Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bare bones blues

"The foremost interpreters of the "delta blues". His unique playing style - which is to turn both rhythm and play the melody lines on the guitar while he tramper with your feet on a box - have given him the label of "one-man band." Bjørn Berge started his career so far with the electric guitar, but switched this quickly against a banjo after hearing bluegrass band Gone At Last practice in the neighborhood. He was completely hooked on acoustic blues when he heard Robert Johnson. Then purchased a 12-string National steel guitar, and succeeded in a short time to make his mark as a musician out of the ordinary. Joined with Jan Flåten (vocals, harmonica) in 1994, and debuted on record with him. After the cooperation with Jan Flåten was completed in 1996, Berge has focused on a solo career. This has led him beyond the borders of the country, including to Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, where he enjoys great respect. All of the discs to Bjørn Berge contains a mixture of own and others songs."

Band Site:
Bjorn Berge & Jan Flaten:

Now playing: Black Diamond Heavies - Everythang Is Everythang
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Groovy Depressive Pop Rock Metal

"Where the hell did this come from? Upon browsing through Vrangsinn's other projects beside the infamous Carpathian Forest, I came across this small project entitled "A Waste of Talent", which caught my eye, because of the name. Then upon further research, I discovered their homepage and statements that they are absolutely anti-commercial and absolute nihilists. The project exists since 92', but only after 15 years of "waiting for the end of the world to come", they have decided to record some of their material and enrich the existence of other individuals. A wise choice, since otherwise, this had never gotten to my ears.The album exists only in digital form, with an album cover online and seven songs. AWOT vehemently play a weird style of modern doom metal, infused with elements of 70s psychedelic rock. Imagine a disco hall set ablaze with two sad figures making music inside while the damn thing burns away. This is how this band sounds like. Vrangsinn has never made compromises in the past and this project of his is no exception.The opener and title track starts with some unidentifiable metallic noises that later morph into what seems to resemble (you guessed it) a steamtrain, but sounding more like an old bomb shell factory. After this "intro" Skaperen starts to sing something almost inapprehensible with a very broken-down voice that prepares the listener for the upcoming grief. The respective parts on this song don't really vary much, as the guitar switches between clean repetitive, but catchy parts and slow destructive down tuned riffs. Basically the melodies on most songs are just some chords played back and forth, but with that cool guitar tone they sound anything but boring or monotonous.Now an awesome thing on some songs, including the first track and the self-titled "A.W.O.T.", is that at a particular part on the track, there is a very smoothly induced tempo change. This thrusts the songs into a faster pace and hammers them into the consciousness of the listener. Another aspect is that the songs themselves, while sounding incredibly creepy and depressive, also emit a certain attitude of superiority. Talking about the end of the world and how everything is pointless and wrong really gets you in mood to despise your surroundings even more. Reverb is used on both clean and distorted guitar and on almost every song on this album, adding to the catastrophic perception that is received. They (AWOT) even amplify the dramatic sceneries by adding slow intimidating saxophone parts that finish you off.In a whole: A Waste of Talent have managed to create a whole new style of metal music, successfully merging the past with the future and post-future (the lyrical part). The sound, while being very modern, also uses wah-wah effects on the guitar to really get you in that 70s groove thing, but going so incredibly slow and heavy, that I wouldn't call the state or psychedelic, but neurotic, in a frenzied sense. That's the great nihilistic "passion" with which they play their music. Highly recommended for fans of post-apocalyptic themed music." (Review from Metal Archives)

Band Site:
A Waste of Talent - Psychodelic Steamtrain:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nice fuzzy rock for fans of jam bands

"They seem to appear out of nothing, existing since September 2006 this Dutch trio delivers a debut album to the market one year later. An album of which any other band could only dream of for their entire carreer. Influences on the sound of The Machine are unmistakable Colour Haze, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Blue Cheer and related late 60's jam-rockers. Just add the optimal conception of a raw production and lots of groove and you'll get a very good idea of the sound of this band. This is THE most important in stonerrock to me and it makes me forget time and the world around me for one small moment. Very intoxicating! Recommended!"

Band Site:
The Machine - Shadow of the Machine:

Now playing: The Machine - Jam no. pi
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Swiss version of AC/DC

"Sideburn, from Switzerland, have been around for years and unfortunately haven’t received the recognition they deserve outside of their native country. It’s a pity because they are a phenomenal band raised on the Bon Scott-era AC/DC and electrified delta blues. Like other AC/DC influenced bands – Trust, Krokus, Gotthard, Zan Clan, and countless others, Sideburn wear their influences on their collective sleeves, but remain original and contemporary. “Cherry Red” fully complements their preceding releases, but is better.
Opener, “Gimme the Way” deserves to be a worldwide hit. It is memorable, has a riff that slices, and the chorus is catchy too. The title track is heavy and slightly reminiscent of “Let there be Rock” and “Whole Lotta Rosie”. “Rock and Roll Queen” reminds me of “Beating Around the Bush” off of “Highway to Hell” and, too, has a killer chorus. But, the best song on “Cheery Red” is the tribute song to Bon – “Ghost of 1980” – Haunting lyrics and a groove that is pure and vintage AC/DC. “Wild Boy” employs some really cool slide as does the album closer “Stand Your Ground.” The latter track is right out of the muddy fields of Mississippi! Really moving stuff." (

Band Site:
Sideburn - Cherry Red:

Now playing: Sideburn - 05 - Lane
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thunderous Italian Stoner

So this is my first truly stoner rock post on this blog. It was more an accident than anything as the blog i would typically post this on, the search feature was acting up. So, after finding out it was already posted on the Swamp, couldnt waste a perfectly good upload to wither away, now could i? With a mighty bottom end and howling solos, you will have your head nodding in now time.

"This is the first album from the French label Longfellow Deeds Records I get to review. This label specializes in the groovy side of Rock/Metal, which happens to be my favorite side. Are BLACK RAINBOWS able to deliver some groovy tunes that will make us wanna grab a beer and bang our heads under their melodies? This is something we will have to find out...

BLACK RAINBOWS hail from a country that never had anything to offer to the Stoner scene, Italy! How can someone play such music when he is surrounded by Power Metal or Gothic bands? It is probably the warm environment the Mediterranean people live in.

"Twilight In The Desert" is the bands first and only release, since it is the only release they mention in their official homepage. The band plays a kind of psychedelic Stoner Rock, that draws influences from acts like NEBULA, the high and mighty BLUE CHEER (hail!) and SLO BURN, as well as the must KYUSS groovy touches. The low tuned guitar/bass are adding quite some heaviness to the sound, while Fioris vocals travel you somewhere in a desert, where you can see the sun setting as you drink your favorite beer and burn everything that troubles your mind.

"Twilight In The Desert" is not the best release in the Stoner/Space Rock scene for 2007, but it is an album that follows the "necessary" rules for groovy and psychedelic moments, in order to offer you approximately 34 minutes of pure and honest Heavy Rock music. Suggested only to those few that can feel the heat of music that is played straight from the heart..." (

Band Site:
Black Rainbows - Twilight In The Desert:

Now playing: Freedom Hawk - On The Otherside
via FoxyTunes

Add some funk to your groove

"At first, I thought 404 Not Found rose from the ashes of Fooz, the Spanish band that released one full length and disappeared halfway through the production of their follow-up. There are some common traits with the two, especially the vocals. But a search of 404's website shows that the band actually evolved from Vanexa, a group that first started out in 1983.

That's a long time to be slogging it out in the trenches, so it's not surprising that 404 Not Found is a fairly accomplished group of players. Armless is one of those albums that's heavy on playing, not in tone. It's a nuanced record, a sort of stoner/classic/psychedelic rock lite mixed with a smidgen of funk, enough to give the songs some pep but not enough to give you flashbacks of that horrid funk metal fad of the mid '90's.

You won't put Armless on in your car if you have need some inspiration to go somewhere fast, but it was a pretty enjoyable listen. Good musicianship and solid songs go a long way. Those who invest some time with 404 Not Found will probably discover that this is a record that reveals more with each listen." (

Band Site:
404 Not Found - Armless:

Now playing: First Band From Outer Space - Demons & Haze
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Think Medeski, Martin & Wood crossed with Govt Mule and maybe the Chemical Brothers hanging out in a jam space

This shit grooves...

"Although it includes Voivod's Away in the line-up and features cover art that could easily be used for the famous Canadian psycho-thrash band's upcoming album, Kosmos has nothing to do with thrash or even metal. Instead, what you get here is space rock with influences from Hawkwind, Amon Duul II, Van Der Graff Generator and with perhaps some Camel and Faust thrown in for good measure. In short, this album will definitely satisfy fans of this kind of music, although regrettably it is also not entirely without faults.

The problem that many people (this reviewer included) have with the modern progressive rock and metal scenes is that so many contemporary bands focus too much on technique, composition and mathematics, foregoing what made the genre interesting in the first place: journeying into areas of musical weirdness. Kosmos is a progressive band by the original definition of the genre and they are capable of capturing that sense of wonder and utter bemusement with gusto. From the krautrock opener to the alien punk rock of "Much Too Old", this album offers more reality-bending than an entire season of Farscape. Long ambient/noise passages, Hindu mantras, electronic soundscapes dominated by blips - it's all here, and more.

The problem with this album is paradoxically also this sense of overwhelming musical freedom that the band projects. The constant meandering nature of the music does not make for an album that flows well, at least not as a rock record. The experience of listening to Kosmos is more like that of being engrossed by a soundtrack to a surrealist film. As experiences go, it is phenomenal, but it doesn't really lend itself to repeated listens. Thus, Kosmos might end up being one of those records that sit on your shelf for months at a time, and only filling your room with its aural landscape once in a blue moon.

Kosmos is an album for the real hardcore progressive rock aficionado. It is mind bending and like a drug in many ways: capable of expanding perception of reality, but only if taken in moderation." (

(Thanks Psymin!)

Band Site:
Kosmos - Self-Titled: