Sunday, March 29, 2020

Datura4- West Coast Highway Cosmic (Alive Naturalsound 0208)

My favourite (current) Australian band is back with their 4th album and what a great one it is. The last one, Blessed is the Boogie was great and they tried a few new things, as they do here. The opening title track is a real barnburner with some intense organ and a bit of psych thrown in.  I just love this track with its Jon Lord like Hammond.  Wolfman Woogie is next with a slow groover with some nice harmonica by Howie. The mid section features a nice short jam with the Hammond returning to the theme and then they jam it out to the end. Great track.  Mother Medusa is another mid paced uptempo rock and roll number with that characteristic Datura4 sound but a harder push at times. A harmony guitar part might remind you of Wishbone Ash!  A Darker shade of Brown slows things down but keeps it heavy.  You’re the only One has a mystic mood to it and changes the mood totally. I really like the guitar parts on this one and also features  Rule my World is a footstompin’ blues rocker, plain and simple!! Give sounds like a track you have heard a lot of bands write before it. The Hammond is back and playing the lead in the sound on this one.  A lot of classic rock influences in this one.  You be the Fool slows it down again with its slow bluesy vibe. 

Get out (of my life) is a short fast rock and roll number with piano and a great energy. Evil People Pt1 ends this record with a melancholy mood before they decide to rock one last time. The band really kicked my ass this time. I can’t stop playing this one.  They have a distinct sound of their own now and although they have their formula they use on a lot of songs, it is their own now. I love this band. Top record for 2020 for sure.. Check out this interview with the main man, Don.. 

Geezer- Groovy (Heavy Psych Sounds)

IT has been two years since the last full length record by GEEZER.  Psychoriffadelia was played a lot in this household.  I was not sure how the band was going to top this one. The new one is quite different from all their records and it took me a few listens to totally get into it but man, now, I totally dig it!

Dig starts things off with a slow steady stoney groove and some spacey sounds. I really got sucked into this one. It has a Brant Bjork like feel but the groove is GEEZER groove!  They lyrics are about living for today.

On Atlas Electra Pat has this great guitar tone as the rhythm section just plows ahead slow and steady.  The vocal is a bit more laid back with a slight delay. A bit more guitar on this track.  Dead Soul Scroll starts with a spacey guitar and slow build upon a nice thick bass line. Pat kicks in with the guitar. Great sound mix as this track stays quite spacey for a while before the main riff kicks in. Nice use of some spacey effects. “I feel like a tiger, but I am just a name on another Dead Soul Scroll!!!”.  Killer build one this one. Awake starts with a keyboard pad and then the drums kick in and another groovy riff with a more bluesy feel is played and a bit more mainstream like chorus. A organ licks in after the first set of lyrics but it is a bit spacey, which I like. A kyuss like riff and some groovy percussion and a great guitar solo that just took me away to another place.  Groovy is a footstomping number with a rock and roll piano line to start. The track is, indeed, groovy. Drowning On Empty has that scratchy guitar sound mixed into the groove. You can hear another string instrument if you listen closely at different times, steel string guitar.  Pat plays a quite different guitar solo on this track but I love the groove. Wow.  Slide Mountain is instrumental and has a spacey beginning that starts very slowly but grows. There is some spoken words in the background, an acoustic guitar (?) is added to the background as a tasty solo leads the way. Nice use of some effects to keep it interesting and spaced out. I love the way the band makes music like this.  Black Owl has a repeated riff to start but then the sound becomes HUGE and the riff more massive. Very stoney and heavy way to end the record but they also remember to space out a bit!

The band really have moved into some new territory with a greater use of organ, a bit more catchy parts in some of the songs but still maintain their integrity and uniqueness. Great record. Can’t wait to get the vinyl!

Pothead- Live at Tempodrom 1997 (Janitor Records JRS-1018)

While I had expected a new studio album in 2019, I am quite happy also with another live album and one from the Desiccated Soup period is awesome as the trio of records Rumley Oil Pull, Learn to Hypnotize and Desiccated Soup being my favourite 3. Every track is just brilliant. A huge surprise was that you get to hear two songs that never appeared on any of their records. Hard to Do has a pretty hard riff but also that melodic edge and groove. World is Gone is a more mellow track to follow the very intense Funkenbus but the guitar riff gets heavy for a few bars at the end of the track. We also get a couple of tracks from Pot of Gold, which was the latest release at this time (Appreciate, one they still play today!) and Catch 22, which was also releases as a 7” single.  The show ends with one track (Planet of the Apes) from the first release from 1991 called USA. The CD packs 19 tracks in 60 minutes!  Great sound and energy.  Band is tight and I would say Brad sings excellent but sings even better in 2020!!

Saint Gallus Convention Tapes- Files Vol 1 (Wonder Lamp Records DigOil-08)

SGCT is a new group from Dortmund that mostly take classic blues rock tracks and transform them into something totally different. Basically, they don’t use much of original music themes on several of the songs and just steal the lyrics.  The CD opens with Wang Dangle Doodle and you would never recognize the original. Cool music though with fuzzed out bass (for the mid section), nice dual male and female vocals (Joe and Tonia). 

Drought, an original song, changes the vibe totally with its slow stoned blues to start and then heavy build up. It is the 1st single from the LP. Watch the video below.

Smokestack Lightnin’ has been covered by so many bands but I doubt you ever heard a version like this!  They use the main guitar riff line and then interject their own totally different laid back DEAD like vibe with Tonia taking the main vocal. 

White Tears starts with a recording of a blues legend talking (?) as the guitar plays a melodic line.  I think this one is sung only by Joe and has this spacey vibe to it with different layers of guitars. Later Tonia comes in with a backing vocal. Nice track. Don’t Dog your Woman (T-Bone Burrnet) is fairly traditional t start but they stretch this one out and have some fun. Done Somebody Wrong, is really different if you compare to the Allman Brothers. Some nice slide work on this one. Bring it on Home features dual vocals, harmonica and quite slow groove if you compare to Led Zeppelin and a long psyched out guitar solo!  If you like blues rock and want to hear a slightly different take, give this a listen!