Take even a cursory glance at the gloriously garish cover art before ye, and this much is exceedingly clear: Long Island's own Gorilla Wizard know how to have a good time. Their debut album, Tales From the Cauldron, is a bombastic and rip-roaring piece o' work, through and through. If you're not in the mood for high-energy fun, this wasn't made with you in mind. Don't really know what else to say.
Chunky grooves and contiguously crunchy riffs rule the roost. You know what I'm talkin' about--the kind of sasquatchian chest-beating riffs that lumber into the swamp and then back out again, dripping and covered in gunk, without a goddamn care in the world.
As much of the album operates according to this simple but effective guitar-driven approach, any tracks I would consider standouts simply apply the formula most egregiously. "Smashosaurus," "Maple Crunch," and "Black and Blue" are perhaps the most memorable moments, and the best introduction to Gorilla Wizard's jubilant brand in general.
Captain Graves is back. Guess he's too busy writing reviews to destroy worlds these days. To each their own, I guess. - Ed.
I've been on a rampage here in The Village. These stoned fools have dubbed me "Space Friend" thanks to Concilium, and it really makes my intergalactic blood boil. I guess all the flak I send their way is really getting to them. Solving this with humor isn't really conducive with my way of thinking. I prefer setting folks on fire, and then watching Varic eat their planet whole.
Here we have Blackwater Holylight, and I'm actually honored to write this review. Their reverb drenched self-titled was a delight, so I was ecstatic to find they had a new album (Veils of Winter) on the horizon with Riding Easy Records.
Our (very kind!) music-reviewin' friends over at the wonderful Alternative Control sent a package this week containing a plethora of stickers and an (illustrated!) Owl Maker CD. In celebration of their general badassery, we slumbering townsfolk are re-running our review of Sky Road, said band's latest effort. This short lil' write-up was put to paper prior to our acquisition of the web property upon which ye currently gaze, so forgive the brevity.
Without further ado:
Like all highfalutin peasantry, my rag-tag compatriots and I here at the Sleeping Village like our music with a little lyrical substance & mythological flavoring. As luck would have it, so do Owl Maker. Despite representing the insular world of southern CT, this hard-hitting trio is inspired by Lakota legend & moonlit desert landscapes. If anyone still needed proof that honest rock ‘n’ roll recognizes few borders, geographical or otherwise, we hereby present Exhibit A. Revel in the glory of Sky Road, Owl Maker’s latest EP.
If you haven't yet checked out Bostonian power trio Death Pesos, but had the chance to skim through the playlist they graciously curated for the Village over on spotify...you've got a pretty decent picture of what awaits. Scuzzy riffs and grimy licks are the name of the game. Throw some forthright aggression in the direction of the drums, supplement heavily with groovy bass, and bury deep in the mix some filtered buzzsaw vocals, a la your favorite Uncle Acid. These self described “garage-metal stoners” are all about noisy guitar, fuzzy ambiance, and rockin’ attitude--and on their latest single/B-side, they present a raw and rollicking amalgamation of influences. It's high-quality fuzzy rock ‘n’ roll, so we've gotta roll out the red carpet: with echoes of Cream, to Captain Beyond, to Stoned Jesus, to Faux Ferocious, to Graveyard, there's a lot of influential sounds on display in these 7-ish short minutes.
Look, we've got a lot of stoner metal to get through today. Rather than bore you with a vaguely tangential introduction, let's just get to it, shall we?
earthdiver's Leave Something Witchy is one helluva EP, taking the smudgy groove of stoner metal and infusing it liberally with the glorious devil-may-care vivacity of punk. The entire 3-track is delightfully raw, rough-edged, and nearly feral in its execution--like if Pan, the God of the wild things, decided to throw away the pan pipes and start a garage band. Angsty vocals and slightly goofy samples are upheld by the loosest and otherwise grooviest bass I've heard in a long damn time. This thing grinds and bounces around with a deliciously organic bent, keeping the low end moving forward with an egregiously thunderous confidence. Indeed, the bass forms the backbone of earthdiver's approach, with the uber-distorted guitar appearing more as embellishment to the groove.
It's seldom that I encounter a fresh-faced band with such jubilant energy behind them. Doom benefits greatly from a swift kick in the ass, and earthdiver might just be the ones to deliver. If you like a little zest and zeal in your stoner doom, this particular Villager highly, highly recommends you check this one out. Listen to the title track here:
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.