Saturday 30 November 2019


On the uppermost floor of Stonerking Towers is a room we call the "listening post", it's walls are  decorated with lovingly framed pictures of 70's rock gods and old dog eared concert posters stuck to the cream painted walls with blu-tack.. This room, with it's guitars and basses leaning against cabinets overflowing with vinyl, cd's and cassettes, is where we at Desert Psychlist write our reviews and do the majority of our listening. Today this fairly small space is unusually full, not because this is the warmest room in the place but because the grooves, currently exploding from the battered speakers of the rooms solitary PC, is drawing both family and friends in like bees to a flower. That flower is a five track opus entitled "Sonic Cure" ( Polderrecords) from a five piece Belgian combo going by the collective name of Wheel of Smoke.

Progressive, complex music is probably a fair description of what Wheel of Smoke are currently bringing to the table with their new album"Sonic Cure" however that is not the whole story, there is plenty of good old fashioned rock'n'roll to be found among the five tracks on offer here as well as good helpings of heavy psych and desert flavoured space-rock. The introduction of synthesiser maestro Johan Overloop to the bands ranks has given the band a whole new lease of life and seemingly inspired the bands original core of Erik Heyns (guitar/vocals) Tristan Michiels (bass/vocals) Jouk Op De Beeck (drums) and Filip Remans (guitar) to dig that little deeper and reach that little higher to create music, that although in the past has always been highly enjoyable and rewarding, here is a little more cerebral and challenging. There is an intelligence and an intensity to songs like "Brainshaker","Beamed" and "Electric I" that, when combined with the high levels of musicianship, vocal prowess and songcraft on offer throughout "Sonic Cure", elevates Wheel of Smokes's sonic impact to a whole new level of enjoyability.

"Sonic Cure" has finished now and as we look around the "listening post" all that can be seen are huge appreciative grins, not only from the faces of the living inhabitants of the room but also, and we are convinced of this, from those 70's icons looking down from their glass fronted enclosures.
Check it out ….

© 2019 Frazer Jones

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