Friday 24 May 2024


Have you ever listened to a band's album that is good that your first thought is how can they possibly follow this? Well that was our thinking after listening to Huanastone's last album "Third Stone from the Sun", a stunning collection of songs that saw the band forging a sound that was an intriguing blend of languid prog, desert flavoured rock and off-piste alternative metal, a sound that was not quite Elder, not quite QOTSA and not quite Alice In Chains yet carried an essence of each.
This year (2024) Huanastone, Tobias Amaru Gonzalez Contardo (vocals, guitar);  Victor Hansson (drums); Filip Larsson (bass) and Harald Nordén (guitar), have released "Son of Juno", an album that answers the question, posed at the top of this review, while also asking a new question; how are they going to top this one?

As intro's go first track " ..And Then Came the Sun" possess a beauty, a reverberating circular guitar motif that on its own is pretty impressive but then gets even more better when it is joined by the second guitar, bass and drums. Things relax a little when the vocals join the fray with the band slipping into a nicely chilled alt-metal/desert rock groove, in support of Contardo’s exquisite easy on the ear croons, but always ready to return to the songs opening circular motif when the opportunity arises. Title track "Son of Juno" has an aggressive desert rock edge, but an edge tempered by its smooth vocals which are powerful without being over the top. As the song progresses so its edginess diminishes and we soon find ourselves getting lost in undulating waves of Floydian bluesy psych, a truly go to moment for any David Gilmour fans out there. "Love In Black Tar" begs the question what sort of situation could inspire such a title but putting that aside what we have here is Huanastone at their most swaggering and crunchy while proudly wearing their QOTSA influences on their collective sleeve. "Black Rain" follows, a low key lament enhanced by guitar parts that carry a little country rock twang in their execution and is followed by "Gaea" a lilting and hazy alternative rock/psych  flavoured tome that again utilizes a few country rock guitar textures in its make-u but then closes out with a full on guitar heavy jam reminiscent of those you might find on an Outlaws or a Lynyrd Skynyrd live album. "If I Had a Head" finds Huanastone scratching their indie rock itch, albeit routinely interrupted by moments of throbbing desert rock, while final song, the instrumental "Red Dunes", sees the band donning their sun hats, shorts and sandals and taking off on a jaunt into the sort of cosmic, desert territories Yawning Man and Colour Haze like to call their own, swirling guitar solos soaring over a bedrock of expertly executed tight and loose drumming and a mixture of booming and liquid low slung bass.

Those of us who thought that "Third Stone from the Sun" was as good as it could possibly get regarding Huanastone and their music have been proved wrong by "Son of Juno", the album is everything that the last album was and much more, an album that will be demanding your attention not just over the next few months but over many years. 
Check it out ..... 

© 2024 Frazer Jones

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