Time is regrettably short 'round these parts, so please accept this abbreviated review with the full guarantee that the album in question deserves many more words.
After spending far too long in the belly of the death metal beast, this recently awakened scribe has been craving some lighter fare as of late. Now, then, seems like an opportune time to take a well-earned gander at Spacelord's stellar False Dawn, released this past Friday. Spoiler: I really like it, and I think you should buy it. And you don't just have to take my word for it. Reviews have been favorable, the Doom Charts placement was been more than respectable, and talk has been quite positive--in fact, I haven't heard anyone with critical word to say about this album, and in an genre arena where words "derivative" and "unoriginal" are frequently thrown around, that's no small feat.
This duo out of Buffalo, NY, presents a very intriguing take on psychedelic space/stoner/acid/desert/classic rock, filtered in equal parts through a mellow 70's Zeppelin-esque acidity and a 90's PNW grunge aesthetic. Rather than feeling beholden to or burdened by these influences, however, Spacelord have created something that is both A. wholly unique and B. their best work yet, in this ink-splattered scribe's opinion. While generally reminiscent (yet not derivative) of the Robert Plant school of vocal delivery, Ed Grabianowski's voice is borderline Cornell-ian at times, especially on the grungier moments--take "M-60" as a prime example.
Across the breadth, a reliance on acoustics (and notably well-applied Americana tinge) keeps things from falling into the doldrums. "How the Devil Got Into You" is a bluesy lil' foot-tapping ditty, but is preceded by the more overtly modern and doomy "Broken Teeth Ritual." Some tracks, such as "Breaker" or "All Night Drive," serve to bridge the gap, illustrating False Dawn's warm cohesion as a whole. Despite utilizing lighter instrumentation and eschewing the drawn-out distortion we acolytes of the riffs typically crave, Spacelord deliver hefty tracks without sacrificing their unique charm. And we haven't even touched on the sheer replayability that is practically intrinsic to an album as fun and unexpected as this.
Bottom lime: False Dawn is an excellent effort, demonstrating a keen precision, a penchant for rock-solid songwriting, and the rare ability to recall various influences without undermining its own identity and originality. Bravo!
Spacelord - False Dawn was released Nov. 5th, 2021, and can be found here.