Tuesday 11 June 2024

WYNDRIDER ~ REVIVAL ..... review

For many of us the emergence of WyndRider as a musical force came as a bit of a surprise, one minute the band’s debut album "WyndRider" was just another new release in a list of hundreds of new releases on Bandcamp and the next it was being lauded across the underground scene's media outlets as some sort of new coming. The reason "WyndRider" garnered the attention it did was not due to some clever marketing or PR campaign it was because the sound the band made on that album resonated with all those who took a chance and pushed play. For us at Desert Psychlist its appeal stemmed from the fact that it took us back to a time in our scene’s history when bands like Witch Mountain, Blood Ceremony, Jex Thoth and The Devil's Blood were releasing one great album after another while also attempting to shatter the outdated notion that the female voice had no place in rock music (sadly a notion still not completely eradicated). Having released such a well-received debut the pressure was now on WyndRider to show the world that the recent praise heaped upon them was justified praise and that they were not just a one album wonder destined to soon disappear back into obscurity and the best way to do that was head straight back into the studio and make another album. That album is now out and if you bought into the bluesy proto-doom of “WyndRider" you are going to love "Revival" (Electric Valley Records).

WyndRider kick off their latest collection of occult themed musical imagery with "Forked Tongue Revival" a song that sits firmly in the canon of doom but also carries in its gait a very pleasing element of laid back bluesiness, a bluesiness that not only comes from singer Chloe Gould's powerful and slightly smoky vocal tones but also from the triumvirate of Robbie Willis (guitar), Joshuwah Herald (bass) and Josh Brock (drums) who when not laying down crunching proto flavoured riffs and rhythms are not too shabby at getting a little down-home and rootsy. If ever a song was destined to become a fan favourite then it has got to be "Motorcycle Witches" its 70's flavoured heavy rock refrains, driving rhythms and swinging vocal melodies are manna from heaven for anyone (like us) brought up on a diet of Black Sabbath, Budgie, May Blitz and others of that ilk. Third track "Judas" finds WyndRider successfully mixing low slow and heavy stoner with proto metal and more traditional doom to create a groove that feels like it is in constant flux yet in truth is fairly one dimensional, a feeling enhanced by Gould's vocal delivery which is pitched ever so slightly monotonic. The vocal bluesiness that tinted the albums opening track returns for "Devil's Den" and is twinned this time with blustering heavy'n'hard rock while the appropriately titled "Remember the Sabbath" ensures that we do by jamming a sedate and atmospheric groove that has Iommi, Butler and Ward written large all over it and sees Gould channelling a smoky and seductive version of Ozzy in her vocal. There is a touch of off-centred psych brought to bear on next track "Under the Influence" with Brock and Herald laying down a solid bedrock of thunderous rhythms for Willis to decorate with crunching riffs and searing solos, Gould ably filling the spaces in-between with a strong and distinctive vocal performance. Final song "The Wheel" retains the elements of psych utilized in the previous track but this time sets them in a more sedate and lumbering setting and adds into the mix a slurred vocal delivery and spoken prose to ramp up the atmospherics to the legendary eleven mark, well that is until the final third when out of the blue things take a strident turn and the band set off on a race to the finish line on a wave of chugging proto-doom.

Wyndrider's debut showed a band with the potential to go the whole way and become major players in this thing we call the "underground", their new album, "Revival", tells us they already are.
Check it out.....
© 2024 Frazer Jones

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