With a very cool, acid-like sound with a positively vibrant atmospheric onset, The Iron Horse is brilliant not just for the nostalgic-minded, but also presents some new elements for the stoner movement, impregnating in their sound some hell bound road ferocities of the old spirit, that will generate (or degenerate) an entire atmosphere of luminescent clouds in your room, full of 60’s ideologies, freedom and a desire to live free, unbound, unchained and unrestrained, almost literally catapulting the listener to a time travel of sound, that can easily fool you, making you think that this is indeed a 70’s band from Alabama, that started its career playing in Woodstock, or any other Flower Power festivals throughout the US. Well, this is not the case, here. But if you listen to The Iron Horse, you certainly will find it hard to believe. Brian Witzig’s ability to stay strong and faithful to the roots and the atmosphere of his old rock’n’roll shape influenced psychedelia it’s not only admirable, but it is also a concept to be preserved, and, hopefully, a mainstay in future albums.
The Sound Defects has achieved and maintained a very loyal and ever increasing cult following fan base. Being his main point of contact with the outside world his FB page – which currently have more than 32.000 likes –, unfortunately, it is rarely updated. Reading the posts, you discover Brian Witzig’s wife is the main responsible for the page’s updates, mainly posting happy birthday wishes to her husband every time he completes another year of life. She also sporadically answers to people’s comments on the page. The only relevant information you really get from the FB page – and even then, you have to search throughout the posts – is the band’s discography, made up of three albums so far: the first, Respect the Specs (which is also called Volume 1), which is a very rare sought out after collector’s item, Volume 2 and The Iron Horse, which somewhat consolidated The Sound Defects’ reputation.
With a somewhat anachronistic approach to music, which is undoubtedly a major concern – not to mention a requirement – by stoner rock standards, the sound displayed by The Sound Defects in their album The Iron Horse is a major achievement for stoner and southern rock enthusiasts, although they are a lot more than that. With a sound substantiated by minor doses of sound scales and a major alignment to the faithfulness of the entire rock tradition, The Iron Horse delivers to us forty six minutes of what could easily be considered great stoner rock, summarized by the amplitude of an apparent devotion to all the great balances of the genre: psychedelic influences, the 60’s peaceful rebel spirit and a desire to stay free, incorporating also minor traces of other musical references, like southern and roots rock, and Americana, to the extent of creating a unique genre, being at the same time well placed in their exact musical proposal, revealing a very curious and interesting style on making records.