Friday, 3 June 2016

THE DRUIDS ~ EP ......review





Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy or as they were collectively known, The Ramones, four brothers who were not brothers but changed their names so that they would be known as brothers even though we all still knew they were not actually brothers.
Space, Earth, Elder and  Mountain  are collectively known as The Druids, four men who might be brothers, who changed their names so we might think they are brothers who when it all comes to light may even actually be brothers but who are in all probability not brothers



The Druids, Space Druid- guitar/vocals, Earth Druid- lead guitar/vocals, Elder Druid- bass and
Mountain Druid- drums, are from Whiteoak, MD and cite among their influences The Allman Brothers, Tame Impala, Sleep and Hawkwind. Some of these influences, but not all, can be heard within the grooves of the bands debut EP, simply named "EP".


First offering "Offering" begins with raked strings and heavily phased stabbing chords before Elder Druid's enormous sounding bass and Mountain Druid's pounding drums enter and take everything to the next level. After a few seconds of slow deliberate doom laden riffage the dynamic suddenly shifts into a Sabbath meets Sleep type groove over which Space Druid and Earth Druid lay echo soaked and slightly ethereal dual vocals. The song shifts seamlessly back and forth between time signatures with Space Druid nailing down the fuzz heavy riffs while "brother" Earth soars around them with some truly inspired leads and solos.
"Thunderbird" is up next, a warmly fuzzed instrumental which sees Mountain and Elder lay down a solid drum and bass foundation over which the two guitarists employ every trick and effect in their respective books to paint sonic portraits with palettes of dark distortion and feedback.
"Sorcerers" sees the band injecting a little psychedelic colouring into their proto-metal/doom grooves. Vocals here are a little laid further back in the mix and have distinct early Floyd/Syd Barrett feel to them, a feeling that is reflected in the songs swirling psych drenched finale.
"Turtles" continues in the psychedelic vein of the previous track but this time the band up the ante by adding a little bluesy swagger and eastern mysticism into the proceedings. The vocals are again distant and floydian  and wrapped in a blanket of hazy warmth that gives the whole song an almost spiritual feel. The level of musicianship over the songs 08:07 duration  is nothing short of astonishing but a special mentions should go to both Druids, Earth and Space whose six-string interplay throughout is nothing short of breathtaking.
The band finish "EP" with two covers, the first a storming lysergic version of The Allman Brothers "Dreams" that sees Space and Earth channelling their inner Dickie Betts and Duane Allman and the second a cover of Black Sabbath's "Wicked World" which serves as a perfect vehicle for Mountain and Elder Druid to flex their rhythmic muscles as well as giving "EP" a high note to go out on.
If you dig your grooves heavy, hazy and played by men all with the same name but none of them with the same haircuts then take a raincheck on the Ramones and instead check out The Druids.

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