Friday, February 12, 2016

Riding The Star Lane...

giant gutter from outer space - set adrift EP (2015)

Coming to us from Brazil, this new project resulting from a team-up of two friends and musicians sets its sights on (as you might guess from the name) some spacy material.  With copious amounts of reverb, twang, and rolling rhythms, GGFOS combine technicality with atmosphere to great effect, delivering some near-dizzying arrangements of melody and chops.
Operating as a combo of bass and drums, the duo focus on assembling their pounding beats without the interference of vocal incorporation (or at least, if there were vocals, I was too floored to notice them), turning out stuff to which you can simply try to keep up while banging your head.  You probably won't be able to keep pace, but that's OK.  It's music that makes me ache to see it live, to feel the speaker output set my bones rattling and hear the tangents improvised between the performers in the heat of the moment.
It's a powerful release, even better when taken as their first set of material released to the listening public, and it really fires the imagination to consider where they might go from such a strong starting point.  Excellent stuff, and I'm sure I'll find the hooks from this EP caught in my ears for days to come.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Dead Hand, Hijo de la Tormenta, Reptensol, Sunken, Thomas Jude Barclay Morrison


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Banging Heads And Pulling Threads...

Escape Is Not Freedom - The Truants EP (2015)

This EP is the first release from this Chicago-based group, and as its five tracks show, they've tapped into something with some strong potential.  Part grunge, part sludge, part heavy rock, the songs power along on grimy bass riffs and rough vocals, drums providing a sharp counterpart to the thick waves pouring from the amps.
Running through four tracks in the 4-to-5-minute range, and then closing things out with the 8-minute monster of "Seed", the band shows a fair number of sides to their style.  Squealing harmonics, memorable riffs, some extra complexity/technicality without drifting into over-indulgence, and some serious rhythm control all come together as a damn fine debut, with plenty of twists filling out its run-time to call listeners back for more.  Picking out a single track to use as the streaming inclusion was a tough call, so I'll just go ahead and say that you really should give the whole EP a listen over on the BandCamp page.  Looking forward to hearing more from this crew and checking out how their sounds develop with subsequent material.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Behold! The Monolith, Buzzov•en, Funeral Horse, Reptensol, Skullcave


Sunday, February 07, 2016

Heady Vibes...

Honeymoon Disease - The Transcendence (2015)

In The Transcendence, Honeymoon Disease (named after a particularly vicious STD) have created a compelling and well-executed album that brings to mind numerous '70s rock bands (as practically all modern heavy rock bands do).  Perhaps more importantly though, they also sit perfectly alongside their musical peers in a modern music scene that enjoys a generous number of excellent female-fronted metal and rock bands.
The first band that came to mind when I listened to the album opener, "Higher", was the classic Dutch psych band Earth and Fire.  While Honeymoon Disease are less overtly psychedelic and more in a classic hard rock tradition, the organ-heavy opener had more than a little of the fruitful late '60s / early '70s psychedelic scene about it, whilst still sounding contemporary.
Another older group that came to mind was Lynyrd Skynyrd. 
Although less centered around jamming than much of the best-known Skynyrd, the energetic guitar soloing on a number of the songs here brought to mind moments of "Free Bird".  Honeymoon Disease also sit very comfortably alongside a number of comparable contemporary bands.  The retro psych rock of Electric Citizen and at times even the NWOBHM / doom crossover of The Oath is, if not particularly similar to Honeymoon Disease, then at least likely to appeal to fans of Honeymoon's impassioned boogie hard rock.
There are moments of psych on this record, but for the most part it leans more towards the danceable, energetic riff rock and even the occasional southern rock twang of Crazy Horse's frenetic country rock.  The result of these influences is a heady album of fun, easy to like rock 'n' roll.  It's not a game-changer of a record, but it's very hard to dislike and everything it sets out to do is done well.  Although it's not hard to compare this album to classics of the past, it's not derivative, and it's an enjoyable album from start to finish.
~ Martin

For Fans Of; Earth and Fire, Blues Pills, Lynard Skynard, Electric Citizen, Janis Joplin

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Friday, February 05, 2016

Live And Powerful...

Hijo de la Tormenta - En Vivo en Buenos Aires (20-06-2015) (2015)

Following up on their self-titled album (you can find our review for that here), Hijo de la Tormenta have this live EP featuring a pair of songs which, as you can tell from the title, were recorded on-stage in Buenos Aires.  Despite the brevity of the EP, HdlT put in a good showing,
The first of the two tracks is "El Abuelo", a song which tempers desert rock with some heavier inclinations, bringing drifting riffs in line with a sharp percussive edge while taking the main melody through several twisting turns.  A bridge of sustained feedback and a casual bass groove gives things time to simmer before the band launches back into faster territory, and the grimy climb towards the finish takes a mean turn before the bottom drops out.
"Alienación" takes things down a heavier road, with a spaced-out opening riff leading into hard-thumping beats and a sinister fuzz undertow.  Subdued rumblings build into a powerful wave of converging hooks, and as the guitar wails off over the rising rush, it's all good.  The two songs make for an EP which should have any fans of heavy music who hear it looking to find more from this talented group, and stoke anticipation for whatever their next release might be.  Don't skip over this one.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Frank Sabbath, Gripe, Mondo Drag, Persona, Weedpecker


Thursday, February 04, 2016

Ride The Tide...

Lint - Fleeting / Into the Tide (2015)

The Australian fuzz rockers of Lint are back to give their fans a treat with this pair of songs, which together constitute over a quarter of an hour's worth of psych-tinged desert vibes with a grungy edge.  Playing with strong energy and aggressive riffs, the trio of Lint show that they're still going strong after the release of their 2013 LP Existence (our review for which can be found right here), delivering some tasty grooves and mellow bridges put together with care.
Those who've been waiting for something new to emerge from the group since the album will be pleased by what's on display with these two songs, and while a larger release is (hopefully) on its way, there's enough replay value to these tracks that (as long as you don't leave it on loop) you shouldn't burn yourself out too soon.  Just let the band take you off on this rumbling trip, don't get freaked out when they start yelling, and you'll have a good time.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Alice in Chains, Hemptress, Hijo de la Tormenta, RHINO, Tuber


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Heady Blues Cruise...

Groggy - Turtle (2015)

The arrival of this album is one which I've been anticipating for quite a while, as Groggy have been on my 'personal favorites' list since the first time I heard their WooDoo EP (if you missed it the first time, you can find our review of that right here, and the one for their Deep Siberian Session here).  Happily, Groggy do not disappoint with this LP, and the near-hour of bluesy stoner heaviness finds them taking a wide range of approaches to their essential style.
From the off-beat start of "Hurricane" all the way to the 11-minute-plus closer "Electric Chair of Doom", Groggy fight against falling into a rut, throwing out curve-balls and unpredictable twists of sound without breaking flow.  Taking swings at metal hardness and more relaxed blues cruising, the duo of Max and Vitalii (and a few musical guests) keep things lively without stripping the real bluesiness out of the music.
If you haven't heard Groggy before, this is a hell of a place to begin (in a good way), and if you're already a fan of the band, Turtle will have you grinning wide.  You'll get to hear several different sides to their style, get a few tunes hooked in your ears, and get introduced to what is almost certainly the best Siberian stoner blues group there is (and if you've got a challenger for that title, by all means, let me know).  If you can pour a glass of vodka to complement the experience, all the better; just do yourself a favor and listen to these guys already.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Bomg, Danzig, Goya, The Munsens, Weedeater