Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stonebride - (2014) Heavy Envelope

STONEBRIDE are the purveyors of their own philosophy, sound and dedication to music. Unwreckable live entity! Combining influences from everything they can but staying true to the original, addictive and interesting musical expression. STONEBRIDE nurtures heavy, dark coloured sound, alternative, psych amped vibes driven by trance feeling, prog moments with steering the wheel into desert, doom Rock and sludge teritories. Month long and short circuit tours, clubs, festivals, roaming the most of the European land, playing with and supporting slots for some of the genre defining bands like: Karma To Burn [usa], Suma [swe], Kyuss Lives! [usa], Colour Haze [d], Glowsun [f], Black Math Horseman [usa], True Widow [usa], Truckfighters [swe], Stinking Lizaveta [usa], Master Musicians Of Bukkake [usa] etc., established STONEBRIDE as a live machine you want see over and over again. Welcome to 'altertrance' state of mind!

Croatian band, Stonebride have returned to grace us with their third official release (fourth overall). It's been awhile since we've heard anything from these guys, not since the great "Summon the Waves", almost four years ago have we heard a peep from them. But that is all about to change when they unleash "Heavy Envelope" for us all to tear into. I'm not really sure if I should call this an ep, or an album. Being only six tracks, I guess that would qualify as an ep. But it feels like an album to me. Regardless of that, I've totally immersed myself into this quasi-doom saturated grunge recording a few times now. I seem to be going back to it over and over again. In a time where albums fly at me with break-neck speed, this one really stands out.

Full of the best aspects of many genres, "Heavy Envelope" seals them all in with spit and polish. Boasting vocal harmonies reminiscent of Alice in Chains ("Lay Low"). With Lumbering drop tuned doom-filled guitar riffs, progressive time shifts and drum patterns. Stonebride aren't out to beat the listener into submission, but to take them on a journey. Well produced, well played and just a great rock record. One that encapsulates everything I love about music. This one goes straight into the top ten list of 2014 for sure.

It will be released in various formats. First comes the CD via PDV records, vinyl version will be available as a joint effort between PDV records / Setalight records and through other digital media outlets. Essential listening here people. Obviously totally recommended.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Fever Dog - (2014) Second Wind

Formed in 2006, Fever Dog began as three 6th graders in a garage as "Snot Rocket". By the fall of 2008 they had recorded and released the first self-titled six song E.P. In 2009 the first Snot Rocket full length album "Red Alert" was released with 10 songs and two videos. The Fall of 2010 saw the release of "Super Chevy", featuring ten tracks of pure rock and roll, and in the spring of 2012 they changed their name to "Fever Dog" and recorded their first album "Volume one" Released November 10th 2012. 2014 will see their second full length album "Second Wind" (Part two of a trilogy) featuring recent singles "Lady Snowblood" and "The Great Tree" , 8 more brand new original tracks, and a 22 page comic book Illustrated by Danny Graham and Written by Jason Graham. 

Where I found Volume One to be more urgent, a feeling of getting it over even before it began, Second Wind creates a much broader palette for the ears. "Obelisk", a soft instrumental, settles the listener down, seated if you will, ready to present the journey you are about to embark on. The two songs that follow, "Second Wind" & "The Back of Beyond", propel you into the desert, bleak, but not desperate – swirling rhythms, soft echoes, hard, but not too heavy. We come upon "The Great Tree", and indeed great it is.  At first brushed back by the air, a strong wind – it creates the perfect mind journey, a feeling of excitement, you’re not sure what is coming ahead, however chance suggests it will be rewarding – 6 minutes of heightened liveliness. "Iroquois" stomps on your brain, a sudden primary trigger for the senses, like rolling thunder in the great wide open - I can hear it over and over. Now you’re caught in the storm, heavy rock, dragged off of your feet, trapped in a funnel, "One Thousand Centuries" floats all around you – immediate loud guitars – psychedelic jamming, almost beautiful, stoned. "Rukma Vimana" offers the chance to clear the head, a more impactful instrumental this time around. "Hats Off to Andrew Bowen", at first, brains the mind through its manic playing, close to 4 minutes of pure hammering at the rocks, hyper drive guitars – oh, she settles down, lying bed to the sky, eyes closed head nodding – off on another journey in your mind, while you’re well aware that you've already been on one for awhile now. A wonderful  instrumental.  We are coming to a close very soon, an end to this eargasm. "Lady Snowblood/Child of the Netherworlds" is another long epic journey – not a continuation of the last song, but very much aligned with it. It enables the ears to embrace the idea that it is all coming to the end, and yet it really is just the beginning. We can see more clearly now, we understand the ride Fever Dog want us to take. We’ve seen the golden sea, we understand it better. We have come to "Nexus", the final song, but only for this chapter. We’ll continue to follow the path laid out for us by Fever Dog.

This album, to my ears, encompasses a wide range of influences, from 70’s hard rock, to space rock to late 90’s stoner rock & desert rock  (which btw, was one of the best times for said genres).  U can take a bit of Kyuss, Neil Young, Lowrider, Zeppelin etc..  a touch hear, a touch there.  A fantastic album, I highly recommend it, and certainly look forward to hearing more from the band (in particular Part 3 of this trilogy).  -WB

Thursday, August 7, 2014

CODO - (2014) Super-Magic Powerful

Another two-piece you say? Isn't this a thing of the past that was not so long ago? Maybe? Now, perhaps its just me, but I find music from Europe and South America refreshing. Sure, some of it is the same old thing if you will, but it just feels right. So let me introduce you to Codo. a hard rocking stonerish band from Spain. They kick things off with the rifftastic, that’s right, rifftastic, cause I like it like that, semi-ferocious beauty. They mean business here, and this kind of business is quite enjoyable. They gear down just a tad segueing into "What Are You Talkin' About", no worries though, they lay down some real nice jamming here, and it gives the song a nice twist. So far its damn fine, then I hit "Morune", what have we here? What a treat, more and more I'm becoming a sucker for a good instrumental, and lo and behold, we've got one. Not so dreamy it is, it wont help you escape to that far planet in your head but it will certainly keep you nodding, and we need more of that nowadays. The rest of the album is one highlight after another. I've got to be honest here, I thoroughly enjoyed every song. Nothing groundbreaking, but who is? In a way they remind me of Tweak Bird having sex with At Devil Dirt (musically of course) if you don't know these two bands, you're an idiot. Now, with that being said, if you have to, check those guys out too. Before you do that, give these guys a listen. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. There is no better feeling than finding a band that is relatively new (at least to me) and being completely won over at the first listen. Not many bands do this for me anymore. especially new strangers, who now have become friends to these ears. Easily a 7.5, if not 8 out of 10 here. Maybe 8.5, I really dig this. You will too. -WB