Saturday 18 February 2017

Wheel Of Smoke - Mindless Mass (Album Review)

Release date: July 09th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: DD/Vinyl

Mindless Mass – Tracklisting

1.Degeneration 06:17
2.Ruins 03:18
3.Bad Shepherd 06:03
4.Unnamed 05:54
5.Synchronicity 03:39
6.No More TV 06:20
7.Feral 07:59

Band Members

Filip Remans - Guitar, vox
Erik Heyns - Guitar, vox
Jouk Opdebeeck - Drums
Tristan Michiels - Bass, vox


Wheel Of Smoke new album - Mindless Mass - is a Prog Rock influenced kind of Hard Rock/Stoner Rock. It has quite a classic sound to it with modern flourishes of Stoner Rock. The vocals do take some time getting used to. Though give it a few songs and you'll seen be right at home especially if you're a long-time fan of Classic Rock, Hard Rock and Stoner Rock. The production is good for the most part and the instrumental work is the main highlight of the entire album.

Opening track - Degeneration - is a fast moving number with heavy moments of pure classic Desert Rock groove. It’s hard not to be swept away by the infectious grooves of the whole album. It's a well put together album with the seven songs showing a band their love for all things loud Stoner Rock.

Second track - Ruin - is more a punk/blues take on Stoner Rock with rough and ready impressive vocals telling adding more flair. I dig the rough and ready appeal of Wheel Of Smoke's music. As it has a more direct approach and you can Wheel Of Smoke is a proper band. They're not interested in a highly produced sound. They would rather let their music do all the talking. It's high energy Punk/Stoner Rock that sees the album contain a huge amount of great riffs.

Songs such as: Bad Shepherd, Unnamed, No More TV and Feral - see Wizard Of Smoke try their hand playing psych and grunge at different parts of the album. The standout tracks have to be Bad Shepherd and Feral as the band create perhaps the albums most exciting moments.

As I stated before the instrumental work is the main highlight as the band create a high amount of heavy moments to lose yourself in. The second half of the album is where the album truly comes alive as Wheel Of Smoke settle into a fine rhythm and creates some loud noise for you to enjoy. It can be quite progressive, experimental and psychedelic at times. This album is perhaps catered for the more adventurous listener than the casual listener. As the mood and delivery of the album changes at a frantic pace. It may be quite off-putting for some but cool as heck for other.

Overall, Mindless Mass is a hugely enjoyable album from start to finish. If you want a rawer kind of Desert/Stoner Rock then Wheel Of Smoke is the band for you.

Words by Steve Howe