Tuesday 11 December 2018

Full Tone Generator - Valley Of The Universe (Album Review)

Release date: November 14th 2018. Label: Hurricane Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Valley Of The Universe – Tracklisting

1.Let The Good Times Roll 04:10
2.I Only Love You When I'm Loaded 05:07
3.Shermin Drive 04:00
4.Shitstorm 03:56
5.No Future 00:59
6.Shermin Drive Reprise 06:42
7.Preacher Man 07:38
8.Never To Return 09:33


Andy Fernando: Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Brad Young: Guitar, Bass, Backing Vox
Brant Bjork: Drums, Backing Vox


Full Tone Generator is the new band that features Brant Bjork on Drums and Backing Vocals in their ranks. Well for the studio aspect of the band anyway. The band recently released their debut album – Valley Of The Universe – and it plays out like a love letter to the Desert/Stoner Metal genre where Brant Bjork has become legendary for. Inspired by bands such as Kyuss, Fu Manchu and some of Brant’s solo work.

The album which was produced by Brant Bjork and Bubba Dupree has a darker tone that you wouldn’t expect from the Desert/Stoner Metal genre. As the lyrics deal with dark subject matters that even surprised me especially on the opening two songs – Let The Good Times Roll, I Only Love You When I’m Loaded. As the songs combine upbeat Desert/Stoner based melodies with harsh lyrical content. The vocals from Andy is what brings this album fully to life. Andy shows his passion and love for vocalists such as Brant Bjork and John Garcia.

However this album has its own direction and ideas that allows Full Tone Generator to be classed as their own entity. Having one of the scenes legendary figures helping with the music does help but you wouldn’t expect the dark journey that Full Tone Generator take you upon on Brant or Bubba’s other musical projects.

The music is a mixture of Psych, Fuzz, Stoner, Punk, Desert Rock and Hard Rock which allows Valley Of The Universe to be completely different especially on the later stages of the album. Songs such as: Shermin Drive, Shitstorm and No Future sees Full Tone Generator adapt a more edgier persona with the music and lyrics combining for some thrilling Desert/Stoner Rock moments.

However it’s with the final two songs where Full Tone Generator impress the most. As the two songs – Preacher Man and Never To Return – have some of the best and addictive Stoner riffs I’ve heard this year. These two songs have the same classic feel and approach that Kyuss made their own back in the day. This is still Full Tone Generator’s show and when the psychedelic grooves of Preacher Man finally appear you’re under their spell. As the song has a dark Blues Rock vibe with the lyrics telling an intriguing story. However it’s the music and fantastic grizzled vocals of Andy that leave you wanting more of this particular song.

The final song – Never To Return – is the heaviest and darkest song on the album with Andy’s vocals going into the world of Hardcore. It’s quite a stark contrast to the other songs held on the album but it works surprisingly well.

The production on the album is simply fantastic which isn’t surprising since Brant Bjork and Bubba Dupree produced the album.

Valley Of The Universe is the type of album why I fell in love with Desert/Stoner Metal in the first place. As the hazy and heavy psychedelic sounds of the Desert haven’t sound as good as this for a very long time. This is an unmissable and must-have album.

Words by Steve Howe


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