Saturday 6 June 2020

FAMILIARS - All In Good Time (Album Review)

Release date: April 10th 2020. Label: Full Moon Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

All In Good Time – Tracklisting

1.Homestead 06:43
2.Rocky Roost 03:29
3.The Common Loon 04:38
4.Barn Burning 06:53
5.The Incident 04:44
6.The Dirty Dog Saloon 06:09
7.Avro Arrow 05:30
8.Bonanza 05:26


Kevin Vansteenkiste (Guitar/Vocals),
Jared MacIntyre (Bass/Vocals)
Anton Babych (Drums)


Going through the current lockdown in the UK has allowed me to listen and discover new music more than ever. One of those bands that I discovered during lockdown is Canadian Heavy Psychedelic Stoner Rockers – FAMILIARS – though I almost give their debut album a hard pass based on their album photo. As their album cover made myself think that they were an Indie Rock/Folk Rock band and obviously that’s far from the truth.

What we have on All In Good Time is a collection of stunning tracks that reach the far vastness of Psychedelic Rock, Stoner Rock, Post-Rock and even a bit of Shoegaze which is used for great dramatic effect. What really sticks out on the album apart from the epic riffs which the album is full of, is the emotionally driven and intelligent lyrics that allows the music to have a life of it’s own.

If you dig bands such as ELDER and KING BUFFALO then FAMILIARS should be your next port of call with their lush sounding Progressive themes and grooves having an emotional theme to them. The vocals are quite heartfelt that switch between a soulful style and some harsh heavy clean vocals which I didn’t expect on certain parts of the album.

The opening song – Homestead – is a great song to open the album with as it shows you the many different styles of music that FAMILIARS play on this album. Stoner/Post-Rock based sounds with a Shoegaze effect lead the way with a Heavy Psychedelic Rock undergroove allowing the vocals to tell a cool story. The album’s overall effect it trippy and hypnotic from start to finish.

Second song – Rocky Roost – is one of my favourite songs on the record with FAMILIARS playing a more subdued and emotional style of music with the song becoming heavier as time passes by. The music interplay between the band members is first-rate with the vocal harmonies being first rate. The band cover a lot of musical ground despite the short running time on this song. It actually feels like the song is on twice as long and that is a good thing.

Third song – The Common Loon – is a more hard-hitting affair with the Stoner Rock mood being quite aggressive in places and the band add a more daring Psychedelic vibe to the overall feel of the album. The guitar solos are plentiful and leave you wanting more before the almost post-doom vocals appear. The superb lyrics are quite easy to remember and you can’t but help joining in singing along to the background. Well I know I did over the last few weeks.

Fourth song – Barn Burning – is another standout song on the album which starts with a slow Doom based groove that’s quite cold and gloomy before a more subtle Stoner Rock riff changes the direction of the song. The song is quite slow but when the Shoegaze aspect of the album appears it changes the song to a more reflective 90s Alt Rock/Metal style of music but still offering a modern sounding Doom/Stoner Rock based approach.

FAMILIARS continue to expand their musical horizon by implementing different styles of music and offering an original style of Psychedelic Stoner Rock/Metal they can definitely call their own. The top-notch production by the band and Simon Larochette (who also provided Pedal Steel and Additional Percussion on the album) is wonderfully cinematic and has quite a timeless quality to it all.

The second half of the album is perhaps more inventive compared to the first half and equally as good with songs The Dirty Dog Saloon and Avro Arrow being the main highlights.

All In Good Time is one of those albums that becomes a much better album with each subsequent listen and offers a different experience every time. The album is packed full of glorious sounds and wonderful riffs that show what a truly talented band FAMILIARS actually are.

Yeah, I kinda love this record. Don’t let the album cover fool you. This is a masterclass of Heavy Psychedelic Stoner Rock. End Of.

Words by Steve Howe