Friday, August 31, 2012

Return Of The Beast...

Monster Coyote - The Howling (2012)

YES! Yes, yes yes!...
My favourite brutal metal trio have returned from the studio baring wonderful roaring gifts! That's right baby, Brazil's finest have returned with their follow up to last years blinding Stoner To The Boner and goddamn doe's it blow your hair back!
Remember the good old days when metal was straight to the point and there didn't seem to be some kind of competition to see who could jerk off the fret board the fastest? It was a simpler time, when bands concentrated more on producing brutal hard hitting metal and less on their image. Well this is well and truly a harking back to those times and it's exactly why I love Monster Coyote. Since their phenomenal debut they have always remained true to themselves and let the music do the talking. Hell, you only have to look at their promo videos or live recordings on YouTube to see that the guys are only interested in one thing - the music.
So what about the difficult follow up and how do you make a step forward from it? Well you don't, you step to the side. Why try and top something that was awesomely tight and pretty much hit the nail on the head the first time around? You don't of course, you try something a little different, you progress and move on, which is exactly what the guys have done. Don't worry, they've not jumped to the other end of the spectrum, they're not now making dubstep, or some other shite, no no they're merely shifted down a shade or two. The best way to think of it is probably in terms of Pantera and Down - change the sound a little but retain some of the key elements and create a whole new kind of beast. Where the first album brought a raw southern metal feel the new album rolls up with what can only really be described as colossal and tighter mix consisting of all the best elements of metal new and old, while all the time retaining the bands signature groove. Little hints of post metal shining through a thick heavy fog of balls to the wall heavy metal and sludge groove. It's hard, its heavy but most importantly it's unrelentingly brutal and charismatic. I know that sounds like an odd adjective to use when it comes to this kinda thing but when faced with torrents and torrents of poorly thought out and executed metal it really becomes a rare commodity to find.
It pains me so damn much that more people don't know of/don't get to hear this band because the fact of the matter is they piss, from a great hight, all over most other signed and well established metal bands out there. But I guess thats what makes them stand out for those who know them and I guess it also helps them avoid being corrupted and morphed into something they never intended to be.
The Howlin' is a pitch perfect progression to a mind blowing debut album, plain and simple and as my best mate Frank would say; "Heavier than a death in the family".
In Layman's terms; if you're not listening to this album you're f**king up.

For Fans Of; The Sword, Doomriders, Black Cobra, Zozobra, No Anchor

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pronounced; ...erm....

Gniyrg GnaargThe Acolytes Feel Sleepy (2012)

Gniyrg Gnaarg is a three piece band from Finland, and yeah, I have no idea how to pronounce their band name either, so lets call them Gnarly Gnaarg. Don’t worry, they have been quoted saying "You can pronounce it any way you wish, and it means absolutely nothing". Well, other than being the name of a ferocious troll." so there. Glory Glorg plays a mesmerising brand of metal reminiscent of Sabbath, with a hint of Om. The Acolytes Feel Sleepy Gloopy Glop gives us a three track demo that flows together as one song. The vocals are commanding and clean with a tinge of reverb hailing from a large hall. Normally when I hear a demo with clean vocals it's as if the band tracked everything and then they flipped a coin to see who had to 'sing' and I use that term as loose as 'gentlemen's club'. Not, Gloomy Turd though, as the vocals are what make this band and although I can’t understand a single thing, I can pretend even though they might just be reading the instructions on assembling a grill.
The instrumentation on this album is strong and clearly they have spent their time actually playing their instruments. Glitter Glock have previously been compared to Sleep, but I don’t see the southern groove in their music and I refrain from labelling this doom metal. Maybe if they tuned down, turned up the gain and had a more experienced mixer they would be dropped off into the doom cesspool as the riffage is spot on to lie in the muck.
~ Brett

For Fans Of; Black Sabbath, Om, Earth, Ghost, Kamni

Monday, August 27, 2012

Snakes…Why Did It Have To Be Snakes?

Snake Thursday - Cruise Mode (2012)

I was sitting around with some friends this weekend, just a regular hang out session- eating pizza while listening to music followed by jam sessions and video games in the band room. But while we were eating I put on this band “Snake Thursday” and it suddenly got very quiet as everybody in the room was attentively listening to the fuzzy riffs and crashing cymbals galore (we couldn’t listen to the bass much ‘cause we were playing it on my iPhone’s tiny little speakers). Then, I looked at one of my friends, pizza in hand, and said “Dude, we’re such stoners!” and of course, everybody in the room starts laughing. I really enjoyed this album, “Cruise Mode” has a very southern stoner foundation but with some definite metal and punk influences sprinkled on top. They execute a good conversion between fast punk chord blasting to laid back stoner rock riffs, all tied together by a great and uplifting vocalist. The mixing is pretty damn good, I can hear each separate instrument clearly and the playing styles each have different characteristics.
I’m nuts about this album cover, it’s so simple and yet so god-damn perfect! It’s all in a little detail in the middle of the image. I can’t believe I didn’t see it before, well, probably because I downloaded the album and put it in my iTunes, where the album covers get tiny little thumbnails. I’m not going to ruin it for those who haven’t paid attention, but it’s the definite cherry on the top of the sundae that makes the album name and cover art become one.
Snake Thursday’s Cruise Mode is available in their bandcamp page for free, so get while their hot!

For Fans Of; Orange Goblin, Dozer, Supertzar, Shock Absorber, Greenleaf

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blowin' Ya Mind...

Buzzmutt - Static In The Mind's Eye Chapter 1. (2012)

How come no one is ever Santa for Halloween? If I were a fat fuck I would be that every year, I mean how unconvincing is a fat batman or fat Dracula? Ever seen a vampire waddle? Buzzmutt is noise rock band out of Oakland California. I would more classify them as almost like the sound track to skate legend Tom Penny’s life. Buzzmutt has an endless bag full of tricks and has spent a lot of time experimenting with recording. Probably drugs too. If you are sick of sitting in your apartment tripping to Pink Floyd, then tear down that Bob Marley poster throw this record on and burn one while staring at your popcorn ceiling. Static In the Mind’s Eye flows together like a good trip, slowly morphing into chaotic parts that are torn to shreds by upbeat riffage, only to return to the ether of layered sound. The rhythm section totally kills it and while the guitar meanders and breaks up the pounding rhythm, it creates a layer that isn’t just some dick head jerking his solos off.

For Fans Of; Mr Bungle, Psychedelics, Effects, Jams, Reveb

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Prime Cut...

Steak - Disastronaught (2012) 

It's been a little while since we've been sent a real bare bones kick ass desert/southern rock band. So when I stumbled upon these it's pretty safe to say I was anticipating something a little special and ya know what?... I wasn't disappointed too!
So whats on the menu (yes, pun entirely intended) with these guys then? I'll tell you exactly what; huge fuzzy Nebula inspired riffs, John Garcia esque yelled vocals and some crushing drumming that would Brant Bjork would be proud to put his name too. So all the boxes on my list for some ass kicking rock n roll are checked, but does it all actually work together? After all, these guys are a long way from the Palm Desert scene to be incorporating these kinda elements and that could be deemed as quite a ballsy move if they can't back it up with a certain substance. Well when you bare in mind that the album may only be 5 tracks long Steak have still managed to pack as full with diversity and awe as any classic desert rock classic you'd care to mention, whether it be Blues For The Red Sun or Rock Formations. Yeah thats one hell of a bold statement, but you have a listen to the album and how it flows and transgresses from an echoed harmony to ferocious fret crushing groove and tell me I'm not right.
I'm not going to say anymore about the album because it truly needs to be heard to be appreciated. Plus it's free so what the hell are you waiting for!?
The guys are also currently doing the rounds on the UK circuit with the titans that are Truckfighters, so if you can please go check them out live. I'm sure you wont leave disappointed.
For Fans Of; Nebula, Causa Sui, Unida, Artimus Pyledriver, Roadsaw

Monday, August 20, 2012

Doom'ier Than Tho...

Atriarch - Forever The End (2011)

Walking home from the bar Thursday night in the rain, all that liquor helped me to get rid of the shit I had eaten the past few days, Pei Wei, Chipotle, and pizza greasier than that dude with the shitty scum stache and big forehead. I felt so much better. Atriarch is a slow moving stonewall that reaches into the clouds that constantly pounds your spirit into the ground while you sift through the muck. Remember what it felt like to have dry feet? No. Forever the End moves at a staggering pace reminiscent of Asunder. The vocal styling is divided into two parts, the more prominent and painful one comes from deep within that ancient church made of human remains. His painful sorrow echoes throughout the hallways unsure of where exactly they are coming from, assuming it isn’t coming from the human brick and mortar from past centuries. The Angrier half can be heard from the bottom of his cave where he came from. Shrill Goblin rants reinforce the solemn yet steady bones, that remind us how much hate flows through, almost trying to remind his other side that it’s not okay. The sparse use of electronic/maybe really heavy guitar effects and the piano at the bottom of the cellar really put a nice finish on the album. Apparently when a girl rubs your back while you heave up that orange chicken and your puke splashes her legs doesn’t mean she wants to touch your wiener, even if you have a down comforter.
Check out Seventh Rule Records for a hard copy or even better... Vinyl!
~ Brett

For Fans Of: Neurosis, Asunder, Graves at Sea, Swans, Caufield

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Furious Finish Funk...

Mojo Waves - Enjoy, Don't Destroy (2012)

We've bombarded you with the more heavier, fuzzier and down right angrier side of our tastes these last few days so now's the time for something from the other end of the spectrum. In fact it doesn't really get much further to the other side of the spectrum as far as we go.
So from the icy depths of Finland, please prepare your ears for a sonic battering of what I can only really describe as psych-garage-punk! Anarchic almost disjoined grunge isn't usually my go to choice when flicking through my LP's or iTunes and I will openly admit that at first Enjoy, Don't Destroy baffled and confused me some what. But after a couple of listens something just clicked and it quickly grew on me. The roots of the EP feel pretty firmly implanted in punk persuasion, but throughout the three songs you're constantly battered with a plethora of influences and sounds, ranging from a hardcore composition to splashes of southern rock, psychedelica and mainstream 90's rock. It's almost like punk masquerading as good old funk. Maybe not exactly Bootsy Collins playing Black Flag bus you get my jist. Sure, I cant see it buzzing everyone but I urge you to give it at least 3 listens and see if anything changes. Failing that, hit up the link below and listen to the bands first EP Introducing Mojo Waves, the sound's a little different and may just sway you back on side. If all else fails then, hell, just cut your losses and come back in a couple of days when we'll have more delights waiting for your approval.

For Fans Of; The Pixies, The Raconteurs, The Subways, Melt Banana, The Grand Astoria

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Look In The Sky... It's Doom...

Ladybird - Demo (2012)

I remember watching this documentary about the rock underground scene in America from the 70’s to present day, and this one guy gave an explanation of what exactly is “Doom”? And he explained it as “a gut, like, a real, visceral, uh, emotional pull, something that’ll make you cry!” I think that Ladybird is a prime example of what he was talking about. I found that Ladybird, a doom metal band coming from Phoenix, Arizona, was strangely appealing to me, and the fact that this is really the first doom band that I’ve truly enjoyed listening to, deserves some recognition. I think that these guys were able to demonstrate a functional mix between stoner music and doom by having a combination of slow and brutal riffs played out by extremely fuzzy guitars, a slow to mid-tempo drum beat driven by crashing cymbals, a ground-rumbling bass and of course, demon-like screaming. Usually, these musical elements can make me want to turn the music off, but Ladybird has done an excellent job in introducing me into the genre.
As you guys must already know by my other reviews, I love good intros, and Ladybird has some killer introductions to every one of their songs. Whether it’s a simple riff played by one instrument in a cleaner tone, or if it’s ear-wrenching feedback (in a good way, of course), Ladybird knows how to get a listener’s attention, and my appreciation. Because this album is merely a demo for something greater that is yet to come, I can excuse its iffy mixing, but what they have accomplished really shows commitment and potential in the music they’re making

Check these guys out on their bandcamp page and, if possible, show them some support by paying a little money for this sweet demo.

For Fans Of; Iron Monkey, Sourvein, Raging Speedhorn, Dopefight, Gurt

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Filthy Bastards...

Mudbath - Red Desert Orgy (2012)

We're gonna grind it down a gear or two today and give you some good ol' churning sludge. Some gritty almost post metal French sludge to be more precise... Not something you hear everyday eh? But don't be alarmed with the unorthodoxy of such a combination because once again we've been sent a wonderful little gem!
Stepping away from the almost cliché state of the sludge genre Mudbath have mixed things up a little with this 22 minute offering. The gelling together of the usual aspects of down tuned slow churning riffs and tortured vocals is there for sure, but with a little taste of something else, most noticeably a sense of classic Saint Vitus esque doom and even a touch of Aaron Turner style post metal in places. Think of an Old Man Gloom 45 being played at 33 1/3 - crushing yet strangely withdrawn. It's fantastically heavy and creepily crushing all at the same time. Anyone who digs their dirty doom a little on the strange side is gonna love this.

For Fans Of; Eyehategod, Buzzov*en, Melvins, Torche, Norma Jean

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Quite Before The Storm...

Serenity Broken - Commercial Suicide (2012)

Isn’t it weird when an album’s cover art already sets your expectations for the music in said album? Well, that’s how I felt when I first saw the cover of Serenity Broken’s newest release Commercial Suicide, and here I really liked the fact that the art and the name of the album go along with each other. Unlike other bands where I don’t even understand the band name, and let alone the cover art. But that’s enough about the visuals, let’s talk about the music. This was a tough album to review, because as I was listening to it, I thought that maybe my computer was switching the tracks by itself, between a modern and cool rock song to slipknot-like metal riffs. When I saw that my computer was fine, and that my metal-head friends weren’t hacking it, I was twice as happy to see that these guys from Athens have seamlessly and successfully blended the two genres of hard rock and metal together. After listening with some more attention, I saw that the entire band was really dynamic in terms of song (and genre) structure: during the hard rock parts, the vocals are gritty, southern, and at times laid back, kind of like a mixture of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and the lead singer of Nickelback, the guitar is reverbed and distorted with uplifting chord progressions and the drums are cymbal-driven. Then, in the metal parts, everything switches around: the vocalist screams like a maniac (in some of the songs), the guitar goes into a reverb-less craze of single-note metal riffs, and the drummer “kicks out” the double bass pedal. Again, it was hard to review this album because of these switches between styles, but I do think that this is the main thing that made it stand out among the rest. And, I don’t remember having heard any other bands from Athens before, so Serenity Broken definitely sets the bar high for whatever bands to come out of Greece in the future.
Well, despite the name of the album, these guys aren’t killing themselves commercially because you have to pay 5 euros or more for their album. But if you have some extra money laying around, they have some other deals available whether you want to download or buy the actual CD and possibly get a cool t-shirt.

For Fans Of; Metallica, Black Label Society, Corrosion Of Conformity, Black Stone Cherry, Shock Absorber

Friday, August 10, 2012

There's A Storm Brewing...

Dust Storm Warning - Self Titled (2012)

Ooooooh I love, love, love this album!
Sure, I've not exactly buried the lead with that opening sentence but I may as well put it on front street straight away. I will also admit that I'm a little late to the party with this one too. I got dropped a line by the guys at Acid Cosmonaut Records back in May but for some bloody reason Google decided to chuck said message straight in the spam folder. Grrrrrrrr! None the less, here we are now, so better late than never.
So why exactly do I love this album? Well a few reasons to be honest, but primarily because it's sounds like Red Fang playing Nebula's Let It Burn album. An oh so sweet mix southern rock elements like gritty vocals and unforgiving riffs merged with that classic desert rock ethos, conjuring up images of dirty, hairy rockers playing dark and grimy bars along a dusty deep south highway. Yeah that image maybe slightly misguided, but hell, thats the mental picture that appears in my head when I hear the high octane opening riffs from key tracks like Monkey Woman and Outrun. The album isn't an all out balls to the wall rock fest though. What the chaps excel in when is comes to furious riffs, bass lines and vocals they can more than match with their ability to produce some wonderfully sombre instrumental tracks and jams. As the album progresses the songs Dune, Sherpa and Wasteland offer a well pitched and timed alternate feeling to the whole experience. Whats more, the guy's execution from start to finish is totally spot on. All genres and subgenres tend to have a deep seeded geological location attached to them whether it's west coast punk, desert rock or southern rock. So a real testament to a band is how well they can truly capture that genres spirit and essence when they're on the oposite side of the globe. This is where DSW really earn themselves bucket loads of kudos because I really don't think that a single person would listen to this album then guess that the guys actually hail from Italy. Even I initially set their tag below to USA, before actually having the good sense to double check. This may not exactly be a compliment to some, but what ever way you look at it DSW took a swing a the desert rock ball and off the back of these 11 tracks alone I think its pretty safe to say they've knocked it out the park.
~ Jay

For Fans Of; Kyuss, Orange Goblin, Wo Fat, Dukes Of Nothing, Artimus Pyledriver

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

They Came From Outer Space...

Los Asteroide - EP (2012)

When listening to Los Asteroide I definitely feel like I’m riding on the back of a comet in an interstellar trip across the cosmos. Usually space-like music turns me off because it makes me feel kind of lost, but with Los Asteroide, it works because of the energy that’s put into the music and because of its concise and tangible blues, hard rock and stoner influences. Los Asteroide is an instrumental psychedelic stoner rock band, they sound like a diverse Radio Moscow if they themselves were an instrumental band. By diverse, I mean they have a great balance between the slow psych parts and their fuzzed out heavier riffs even within one song. Although it doesn’t quite reach the level of heaviness that bands like Sonic Flower or Karma to Burn have, Los Asteroide definitely stands out among these other bands because of this balance. Los Asteroide hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina, I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard something bad come out of those parts as far as music, and since I come from Brazil, I can relate with their fight to keep the classic style alive among the popular music of today.
I ended up doing some research and found that these bands with long stoner rock songs are inspired heavily by what people used to call “rave-ups” back in the day, as opposed to the modern “raves”. Here’s what a rave-up is: think of a band you like, on average the length of the songs they play are just around 3 minutes, right? But they have one song that deviates from that because it’s 10 minutes long or so, correct? (if you answered “no” to these questions just carry on reading the review, it’s not like you were gonna win a prize anyways). That one song (or songs) that the band plays for longer than usual, whether it’s live, in studio or both, is called a rave-up. What Los Asteroide (and many others) does is that they take the elements of long song length and the solo/riffage of the classic rave-ups to create these long instrumental jam-like songs.
Their album is up for free download on their bandcamp page, so feel free to indulge in this cosmic adventure just like I have.
~ Bernardo

For Fans Of; Astra, Ivy Garden of the Desert, The Heavy Eyes, Radio Moscow, At Devil Dirt

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Sludge From The Swamp...

Compel - Self Titled (2012)

Two piece bands often have a pretty good track record across the genres; Black Keys, White Stripes, Winnebago Deal, all churned out some quality tunes. But you don't often get a doom/sludge duo trailblazing and grabbing the genre by the balls. Well, until not at least because Compel are pretty much poised to fill this niche.
Calling upon the power of the groove, tainted with fuzz and distortion Joe and Tim have managed to carve out 40 plus minutes of fantastically varied yet comfortingly familiar dirty sludge-come-post metal. By keeping the tempo up for the majority the chaps have been able to harness the chugging and still keep the whole record unique, resulting in a kind of Isis minus Aaron Turner kinda vibe. Throwing some classic doom style licks into the mix at appropriate points really pays off too because just when the whole thing feels like its grinding to a gritty slow ending the surprise riffs breathe in new life and carry the tracks on to the end. This is something that even the most seasoned of bands fails to often do, so credit where its due, the guys have managed circumnavigate the usual pot holes that for me so regularly ruin my listening experience. If you have even the vaguest of interests in the likes listed below you'll really dig this little South Carolina due!

For Fans Of; Sleep, Cough, Windhand, Comus, Mountain Witch

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Fuzzy French Fury...

Lahius - Selftitled (2012)

Don’t you just love it when a song builds up from just one guitar until the whole band is bursting with fuzz and awesomeness? Well, I sure as hell do and “Lahius” displays a fine example of that in their opening track “How Much” of their album “st” from Stress Records. Intros like this one always get my heart racing; it makes the song increasingly evolve into the groove as if it was all in a jam session. As for the album in its entirety, it’s top of the line stoner rock, with up-beat and aggressive desert rock tracks; but interestingly enough, the band also approaches a stoner doom style with the second song m, “Bluesness” and its slow and spectacularly chugging riffs. Although, these guys do manage to throw in a few notes that just fall short of being in the right blues scale to give it a slight modern doom feel to every song. The vocal style in this album is rough as the singer really is more of a yeller, and occasionally a screamer; it sounds a bit like a mix of Skrogg’s and Superheavygoatass’s lead vocals, brutal yet very enjoyable and uplifting. The combination between the gritty vocals, the extremely fuzzy guitars and heavy bass suits the stoner rock musical style perfectly. Essentially, this album makes me want to grab my guitar and play along until I can’t stand up right, and then play some more.
I am yet to be disappointed by a modern rock band coming from France like these guys, another great example would be The Socks, but I’ll talk about them some other time (fear not, both these bands sing in English). It seems that most rock bands coming from countries other than the US tend to heavily focus their influences on the 60’s and 70’s hard rock we know and love, while most American musicians right now are trying to invent something completely new. Unfortunately, a lot of these new musicians are forgetting what an actual riff is; instead they simply rely on feeble chord progressions. But using old elements like blues scales and riffs in new music is what stoner rock is all about, and I’m proud to see that there are still people out there that have the musical mind-set and ideas of artists past. Long live the riff!
Feel free to check these guys out at their bandcamp page, and download their album available for the total of…whatever you want to pay, even if that means nothing at all. But remember, these guys need to eat, so be generous and give them some money.
~ Bernardo

For Fans Of; Valley of the Sun, Turbowolf, Greenleaf, Top Dead Celebrity, The Socks