Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Indica Blues - Hymns For A Dying Realm (Album Review)


Release date: April 21st 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Hymns For A Dying Realm – Tracklisting

1.Cosmic Flare 05:05
2.Knight's Return
3.Reigns End
4.Scum River
5.Pearls in the Ash
6.Island of Hate
7.Psychedelic Haze

Members

Andrew Haines-Villalta - Bass
Tom Pilsworth - Guitar, Vocals
John Slaymaker - Guitar
Rich Walker - Drums

Review

Indica Blues new album - Hymns For A Dying Realm - is an album that took me a long time to fully appreciate. There were parts that I enjoyed immensely and some that left me feeling rather cold. Not that I thought it was a bad record. Far from it. It's quite a groovy and heavy doom based album. Maybe I was listening to the album at the wrong time. However as I now rate this album very highly indeed.

Opening track - Cosmic Flare - is a groove laiden song with the band playing a vintage Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal sound with elements of Classic Rock being added just for the fun of it.

Second track - Knights Return - offers a more complex and heavier sound with the band adding a gloomy feel especially with the lyrics and vocals. The whole atmosphere and tone of the album feels inspired by the classic Doom/Heavy Metal bands of the last forty years or so. Lead vocalist - Tom - sounds like a doomier version of Robert Smith from The Cure. Even some parts of the album have a certain Post-Punk feel. The guitars are what keep the whole album within the Doom/Stoner Metal world. There is definitely an air of intelligence around Indica Blues music and the album is quite serious for a Doom/Stoner Metal album. That's a good thing as Indica Blues have their own unique way of creating slightly depressing heavy Doom/Stoner based sounds.

Third song - Reigns End - has quite a poetic and historic feel to it. This allows the album to have a more personal sound and even becomes way too real at times.

The next few songs - Sum River, Pearls In The Ash and Island Of Hate - sees Indica Blues play a familiar style of Psychedelic driven Doom/Stoner Metal sound. The songs easily match the quality of the opening three songs with Island Of Hate being one of the best songs on the album.

Indica Blues write some hard-hitting lyrics on the album and the band deserve credit for writing highly imaginative complex and progressive sounding riffs. The final song - Psychedelic Haze - is aptly named with Indica Blues leaving you in a heavy whirlwind of Psychedelic and Hazy sounds. The song runs past the nine minute mark and Indica Blues prove their worth giving a damn about with the eerie Doom/Stoner Metal sounds leaving you wanting more.

Hymns For A Dying Realm may take a few listens to fully enjoy and appreciate. However this is a journey worth taking as you'll be rewarded with an off-beat and brilliantly heavy doom/stoner metal odyssey.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

Monday, 16 April 2018

Eagle Twin - The Thundering Heard (Album Review)


Release date: March 30th 2018. Label: Southern Lord Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Thundering Heard – Tracklisting

1.Quanah Un Rama 11:24
2.Elk Wolfv Hymn 08:21
3.Heavy Hoof 07:21
4.Antlers of Lightning 14:22

Line-Up

Tyler Smith - Drums
Gentry Densley - Vocals, Guitars

Review

Eagle Twin return after a six year absence with their epic sounding new album - The Thundering Herd. It's an album that sees Eagle Twin play to their absolute maximum strength by playing their trademark Drone/Doom sound with heavy elements of Psychedelic Sludge and Stoner Metal being added for extra potency.

Opening track - Quanah Un Rama - may have a slightly sounding mystical title but the music anything but with the band playing a down-tuned style of drone based Sludge/Stoner heavy riffs that will leave your hairs standing on end. The duo of Tyler Smith and Gentry Densley play a heavily wicked Drums and Guitar combination which has violent outbursts of melodic Psychedelic Sludge Rock. 

This album sees something that Eagle Twin sounding quite friendly in places with parts of the album very melodic whilst still remaining blissfully heavy as hell. The instrumental work is what stands out as the vocals only appear in brief moments on the opening track. Most of the songs run between eight minutes to fourteen minutes long. So don't go expecting Eagle Twin to give you an easy time of things. As they don't.

Second track - Ek Wolfv Hymn - opens at a much slower pace and less angrier tone than the opening track with the band playing an almost Post-Doom/Post-Rock melodic riff. Though the constant pounding drumming points to heavier moments and Eagle Twin don't disappoint. With the song adding gloomy atmospherics and that's thanks to the majestic vocals and cool lyrics. The song does gather momentum in both speed and volume with the drone based aspect adding a more volatile atmosphere.

The final two songs Heavy Hoof and Antlers Of Lightning are perhaps the best songs on the album with Eagle Twin playing a heavier style of Psychedelic Sludge/Doom Metal Riffs with a hint of drone based madness. The music drifts in so many directions that it can be hard to keep up at times but at least Eagle Twin keep the whole atmosphere of the album brutally heavy. With the heavy psychedelic parts allowing Eagle Twin's music to breathe more freely.

The lyrics can be very sly and humorous at times but matches the bleak sounds that the band excel at.

The final song - Antlers Of Lightning - runs past the fourteen minute mark and Eagle Twin play one final round of heavy distorted noises where the music remains firmly in the bleak sounding underbelly of heavy Sludge/Doom Metal riffs. The production on this album is fearless with the sound being constantly threatening and heavy from the start. Eagle Twin have never sounded so good.

The Thundering Herd is perhaps Eagle Twin's most complete album to date. If you're new to the world of Eagle Twin and want to see what all the fuss is about then this is the best place to start. Long-time fans will need to complete their Eagle Twin Record Collection with this must have album. The Thundering Herd is a delicious and dark violent audio treat.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Lauren at Rarely Unable PR for the promo. The Thundering Heard is now available to buy from Southern Lord Records on CD/DD/Vinyl.

Links:

OLNEYA - Devil’s Tongue featuring David Angstrom From Luna Sol (Single Review)


Release date: April 09th 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Devil’s Tongue featuring David Angstrom (Luna Sol)– Tracklisting

Devil’s Tongue

Line-Up

Olneya - music (Maurizio Morea : gtrs / Enrico Gargamelli : bass )
D Angstrom - lyrics / melodies / solos (Luna Sol)

Review

I don’t normally do single reviews that often but I had to make an exception for Italian Psych Stoner Rockers Olneya superb new single – Devil’s Tongue - which features a collaboration with David Angstrom from cult Psych/Stoner Rockers – Luna Sol.

The song lasts little under three minutes but it’s a heavy soulful affair with both artists bring their own psychedelic talents to the table. Maybe the song could have been a couple minutes longer. As soon as it gets going the song unfortunately ends.

I’m hoping we hear more from this cool collaboration in the future. As one song is not enough to satisfy the demand for myself or the Stoner Rock community that should check this great song out now.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

St Fenton The Tainted - Jaw Of The Tyrant Hills (Album Review)


Release date: April 06th 2018. Label: Hibernacula Records. Format: DD

Jaw Of The Tyrant Hills – Tracklisting

1You stepped on my grave 02:05
2.Kill what you love 05:39
3.God sent rain (You sent blood and piss) 03:58
4.Ghost of the stillborn summer 04:23
5.Do your devils know my name 05:01
6.Death wanders home 07:57

Review

St Fenton The Tainted is a Doom/Sludge Metal band who deal in heavy and outbursts violent sounds throughout their debut album - Jaw Of The Tyrant Hills. Opting for a Blackened Sludge Metal approach to their music. St Fenton The Tainted's sound can be quite abrasive and has a hardcore punk feel. The production is not the best sounding I've heard this year but at least the music is of a high standard. Opening track - Insert Name Later - is a sludgy/doom based snarling hardcore punk offering. With St Fenton The Tainted playing a heavy violent style of your standard Doom/Sludge Metal riffs.

A very good track to open the album with that soon drifts violently into the second track -'Kill What You Love - is a song containing elements of Doom Metal, Thrash, Sludge and Hardcore Punk noises. Some parts work really well and others take time to fully take effect. The whole mood of the album is bleak and the lyrics hold a lingering sombre feel. The vocals are what you would expect from an album such as this. Nothing too flashy or overbearing. Just an honest sounding style of Doom/Sludge Metal vocals delivered with true passion. The instrumental work is very frantic but at least St Fenton The Tainted plays a real demented purpose and drive.

Third track - God sent rain (You sent blood and piss) - carries on the violent nihilistic sound with the heavy distorted guitars adding a real metallic groove into the overall tone of the entire album. This is one of the standout songs of the album as St Fenton The Tainted thrives on the gloomy post-thrash/doom/sludge vibes that starts to take a commanding presence. Maybe some people will be put off by the lo-fi production and that's understandable. It took me a few attempts to listen to the album and become more familiar with St Fenton The Tainted's brutal heavy world.

The other songs on the album - Ghost of the stillborn summer, Do your devils know my name and Death Wanders Home - follow on the same twisted path with St Fenton The Tainted becoming more emotionally cold and distant as a result. St Fenton The Tainted are superb musicians and this album proves they know their way around a loud, violent and mean riff. St Fenton The Tainted do feel they were influenced and inspired by Motorhead in certain places on the album.

Especially on the fourth song – Ghost of the stillborn summer. The whole structure feels like a classic Motorhead song but given a despairing Doom/Sludge Metal makeover. This song is breathtakingly loud and highly volatile with the thumping rhythm section doing the heavy lifting that allows St Fenton The Tainted to leave the listener feeling like an emotional and shivering wreck.

Despite the rough production on Jaw Of The Tyrant Hills, St Fenton The Tainted have created an uncompromising slice of Blackened Sludge/Doom Metal. I admire for St Fenton The Tainted for injecting a more psychedelic sound into the second half of the album. The final song – Death Wanders Home - is another highlight with St Fenton The Tainted treating the listener to brutal despairing doom/sludge sounds. Though the final few minutes could have easily been left off. Just static noise that doesn't go anywhere.

My final thoughts on Jaws Of The Tyrant Hills is that's a superbly entertaining record that has a lot of cool things to offer especially if you're a true fan of the more extreme side of Doom/Sludge Metal.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Lisa at Hold Tight! PR for the promo. Jaws Of The Tyrant Hills is available to buy now.

Links:


Saturday, 14 April 2018

Slow Green Thing - III (Album Review)


Release date: April 13th 2018. Label: Fuzzmatazz Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

III – Tracklisting

1.When Habits Embrace 06:19
2.Super High Me
3.Recipe Of Doom
4.Me vs. Me
5.Stop - No, Wait!
6.Queen Of My Heart
7.To Rewind

Members

Sven (guitar, vocals)
Andreas (guitar)
Jörg (drums)
Martin (bass-guitar)

Review

Slow Green Thing superb new album - III - sees the band continuing playing the Grunge/Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal dynamics of their last record and give it a stylish vintage sounding makeover. I'm very happy that the band have stuck to the similar sound that made II such a great album. There are a few parts on III where Slow Green Thing do try their hand at adding different musical elements to their sound. Though for the most part, if you dig II then you're going to enjoy their latest album immensely.

Opening track - When Habits Embrace - is a heavy psychedelic offering with the band opting for a "less is more" approach. The riffs are heavy but not as loud as their last album. That is a good thing. As you can hear different things going on in the background. The vocals are clearer and more focused. The music is slowly played at first but still remaining distinctively heavy. The whole feel of the album is drenched in DOOM based FUZZ. The mellower parts of the album really standout and you're treated to that strange new and yet familiar sound on the opening track.

Second track - Super High Me - opens with a Heavy/Thrash Metal pounding groove. Though the mood remains firmly in Doom/Stoner Metal territory. As the lyrics are very tongue-in-cheek and the music elevates the whole album to a more robust Grunge/Doom based sounding atmosphere.

The band carry on this heavy infectious attitude throughout the rest of the album with songs such as: Recipe Of Doom, Stop - No Wait! and Queen Of My Heart being the best parts of the album. The lyrics on Recipe Of Doom deserve special mention as it will perhaps get the "Stoner" crowd in the mood for ordering a different kind of medication from their registered Doctor. Anyway, joking aside. III is a thrilling and well-produced album with Slow Green Thing embracing the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal culture like ever before.

The album will take a few listens to fully enjoy and appreciate. I'm hoping on their next record that the band be a little bit more adventurous with their overall sound. Still that doesn't stop III being a brilliantly entertaining album and one that sees III being the perfect companion piece to Slow Green Thing's last album.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:


BROND - Graveyard Campfire (Album Review) and New Song Premiere Of Ghostfucker


Release date: April 18th 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Graveyard Campfire – Tracklisting

1.Enter Shamari
2.Harvest The Sun
3.Failure
4.Impossible Downhill
5.Graveyard Campfire
6.Voice Of The Void
7.Backbone Supreme
8.Ghostfucker

Members

Maksim Stoimenov – Drums/Vocals
Oleg Shulev- Bass/Vocals
Vili Popov – Guitars/Vocals
Petar Peikov – Guitars/Vocals

Review

BROND are a band I've heard of before but I never give the band my full attention until their blistering new album - Graveyard Campfire. The album is volatile mix of Punk, Noise Rock, Fuzz, Psych and heavy Stoner Rock/Metal sounds. Opening with the frantically crazy - Enter Shamari. BROND get straight down to business playing a hybrid Punk/Noise/Stoner Rock song with plenty of sludgy attitude to match.

The mood is violently upbeat with noisy guitars making you fall under their dynamic spell. The vocals are mainly influenced by the Hardcore Punk genre but you can still hear elements of old-school Hard Rock roots. The music becomes very psychedelic towards the end with BROND firmly moving into more familiar Desert/Fuzz/Stoner Rock territory. This song tells you how the rest of the album will follow. It's a crazy wild ride with BROND trying their hand at almost every different sound they can possibly lay their hands on.

The album flows from one cool song to the next with songs such as Harvest The Sun, Failure, Graveyard Campfire, Voice Of The Void and the excellent last song - Ghostfucker - showing that BROND never stick to one overall sound.

The vocals are clean and highly confident throughout the album. Maybe the Noise/Punk Rock album may drive some people away from the album and that's a shame. As BROND create some highly energetic Stoner Rock/Metal noise that's quite edgy at times. BROND are quite fearless on the album especially when they merge the albums different musical elements.

Some parts of the album have a Torche-esque feel. As the album can be quite "poppy" at times but BROND then play a Sludgy guitar riff that moves the album into heavier territory. Perhaps more on songs such as Harvest The Sun, Graveyard Campfire and Ghostfucker.

BROND are quite capable at playing epic progressive sounds. It shouldn't really work with the Punk Rock dynamics BROND include on the album. However, it does and BROND pull this off with immense style. Maybe BROND have included too many different musical elements on certain parts of the album. Though it doesn't affect the overall sound of the album.

As Graveyard Campfire is a mighty step forward of BROND. This is an album that should see BROND make a name for themselves within the Sludge/Stoner Rock scene. Graveyard Campfire is a daring, challenging, exciting and action packed album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to the band for allowing me to premiere the briliantly outrageous song – Ghostfucker – from the new album.



LYRICS:

Regret with teeth like worn out rails and it’s head on the flaming floor of a place where the dead dance away in thunder. By the rhythm of their breaking bones. Remember. Ghostfucker! Every time you look away, you seem to be looking back. Ghostfucker! Every stone unturned is a tombstone in your path. Ghostfucker! Every time you look away you, seem to be looking back. Ghostfucker! And there’s a ghost you’d like to to fuck. Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance away in thunder! Dance! God damn it!

Quote about the song:

“Ghostfucker is the longest & slowest (kinda) song on the record and is one of the first songs we wrote for the record. Today we see more and more people return to their personal past for comfort with the illusion somehow things “were better back then” - movies, music, relationships, experiences. But getting addicted to nostalgia can only lead you to being miserable about the present, so fuck that. I hope the song translates that.


Graveyard Campfire will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from April 18th 2018.

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

GOZU - Equilibrium (Album Review)



Release date: April 13th 2018. Label: Blacklight Media/Metal Blade Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Equilibrium – Tracklisting

1.Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat 06:24
2.The People vs. Mr. T 07:13
3.King Cobra 05:03
4.Manimal 05:22
5.They Probably Know Karate 04:16
6.Prison Elbows 05:14
7.Stacy Keach 04:32
8.Ballad of ODB 10:59

Members

marc gaffney- vox/guitar
mike hubbard-drums
doug sherman- guitar
joe grotto- Bass

Review

Well….after two years listening and writing of music for Outlaws Of The Sun, I find myself reviewing the new album of my first ever band I reviewed for Steve, GOZU!

Their previous album, REVIVAL (Ripple Music), caught my attention thanks to their powerful style in the riffage and the wonderful voice of Marc, which always remind me the late Chris Cornell. Today, GOZU came back with EQUILIBRIUM (Metal Blade Records), an album able to masterfully handle fat-heavy-stoner riffs mixed with '70s psychedelic melodies. In EQUILIBRIUM, the band find a perfect mix between bands like MASTODON, BARONESS, HANG THE BASTARD and SOUNDGARDEN while keeping their own style in the songwriting. EQUILIBRIUM flows smoothly, never boring despite the length of the tracks, always above four minutes.

Songs like MANIMAL, PRISON ELBOWS and KING COBRA are example of how GOZU were able to manage all their influences, mixing grunge (listen the singing in KING COBRA), psychedelia (BALLAD OF ODB) and stoner in an absolutely exceptional product, always original and able to catch the listener, even those who still does not know the band.

The climax of EQUILIBRIUM is reached in BALLAD OF ODB, ten minutes of pure progressive expression (in the most literal sense of the term). In my opinion, this song contains all the essence of GOZU. There are rhythmic outbursts, there are solos in which to get lost is a moment, there is a perfect rhythm section, and there is the voice of Marc, the background to the worthy conclusion of a spectacular album.

Of course, it is true that I have a basic passion for GOZU, but it must be admitted that this album is, in my opinion, the greatest compositional and productive point of their career.

If you do not know GOZU, I’m sorry for you. Anyway, don’t worry, you still have time to redeem yourself. Buy this album and you never come back again!

Words by Bruno Bellisario

Thanks to Andy at Metal Blade Records for the promo. Equilibrium is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl from Metal Blade Records now.

Links:


Boss Keloid - Melted On The Inch (Album Review)


Release date: April 27th 2018. Label: Holy Roar Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Melted On The Inch – Tracklisting

1. Chronosiam
2. Tarku Shavel
3. Peykruve
4. Jromalih
5. Lokannok
6. Griffonbrass

Members

Alex Hurst - vocals, guitar
Paul Swarbrick - guitars
Ste Arands - drums, perc
Matthew Milne - keyboards
Charlie Seisay - bass guitar

Review

I don't know if things happen for a reason or if they simply happen. I can speculate and ponder over this for hours and days without getting anywhere near a reasonable conclusion. What I can say though is….Boss Keloid, what the fuck?!?!?!?! Where have you been all my life? ‘Melted On The Inch’ is their third full-length but somehow I’ve managed to miss these guys, however you won’t get a better introduction to this band by listening to this masterpiece. So who am I to complain?

Fell head over heels for this record immediately without being able to pin-point how or why. But that doesn’t matter because the sheer brilliance these 5 gents exudes is more than enough. After a while though, a pattern started to emerge, a strange pattern no less albeit of a fantastic kind. Boss Keloid brings in a lot of influences from all over the board and usually – 99.99 times out of 100 – this is a recipe for disaster where the music shoots off in all directions, lacking any kind of cohesion. However, these Wiganers tie all pieces together creating a previously unheard-of musical palette, which shatters my perception of music completely and I absolutely love it!

The greatness of Melted On The Inch’ appears immediately in opener ’Chronosiam’. In a way it is representative of the whole album. Shamanistic, punishing, transcending, hell life-altering as well. You name it and it’s there. Blending led-heavy passages with medieval touches whilst catapulted into a trippy, stoned-out other-world. As soon as the punishing starts choir-like singing emanates before Asiatic tones rings out. Confusing? Not the slightest! Everything is perfectly integrated, every little piece has its place and function giving a brilliant outcome. I feel as if I have flown into a supernova as it explodes. Completely disintegrated, I am now reborn and a much better person at that. And we’re only at the first song…

Contemplative, soul searching and beautiful, yet burrowing and pounding ‘Tarku Shavel’ is the perfect continuation in my rebirth. The song guides me as I find better options, better ways of being. It’s still a struggle but Boss Keloid are the Grand Masters in catharsis, as well as in enlightenment of a different, more open and wider perspective. Suggestive and mind-altering this song elevates me to a whole new level. ‘Peykruve’ starts off mellow with hints of reggae and those amazing Asian influences perhaps. Regardless, it’s kind of trippy and soothing for the most parts although heavier segments show the struggles accepting your new self. At the same time the new-found knowledge and state of being pushes to the front to allow the reborn me to break free fully.

Jromalih’ starts off with trance-inducing rhythms and sounds and a very trippy guitar which keep on throughout, only to elevate the transcendent lucidity the band oozes. Once heavier parts emerges it only enhances the contentment I feel of this new beginning Boss Keloid offers, despite the lure of old me constantly rearing its ugly head. However, the calmness on hand keeps me level-headed and assured. Coming to conclusions and making decisions, whether they are good or not, Lokannok’ is what tips the scale and you have to stick your guns, no matter what. Maybe the path to my personal enlightenment isn’t so clear after all. A gradual build up musically, this eventual battering ram unleashes power and fury I didn’t know existed.

Ending this magnum opus is ‘Griffonbrass’. Slower but lurking and pounding, it is one of those compositions which pulls you in like quicksand and before you know it, life as you know it is no more. In this soul-searching journey Boss Keloid takes us on ‘Griffonbrass’ offers resolve and contentment. Whatever choices you made you live with them. That’s how you grow! Take everything you’ve done, extract anything life-changing and adhere to that and you have changed for the better. It might be hard but you will change.

Boss Keloid are my new, missing muse! Sure, fan boy you say, but honestly. ‘Melted On The Inch’ is what has been absent from my life. For someone who has used music as a guiding light in life, a band these days has to have something extra because so much has been done musically. And these Wiganers step beyond all this and then some. Obviously they have no fear doing whatever they like and that alone is always a positive sign. Then, by adding excellent musicianship as well as songwriting skills of extra terrestrial proportions and voila, you have Boss Keloid. Yes I know I blabber like a fool but hell, this band is something else, something light years ahead of the rest!

Words by Håkan Nyman

Thanks to Lisa at Hold Tight PR for the promo. Melted On The Inch will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Holy Roar Records from April 27th 2018.

Links:


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

An Interview With Jason Taylor From SIERRA


I've been a huge fan of Sierra ever since they released their debut EP and full length album both back in 2013. Both records showed a band with keen eye for melody and heavy Doomed Out Stoner Sounds.

Sierra have toured quite heavily over the last few years and that's seen the band adapt a heavier Progressive Sound that's firmly rooted in the 70s. Though they still know how to play a hard rocking modern Doom/Stoner riff.

Sierra have just released their superb new album - The Mirror. Which sees the band carrying on the Progressive Rock sound they created on the acclaimed EP - 1972. Though this time Sierra have included elements of Hard Rock, Classic Rock and even Heavy Metal.

It's been a while since I caught up with Jason Taylor (Guitars/Vox) from Sierra and he's kindly agreed to do this interview. Where we discussed the making of the new album and their constant ongoing search for a Drummer to join the band. (Spinal Tap, eat your heart out...)

Hi guys. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today.

Things are good man, thanks.

You’ve just released your superb new album – The Mirror. What can people expect from the album.

You can expect a completely fresh sounding record. Anyone into progressive music or heavier stuff will dig it and our fans are going to be stoked.

What is the main theme and story of the album.

This album has more of a personal vibe than our last release, 72, which was a full blown concept album with characters and all that. This one is more of a collection of songs with us talking about things like addiction, regret, mankind’s destructive tendencies, and daily frustrations. Mainly a look in the mirror for both Robbie and myself.

Who is releasing the album and what formats is the album being released upon.

This one is self released. At the moment just on CD and digital. We’ve been sitting on this one for way too long, and we had to get it out. I’m sure it will be released on vinyl eventually when it makes sense to do so. We have tours coming up and vinyl takes forever.

What influenced you when writing and recording the album.

Daily life. Being on the road more than ever before also. This is our first full length album since becoming a “touring band”, so I’m sure that influenced us on some level. We’ve been around the block a few times now. The one thing we set out to do though was make this a solid live album. Something that will slay live. We’re stoked to get back on the road and play this. There’s a few songs that have been in our live set for a while now, but playing it front to back is going to be great.

Was recording the album an easy or hard experience.
This was actually the best experience we’ve had recording. It was just Robbie, Phillip, and myself in the studio. We were super prepared and laid it down fast. We had more time to be creative at the Jam Room, which is my favourite place in the world.



What I admire about your new album is how you’ve took the progressive themes of your last release and merged it with the some classic heavy rock/metal sounds. Is that a fair assumption to make.

For sure. We’re huge prog nerds, so the progressiveness will always be there.

You’re working with Philip Cope (Kylesa) on this record again. Was that an easy decision to work with Philip. Did you have discussion in working with somebody else to record the album.

We’ve done every album with Phil. We’ve had a few people say they’d want to record us, but we always knew we’d go back to the Jam Room. They care about us there, and Phil is like a member of the band at this point. We will continue to record there.

Does Philip or anyone else from Kylesa make appearances on your new album.

There’s one or two Phil screams in there.


Will you be promoting and touring this album heavily. Or will you just be focusing on gigs closer to home.

We plan tour as much a possible. We have a tour with Irata at the end of April which hits the east coast of the USA. We know we will be out on the road in the summer also, and if it all comes through it’s going to be a killer bill.

What’s the deal with you guys and drummers

We haven’t found the right guy yet to commit full time. Its getting very Spinal Tap at this point. We either find a guy with the chops, but wrong attitude, or has the chops and can’t hold their booze, or decide that they can’t tour last minute because of their job.

We are always ready to go with somebody for when a tour comes up. Ky Anto has always come through for us, and we have some great dudes who can fill in whenever we need.

We would love to find the right person though. If you think you have the chops, quit your day job, move to Kitchener, get a temp job, and sleep on our couch. 


The album cover is very cool indeed. What’s the story behind the album cover. Who designed it and how much input did you have into the final design.

Branko Vranic did the cover. He’s a local artist. He’s done some great work for our dudes in Hawkeyes.

I gave him a very small reference for what I wanted but then he took it a million miles further than what I had expected. We gave him the album to listen to and he came up with it. Its pretty obvious that he took inspiration from the song Falling.

The artwork on the inside is incredible too. Definitely want to get posters made of it.

You guys are from Canada which is provided a ton of great bands for the Doom/Stoner Metal community to fully appreciate. What’s the scene currently like over there. Do you have an active scene where you can perform on a regular basis.

There’s some great bands here for sure. In terms of stoner/doom stuff locally we have the mighty Hawkeyes, who we share a jam space with. Those guys are our blood brothers. In Toronto, which is just down the road, you’ve got some great bands like Ol’ Time Moonshine and Low Orbit. I’m a huge fan of Mountain Dust too which has some ex-Kitchener members but are based out of Montreal now.

We started out by playing house shows in town almost every other weekend. Now we try to tour more than just doing one off shows. Its always great ending a tour with a homecoming show, which will happen on the Irata tour at the end of the month.

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go do you have anything to say to your fans. Best of luck with the new album.

We’ll see you on the road soon. Check out The Mirror, and tell your drummer friends about us.


Words by Steve Howe and Jason Taylor

Thanks to Jason for doing this interview. You can buy The Mirror on CD/DD via BandCamp now.

Links:


Monster Magnet - Mindfucker (Album Review)



Release date: March 23rd 2018. Label: Napalm Reocrds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

MINDFUCKER – Tracklisting

1.Rocket Freak 03:29
2.Soul 05:26
3.Mindfucker 04:59
4.I'm God 06:16
5.Drowning 07:20
6.Ejection 03:27
7.Want Some 05:48
8.Brainwashed 03:22
9.All Day Midnight 03:59
10.When The Hammer Comes Down 05:47

Members

Dave Wyndorf (Vocals)
Ed Mundell (Guitar)
Phil Caivano (Guitar)
Jim Baglino (Bass)
Bob Pantella (Drums)

Review

Greetings All,

Monster Magnet has returned with their first new album in 4 years. Well apart from the Remix/Redux albums they released in 2014 and 2015. 

Mindfucker and the band is back in a big way and as bombastic as ever. The band unleashes a refreshingly killer mix of garage, punk, and metal with enough stoner and psychedelia to make it go down real smooth. While the album is heavy there is much more of a definite early 70’s rock/punk sound.

You can hear the Stooges, MC5 and Ramones in almost every track all with Monster Magnets own spin. There are also some 60’s pop influences that pop up from time to time that are quite welcome. The songs are all very tight on Mindfucker and the album moves quickly and effortlessly through its 10 amazing tracks. Main man Dave Wyndorf sounds energized and as good as ever. Like most of Monster Magnet songs the theme of the record, hence the title, seems to be the human mind. Which is a topic of infinite possibilities, and the band hits it hard from a lot of different angles.

The garage rock inspired Rocket Freak opens the record with a million mile an hour driving beat. Soul follows and lives up to its name, it has bombastic 70’s soul music feel about it. The title track, Mindfucker is a super catchy rocker with a big juicy riff. The production and feel of the songs makes them feel like they were recorded sometime in the mid 1970’s. That vibe is very apparent on I’m God which is an effortlessly catchy jam.

The band slows it down and brings the heavy in with Drowning. This beast being the most metal sounding track on the record. Ejection is an old school 60’s style rocker ala the Kinks. Want Some comes in with some serious rock n roll swagger and backs it up 120%. You hear a later 70’s punk/Ramones-esque feel on Brainwashed. My favorite track on the record is the dark 60’s/70’s AM rock (for those of you that even know what that is) of All Day Midnight. This jam brings the riff and a killer hook and a goddam sitar. What more do you need.

The album closes with the epic sound of When the Hammer Comes Down. It is a somewhat slower, heavier mid-tempo rocker that reminded me a bit of the Obsessed in the delivery. There is a killer shift towards the end that picks up the pace and closes the record with an extremely satisfying feel.

Monster Magnet have been around for close to 30 years. This record deserves recognition as one of the best records the band has put out. I wouldn’t necessarily say that Mindfucker is a change in style as the band has always been a tough one to pigeon-hole into any one sound.

However, it is a welcome addition to the bands already illustrious catalogue. If you dig Monster Magnet there is absolutely no reason you will not flip you lid for this killer record. Track it down and rock out, since that is exactly what these guys want you to do!

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Links: