Album Review: UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS – ‘Wasteland’ (Rise Above Records)

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats

Wasteland

Rise Above Records

In addition to having a keenly honed knack for riff-driven/pop-tinged sugar-and-sludge psychedelia, Kevin Starrs does atmosphere better than anybody working in heavy music today. As creative force and sole constant member of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, his albums play like 70mm cult horror classics bootlegged onto well-worn VHS cassettes, casting their cathode ray glow over otherwise darkened bedrooms. The colors are vibrant but washed-out, it’s warbly and more than a little distorted, the on-screen movements leave tracers, and the whole thing has just enough fuzz and static on it to seem genuinely creepy. Acid-steeped, with a heavy dose of psychopaths, brainwashers, and a ready steady flow of that red red kroovy, the Uncle Acid canon is a grindhouse marathon for the mind’s eye. The latest opus from Starrs and Co., Wasteland, brings the “post-apocalyptic dystopia” genre into the oeuvre, a tale of walled cities, mindless masses, piped-in propaganda, and hidden computer discs filled with long-forgotten memories and perhaps the keys to freedom. The premise may sound prog, but the execution is blessedly pure classic rock hesh.

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Bow Down To HIGH ON FIRE’S “Electric Messiah”

High On Fire are back with their 8th full-length release, Electric Messiah. This follows up their 2015 release Luminiferous via Entertainment One Music. With Sleep’s triumphant return on the stoner holy day of 4/20 and this new album, it has been quite a year for vocalist/guitarist Matt Pike. As far as this record Pike explains, “This is by far the best record I’ve ever made with the High on Fire stamp. It just keeps getting better and better. We just try to outdo ourselves. I’m not saying the old work is progressively worse, it’s just that we get better every time instead of burning out, which is a common finality for a lot of bands. This album is fucking excellent, I just love everything on it, I’m not bummed about anything. It’s great when you think that about your record.” This is their third release done with producer Kurt Ballou (Converge, Torche, Kvelertak), creating a strong bond with the three-piece. Now with more than a decade as unit with Jeff Matz on bass and Des Kensel on drums, this is some of High On Fire’s best work. Continue reading

State Of The Art: West Virginia’s SCARLET REVOLT

Photo Credit: Rogue Crayon

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is West Virginia.*

A gritty blend of classic rock and stoner/doom metal is what’s on the menu from female-fronted quartet, Scarlet Revolt. Lead singer Eve Marcum Atkinson’s striking vocals will seductively draw you into the murky, moody sonic depths on tracks such as “Bleed” which presents an imaginative interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” The fuzzily-toned, Orange-amplified guitar riffs ooze and chug along with purpose under minimal production polish that allows for a pleasingly unaltered, natural sound. The song and music video come from the band’s 2017 CD release, ‘Cold Town’ via Von Artists. Continue reading

WEEDEATER Smoke Up The Sun With A Summer U.S Tour

 

Southern stoner metal heroes Weedeater are hitting the road again for another U.S tour (dates below). The tour begins June 24 at Maryland Doomfest and ends in their home state of North Carolina. Bringing along Zeke, Unsane (on select dates,) and Sierra this tour is sure to be a trip!

Since their debut album …And Justice For Y’all Weedeater has brought stoned goodness to the metal masses. With such critically acclaimed records as Sixteen Tons, God Luck And Good Speed, and Jason… The Dragon Weedeater are force to be reckoned with on stage and in the studio. Travelling the world with such acts as High On Fire, The Melvins, and Saint Vitus they have made a name for themselves in the doom-filled corners of metal. To keep up to date on Weedeater, follow them on their website or Facebook. Continue reading

State Of The Art : STONED COBRA [Album Stream]


*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state*

This month’s state is Alabama!


Hey! It’s ‘State Of The Art’ day again, and it’s been a while I have been developing an affinity for stoner metal and rock music lately. Last month, I brought to you Louisiana’s absolute bonkers band MARS and today I continue my spree of stoner metal bands. This month we have Alabama as the SOTA state and I present to you STONED COBRA, arguably the best stoner metal/rock band from the Yellowhammer state. Emancipate yourself from all of the Monday blues stress, sit back, hit a joint and start medicating yourself with some good, heavy and raw STONED COBRA.

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State Of The Art : MARS [Album Stream]


*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state*

This month’s state is Louisiana!


It’s Monday again and what better way to break your blues with some weed laced good stoner metal. Welcome back to my edition of State Of The Art segment, where today I am going to pass you a joint in the form of Louisiana’s stoner metal outfit MARS. Isn’t that a perfect name for a group of hippie stoner metallers? Like, who doesn’t wanna cash in for some good dark, gooey chocolate snack after you hit the greens? Just as good as Mars tastes in your mouth, the trio from New Orleans, Louisiana makes sure your aural desire gets served with full contentment.

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State Of The Art : GATEWAY TO HELL [Album Stream]


*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state.*

This month’s state is Maryland!


Hey there, to our frequent State Of The Art segment reader, and Hi to you if you’re new to this segment. Welcome to our weekly dose of State Of The Art where we put some much deserved light on the unheard and unknown, and bring them out from the caverns of underground onto your computer screen. In my edition of the last SOTA article, I featured CROWN OF SORROWfrom Georgia. And now, continuing my tryst with exploring the unexplored, today I present before you an amazing doom/stoner metal band, GATEWAY TO HELL from Baltimore, Maryland. They absolutely rip!

Maryland has an extensive legion of doom/stoner rock and metal bands all across the state, from the legends like THE OBSESSED, the American version of Black SabbathPENTAGRAMEARTHRIDE, to the lesser known but equally musically proficient and kick-ass bands such as GATEWAY TO HELL. Maryland has always been a hotbed for metal’s most veteran sub genre. Alright enough of blabbering, let’s get to know more of GATEWAY TO HELL, rightaway!

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World’s Loudest Month Spotlight: RED FANG


*This is part of the “World’s Loudest Month” segment where we branch out and focus on bands that fans can see at this year’s biggest music festivals during the month of May 2018!  This week, we’re checking out Red Fang, a stoner metal quartet from Portland, Oregon, who are geared up for this year’s Carolina Rebellion, as well as others!*


Welcome back to another spotlight for the World’s Loudest Month segment! Ever since Black Sabbath laid those fuzzy and heavy riffs on the fret board, doom metal, or call it stoner/sludge metal, the stoner’s favorite companion has come a long way. Both in terms of music and time, but one thing has never changed, the feel and ethereal feeling to it. Fellow stoner metal band, Red Fang is no alien and has been gaining recognition like never before with their breed of beer soaked and green infused, pounding riffs.

Hailing from Portland, Oregon Red Fang is a quartet of really chill and cool dudes, oh and funny, who really know to rock it out there on stage and off the stage too. Red Fang was formed back in 2005, founded by David Sullivan, Maurice Bryan Giles, Aaron Beam, and John Sherman, the band has been consistent with their studio and live performances, their music is catchy, pretty dope and has a total party fervour to it. Stoner metal and party is always a big yay, ain’t it? Bringing in a hard rock-esque and the trademark stoner sound their live shows are a feast, you don’t even have to mosh on it, just stand and watch them belt out unadulterated and power packed numbers. The boys from Portland have worked their way up the ladders  in a jiffy, and has appealed to a widespread audience in the realm of heavy metal. 

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Album Review: EARTHLESS – Black Heaven (Song Stream)

 

Earthless

Black Heaven

Nuclear Blast Records

Release Date: March 16, 2018

It’s been more than four years since the last Earthless album, the mammoth double LP From the Ages, and to say things are a little different now would be an understatement. Since the 2005 release of their debut album Sonic Prayer, the San Diego power trio have built their reputation on a repertoire of expansive, instrumental psych-rock explorations, side-long, many-movement mindfucks that split the difference between Amon Düül II and Black Sabbath. Black Heaven, their latest effort (and first under the Nuclear Blast banner), is a leaner, meaner affair that’s way more James Gang than Flower Travellin’ Band. The songwriting and structures have been tightened up and whittled down (the longest song on Black Heaven is slightly less than nine minutes, which for Earthless is practically a pop single), based more on refined guitar riffs than semi-improvised rhythm section interplay and trimmed of a lot of hallucinogenic fat. Perhaps most jarring for longtime listeners will be the introduction of the human voice into the Earthless equation; four of Black Heaven’s six tracks feature guitarist Isaiah Mitchell stepping into the vocal spotlight. Doubters and worrywarts can relax and unclench, though; this is still Earthless through and through, plenty trippy, plenty heavy, and more than capable of levelling even the most hardened of psychic warriors.

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Album Review: FU MANCHU – Clone of the Universe

 

Fu Manchu

Clone of the Universe

At the Dojo Records

Release Date: February 9, 2018

Southern California fuzz mavens Fu Manchu may be the closest thing stoner rock has to an institution. Since 1990, honcho Scott Hill and his bandmates have been cranking out high-octane, revved-up power rock that’s served as a veritable musical template for countless heshmongers and bongrattlers that have followed in their skunky wake. And not unlike their fellow institutions The Ramones and AC/DC, since song one/side one of their debut album Fu Manchu have by and large stuck to the strengths that brought them to the dance in the first place: solid, steady grooves, razor-sharp hooks, and riff after riff after motherfucking riff, three miles thick and stacked on top of each other straight up into the sky. Their first release since 2014, Clone of the Universe (released via the band’s own At the Dojo Records), mostly hews to their tried-and-true practices, but with just enough twists and tweaks to avoid repetition and fatigue. The time signatures and song structures skew a little more prog than normal (in one instance, a lot more), and lyrically and thematically they’ve swapped out skateboards for starcruisers, but it’s really just a different picture airbrushed on the side of the tricked-out Fu Manchu custom van.

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