Release Date: March 2, 2018
Recorded nearly four decades ago at a Texas community college and unreleased until now, Spiny Normen is a raw but robust chunk of primo psych-prog, a skunky blend of hard rock and krautrock caked in a hallucinogenic patina. Rescued from collector’s-shelf obscurity by RidingEasy label head Daniel Hall and Permanent Records owner Lance Barresi for inclusion in their ongoing (and highly recommended) Brown Acid anthology series, it stands up both as a fascinating relic of its era and as a kick-ass rock and roll record that’s both of and ahead of its time.
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.
Heavy Psych Sounds
Release Date: February 9, 2018
Those who get their jollies on the classic rock path will find plenty to tickle their fancies in the grooves of Killing Tongue, the sophomore effort from Berlin power trio Wedge. The follow-up to their eponymous 2014 debut, Killing Tongue is a satisfyingly sticky chunk of retro-hesher goodness, steeped in a half-century’s worth of sonic bongwater. It’s loaded up on all the stoner essentials: churn-n’-burn riffing, swirly, trippy keys, a rhythm section that swings and cracks your sternum, and plenty of sharp, shiny hooks, all balled up and deep-fried in a batter of sweaty swagger and blacklight boogie. Guitarist/vocalist Kiryk Drewinski, bassist/keyboardist David Götz, and drummer Holger Grosser have crafted a record that proudly and unabashedly wears its influences on its sleeve, a monument carved from the precious classic rock mined in the late 60’s and early 70’s that feels exciting and fresh yet instantly familiar.
For fans of Nineties psych-fused heavy rock, a group that commonly springs to mind is Los Angeles based power-trio Nebula, a group whose initial incarnation was formed out of the ashes of Fu Manchu and their decaying line-up at the time. Celebrating their 20th Anniversary, the group are planning to reissue their first three recordings under the newly-established, slightly esoteric label under the name of Heavy Psych Sounds. Each individual release features two bonus tracks as well as the original track-listing and is certainly marked by a deep feeling of sentiment and accomplishment. Today we’ll be focusing on the first of their upcoming releases which is also evidently the first plunge into oblivion the group embarked upon as a recording unit; – why yes, of course I’m talking about the EP ‘Let it Burn’ which was in its heyday originally released via Relapse Records. Continue reading
Mindfucker, the first studio album from New Jersey speed-scuzz icons Monster Magnet in nearly five years, will hit stores worldwide March 23, 2018 via Napalm Records. The eleventh effort from Magnet mastermind Dave Wyndorf and Company, Mindfucker promises ten up-tempo, savage tunes that draw equally from the wells of early 70’s hard rock psychedelia and tweaked-out, incendiary Detroit-style garage protopunk.
Stoner rock/metal trio TRUCKFIGHTERS from Sweden are currently touring the US, playing back to back dates on the West Coast. Yesterday night when they were busy performing live at the Brick & Mortar, San Francisco, some miscreants barged in to smash the band’s tour van, thus looting a lot of valuable things like cash and computers, that were inside the vehicle. While the thugs managed to run free and haven’t been caught yet, the band managed to make a Facebook post about it. Making their fans aware, the band said things like “a lot of cash” and computer were stolen from the van. This is definitely a grave issue as they are touring away from home and cash is very necessary while on tour, the band therefore made a plea to the American fans to buy some extra merch on the remaining tour dates, so that they can survive and get home back with the profit from the following merch sales. Here’s the band’s following statement on their official Facebook site,
Monolith, the stunning third album from Seattle’s Hobosexual, is a tough beast to wrap your head around. How is it that these two guys, Jeff Silva (who plays the everloving shit out of the drums) and Ben Harwood (who does everything else), are able to make a sound this lush and full? How, exactly, were they able to get their hands on my entire music collection from 1983 to 1997? And how in the hell did they figure out how to play it all at once? I’ve listened to this record over and over and over and over in search of an answer, and all I’ve got to show for it is two throbbing eardrums, a blown mind and a thoroughly kicked ass. Monolith is a jaw-dropping genre-smasher, like grinding up and snorting everything you’ve ever like about loud n’ hard heavy rock.
Nuclear Blast Records
Forget the fuzzed-out riffs and the monster choruses, forget the facial hair and silk-and-velvet trappings; the single most ‘70’s thing about Kadavar might be their work ethic. The German stoner-psych trio has been in perpetual motion since their 2010 debut, locked in an album-tour-album-tour cycle that harkens back to the days of their musical forefathers, when bands plied and honed their craft through countless live shows and more than a year between records was simply unheard of. The end result of this ideology couldn’t be more evident. The band has become an incendiary live act, and each of their albums has built on the strengths of its predecessor. To say that trend continues here is a massive understatement; 2015’s Berlin was one of that year’s best albums, but with Rough Times, Kadavar may end up with the 2017 title all to themselves.
Fifty years ago, the much-vaunted but short-lived Summer of Love burned out nearly as fast as it began, and the Sixties began its death march toward Cielo Drive and Altamont Speedway. Choked out by lethal doses of greed and drugs, groovy-baby, flower-in-your-hair psychedelia quickly gave way to bad trips and endless bummers, speed freaks and acid burnouts. The sounds of an era roiled by perpetual tumult and social upheaval transformed and mutated as well, into something harder-edged, more sinister; less It’s A Beautiful Day and Scott McKenzie, more Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath. And while Alice Cooper has claimed responsibility for his group “driving a stake through the heart of the Love Generation,” the bands represented on the Numero Group’s new compilation Acid Nightmares show that his namesake act were but one link in a worldwide network of accomplices, and that sonically speaking, the Hippie movement died a death of a thousand cuts.
In this day and age of the deluxe vinyl reissue, few releases are more deserving than ‘Spine of God,’ the debut album from New Jersey Stoner pioneers Monster Magnet. To whet our appetites for a forthcoming studio album later this year, on September 1st the good folks at Napalm Records are releasing ‘Spine of God’ (and its follow-up ‘Tab’) on glorious heavyweight vinyl for the very first time. Finally, this stone-cold classic of the genre can be appreciated in the same way as the Yes and Led Zeppelin classics mentioned in ‘Spine of God’’s Rock-and-Roll-as-Dark-Ritual stomper “Nod Scene;” with “seeds bustin’ up the spine.”