Motherships High Strangeness

The Texas rockers have been killing it for awhile now. Their 2012 self titled debut was killer. Their follow up record (Mothership ll) released in 2014 established them as easily the strongest act on the RIPPLE music roster. So whats next???? Well… On March 17th Mothership will give us their third album “High Strangeness” and it’s a good one and has the band establishing themselves as a giant in the scene! Mothership’s new record will once again  be released through RIPPLE music in the states. “High Strangeness” will also be released in Europe through HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS. Like I said… the band is making a lot of noise in the scene! For years now they have been pounding the underground world with high energy live performances to support the aforementioned records Mothership 1 and 2. “High Strangeness”  is their best effort yet and will cattlepult them to the next level.

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So what makes “High Strangeness”  so darn good? To begin with, it’s a freaking riff factory and sounds huge. The trio of Kelley Juett (Guitars/Vox), Kyle Juett (Bass/Vox) and                     Judge Smith (Drums) are firing on all cylinders. Mothership’s sound is heavy but you can hear a bit of the southern goods mixed with some good ole fashion psychedelic trips mixed in. “Midnight Express” is a killer little track that captures the power and precision Mothership use to generate their sound. The Juett bro’s also bring a nice little vocal trade off on this track. The tracks main riff chugs along with a dirty swag while Smith pounds it into your earholes for a long lasting impression.

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Motherships strength is definitely their talents on their instruments as well as writing killer riffs. The vocals seem to take a backseat to this. But the track “Crown Of Lies” features some killer vocals and a catchy little hook. But don’t worry folks, “Crown Of Lies” still features some face melting guitar work. The song even includes a bit of an Iron Maiden type guitar solo. Smith and Kyle both kill it creating a badass rhythm section.

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“Speed Dealer” is yet another riff led track that remind a bit of ZZ Top if ZZ Top was on speed! Kelley’s guitar work shines on the songs solo. The extended outro riff is heavy with a hint of doom narrated by some psychedelic guitar work. I look forward to the band taking this one on in their live set.

“Speed Dealer” is yet another riff led track that remind a bit of ZZ Top if ZZ Top was on speed! Kelley’s guitar work shines on the songs solo. The extended outro riff is heavy with a hint of doom narrated by some psychedelic guitar work. I look forward to the band taking this one on in their live set.

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Speaking of live. Mothership his headlining their own tour in support of “High Strangeness” and it recently hit the bay area. I was able to check them out last Saturday at The Ritz in San Jose CA. The boys did not disappoint. The Juett bros along with Smith delivered their high octane Texas boogie with passion, energy and plenty of power. If Mothership comes to a town near you you best go see them!!!!!

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So….. Mothership’s “High Strangeness” is a badass and solid record that I see pushing them to the next level!! It’s a killer mix of heavy, speed and a bit of that good old fashion Texas boogie and blues. Fans of ZZ Top, Sabbath, Maiden and UFO will really dig this!!!

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Cloud Catcher’s brillant “Trails Of Kozmic Dust”

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So let’s cut to the chase….. On March 13th through Totem Cat Records the Denver based trio Cloud Catcher are going to release their latest album “Trails Of Kozmic Dust” and it’s a total game changer.  I’m going on the record saying this will be one of the best albums of the year!!! “Trails Of Kozmic Dust” is a fuzzed out psychedelic beast dripping with intergalactic cosmic rock. The album contains 8 blistering tracks that are fueled by some insane guitar playing! If you’re into some serious guitar shred with soul you will love this shit! Think Sabbath on a bit of acid being directed by Hendrix while on overdrive.

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Cloud Catcher just don’t shred though, they still have riffs that groove. It’s not just speeding up and down scales for the hell of it. They respect the power of the riff!  This is why I love it! Its obvious this trio can all get down on their respective instruments. Some serious next level talent!! What makes them so good though is they gel incredibly well creating a monster of sound that can in my opinion be best described as a blistering cosmic ass kicking! I hear hints of Mothership, Mos Generator, Budgie and vocally a little Spirit Caravan. But Cloud Catcher separate themselves from pack using frantic riffs and aggresive rhythms. Their sound has some 70’s blood pumping through its veins for sure.  

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“Visions” is a stand out track for me. Fueled by a dirty raunchy  little riff and the album’s strongest vocal performance. Cloud Catcher deliver some serious rhythms on this track! The guitar solos are tasteful and unapologetic while the drums and bass are relentlessly punching your face!

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Like I said…. This album is a game changer. Cloud Catcher are going to make a big statement with this record establishing themselves as one of the front runners of good ole fashion ass kicking rock n roll!  “Trails Of Kozmic Dust” will be out everywhere March 13th in CD and digital formats. The album will also have a limited Vinyl release. If Your into that sort a thing you best act quick!

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Trails Of Kozmic Dust – Tracklisting
Astral Warlord
Celestial Empress
Beyond The Electric Sun
Dimensional Interlude
Visions
Trails Of Kozmic Dust
Super Acid Magick
Righteous Ruler
Band Members
Rory Rummings
Kam Wentworth
Jared Soloman Handman
BAND LINKS
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Best of 2016

So….. Here is my list for 2016. It was a beast to finalize. I’m probably gonna get some grief for my top pick but I don’t give 2 shits. What really made it hard is that Honestly that the records that made 2, 3 and 4 could all be number 1. It was a killer year for music were both music legends and new exciting acts gave us the goods.  Hope you all enjoy and happy New Years!!

  1. David Bowie – Black Star
  2. Brant Bjork – Tao Of The Devil 
  3. Doors To No Where – The Haunting
  4. Big Business-Command Your Weather 
  5. Megadeth – Dystopia 
  6. Fatso Jetson – Idle Hands
  7. YearOfTheCobra-The Shadows Below
  8. Greenleaf – Rise Above Tge Meadow
  9. Geezer – Self Titled 
  10. 1000Mods – Repeated Exposure To…


David Bowie “BLACKSTAR”

  Without a doubt, there will never ever be another Bowie. His catalog of songs speak for themselves. I don’t need to talk about his legacy. But let’s talk about how he left this planet. Only Bowie could pull of what he did with “Blackstar.” Knowing he was sick and his days numbered he channeled this all into a brilliant album. I mean really?? Who can do this knowing they are dying?? Only Bowie! “Lazarus” is such a beautiful and powerful track. Bowie’s voice sounds amazing and leaves a haunting impression. The songs lyrics are truly moving and knowing now that he was dying when he wrote them makes them even more powerful.

OTHER KILLER TRACKS

  • ‘Tis Pity She Was A Whore
  • BlackStar
  • Girl Loves Me


—————


Brant Bjork “TAO THE DEVIL”


 One of the coolest cats in all of rock n roll added another killer album to his discography in 2016 with Tao The The Devil! Laced with groove after groove Brant delivers an album that captures what we love best about his solo career while continuing to forge ahead. This album is all about letting the good times roll with a little bit of peace and love. Released in September this album quickly became the soundtrack to my Indian summer and was In constant rotation. “The Greenhen is my jam!  Download this album now, crank it to eleven and let the good times roll!

Other Killer Tracks

  • Humble Pie
  • Luvin‘ 


———–
DOORS TO NO WHERE “THE HAUTING”

The Santa Cruz based trio killed it on their Album “The Haunting.” Doors To No Where mix stoner, punk and the heavy side of grunge all blended in a Sabbath machine. “The Haunting” sounds insane with bad ass guitar tones and vocals. Frontman Marc Lewis establishes himself as one of the stronger vocalist in the scene. One of the album’s strongest moments is “4give me.” The song features a heavy sludge riff that lewis rips over vocally and delivers a killer guitar solo. I really liked “The Haunting” because it’s complex with a lot of depth and variety. This record offers something for all kinds of listeners.

OTHER KILLER TRACKS 

  • Wires
  • Burn
  • Sinking


——–

BIG BUSINESS  “COMMAND YOUR WEATHER”

This duo is one of the most badass bands on this planet. “Command Your Weather” showcases the unique magic that is Big Business. Bass and drums only combo are beyond massive and hit hard. “Send Help” is an epic track that takes you on a spacey journey. Built on tripped out rhythm the vocals shone on this track. 

OTHER KILLER TRACKS 

  • Regulars
  • Father’s Day

———

MEGADETH “DYSTOPIA” 

Love him or hate him one cannot deny that Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine is a living legend. Often criticized for his strong opinions and reputation for being hard to work with I think Megadeth has been very underrated over the years. Well, in 2016 Megadeth delivered the metal album of the year in Dystopia. The album is full of classic trash riffs and fret melting solos. One of the album’s strongest moments is “Post-American world.” Equipped with a classic chugging megadeth riff Mustaine and crew slay it.

OTHER KILLER TRACKS 

  • Dystopia
  • Death From Within
  • Fatal Illusion 


———

FATSO JETSON “IDLE HANDS”

The desert rock legends absolutely crushed it on Idle Hands. Full of classic Fatso Jetson riffs the. And prove once again why they are such an influential band to so many. “Royal Family” is one of “Idle Hands” many strong points. The track feature a classic Fatso Jetson vibe while it pushes forward and grabs hold of your soul.

OTHER KILLER TRACKS  

  • Then And Now
  • Last  Of The Good Times 


————-

YEAR OF THE COBRA “IN THE SHADOWS BELOW...”
The Seattle duo known as Year Of The Cobra had themselves quite the year. Establishing themselves as the most exciting new bands in the scene while putting out one of the year’s best albums. …In The Shadows Below is a heavy crushing monster. The band who worked with Billy Anderson sounds massive on the album and it really shows on “The Siege.” Pounding away with big drums and bass “The Siege” let’s the vocals seduce into a trance.  

OTHER KILLER TRACKS

  • White Wizard
  • Spider And The Fly


————

GREENLEAf “RISE ABOVE THE MEADOW”

Greenleaf have been killing it for years and already have several great albums in their discography. “Rise Above The Meadow” is a perfect snapshot of what the band represents. Killer riffs pushed by badass drumming. This album really grows on you and is more then just a straightforward stoner rock record. “Howl” is a track that really hit hard for me. 

OTHER KILLER TRACKS 

  • Golden Throne
  • Funeral Pyre

————-


GEEZER “SELF TITLED” 

This is a mighty debut! Geezer’s self titled record is a stoner heavy blues machine. Reminds me a bit of old Clutch and Orange Goblin mixed with a little psychedelic sprinkled on top . This band has a very bright future. “Sunday Speed Demon” is badass. Check it out now.

OTHER KILLER TRACKS

  • Sun Gods
  • Stoney Poney

———–

1000MODS “Repeated Exposure To…”

I gotta admit. This band and album snuck up on me just recently. Suggested by a random Facebook post I stumbled on to them. My first reaction was this sounds like COC during The Blind era. This is not a bad thing!! “Repeated Exposure To…” is a solid rock record. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this band. “Above179” is a killer track with a catchy hook.

OTHER KILLER TRACKS 

  • The Son
  • A.W.


——————————–


HONORABLE MENTIONS 

  • Red Fang “Only Ghosts”
  • Mountain Tamer “self Titled”
  • All Them Witches “Live In Brussels”
  • Hornss “Telepath”
  • Mos Generator  “Abyssinia”

In all honesty it was really hard to leave Red Fang of the top ten. “Only Ghosts” may Not be there best record but it still kicks ass. It could easily have been 9 or 10 on my list.  

Mountain Tamer is a band that came highly recommended from Doors To No Where. Also from Santa Cruz CA Mountain Tamer is a young band to keep an eye on and their self titled debut album is a kick ass heavy psychedelic trip. 

All Them Witches continue to amaze me. Their live from Brussels captures the band delivering a killer set.

The Hornss album was a lot to process. Sonically it’s hard to digest at times. The drums are bit buried in the mix and there are a lot of overtones going on. Once your ears adjust though, this album is real heavy and motors along with interesting landscapes. It’s one of those albums that needs to grow on you but it will!

Mos Generator are a very talented band who are some serious road warriors. Abyssinia shreds and is a solid kick ass rocker. I caught them live when they came through SF and they blew the show away.





Fatso Jetson & The Del-Toros


So listen up folks…. Fatso Jetson and Del-Toros recently put out a split through shattered platter and your record collection needs it. The very limited 7” run shows how music is truly the greatest communicator. While Fatso Jetson and Del-Toros live in different parts of the world and bring their own very unique sound and style they also have an underlying  connection in sound.

Let’s start with the desert legends Fatso Jetson shall we??? The band who is often credited with being the godfather of the desert sound proves why with their track “Dream Homes.” The track features a classic Fatso riff that harkens back to the good ole days. Lead by the man, the myth, the legend Mario Lalli  and the Jetson boys deliver on this instrumental track. Mario in my opinion is a very underrated guitar player and “Dream Homes” is carried by his unique and beautiful playing style. The song displays why bands like Queens Of The Stone Age worshipped them. I love the freedom Fatso Jetson as always had to do whatever they want and get away with it. “Dream Homes” is a chunky jazzy rhythm with various melodic and catchy guitar leads painted over the top.

So how about the boys from the Netherlands???? Well like Fatso Jetson they also contributed an instrumental track. Their track titled “Die Cast” is bad assssssssssssss!!!!! The heart of the song pumps with an old school surf vibe set in a spaghetti western. The song makes me wanna grab my Clint Eastwood style poncho and Board and get barreled in the green room for days. “Die Cast” features some killer guitar work and I love the relationship the drums and bass have. The Del-Toros prove themselves more than worthy of being on a split with the likes of Fatso Jetson. If you haven’t yet, you better check them out!!!!

So…. Do yourself a favor and get on over to www.facebook.com/ShatteredPlatter and get yourself a copy while you can.

 

http://fatsojetson.com/

https://fatsojetson.bandcamp.com/

http://www.del-toros.com/

https://del-toros.bandcamp.com/album/fatso-jetson-del-toros-split-7

http://shatteredplatter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ShatteredPlatter/

 

 

Doors To No Where’s The Haunting

Its no secret that I’m a huge fan of Doors To No Where. If you have followed my blogs over the years you have read how killer their live performances are and how their last album “Lucky You” was one of the best underground albums in the last five years. The Santa Cruz trio lead by lead guitarist and vocalist Marc Lewis have continued to make a name for themselves in the stoner rock world playing shows with acts like Big Business, Mondo Generator and Saviours. Along with Sean Sanford on bass and Pete Testorf on drums Doors To No Where have gained fans and respect everywhere they go. To me, what makes D2N so special is their unique sound and ability to stand out from the norm. In the stoner rock genre is far too easy to just drop tune and regurgitate Kyuss riffs. We also have a million bands now a days thinking they are either Clutch or Sleep. D2N while being influenced by these bands still find a way to sound just like…….themselves. I have a huge amount of respect for that. If it aint broke, don’t fix it. D2N’s style and sound is killer and puts them in a class all their own. Doors To No Where took another huge step forward with their latest effort. 

On October 28th Doors To No Where released a brand new nine track album titled “The Haunting independently” Following an album like their last “Lucky You” is not an easy task. “Lucky You” was very well received and stayed relivant for a long long time.  Well, the boys came through in a huge way!! Recorded in Santa Cruz California with engineer Aaron Cooper “The Haunting” is nothing short of amazing. The album is full of bad ass riffs that are throwbacks to the good ole days of skate punk. There is also plenty elements of stoner/desert rock with essence of the grunge era mixed in. The tones are insane and huge! D2N captured their live sound to perfection and putting on tape a vibe of who they are!  


The album’s opening track “Devils Backbone” is an old school thrash punk vibe that  see’s Lewis deliver a fantastic guitar solo while Pete and Sean lay down a heavy groove. “Devils Backbone” also provides a musical landscape for Lewis to bring some killer vocals full of grit and attitude. The album’s third track “Burn” starts with an epic war cadence by Testorff on drums that slam right into a dirty riff. I love the lyrics on this track and the melody that Lewis delivers them in. “Burn” is an epic song that is sure to wake your bones  and prepare you to slay!! The band hits on all cylinders on the outro crushing all in its path.

The album’s fourth track “Forgive Me” is a high point for me and shows the band’s ability to craft badass heavy songs. Carried by a heavy sludgy riff “Forgive Me”  sees Lewis’s voice in the same arena as Staley or Weliand. The songs breakdown has Sean dropping a killer groove on bass while the guitar howls on top. I love the dynamics of this song. The drums are huge and fat while the guitars hit hard with no forgivness. “The Policy” is a stoner rock gem with a killer spacey guitar solo and show Sean and Pete gel to give the song a high octane shuffle with balls. The Album’s title track “The Haunting” has a old school punk vibe that hits hard and with no remorse. “Wires’ is another standout track for me. The heavy sludgy riff and Lewis’s vocals in the intro set the table for a creepy little groove with dark elements. The guitar has some very intricate details adding depth and complexity. As a whole, this album rocks. Its full of killer guitar riffs and heavy grooves. I think Lewis has hit a new gear with a vocals and Doors To No Where is looking at a very bright future.

In my opinion “The Haunting” is a must have record and easily one of my favorite releases of 2016. The recording sounds huge and all nine songs offer their own unique pulse. If you are fan of Sabbath, Kyuss, Alice In Chains or old school punk you will love this album. You can get your copy directly from the band at www.doorstonowhere.com or at doorstonowhere.bandcamp.com/album/the-haunting

CONTACT DOORS TO NO WHERE:

https://www.facebook.com/D2NROCKNROLL/

https://www.instagram.com/doors_to_no_where/

https://mobile.twitter.com/doorstonowhere

Oliveri, the man, the myth, the legend.

Nick Oliveri is nothing short of rock n roll royalty. The famous goateed madman has led a balls to the walls career with plenty of tales both good and evil. In fact, Oliveri is a man of myth and legend. He is truly one of the last dangerous members of Rock N Roll. At the end of the day though, one cannot deny the amazing talents he possesses. Look at the Man’s career. As founding member of Kyuss Oliveri put his finger print all over one of the most influential bands of all time. That right there alone gives him high status in the kingdom of Rock N Roll. From there he joined a little old Punk Band called the Dwarves as the moniker Rex Everything. Like Kyuss, The Dwarves are credited with being a cornerstone of their genre. Then, we move on to what Nick may be known best for and that is is work with Queens Of The Stone Age. From 1998 to 2004 Oliveri played a major role in QOTSA. He was part of the face of the band and both his bass and vocal talents were highly utilized. Oliveri’s work was all over QOTSA biggest selling album “Songs For The Deaf.” It is my humble opinion that QOTSA haven’t been half the band since Oliveri left. So far I’ve mentioned three of Oliveri’s bands or artists he has been associated with. I must also mention the others he has worked with; Moistboys, Masters Of Reality, Turbonegro, Mark Lanegen Band, Uncontrollable, Bl’AST, Kyuss Lives/Vista Chino, Svetlanas and Bloodclot. Not to mention his own death acoustic. So……. my point is he his a musician in high demand because he represents everything rock n roll should be. His skill on bass is undoubtedly ranks up there really got along others like Flea, Burton and Lenny. He also is the real deal. There is absolutely nothing fake or contrived about him.


Let’s get to the point of this article though! We are hear to talk about one of Nicks other projects Mondo Generator. born in 1997 Mondo has been the brainchild of Oliveri that had seen plenty of legendary artist come through to help. That list includes but is not limited to; Dave Ghrol, Brant Bjork, Dave Catching and Marc Diomand. With several albums and EP’s under their belt Nick Oliveri’s Mondo Generator have carved a nice little niche in Rock N Rolls history books. Mondo Generator has been a consistent force over the years that never disappoints. Oliveri’s uncompromising and relentless style have built a mighty library of tunes and have toured the world.

Nick and both his current and former Mondo band mates celebrated the realease of a greatest hits album through Heavy Psyche Records recently . The 21 song compilation is available on both vynal and CD and can be purchased at nickOliveri.net The 21 track disc contains zero filler crap, only pure Mondo goodness.

I highly recommend you pick this bad boy up. Not only does the Mondo greatest hits contain the well know songs like 13th Floor, Fuck Yeah I’m Free and 4 Corners, it also contains less known tracks like Dead Silence and So High that are cult classics. When taking the 21 track journey you get plenty of Oliveri’s famous scream vocals as well as his amazing skills on bass. The album also has songs that show Nick can absolutely sing when he wants. He truly is a unique talent. One does not simply just get to have their music associated with a greatest hit album. You have to earn that with not only longevity but a library of good songs. Mondo has plenty of songs and Oliveri himself has earned a rock n roll degree in bad ass.

So if you fancy yourself a fan of punk rock, desert rock, stoner rock and hardcore you need this album. Unless of course, or a poser bitch. Mondo Generator is one of the most dangerous bands on the planet and continue to tear shit down under the guidance of their leader Nick Oliveri. Mondo plan to do a west coast tour in February to support the greatest hits album. In the meantime, you can catch the band in various appearances sprinkled throughout California or catch Nick’s death acoustic tour in Europe throughout the month of January. 

Idle Hands

I’ve long considered Fatso Jetsons front man Mario Lalli the godfather of the desert music scene. His unique playing style and his unselfish support of other bands as been instrumental for decades now. His work with experimental rock band  Yawning Man played a pivotal part in the early desert rock days. When Fatso Jetson in formed in 1994, Mario along with Larry Lalli and Tony Tornay, continued to heavily influence the deserts stoner rock movement. Seven studio albums later Fatso Jetson is still just as influential as ever.

The band’s eighth studio album Idle Hands came out in october of 2016 through Heavy Psych Sounds. Idle Hands is classic snap shot of Fatso Jetson sound and Mario’s style. The eleven track album is truly a journey full of interesting riffs, rhythms and meaningful lyrics. Fatso is a band with zero limitations. Idle Hands is complex like a fine wine with flavors of rock, jazz, punk and surf guitar all hitting your palette.


The album’s first track “Wire Wheels And Robots” starts things off with a classic Mario riff that builds on itself and creates a jazz rock type groove. The lead guitar on this track shows how influential the band’s sound is. It sounds like something you would have find on a QOTSA record. “Royal Family” is a spacey little jam that hits a high point for me. The vocal approach is reminiscent of classic Bowie while the main riff keeps you grounded. Some very nice lead guitar work on this track while the bass is full of interesting nuances. “Idle Hands’” is filled with amazing guitar work though. The instrumental “Seroquel” is beautiful and is perfect to just vibe out to. The album’s titled track “Idle Hands” allows the band to spread their musical wings before hitting hard with a straightforward riff that sticks to your brain like glue. Another high point on Idle Hands is the dirty country vibe on “48 Hours.” The swanky riff mixed with what sounds like Sean Wheeler (Throw Rag) on vocals blends perfectly.

I would suggest you sit down and listen to this album top to bottom and take it all in. Idle Hands has a lot going on that could go unnoticed easily. But that is what makes Fatso Jetson so special. Idle Hands is not an alum that has an expiration date. It will be has relevant as it is now in fifty years.               

Helmet is BACK!


One of the most underrated rock bands of all time is Helmet. Formed in 89 in New York by frontman Page Hamilton Helmet has truly stood the test of time. Most mainstream rock music listeners probably don’t even understand what influence Helmet have had on their favorite bands. Hard rock legends like Pantera, Tool and Nine Inch Nails of all credited Helmet with being influential on them. Part of the problem Page and Helmet have faced is being falsely labeled Nu Metal. Lets face it, Nu Metal sucks!! The chunky dropped tuning guitar style that Helmet utilizes was often stolen by Nu Metal acts. The truth is, Helmet sounds nothing like that shit. The truth is, Helmet are a style all to their own. 


On October 28th 2016 through earMUSIC Helmet released a new album titled “Dead To The World.” The 11 track album is the first to feature bassist Dave Case. Hamilton and the boys start the album off with a familiar sound. “Life Or Death” is a classic up tempo Helmet Jam with classic Hamilton Vocals and guitar work.”Life Or Death” leads right into the tracks second track “I Love My Guru” that sets the tone for the rest of Dead To The World. All the songs seem to play well of each other. I love the dirty guitar solo in the aforementioned “Guru.” The whole album contained one nice flow that offers a variety in dynamics. Like all Helmet records the tones are on point. 

One of the album’s strongest songs is the title track “Dead To The World.” The track starts with a killer bass line followed by a creepy guitar riff while Hamilton delivers vocal attitude that leads to a tense vengeful vibe. “Dead To The World” has what we all love about Helmet, that bad ass chunky riff fueled by a snare heavy drum beat. 

Die Alone” is another bad ass guitar driven song that see’s Hamilton deliver is more screaming type vocals that rip right through the speaker in a good way. I love the songs main riff. It’s a real raunchy sludge shuffle. “Except The World” see’s Hamilton switch from clean to dirty vocals creating a nice dynamic. 

If you are a longtime fan of the band or sludge rock I highly suggest you get this record! Helmet will be hitting the West Coast to support this album later this month and into December. I plan on being there when they hit SF on DEC. 4th.  

Year Of The Cobra, In The Shadows No More. 


Year Of The Cobra is a 2 piece sludge machine that you need to know about. The band which features Amy Tung on bass/vocals with drummer Jon Barrysmith just put out a new album titled “In The Shadows Below” and its bad ass. Packed with eight doom heavy tracks Year Of The Cobra are making waves. 


The Seattle duo tabbed the mighty Billy Anderson (Melvins, Neurosis, Sleep) to produce this bad boy and it shows. The tones are huge and full of brutal impact that are relentless.  Being just a 2 piece having huge bass and drums is critical. Well, with Anderson at the helm Year Of The Cobra nailed it. The bass tone is dirty and interplays with Amy’s clean vocals perfectly. Got a little bit of the angel and devil thing working. BerrySmiths snare is full of impact and depth!


The strongest track on the album is “The Siege” which features Amy’s best vocal performance. Siege chugs along with a straight forward barrage of heavy that allows Amy to deliver a strong melody of unforgiving lyrics that head a warning of what’s coming. 

Led by Barrysmiths strong pocket drumming “White Wizard” is another standout track. I love the simplicity of this song and the space it provides. The duo together create such a mysterious vibe. 


“Temple Of Apollo” is a nice shift in the album’s overall tempo. The straightforward riff once again allows Amy to deliver the goods on vocals. In The Shadows opener “Lion and The Unicorn” is another sludgetastic tune that allows both Amy and Jon to show their skills on their respected instruments with a long instrumental type jam to get things going. 


Overall, I love this record. It’s very real! It’s very powerful! It’s very fresh! Year Of The Cobra should be very proud of this record! If you’re a fan of Sleep, Melvins or Big Business you gotta get your hands on this record now! 

Red Fang’s Only Ghosts


The one thing you can always expect from a Red Fang record is a creative delivery of bad ass guitar riffs that stretch the norm. Well, the band’s latest effort “Only Ghosts” falls suit to the tried and true Red Fang formula. The album does however come with some surprises. The opener “Flies” brings a quirky southern style riff that lays a solid foundation for a killer double vocal attack. The album’s second track “Cut It Short” is another quirky riff that carries another catchy vocal melody that could fit right into an 1980’s action movie. By the time you reach track four “No Air” Red Fang returns to their bread and butter. 

For me Only Ghost really heats up from track six on. “Not For You” delivers the album’s strongest vocal performance while “The Smell Of Of The Sound” is a sludgy mamba jamba packed with plenty of punch. “Shadows” packs another classic Red Fang riff that carries in a raunchy punk format driven by a power house snare. The breakdown in this song reminds me of early Soundgarden.  

For me this Red Fang record took several listens to really gel. I’ve learned to appreciate it more and more. It’s a slams sic case of an album that needs to grow on you. Only Ghosts may not be as epic as Red Fangs early work it is still a killer rock record worth checking out. There is plenty of interesting guitar work all over Only Ghosts along with amazing drumming.  There is no doubt that Red Fang as established themselves as one of the premiere rock bands out today. Only Ghosts is just another building block in the bands legacy.