on that as it develops.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Acid King, Salem's Pot, Olde Growth, Cough, Black Sabbath


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Into The Wastelands...

Uroboros - Herejía & Exilio (2013)

Last week, we delved into Uroboros' EP Misantropía & Blasfemia, and now we continue on into their second EP.  Herejía & Exilio begins with “K'Zulu”; whether that's a reference to Cthulhu or not is up to the listener's discretion, but it's a great starter track, beginning with a barrage of sound before slowing down a little into a mean sludge groove.  After some dirty thrash slips in, it's on to “Arcano Devorador”, which makes more use of the vocalist's ability to deliver loud, growling menace over a chunky riff that verges on death metal at times.
Holocausto” follows, taking the prize for longest track on the EP at ~10 minutes as with "En Las Fauces de Uroboros" on the prior EP, and similarly making use of its expanded run-time to show off the band's skills in a variety of stylistic capacities.  From the slow, near-drone beginning into harder, faster sludge, a few dirge-like bridges from the drums and guitar, a tasty feedback stretch or two, and an atomic explosion (accompanied by sirens and a sample of Robert Oppenheimer) mid-way through the track, “Holocausto” is incredibly diverse, to the point of almost feeling like it could be its own EP.
While they could have cut off there and had a strong release, Uroboros takes the time to give Herejía & Exilio a proper closing track in the form of “Somos El Pueblo De Dios”, a much slower and somber piece which comes as a nice breather after the final high-speed assault of “Holocausto”.   It brings to life the wintry scene from the cover art, making excellent use of a wind instrument alongside the precise strumming of an acoustic guitar for a sound so chilly it'll bring goosebumps to your arms.
It's a strong EP, either solo or taken with Misantropía & Blasfemia, and between the two of them, the band has made an impressive debut for themselves.   It will be fascinating to hear how the Argentinian duo tops themselves once they're ready to release a full-length LP, but until then, fans of sludge and experimental metal can do themselves a favor by familiarizing themselves with what the band has already made available.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Asilo, Forgotten Tomb, Abstracter, Zeppheroin, Bell Witch


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Horns First

Shit the Cow ~ Rissna (2014)

Shit the Cow are back, Jay gave us the rundown on their release from last year "Salt of the Earth". This time the self-proclaimed scrapyard rockers (or skrotrock in Swedish, which does have a ring to it) are back with "Rissna", named for a town in the north of Sweden where they go to record. Their sound is a straight forward one, they really just take the best things in Punk, Garage, and Stoner Rock and boil it down to it's rawest form, then blast it at full volume. Always ready with something catchy to suck you in, sometimes it's a chorus, a riff, sometimes it's the whole damn track. From start to finish it's five songs full of rocking drum rhythms, heavy and infectious guitar riffs, rolling bass parts that keeps everything glued together nicely. The vocalist often uses the shouted style of delivery, changing it subtly depending on the song, but it can go from an angry, anthemic Punk Rock shout, to melodic and raw vocals that harken back to the early days of Stoner Rock. My favorite song on this release is probably the closer, "Pieces of Led", it's a blast of fast and hard Stoner Rock in the vein of Fu Manchu's glory days. Opening with a fuzzy riff, it doesn't take long for the groove to kick in, with a fat and round bass line leading the way. At just under two minutes it ends way too fast, but for those two minutes you're taken in by the perfectly executed Stoner Rock track, and it doesn't loosen its' death grip until the end. They seem to excel at never painting themselves into a corner on their releases, always having something different ready to go when the song changes. It would seem that the group took the expression "variety is the spice of life" to heart, and they're absolutely right if it makes you churn out rock songs as good as these. Go check out their bandcamp, and get in on it for the small price tag of just a couple bucks. Don't forget to check out their older releases too, as they have yet to put out anything that wasn't good.

For Fans Of; Fu Manchu, Switchblade Jesus, Brain Police

Monday, August 25, 2014

Raisin’ Hell In Them Southern Pines

Thieving Coyote ~ Thieving Coyote EP (2014)

If you happen to remember the show I mentioned in my review for Tripping the Mechanism, the band that followed them were another killer South Carolina act. They got in touch with me and asked if I'd consider giving them a review, already knowing first hand that they put on a damn good live show, I couldn't turn it down. Thieving Coyote play a liquored down style of Southern Hard Rock and Stoner Metal. If you drowned Orange Goblin in Jack Daniels and propped the corpse up at one of those country bonfire parties, where they blast Lynyrd Skynyrd out of a truck's stereo system all night, the next morning you'd have Thieving Coyote pulling themselves off the ground in a hazy stupor. The lead off track "White Lightning" opens up with a Southern Rock riff, but it's not long before it turns into a swinging, gritty Southern Metal song. In between howling guitar riffs, breakneck drum fills, and a masterful use of the often overlooked cowbell (insert funny Christopher Walken/SNL/Blue Oyster Cult reference here), you have the vocalist snarling out the story of a guy and his old lady that knock off a moonshine dealer and then a sheriff, and proceed to shoot it out with the FBI. The singer uses a style similar to Dallas Taylor from Maylene and the Sons of Disaster fame on this one, and he fucking nails it to the wall. I'm always a sucker for a song with a good story in it anyway, and this one delivers. But bringing together the combination of excellent musicians, great songwriting, and even better delivery, that's a winning formula every time. With almost no reprieve from the auditory onslaught you're thrust into the second track "Space Van", and I'm sure you can already see where this is going. Opening with grooving guitar riffs that take on a real 70's vibe at time, and more cowbell, but it's not long before those dirt road vocals start up, this time talking to us about the great pastime of getting stoned while using images of slaying five head hookah monsters and the like, it's a long lost Stoner Metal anthem. The track ends strong, using a screaming solo to end on. And there's still three more tracks of skull smashing Stoner Metal to get through before you're finished. You can get in on all the sleazy, booze and dope fueled goodness at their bandcamp for just five bucks. I can think of a hundred worse things for you to spend that on than this slab of heaviness, so show 'em so love if you dig what they have going on.

For Fans Of; XII Boar, Orange Goblin, Weedeater, Corrosion of Conformity, Mammoth Mammoth