Sunday, January 30, 2011

Waxing Lyrical - Vinyl Review...

Wo Fat - Noche del Chupacabra (2011)

The kings of the riff are back, Wo Fat's Noche del Chupacabra is finally here! Now I've been waiting for this album since the day it was announced, so when it turned up on my doorstep on Tuesday I tore into the packaging with furious impatience. When ever I get this way about something I've been waiting for I almost always get sudden wash of worry flood over me. Theres always that underlying doubt that it wont live up to the expectations you've been dreaming up for the last god knows how many weeks...
Wo Fat's second release Psychedelonaut instantly became one of, if not my favourite album of 2009, and how could it not be? Huge storming riffs coming one after another and enthused with the all psychadelica and groove the title implies. So it makes me rather ecstatic to report that any niggling doubts I may have had were quickly extinguished within about 10 seconds of the needle touching down on the wax. Further more all expectations were promptly trumped from track to track. Nothing lets up for a second, all the now trade mark Wo Fat elements are still there. Mammoth lead guitar churning out epic riff after riff, fuzzed out bass and down tempo drums topped with Kent's echoing vocals. Just like Psychedelonaut every song so enormous its still hard to believe the band is only a 3 man operation.
My only mild disappointment is that unlike the last release there's no download card. A petty gripe really but still, I honestly cant rate this album high enough. It may only be January but I honestly cant see much on the horizon to knock this off the spot of my favourite album of the year. But like said when I posted about their previous album, if you don't believe me go find out for yourself! I promise, you wont regret it!

• Label: Nasoni Records

• Pressing Info: 500 copies - 400 Black & 100 Marbled Orange

• Price: £13 - £16

For Fans Of:  Dozer, Rainbows Are Free, Blowback, Weathers, Blackland

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Blues, Whole Blues and Nothing But The Blues...

The BarnburnersThe Raw Boogie EP (2001)
This was originally going to be one of, if not the first albums/EP I put up on here, but some how it slipped through the cracks. I will admit now this does not fit in to any stoner, doom or such like genres. Its entirely more bluesy than any previous posts, but it is however one of my go to albums to get my drink on to... coupled with the fact that the band was the forerunner to one of my favourite bands of all time.
The now defunct Ohio trio consisted of Jason Edwards, Kip Amore, and the one and only Dan Auerbach... who later went on to form The Black Keys. This was the only material the band ever released and although it does differ a fair amount from what he went onto do you'll instantly make out Dan's distinct guitar tone and voice. You can tell the guy grew up listening to the likes of John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolf. I always got the impression that there would never really be an all white true blues band that really captured the meaning of the genre. Like the late great George Carlin once said; "I'll tell you a little secret about the blues... Its not enough to know which notes to play, you gotta know why they need to be played." And dammit he was right.
The simple bass and drums lines generously give way to great guitar playing and perfectly fitting vocals that sound like they've come straight out of a gramophone during the 30's. 
I really love this little gem, so if you fancy something different and are partial to early Black Keys (especially the album Chulahoma), bluegrass or delta blues I urge you to dig this album out. 

For Fans Of; The Black Keys, Muddy Waters, Junior Kimbrough, Seasick Steve, Five Horse Johnson

Monday, January 24, 2011

Still Stoned...

StonebrideSummon The Waves (2010)
The second album from Croatia's Stonebride, the follow up to 2009's Inner Seasons. A pretty daunting task if you ask me. 
Their first release burst straight out the gates with huge doomy riffs and slow hypnotic vocals, giving the whole record a great atmosphere. Storming from fast grooved out guitars then slowing right down to crushing bass lines backing haunting vocals. 
This second offering almost follows upon the same lines but seems to lack a certain something that Inner Seasons had. The distant echo'y vocals are still there but the enormous churning riffs have given way to a more ambient tone which is prominent throughout the middle of every track. The entire style has basically been slowed down to the point where it just falls shy of being labeled sludge. 
A great stoner hangover album if ever I've heard one. Just don't expect the once familiar up tempo grooves and Black Sabbath song composition style that these guys originally started with.

For Fans Of; Sleep, Hollow Leg, Sungrazer, Samsara Blues Experiment, Mühr 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Psychedelic Metal From The East...

Earth Blow - Rollin' God (2006)
I'ld heard of Earth Blow for quite a while, but for one reason or another ild never got around to digging out any of their stuff. It was only really when Church Of Misery announced they had acquired new guitarist, Suto, that I really bucked my ideas up and did some research... Evidently ild been missing out for all theses years! 
Its tricky to try and explain this album as its filled with such an eclectic mix of sounds and speeds. Take the track Rampage for instance, sounding like a Japanese Motorhead covers band kicking seven shades of shit out of Fu Manchu... Now you see my dilemma. Each track is riddled with elements of stoner, garage, thrash, doom and desert rock, a strange concoction I agree, but it really does work and not even in a hit and miss way. Earth Blow really tried something new here and goddamn they pulled it off. 
The best broad description for the album I can really offer is; stoner riffs played at thrash/punk speeds done in a way only the Japanese know how. 
Now c'mon, who wouldn't wanna hear that?

For Fans Of; Boris, G.A.T.E.S, Unsane, Motorhead, Eternal Elysium

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Respecting Your Elders...

Elder - Self titled EP (2008)
Sleep really dominated to stoner doom scene the 90's with their unique brand of huge walls of storming bass riffs and distant wailing vocals, and it goes to show their influence still shines through. 
Listening to the track Riddle Of Steel, theres clearly evidence of inspiration taken from the likes of Electric Wizard and Helmet before abruptly breaking down into tones reminiscent of that on Sleep's Holy Mountain. The vocals aren't the highlight of the EP, but the mammoth fuzz of guitars which suddenly burst from slow doomy tones to desert rock riffs more than make up for it. The end product being a unique mix of influences spanning two decades. All in all fantastic release from a band im still desperate to hear more from.
Released by Electric Earth Records, the EP was pressed on limited editions of black (400 copies) and orange/red swirl vinyl (100 copies, long since sold out). 

For Fans Of; Sleep, Electric Wizard, Black Pyramid, Stonehelm, Dopefight

Myspace    iTunes

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blast From The Past...

Leaf Hound - Growers Of Mushroom (1971) 
Time for a bit of a flash back to 1971 for this cult classic. A lot, if not most stoner and psychedelic bands over the last 30 years owe a great deal to this record, and for good reason. Recorded in Mayfair, London in November 1970, Leaf Hound put together what would later become a relatively little known, yet hugely influential album.
Rumour has it that there were only about 500 copies of the original pressing (on Decca), a fair amount of which were retained by the band themselves. I cant confirm or deny exactly how accurate that is, but Im entitled to believe it as Ive been in search of this LP for nigh on 8 years and have only ever seen one copy in the flesh. One copy I may add which was firmly clasped in hands looking like what I can only describe as a death grip, and rightly so because despite the 2010 record collectors guide suggesting a price of around £900, Ive seen this album sell for a whopping £3600! Sounding almost like a collaboration between Mountain and Led Zeppelin the entire record oozes with a distinct feeling of dirty psychedelica. A truly great example of British rock from the era. It's just a shame the (original) band only lasted less than a year and didn't produce any more classics. But all's not entirely lost, back in 2004 Peter French re-imagined the band and in 2005 re-recorded Freelance Fiend which was later released as a 7" by Rise Above Records. If this isn't already a part of you're collection, dig it out! Vinyl reissues have been periodically released on Akarma Records and (I think) Repertoire Records.

For Fans Of; Cactus, Captain Beyond, Led Zeppelin, Sonic Flower, Wolfmother

Friday, January 14, 2011

Waxing Lyrical - Vinyl Review...

Electric Wizard - Black Masses (2010)
Its finally here! Yes Rise Above Records have finally begun shipping the Electric Wizard Black Masses diehard boxset.

I wont bother reviewing the whole album because its no doubt been done to death on a a lot of similar blogs, plus we all know what to expect from Wizard anywho.
Now this has become an instant holy grail esque collectors piece. It took (and yes, I actually counted) just three days to sell out when it first became available to pre-order back in November! Not that that's really a surprise to anyone, given that pretty much every single Wizard release flies off the selves faster than a blink of an eye. 
So what do you get for your bucks? A fair deal as it turns out. Not only do you get the gatefold double LP on 180g black vinyl (which is no different to the regular gatefold edition by the way) but you'll also find a nice little Crypt of Dracula comic, embroided patch and a huge poster containing boobs and bush and all presented in a nice solid glossy box. 
Not bad for just £35 in my opinion. In fact, if you've already got one on order, think of it as an investment because over the next week or so I reckon some of these will be on slapped eBay for at least double the original price.

• Label: Rise Above Records

• Pressing Info: Limited to 400 copies (All sold out)

• Price: £35

For Fans Of; Sleep, Ghost, Domo, Stonehelm, Dopefight

Myspace  •  iTunes

Black Masses (320kbps)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

From Russia With Doom...

Kamni (Kамни) - Selftitled EP (2010)
Do you ever wonder what Russians do when they're not drinking vodka, trying to kill James Bond or knocking the shit out of small boarding country? Well much to my amazement it appears they're hitting the bong and creating some awesome stoner doom! Who'd a thunk it? 
These guys were first brought to my attention when Robin mentioned them in his blog. Infact I was so impressed that this sort of stuff was coming out of somewhere like Russia it spurred me on to create this very blog you've stumbled upon and share it with as many people as possible. 
Formed in early 2010, Kамни (meaning 'Stone' in Russian by the way) got together as a three piece and soon knocked out this 6 track EP. Like most people who have heard it I was instantly blown away. Amazing stoner grooves infused with elements doom and a smattering of occasional spaced out prog all under toning scratchy samples and psyced out vocals. I cant help but think that if Electric Wizard had grown up and got together behind the iron curtain the result would have been somewhat similar. 

Check out their Myspace and download their epic EP for free, or follow the link below.

For Fans Of; Electric Wizard, Dopefight, Stonehelm, Black Pyramid, Dozer, 

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Trippy Texan Psychedelic Riffs At Their Best...

Wo FatPsychedelonaut (2009)
I just had to get this album up, not just because the guys have got a new album out within the next month or so, but because it was easily one of my favourite albums of 2009.
Its the second offering from Texas three piece, following up their first album The Gathering Dark and they've gone from leaps to bounds. 
Straight from the get go you can hear elements of all the classic oldschool acid/psychedelic influences from the 70's. The sonic waves of trippy background ambience, catchy pounding riffs all complimented by roaring vocals make this offering (in my opinion) one of the best stoner/psychedelic albums since the days of Captain Beyond, Leaf Hound and such like. A bold statement I know, but if you don't believe me (or even if you do) please, for christ sake check this album out for yourself! Out on Nasoni Records, you'd be mad not to pick it up on vinyl, especially if you're able to hunt down a copy of the beautiful red and green wax version (limited to just 100 copies).
If the forth coming album, Noche del Chupacabra is just half as good as this masterpiece the guys are onto a winner!

...What are you still waiting for?... Go on, go bloody get it!

For Fans Of; Nebula, Captain Beyond, Dozer, White Hills, Blowback

Website    Myspace    iTunes  

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Norwegians Take A Break From Black Metal...

Honcho - Battle Of Wits (2010)
I must admit their debut EP Evil Woman passed me by, but as soon as I heard the opening riff of Grebo Mentor on the album Corporate Rock I was instantly hooked. Like a clash of Fu Manchu and Clutch with intense and relentless distortion and distant vocals. This most recent offering equally hits the mark, albeit in a different way. A bigger way. Its hard to slot this album into a single genre. It still retains its stoner roots, but with an all round cleaner sound. Each track slides through a vortex of mixed influences and inspirations, ranging from an epic Alice In Chains sound with Zeppelin esque composition to the good old desert rock style so reminiscent of Kyuss and Yawning Man. It was a bold move and wether it paid off is ultimately at the discretion of who's listening. But for me, its still a winner... My only gripe however, it that its not available on vinyl... But... they have released it on a pretty novel Yakuza severed finger USB stick. So swings and round-a-bouts really.

For Fans Of; Kyuss, El Caco, Led Zeppelin, Yawning Man, The Desert Sessions

Myspace • iTunes  

Monday, January 03, 2011

Hooves In The Night...

Thunder Horse - Hurricane Bastard Features (2010)
Now, Im kind of obliged to put these guys up... Epic riffs, storming vocals and my best mates. So with no further ado, ladies and gentlemen I give you... Thunder Horse!
Hailing from Corby, UK and comprising of ex and current members of Raging SpeedhornViking Skull and Motorcity Daredevils, Thunder Horse first burst onto the local pub scene back in 2007. Quickly knocking out a 4 track EP then playing just 2 (yet well received) shows before promptly taking a 2 year hiatus. Slightly unorthodox I know, but something sure paid off in the long run. They stormed back into the studio re-recording the original EP tracks and laying down 5 new ones. I say 'studio', it was really a converted caravan. Recored, mixed and masters by the guys themselves the resulting in this epic offering aptly named Hurricane Bastard Features, and when you hear it you'll realise why.
If you're looking for stoned out insanely catchy, crushing riffs and howling vocals coupled with dark mystic undertones look no further. Or alternatively if you're just after songs about whiskey, trucking and dirty woman (and lets face it, who isn't?) then this album will certainly make your day.

For Fans Of; Orange Goblin, Viking Skull, The Sword, Dozer, Artimus Pyledriver 

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Well, Here Goes Nothing...

There's some really great stoner/psychedelic/doom blogs out there - StonerbixxxRobust Fellow and Insane Riez to name just a few. Hell, because of these guys my iTunes has doubled in bloody size.

So here's my attempt to give something back/jump on the band wagon, which ever way you want to look at it...