Sunday, July 12, 2020

Stonegazer- The End of Our World (Artifact 89CD)

I had never heard of this Finnish stoner rock band who seem to have been around since at least 2012 but the more I hear this record the more I get into it. They have two guitar players but there are not many guitar solos, just heads down kick as stoner rock riffing most of the time. The singer, I really like, and he reminds me of someone but I just can’t place it. The title track starts things off with a mid to fast pace.  Short ripping solo and then back to rock! Vapor Trails starts a bit slow and doomy with just bass and drums before the main riff kicks in. This one is a builder!! Automomy busts out of the gates fast and furious. Heads down, bang away! At 2:40 the track takes a left turn and slows but the groove is cool.  I was just waiting for a ripping solo but it never came. Leviathan starts with a section with only vocals, drums and bass before the steady riff joins and the track develops in this more slow and moody track. Bring down the Rain also brings down the intensity with the slower pace and a bit bluesy at times but it builds up with some intense drumming at the end.  Fool Moon starts off slow and bluesy as well and this track features a nice guitar solo. A great groove develops on this track. The final track is called No Grace to Fall From and also a slow to mid paced track and a great wah solo and passionate singing. Wow.. This album grows on you. Finnish Stoner rock… Kiitos..

Shem- No Songs, just Sound (Clostridium Records )

I have never heard of this band. This CD just appeared in my mailbox. Seems the band are from Stuttgart and this material was recorded in August 2017 and the rest is live from Nachtsicht Festival 2018. The band are a five piece- drums, 2 guitars, bass, and synth-sax player. The CD is pretty long at over 70mins and only 6 tracks. Finistére starts with a long spacey intro and then the groove kicks in at about 4mins and off the band goes as the energy builds. A melodic guitar line is repeated and modulated over time as it is pretty hypnotic. Some spacey synth sounds get scattered across the soundscape as well but there is not a lot in the mix. Felt like the track was ending at 14mins but then it starts to build up again with one wah guitar and one more heavy riff.  Konvoi starts with a mid pace and one slow heavy repeated riff and a more melodic guitar. I miss some real guitar solos at times, it is mostly melodic lines for one guitar and riffs for the other. Säure cuts in quite dramatically after the last track, which did not do much for me. This one has a darker mood to it and a heavy sound overall but the mix is not as good.  The solo guitar takes a few more chances but is mixed low compared to the heavy one.  At 5mins they go into a sort of reggae like section and the heavy guitar plays some nice spacey stuff. Eins starts also moody and spacey with a slow build with some spacey synth appearing again.  The track eventually builds up with a hypnotic drum and bass and a good energy. You can hear the synth pass through the sound every now and then as the guitars  deviate a bit from the theme here and there.  By 12mins the track is dying down and returns to its spacey beginnings a bit and the synth takes the lead for the first time.  Fünf is another mid paced track with a driving bass line and spacey guitars mixed a bit in the back and the synth doing some drones that draw your attention away.  Good energy.. Encore ends this album and is the most psychedelic track.  Check em out, if you like psych jam band stuff..

The World is our Lobster (Friends of the Fish CD9)

This is a new compilation CD sent out to Fruits de Mer club members.  It features mostly tracks taken from albums that have been released or not by Fruits de Mer. Only the Stray Owls track is totally unreleased.  I have never heard some of these bands (Silver Vials, Vilse I Pannkakan, James McKeown, The Sugarman Band, Scott William Urquart) and others have several songs or releases on the label like Stay, Superfjord and Cary Grace.  Anyway, this is a killer compilation. We were listening on the patio at beer o’clock the other day and it just took us away to another place. Superfjord provide perhaps the best track  Psychic Lemon’s track, Seeds of Tranquility is so brilliant. Fans of the label will for sure love this.  It is a great compilation. 

Frozen Planet 1969- Cold Hand of a Gambling Man (Headspin Records MEXS024)

I really dig this band from Australia. I have all their albums except the first 10”. It is so hard to get. Damn….  The band sent me their first couple of releases on CD for review. Anyway, they are a instrumental trio who at least once a year head into the studio and just record some cool jams and take the ones they like the best and put out a record and I buy it as I really like them.  They have a cool collaboration with artist John Debono-Cullen, who creates these great stories and artwork. Anyway, this album features 6 tracks and the opening one, A Sombre Gathering, has a really heavy wah ridden guitar riff, quite different from other tracks they have recorded and the guitar is really mixed in your face!  It gets into DOOM territory at the end. As always there is great solid drums and bass and some wicked guitar leads spread out in the tracks. 900 Mile Head Rush is a very short interlude piece that goes into In the Shadows of Forces Unknown and slows things with some nice delay guitar. Frank has some cool guitar effects.  Side B kicks in with Of Medicine and Moonshine. A bit of Hendrix vibe and a really nice use of effects and killer bass and drums on this one, in fact the entire side has this groove and feel. Cool stuff, again.. Thanks Guys..

July 18th, they are doing a live concert stream. It will broadcast around lunch time here in Europe..  Check their facebook page for details.

Might- Might (Exile on Mainstream)

Might are a new duo (Ana Muhi and Sven Missulis) from Hannover, Germany.  The CD features 9 tracks. The bands tracks are quite diverse. Introduce Yourself starts things off with just a guitar and vocal (male and female). Pollution of Mind features some rapid fire drumming and super intense guitar to start things off and then heads off into a dirty fuzzed out groove and then a more doomy vibe develops after a sharp edit. Ana sings this one. Nasty sound. Vampire continues with a heavy riff also with a lot of distortion on the guitar riff. Sven sings the lead with Ana on backing vocals. The drums join on this much slower track, which has many different vibes. Possession starts with a bass  and then a typical doom riff kicks in with the drums. At just about a minute the drums and riff speed up and the riff switches back and forth from a nasty to a melodic line.  Ana kicks in with the vocal at 2.5 minutes on this pretty typical doom rock track with slow and fast parts. Warlight changes the vibe totally with an acoustic guitar. Drums and bass join after a minute.  Vocals are gentle on this track. The track changes intensity towards the end when the electric guitar kicks in with a lot of distortion.  I guess this is where the Neurosis influence is shows the most. 

Weirdo Waltz has a distorted sound and is super intense like black death metal music to start.  It comes to a stop and is only two guitars before the Ana’s vocals kick in and it becomes distorted doom music.  Later the distorted sound becomes more intense like the beginning. Flight of Fancy bursts out of the ass of the previous song and starts heavy but strips itself down to just a single guitar and Ana’s voice sung in a different style. Mrs Poise was a strange track with some keyboards. Zero is the last track and brings back the intensity of the album with that distorted metal-doom rock.

When the band can get back to tour they promise a highly visual show including Sven duplicating himself on drums and playing guitar live.

The bio says for fans of Emma Ruth Rundle, Chelsea Wolfe, Neurosis, Jarboe, Dolch and others… I am not really familiar with these act except Neurosis.