donderdag 21 september 2023

Fire Down Below - Low Desert Surf Club



Fire Down Below - Low Desert Surf Club
Ripple Music – 2023
Rock, Stoner, Desert
Rated: *****

Well, they make their destination obviously clear with the second track of their new album. But you’re already getting a nice tan, you feel the warm wind and the sun burn, yes you already feel like you are in California, USA from the first opening seconds of opening track Cocaine Hippo. How does a Belgian band from the lovely, but usually grey and drizzling city of Ghent, sound so much like their American counterparts? As if they were born in the American desert, moved to the Californian seaside and became surf dudes. Fire Down Below! Amazing! Smash ‘n grab opener Cocaine Hippo sports enough energy and stoner trucking ruckus to last you a lifetime. You can never have enough cowbell, and for those of us that really can never have enough cowbell, Cocaine Hippo is here to feed your addiction! Riffs galore, a bass like a perpetuum mobile and a drummer delivers on so many different levels, Cocaine Hippo is the best opener they could have chosen. And then we’re on to that second track. “I dream of California in the summer”, you’re there man! From that first riff, the first drum burst, the first rumbling bass, and that first vocal line. It turns up the heat and becomes a righteous and poetic ode to the legendary bands and to where it all started for us Heavy Underground loving fiends. Yes, we’re talking about Kyuss and all about all the offspring that came from that legendary band. Especially third track Airwolf, which rumbles on and roars like a rickety generator about to fall apart… 

We wrote about their Hymn of The Cosmic Man from 2018, that it turned into one gigantic trip, an adventure that took you places and needed to be experienced in one sitting. This has less of that aspect on one level. For you can take any of these tracks and enjoy the hell out of it, but if you use the Low Desert Surf Club as a vessel for transportation, you will be trekking through California, all 57 minutes long. For where Cocaine Hippo, California and Airwolf took you with them through the Californian desert, worshipping the sign, drinking tequila, getting stoned out of your mind, with a generator running all night long, the next track Surf Queen takes you straight back to the beachfront. The title says it all. Surf rock. The awesome kind. Cause the high-spirited surf riding Surf Queen dives headfirst in the waves before the rumble becomes heavier and the distortion more pronounced. Another immediate stoner rocking, desert rocking fan favorite follows called Dune Buggy, cowbell abundant and for some weird and probably insane reason, the chugging part reminded me of my favorite Feuerzeug song, Fusion Van. But this track is more laidback, fun, sporting through the sand dunes and the blazing hot sun. Although the end does feel like an all-out assault, topple and crash into the dunes. 

From here on out Fire Down Below turns up the psychedelic mantra, a more guru-like approach to stoner rocking relaxation. Here Comes The Flood, looking back at Dune Buggy, with vocals that switch from a John Garcia to a Brant Bjork vibe. Slower, laidback, it feels at peace with the fact that the tsunami on the horizon might swallow us all. Instrumental Hazy Snake, continues and widens the slow-moving desert vista. And even though it sounds dusty enough, there is a cosmic side to Hazy Snake that seems like a nod to the album that came before. The Last Cowboy speeds up again, seemingly opting for a move back towards the beginning of the album. That stoner trucking, desert vibing, straight for the gut hard rocking, riff rolling good stuff. And for a moment you might think that it will mean, the jig is up, the album is over, and the second spin can commence. But no… That’s when Mantra starts. No less than sixteen minutes long, the song resounding, revolving around a riff that seems almost buried in the guitar lines that surf on top and the funk that seems to almost break loose and raise hell. Cosmic overtones, almost heralding all the different shifts in dynamic and color, all still highly desert or low desert, or at least part of the club. It took me for a ride the first time around, making me insecure of all that came before, was this still the same Low Desert Surf Club? Are we still in California? But when those vocals hit, you know you are, this is basking, this is living, this is Fire Down Below inviting every listener into the Low Desert Surf Club… And party all night long...

(Written by JK)




Ripple Music

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten

Opmerking: Alleen leden van deze blog kunnen een reactie posten.