Friday 11 November 2016

Stratus Nimbus - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: October 14th 2016. Label: Stone Groove Records. Format: DD

Stratus Nimbus – S/T – Tracklisting

1.Equality 03:57
2.Can't Break Free 04:39
3.A Walk in the Dark 05:06
4.Galaxy Girl 03:56
5.You Take 04:52
6.Rain Jam 04:34


Doug Dowd: drums; vocals (tracks 1 & 6)
Dan Dowd: rhythm guitar (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6); lead guitar (tracks 1 & 4)
Tom Goddard: lead guitar (tracks 2 & 5)
Fabrizio Monni: rhythm guitar (track 3)
Colin Ragan: lead guitar (tracks 3 & 6)
Tom Davies: bass (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6)
Luke "Canada" Shelley: bass (track 4)


Here we have a brooding style of Grunge style Doom/Stoner Rock. Their self-titled debut album is a confident record that allows the band to create their own sound with the emphasis on murky psychedelia and a slight hint of distortion.

Opening track – Equality – is a strong song to open the album with as Stratus Nimbus hit you with huge grunge based riffs with Doug's vocals adding a sombre doom and gloom effect. The album has a DIY Punk vibe which allows the other elements of the bands music to create a rebellious kind of Doom/Stoner based sound.

Second track – Can't Break Free – is a more restrained and heavier psychedelic doom offering with the vocals having a more restrained feel to them. The song has quite a drone based quality to it but it's perhaps the standout track on the album. It has a classic 90s grunge vibe with a modern sounding stoner/doom groove.

The band are made up core members, brothers Doug and Dan Dowd. Most of the songs on the album have quite a different feel to them which is understandable with different people playing on the songs.

Third track – A Walk In The Dark – sees the band firmly venturing in the Psychedelic Doom world with world-weary vocals. This has an Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats feel to it but shouldn't distract you from the excellent lyrics the band have written here.

This is quite a dark and complex album and that's down to the overall lyrical content held within the album. I applaud the band for writing gloomy based lyrics as the tone of the album can feel uneven at times but the I can't fault the lyrics.

The remaining 3 tracks – Galaxy Girl, You Girl and Rain Jam – sees Stratus Nimbus change the albums direction yet again and it's a glorious sound. Galaxy Girl is perhaps the strongest of the final 3 tracks as it has a cool 60s style influence especially with the vocals.

The production of the album whilst good for the most part, still includes a few moments where the sounds very raw. Too raw. Though the band will improve with future releases. Hopefully on the next album the band will decide on a permanent line-up. As I stated before the tone of the album is uneven at times and that's possibly down to having different people playing on the songs.

Apart from those minor complaints, Stratus Nimbus debut album shows a band with huge potential. It's not the most perfect record but it does offer some heavy distorted far-out moments to lose yourself in.

Words by Steve Howe