June 2021 sees the return of the beardos in Crobot with their latest EP Rat Child (Mascot Label Group), a mix of pieces that could have appeared on Motherbrain in an alternate universe and products of the pandemic and long distance friendships. You’re lucky if I bother to actually put on pants, much less try to engage in any kind of creative endeavor over Zoom/Skype/smoke signal so I have to give credit where credit is due.
Three years after the release of Welcome to Fat City (Wind-Up Records) Crobot returns with Motherbrain (Mascot Records). I’ve actually been looking forward to this release for quite a while. I can’t get enough of dirty, rock jams.Continue reading
Back in September, Matt Pike dropped a bombshell on us with news of a new Sleep record some time in 2017. The new year has come and gone and prior posts on the band’s Facebook page suggest that that the boys have indeed been hard at work in the studio over the last few months. Continue reading
I’m kicking off 2017 with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ second studio release; Modern Ruin (International Death Cult). I’d heard of the group just a few weeks prior, after falling face first down a YouTube rabbit hole that started with Cancer Bats, jumped to old Gallows stuff, and finally landed on our band in question. I loved 2015’s Blossom (International Death Cult) and so had high hopes for this album.Continue reading
October is always a big month. It’s basically a month-long party for me with the greatest holiday in existence, Halloween, and my birthday is only a few days beforehand. In my experience, October is also a great month for new releases from bands that I love. This year, Portland, OR based stoner metal/rock band Red Fang return with their fourth studio release entitled Only Ghosts (Relapse Records). It’s different from their previous releases, but that’s part of what makes this album as entertaining as it is.Continue reading
This round brings Baltimore’s own stoner rock sons Foghound and their latest release, The World Unseen (Ripple Music), to the table.
Stoner anthem ‘Above the Wake’ opens the record with its slow, fuzzy groove putting the listener into the right state of mind before vocals kick in, making for a hypnotic combination. Even through repeated listens, this still remains my favorite track on the album because I feel like it’s really the only one that embodies that stoner rock spirit.
I also really like the third track; ‘Serpentine’. It has a great bass line that grabs you from the very beginning and makes you want to move. This song is mostly instrumental, the band choosing to let guitar riffs speak for them instead and it works well. It’s these slower, fuzzier songs that make Foghound bring out their stoner side and I wish there were more of them.
Things speed up quite a bit more as the album continues on and I believe this causes it to lose a bit of the fuzzy vibe and rely more heavily on just the rock aspect. The band also falls into the trap that many others in the genre have before them and veer into lyrical cock rock territory with ‘On a Roll’ and “Rockin’ & Rollin’ with your typical commentary about them having to keep moving along and not having time for “haters” but they’re not actually saying anything of substance that isn’t already on every other stoner rock record in existence. These two cookie cutter songs are the weakest on an album filled with otherwise decent music.
The World Unseen is, overall, a respectable sophomore release. There’s definitely potential there for growth and the creation of some really great music on future albums once Foghound find their footing and decide to break the mold a bit.
ALEIDA LA LLAVE
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Hammers of Misfortune’s Dead Revolution (Metal Blade) marks the band’s sixth release after a lengthy hiatus. The name is a rather amusing one as the album as a whole fails to deliver any kind of revolution and is, in my opinion, dead. Well, maybe not quite. It is neither amazing nor terrible, it just…Exists in time and space as we know it.
I would like to tell you that I found one or two redeeming songs on the record but that was not the case here. Even with repeated listens, there wasn’t really anything that stood out to me as memorable. This applies to the title track, ‘Dead Revolution’, as well. It’s just your generic rock and roll anthem with a keyboard added to the mix.
They’re regarded as a progressive band but this record strikes me as little more than a nod to hard rock that takes itself to seriously. I have never listened to anything else in the band’s catalog so I can’t say where this stands when compared to their other work. However, it doesn’t really make me want to investigate their music any further either.
Although filled with aggressive riffs meant to get the listener’s heart pounding, this album fails to draw them in any particular direction, choosing to leave listeners bored and disinterested instead. If that’s your thing, then go for it. Me, I prefer a little more life and originality in a release.
ALEIDA LA LLAVE
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