Written by: Scorpi
When you’re always looking for something new and fresh, you are prone to forgetting about the classic sounds that got you into heavy music in the first place. It’s handy, then, when bands such as Hearts & Hand Grenades emerge from the rock’n’roll underbelly, to jog our memory as to why the classic rock style should not be forgotten, and still has its place in our collections.
Hearts & Hand Grenades formed in 2018, and have thrust their debut album Turning To Ashes into the hazy limelight of the Sleeping Village. And this enigmatic Villager really liked what he heard.
The album starts as it means to go on. We’re launched into the gritty hard rock title track that’s filled with attitude and a bite that would make the toughest hound grimace. No frivolous or dramatic introductions here. The saturated, high-gain guitars are distinctively dirty and thick, and provide the perfect amount of grit for that classic rock sound. The lead/solo work is similarly infectious when delivered atop of theses robust rhythm sections. And this is apparent throughout the album.
Written by: The Administrator
If you run in the death blues circle, (an admittedly select group,) you are undoubtedly familiar with 20 Watt Tombstone. Hell, if you like blues rock or stoner doom in general, there's a good chance you've heard the name. These guys play a down 'n' dirty amalgamation of ZZ Top-esque groovy southern blues rock with a grimy Clutchian desert-rock edge. In other words, these are hard rockin' tunes from the backwoods. There's nothing flashy in their formula: just heavy riffs, gritty vocals, and the spirit of Americana.
20 Watt Tombstone's next release is a brief-yet-tantalizing affair: a 2-track EP featuring two bangin' cover songs. Side A is a rollicking cover of the (oft-underappreciated) "Just Got Paid" by the aforementioned ZZ Top. Side B, a rendition of "Midnight Train to Memphis” by Chris Stapleton, offers a slightly more somber--although no less hefty--side of 20 Watt Tombstone. Though small in stature, this release packs a damn fine one-two punch.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
On Hallow’s Eve, the newly formed label Wise Blood Records, based out of Indianapolis, dropped one of the hottest albums in the occult rock circle. Vexing Hex summons phantoms from the rural graves of Illinois, and their first full-length record Haunt is as strong as it is captivating. Though the cover may lead you to expect something extreme, this is actually a full-plunge into the calmer world that bands like Ghost have been dishing out.
With that in mind, you can expect everything to be injected with spooky instrumentation and clear vocal articulation. The classic horror film auras surround the keyboard and electric organ passages, which are built around rather mean riffs. To top it off, your vocals get a layer of howls and moans to back up what already feels very concise, getting a bit operatic at times. What helps Vexing Hex’s approach stand out is the suspense factor that doesn’t lead into anything overly intense. Instead, drops of doom metal influence come in.
Written by: Continuous Thunder
In the world of heavy psych-rock, the majority of influences often come from the rock bands of the ‘70s, and if we’re honest, the modern bands more resemble hard rock and early heavy metal. Ultimately, this is understandable; modern heavy psych likely comes from a desire to trace heavy music back to its roots, and the origin of heavy metal is often, though not without contention, considered to be Black Sabbath’s 1970 self-titled debut. As such, many of the sounds and aesthetics emulated in heavy psych come from the time period immediately before and after that key event. You rarely hear modern bands going for the sound of the true psychedelic rock of the mid-’60s, and that’s why The Sonic Dawn is different.
Hailing from Denmark, The Sonic Dawn completely embrace original psychedelic rock in ways few modern bands do, right down to the floral shirts and mustaches.
It's been a while since The Captain has made it down to the Stoned Village,* or I mean, Sleeping Village, what's the difference? I've been up on Saturn 9 laying down some new track for the world to decimate themselves to.
Here we have The King's Pistol. These fools don't even know what they've gotten themselves into with the likes of me. The bass player, Andy, seems to be scared of my threats, and is worried I'm going to come to his work. He gave me the address, the silly bastard. Why would you give The Decimator of Worlds your location, doesn't he know I have a space ship?
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!