Friday, May 5, 2017

Rodeo - (2017) Rodeo

Rodeo is a stoner rock band from Zestoa, Spain. Their take on rock is one to be heard by all the followers of the scene, both new and old.

I take it upon myself to check out everything that floats down the river of the "stoner rock" canal. Believe you me, that's an unrelenting task sometimes. You have to wade through murky waters, where others fear to tread. Every once in awhile it pays off and you come across something pretty special. Rodeo is one those times.

Not being sung in English is already one strike against the typical music I enjoy, so when an album is completely in Basque it really has to have something going on to keep my attention. The self-titled debut from Rodeo here has that attention gathering thing going on and the Basque vocals do not distract from the grooves that lay within the melodies.

The influences are quite clear right out of the gate, you can tell these guys have a love for all things Kyuss and it shows throughout the album. Kyuss being one of my favorite bands of all time, I get that. I never get tired of hearing that type of desert rock inspiration. I'm willing to bet they even named the band after the Kyuss song but that's just a guess.
(Update: Confirmed by the band. I love being right.)

Some might say it's just another "cloner band" or that the stoner rock scene is drying up and that everything being released is just a regurgitation of something else. I say, that's been the case since day one in music, everything is borrowed from something else. Rodeo puts their own spin on a tried and true formula that has my ears quite pleased. Too much of a good thing is never enough. Bandcamp.

 -Adam Walsh

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Monolithic Elephant - (2017) Monolithic Elephant

Monolithic Elephant is a power trio from Milan, Italy. The band produces a solid foundation of downtrodden and down-tuned riffs, thundering bass lines and penchant for keeping things interesting.

Their debut self-titled album has so much going on during its six lengthy tracks, it would really be hard to pigeon-hole them into one genre. There's an affinity for doom, a bit of psychedelia, some progressive song structures and a spacey, almost droned-out ambiance going on within most of the songs, often within the same track. It's this kind of variation that really floats my boat.

The band cites influences from wide array of musicians and bands. Ranging from the usual suspects like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age and Pink Floyd, to a little more off the wall ones like Emerson Lake and Palmer and Radiohead. I can definitely hear these influences coming through in the music and it makes for an interesting listen.  -Adam Walsh

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Green Monster - (2017) Down Witch Down

It's not everyday you come across new music coming from Singapore, let alone a rock 'n roll act. Here's where the band Green Monster enter the building. Releasing an EP back in 2012, it's been five years since we've seen hide nor hair from the Singaporeans. 2017 marks the year of their first full length album. 

"Down Witch Down" is the title and it's a testament to all things rock. The album borrows from the past, keeps a foot in the present and even shows glimpses of the future during its seven tracks.

With not even one beard between the quartet and no tattoos to be seen, they don't look like your typical stoner band. However, you wouldn't know it by listening to the tunes on the album. It goes to show you don't need beards, tats and walls of Orange amps to make good music.

Incorporating plenty of groovy 70's psychedelic rock, with the newer tone of the stoner rock scene is obvious, but there's more here than that. There are also touches of reggae and funk hiding in there too. To me these little differences, (probably forced in from the culture emanating from the band) is what makes "Down Witch Down" an enjoyable listen and a band that seems confident enough in themselves musically to write interesting songs.

Available digitally from Bandcamp. Check em out on Facebook. Watch their new video below for the first track on the album "Witch". 

-Adam Walsh

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