Archive for Stoner rock

Uncle Paul – Dot Rotten

Posted in CD, Experimental, Rock with tags , , , , , , , on 14th April 2019 by mickbirchy

Uncle Paul
Dot Rotten
Noise Rock, Stoner Rock, Psychedelic
Released 14th January 2019
via Introclusor Records

You guys know me by now. I’m usually the first in line for the weird and experimental side of rock n roll. After all, today’s experimental music is tomorrow’s mainstream. So, why not listen to everything that you can? Which leads me to this EP. Dot Rotton is the newest release from the weird and wonderful Uncle Paul and let’s just say it’s an interesting listening experience, to say the least. Sounding like a weird hybrid of Butthole Surfers, Deerhoof and Lightning Bolt, this band have really captured my imagination. Though this isn’t the best example of the genre, the North-West UK rockers certainly work as a weird noise rock psychedelia band, that incorporate elements of garage rock and stoner rock into their style. Referring to themselves as “refined musical dyslexia” is a good call, because this is what this is, a random assortment of musical ideas thrown into a melting pot and left to simmer.

Though it would take you longer to listen to “In A Gadda Da Vida” than it would this entire EP. I think there is some merit to the EP. In the sense, that you shouldn’t try to investigate it or look into it too deep. It’s more just a musical experience with a hodge-podge of ideas, riffs and distortion just blasting full force at the listener. With vocal effect layered over the sound and weird noise coming from every which way. It’s an EP to lose yourself in and not worry too much about its motivations or connotations. It’s just music for music’s sake and, you know what? That’s actually quite refreshing from time to time. The production is all over the place with nothing really meshing or coming together. Very much like the noise rock movement of the early 90’s this band just make what they feel like and run with the ideas they have.

Let me put this straight, this is not of the average consumer of music. There are no hooks or ear-worms to be found here. Yet, there is some creating bass work, some great riff ideas and guitar licks littered throughout the EP. Which makes it enjoyable enough. Also, considering that a couple of the songs don’t even reach two minutes long and the longest track here is four minutes, the music just passes by so quick that you don’t even realise that you’ve just heard something really fun and ridiculous.

By no means is this a great example of modern rock music. Yet, it serves as an interesting example of the noise rock sound and how it can still be relevant today. Then again, noise rock usually exists outside the normal boundaries of music anyway. If you like that  90’s Gen-Xer sound or watched a lot of Bevis and Butthead then I would recommend this in a strange way. It’s not a masterpiece, nor is it trying to be. It’s designed to be off-putting and weird and to be honest, that’s what I liked about it.

3.5/5

Mick Birchall

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Kadavar – Berlin

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , on 15th September 2015 by Pieni

Kadavar
“Berlin”
Psychedelic/stoner rock
Release: 21st August 2015
Via Nuclear Blast Records

 photo Kadavar-Berlin_zpspqkcvur4.jpg

Kadavar don’t recreate the psychedelic rock of the seventies – they actually live it, in this moment. So whilst is necessary to mention that period of time in order to make you aware of what you’ll hear here, it’s not entirely accurate to bring it up, because these Germans play it naturally now, in the second decade of the year 2000.

“Berlin” is the band’s third album in four years, so at least for now, the creativity is flowing swiftly. And widely. Their song-writing isn’t static, going from raw rock’n’roll (“Lord Of The Sky”, “Filthy Illusion”, “Into The Night”) to light stoner (“Last Living Dinosaur”, “Stolen Dreams”), and then it tops in the sweet in-between where both sounds meet and complete each other with the best they have to offer – the riffs. It’s all about the riffs and solos, to be honest. It’s the band’s richest feature and “Berlin” is like a treasure chest of them; no point in naming songs as, one way or the other, all tracks comprise an intense and dazzling work. But I do have to mention “Reich Der Träume”, a cover of the late avant-garde artist Nico. Instead of making a psychedelic version of it, so it would sound more like them, this turned out close to a lullaby. But then again, Träume is German for dreams… What I mean is that it was a surprise to hear something like this performed by Kadavar, but a very pleasant one.

4/5

By Renata “Pieni” Lino

Potergeist – Crocodile Tears

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , on 15th August 2015 by mickbirchy

Potergeist
Crocodile Tears
Southern metal / stoner rock
Released: 1st May 2015
via G.O.D. Records

The down and dirty Greek rockers Potergeist return with their fourth offering of riffy goodness.  The four piece, consisting of Alex S Wamp (vocals), Nick XP and Stratal (guitars), Kostis Vihos (bass) and Tolis Toleas (drums), have delivered some great work over the years producing three great albums. This new studio album Crocodile Tears was produced and mixed by Pete Rutcho (Falling In Reverse,The Ghost Inside, etc) and is released on G.O.D. records. Crocodile Tears is just the next chapter in this band’s amazing story as their name keeps growing all the time. They have even supported some of the biggest names in the genre such as Black Label Society and Corrosion of Conformity. .

The album begins with the haunting little opening “Swamp Muse Summoning” which is atmospheric and sets the tone brilliantly. Then the music roars in with the title track “Crocodile Tears” which I actually find to be the weakest song. Don’t worry, the album gets much better from here. I just find the title track to be a little drudging and non-interesting, it’s not bad necessarily, it’s just weak. However, once the album kicks into high gear it doesn’t let up for a second.  The song “Visit from a Swampire” is a nice call back to their previous record Swapires and contains all of the same southern style metal.  Their riffs sound big and are very fluent. Every song just flows with bluesy licks and stoner riffs seamlessly matching up.  The melodies are really catchy and get stuck in your head with ease. Like their past work, this album is very accessible with tunes such as “Eve” and “The Preacher and The Witch”. I think people who aren’t even into this style of music could groove to these riffs.

In all honesty though, I don’t feel this is the band’s strongest work to date. Whilst it is a worthy follow up to their 2013 effort Swampires, this record isn’t a patch on the 2012 album Muddy Mermaids. It’s quite difficult to explain but I feel that their work in 2012 had a lot more power and scale in it’s execution. This record is still one fun album to listen to but there are just one too many moments where it feels like you’re being pulled through it rather than wanting to hear it. Also there are a couple of times on the album where the production gets really muddy and hard to hear. That might not be the worst thing on a southern style stoner rock album, but when you compare this to bands like Godsized, Orange Goblin or Planet of Zeus you can certainly hear a noticeable difference in the quality of the sound.

Yes, this is a cracking album but there are just a few points that bring it down.  However I still have fun listening to this band and this album does have some great riffs and well executed solos.  There’s enough here to keep me, and I’m sure many others, entertained. I look forward to whatever else this band brings to the table.

4/5

Mick Birchall

Conan announce October UK tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 19th June 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Having recently signed to Napalm Records and Spinning Goblin, stoner-doom band Conan have announced dates for their October UK tour.

Conan‘s unique style of Doom, Drone and Stoner Metal won over audiences at the Roadburn Festival 2012 consequently resulting in the release of the live album Mount Wrath: Live at Roadburn 2012. Past shows with label mates AHAB and a recent tour with Bongripper have further established Conan as the doom powerhouse to watch out for! UK tour dates are as follow:

October 2nd -Sheffield -The Harley
October 3rd – Leeds – Santiagos
October 4th – Colchester – The Hole
October 5th – London – The Black Heart
October 6th – Birmingham – Asylum 2 (Fear Fest)
October 8th -Manchester – Roadhouse

Conan online:

www.facebook.com/conandoom

 

BloodRedSky – A Cross To Bear & Hell To Harness

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags on 7th November 2012 by izaforestspirit

BloodRedSky
A Cross To Bear & Hell To Harness
Due for release/Released: November 2012
Stoner Rock / Heavy Metal
Released via Label: Inverse Records

‘A Cross To Bear & Hell To Harness’ is the debut album from the Finnish stoner rock band BloodRedSky. The band’s sound has been likened to “a combination of Kyuss, Danzig and Motörhead”.

What struck me the most about the opening track ‘Locked’n’Loaded’ was just how heavy the guitars sounded. This band’s guitar riff style is so powerful that it’s verging on metal at times and the guttural vocals make me think of Black Label Society with a hint of Danzig. Having said that, this is faster and lacks the sludge elements of BLS. Also the singer has this southern rock sound in his voice.

Yet it’s the guitar riffs which make the individual tracks stand out. An example of this is the groovy guitar solo and catchy riffs in ‘A Hero To A Few’. Then there’s the melodic, groove laden intro to ‘The Dead’ which quicky gives way to more hard rock style of guitar riffage and guttural vocals that come close to sounding like semi-growls at times. ‘Stoneskin’ emphasizes the band’s take on stoner rock with it’s mid-paced, heavy riffs and the aforementioned Black Label Society -style vocals. Other noteworthy moments include: the ridiculously cheesy sounding chorus of ‘Goblin King’, which is compensated by the catchiness of the groovy guitars and the solo towards the latter part of the track; and the energetic sounding guitar riffs in the intro to the instrumental ‘Skulltower’.

Overall, this album offers an interesting take on stoner rock. It’s actually heavier and faster than I expected it to be. It’s not to my personal taste but if you like your stoner rock with a slight ‘kick’ to it then ‘A Cross To Bear & Hell To Harness’ is for you.

3/5

Iza Raittila

The Sword – Apocryphon

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 4th November 2012 by Paul

The Sword
Apocryphon
Released October 22nd 2012
Metal
Released via Razor and Tie Entertainment

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I’m a bit of a sucker for 70s and early 80s Heavy Metal. Simple riffs, guitar solos, silly lyrics about space and dragons and such; artwork that looks like a Molly Hatchet album cover, and so on. It seems that Texas band The Sword feel the same way, and their brand of retro metal has been among the most noteworthy examples of the past decades wave of retro bands. You probably have a good idea of how this band sounds by this point. Stoner Metal with an emphasis on simple and catchy riffs with no frills and a lot of fun. It is simple and it works; and manages to sound mellow and heavy at the same time which means it is quite a fun listen, especially if you spend your days listening to extreme metal.

The band have slowly adopted a more Classic Rock approach over time, though they no longer seem to have the energy they once had, and very few of these songs are anywhere near as memorable as their great debut Age of Winters. My favourite track is the title track, which somewhat unconventionally appears at the end of the record. It’s an album full of well-constructed hooks and riffs, and the songs do their job although but most of them are not as memorable as they should be. The song writing is tighter and more controlled but it lacks the vitality of previous releases. It doesn’t help that the production on this release is more polished than the more raw sound of their earlier work. Still this is an enjoyable effort that should please fans of the band. The Sword seems to really enjoy the kind of music that they make and it shows. They are now well-versed in this particular niche and continue to produce this no-nonsense music. An enjoyable way to spend 45 minutes.

3.4/5

Paul Gibbins

Glowsun – Eternal Season

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 24th September 2012 by Paul

Glowsun
Eternal Season
Released September 28th, 2012
Stoner Metal
Released via Napalm Records

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Stoner Metal has a tendency to be an American and British phenomenon, so as it was I found myself surprised to learn that “Glowsun” are from France, a country not particularly known for its output within the Stoner/Doom spectrum of the Metal genre. If you hear the name “Glowsun” and think of bizarre, psychedelic atmospheres, you’d be right – that’s exactly what’s going on here. The album begins with “Death’s Face” featuring light and echoey melodies, then towards the end of the album’s first song, the guitars really start to kick in and things get a little heavier. It’s a creepy psychedelic song that builds to a crushing crescendo. Much of the rest of this album follows this formula of blending the soft with the heavy into a strange brew that is crushingly heavy and also strangely calming and meditative. The album chugs along at a medium pace for much of its duration and achieves that great paradox of Stoner Metal that is to sound huge and intense whilst also relaxing. This is attained through the repetition of simple melodies at a slow to medium pace. This isn’t a very exciting album, but that isn’t usually what the genre is all about.

Judging by the colourful album cover, I assumed this album would sound more “warm” than it does. Instead much of the music here is intentionally atmospheric and strange. The vocals are sparse to say the least, and mostly unintelligible, this being primarily an instrumental release; however the song titles such as “Death’s Face” “The Thing” and “Sleepwalker” give away the darker theme that fits the style present on the album. Legend has it that Black Sabbath decided upon their sound when going to see a horror movie and wondering if people would appreciate the same kind of atmosphere in a musical format; and in truth the music here has more in common with the dark, apocalyptic riffs of early Black Sabbath than it does with the desert rock of Kyuss. That is not to say the album is totally dark and dismal however, and admittedly it is more psychedelic than anything else. The songs plod along at a comfortable pace and feature a more open composition than the pop sensibilities of bands like Spirit Caravan and Orange Goblin. Unlike their contemporaries Om, who build a spiritual, meditative sound, this has more in common with traditional riff based Heavy Metal. This record sort of straddles the line between obvious throwback retro metal and the more modern approach of largely instrumental, atmospheric and avant-garde Stoner Metal with long and repetitive, drawn out song structures. Like a soundtrack to a 70s horror movie played with heavily distorted guitars, it’s creepy, atmospheric and psychedelic in all the right ways. I don’t think this kind of thing will win any converts to the genre, but this is really quite enjoyable to anyone who has the patience for this style of music. I can see myself listening to this release many more times over the coming months. An acquired taste, but a taste to savour.

3.9/5

Paul Gibbins