Posts Tagged ‘Stoner’

GhostHello Album Cover.jpg

Ghost:Hello are a family affair, and the trio of stoner rockers from Ohio are releasing their debut record in September, entitled ‘The Sound of Color in Space’. This is a record that demands repeated listens to unlock its glories, but it is just a little too strange in places?

A mighty slab of synth riddled stoner fuzz is exactly what this record gives you from the start. The driving riffs that open ‘Fingerstache’ are immediately addictive, but what really hooks you in are the surrounding synth lines, weird effects and otherworldly vocals that ensure that you’ve never quite heard anything like this before. The strange gloom of ‘Perfect’, the awesome driving bass of ‘Mouth of the Gift Horse’ coupled with the raw vocal; it is the variety in every song that makes Ghost:Hello such an intriguing prospect. Highlights include the tripped out fuzz of Burnout’ and the closing ‘Poison Swan’, that drifts away in squalling feedback.

Equal parts driving stoner rock and weird darkwave, Ghost:Hello have released one of this year’s most interesting records. The tribal, sleazeblues of ‘Nemesis’ sits right next to the eerie, pulsating ‘Bardo State’ and yet makes total sense. A challenging record, but ultimately a great one.

Beehoover are an interesting proposition. A two man drum and bass combination who create this unorthodox stoner doom sound that sounds like no one else. The nearest comparison is probably the Melvins, but even then Beehoover are shot through with this psychedelic, kraut rock edge. I really liked their ‘Concrete Catalyst’ record, and I look forward to this one.

‘Pissant Wings’ is a perfect opening gambit of this weirdness. A malevolent, grinding drum and bass fuzz, with some cool Kyuss-esque riffs meeting an off kilter rhythm. ‘Bombs and Bagpipes’ is a jerking doom monster, with vocalist/bassist Ingmar Petersen giving a great, bug eyed vocal performance. I can see it being a bit divisive but it is something unique to the band, and it sets Beehoover apart. The minimalist melodies that creep into certain parts of the record are infectious but subtle. This is a record that can take a number of listens to unlock the full potential.

Beehoover deconstruct the simplistic grooves of classic stoner doom, then filter them backwards through esoteric, psychedelic weirdness. It makes them a fascinating listen, from the wailing feedback of the creepy ‘Tickling the Dragon’s Tail’ to the righteous bass groove of ‘Embers’. It gives Beehoover this schizophrenic, thin-line-between-genius-and-madness vibe that means you can’t stop listening. ‘Anti Zooo’ feels like the most straightforward song here, and it’d be a good place to start. For me, the highlight is the chameleonic, almost Tool-like ‘My Artillery’.

I’m a fan of ‘Primitive Powers’. It feels like, not an evolution, but a reinterpretation of stoner doom,; a genre that is notorious for not stepping out of its groove so to speak. Like combining Kyuss and the Melvins, Beehoover continue to entrance me with their sound. ‘Primitive Powers’ is a record I’ll keep spinning until I finally get through toits complex, shape shifting core…

Bedowyn - Blood of the Fall

Well, Bedowyn have definitely got one of last year’s best album covers, and this North Carolina stoner doom mob’s ‘Blood of the Fall’ has the kind of sick groove that is befitting the underground psychedelic death of that poor deer…

After the looming intro riffs, ‘Rite to Kill’ comes rumbling from the deepest recesses of Iommi/Pike riff heaven. The dense, almost tribal drumming that underpins each sun baked riff is addictive, while the glorious melodies soar above. The solo is a thing of beauty, as is the progressive nature of the title track. There’s also more than a dash of Kylesa appearing in parts of the shimmering melodies of ‘Cotards Blade’ and the infectious ‘Leave the Living for Dead’. Kylesa are a band that don’t get anywhere enough credit for some of the bands their sound has spawned that are seriously good, and there’s definitely some stuff in here for fans.

The delicate, Appalachian acoustics of ‘For a Fleeting Moment’ have a dark undertone, and this bleeds into the unsettlingly atmospheric ‘Where Wings Will Burn’. Bedowyn have this unmistakable gift of marrying this intense sludgy heaviness with scorching melody. It makes ‘Blood of the Fall’ an exciting listen, and one full of parched beauty. Take the burning glory of ‘Lord of the Suffering’ as a perfect summation of this album’s excellence.

This review was originally posted here:

The best thing about writing for The Sleeping Shaman is I get to hear music by bands I’d never heard of before. So far, I’ve enjoyed these new discoveries immensely, and I look forward to more. To The Asound, whose self-titled record is another addition to my ‘who the fuck are they?’ collection.

The opening track, cunningly titled ‘Intro’, is a pretty solid instrumental, underpinned by a virtuoso drumming performance that reminded me of Brann Dailor from Mastodon. This leads into the first song proper, ‘In The Sins’, a jerking atonal beast of a track. It’s like The Dillinger Escape Plan playing Kyuss songs while stoned off their ass. It’s a lot more chilled out than that sounds, and it’s also unlike anything I’ve ever heard. It’s a fuzzed out jazz/desert rock jam with added doom and spiralling solos that flit between space and time. I like where this is going…

The Baron’ has appeared on a previous split, and it has a killer doom riff to open. This is a relentless slow march into oblivion, some monolithic creature dragging you to your end, with a strangely hypnotic vocal performance. Other than the appearance of yet another psychedelic solo, the riff barely changes throughout.

Sparrow’ is faster paced, with a rolling Mastodon feel, but much more juddering and loose. There is very much a feeling of spontaneity about The Asound; you feel like their songs could be going anywhere. The drumming performance is once again stunning, and really stands out as the lynchpin for the whole outfit. ‘Joan’ is a powerhouse rocker, a song that could comfortably sit on a High on Fire record without being out of place, and is the catchiest, almost poppiest song here. Yet, it could never be described as commercial. The riffs are still too heavy and disjointed in places. Really, it captures the idea of rock being dangerous, different and yet the same.

The record continues with the grinding NOLA sludge doom of ‘Liver Puffin’, the psychedelic instrumental hellfire of ‘Tater Hole Blues’ and the 70s doom rock croon of ‘Slight Of Hand’ until we reach the galloping doom crescendo that is ‘Slave To The Saints’. It’s the offspring of Mastodon and Kyuss, meshing the power of the former with the laidback groove of the latter. Chad Wyrick summons the power of John Garcia and Brent Hinds for his vocals on this track.

The Asound are as close to a unique entity in stoner doom as you can find these days. This is much more important than anyone realises, much more. A fresh voice can revolutionise, can break down barriers, can confound expectations. The Asound have certainly done that, and you would ALL be wise to find this record while you can.