Monster Magnet probably needs no introduction to anyone who has paid any degree of attention to the alternative rock scene over the last 25 years or more. The band has always been unashamedly and unapologetically rockist in their approach. Largely ignoring scenes such as grunge as they have come and gone, Monster Magnet have managed to pump out album after album of classic heavy rock, and they continue to play to huge audiences. Somehow they have always stood out from the crowd of rock revivalists and “stoner” bands. Whilst the music of many of these retro bands so often feels tired and trite when compared to the 60s or 70s bands they try to copy, they always exuded a special kind of conviction, authenticity and raw power that sets them apart. Maybe this has something to do with (singer, guitar player and only original member) Dave Wyndorf having been born in 1956 and so having actually lived through the 60s and 70s. Either way, the music has always felt just as legitimate and classy as records by Motörhead or Deep Purple.
Japan’s Sonic Flower began in the early 2000s as an offshoot of Church of Misery. They released one self-titled album in 2003 and then broke up in 2005 following some aborted recording sessions. Reforming briefly in 2007, only to break up again the same year, Sonic Flower lay dormant for 14 years until they finally reformed again in 2019. A full-length album with a new lineup including a vocalist is scheduled for later in 2021. To whet their fans’ appetite in the meantime, the band are first releasing Rides Again (Heavy Psych Sounds Records), which consists entirely of tracks recorded in 2005 from the aforementioned aborted sessions.
There’s no talking about Blind Golem’s first full-length album without mentioning Uriah Heep. The Italians initially began as a Heep tribute band and desired to write their own music in a similar Seventies Rock style, going so far as to give the artwork that Demons and Wizards aesthetic and even getting Ken Hensley himself to record keyboards and slide guitar just months before his tragic passing. A Dream Of Fantasy (MaRaCash Records) makes for an inevitably derivative listen with that established, but it is also an undeniably infectious labor of love.
Butterfly’s full-length debut isn’t the least bit shy about its Seventies Rock inspirations. That is made immediately apparent with the cover art contrasting Vikings and a mystical title with an innocuous band name, but the music plays out like a grab-bag of Montrose, Uriah Heep, and Budgie among others. Its free-spirited attitude is comparable to their contemporaries in Freeways and one can occasionally detect hints of otherworldly haziness in line with Tanith and Brimstone Coven.Continue reading
Sad news as classic rock icon Peter “Ginger” Baker, who rose to stardom in the 1960s with supergroup Cream, has died. He was 80 years old. The news was shared by his family in a post to Facebook, which you can see below. Baker died after battling a history long illnesses, including heart problems, and was hospitalized just recently. Baker was arguably the greatest drummer of his generation, and an all-time great along with Buddy Rich, John Bonham, Keith Moon and more. Best known for his work with Cream, Blind Faith, Ginger’s Baker’s Airforce and as a solo artist, performer, and clinician; Baker’s blend of Jazz music mastery and at times unrivaled power and creativity was a revelation compared with others at the time. His stint with Cream, particularly their live performances, was etched in the minds of a generation of would-be players.’ Politician’ by the band is arguably the first metal and stoner rock song. He certainly inspired the likes of progressive rock drummers to follow him such as Neal Peart and Carl Palmer. Eric Clapton is the sole remaining living member of Cream, now that Baker and Jack Bruce have passed away. Baker’s often had famously cantankerous and surely reputation, solidified by the documentary Beware of Mr. Baker. The film asserted that Baker was the greatest drummer ever, a sentiment Baker himself agreed with. We send out sympathies to his family, friends, and legion of fans at this time. Continue reading
Party-time stoner-punks Bokassa are currently opening for Metallica and Ghost across Europe. Today they drop a new single, an ode to fun dubbed ‘Captain Cold One’! The track comes from their new album, Crimson Riders, due out on June 21st via the MVKA label. Jam it out now!Continue reading
Whilst steadily garnering a reputation in their native Balkans, Bulgarian trio Obsidian Sea finally saw some US action in 2016 with a repress of second album Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions (Nuclear War Now! Records). Third album Strangers sees a Ripple Music release that will undoubtedly propel the psych-Doom outfit further.Continue reading
The latest act to trot off the impressive Svart Records conveyor belt, Danish quintet Demon Head like to maintain the traditions of Doom. Third full-length Hellfire Ocean Void sees their devotion to Proto and Psych Metal expanded with a little modernity but sticking true to the format, a feat undoubtedly assisted by having legendary producer Flemming Rasmussen at the knob-twiddling helm.Continue reading
The state of Maryland has a truly grand Doom legacy, and new quartet Alms aim to carry that on. Described by some as purveyors of a Funeral brand, the Baltimore outfit’s roots and product lean more towards seventies Occult Rock, despite the slow speed of some tracks.Continue reading