vrijdag 29 augustus 2014

Steak – Slab City


Steak – Slab City
Napalm – 2014
Rock, Stoner, Hard
Rated: ****

The world needs heroes. We need them to save the day, to deliver us from the forces of evil and to show us a damn good time. The UK quartet Steak will do all of the above given enough time. But decided to start off by entertaining us to the max with their debut full-sized album Slab City. We know they have their heart in the right place and have a good sense of humor judging by their EP Corned Beef Colossus and ofcourse the Glanshammer video. But with their new album they turn us on to their heavy side, their full on motoring riff explosions and their steamy hot desert quality. Oh, but let’s get Pisser out of the way first. The highly Kyuss sounding track that has John Garcia delivering guest vocals. Damn fine song, but by no means the best on the album. For that we start at the beginning. The true blast off that is Coma. A slow building intro that has you on the edge of your seat; shifting gear and thundering down the early morning freeway still sounding like Genghis Khan on an iron horse. This is true motoring stoner for the marauding cavalry heading for some mean-spirited place to wreak havoc. And this goes on as Liquid Gold continues into Slab City and ends with Old Timer D.W. The track that has you watching the sun rise over a completely wasted field full of empty beer cans, passed out hillbillies, bikers and dying fires. Yes, it had been a good party and one only a few of us will ever remember. But that’s okay. Cause luckily we still have Steak to jog our memory…

(Written by JK)




donderdag 28 augustus 2014

Grifter – Return Of The Bearded Brethren


Grifter – Return Of The Bearded Brethren
Ripple Music – 2014
Rock, Hard, Blues, Stoner, Southern
Rated: *****

They’re back. With their very own crackling and sneaky humor the bourbon soaked beards have returned and delivered a second album which might be even better than their debut. We are ofcourse talking about Grifter! The UK trio that wooed us back in 2012 with their damn fine first full-sized record. Well, on Return Of The Bearded Brethren they have worked with producer Rich Robinson and had Tony Reed do the masters. Boosting the stomp and thump and lifting the sound to goliath proportions. And where the debut convinced with sheer passion, massive grooves and booze fueled riffs. The new album shows their growth and delivers all that we loved from the earlier work with more determination and with an almost buoyant laidback devil may care attitude. And yes, we can still chug with their chugging speed and go manic on the absolute baffling drums. And did I mention the vocals are better and the axes seem to radiate? It is simple amigos, Grifter knows how to rock like the macho’s in green tights they are! And for that, we must give praise and thank them! Hooray you silly buggers!

(Written by JK)



woensdag 27 augustus 2014

Hobo Magic – Hobo Magic


Hobo Magic – Hobo Magic
Self released – 2014
Rock, Seventies, Stoner, Psych
Rated: ****

They hail from Noosa, Australia just north of Brisbane and they have been playing together since the impressionable age of twelve. Well, until almost exactly a year ago when the drummer left and Bullfrog took his place. The three amigos trucked around doing gigs in rundown parts of town and in tiny garages when their parents weren’t looking. Like true musical vagrants they searched the entire catalogue for everything true and inspiring. After which it was also reasonable to call themselves Hobo Magic. And it definitely is some kind of charming trickery they pull off on their first self-titled release. Like their fellow countrymen Redcoats they are highly inspired by everything that came from the late sixties and early seventies. They move you and curdle your blood with their slower and melodic parts and have you dancing like an age old demon whenever they opt to go wild and wonderful. There is this definite natural and unkempt feeling about these six breathtaking tracks. They mean what they do and they do what they feel like. You can feel it. Just listen to The Lake for instance. It’s earnest and full of powerful stuff. There is a true search going on here. A journey to find righteous grooves and perhaps to reveal who or what is behind the curtain. Can you handle the truth? Can you handle Hobo Magic?

(Written by JK)



dinsdag 26 augustus 2014

Dragoon – Motototem



Dragoon – Motototem
Self released – 2014
Fuzz, Drone, Stoner, Psych, Acid, Blues
Rated: *****

Dragoon are a duo from Brazil and have produced a slab of mad grooviness that delivers on both tunes and powerful blues stoner that draws upon the heavier side of the psychedelic world. Drum machines are used that do give a slight industrial feel but seems to be used mostly as a means to get a pounding, driving beat which is fine by me. Clean guitars start the songs off but when the bass and guitar fuzz boxes get stomped upon, the whole thing is propelled into some mixture of a strange Stooges soundtrack that can only be played when watching 70’s Godzilla films! The vocals which go from crooning to distorted howls, add a dream/nightmare edge to the feeling of total immersion into the trip that is Dragoon. Artful song writing means riffs meld into quiet interludes with whispered refrains before the ride into the swirling landscape of fucked up acid blues starts again. And because these guys are cool it is a free download. What’s stopping ya!

(Written by Tony)



maandag 25 augustus 2014

Small Stone flooded; fundraiser underway...


Small Stone flooded; fundraiser underway...

After seeing the horrible devastation at the Small Stone office; JJ Koczan from The Obelisk took it upon himself to start a fundraiser campaign to help owner Scott Hamilton get back on dry land. After only a few days already half of the target amount has been reached. So, c’mon… Reach out!

“In August 2014, bad storms dumped flood waters all through the Detroit area, including into the offices of Small Stone Records, the label home of Sasquatch, Wo Fat, Greenleaf, Lord Fowl, Dixie Witch, Roadsaw and so many others. Gear and product were both destroyed and insurance in Michigan is crap, so we're coming together to help Scott from Small Stone with some of the massive expense of cleaning up from this flood. Scott's support for heavy music over the last 19 years that he's run Small Stone has never wavered and this is a chance to help somebody who's helped us by enriching our lives with great bands and great riffs. Every bit helps. Thank you for your support."

--Please note that YouCaring.com takes no fees from donations and unlike other sites, ALL THE MONEY YOU DONATE GOES DIRECTLY TO HELP SCOTT.





Desert Age


Desert Age

You’ve been seeing it pop-up across the various stoner, desert and doom affiliated websites. And since we all loved Such Hawks, Such Hounds and the other little ditties that told us more about the origins of the stoner and desert scene we cannot do anything but applaud those who want to venture even deeper into the subject. So here is the Desert Age crew. They’re raising money via the indiegogo site and are already 100% funded. They want to record for us and our distant future the impact that everything has had that has come out of the desert on the musical landscape. Focusing mainly on the Californian scene and on what it has come to mean… We can’t wait to feast our eyes and our ears! So be ready when the summer of 2015 is here and the Desert Age is burning hot…

And check out the extra footage already out there…




Desert Age Extras:




zaterdag 23 augustus 2014

Spiral Shades – Hypnosis Sessions


Spiral Shades – Hypnosis Sessions
RidingEasy Records – 2014
Doom, Proto-metal, Heavy Rock
Rated: ****

“Formed by Vennesla, Norway-native Filip Peterson and Mumbai based singer-songwriter Khushal Bhadra Spiral Shades is a metal record unlike any other. As avid fans of obscure ’70s rock, doom and proto-metal, prior to forming Spiral Shades both Peterson and Bhadra relied on YouTube to unearth lost music and showcase their individual talents as musicians. Each would upload their own cover versions of songs they had discovered online but it wasn’t until one evening in the Summer of 2012 that Khushal happened to stumble onto Filip’s channel where he was taken aback by the Norwegian’s choices and impressive guitar playing.” When I read the above band bio, I was curious and slightly afeared as to what awaited my ears. Happily this duo clearly have a love of proto-doom and heavy rock which shines through this album. Let’s get something out of the way first -  Khushai Bhadra sounds very much like a certain John Osbourne. But – these are no Sabbath clones. Without doubt there is an influence that Spiral Shades draw upon but it is a base to which they can build upon with stirrings of blues, stoner, heavy rock, psychedelic atmospheres and some damn fines grooves. Doom has never sounded so uplifting or cheerful! Nodding my head along to the mid-paced songs, I have regressed to teenage years – I want to play this to everyone I know and call them idiots if they do not like it! 

vrijdag 22 augustus 2014

Sergeant Thunderhoof – Zigurat


Sergeant Thunderhoof – Zigurat
Self released – 2014
Rock, Stoner, Doom, Psych, Space
Rated: ****

I once had the pleasure of interviewing a pornstar and for some reason we started philosophizing about Minotaurs and what name they should have. Yes, this happens. And the discussion could have ended fairly quickly if one of us would have suggested Sergeant Thunderhoof! What a brilliant name! And we are lucky to have this half man half bull walk the face of the earth and that in the numbing span of his eternity decided to produce a monstrous album named Zigurat. A holy pyramid filled with crackling gritty riffs that move through the world of doom and stoner with a lot of psychedelic meandering. They transport you to a higher state of doom where mind altering and kaleidoscopic drums bash, pound, rattle or tick their love for the space rock that the Sergeant creates into your brain and turns it into the labyrinth out of which the creature once escaped. Like the rumbling bass in for instance ‘After Burner’ it ran so many years ago like an animal in rut through all the walls it once contained. And then there are the howling and haunting and unholy vocals that hypnotize and enchant as the freedom did for Sergeant Thunderhoof. So… Stand in attention and salute this mighty beast!

(Written by JK)



Franckie IV Fingers – Volume II


Franckie IV Fingers – Volume II
Self released – 2014
Rock, Stoner, Metal
Rated: ****

Frankie fuckin four fingers is back and ready to do a smash ‘n grab! Cause on their second album aptly named Volume II the French foursome Franckie IV Fingers have perfected their motoring rock sound and are ready to escape with the loot. Just like on their first album Shut Up And Drive we can easily hear where the boys stole the mustard. But this is grade A mustard, the kind of mustard that comes straight out of the hidden cupboards of France, and we cannot get enough of it. And they speed through the landscape with their hands full of the good stuff and with high powered energy and an uncompromising attitude. They have grown, almost larger than life, but without losing sight of the ground. There is no losing it on the curves here, hell, there are no curves, this is straight on, Bourbon guzzling, high testosterone stoner speed rock. And the boys would do well to see if they could play on Speedfest this year… I for one am gonna suggest them to the organizer and hope to see them there!

(Written by JK)





donderdag 21 augustus 2014

John Wilkes Booth – Useless Lucy


John Wilkes Booth – Useless Lucy
Self released – 2014
Rock, Stoner, Doom, Metal
Rated: ****

After their full-sized album Sic Semper Tyrannis from 2008 the band sort of disappeared from my radar. But John Wilkes Booth is not one of those animals to take lightly, dismiss or forgot about. They come back to seek vengeance and exact their very own form of justice. And while their new album Useless Lucy starts off fairly normal, you immediately start to grin with a menacing smile upon your face and you wonder why you forgot about them. From The North is one of those tracks that hammer itself into your brain before you even realize why. But this is thanks to the howling vocalist and the slow rising tide of guitars and drums. It is one of those treks up the mountain where you hope to be pushed off when you reach the cliff. And there on the edge starts the second track: Masturbation Song. Holy hell, groovy and funky drums do the countdown and when the bass starts you know you are going to enjoy yourself. And trust me, that song just keeps on getting better. Which you can also say about the rest of the album! All of the songs are gems in their own right; different from the rest with just enough weirdness to turn you on and the same where it counts. Beware, John Wilkes Booth is back in town and carrying weapons!

(Written by JK)



Spontane – Mojra


Spontane – Mojra
Self released – 2014
Metal, Core, Punk
Rated: ***

Melodic punky metal with hardcore elements and little tidbits of alternative rock. The five-piece Spontane from Warsaw, Poland hit you hard with their aggressive metal. It is a full force and power pedal attack on everything around you. There is no holding back and with the multiple vocalists doing their Polish thing they sure as hell whip the listener up into a sinful frenzy. There is no escaping the fact that the ten tracks on their full-sized debut Mojra are prone to incite violence and produce a righteous pit when they’re on stage. However, the album is collection of EP’s that have been released since the band was formed in 2003 with the addition of one or two tracks. As so many of their countrymen the boys have listened a lot to Biohazard and that shows. It is furious and rough and almost as frantic as you would want them to be. Get yerself a cup of Mojra and go berserk!

(Written by JK)



woensdag 20 augustus 2014

Dot Legacy – Dot Legacy


Dot Legacy – Dot Legacy
Setalight Records – 2014
Rock, Stoner, Alternative, Post
Rated: ****

Neo-stoner, not sure if that really exists or what bands would be playing music labelled as such. The French foursome Dot Legacy from Paris claim to do so and are probably right on the money. On their self-titled debut we hear straight up stoner influences, quite a few stints of nineties alternative, a lot of post-rock extravaganza and something that reminds of the 2000’s nu-metal, rap-rock moment in history. Don’t worry, they do their thing laidback and not for one moment remind of the dubious assholes who jumped around that scene when everything had already been done and the milk had gone sour. No, these cats think big and try to articulate such with grandiose riffs and ever surprising breaks and rhythm changes. True crossover stoner that sounds damn unique and seems to have it all. Harmonies and great vocals lines, rap and screams. Guitars that riff, wail, howl and growl. Rolling, rumbling, chunky and funky bass work and a drummer that hits his skins pounding, freaky or like a choppy cat looking to get his tail pulled. Indeed, these cats drank the milk with a high dose of nutmeg, baked their cake with mushrooms, weed and speed and ate it all too. And realized; there are no rules, no boundaries and no limits. We are approaching legendary stuff here…

(Written by JK)