Thursday 11 February 2016

DOPE SMOKER ~ MARIJUANA ...... album review

A while ago I did a review of Dope Smoker's third album III extoling the virtues of the bands heady mix of heavy fuzz blended with repetitious rave beats. Since that review the band have released two other albums Vol. 4 and this their latest Marijuana.
The band from Pembroke, Wales know a winning formula when they find one so if your one of those that like their bands to make great leaps into the unknown, filling their sound out with great washes of colour and texture and experimentation then look elsewhere. Dope Smoker deliver, with Marijuana, exactly what their fans and followers want and expect from them, heavy riffs and repetitious mantra type vocals all wrapped up in a warm blanket of glorious fuzz that is then underpinned with incessant head nodding rhythms. That said there are a few subtle shifts within these grooves that show that this band are not just repeating themselves ad infinitum, for one thing the level of musicianship has taken a steep upward curve, guitar solo's are a little less Iommi-ic with more emphasis on melody and on final track "October" they add a little spacey atmospherics to the groove with the guitar swirling in and out around a deep rumbling fuzzy bass line, a trick they also repeat on final track "Manitoba". Lyrics are not high on Dope Smoker's list of priorities and are either an ode to their favourite exotic herb or a plea to legalize it and are sung in a slightly Ozzy-ish nasal tone over and over in a mantra like drone but when laid against the wall of fuzz drenched guitar and bass and incessant rhythmic pulses they create a trance like groove that is totally addictive.
It is hard to put your finger on why this all works and why when this band release an album people flock to buy it. it  just does and they do and I for one hope they carry on doing it!

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