stoner rock / alternative rock / grunge
Hell yeah, rock 'n fucking roll, causing desert level reaching temperatures and making me regret that I don't have a car. This is road music pur sang, perfectly suited for a cross country trip. Well, in most countries it is. In Belgium I wouldn't recommend going on a cross country trip by car. Our traffic is awful. Our highways look exactly the same as our parking spots, filled with stationary cars and fighting families.
Wait, sorry, I'm digressing again.
Her Name Was Fire is a Portuguese duo, formed in 2015 or 2016 after a heated conversation about rock music. Shortly after, they found themselves in some kind of room, rocking their asses off to their own groovy mix of of stoner rock and grunge. They liked what they heard and decided to record an album. That thing is now available for your enjoyment and here are a few reasons why you check it out.
One. It rocks. That first song, 'Little Pain' is a smasher and it's far from the only one on this album. It's an uptempo rocker, delivered straight from the nineties. It brings all the goodness of Queens Of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters and Nirvana. The whole album is loaded with these groovy and fuzzy tunes, irresistible to stoner rockers and grunge adepts alike. Even when the tempo goes down, the songs never lose their immersive character.
Two. This album contains some of the best vocal performances I have ever heard in this scene. Both musicians sing, quite often together, which enhances the joyous and powerful atmosphere of the whole thing. Furthermore, Nirvana's 'Heart Shaped Box' must have been a big influence, coincidentally one of the grunge songs with the best vocals lines. The song 'Way To Control' even manages to come up with poppy and punky vocals and they work bloody damn well.
Three. It rocks. It rocks so damn well that I have decided to turn it into a reason twice. My absolute favorite here is 'Summer Strummer', another irresistible uptempo blaster. There's a touch of noise rock in that one too, which obviously is another huge plus. Oh well, maybe I'm just being nostalgic for those awesome and exhilarating nineties. Then again, some huge band forgot to record this album back then and Her Name Was Fire turned it in a potential future classic now.
southern rock / blues / rock
Uno is the debut album by American Southern Rock trio Pinto Graham, from New Haven, Connecticut, released on May 5. Forty two minutes long, the album has ten tracks: Hell Train, Counting Coup, Ghost Town, Gambler, The Creeper, Fire, Bootlegger Blues, Wind n Heel, Low Road and High Flyer. One of the best albums that I have heard on the genre, the melodies are dynamic and intelligent, explicitly creative, and effusively energetic, in the best tradition of southern blues rock. Certainly, a magnificent and intriguing pearl that aggregates a definitive principle of colorful motion into the harmonies, with an innovative approach that profoundly conserves the traditional elements of the genre, Uno is an album as soft as it is abrasive, and dilapidates in the constraints of its splendid rhythmical dissonance greatly shaped sonorous dilacerations, pervasively amplified in the exhilaration of magnificent guitar lines, a furious musical technique and an astounding convergence of musical components.
With a creative magnetism that pullulates at the confluence of a creative zone amazingly proficient, the harmonies on Uno concentrates their energy in the pragmatic axiom of expansive melodies, that never interfere with the logical audacity of its basic intonations. And bringing with them the major and most significant influences we could ever think of, Pinto Graham has formatted their sound to be the best their abilities can provide. And what a tremendous result! You can listen to this album two, or three times in a row, and still feel energized and enthusiastic about it!
Sincerely, I don’t see any flaws or disappointments here. Their music is tremendously magnificent: major melodies, perfectly aligned with astoundingly beautiful and captivating harmonies, all meticulously framed in a picture of technical excellence, to deliver one of the best albums ever conceived in the modern history of the genre.
Uno is a great album, and Pinto Graham is a formidable band, with a promising future in the underground music scene. Fantastic and tremendously exciting, there is an energy, a vitality and a pure vivacious sense of originality that certainly has the potential to consolidate them as a leading act in their musical genre of choice.
Here we go again, wandering in uncategorizable musical areas and wondering what the hell I am going to write about this album . Unsurprisingly, this album has been written and recorded by a Dutch band. I really wonder what's in the water over in The Netherlands. Many of their bands come up with original and exhilarating stuff, impossible to put a finger on. This is no exception, but it does have an awesome Dutch sound to it.
At least, the two first songs do. Titled 'A Show Of Might' and 'Equals Of Gods', these songs remind me of the music of their fellow countrymen Kong. With instrumental, progressive and immersive rock music, these two songs alone make the album worthwhile and the whole album is only beginning. After the massively energetic 'Equals Of Gods', the album starts blooming, as if those first two songs formed the stem and the sheer beauty is only now coming up.
I think the easiest way to describe this album is naming it "experimental post rock". Post rock is indeed a huge part of MNHM's music but they're not weary of incorporating other stuff, like the saxophone of Dead Neanderthals' Otto Kokke. With that, and with several passages, the free jazz elements appear, be it in a noisy kind of way. Yes, noise, because there is a lot of that to be found here too, along with its nasty brothers noise rock, math rock and sludge metal.
So maybe this will help: MNHM is what would happen if you lock Dead Neanderthals, Kong, Melvins, Swans, And So I Watched You From Afar, Yodok III and Frank Zappa into a rehearsal studio and force them to record an album. I know, that sounds like a list of people capable of putting an epic piece of work on the market and that is exactly what this album is, epic. Just listen to the action movie soundtrack worthy 'How Things End' or the doomy 'Rule Of Law'.
Oh well, The Dutch, what a strange kind of creative masterminds. You never really know what you're going to get (and I'll leave out the box of chocolate references, because Belgian chocolate is always better), but that is a good thing. My advice is simple, check it out, open your mind and allow this masterpiece to shock and awe you. You'll be in for several surprises and you will be astounded, I promise you.
psychedelic / stoner rock / space rock
RLC is an album by Brazilian stoner rock trio Saturndust, released on April 17. Almost one hour long, the record has six tracks: Negative-Parallel Dimensional, Astral Dominion, RLC, Titan, Time Lapse Of Existence and Saturn 12.c. With doom and psychedelic elements masterly aggregated into the laziness of the sound, their music combines the flexible confluence of stoner, with the more lurid, slanting and diluted elements of cosmic rock. With dilated rhythms, and a very elusive soundscape that outlines with fervor exceedingly organic melodies over a solid compass of plenitude and homogeneous synchronicity, the music of Saturndust encompasses a great interlude of despondent harmonies, creating in their magnanimously effervescing cauldron of reticent pretentious ebullitions a slow, but efficient and formidably patient space opera, fully comprehensive of the epistemological components displayed in the genre.
The harmonies are built calmly, vaguely and deeply, and in the slowness of their imponderably lucid digressions, intricate harmonies are reproduced at the height of a magnanimous retribution of serene legitimacy, that leads the listener throughout an omnipotent maze of vivacious ardor and sonorous splendor.
Probably one of the best works that I have heard in the genre, RLC ostensibly dilapidates with captivating sensibility the best elements of the genre, truly developing a very unique style of sound, capable of reshaping in the vicinities of its melodies an acceptance of continuity somewhat plausible, given the expansive nature of their music, inherently traced to a cosmic frame of infinity, generated by a diluted and incredibly shaped space rock, reiterated by a flexible, lose and vague artistry, understood as the main qualities of their creative principles.
Firmly engraved in the traditional components of stoner rock, but aggregating several elements of other genres – and first of all, mainly developing accurately the eccentricities of their own style –, Saturndust has done a very competent, skilled and ostensibly graceful work on RLC. Although their music is amazing, and can’t be categorized – at least, in my personal point of view – as particularly distressful, boring, tedious or monotonous, their work can be mostly and specifically directed to people who are unconditional enthusiasts of space opera rock.
Undoubtedly an interesting work, RLC can be considered a milestone of the genre, as the technique displayed by the band reveals, in the final result, a very good album, that has everything to please a very extensive audience.
shoegaze / post-punk / alternative rock
Things you do not want to experience as a band: arriving at your rehearsal room only to find out that someone had broken in and stolen the equipment. That happened to Belgian post punk act The Mary Hart Attack and, needless to say, they were devastated. Still, they stubbornly kept working on their debut full-length and crowdfunded themselves some new equipment. Now, that album is ready to be released, and it's a blast.
The album opens with the song 'In Dreams' which is basically Joy Division meets Sonic Youth. There is a lot of noise and feedback, tonnes of energy and a dark, aggressive atmosphere. In short, the perfect opener for a brilliant post post record. From then on, the band takes on a what can only be described as a vintage post punk journey. The earlier mentioned bands are never far away, which is a good thing.
'Spiders' is a great song too, slower but immersive as hell. It is followed by one of my absolute favorites here, the uptempo and mesmerizing 'All Wrong No Bliss' which drives on an almost industrial drum beat. This one will get many people shaking their butts off at gigs, no doubt about that. Who knows, maybe I will be one of them too. My feet are already tapping along and my head nods like a madman.
By now, we're halfway through the album and I have decided that this album is one where we Belgians should be proud of. It's one of the most dynamic and entertaining alternative rock albums I've heard recently, just listen to the murderous 'This Room' (after it's strange intro). If that doesn't get you off your feet, you might as well amputate them. That was a little joke, please do not amputate your feet.
Anyway. I guess it's clear by now that The Mary Hart Attack is a firm candidate to become the next big thing in alternative Belgium. I won't be surprised when these guys appear in Humo and on Studio Brussel a lot from now on. I will be surprised if they don't end up on the bills of Pukkelpop, Rock Werchter or Marktrock. They definitely deserve it, especially with such a vintage sounding and immersive album as this one.
psychedelic / blues / stoner rock
Well, after two ambient albums, it was time for something different, something where the guitars, drums and rough vocals reign supreme. This one is something for the desert rockers among us, and I won't be surprised if I get to see this French duo perform these tunes on the upcoming edition of Desertfest. However, since we're not there yet, let's enjoy these six searing hot psychedelic blues rock songs.
The inspiration for these songs seem to come directly from the Mississippi Delta where blues legends like Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker rose to fame. Yes, the means blues, laced by the contemporary rock of bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd or Creedence Clearwater Revival. Furthermore, Blackbird Hill throws in some psychedelic rock here and there, like in the awesome opener 'Trigger Law'.
My personal favorite on this album is a long ballad 'Stories From The Road'. I know, I'm a sucker for ballads, but believe me, it's a damn good one. The whole album is damn good, raising the temperature to desert levels and putting the listener in a deep, blissful trance. What else could you possible want? So yes, psychedelic stoner blues fans of all ages, you might have discovered a new favorite here...
Rooster is an album by American stoner rock group Brume, from San Francisco, California, released on April 20. Fifty one minutes long, the record has six tracks: Grit and Pearls, Harold, Reckon, Call the Serpent's Bluff, Welter and Tradewind. With the traditional approach to the genre, densely eroded by pervasively abrasive guitars that drive exceedingly slow rhythms to the normal persuasive axis of its expansive sonorous universe, Rooster is a reasonable album, with interesting melodies and intricate harmonies. Nonetheless, as usual for the genre, the draconian stylish virtues of the work are too excessively dragged all the way through, which makes the album overtly monotonous, after a while. Which, of course, is more of a characteristic of the genre itself, than a fault of the band, that only follows the traditional style of their genre of choice.
Unfortunately, there is little Rooster can offer to more experienced enthusiasts of the genre, although the album has expressive merits. With poetic passages, some sober and marvelously exceptional guitar lines, and, above all the other elements, fascinating and perfectly aligned female vocals – certainly the most efficient and wonderfully creative flavor of Brume’s music – Rooster can be majorly described by its efficient set of qualities, despite the fact that Brume narrowly escapes the traditional ordinary features of the genre.
I think enthusiasts of stoner rock will definitely be overjoyed by this album. In a more technical evaluation, Brume can be ostensibly described as a promising band, although they have potential to be more creative in some aspects. But the treatment displayed by them at the sonorous configuration of their own style shows, indeed, a very energized and confident band, with real musical proficiency, a major technical domain, and a formidable sense of intuitive creativity. They do manage to stay above the average score, as they have a superior sense of formal solicitude, concerning their competent, veracious and vehement artistic skills.
Although I can’t qualify Rooster as a masterpiece, in its own terms this work can be classified as a major album – especially in the vein of its technical abilities –, and I can’t deny the fact that this record shows a formidable degree of originality, and its own frame of artistic achievements. Evidently, Rooster is a very good stoner rock album, and certainly, has an enormous potential to find a respectable audience within the underground music scene.
Into the Long Night is an album by Danish garage/ psychedelic rock group The Sonic Dawn, released on April 21. A little more than thirty six minutes long, the record has nine tracks: Intro, Emily Lemon, On the Shore, As of Lately, Six Seven, Numbers Blue, Lights Left On, l'Espion and Summer Voyage. With intelligent, spontaneous and wisely dynamic psychedelic grooves, Into the Long Night is an interesting and refreshing album, that has on the verge of its effusively elongated style the best influences of seventies rock’n’roll. With impressionistic melodies, burnt at the despicable road of a red sun, the overall harmonies of the songs are quite surprising, and sustain in the precious context of its dimensional elements the greatest journey of a very idyllic nostalgia-driven acid rock album.
With sensible and delicate melodies, Into the Long Night is an interesting and reasonable record, although unfortunately doesn’t offer a very original outlook into the strength of genre. Falling sometimes into a more generic and perfidious sonorous derailment, Into the Long Night has its moments of enthusiastic apex, though you can’t afford to be in high expectancy here.
Into the Long Night, after all, manages to be a good album, but the group fails to give a more original and authentic sonorous impulse to their sound, despite the fact that their music has, indeed, a formidable amount of energy, and genuine vigor. But in what concerns the style, they seem too vaguely familiar with other acts of the genre.
Nevertheless, I seriously think that Into the Long Night has potential to attract a loyal amount of enthusiasts. Despite the fact that the sound becomes too excessively uniform and ordinary as the album progresses, there is a genuine effort consciously displayed for the sake of refinement throughout the whole album, and their competent technique cannot be ignored either. After all, the record disappoints a little, but in the end, the work achieves a reasonable level of creative intensity, with some very good songs along the way, especially the second, and the last three – Emily Lemon, Lights Left On, l'Espion and Summer Voyage, respectively – that summarizes beautifully The Sonic Dawn’s poetic effort in their free-flowing style of psychedelic rock.
King Tide is an album by Australian stoner rock band Riff Fist, released on April 17. A little more than half an hour long, the record has only five songs: the eponymous King Tide, D.T.U.B., Chugg, Fist Bier (Noch Eins) and Beer and a Cigarette. A very interesting stoner rock album, severely unconventional, the irreverent nature and character of Riff Fist’s music remembers a little other groups of similar breed, like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More, although not exaggeratedly. Provided with a very distinct identity, Riff Fist’s musical outline is intriguing, despite some sonorous restrictions and limitations. Their music, in general, expresses a very secure musical intuition, and a cohesive certainty, that makes Riff Fist a band very easy to categorize, to appreciate and to listen.
Despite the fact that King Tide is not exactly an extraordinary or magnificent album, the general line of work is competent, and technically proficient. With comprehensive melodies, and a rude and crude style, very different in practice, but fun to listen, to understand and to explore, King Tide, in a very positive light, is a tempestuous and vociferating album, with a decent degree of audacity and originality courageously added to the outline of the musical frame.
Undoubtedly, there is a vast degree of talent into this band, and they surely know how to use it. Revolving harmonies and intelligent guitar lines certainly are the most distinct features of the work, that whimsically elaborates at the epicenter of these qualities decently good and stylish songs, exponentially true to the musical identity developed by the band.
With a gracious singularity, Riff Fist has elaborated King Tide as a charming and captivating album, that has underlined in the peripheral score of its abilities a somewhat impressive and torrid style, that consolidated in the vicinity of its brave and wild melodies a wise confluence of definitive perceptions, that upgraded the music into a more lancinating scale of authenticity.
post rock / alternative
Ghost Shirt Society is an album by Russian experimental/ post rock group Antethic, released on April 2. Fifty minutes long, the album has eight tracks: Ilium, Modulor, Metamachine, Fragments, Cascadia, Tsunami Museum, Sentinel and The Moon Must Fall. A beautiful, quiet and subtle post rock work with an interesting display of experimentalism, Ghost Shirt Society is a very introspective album, with a modular universe condensed in the core of its moderated melodies. Full of intriguing, splendorous and audacious qualities, Ghost Shirt Society is a record ostensibly delineated by a conjuncture of fascinating and impeccably punctuated peculiarities, amazingly combined to conceive a lucid and overwhelming work of art.
Although the harmonies in general are very discreet, they can be also intrinsically intense. With a pulsating layer of inebriating beauty, Ghost Shirt Society has interesting melodies, that sometimes expands its general line of sonorous flavors into the colorful zones of indie and alternative rock as well. With a somewhat simple, but ostensibly dynamic musical sensibility, Antethic really has created on Ghost Shirt Society an intriguing mosaic of genres, where different styles play along altogether, in a beautiful and intuitive coalition of sounds, filtered as one infinite and monumental soundscape.
Nonetheless, calmness is the main element that punctuates Antethic ‘s music. The harmonies are smooth and serene, and into their wings the listener can undertake a marvelous journey of ambivalent dreams, where everything is sidelined with reality, although in more colorful, charming and surprising shapes. Undoubtedly, all your sensibilities will tell you that the music of Antethic has to be felt, for its strength has so much consistency that you almost can sense its palpable and vivid resonances to pressure your skin, and legitimize a spectacle inside your soul.
In Ghost Shirt Society, beautiful melodies, poetic harmonies and amazingly elevated sonorous layers perfectly complement each other, to fully diffuse throughout a creative universe of overwhelming serenity a marvelous dimension of sensibility and splendor. With a delicate and dispersive touch of primal intensity, the music of Antethic reaches a formidable level of authenticity, that makes you literally feel that everything is possible, in each and every conceivable way. A fantastic and terrific album, Ghost Shirt Society is an aggrandizing overview of an evolutionary and expansive model to dilate a more imponderable and dense musical universe. A very peculiar album, evidently, it will fascinate all the enthusiasts of the genre, without exceptions.
psychedelic, stoner, blues, rock
One With The Universe is an album by German psychedelic blues/ stoner rock group Samsara Blues Experiment, released on April 10. With five tracks – Vipassana, Sad Guru Returns, Glorious Daze, One With The Universe and Eastern Sun & Western Moon –, this album has legitimate grooves, a very dynamic symbiosis of sound and an ostensibly singular energy, that highlights an intricate fluidity of capacities, that probably can be considered the best element in their music.
With an interesting pace, in the slower passages the group follows a more traditional approach in what concerns the stoner rock musicality, despite fresh and interesting guitar lines. With an intriguing level of creativity, that inserts with a vibrating intensity the most overwhelming harmonious elements into their music, the longer songs – as usual, and this should be considered a wider problem that affects the entire genre, and not specifically the band – becomes resented of monotony and exasperation, although musically they do follow with an urgent and efficient technicality the sonorous standards of the genre.
One With The Universe – mostly instrumental – is a provocative and lucid album, that plays intelligently with a pervasive scale of creative elements. With slower melodies densely relocated in corners severed by interchangeable heavy passages, ignited by a more lucid and voracious seventies rock’n’roll atmosphere, the record has axiomatic moments of intense and exhilarating rapture. Precise and incisive guitar lines also gives to the record a very mordacious tone, where infinitely expansive harmonies draw directly into the center of the universe of the music’s soul pragmatic scales of dreams, that easily becomes lost in the endless vicissitudes, captured by the sensibility of the band’s style.
Nonetheless, I haven’t found the album to be perfect, despite its vast range of protuberating qualities. With some songs being exceedingly long, an inherent sense of monotony inevitably becomes predominant, and several passages unavoidably sound too extensively generic, repetitive and uniform to support. Technically, though, the album presents an interesting degree of competence and efficiency, that deserves to be appreciated.
As far as my final evaluation goes, One With The Universe is not a marvelous album, but represents the genre of stoner rock with great sensibility, and displays a respectable degree of lucid, sober and genuine creativity.
Cepa is an album by Argentinian stoner rock group Runa Gaman, released on April 12. With only three songs – Golem, Solaris and Duna Creciente – Runa Gaman’s music can be primarily defined as the creative convergence of colorful tones and psychedelic grooves, combined in an irrefutable symbiotic chemistry, wisely disposed in a symmetric chain of irrevocable functional efficiency. With interesting guitar lines, and an harmonic presence that deserves to be captured attentively, their melodies are well crafted and brilliantly elaborated all the way through. With the ability to expand into a field of sonorous tonalities and vibrant shapes the elusive catharsis of a multitude of crescent realities, the music of Runa Gaman departs from original quotients of sound, exacerbated by multiple melodic affinities, that revolves around an ocean of harmonic possibilities, cautiously explored by the group, in the creative composition process.
For enthusiasts of slow rock, Cepa will be considered a very different album. With a profound comprehension of a deeply reverberating sonorous expansion, cosmic guitar lines makes the listener travel into a universe of segmented, but continuous interludes, that engraves the abundance of a correlated sensibility, that overwhelms the expressive dimensions of the music.
With the sensation that you are listening to one continuous song, Cepa is one from only a handful of albums in the genre that do not sound tedious nor monotonous. With interchangeable tonalities that constantly revolve around its own axis, the beauty of the songs constantly evokes its own hallucinatory metamorphosis, subtlety changing from one delusional soundscape to another.
A transpiring, intelligent and marvelous album energized by a consistent pattern of musical principles, Cepa is a very lucid and cohesive work of art, that translates in the majesty of its ambitious proposal the authenticity of its own aspirations. With no faults whatsoever to be pointed out, despite the simplicity of the work – or maybe, because of it – Runa Gaman crafted Cepa as a precious and inspiring work of art, postulated by a formidable conjuncture of sensibility and intuition.
drone, doom, stoner rock
Across the River of Time is an album by drone/ doom/ stoner German duo Father Sky Mother Earth, released on April 2. Thirty seven minutes long, the record has only two tracks: The Return of Alhazred and the eponymous Across the River of Time. Primarily atmospheric in nature, with an intensely sinister layout of dense expectations, the sonorous style of Father Sky Mother Earth is thoroughly lenient, but distinctly voracious as well. As strange as it seems, despite little rhythmic variations and the general uniformity of the sound, monotony and exasperation are out of the equation here: their style is promising, enduring, solid and consistent, and the anguish provoked and emancipated by the afflictive expectancy generated by the agonizing behavior whimsically dilapidated by their sound is not only purposefully well designed, but majestically monumental as well.
The nature of their music is profoundly ambivalent, and unmistakably pragmatic. Not only enabling, but sustaining an irrevocable atmosphere that produces anguish and anxiety in the general syncope of its soundscape, the two tracks present on this album legitimately captures within the axis of its own interior universe an essentially hostile and dense definition of dying disillusion. The affinity expressed in the deeply fugacious ordeal of the music has an imponderable strength over the listener, and you feel magically bound to the intense and dubious atmospheric nature of the work.
An interesting record – almost esoteric in the rapture contrivances of its anatomy – that sensibly replicates in the nature of its own purpose the exhilaration of a personal universe undefined by the characteristics of a singular crisis, Across the River of Time is an album with high probabilities to impress any audience. The intense power that emanates from its insidious, perfidious, densely vast, exponentially rude and ecstatic – but at the same time beautiful – melodies makes this record a highlight of the genre. The subtle intrusive behavior of the music deeply contrasts with its capacity to insert into the innermost molecules of the melodies a calm transient pattern of anxious expectation, that revolves around a corner that ostensibly ignores its correlation with an imaginary parallel universe of dilacerating nothingness.
A dense, pervasive, somber and intricate album, Across the River of Time is a sinister, but overwhelming drone/ doom/ ambient record, that expands in the discreet side of its nature the nefarious audacity of its intentions. True to the sober and consistent vitality of the work, Father Sky Mother Earth certainly has created one of the most wonderful, tense, abrasive and fiercely despondent masterpieces ever conceived in the history of the genre.
Realms of the Metaphysical is an album by New Zealander stoner rock group Arc of Ascent, released on April 9. Almost forty seven minutes long, the record has six tracks: Set the Planets Free, Eye of Sages, Hexagram, In the Light, Benediction Moon and Temple Stone. A lot more fascinating than other albums of the genre – perhaps by virtue of the excellent and overwhelming vocals of Craig Williamson, since instrumental stoner generally can be very monotonous –, Realms of the Metaphysical is a very interesting, elevating and superior record. Abrasive guitar lines, conspicuous lancinating notes, a crude savagery and an overwhelming sense of security incorporates into the work a concept of completeness, that really inserts into the music elements of imponderable intricacy and demise.
The melodies are, indeed, pervasively fascinating, wonderfully exploratory and well-designed. With a vigorous and genuine creative layout, Realms of the Metaphysical was conceived to be a more fluid and ostensibly vivid stoner album, with conspicuous guitar lines that dilates and dissipates ostentatiously sonorous underworlds of expansive delusion, and remarkably lucid monumental digressions.
With an underlined sound that progressively becomes more sensitive and evaporated, the album has a consistent and projective sonorous nucleus, that interchangeably interacts with all the elements of its natural cohesion of primarily higher musical components. Way more inventive and creative than what is usually testified in the stoner rock genre, Arc of Ascent dilapidates several new frontiers to the wider principles that dictates the general pace of the music, and the final result couldn’t have been better.
A gracious album, with a spirituous element of intense and meticulous ordination, Realms of the Metaphysical doesn’t disappoint. Full of qualities, and displaying a formidable degree of audacity, this record manages to be way more evolved, responsive and dynamic than other works of the genre. With a devotional and salutary dedication, the band managed to conceive a solid, intelligent and remarkable record, that deserves to be highlighted as a genuine pearl of stoner rock.
Thunder On The Fields is an album by Danish alternative rock group Demon Head, released on April 7. Forty minutes long, the album has seven tracks: Menneskeæderen, We Are Burning, Thunder On The Fields, Older Now, Hic Svnt Dracones, Gallow's Omen and Untune The Sky. An amazing, vigorous, fantastic and volatile album, with subtle inclinations to rockabilly, indie and punk rock, Thunder On The Fields is a gracious, flexible, imponderable and hallucinating masterpiece. With amazing melodies, a classic appeal, a genuine sonorous framework and an abrasively mordacious and consistent style, the record scores high on energy, originality and authenticity. Its seems a perfect mixture of The Strokes, The Smiths and The Hellacopters, with the best elements of these bands having been thoroughly worked and improved. Nevertheless, do not allow these comparisons to fool yourself, they’re just superficial. Demon Head highlights the venture of its own qualities, all the way through.
With an incredibly amazing pace, the tunes are characteristically soft and easy-minded, although they can be perceived as deeply tempestuous and rebellious as well. The guitar solos are simply strikingly extraordinary, as well as the vocals, incisively sober, but with an effusively audacious serious intonation, that juxtaposes the more poetic sidelines of their music. With a powerful, pungent, precise and elegant artistic sensibility, Thunder On The Fields has marvelous tracks after marvelous tracks.
Highly recommended for enthusiasts of indie and alternative rock, Demon Head wisely evokes in their sound that affectionate atmosphere typical of sixties rock’n’roll, while maintaining the easy-going fluidity of their style cohesively inserted in a contemporary arrangement. Although the general structure of their music can be classified as simple, the melodies are astoundingly poetic, essentially charming and proverbially translucent. Their overall sound is a mixture of arrogant dreams and sincere smiles, and you can’t avoid the temptation to incorporate the behavioral rapture evoked by their music.
There is not a singular element in their music that can be categorized as unfavorable. With an essentially dominant musical security that standardizes a dynamic sense of independent fruition concerning their sensitive and elaborated style, Demon Head has really conceived in Thunder On The Fields a very singular work, that excels in the propensities of its sonorous validations. An expressively mature and ostensibly impressive work that intensifies in the vast scope of its wide range of influences a new anagram of musical beauty, Demon Head is a sensational and wonderful group, that really knows how to enlarge the magnificent artistry of the genre, and with such a sonorous richness and abundance, that you inevitably wishes everybody to discover their sound!
psychedelic / alternative / rock / post punk
I always wonder how bands like to tag themselves, what kinds of music they claim they play, and then compare it to my own opinions. Sometimes, we seem to think very different things about the music. With this album by Polish rock band Manescape, that is exactly what happened. Their bandcamp mentions 'rock, psychedelic and stoner' but I politely disagree. It is rock, that's true. There are psychedelic aspects, that's also true. But this is not stoner rock, although you can easily enjoying it while smoking a joint.
So, you might wonder, what is it? Well, in short, 'Antibodies' is an excellent alternative rock album where post rock, post punk and shoegaze meet psychedelic rock. At least, that is my opinion. 'Antibodies' contains ten songs, and each of them makes me long for the summer festivals. Songs like the brilliant opener 'Helium' or the energetic 'Beautiful Agony' make me wish I was on a sunlit festival terrain, shaking my hips and tapping my feet, much like songs by Soulwax, Placebo, Muse, The Twilight Sad, The Pixies and many of their colleagues do.
I also hear a lot of references toward English new wave or post-punk bands like Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen and so on. But what I hear most on this album, is enjoyment. These guys love to play music together, which results in music that will easily bring a smile to your face. Their enthusiasm is contagious. I have been tapping along with each and every song so far. 'Helium' remains my favorite but I also adore the uptempo yet melancholic 'Decadence And The Wind', a song that will often appear in my day-to-day playlist from now on.
So, the question now is, who to recommend this album to? To stoner rockers? Well, yeah, why not. This might not really compare to Karma To Burn, Kyuss or Queens Of The Stone Age, but it is superb rock music with some nice groovy riffs. Besides, 'The Yearning' somewhat reminds me of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, so that's that. Furthermore, of course, all alternative rockers should really try this one. I am absolutely sure that some of you will find a new favorite song on this album. I know I have...
blues / alternative rock
Professor Electric's Pandemonium Shadow Show is the debut album of the eponymous blues/ savage/ desert rock project of American musician Kyle Hicks Dodel, from Las Vegas, Nevada, released in April 8. Almost forty seven minutes long, the album has eight tracks: Reap What You Sow, I Wanna Be Your Man, Son of Sleep, Brain's Got The Map, Sunduin Ang Abularyo, Down By Law, Kroatoan and Obediance. Although it is an album with prominently ecstatic and frozen melodies, its style is virtually interesting, profusely concentrated, and ostensibly directed to a very specific audience. A very pub styled rock’n’roll, that has on the shadows of the vicinities of the legal limits of decadent sceneries and alcoholic stupors the perfect presumption of a sordidness amazingly duplicated into the sound, Professor Electric's Pandemonium Shadow Show is rock’n’roll from another breed, that inherently belongs to transient and declining atmospheres. These are fundamental elements to this project’s conceptual and very categorical style.
At first, you may not think of Professor Electric's Pandemonium Shadow Show as a great or terrific album. But strange as it is, on its own terms, the album can be considered as such, and much more, if you allow yourself to really listen to this album with all the attention it deserves. With the personal atmosphere of a dilacerating rock’n’roll that celebrates in great style the filth, the dirtiness and the savageness of the genre, this album – and the overall spirit of the project, of course – are conspicuously omniscient of the efficiency demanded by a purely genuine and outcast style, that rescues the soul and the fragile authenticity of a musical alignment that has been marginalized over time, and aspire, in the sidelines of compelling voracious influences, the vivid rebelliousness of truly inhospitable melodies, that incorporates exasperation, decadence, laziness, numbness and wildness as essential sonorous components – omnipotent as well – of a distinctly ferocious work of art.
Despite the fact that Professor Electric's Pandemonium Shadow Show can’t be categorized as a masterpiece, this album is exceedingly peculiar and original. Although the songs are generally slow, this is fundamental not only for the truth of the style per se, but works mainly for the effectiveness of the musical intonations. In this instance, dirty and slow guitar lines elaborate on sonorous barriers the virtual ascendancy of laboriously insane melodies, that acts in an almost frenzy style, although they are paradoxically functioning in a majorly slow and calm sonorous vein.
Professor Electric's Pandemonium Shadow Show is a very interesting, intriguing, delusional, surreal and remarkable musical experience. If you like a more frivolous, condescending and introverted, but at the same time “irresponsible”, free, discreetly distorted and wild styled rock, I highly recommend this album. Be sure you will have a great time listening to it.
alternative rock / hard rock / stoner rock
Beyond The Sun is an album by Canadian hard rock band Woodhawk, released on April 7. Almost forty minutes long, the record has nine tracks: Beyond The Sun, The High Priest, Living In The Sand, Magnetic North, Lawless, Quest For Clarity, A New Hope, Foresee The Future and Chrononaut. Woodhawk, essentially an alternative rock band with hard rock elements, has a style that resembles a little – but very little – almost forgotten post grunge related acts, like Tantric and Days of the New. But the best assertion for their sound – although I really don’t like comparisons – can be described as someone who has really taught Nickelback and Creed how to create and play music decently. Of course, with Deep Purple and Whitesnake elements added to it.
But considerations apart, Woodhawk has a very personal and virtuous style. Fluid, free-flowing, wild and explosive, Beyond The Sun is a highly energetic album, with exceedingly dimensional and expansive guitars, wisely inserted into a vigorous dynamic of persuasive intelligence. With fabulous melodies, and an intensely vibrating – although sometimes crude and rude – level of originality, the songs on this album have a strong personal identity, that abundantly escalates into the voracious fields of their harmonies a virtual solicitude, that captivatingly standardizes in the shapes of the rhythms a splendid vigor, that purposely defines in the labor of its own sonorous universe the voracity of its artistic intentions.
Although Beyond The Sun is not exactly a marvelous album, it’s fantastically pretty revealing, in what concerns scope, style and technique. And it’s undeniable the fact that Woodhawk is several levels above the vast majority of other bands of the genre.
An intelligent, vibrating and interesting album, Beyond The Sun, unfortunately, after a certain time, becomes too uniform and too monotonous, with the general melodies appearing to be too similar to one another. Nevertheless, the album indeed scores high in a general evaluation, and technically, they are astoundingly precise and effective as well. The best songs in this album, in my opinion, are the first and the seventh, the eponymous Beyond The Sun and A New Hope, respectively.
A very interesting album, Beyond The Sun has potential to capture a loyal audience within the hard/ alternative rock music community. And to engrave the strength of their work on the scene, of course.
The Nacarat is an album by Canadian stoner rock group Monobrow, released on April 6. Almost forty minutes long, but with only five tracks – The First Vague Rumblings of Impending Revolution, Capes and Monocles, We Can Make it Look Like an Accident, Twin Sheiks and The Decline of the West and Other Small Tragedies – The Nacarat, in several aspects, is the typical stoner rock album. Nonetheless, the melodies are incredible more volatile, voluble and fascinating than usual. With an unpredictable versatility, the diluted corporeal melodies present in the songs immerse the listener into the expansive tunnel of a surprisingly flexible journey, that continues over the outstanding frontiers of incommensurable sensorial transitions, over the free-flowing cosmic rhythms that sagaciously refract the sound directly into one’s mind.
With a very fluid body of sound, The Nacarat can be categorized as a dimensional travel, that very sensibly – but acutely, as well as wisely – uses the virtual propensities of sound to experiment in different densities the rhythmic dissonances that creates the vivacious conflagrations of its ostensive perpetual harmonies, that seems to replicate introspective layers of subjective intonations from the periscope of its own instinctively primal artistic objectives.
An interesting stoner rock album, with more nuances and versatility than usually seen in the genre, in any moment the listener is struck by monotony or boredom. Monobrow has managed to create a truly intriguing, colorful and fascinating instrumental album, full of perspectives and dissociations, that really has surpassed the most rigid and rigorous expectations normally associated with the genre.
A lucid, precisely technical, meticulous and splendid work, The Nacarat is a record full of qualities, and probably one of the best in the genre that I have heard. With a formidable scale of sensorial elements, expressively combined to elaborate an exhilaratingly intense sonorous work of art, The Nacarat is a very surrealist – almost majestic – and astute musical monument, that has conceived in the interior structure of its precious projective scale an entire field of visionary possibilities, creating and experimenting audaciously the volatile and sublime nature of their own style, without fear of doing it wrong. And let’s be real, with such a vigorous and consistent level of talent and creativity, they couldn’t have done wrong, not even for a second.