Ruben Romano has a rock and roll pedigree that can stand alongside the very best. As a founding member of both Fu ManchuandNebula (let that sink in for a second, why don’tcha?), Romano helped draw up the plans and build the framework that stoner rock hangs on to this very day. He’s spent the last decade-plus as frontman and guiding force for L.A. based psych-rockers The Freeks, piloting their trips-‘n’-riffs-fueled funny car further and further into the cosmic realm; their newest dispatch Crazy World (released via the ever-reliable Heavy Psych Sounds) is the sound of the band-in-residency at the Garage at the Edge of the Universe, a jubilantly strident “Fuck You” in the face of oblivion.
Kentucky punk trio Baby Bones formed around 2016. Band members Dave Rucinski (guitar/vocals), Thomas Burgos (guitar/vocals/bass) and Badnewz Brandum (drums) are veterans in the Louisville music scene for years. In 2016 the trio recorded the song “Pay Us In Dimes” for the ‘We Have a Bevin Problem’ compilation under the mantle of Baby Bones, rocketing themselves into an unknown future. Of course “Bevin” refers to the current governor Matt Bevin of the Bluegrass state who hasn’t been too well received by the majority of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He is only the second Republican to hold the office in over 40 years. As we know punk bands are often inspired by political themes and rebelling against the powers the be, and Baby Bones is no different. That compilation created a consumer demand for more of what Baby Bones was offering; Therefore it ignited the trio to invest more time into the group and release more material. The band has went into the studio at Tin Pan Basement and recorded with Dave Rucinski. They have finalized their debut EP titled ‘Curse of the Crystal Teeth’ and it will release on April 14th, 2018 via Gubbey Records.
“Loam & Sky,” the forthcoming release by San Fernando Valley, California prog outlet, THE ELEPHANT PARALLAX, is the follow up to their May 2010 self titled release. This EP ‘Loam & Sky’ is taking all of the elements of their first release and maximizing them in prolific fashion; combining aspects of funk, sludge, and progressive instrumentals, THE ELEPHANT PARALLAX aim to bring genre defying, mind opening melodies that will have you at attention the entire twenty four minutes you listen to it.
Mos Generator are a heavy riffing trio from Silverdale, WA, who have made it their life’s mission to breathe new life into classic rock. They revel in the sounds of the 1970’s, with a nod to a progressive era long since taken over by being too inaccessible for casual listeners.
The band has a strong pedigree, comprised as it is by Tony Reed (vocals, guitar, Wurlitzer; ex-Treepeople), Sean Booth (bass), and Jono Garrett (drums). They came together in 2002 and followed a self-titled debut with a concept album entitled ‘Late Great Planet Earth’ in 2005. This was followed by several great records, including ‘Nomads’ and ‘Abyssinia’.
Their latest release on Listenable Records is the majestic ‘Shadowlands’. I am finding it a real pleasure to absorb the grooves and power on this collection. There is an epic opener in “Shadowlands“, full of riffing and roaring. There is also fuzzbox overdrive on songs like “Drowning In Your Loving Cup” and “Woman Song“.
The songs are compact and lean, swaggering into your consciousness like boxers entering the ring, full of confidence and focus. What makes them elevate from average to great is the tunefulness that sets them apart from the pack.
Reed makes his mark with a melodic maelstrom of musicality with his ripping guitar and cool walking vocals. There is the added bonus of solos that don’t outstay their welcome. It is taste over flash for sure. The bass playing from Booth is rock solid, but busy and I can only imagine what this band would do live. When you have a four piece, a busy bass is essential and you get that in spades on ‘Shadowlands’ – just listen to “The Blasting Concept” for a demonstration of Haslip’s skill. Any review would also be remiss not to make mention of Garrett’s drumming, which drives this album forward.
Combine all of the elements together and you have an album of power, melody and heart. It is not one dimension and I recommend it highly for all lovers of classic rock, infused with stoner tendencies and superb musicianship.
Belgian/Dutch power trio RRRags came together a mere eight months ago, but the songs on their self-titled debut sound like the work of a band that’s been at this rock and roll game for years and years. The band’s musical telepathy is remarkably refined, and the songs are both well-crafted and catchy as all hell. They hit hard without ever plodding, emphasizing groove and atmosphere over sheer brute strength and mixing their upbeat stoner vibe with flashes of soul, funk, southern rock, and power pop. RRRags are obviously true believers and lifelong devotees, my friends, and they’ve conjured up a slab of classic rock for the here and now.
Boston-based, extreme metal band, Unflesh is set to release their first full-length studio album, ‘Savior’ on May 25th, 2018. The musical style on this record embodies the aura of black metal wickedness, while infusing technical death metal ferocity and rich, complex melodies in a way that transcend the confinements of a single sub-genre. The riffing is ingeniously intricate and inspired, vocals are venomous and vile, but those drums! The hyper aggressive drumming performance on ‘Savior’ is utterly relentless and impressive thanks to the otherworldly kit skills of drummer, Chris Dovas (Seven Spires). Not to diminish the other elements, which are arguably just as awesome, but what Dovas so phenominally brings to this record is almost its own selling point. Continue reading →
Legendary Christian rock band, Stryper, are coming back with a brand-new album to add to their discography. ‘God Damn Evil’ is the title and it will be released on Frontiers Music SRL April 20th , 2018. Stryper’s current members are Michael Sweet (vocals, guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Perry Richardson (bass), and Robert Sweet (drums). It’s amazing to think that Perry Richardson is the new bassist for Stryper. Being a bassist for the 1990’s glam band, Firehouse, it’s mind blowing to think that in the future, Perry would stand along with Michael and Oz. Continue reading →
Skinless are back again with another brutal release from Relapse Records titled, ‘Savagery’. Starting in the early 1990’s, these guys decimated the underground scene with intense live performances. Noting Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, and Deicide as influences, they gained a large following to support their 1998 release ‘Progression Towards Evil’. Signing a deal with Relapse Records, the band released four more albums: ‘Foreshadowing Our Demise’, ‘From Sacrifice To Survival’, and ‘Trample The Weak’, ‘Hurdle The Dead’. Gaining a loyal fan base worldwide, they have shared the stage with likes of Slayer, Dying Fetus, and Hatebreed. After lineup changes and an eventual hiatus, Skinless reformed to lay waste to the world once again with ‘Only The Ruthless Remain’. With that terribly appropriate title, Skinless proved to us that they could stand the test of time, the most brutal force of all. With ‘Savagery’, they show their pure strength once again. Continue reading →
The Melvins….what is left to say about this band that hasn’t been said hundreds if not thousands of times over the course of their nearly 40 year career? They are the godfathers of sludge as well as grunge, they were a huge influence on countless artists including Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Mike Patton of Faith No More, Tool, Neurosis, Boris, Full of Hell and countless others. They have one of the strongest work ethics in music (they once played 51 shows in 51 days) and most importantly they are a band who have never lost their drive to create! They have one of the largest discographies in metal which includes 26 studio albums, 14 EP’s, 12 live albums, and 10 compilation albums. They don’t waste any time, and everything they put out is binge worthy material. The Melvins are constantly experimenting and taking new approaches to writing music and more often than not, it’s a success! The Melvins return with the new album ‘Pinkus Abortion Technician’ releasing April 20th, via Ipecac Recordings. Continue reading →
From Ashes to New is a 4-piece rock band from Lancaster, PA. Getting their start in 2013, From Ashes to New has released 2 EP’s. The first was self-titled and released in 2013. Their next EP was titled ‘Downfall’, which released in 2015. In addition to those EP’s From Ashes to New have also released a full length studio album titled ‘Day One’ which hit stores in 2016. The band is now added yet another release to their discography, ‘The Future’ will be out this Friday, April 20th, on Better Noise/Eleven Seven records. Having consistent lineup changes, From Ashes to New started out as a 5-piece band and stayed that way until late 2017/early 2018. The current members of From Ashes to New are: Matt Brandyberry – clean vocals, rap vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar, and programming, Danny Case – clean vocals, unclean vocals, Lance Dowdle – lead guitar, and Mat Madrio – Drums. In addition to their releases FATN also are credited with creating the theme song for WWE’s 205 Live along with CFO$. Being a fan of the WWE, it’s amazing when you those two worlds collide. FATN has been going building their fan base and anchoring their sound for 5 years now, and we certainly hope they continue on for many more to come. Continue reading →