Friday 8 July 2016


Well it didn't take long before Desert Psychlist wound up visiting Brazil again did it?
This time around we are checking out a band from the Rio de Janeiro municipality Volta Redonda who go by the name of Stonehouseonfire and have just released their third recording "Neverending Cycle"

"Neverending Cycle" is an album that leans heavily towards the psychedelic side of the stoner genre, taking it's cues from the more lysergic orientated late 60's than the usual mid 70's era that is the de rigueur of many of todays stoner/psych and doom bands. Songs like "Wrath of the Sun" and "Steam Boat" channel the beads and peace sign vibes of  Randy California's Spirit and the 13th Floor Elevators and mix them with elements of the harder edged, fuzz pedal stamping, downtuned psych of today, sprinkling them with a large dose of old fashioned groove along the way. Vocals, harmonised and solo, throughout the album , are slightly accented but this in no way detracts from their overall impact, in fact on the wonderfully atmospheric and  doom-lite "The Rush" and the superbly schizophrenic "Purge and Purify" they actually add to that impact. "Anger" sees the band hitting a more "straight" stoner/hard rock groove with bassist Leonardo Moore taking over vocal duties, bringing a bluesier toned attack to the table as well as supplying some highly impressive bass work. "Pasaje" throws a curveball into the mix, ambient with beautiful piano interludes and underpinned with hand percussion and a liquid bass line it brings a strange and quite welcome tranquilty to proceedings.
"Steam Boat" and "Electric Sheep" finds guitarist/vocalist Kleber Mariano back at his usual place in front of the microphone his distinctive trance-like tones bringing the bands sounds back into their familiar psych/hard rock groove. The former track is superbly driven by Andre Leal's pulsating drum work, the percussionist utilising every inch of his kit pushing the groove from beneath with amazing dexterity. The song ends with a wonderful trade off between Mariano and second guitarist Marcus Oliveira, one laying down dissonant and dirty chordal colouring while the other tears the air with a howling jagged solo. The latter track has an eerie lysergic doom feel that builds very quickly into something quite feral and brutal. Superbly anchored by Moore's bass and Leal's drums and bolstered by Mariano and Oliveira's heavy riffage the only complaint that can be possibly levelled towards this track is that at only 3:17 it is over too quickly. Like all good albums the best is left to last and Stonehouseonfire deliver a beauty. "Neverending Cycle" swings majestically between ambience and brutality taking in all stops between. Ever shifting time signatures and dynamics combine to create an immense musical soundscape that incorporates acoustic interludes, North African themes, doom like atmospherics and hard stoner riffage all seamlessly intertwining around each other taking the listener on a journey to places he never expected to go but knows damn sure he wants to go back to.

I'm not going to pretend I discovered this band or that I've been on board with their music from their very first release, the truth is if it had not been for an e-mail from the bands drummer I may never have got to hear their grooves or wrote this review. What I can say though is that having arrived at this point in their journey I am sure as hell gonna stick around for the rest of the ride!

Check 'em out....

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