Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mogul - Build Me a Hunchbank

Mogul “Build Me A Hunchback”, 2008

For every good band there are hundreds of thousands of shitty imitators.  Mogul would mostly  like to be  “Rated R” period Queens of The Stone Age.  It’s a shame that every song on “Build Me a Hunchback” is like the meat and other items that go into sausages.  Sure the meat is great when it’s hot and cooked, preferably on a barbecue. Realistically though, that meat is sweepings of the leftover premium and average goods.  Simply put, this is filler material. There’s no attempt made to stand out from the rest of the stoner crowd.   Every song sounds like it has been lifted from a better band and then watered down.  “Return the Blues” has a slight Fu Manchu feel.   The riffing and vocal styling on “Narrow Shoes” is lifted straight from a recent Josh Homme textbook.  “Genie 18” is more of the same but is long and bores.  If Mogul had cut this song from seven minutes to three minutes, the song would have been better. “Hold On” attempts to vary precedings with an opening powerchord but then the band’s rhythm section come in  and the band consider repetitive riffs and lyrics to be a good idea.  “Sidekick” and  “All of My Bleeding” look longingly with envy towards Kyuss.

 The production is great but these songs are more sterile than a vasectomy clinic run by Lorena Bobbit.
It’d be a lie to suggest this album is vital for fans of the prevoiusly mentioned bands.  It’s likely they all ready own the albums Mogul base their sound on and this album will fall to the back of the pile in no time.  Choose steak, next time.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Glowsun - The Sundering

Glowsun “The Sundering”, 2008
(Buzzville Records)

The effects of globalization are ever present in this day and age.   We’ve all likely been informed by a news source that the global economy is in recession.  Glowsun are a French band, who are heavily influenced by desert rockers Kyuss.  During tough times cutbacks have to be made so the vocals on this album are sparse and the songs are heavy on the instrumental side.   In this three-piece ensemble downsizing is important so the guitar player handles the vocalist role.   The vocals on the first song “Virus” and riffs on “Green Sun, Sick World” bring Tool to mind and some of the music but overall there’s more than a cursory glance towards the fuzzed out world of stoner rock.  “The End” is a spaced out jam finishing with sung vocals coming in at the end of the song.    “No Way” moves from a long quiet breathtaking guitar passage into a wah wah pedal eclipse.  “Barbarella” opens with what sounds like a sample sex scene from a French movie.  Drums quietly enter the frame then after a vocal burst; the band erupts into their stoner riffing lava flow.  The drums are at their loudest at the start of  “The Heads” which quickly turns into a cosmic jam with a little “Surfing with the Alien” guitar.   The last song “Need” borrows rather liberally from Kyuss.

The emphasis in the mix is on the guitar sound coming through loud and clear.  Glowsun won’t be winning any originality competitions but this disc grooves and shakes in the right places.


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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vacant Fever - Kill Kill Kill

Two piece Oregon stoner rock band Vacant Fever have released a five song  ep and want readers of this blog to hear it before it's release date of 6th March.  They definitely take a lot from Queens of The Stone Age's second and third album and sound like a band with more members than just two, which is all  good by me.  There is a limited vinyl release of 500 copies but here it is for readers of this blog to listen to.  Vacant fever say, "We will sell out better than anyone else, trust us.
Get high, close your eyes & listen to our new EP".

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sotujamala -Teloitus

Sotujamala - “Teloitus”, 2007
(Woodcut Records)

The lexicon of death metal appears to an outsider to consist of words gathered from medical textbooks and horror movies although the two most used keywords by insiders are crushing and  brutal.  Listening to Finnish death metal band Sotujamala's’s latest offering you know the two keywords once again will be bandied about.

I stuck this CD in the player after listening to the atrocious Balls CD and immediately heard good musicianship.   These guys are tighter than Scrooge McDuck.  The vocals are death grunts and whether or not the lyrics can be clearly heard is irrelevant for a lot of us since they are all in Finnish.

What really stands out on this album is the drumming because drummer Timo Häkkinen is capable of making tempo changes seem effortless and never bores.  He often goes from a blastbeat to slowing right down and blending in with the other musicians as a drummer should.  The guitar players are no slouches either and there are more than tasteful satisfying leads all over the place but still fitting in with the band‘s music which often goes from slow mode to fast for a bit then back.   The emphasis here is on power rather than just speed.

The final track “Teloitus” clocking in at seven minutes drags a little but other than that “Teloitus” is a very fine death metal album or in death metal dialect, this is a brutal crushing album.  .


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cynic - Traced in Air

Cynic, Traced In Air, 2008
(Season of Mist)

Forgive me,  reader, it has been a very long time since my last confession.   My first admission is that I have not heard Cynic’s debut album “Focus”.  However I had heard numerous times before making my way to the confessional booth that over fifteen years ago that they stretched the confines of death metal by adding a progressive rock touch. Now it would seem they are a progressive rock band with a pinch of death metal, a dollop of rock, a helping of jazz-fusion and a side of metal. “Nunc Fluens” opens with synthetic vocals and then bursts the album opens with a quiet guitar passage with melodic singing interspersed with drums that go from tribal to traditional rock.  “The Space for This” is caked with melodic vocals; technical jazzy guitar parts that border and deathly metal growls.  “Integral Birth” forces the listener to take notice of both vocal styles at once.  “Adam’s Murmur opens with female sounding vocals and wrangles musical styles together with the jazz rock guitar being the song’s highlight.

The chanting during the refrains on “The Unknown Guest” gives the impression Cynic would be more at home at a Hare Krishna parade however, after several repeated listens, none of the songs on “Traced in Air” crawl into the memory banks. Despite the high level of musicianship and experimentation, listening to this album was like peeling skins off an onion as there’s yet another layer underneath but the end result is often tears and there’s absolutely no hurry to do it again.  



Cynic's official site

High Priestess - High Priestess

Record Label: Ripple Music High Priestess are a recently new Los Angeles trio who play heavy psychedelic music. The band was formed...