Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Soundtrack To Whiskey Shots & Burnt Rubber...

Burning Full Throttle ~ No Man's Land (2013)

 Burning Full Throttle is a 4 piece Garage/Stoner Rock band straight out of a dirty garage in Hungary that formed in 2005, but went on hiatus shortly there after only to go back to work in 2010. Now in 2013 they've re-emerged with "No Man's Land", 8 tracks that bring to mind biker bars and muscle cars instantaneously.
The opening track, "The One to Blame", opens up like a Stoner Rock classic should, with shredding distorted guitars. The opening riff reminds me heavily of bands like Fu Manchu and Artimus Pyledriver, with the whole thing being ripe to be used in a cinematic car chase. The next track "No Man's Land" would seem to be the prefect title track, it fully encompasses the sound of the band and manages to fit all of that into a single song. Opening up with a slightly fuzzed Blues riff, which is quickly joined by a swinging rhythm section, and some oddly melodic, dirt-road vocals. This one is truly a headbanger all the way through. The third track on the album, and my favorite off the whole thing is entitled "The Flight". It opens up with a killer riff, that quickly escalates into a heavy Southern Rock song, with those same melodic, gravel filled vocals, belting out a catchy as hell chorus. Now, those are just the first three tracks, the rest are equally as good, even if some such as "Downtown Paradise" and "Why" take a different approach to the same formula, super fuzzy guitars, in the true spirit of Stone Rock, with cleaner vocals than the earliest parts of the album.
Now, according to the band there will be CDs available sometime, but until then you can check out their down and dirty album over on their Soundcloud, where it's streaming in full. You can also head over to their blog for any updates. This release should make a pretty good party album for all of those upcoming New Years get togethers, play it loud enough and you can even drown out all of those annoying drunks.

For Fans Of; Blind Dog, The Glasspack, Orange Goblin, Artimus Pyledriver, Behold! The Monolith, 


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Creation And Destruction...

Shivas Nat - Hard To Breathe (2013)

There's a new album from Shivas Nat, and as the cover art might lead you to guess, psychedelia figures rather prominently in its flow. Hard To Breathe starts off slowly, with the 11-minute Shape Of My Soul, which slowly winds itself up before uncoiling into the rest of the tracks. After that introduction, there's I'm Alive, a fuzzed-out body-shaker that rips out some wild-eyed grooves before making way for the next song. Lullaby is probably the gentlest track (naturally), but even here, Shivas Nat allows the fuzzy, stretched-out guitar chords to remain dominant. Dragonodyssey revs the energy right back up to their previous levels, though the stoned sense of sedation lingers on, and the electric organ gets quite a workout over the course of the song. You starts throttling the engine back down to cruising levels, before the comparatively short Weight brings things to a close. If you like your psychedelic rock thick, fuzzy, and with plenty of audible blues influence, be sure to grab a copy of Hard To Breathe; you can find one (assuming the stock isn't sold out yet) over at Kozmic Artifactz
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Eternal Elysium, Blue Cheer, Brimstone Coven, Moon Curse, MC5

Bilocation Records FacebookBilocation Records BandCamp

Dragonodyssey (128 kbps)


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Awesome Mr. Powerwolf Rides Again!

Awesome Mr. Powerwolf ~ "Wake Up EP" (2013)

The Awesome Mr. Powerwolf is a 5 piece Retro/Blues Rock band from Copenhagen, Denmark. You may of heard of these guys way back in 2008, when they released a rough demo entitled "Let's Make it a Friday", but soon became inactive after that, but now they're back with a vengance, after adding three new members in 2012, with their first proper release of the four song EP "Wake Up".
The title track "Wake Up" is what starts us off, and it immediately kicks in with twin guitars going full steam ahead, '70s style. Everything about this track screams Classic Rock, but in a sleeker, newer packaging, and it's not a bad thing. The second track "Blackout" opens up with the same sort of trademark twin guitar attack, and toe tapping riff. This one has an almost Sabbath tinge to it though, just around the edges, which is more than enough to make a song killer. Probably my favorite of the four tracks, the next song "Love" starts off in a slightly more Southern Rock fashion than the first couple, with a much more Blues influenced riff and vocal delivery accompanied by a plodding bass and drum groove. This song is one of those that you don't mind listening to a few times in a row, from the awesome riffs, to intricate, distorted and clean solos, there's nothing to dislike about it.
All in all, it's a really solid EP and first release, with each song having it's own different sound, vibe if you will, and it leaves that taste in your mouth for more. Then with just 3/5 band members just joining last year, it really is amazing how tightly this band plays, excellent musicianship is a given, but it's hard to replace what seems like good group chemistry. Now, to sweeten the deal just a little, head over to their bandcamp and get the EP in a name your price deal, you have nothing to lose and a killer piece of music to gain.
For Fans Of; Witchcraft, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Zed


Monday, December 16, 2013

Puff, Puff, Stir...

BongCauldron - BongCauldron EP (2013)

Lazy Monday mornings call for some intense stoner metal, is what I always said. This week's fine offering comes from the fine fellows in BongCauldron, a trio from Leeds who will unleash their killer EP on the world next month. A speed bag-paced trip mastered by the band in what I imagine was a hazy dungeon of six-foot-tall standing bongs and naked women, BongCauldron possess the sound of veteran acts that have put the genre on the map, but add a bit of toughness that blends with the music well.
Right from the get go, you are brought into familiar stoner territory with "Tree Wizard." A long tone of feedback opens the track and quickly lends itself over to heavy riffs and noisy drums. However, once the vocals of bassist and guitarist Corky and Biscuit kick in, the sound jumps into another realm. The gruff, raspy barks and equally harsh backing vocals work perfectly around the lyricism of the song, as well as serve as a nice dichotomy with the hellacious and blistering solos sprinkled throughout the track.
"Pissed Up," presented as somewhat of a single off of the EP, clearly wears the pants on the album, smashing through your speakers like a battering ram against a door in a drug raid (the humanity!). Breakdowns and booming chords are the norm here and are unrelenting. Staying away from the chug-a-lug formula that would serve so simply on such a song, the band instead adds moments of slow build-ups and sludgy segues that hit your chest and rattle around your ribcage for a while.
Blast metal elements pop up in tracks "Vehemence" and "Gauze Rite," creating thrash masterpieces on either side of the lengthy "Gimp Jig." Probably paying the most homage to classic stoner metal stylings, "Gimp Jig" transitions between thick guitar and amp pops as slowly as rising smoke. The vocals scale back just a little here and see a bit more of a sing-song pattern, albeit with a hardened exterior. Not failing to show off their talents as musicians, the band also puts their best solo efforts and chord progression to the forefront at various points, sometimes overlapping and never taking their foot off the accelerator.
Seeing as 2013 is just about over, do yourself a favor and make BongCauldron the first great stoner opus you listen to in 2014. Those interested in a physical manifestation of the EP (gatefold CD) can pre-order it here. Those who pre-order will also receive an immediate and free download of "Pissed Up." Those wishing to just check it out right this fucking minute can head over to Terrorizer for a full, exclusive stream.

For Fans Of; Bongzilla, High On Fire, Unpersons, Salem's Pot

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hail the Uberlith!...

Menhir ~ Uberlith II (2013)

 Hailing from under a monolith in The Netherlands, Menhir brings us their second offering of "Uberlith II EP", which is slated to be released tomorrow (12/13/13). Now, this isn't your typical Stoner Rock band, with double the bass players, they're just as fuzzy and heavy as your mother, but a lot cooler. These guys take the formula for Stoner Rock, then start adding in some Southern flavouring on top of the gravel filled vocals that sporadically come in some songs, while others are simply awesome stoner riffs with audio samples put on top. Comparisons with Stoner Rock heavyweights like the Truckfighters and Kyuss come to mind quickly once the EP starts up.
It opens up with "Mt. Aloha" and after about 45 seconds, you're assaulted with the twin attacks of absolutely blistering drums and fuzz bass riffs. Aside from the super heavy Stoner Rock jam, the audio clip accompanying all of this fuzz filled heaviness seems to meld very well, not something I'm always a fan of, especially not the midsts of a song. They use the samples almost as vocals, interlacing them throughout the entire track, and for one reason or another, it seems to work flawlessly for me. The next track "Buttcake" is a super heavy anthem of sorts, it starts with a solitary bass riff and then blasts into the same sonic assault as the first track, and more audio clips but this time with a howling chorus to accompany them. The bass groove in this one is absolutely killer, especially the solo towards the end of the track. My only real complain about this whole release is that it's just too short, I was left wanting even more.
Now, it isn't out yet, but I'm sure you'll be able to pick it up over at the group's bandcamp page where you can stream the first track "Mt. Aloha", also have one of the best, proper Stoner Rock videos of the year up over at youtube, so go give that a view or two while you're waiting for tomorrow to roll around.

For Fans Of; Truckfighters, Kyuss, 1000 Mods, Fu Manchu, Lowrider


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Space On Earth...

The Mighty Progerians / OMSQ - Vertigo (2013)

This split EP is the third release from Belgium's Antée Records, and it brings quite a mix of styles into play between the two bands present. The Mighty Progerians have the A-side, with a three-part track (The Earth Is Flat / M.O.R.E. / Vertigo) that glides from one musical style to the next, blending elements selectively from sludge, post-core, desert rock, and a dash of jazz. OMSQ go with the 'one long song' approach, presenting Glass Eye Contact as their representative piece, with all of its glimmering keyboard noises, thrumming strings, and carefully-controlled build-up of energy; there's a fairly heady prog approach to the way they set up looping alterations of riffs and rhythms, and it pays off with a big finish. Definitely worth snagging if you're a fan of genre-melting prog/post/desert rock; copies are available at Mandai Distribution!
~ Gabriel 

For Fans Of; Kyuss, Baroness, Tool, Porcupine Tree, Kylesa


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Heavenly Bodies...

Solar Halos ~ Self Titled (2013)

As 2013 nears it’s end and 2014 is on the horizon it seems only fitting to prepare you for the greatness that is Solar Halos self titled debut album, which will see the light of day January 20th next year, in multiple formats via Devouter Records. For those of you who are doom/sludge enthusiasts Solar Halos feature some former members of Horseback and Fin Fang Foom so you know going into this that expectation is high! You will not be let down, this is a monumental piece of art! So, with that in mind, lets get on to the songs, because they are HUGE!
We start off with the massive The Vast White Plains, a sludge/doom delight. The drum work beautifully pulls you in to Nora's vocals which are equally perfect and utterly haunting. Moving through the release the bar keeps getting raised, for instance, on Tunnels the rhythms become more driving and pull the listener into the song. The play between the instruments is flawless both tonally and atmospherically. I often find sludge and doom lyrical material to lack some genuine heart and soul but Solar Halos is one of the few in recent years I have heard that is not just believable but tugs at your heart strings in an unexplainable way. Honestly every track on this effort has something special to offer both in mood and colour. Wilderness for example sits as a calm dark bridge between the albums moods and is at time reminiscent of Panopticon era Isis, which lets face it, is a compliment and a half. You sway and move with the flow right into the albums closing track Resonance which is a massive wall of throbbing feedback, noise and rhythm driven by the snare and dirty bass lines. This song marches and chants full boar into an explosion of brilliance!
This is by far the best record I have had the privilege of being sent since starting here, and one that certainly will remain in heavy rotation for quite some time! FANTASTIC!
The whole album isn't available until late January, but until then treat your ears to the bands 2012 demo...
~ Stephen

For Fans Of; Isis, Royal Thunder, Kylesa, Horseback, Shroud Eater



Friday, December 06, 2013

Way Out West...

Shit The Cow ~ Salt Of The Earth (2013)

We've seen our fair share of, lets say 'unique' band names over the years. Undead Viking Mafia, Vintage Cucumber, Dickkicker, Battle Pope... The list goes on. But few have made me choke on my whiskey quite as much as Sweden's Shit The Cow. I've not delved into the origins of the name and don't really intend to, solely because I quite like retaining the mystique. But try as many have, a band can't travel on a name alone. That being said, I have had a long burning desire to start a band called Mongoloid Porn Inferno, without giving much thought to any kind of material or genre. Anyway, Shit The Cow and their Salt Of The Earth EP. It's just a short one at a total of four tracks, but goddamn they've made good use of 10 minutes. Diversity alone, these guys have really gone to town. Opening track The Decline Of Western Civilisation bursts and churns with a heavy southern rock fury right from the opening bars. It's truly one of the best opening tracks I've heard all year and instantly grabs you by the fluff of the scroat. Sadly it's a little shorted lived, but as the EP progresses it twists and turns picking up more and more influences with everything passing minute. The backbone of the whole recording falls very much within the garage rock side of things. The LO-FI tone playing a forever present part throughout all 4 tracks, dipping in and out of grunge and even a distinct hint of punk, predominately the west coast variety, to which, by my own admission, I'm not a authority on. But, to me at least it does feel like it plays out a bit like a 90's road trip up and down the US's Pacific side. Picking up subtle inspiration and nuances from the likes of Nirvana, The Melvins, Suicidal Tendencies, Fu Manchu, Black Flag and Mudhoney. It works really damn well, but I can't help but feel the guys have a real knack for the heavier, riff orientated side of things. Fingers crossed the next time they find themselves heading towards the studio they'll have this in mind.
~ Jay

For Fans Of; Suicide Machines, Switchblade Jesus, Blowback, Emanuel, The Grand Astoria


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Blackened Doom for the Soul...

Fuoco Fatuo ~ Two EPs in One Tape (2013)

Fuoco Fatuo is a Blackened Doom Metal band from Varese, Italy. Their release "2 EP's in One Tape" is exactly what it sounds like. They recorded two separate EPs back in 2012 and have gotten around to putting them both on cassette. They play a type of Doom Metal where their Black Metal influence is at the fore front of their sound. From their raw, harsh, guttural vocals, to the passages of blast beats and speed guitar. I would imagine if you're a fan of Black Metal, you're going to feel right at home here, even when the Doom takes over for extended periods of time.
The first of the EPs is called "EP 33 Colpi Di Schizophrenia Astralle Nell'Abisso Nero", but we're going to call it "Numero Uno" for short, and it starts off the tape lasting 5 tracks from "Alpha" to "Omega" (clever, right?), and it could almost pass for a straight up Funeral Doom EP, even with the bits of Black Metal snuck in all over the place. After the intro track of "Alpha" you're dropped right into the thick of things with "Vuoto Nero", and an avalanche of cymbals before things start to slow down into a feedback laden drone sound, after a few seconds things take another turn into fun filled blast beat section before finally settling down into a slow moving Doom sound that we all know and love, just with those Black Metal-esque vocals on top of it all. The outro for this EP "Omega" is a cool little acoustic piece, definitely a good closing track for the EP, or in this case more like an intermission.
The next EP, which is self-titled, starts off with the track "Dentro L'inferno" and it's almost nothing like the "Numero Uno". Where that one had Funeral Doom and Black Metal written all over it, with this one someone spray painted Black Sabbath all over that. From the very beginning it's all Doom Metal, up front and center, with Sabbath-esque riffs running the show and about all the Black Metal you get are in the vocals and the occasional, break-away, raw Black Metal part in a track. The next track "Ley Nera" almost starts off in a Stoner Doom Metal fashion, with drums blazing. When the riffs and vocals drop, they bring to mind earlier Church of Misery, and it's awesome, of course this only last so long before their Black Metal starts showing through again. This was my favorite part of the whole tape, and would make it well worth buying the whole tape just for the last four songs.
Now, you can stream the tape, in it's entirity, to your heart's content over at the Caligari Records bandcamp, who also have the tape for sale in their store here. Now, to get news from the band Fuoco Fatuo and their unique styling of Blackened Doom Metal, head over to their facebook page.

For Fans Of; Evoken, Pallbearer, Ruins of Beverast, Forgotten Tomb, Church of Misery


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Sleep When You're Dead...

Deville - Come Heavy Sleep (2007)

Come Heavy Sleep is the first album from Deville (originally released in 2007 by Buzzville Records, and newly reissued this year by Heavy Psych Sounds), and it kicks off with guitar strained through a filter of fuzz, hard rock drums, and desert rock vocals. Over the course of the album's ten tracks, they ramp up to a big finish, showing off their chops and a deep fondness for the desert rock that rose to prominence in the late '90s as they plow their way through the songs. It's dry, rocky, and gritty, and the singer sounds like he chews cigarettes instead of smoking them. While the Penrose triangle and spirograph art of the cover would have you think otherwise, there's not really any traces of prog to be found, aside from the standard light leanings towards psychedelic traces that marks most desert rock; these guys have more interest in getting just the right tone out of their amps and building up big, crunchy riffs than messing about with polyrhythms and time signature shifting. If you've just about worn out your copy of Kyuss' Welcome To Sky Valley, you might want to consider picking up a copy of Come Heavy Sleep to help take the load off. 
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Clutch, Kyuss, Black Rainbows, Black Stone Cherry, Monster Magnet

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Join The Dark Side...

Lightsabres ~ Demons (2013)

Another week is upon us and as usual we've been blessed with some more sweet stoner doom jams. This week we have north Sweden’s very own Lightsabres with their recent effort Demons.
I will start by saying I am very surprised to hear such genuine West Coast style rock meets East Coast punk coming from Sweden but what a pleasant thing it is. Demons is full of trippy dirt, fuzz, attitude and heart to boot. Each track holds a different and unique feel, like Red Light, an instrumental track that boasts a distinct psychedelic guitar flourish, leading into the subsequent Teeth, a wholly post rock ambient affair for its 40 second entirety. Although a little out of place, the two tracks do serve to break up the fuzz and leave you feeling slightly melancholic, like the come down of short acid binge.
The old desert rock genre also fleets in from time to time, predominately in the form of some early QOTSA style riffage, most notably on tracks Black Hash and Born To Die. If I didn’t know better I would easily be convinced the record was done at Rancho De La Luna with Josh Homme manning the mixing board. Caesar takes you for one hell of a trip, beginning with a pure west coast style fury before effectively veering right off the road and taking you on a journey down a dirt road of psychedelia. It's slightly disorientating but before you know it you're cascading nicely into the honestly beautiful title track Demons, which could easily find itself on the soundtrack of any sad film as it drifts and pulls a heavy weight from your heart. Lightsabres bring a hell of a unique mix of desert, punk, grunge and post rock together in a way I've never before experienced. A great piece of art drenched in emotion both dark and light. Well Done Fellas!
~ Stephen

For Fans Of; Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss, Desert Sessions, Giants, If These Trees Could Talk



Monday, December 02, 2013

Tossed Into The Deep End...

The Lion's Daughter & Indian Blanket - A Black Sea (2013)

When it comes to splits, originality has pretty much been abandoned. You either have the two groups offering up not-so-rare b-sides or each group covering a song written by the other. In the end, there isn't anything too special about the split except for the fact that it (hopefully) comes on some nice splattered vinyl.
Enter "A Black Sea," not so much a split as it is a collaboration between two of St. Louis, Missouri's premier bands, thrash metal crushers The Lion's Daughter and folk rockers Indian Blanket. Although an odd-sounding idea on paper, "A Black Sea" is a beautiful and crushing album all in the same instance, bringing together two completely opposite ends of the musical spectrum and forming a juggernaut of talent.
Early on, tracks such as "Wolves" and "God's Much More Terrible" reflect the collaborative aspect more literally, incorporating softly strummed acoustic chords and smooth vocals that soon give way to booming guitars, bass and raspy screams. While the harmony changes are quite obvious in the tracks, the overall effect leaves a lasting impression. The initial back-and-forth of the musical styles is not a push and shove for dominance auditorily, but a sort of flowing presence that sounds so effortless it's haunting.
Later songs "Song For The Devil" and "Sea Of Trees" hold a bit more consistency in their sounds, but still possess a feeling of mixed genres. With heavier elements of acoustic bass incorporated into the folkier territory and woodwind instruments popping up throughout, the album continues to develop and morph, never settling on one area too long. Even when winding down on a softer note, "A Black Sea"maintains a sense of darkness and sorrow, the guitars turning bluesy and the lyricism remaining serious and somewhat dejected.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the record is that it is currently incomparable in its existence. It could be argued that influences may have motivated certain parts of the effort, but the final result sods unlike anything else I have heard in several years. A truly remarkable piece of work, both bands should be proud of what has made its way to the masses and will surely be enjoyed by many for years to come. Creativity is lacking in almost every facet of society these days, so to the parties involved n the creation of "A Black Sea," I say thank you.
With only 250 versions of the album pressed (50 of which were on limited white vinyl that are LONG gone), remaining copies are limited. Those interested in snagging one of the last few copies may be in luck if they check out Good Die Young Music. Those heathens who prefer digital only may also find the album on iTunes.

For Fans Of; Darkest Hour, Bowerbirds, Woodpigeon, Tombs