Artist: The Stoned
Title: “The Stoned” EP
Label: Independent Artist
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Stoner/Hard Rock
When I hit a gig by the refurbished and reformed Warrior Soul gig a few months ago I discovered that the bands singer Kory Clarke was also slamming down the drums in the opening band called The Stoned. Sadly I was too occupied with people I had met in the venue to go down early and watch them, figuring I would snare their CD and catch them at another time. What a mistake that was because when I got around to spinning the bands self-titled EP in the stereo I was immediately tossed into a time warp back about three decades to the early seventies where Rock and Roll was big, loud and made no compromises to the listener about its intentions. The band is fronted by Scotty T. Dimebagger and finds Adam Dubin on guitar with Sebastian Correa on bass as Clarke keeps it bottom heavy on the drums. I had to say that that the singer is a pretty solid drummer when it comes down to it and it was cool to see someone known for another role doing something else in a band. Scotty also delivers some guitar and there are a couple of cool lead breaks to enjoy on the recording. The stuff on the four song EP is a lot of fun and the first track deals with the ever popular theme of grass, cash or ass when they tell you that “Nobody Rides For Free”. “Drunk Drivers From Space” is a bit of a Space-Rock type of track that reminded me a little of Monster Magnet and actually just a bit of old Warrior Soul. There is a lot of pumping groove going on in “Racing Air Force One” and its sure to appeal to anyone who likes that Old School Rock vibe. They speed up a bit more for the EP closer of “Vegas Honeymoon” which has an almost boogie feel to it. I had to say that for four songs I was left wanting to hear some more and I look forward to a full length from these guys sometime in the near future. I like that a cool pure sound of Hard Rock is coming out of NYC again.
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Artist: Fu Manchu
Title: “We Must Obey”
Label: Liquor & Poker Music
Release Date: 2/20/2007
Genre: Stoner/Fuzz Rock
When you are looking for a pure definition of Hard Rock with a wide variety of other influences then you need look no further than Orange County’s Fu-Manchu. They have been together over a dozen years and this album is their tenth, but the first on the Liquor & Poker Music imprint of Century Media Records. The groups lineup consists of Scott Hill (vocals/guitars), Bob Balch (guitars), Brad Davis (bass) and Scott Reeder (drums) and the minute you begin playing the CD you will not only hear but you will feel the strong riffing that is happening on every single track. It is a little bit Punk at times, but also has that Stoner and Doom feel crunch in the background and together forms the unique “Fuzz Rock” for which they are most known. The music is totally in gear with the kind of stuff that Monster Magnet and Corrosion of Conformity are doing and should appeal to their fan base as well. “We Must Obey” throttles the listener like a punk version of Motorhead while “Between The Lines” has a very intense, almost Metal vibe to it “Lesson” has that resonant Black Sabbath groove going on and this leads you to the oddly placed cover of The Cars “Moving In Stereo”. I thought this was a unique track for them to do, as the original is so strong on the keyboards while there is nothing of the sort in Fu-Manchu. Essentially, if you have ever wanted to hear a Stoner/Doom rendition of a Cars track then here is your chance. Do not laugh, its very good actually.
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Artist: Monster Magnet
Title: “Spine Of God” (remaster)
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 4/4/2006
Genre: Hard Rock/Stoner
A remastered re-release of Monster Magnets 2nd disk (but first full-length album) comes to life thanks to the folks at SPV Records. I have to admit that I like this sludgy, brutal, trippy brand of Stoner Rock. Why? Well I am not sure but maybe because this record has attitude with a bit of unpredictability and raunchy guitars. Spine Of God does not have the higher production values that would eventually be found on God Says No but that are par for the course on earlier work. GSN also includes a harder rocking second version of the track “Medicine” and the stellar track “Melt” (which mentions artist and supreme comic talent Jack Kirby in its lyrics). It’s my hope that SPV gets around to remastering this one as it is some of Magnet’s best work in my humble opinion.
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