Thursday 14 July 2022

Josiah - We Lay On Cold Stone (Album Review)

Release Date: July 15th 2022. Record Label: Blues Funeral Recordings. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

We Lay On Cold Stone - Tracklisting

1. Rats (To The Bitter End)

2. Saltwater

3. Let The Lambs See The Knife

4. Cut Them Free

5. (Realise) We Are Not Real

6. The Bitter End


Mathew Bethancourt - Guitar & Vocals

Sie Beasley - Bass & Vocals

Jack Dickinson - Drums


Legendary UK Psych Stoner Rockers Josiah return after a 13 year absence with their new album We Lay On Cold Stone. Perhaps rejuvenated as well from their back catalogue being reissued by Heavy Psych Sounds earlier this year. Though, this time round Blues Funeral Recordings are releasing this album. If you haven't heard of Josiah then the band plays a mixture of Blues Rock, Psych Rock, Spacey Stoner Rock sounds. These guys were around in the early days of the UK Stoner Rock scene back in the 90's and 00's before splitting up back in 2010.

This album sees the band more vibrant than ever with an album that moves between the finer elements of Psych Stoner Rock. Fans of Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu, KYUSS and Nebula will no doubt get a kick from this album. The excellent opening song Rats (To The Bitter End) is an Instrumental Song with Josiah playing modern day vibes with plenty of heavy swirling Psych Rock moments that are reminiscent of early-era Fu Manchu. There is a classic grunge aspect near the later stages of the song before returning for a more solemn Blues Rock vibe.

Second song Saltwater opens with a Seventies Classic Hard Rock drive before bringing a Blues Rock flow with the swinging and catchy vocals from Sie and Mathew. The song then brings a "NEBULA" flavour with a Garage Rock approach. Not what you would expect from a Stoner Rock album but the grooves are plentiful with its playful approach and lush melodies that Josiah injects into this song. The lyrics are superb and easy to remember if you want to join iin with the sublime singalong choruses.

Third song Let Lambs See The Knife is a dark and bleak offering from Josiah with its use of Ambient noises to build up that level of Psychedelic weirdness in the background. Perhaps a tad too experimental at first though Josiah soon settled down to play one of the aggressive and kick-ass tracks on the album. The band sound like modern day and classic Monster Magnet on this track but still bringing their own creative swagger to the party. The instrumental work is superb with different styles of Psych Stoner Rock having a more vintage feel. Volume is key here with Josiah masterfully bringing the heavier grooves perfectly into focus. 

The second half of the album perhaps sees Josiah venture into the right terrain of modern day Stoner Rock to impress the underground scene with. There's a lot of Sonic experimentation on this album which comes info play more on the second half on stunning fourth instrumental offering Cut Them Free. 

The music becomes freakier, bolder and more progressive with the songs (Realise) We Are Not Real and The Bitter End being the best tracks contained on the album. Running past the eighteen minutes mark, Josiah played to their creative strengths with non stop riffs exploring the Garage/Blues Rock dynamic of their sound with vocal melodies reminding me of The Who on the standout track (Realise) We Are Not Real.

We Lay On Cold Stone is perhaps the best comeback album from the Stoner Rock underground since Lowrider's classic release Refractions. With first rate production values, Josiah has released a wonderfully entertaining and diverse album that will only enhance their reputation even further within the Underground scene.

If you want a Stoner Rock album that dares to be different then We Lay On Cold Stone is that album. This is a spectacular listen from start to finish.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo

We Lay On Cold Stone will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Blues Funeral Recordings from July 15th 2022.


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