donderdag 30 juni 2016

Oak – II


Oak – II
Self released – 2016
Rock, Hard, Stoner, Desert
Rated: ****

About seven months ago we were treated to the debut four-track by London quartet Oak. A fine ride that was. Full of grit, testosterone and wild ideas. That EP definitely hinted at a tree in its infancy. One that needed to grow and bear fruit before we would truly be able to appreciate it in all its glory. Well, the brethren have now released a new four-track and it is, without a doubt, a grander one that their debut. On the EP titled II, the desert still shines through on occasion, but only so it could deliver the heat and the vistas on tracks like Against The Rain and A Bridge Too Far. For the opening and closing part they move into growling biker and stoner, almost well, sludgy territory. Or perhaps not, cause opener Mirage definitely still shimmers like that grand band from the desert that started it all. And closer Smoke feels like an entirely different bookend, a slower heavy groove that lumbers through a landscape filled with intense guitar work and fuzzy riffs. Picking a favorite or a winner is impossible, all four tracks seem to be a different beast onto itself. An animal lying in wait, ready to pounce on all of you unsuspecting music fiends out there. Heavy is as heavy does and Oak does everything exactly right!

(Written by JK)



Shaking Godspeed – Rumspringa


Shaking Godspeed – Rumspringa
Suburban – 2016
Rock, Dutch
Rated: ***

I’m crying a little bit. In secret but unashamed. For the pain a love like this might cause is better kept to themselves. And yet, here I am. The tears are slowly rolling down my cheek and I hide myself behind a screen trying to un-hear the new album Rumspringa by the Dutch rock force I have been in love with for so long now, Shaking Godspeed. Ever since I first heard their five-track EP I knew these cats would bring that fine madness to rock out, to dance and to boogie to. Improving to a massive degree with Awe in 2010 and then again with Hoera in 2012. Welcome Back Wolf from 2014 was the boys celebrating those albums all over again. And now, there’s Rumspringa, a record that is also meant as soundtrack to a Dutch theater show called De Kring Van Welsch by theater group Orkater. Which is a bit of comfort, we can therefor hope this is a one-time thing. A one-off on the Dutch vocals for instance. And okay we understand, everything worth doing, is worth doing right. But we fear it might not be a one-off thing, cause the almost voracious and leering exclamation of singer Wout Kemkens seems to point out his definite lust for something in his native tongue. Musically it once again definitely stands tall and often wild. Perhaps it’s all a bit more grandiose and theatrical. Something which definitely takes time getting used to, I reckon. But that rough and gritty stuff, that boisterous and loud Shaking Godspeed we fell in love with seems to have vacated the premises, leaving in its place, an almost indie dressed up version of that ramshackle outfit we are now crying over. The circus seems to have left town. And we desperately wanted to go with them…

(Written by JK)



Rival Sons – Hollow Bones


Rival Sons – Hollow Bones
Earache – 2016
Rock, Hard, Blues, Seventies
Rated: ****

There’s no denying the fact that when it comes to traditional rock bands, Rival Sons are definitely performing their mixture of hardrock, blues and seventies inspired songs among the very best of the best. Their new album Hollow Bones is once a testament to that fact. Still referencing to the great Zeppelin and some Humble Pie here or Aerosmith there the new record is something definitely a brainchild of the Sons themselves. Highly dynamic rock that flows superbly into modest and subdued passages before exploding on occasion into wild sceneries of howling guitars and screaming vocals. And they don’t shy away from also paying homage to the rhythm and blues of old, just listen to Black Coffee. But we reckon opener Hollow Bones Pt1, Pretty Face or Fade Out will probably be more to the liking of all the wild ones out there, the ones who need to go berserk and screech along after one of those slower parts. I guess they might have a problem with quite a few of the slower songs, just as with the closing huge ballad All I Want. Which is definitely intensely emotional and pure musical gold. And well, we don’t have a problem with that at all! Not one bit…

(Written by JK)



maandag 27 juni 2016

Cactus Rojo – Cosmonautas


Cactus Rojo – Cosmonautas
Self released – 2016
Rock, Stoner, Heavy, Psych
Rated: ****

You know what I was just thinking? I'm gonna have to learn Spanish man. That's because the act Cactus Rojo from Mexico is one of a few Spanish speaking bands that I have really been digging. Another being Arrecho from Venezuela who have also just released a new recording. Cactus Rojo met all of my expectation with their newest release Cosmonautas. Right from the first cut Génesis they grab hold of a heavy stoner sound that borders closely on metal. It's a great opener and a rip roarin good time… Once again the singer is so good that I don't care what the message is (most times I do). There is something about the Spanish speaking world; when they sing heavy, it rocks! Cosmonautas is a nice cleanly recorded heavy record. They rock the shit out of cuts two and three as well. Then cut four Pirámides comes on and it's a way more laid back vibe and I'm loving it. I love everything about it. The psych guitar playing, the nice smooth bass and drums with those heavier vocals makes for an awesome tune. Very nice indeed. It's the kind of jam that makes you want to stop and just enjoy the atmosphere... Then the guys bring it home with their title track which also gives the rest of the EP a run for its money. I urge all readers to give these guys a listen! I believe there is something for everyone on this record and maybe you’ll learn a little Spanish along the way.

(Written by Charlie Tooth)



donderdag 23 juni 2016

Jiboia – Masala


Jiboia – Masala
Self released – 2016
Rock, World, Acid, Psych, Drone
Rated: ****

Jibóia is a highly personal project. The man behind it, goes by the name of Oscar Silva and invites friends to record with him. On some albums or EP’s there are a few. But in the case of the new album Masala, there is only one: Ricardo Martins. The two Portuguese friends turn into acid fueled Prince of Persia’s travelling the globe for worldly inspirations and wild adventures. And therefore the eight psychedelic tracks on this record are all named after different cities. Alluding in the tiniest of ways to what influence you may come across in said song. But, for the most part they draw almost all of their inspiration from Eastern, Persian and North-African regions. It soon turns into this free rock extravaganza filled with sleazy casio beats and droning basslines. It turns hypnotic quick and before long you will be wobbling and bobbling with heads, shoulders and the rest of your body. And pervasive throughout is something mysterious and dangerous and shrouded and snake like. Yes, ride the snake. It might not grab you on every level but it will strike a chord in every fiber of your body. And with summer approaching, we can all use this kind of music to dance to. Ooh, and did I mention the snake… Yes. Ride the snake!

(Written by JK)



dinsdag 21 juni 2016

Red Cloud – Ursa Minor


Red Cloud – Ursa Minor
Self released – 2016
Rock, Desert, Prog, Psych, Stoner
Rated: ***

Like a highly natural and earthy wave of almost jazzy goodness the tracks of Ursa Minor wash over me. Do not get me wrong, Red Cloud is a heavy rock group. One that pays debt to all that good stuff that came from the desert and went on to become stonerrock. But there’s something highly throwback about this little diamond. As if that wave of the sixties is still rolling. And rolling. And rolling. Named after a famed Indian Chief of the Oglala Lakota, part of the great and proud Sioux Nation, the five-piece hail from Eugene, Oregon and has this proud proto rock aspect to their compositions. It goes against the grain on some moments, moving into prog and jazz territory and makes it easy to dream of those great plains and majestic mountains. And thanks to the vistas they produce you soon forget about the heavy side of their music and drift along the endless current. It’s relaxing and laidback and still big on everything heavy, quite a feat in my book and definitely interesting. Let’s keep an eye on Red Cloud and let’s get ready for the next assault by these crazy chiefs…

(Written by JK)



maandag 20 juni 2016

Polarbeers – Down The River


Polarbeers – Down The River 

Soon. Very soon. The new full-sized album entitled New Revolution by the Italian Polarbeers will be unleashed upon the world. Promising yet again to deliver those wild rock, grunge and stoner tunes. And as a teaser they’ve now released a first song and awesome video: Down The River! And if you remember the vid’s for 1MV and Everywhere But Home, you know the boys deliver! Recorded this time with the help from the Rockin’ 1000, who got the Foo Fighters to play Cesena, Italy by playing Learning To Fly with 1000 musicians. Yes, those guys and the Polarbeers, a rockin combination!



 

zaterdag 18 juni 2016

Sidhe – Contenebrat


Sidhe – Contenebrat
Self released – 2016
Rock, Pagen, Metal, Gothic, Doom, Occult
Rated: ***

As the moon slowly hides behind the clouds and darkness descents we listen to the new record Contenebrat by Italian pagan rock and doom metalists Sidhe. We have ten new ritualistic and occult sounding tracks to dance around the cauldron with. Formed in 2005 the band has been heavily influenced by pagan and Celtic mythology. With a demo a year later and a full-sized debut She Is A Witch in 2012 under their belt it was time to do the sinister thing once again. The result is Contenebrat and sports heavy doom metal and every other occult influence one can think off. Even going more quiet and folky at times, and always retaining something highly musical. It might not always sound especially evil, but it does come across ritualistic and high quality. Sung in both English and Italian the music of this female fronted band, although there are also male vocals, drifts towards a lot of older Dutch bands such as The Gathering and Within Temptation. All in all, it just sits exactly right on every level, covering all the bases and making the Contenebrat experience a definite pleasure, it just misses that extra little bit of magic to make it truly enchanting…

(Written by JK)



Telstar Sound Drone - Your Finger Stirs The Liquid Moon


Telstar Sound Drone - Your Finger Stirs The Liquid Moon

And a new Telstar Sound Drone video! The single Your Finger Stirs The Liquid Moon is taken from the album Magical Solutions To Everyday Solutions that came out in March 2016. Which we have been loving to bits! Cause their space rock extravaganza is filled with huge psychedelic layers and intense droning backgrounds. The band, featuring three Baby Woodrose members, one (two actually) from Spids Nøgenhat and vocalist Sean Jardenbæk, mix up their hard rocking psychedelic garage with laidback space and almost blasé drones. Check it out and get owned by Telstar Sound Drone!






donderdag 16 juni 2016

Iron Trap – Instincts


Iron Trap – Instincts
Self released – 2016
Rock, Metal, Stoner, Punk
Rated: ***

Hailing from somewhere in the dark woods surrounding Quebec, Canada, the trio of Iron Trap, the punk metal druids personified, have just released their first official EP called Instincts. Consisting of five tracks that are heavy on the metal and punk vibe, but also sporting that stoner and almost sludge drive on all those tracks. And even though the vocals of bassplayer Maxime Boucher definitely take some time getting used to, you immediately are drawn to the music. There is just so much ace axe-work going on; with a rumbling bass and choppy riffs, you cannot sit still. And any band sporting a female drummer should always and immediately grab your attention. Perhaps a bit on the clean and meticulous side of drumming, Fanny Grenier definitely knows how to give the strings all the air and room they deserve. Instincts tell me Iron Trap must be an absolute riotous gas live in a rundown bar on the outskirts of town. And listening to the final battleship track Lady Of The Slain sporting the double amount of minutes compared to the rest of the songs, you realize these three freaks are definitely capable of writing fine structures. I guess we will have to wait for a full-sized album to see where the Iron Trap will be heading next…

(Written by JK)



Mother Mooch – HiVe Mind



Mother Mooch – HiVe Mind

Charlie Tooth has been digging the hell out of Irish quintet Mother Mooch and so have we all. Right?! And ofcourse we are honored with their reference to the HiVe (thank you guys!) in that one song HiVe Mind. Well, guess what, they made an awesome video for it as well! Check it out and smooch Mother Mooch!




woensdag 15 juni 2016

Black Black Black – Altererd States Of Death And Grace


Black Black Black – Altererd States Of Death And Grace
Self released – 2016
Rock, Hard, Punk, Stoner, Garage, Sludge
Rated: ****

I remember that I instantly liked this album when I quickly stepped through the songs the first time around on their Bandcamp site. Unfortunately, I did not have the time to listen to the whole thing at that moment, but kept in mind that it sounded pretty promising. Now after some more runs and some more time I know what I liked, it’s the vocalist, he formerly sang in the unforgotten Cleveland band Disengage which I dug in the late 90’s, early 2000’s, when internet was young and mp3’s were spread with Napster or AudioGalaxy. Now, nearly two decades later I’m still glued stuck to the same music and still love it. Altered States Of Death And Grace is the second album, after the self-titled debut in 2013, from the New York four-piece Black Black Black. Nine of the ten songs are unusually short for stoner- or psychedelic rock. This and the shouting singer reminds you of (post)hardcore but there is always some Kyuss’ish desert rock shining through, with a slight taste of noise and punk’n’roll...

(Written by Doktor420)




Farflung – 5


Farflung – 5
Heavy Psych Sounds Records – 2016
Rock, Space, Psych
Rated: *****

We had to wait no less than eight years after the superb A Wound In Eternity album to be treated to a new full-sized album by space rock motherfuckers extraordinaire Farflung! Which has been hard on the senses and on the heart, cause we’ve been in love with these crazies since first discovering them back when The Belief Module was released. But now they’re back with an intense space rock rollercoaster ride through the universe. Recorded among others at the fabled Rancho De La Luna studio and with aid from not only hero Dave Catching, but also Nik Turner (Hawkwind) and Gene Trautman (QOTSA, EOFDM) the new record entitled 5 is a true hallucinatory headspin! A highly mesmerizing vortex that does not let up for one minute. Starting with the opening track (thank you guys!) HiVe, the longest cut on the record, the psychedelic goodness washes over you with weird effects and you feel the potential energy build up as the catapult stretches and the arc almost becomes unbearable. The release is there, with the second track Proterozoic, but it feels subdued, as if the hill flattens out and you go straight on. The real dive and rush comes on once 044MPZ hits! What a rush! You woosh and swoosh through the corners and can’t wait for the corkscrews to come. And trust me they are there. With another slow climb in 27th Sun there is no holding back the Farflung cart after that. Even though on some level there is always that feeling that you might not be in the front cart on this ride. As if you’re watching yourself go through this, like a guest standing on the outskirts of the party, just beyond the glow of the campfire. Which makes it all the more weird and trippy…

(Written by JK)