Friday 17 May 2024


Kameniak, a trio hailing from Celje, Slovenia, comprises Gregor Orožim on guitar and vocals, Vid Verdev on bass and vocals, and Tijaž Messec on drums. Their sound is a fusion of Seattle's grunge and Palm Desert fuzz, enriched with garage rock and post-punk elements. Although their first two albums, "Kameniak I" and "Kameniak II," were well-received, they remained largely unnoticed internationally. However, the bands latest album, "Black Sky Summer" (ŠOP Records), could change all that, an album largely inspired by the catastrophic floods in Slovenia in 2023 but that also showcases the bands evolution as both musicians and as songwriters.

Things start of a little disturbing with "Going Underground", a collection of sampled effects and sound bytes intended to reflect the recent upheavals that have befallen the bands homeland. "Red Dawn" follows and is a deliciously fuzzy opus that comes over like a cross between desert rock icons QOTSA and Scottish post-punkers Franz Ferdinand over which the question "is my sin not enough for you" is asked in rich strong new wave(ish) tones. We then get  "Red Dawn Stop", a brief 26 second interlude featuring a mantra like vocal that serves as a bridging piece between the previous song and the next song "Sun Is The Devil", the songs stuttering guitar refrains, low slung bass lines and impressively tight drumming framing a vocal that is low key and semi narrated in the verses and slurry and gritty in the songs more upbeat verses. Kameniak show off their new wave/punk roots on the strident "I.A.P.I.T.M" while "Horseman" finds the band getting nicely off-centred and quirky. Next we have "Ride" its jerky bass heavy groove off set with moments of soaring heavy psych/alt-metal backed languidity. Final song "Summer's End" is a heartfelt lament delivered in wearied vocal tones over acoustic guitar and strings that takes its final bow to the sound of falling rain and thunder, a sad yet at the same time beautiful ending to what has been an intriguing and highly rewarding listening experience.

Kameniak's "Black Sky Summer" is a superb release that hopefully will open doors for them that they previously found closed shut. "Black Sky Summer" is an album that falls between the genre cracks, not quite stoner, not quite garage, not quite grunge and not quite punk yet nevertheless carrying within its grooves elements and essences of each. 
Check it out ....
© 2024 Frazer Jones

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