Friday 17 March 2023

ISAAK - HEY (Album Review)

Release Date: March 31st 2023. Record Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

HEY: Tracklisting

Miracle B





Over The Edge (Vipers Cover)


Fake It Until You Make It

Taste 2.0


Goodbyes Are Always Very Sad


Giacoma Boeddu - Vocals

Francesco Raimondi - Guitars

Gabriele Carta - Bass

Davide Foccis - Drums


Italian Stoner Rock/Metallers ISAAK return after a seven year absence when they released their underground classic album Sermonize. It's been a long wait for the guys to return and now they are back with HEY. A collection of eleven tracks where ISAAK fuse their Stoner Rock/Metal sounds with elements of Psychedelic Rock and Fuzz Rock against a darker style of Punk Rock themes throughout this album.

ISAAK also use Dark Comedic and Satirical themes within the lyrics and messages of their songs whilst remaining true to the Underground Stoner roots. However, the band are thinking outside of the box from the very start with the opening track Miracle B which takes pot-shots at modern day life whilst blending WEEDIAN grooves with a punchy and aggressive feeling to it all. The song is slightly DOOM based but the music is always  the "STAR" here with FUZZY extended jams allowing the soundbytes to tell their own story.

Second song Hey takes over where Sermonize left off. Fast-paced and slightly distorted sounds of the Californian Desert that do offer hints of the Punk/Garage Rock sound the band have adopted for this album. The vocals are superb from Giacoma having a more forward thinking style of delivery compared to the previous albums. The music is CATCHY, LOUD and wonderfully endearing to the Stoner way of life despite the Garage Rock influences being used. 

Third song OBG is another fast-paced slice of Punk driven grooves and trippy Psych jams. There's a lot to take in with this song and Giacoma's vocals are relentless but ISAAK makes everything work together. The FUZZ/Garage Rock sounds move firmly into the Psychedelic Stoner Metal world. The song works best when the band plays a more convincing style of Modern Day extended jams. OBG sees ISAAK making huge strides with their music and offering their own definitive blend of catchy Stoner Rock/Metal. 

The production values do allow ISAAK to have a more stripped back feeling to the whole sound of the album but it works to the band's favour especially on the next few songs of Except, Rotten, Over The Edge and Dormouse.

The band work best here on these tracks as they start to think and play outside of the box. The music becomes more FUZZ based with the excellent instrumental work from Francesco (Guitars), Gabriele (Bass) and Davide (Drums) allowing the album to venture into other areas of Psych, Stoner and Punk whilst retaining quite an adventurous side. The added use of Trippy F/X, Guitar Loops and Amplifier Distortion is always a welcome bonus for me personally and ISAAK become more adept at conjuring different styles of music to soothe the soul with.

Giacoma excels yet again within his "world-weary" storytelling role shining through on tracks such as Except, Rotten and Dormouse. The melodic guitars are another highlight with the intense rhythm section allowing  ISAAK to deliver a first rate "Power-Trio" style riff-centric charge for the rest of the album.

Other standout tracks include Fake It Until You Make It, Sleepwalker and Goodbyes Are Always Very Sad.

I would say the final stages of the album sees ISAAK offer the most interesting creative parts of the album with HEY becoming more daring (and even more FUZZIER) when the need calls for it. ISAAK are quite a different band compared to Sermonize but they're still playing music that will speak volumes to the entire Stoner Metal Community.

This album is a masterclass on how to deliver a classic sounding and first rate Desert/Fuzz/Psych/Stoner Rock album.

HEY is ISAAK's most exciting and impressive record to date. Full of outlandish ideas and sublime hard-rocking grooves, this album is the band's best album to date. Another Album Of The Year Contender has landed right here. Heavy Psych Sounds is releasing this album, so that allows this album to be described or considered as "The Complete Package". 

Words by Steve Howe.

Thanks to Purple Sage PR for the promo.

HEY is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds (Europe) and Heavy Psych Sounds (USA)

from March 31st 2023.


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