Can’t Swim – Death Deserves A Name – Review

March 11, 2016

This New Jersey band covers a lot of ground on a 15-minute, 5-song EP. I love the way they’re constantly playing around with song structures – going full force unexpectedly at times and other times letting things build and breathe – but never sounding less than confident and assured.

Harsh Toke – Light Up and Live – Review

April 29, 2014

The name Harsh Toke might get you thinking this is some aggressive stoner stuff, but “Plug In To The Moon,” from the band’s debut record, reveals that this San Diego crew is really much more interested in some cosmic feel-good vibes.

Slough Feg – Digital Resistance – Review

March 21, 2014

Slough Feg wastes no time delivering fuzzy NWOBHM feelings on “Digital Resistance,” the title track of their ninth studio album. Galloping guitars, wailing riffs, measured storytelling – it’s a time machine back to the time when giants like Maiden and Angel Witch first scoured the earth.

Naam – Vow – Review

January 27, 2014

Psych-rockers Naam return with their most cohesive to date. With Hawkwind and Iron Butterfly on the mind, Namm forge their own meandering path through the cosmos and desertscapes.

Indian – From All Purity – Review

January 21, 2014

Indian sure know how to scare off the weak ones: The opening track of their new record, From All Purity, is a howling hell hole of a song, recalling Made Out of Babies at their most cathartic. Plus, it’s called “Rape.”

Nashville Pussy – Up The Dosage – Review

January 21, 2014

Last time I saw these dudes (and gals, of course), they killed it back in 2000 at the Tattoo the Earth Festival. I shouldn’t have worried that they might have lost some of their whirlwind energy in the years between.

Red Fang – Whales and Leeches – Review

January 3, 2014

This Portland, Oregon stoner rock crew turned some heads with their eclectic 2011 release, Murder the Mountains, but things may have gone off the tracks since then.

Airbourne – Black Dog Barking – Review

December 4, 2013

Takes over a minute to get rockin’ (much like AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock,” whose intro “Live it Up” borrows generously from), but from there, the strippers’ll be shakin’ and gyratin’, as long as they can find a babysitter, cuz their out-of-work boyfriend is passed out already and it’s barely noon.

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats – Mind Control – Review

December 2, 2013

One of the more cohesive songs on the record, “Poison Apple” blends Kyuss’ drawl and Sabbath’s sock-hop. Deep Purple keys interlock with fuzzy riffs to make space for Beatles-esque piano tinkerings, if that’s the way the song leads.

Windhand – Soma – Review

October 15, 2013

I’ll take some catchy fuzz in the vein of Black Sabbath or the mighty Electric Wizard any day, and from the sound of Windhand, I’m not alone. “Orchard” is a fantastic, lurching buzz bomb from their second album, Soma.

Monster Magnet – Last Patrol – Review

September 18, 2013

Some bands are so inconsistent (Megadeth jumps to mind) that when they release a new song, it’s about 50/50 whether it’s gonna be a classic or a complete train wreck. Monster Magnet are much more consistent.

True Widow – Circumambulation – Review

August 26, 2013

“Stonegaze” crew out of Dallas that mixes stoner influences with the shoegaze sound. While you might associate shoegaze with layer upon layer of guitar distortion and a general fuzz enveloping your ears, True Widow have certainly stripped down their approach.

Supermachine – Review

August 23, 2013

The good news is the talent level is high in Supermachine, the recording sounds great, the songs range from adequate genre-filler to pretty solid by brushing well-liked elements of both guitar rock and grunge metal, but rarely taking them anywhere mind-bogglingly new. The bad news is, if you were a fan of Scissorfight, where guitarist Jay Fortin and bassist Paul Jarvis sharpened their skills, most of these songs are a waste of their gonzo talent and locked groove.

Gozu – The Fury of A Patient Man – Review

August 19, 2013

All ten tracks of this Boston quartet’s second release, following up 2010’s noteworthy Locust Season. Soulful vocals over fuzzy, well-crafted classic rock (some stoner drool, some Soundgarden pop-crafted hard rock). There’re some handclaps here, probably some cowbell if you really dig in, and some metallic gallop and doom plod, just for good measure.

Deville – Hydra – Review

August 16, 2013

There’s enough metal chug and stoner swagger to keep this a rock record, but the bright and polished production will make the shaggy wary of commercial overplay.

Inter Arma – Sky Burial – Review

August 6, 2013

Inter Arma are in no hurry on the nearly ten-minute “Westward.” It takes a few minutes for them to be satisfied with the doom-drenched plod before adding additional elements, like a faint roar in the distance.

Spiritual Beggars – Earth Blues – Review

August 2, 2013

Good to hear from Michael Amott’s (Arch Enemy, ex-Carcass) retro rock project again, due to losing members and momentum, and potentially getting lost in the shuffle of damn fine bands simply flooding this genre.

The Saint James Society – Bab(a/y)lon Rising – Review

August 1, 2013

Distinctly ’80s UK post-punk/Goth rock reverb from Austin, Texas’ glammy psychedelic garage rockers. An interesting sound, a well-worn style, and not one I was anticipating from the title track of the curiously-titled “Bab(a/y)lon Rising.”

Hot Lunch – Review

July 31, 2013

Big amps, lots of wah and distortion, Kyuss-souled stoner rock yahoo, and “Killer Smile” has drum fills Sabbath’s Bill Ward would approve of.

Bottom – MMXII EP – Review

July 5, 2013

Bottom has always been heavy and dark, sure, but not like this! 2012/2013 Bottom leans more Melvins/Blag Flag, with huge slabs of guitar fuzz really getting their point across.

Mudhoney – Vanishing Point – Review

June 28, 2013

Mudhoney have always been barbed, pissy, raw yet melodic, and raging against inclusion in the Seattle Boys Club of the early ’90s. 20 years later, the howl is more sarcastic snipes, the “fuck you” tempered to witty taunts and jabs. But Mudhoney still rock your lame ass.

ASG – Blood Drive – Review

June 21, 2013

ASG emerge from the sandy shores of North Carolina to deliver their fourth full-length and Relapse debut, Blood Drive. These 12 songs are catchy, memorable, and sound like classics as soon as you hit play, but with the band being around since 2001, you wouldn’t expect anything less.

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