Opening to the fuzz-rock-fantastic eponymous noise rock track, this album gets off to an especially psychedelic start. Loosely melodic guitar churn and massive crushing noises reel us into a world of trance-inducing doom. The stage is set.
“Marijuanaut’s Theme” sets us off on our voyage. You don’t need to be stoned to enjoy this. It’s heavy, it’s brutal, it’s great. Spoken word vocals narrate our passage through this dangerous dimension of ‘asteroid fields’ and ‘lodestones.’ Sleep have always been good for a tribal feel and this newest album is definitely in line with their last. It’s theme to any aspiring shaman’s ecstasy. This is stoner rock though; so don’t expect a happy trip.
“Sonic Titan” opens into a glorious rhythmic wall of sound – mellowing into slow, distorted single-chord meandering. Six minutes in, the vocals drop in, more melodic this time around – running parallel to the guitars. It’s brooding stuff. It’s Godzilla music.
Lord Huron's latest is a beautiful nighttime blend that's at times cinematic in nature - with the best way of describing it is as psychedelic sci-fi folk western. They may not be as commercially or critically recognized as say a Bon Iver, but they're quietly putting together an impressive discography and Vide Noir is further evidence that they're one of the most interesting acts in folk.
In the Manic Street Preachers' latest, resistance may be futile but they're one of the last warriors still fighting to their last breath. It's solid raucous rock with a touch of punk spirit that gets the blood flowing and has you ready to stand up and fight.
Although Boarding House Reach is probably Jack White's most experimental project yet, there's heavy influences from blues, country, and most surprisingly funk, with entire songs dedicated to said genres, he still keeps that sincere approach to his music. All in all, it was an unexpectedly experimental album that's a mixed bag of good and bad, but the good largely outweighs the bad.
“The rifftree is risen – the bong is to live in An ounce a day, lightens the way Salutations to the cultivators”
– “Giza Butler”
“Giza Butler” allows us brief respite from the unrelenting distortion assault – opening, as it does, to a smooth, mellow bass melody and phaser-enhaced guitars. “The Botanist” is similarly mellow at its opening, but less bass-leaning. Unlike “Giza Butler,” the guitars come in faster and dirtier – tripping into a fat, fuzzy psychedelic solo on lead. Towards the end, things go a bit jazzy-tribal as emphasis shifts to the drums. It’s an airy last breath for the album – wrapping it all up in a drawn-out exhalation.
The whole of the album plays like the phases of a drug-addled journey through time. At times, it’s spine-shivering. At times, it’s pensive. Prevailing throughout are the makings of all great stoner rock: guitar raunch, bass-heavy mixing, long songs and entrancing rhythm.
If I had to ask for more from it, I’d request a bit more melodic variation. Overall, however, I’m down. What do you think?
Sleep – The Sciences Reaction
Solid stoner fare fit for your next bad trip. It was gnarly, but could be improved with more melodic range.