We love stoner metal. Distortion. Doom. Sabbathian riff worship. A decade ago we wandered into the lush psychedelic grooves of the stoner sub-genre with albums like Bloodhorse’s Horizoner, Meanderthal by Torche and Baroness’ Blue Record. The journey has been long and good, and we get really excited when a band comes around that demonstrates a real love for and mastery of the genre. Wizzerd’s self-titled release from back in June will take you for a spectacular ride. Jhalen Salazar’s vocals help set this album apart from more derivative bands, with multiple distinct styles from melodic crooning on Phoenix to the doom growls on Wraith. The satisfyingly stoney instrumentation seems to follow the dynamism of Salazar’s rich well-trained voice. Moments of shiny high-fi verses are patterned in sludge and grime. The track Warrior is reminiscent of The Sword’s work, but feels like an improvement on the idea with multiple flowing movements and resounding vocal melodies. You will not be able to turn this album off. Thanks to Doomed & Stoned for getting these guys to Portland for a spectacular show, and providing some pics!
If you’re lucky enough to catch Boise trio Lloyd and Saviour live you absolutely should. Full of evil satan-y stoner jams and heavy sludge covered rock n roll, their songs are as energetic as they are mired in dreamy distortion, fuzz, dirt, mold, mud, we don’t even wanna know.
The Black Out Album has strong roots in classic rock n roll, but with an interest in exploring bringing in heavy metal and punk. The songs with shiny production could be mistaken for surfy pop songs, but choose a nice rotten potato quality so the experience is more like drinking a warm newcastle on a cloudy day than some beachy cocktail. These are meticulously well crafted tracks perfectly suited for road trips and daily driving, skating around sneaking into parties, or just sitting alone mad at it. Definitely keep an eye out for these guys and check out these tracks.
It’s been almost four years since the epic indie punk masterpiece Posture Theif hit the shelves. The Autonomics just added another rock solid album to their lineup; Debt Sounds was self-released September 1st 2017. Maintaining and refraining from complaining, their blend of bluesy indie pop and punk rock sensibility carries through in Debt Sounds, dusting the listener with nice thoughts and an enchanting realism.
The ultra catchy standout “Bad Blood” starts “We drove away from the city, we took all our money and we weren’t afraid to die” sets the tone of youthful invincibility for the album. This track highlights why The Autonomics totally kick ass, there’s a tangible vibrant energy that drives the crashing cymbals and rapid distorted guitars. You get the sense these songs are inspired deeply by the various excitements of adulthood in a not so straightforward town and world. The tempo moves from uncontained almost frenetic in “I Love You, Oprah Winfrey” to just slightly slower but still rocking “She’s into Death,” and “Nada Surf Hotel.” The album closes with some sincere words of encouragement “everything’s gonna work out, tomorrow we’re going to kill it,” which enforces the positive tones throughout. If Debt Sounds by The Autonomics isn’t on your playlist, we highly suggest you correct that mistake and haven a listen.
Break the Lease is Baby Island’s new album that dropped August 18th, 2017. It recalls their previous self-titled release in it’s carefree but philosophical tones and aesthetics. IMHO Baby Island (2012) is a classic album crafted as a vaguely psychedelic, more childlike indie-folk-pop album.
Break the Lease carries on Baby Island’s awesome tradition of extremely catchy tunes. One standout, “Tobacco” starts out “Do you smoke tobacco / do you have a fight? / Are you an asshole / who wanna parties everynight?” complete with punk rock chants repeating. Smokers start to wonder if they’re assholes too. As the song transitions into viola and whistling “Tobacco” moves into anthemic “All rise for the women in the children / Baby, baby, baby don’t you walk on me / I’ll be under the Christmas Tree.” Now smokers are pondering what exactly defines an asshole and how everyone they’ve met might fall into that category, or out. The track is introspective but upbeat, everything you want.
We’ve been anticipating this album since Baby Island and sideproject Memory Boys played The Know half-a-decade ago, and it fully delivers. Sharing members of indie stars LAKE, Eli Moore and Ashley Eriksson take a turn towards smoky and subdued, embracing stripped down concise song-writing. Break the Lease is also a powerful album, therapeutic and inspiring. Check out Break the Lease when you need to reflect on the meaning of life, or if you just want some great music to listen to.
Saturday, October 21st 2017 – Wonder Ballroom
When someone says EDM you might think of full-on 90’s techno glowstick raves but electronic music has come a long way in the decade taking catchy novel samples to the new new level of sophistication. Mr Carmack’s brew of dubstep style EDM and vapewave is highly danceable but modern and space-aged. If you appreciate getting down to some rugged trap but also like to get stoned and chill, this is your band.
Mr. Carmack comes to Portland’s Wonder Ballroom Saturday October 21st as part of Redbull Sound Select. It’s going to be a show with lots of vibes and a little bit of grime. Mija is another vapewave producer who brings the best of the chillstep sounds who will be there also.
On this track “Better” with Vindata you can hear the good stuff that happens when producers like Mija can bring an uplifting mood with bouncy rhythmns combined with playful samples and positive themes. Tracks like these are beautiful works of art and a welcomed subterfuge in today’s complex electronic society. We’re really excited to see what Knox Fortune and Vlad Sepetov have to bring too. See you Saturday Oct 21 at Wonder Ballroom.