Mountain Thrower, a power trio from Wilmington, North Carolina, feature two vocalists – one of whom doubles up as a percussionist/organist, while the other compliments Chris Bare’s grooves with an assortment of vintage licks. The band, like their namesake cousins, tap into the West Coast strut of psychedelic blues and rabble-rousing rock, sounding most at ease when they are slipstreamed into an eternal repetition utopia.
If originality was the only important quality in music, the majority of scenes, yet alone bands, just wouldn’t exist. Death Canoe are a case in point: Like seasoned hikers, these Montpellier-based psych-rockers gingerly step over the footprints left by the druggy-drone rockers of yesteryear without disturbing its fauna.
Mountains of Freedom: A grandiose title that hints at vast subject matter, which will be equally matched with impressive musicality. Wrong. Instead, Hammada’s debut EP is neither one thing nor the other: They try their hand at blending psychedelia and stoner, and thanks to the harsh, abrasive vocals, it all sounds rather disjointed.
For all their posturing – see the band’s Facebook page, for further details – Red Lemons are not just a group of happy-go-lucky guys. They can play, too. In grimy rock tradition, Ace of Fools is exquisitely wrought in goofy guitar scraping and groovy tom-rattling, as this lively ensemble find themselves neatly placed between Queens of the Stone Age and Dr Feelgood – which, let’s be honest, isn’t a bad place to be.
Sun Mammuth, as their moniker suggests, make music for long summer evenings – where outdoor jams can be enjoyed into the early hours, without having to worry about the issue of warmth. Alas, the fact that Cosmo has been released in the midst of autumn does hinder its appeal slightly – listening next to an open fire, in heavy knitwear, just isn’t the same.
Bonzo sure as hell did it! – He’s not regarded as the best rock ‘n’ roll drummer of all time for no reason, you know! Mud Shark, on the other hand, are yet to do it. Indebted to Led Zeppelin in more ways than one, this debut is, for the most part, generic, riff-heavy posturing – although the pensive retrospect of ‘As I Lie Awake’ is a notable highlight.
While it is unlikely that the Yonkys’ will break out of their Argentinian comfort zone – partly due to the language barrier –their workmanlike brand of ‘60s psychedelia-meets-garage-rock: fast-paced tunes with big, swirling guitars and memorable choruses, panders to its members’ joy of classic, vibrant pop.
Exploring the murky single-chord jams of grunge, Crazy Old Woman like to make a whole lotta noise. So much so, that Alquimia, the band’s chaotic debut, merges brutish efficiency with passive aggression, which, more often than not, grinds along without any focus or consistency.
There is no shortage of young Scandinavian bands stuck in a 1970s time warp. And given that the majority of them have been signed, then dropped, you could be forgiven for thinking that, at this stage in the game, the bottom of the barrel would be near.
Approach with confidence, however, as Mojo Harvest have avoided the Sabbath-obsessed sludge route, by opting for a psychedelic-blues formula that references the likes of Free, Humble Pie and the wistful moments of Animals-era Pink Floyd. A unique interpretation of a dated formula.
Influenced by the likes of Truckfighters, Clutch and Queens of the Stone Age, Supersonic Dragon Wagon – an inane moniker that rives Josh Homme’s outré vision – operate inside their own small corner of the stoner-rock universe; creating fuzzy, whiskey-soaked grooves that distort and entwine at will.
Without sounding disrespectful, Sunderland’s musical history is patchy, to say the least. Sure, there’s been the odd Topman-trendy four-piece that’s broke into the nation’s consciousness, but nothing to write home about – no pun intended.
Witch Charmer, on the other hand, are a much needed kick-in-the-arse to a region dominated by football tribalism. Led by the stylized, sexually charged presence of Kate McEowan, the bands raw, blood-and-thunder doom-blues continues to promote the Sabbath-inspired heaviness of underrated post-millennial rockers Goatsnake and Spirit Caravan, without sounding like a second-rate copy. More, please.
The award for the most honest band of 2013 goes to Cambrian Explosion. While most bands will promote their work with archetypal brashness, this Portland four-piece simply want a van. They’re not fussy. As long as it enables them to share their crystalline brand of articulately structured psychedelia with the rest of the planet, they’re simply not fussed – a sliver machine, perhaps?