Sunday 31 May 2015

Dope Smoker ~ Welsh Stoners release Third Album

A little while ago I took a chance on an album on Bandcamp that caught my eye with its unusual artwork, a simple photo of a stretch of blue sea with no title or band name. Hitting the play option on their BC page I was immediately blown away by the sound exploding from my PC’s speakers. What I was hearing was heavy stoner but mixed with elements of the trip hop and dance beats I would often hear coming from my youngest daughter’s bedroom. The sound reminded me of another UK band who ploughed a similar furrow “The Music”, a band who caught my attention with their single “Take the Long Road and Walk It” and was a MTV staple for a while. The band I was hearing on that day were, and still are called Dope Smoker.

Dope Smoker are from Pembroke City, Wales and in their own words “are a 3 piece rock group from South West Wales where everyone smokes dope & surfs”. They cite their influences among others as Black Sabbath, Nirvana but they also namecheck Run DMC and The Beastie Boys for shaping their sound.

This month saw the release of their third album III and like the two that preceded it III is a whirlwind of distorted, fuzzed up riffery, Ozzy-ish vocals  and a mixture of rave and rock rhythms. Where other bands seem to mellow with subsequent albums Dope Smoker have just got nastier, dirtier and downright gnarly on this album, ramping up the stoner side of their sound and even injecting a little doom to their groove yet not letting go of that rave scene sound that makes their music so infectious.

If you can dig the idea of Black Sabbath playing your local nightclub in surfer gear, waving glowsticks and Bill Ward thumping out the odd dance beats then you’ll love Dope Smoker.

Bôse ~ Polish Psychonauts ......An Introduction To....

Bôse are a four piece Polish band who specialise in improvised music, this band are all about “the moment”. The theory is… turn on the mic’s and record exactly what goes down as it goes down.

Bôse started their existence In 2014 in Opole, Poland, getting together with the idea of creating a sound that had a formal basic structure but also had a freedom to go where it needed to go when it needed to go there. Using elements of desert, space, stoner and psych as their root Bôse take you  on journeys through psychedelic landscapes via a series of ep’s (30 to date) full of stunning musicianship and ever changing moods and colours

Trying to get any information on this band is a nightmare, their FB page  is very vague about who they are or who plays what and videos are nearly non-existent but I guess that adds to the whole mystique of a band who clearly do not play by the rules.

to see their whole discography to date go to

Saturday 30 May 2015

Bathsheba ~ Belgium's Secret Weapon release "The Sleepless Gods" EP

Bathsheba are one of those bands that once you've heard them you'll never forget them.
Formed in the Genk, Limburg district of Belgium and made up of  members of Sardonis, Death Penalty and Disinterred, Bathsheba play doom but a style of doom that takes all the sub-genres of that music and puts them in one glorious place.
Let's talk about riffs.... These guys have riffs that could bring down tall buildings, these guys have riffs that will register on the Richter scale, these guys have riffs that will cause your spine to crumble and your ears to bleed. Yes these riffs are brutal! Here's the clever bit though..... They counterbalance this brutality with the oh so beautiful occult-ish vocals of one Michelle Nocon her voice a perfect foil to the sonic maelstrom going on over, around and through her.

There are only two tracks to this EP but both come in around the 9 minutes mark and both are essential listening for fans of the doom genre.

Greece's Godsleep release debut

Godsleep hail from Athens, Greece and have been peddling their brand of stoner/psych around venues in Greece and the rest of Europe for a while now. After honing their chops on the road it was decided the time was right to go into the studio and record an album, and what an album it is!
Thousand Sons of Sleep is not just another album  of stoner rock riffery, there is much, much more going on here. Right from the off with opening track "The Call" you know you are listening to something a little bit special. The first thing you notice is the quality of the production, crisp, deep and warm yet not losing any of the grittiness that us lovers of this genre crave for in our music. The next thing you notice is the strength of musicianship in this band, yeah these guys can pin you to a wall with their riffs and rhythms but they can also chill you out with moments of lysergic beauty that lull you into a false sense of security...well until the next sonic assault pushes back to the wall.
Vocals are raw, powerful and delivered with throaty passion but can also drop down to croaky croon in quieter passages and in both dynamics work perfectly with the sound being created. Guitar solo's swoop an swirl inbetween riffs and the rhythm section hold it all together with slinky bass lines and drums that sway between John Bonham style rock barrage and Elvin Jones  jazziness.

Greece is fast becoming a country renowned for good "underground" music with bands such as Nightstalker, Half Gramme of Soma  and Planet of Zeus leading the way....well for my money you can now add Godsleep to that list.