Friday 3 July 2015

Greenbeard ~ Second album from Texas desert groovers

In November 2014 Texas desert rockers Greenbeard released a self-titled album that was, according to their Bandcamp page, a collection of high quality demo recordings. Filled to the brim with fuzzed up riffage, scalding solos and driving rhythms this album immediately drew the attention of online music fans, bloggers and critics and it seemed that everyone was in agreement....this was a band to keep your eye on.
A year later with a few more gigs under their belt and the addition of a new member Greenbeard are back with their first full album "Stoned At The Throne"

Comprised of five new songs and three re-workings of tunes from their demo, "Stoned At The Throne" shows that the band have lost non of that promise hinted at on "Greenbeard", and that if anything have exceeded that promise.
"Sativa Wizardia" kicks things off with its glorious dirty, fuzz drenched riffage that nods its head towards Kyuss but also has a touch of The Sword's metallic stoner edge in its groove.
"Don't Get Too Desperate" sees the band encroaching into Queen's of the Stone Age territory with its quirky, angular riff and Josh Homme type vocals. I've got to admit on first listen this did not gel with me, a little too QOTSA and not enough Greenbeard, but on subsequent listens i've found myself warming to it and slowly growing to love it.
Third track "The Voyager" has Chance Parker and Ethan Thayer laying down the doom with a thick sludgey riff under which Buddy Hachar (drums) and Marc Maddox (bass) lay a groove that you could bury a bus in. This also has one of my favourite vocal performances with Parker and Thayer's voices blending together as one, magnificent! The track ends with the two guitarists trying to outdo each other with superb intertwined solos.
Next track "Crooked Is As Crooked Does" is probably my favourite track, incorporating a truly gorgeous strutting desert riff combined with mellow laid back vocals in the verses that explode in the chorus. Prepare yourself also for an absolutely fret burning guitar solo and a beautiful moment when the guitars and drums fall away to leave a wonderful two note bass motif supporting the vocal, awesome!
"Dead Valley" a highlight of the 2014 demo is fleshed out here with the addition of the other guitar, adding a depth that was lacking in the original. A good tune
"Swimming In The Grass" has an infectious stuttering riff that hooks you from the start carrying you along with its super cool vocal that then descends into a full blown psych freak-out in the final third.
The final two tracks "Eris" and "Sludgito" both of which can be found on "Greenbeard" are enhanced by the extra six strings and benefit from the more polished production found throughout the album.

It seemed a long time between pre-ordering this album, on Bandcamp, and finally getting my grubby hands on it today but it was well worth the wait.

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