Saturday, May 19, 2018

Sun Baked Treats...

Groggy - ...in the Land of Sunshine (2018)


The last time we covered my favorite Russian band here on TBB was back at the start of 2016, to review Groggy's release of the Turtle LP. Though they've had a couple of releases since then, this EP makes for a nice point at which new-comers to the group's heavy stoner metal can jump in and check out what they're about, or just some extra enjoyment for existing fans. Opening track “IFLNTS” throws some wild, almost punkish intensity into that metal base, bashing hard and riding a fast-rolling groove through to the end. “TAAB” kicks in with a clear and savory riff, leading to funky string warbling and deeper rocking that keeps sinking further into heaviness. Lastly, “DSOTWE” leads the way out with a crunchy cook-up of chords, cymbals, and crashing drums, slowing fading out into a sizzling psychedelic wash. Tasty stuff from start to finish, and just as fun as it is heavy.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Bomg, Hot Knives, The Munsens, Weedeater, Wounded Giant




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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Lost In Smoke...

Hot Knives - Static Bloom (2018)


With this debut EP, the Brooklyn-based trio of Hot Knives offer up three tracks of bleary psych rock, taking cues from an audibly wide range of influences while coating it all together with big slatherings of fuzz. And by just riding the grooves where they might go, HK effectively evoke the feel of '70s psych bands without it feeling even close to the clumsy aping that most retro-psychers fall into with their efforts. They're not hung up on being 'pure psych,' but like the originals, they're willing to mix in some punk rawness, some bluesy soulfulness, straight-up rocking, and whatever else does service to the songs.
True, it's a pretty quick experience, just barely breaking a quarter of an hour, but the band maintains quite a high level of quality with impressive consistency through that run, which is just what you want to make happen with your first release. On top of that, there's enough depth to the tangles and snarls of grooving to keep follow-up listens engaging, so if you dig some psych rock with real life behind it, hit up their BandCamp page to grab a copy for yourself, and throw them some spare cash if you want to hear more from the group in the future.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Frank Sabbath, The GTVs, The Heavy Co., MC5, Purge Solenoid




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Saturday, May 05, 2018

Rising From The Depths...

Spine Chilling Breeze - Estrus, Humidity and Other Addictives (2018)


It's been six years since the Greek band Spine Chilling Breeze released their debut album (plus a promo before that, which our man Jay covered back in the day), and in that time, the group disbanded, reunited, and put out a single to show that they were still alive.   Now their second LP has arrived, and with its seven songs, the band packs some lively heavy rock in, blending the bluesy roots with hard rhythms and rough attitude while playing up the riffs and rowdiness.
At just over half an hour, it's a quick run, but that fits the energy of the music, while also letting SCB bounce around, flavor-wise, without it feeling too disruptive to the flow of the album as a whole.  Pedaled-up guitar, clear drums, troweled-out bass, and vocals that jump from growls to howls are all in the mix, and while it doesn't always hit square on, there's enough liveliness and enthusiasm coming through that it doesn't really matter all that much.  The essential spirit is there, and as long as you're in search of straight-forward rock, this'll scratch your itch.  Here's hoping this gets SCB the ears they need to put out another full-length before six more years have passed.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Clutch, La Chinga, Queens of the Stone Age, Sedated Angel, Sheavy




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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Bloody Prescription Label...

Black Box Warning - Attendre La Mort (2018)


Hailing from France, the sludge three-piece of Black Box Warning makes their debut with this five-track EP, which features different dosage increments (e.g., “4 mg”, “2 mg”) for each of the track titles. Kicking off with “5 mg”, the group swings out a heavy bass presence before laying in the raw-sounding belts of growling and gnarled guitar. Tight handling of the riffs and concentrated spikes of impact show the band keeping their song focused on harsh but controlled delivery, and they keep that up with the tracks which follow, unfolding a set of dirty lungers while spine-tingling tone disruption and generally grimy atmosphere fill in the space between wrathful outbursts.
Though it all comes off as something you'll have heard before if you've listened to more than a handful of sludge albums, BBW pulls it off with earnest commitment and solid handling of the nuances, bringing a liveliness to the down'n'dirty maneuverings that helps lend believability to the usual misanthropic posturing that goes with the genre. It sounds mean, which is a big chunk of making sludge work to begin with, so as long as they keep that up while developing stuff like more memorable riff-hooks on their follow-ups, they should be well-poised to deliver even filthier barrels of bass and rage.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Attalla, Blacksmoker, Doperider, Dopethrone, Grey Widow




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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Slow, Dark, and Hazy...

Ancient Lights - Ancient Lights (2018)


With their self-titled debut album, the three-piece of Ancient Lights (bringing together members of 5ive, Ramesses, and Switchblade) showcase their heaviness through almost ninety minutes of powerfully atmospheric doom. Primarily instrumental, and operating mainly off of the guitar/bass/drums foundation, the songs tend towards forms of slow build-up and gradual erosion around central riffs, with tone and technique savoring providing the bulk of the enjoyment. Lances of guitar feedback and slams of crashing bass augmented by cymbal clangs, slow plows of string reverberation and counter-play, and keening wails coaxed from the instruments are plied into a massive set of slabs, the sort of thing to let play while you get more and more dazed on your substance of choice, or just the music alone.
Judging the overall flow of the album is difficult, not just because of its sheer size, or the semi-hypnotic effect of the music, but also because it drifts along with such ungrounded freedom that remembering whether a given chord strain went to this track or that is like trying to sift out specific grains of sand from a wall-sized dune. It's enjoyable, no doubt, and powerful to boot, but it really is the sort of album to have to spend some time with to just to be able to confidently pick out distinct portions and hold them in mind. Are those really recurring progressions, or have I slipped into a daze? That sort of thing. If you can dig channelings of pretty potent doom into almost entirely instrumental beams, don't miss out on this album. It's due out July 6th, so mark your calendar and prepare your ears.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Jupiterian, Ksyatriya, Lustmord, Major Kong, Neptune Towers




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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Rumble Road Revisited...

The Death Wheelers - I Tread On Your Grave (2018)


The last time we featured the Death Wheelers here on TBB was back in 2016, when we checked out their split with Witchstone on Sunmask Records. With this new album, the Wheelers are popping up on RidingEasy Records, a name which should be pretty familiar to regular readers, and the Canadian crew have put together eleven cuts of dirty, doomy rock, feeling like a strong blend of several '70s staples. From the sex-hunting hard rock to biker panic films (and their soundtracks), on through the early days of heavy metal and emergent atomic nihilism, hearing the songs of this album is like having a dope 'n' whiskey cocktail poured in your ear through a black denim funnel.
Is there fuzz? Yeah, and plenty of it, but behind that, the band is pushing riffs so fast you almost won't register how hooky they are until you catch your head bobbing right along to the bass slams, hi-hat rides, and hard drum fills. Scatter in a nice selection of samples presumably pulled from favorite films of the group (plus that old hoot, Rock: It's Your Decision), and you've got a solid bout of heavy rock set to soundtrack your next smoke session. And if the mood takes you, you can even try to piece together the story told over the course of the tracks, which involves undead bikers, cross-country riding, and plenty of debauchery. If that all sounds good to you, mark May 11th on your calendar as a day to have some spare cash set aside to pick up your own copy, or go ahead and pre-order one at the Wheelers' BandCamp.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Acid Witch, Chronobot, Lightsabres, Salem Mass, Strange Broue




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