Friday 22 November 2019


Stoner doom with a good helping of psych is something that really floats our boat at Desert Psychlist, there is something about huge heavy leaden riffs blended with a modicum of swirling lysergic texturing and colour that just seems to hit that sweet spot with us. Given this information you can imagine our delight when Australian quartet DROID, Richard Iskov (vocals/guitar); Will Haines (vocals/bass); Tim Wooltorton (guitar) and Jeremy Kaye Simmons (drums), contacted Desert Psychlist enquiring about a review and inviting us to take a sneak preview of their debut album "Hyperreality", not only did it fall into the above category of lysergic laced stonerized doom it also blew our tiny collective minds!

All manner of weird and wonderful noises greet the listener as first track "Mind Collapse" begins but those noises slowly dissipate and make way for a thundering bass heavy refrain, tinted with the faintest hint of eastern promise. Suddenly, just about when you are ready to throw those devils horns in the air and prepare for some vigorous head nodding, everything changes and the vocals kick in, executed in clean but hazy tones, against a groove that although still quite heavy as an almost alt/post rock feel. This fractured alternative take on what is at its deepest root a stoner doom sound is something that runs right through "Hyperreality", the band utilising heavy distorted riffage and thundering powerful rhythms as the foundation for their sound but weaving into that sound elements of psych, space and basically anything they can land their hands to challenge the listener and keep things interesting, To successfully pull this off you need to have musicians in your band who can adapt to sudden changes in time, dynamic and tempo and be able to flow through those changes without sounding mechanical, in Iskov, Haines, Wooltorton and Simmonds DROID have those musicians. Iskav and Wooltorton wrench a huge range of tones and effects sounds from their guitars while still maintaining enough crunch and swirl to please even the most ardent stoner loving doomer while Haines' growling bass and Simmons' thundering drums lay down a groove that never stays in one place long enough to become tedious or one dimensional. Add to this lysergic laced mix of heaviness and off kilter quirkiness vocals that shift from smooth and hazy to punkish and angsty and you arrive at a sound that is familiar yet at the same time unlike anything you may have ever heard before.

Stoner metal/doom has been getting a little thick around the waist belt of late with many bands content to sit back and rely on the strength of their riffs and leaden heaviness to pull them through however this is not the case with DROID, those riffs and that heaviness are unarguably still part of DROID'S overall sound but they are mixed with an undefinable something that makes them stand way out from the crowd, and that is something to be both applauded and celebrated.
Check it out …..

© 2019 Frazer Jones

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