Raised on heavy blues, Sonic Scream’s debut is a grand foray into record-collector rock: Dark-heated fuzz blasts that borrow from Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden and the Foo Fighters in equal measure, while retaining their dingy, garage roots.
Shark Blood make “outlaw music” and like any bunch of non-conformists, their early compositions have a feeling of instability about them, like they might collapse or soar at any moment. Thankfully, this nihilist blast of aggression extends to repeated plays.
Intent on bring back a niche, and enjoyable genre to a modern audience, the Del-Vipers’ debut doesn’t stray far from the simple, three-chord prang and rolling instrumentals of the Ventures and Dick Dale; it’s commercially viable surf-rock for all the family.
Originality is an overrated trait in the music industry, especially when a new band perfects an old formula. Like seasoned veterans, these Chicago-based psych-rockers sound like they formed in another decade; more specifically, the late ‘60s. Reconstructing druggy drone-rock has become an all too familiar theme in recent years, but when it sounds as good as this you can see why.
Industry and metal has always had a close bond. Take Black Sabbath, for instance, and the industrial heartland of Aston. Sun Shepherd, like Sabbath, has links to industry – engineering, to be exact – while they also have a penchant for slow, prodding, jam-heavy guitar grooves.
Sun Shepherd, like the rest of the stoner-metal fraternity, owes its existence to the blokes from Birmingham, however, unlike Sabbath, Procession of Trampling Hoof is decidedly fragile and minimalist; its sonic gravitas is the result of a fuzz pedal and a set of amps that never move off the ‘ecstatic darkness’ setting. It’s a gnarly listening experience, but one that will be shared and enjoyed by stoner-devotees everywhere.
By Simon Hadley
For those who are sceptical about the return of space-rock, one band that’s always worth listening to is Brujas del Sol. Since their 2010 debut, this Ohio-based four-piece have continued to add new colours to their psychedelic palette.
As a result, Moonliner finally feels like the finished article; they’ve curbed some of their most indulgent impulses in favour of a well-rounded sound that distinguishes them from their contemporaries. What’s more impressive, however, is that the band have stayed true to their game plan: The guitars still have a split personally; spiralling skywards, before descending back to earth in a fuzz-induced rage.
Despite the band’s autopilot tendencies – anyone who’s seen them live will know this – there’s always something that will catch you off guard: A sitar splash, a drawn-out vocal, or even a shimmering solo. Cynics will argue that this has been done countless times before, and, of course, they are right, but Brujas del Sol embodies a valuable notion: In order to move forward, it’s sometimes necessary to look back.
Using their roots as a marketing ploy, Lonesome Mustangs are hoping to breakout of the DIY dirge with a brace of soulful bluesy-psych songs. Some of them are woozy and languid, while others contain the frazzled guitar-heavy stomp of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
Frankenberries is the sort of moniker that appears after a late night game of scrabble, or a “yeah, that’ll do,” conversation. Despite their exterior containing a nonchalant shrug, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more serious-as-a-heart-attack record this year. Containing dual affinities for brute punk-rock and bedraggled shoegaze, this is a sneering set of songs that refuse to back down.
As spring is finally upon us, it makes sense for a grungy, guitar-powered act to release their good-time hymns to the youthful masses. As the title implies, this Atlanta-based five-piece make road-trip music that equates to a teenager’s highlight reel: Windows down, friends in the back, and a cooler full of beer in the trunk.
The Lemons are a Chicago boy-girl duo that sing about “seaweed coming,” and embrace the lo-fi, melancholy values of the ‘90s with child-like charm. Fans of indie-pop and bad puns shuffle this way.
If you want to keep genre-tagging to a minimum, this self-titled debut should be filed in the post-rock section along with Mogwai and Isis. Opting for stirring shifts that the aforementioned groups pioneered, Their Methlab’s instrumentals work best they are kept to a minimum: The quieter moments contain the most power.